Mike Horstman

Jun 2, 2021 @ 15:50 EDT
The Story of Mike Horstman Wikipedia, Mountain Men, Wife, Net Worth, Dog

Michael Paul Horstman is a bear-hunting guide for the more remote part of Alaska's Kodiak Island and a cast regular for History Channel’s Mountain Men. And he's one of the best ones there has ever been in Alaska as well. He runs his travel agency named Kodiak Guide Service from his remote coastline cabin on Eagle Harbor of the island.

Mike Horstman Made It Without Much of a Hunting or Wilderness Background

Born in 1954 in Jonesville, Michigan, Horstman graduated from Shenendehowa High School, but he didn't see much for him to continue living there going forward. As a kid, he was often fascinated by the content of Outdoor Life, a hunting & survival magazine where Alaskan adventures were heavily featured at the time. And thus, there already was this early obsession with the outdoor life set in him despite hardly having any background in it.

Mike Horstman (left) with a client (right) during one of their mountain goat hunts.Brown bears aren't the only prey he guides his clients to hunt on the Alaskan mountains.
Photo Source: Kodiak Guide Service

The only one in his life with any kind of hunting experience was his uncle William Horstman, who hunted small animals in the Adirondack Mountain region. Horstman was 17 when he made his first bear kill while hunting in the Adirondacks with a few other experienced people.

Mike's current family is pressuring him to come back to civilization, as they call it, but there's a reason he chose the solitary life. Presumably, without more than his high school graduation, he moved westward to Idaho in the mid-1970s, the state with a rotated panhandle bordering Canada (to be clear), and started working as a guide & a horse packer for a few years.

Related: The Story of Mountain Man Tom Oar from a Cowboy to Nature Survivalist

Horstman refined his hunting skills in Idaho by hunting deer, elk, and Rocky Mountain bighorn sheep. Throughout this endeavor of growing his experience, he still had Alaska in his mind. When he decided to go for it, it was the winter of 1979, and he only had $700 when he reached Kodiak without a ticket to go back to the mainland US, literally.

Of course, it was vastly different from what he'd experienced in New York and Idaho as he "slept on the couch before couch-surfing was popular" in some of his family friends' homes. Hunting and living off nature was very different here too. But he got through it all. He's now had the experience of over 40 years of hunting, trapping, and tanning through the unforgiving climate of the region.

The 'Master Guide' Only Needs His Dog By His Side

Mike Horstman works only 11 weeks a year to earn his living, guiding sight-seers and bear hunters who like to come to experience the Alaskan expedition. But that doesn't mean he's kicking back with the boys in some pub or other for the rest of the year. It is clear that he lives alone in his coastline cabin, having done that for decades. This means there is no wife or kids of his whatsoever.

Mike Horstman with his dog Adele at his feet and bear tans in his background cabin wall.Mike Horstman is not a married man, not even with a romance in his early years.
Photo Source: Horstman's Kodiak Guide Service, Facebook

However, he does like to have a little company by his side. And no, the clients are just clients for him. His only friend during his work and the rest of the year to physically be with him is his dog. Adele (like the British singer) is a German Wirehaired Pointer he takes with him during all his adventures. They don't leave the island on his months off either, of course.

How Much Is Mike Horstman's Net Worth?

Horstman is a registered guide since the mid-1980s and was given the title of a Master Guide in the early 2000s, which is very hard to come by, he insists. And it pays well too. According to an interview in 2016, a week-long Alaskan mountain goat hunt with him cost $8,500, and a 10-day Kodiak bear hunt cost $20,000 when Horstman was guiding at the time. Accordingly, his net worth is estimated to be around $400,000.

The prices are a little higher now, according to the official Kodiak Guide Service website. The 10-day brown bear hunt costs $25,500, but a regular grizzly bear hunt costs $14,500. Meanwhile, a 10-day mountain goat hunt price rose to $15,000 in 2020. There are several other animals to hunt with varying prices listed on the website.

Mike Horstman on the way to Paris, France.He did go to Europe for the first time last year.
Photo Source: Horstman's Kodiak Guide Service, Facebook

Horstman had a pinch of screen time with History Channel’s The Hunt in 2014, but only for a single episode. However, despite the network already creating Mountain Men at that point, it's only a wonder why he didn't make the cut in the very first season. But he did get finally the title of a Mountain Man when he got his chance to be one in 2018. And as fellow Mountain Man Tom Oar revealed, this gig also pays pretty well.

Also See: How 'Curse of Oak Island's Marty Lagina Succeed to Accumulate a Millionaire Status in Terms of Net Worth

Is Mike Horstman ever going to stop with this profession? Much like the other Mountain Men on the show, he doesn't show signs of stopping either. And sure, like the families of other cast members, he too is being asked by his remaining family to leave his current life behind. But making bear hunting unforgettable for his clients, who come from Europe to Canadian territories to Mexico, has been his biggest dream fulfilled. And at 66, there is no reason he would want to stop living his dream.

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