Oral History Interviews:
Al Franzmann has worn several hats during his life. Al grew up on a farm in Ohio. As a boy, he hunted and fished whenever the opportunity arose. Young Al also loved working with the livestock. That connection with the animals led to him becoming a veterinarian. After 15 years as a successful large animal practitioner near his hometown, Al took a fateful hunting trip "out West." He fell in love again, this time with the wildlife that he pursued.
Al knew immediately that he wanted to change his career path in a manner which would allow him to work with wildlife species on a regular basis. He returned to college and obtained a PhD. This new degree led him to a job with the Alaska Department of Fish and Game. Al's work ethic and upbeat attitude made his new career just as successful as his old one. He excelled in testing new procedures and drugs for capturing Alaska's big game species. Al especially enjoyed the opportunity to travel the length and breadth of the state in order to see new places and work on new species.
After 15 years with ADF&G, Al shifted gears once more. He began a career as a wildlife consultant. His expertise was in constant demand in such exotic locales as India, Africa and Malaysia. He worked with tigers, rhinos, elephants and deer.
Al's commitment to the welfare of Alaska's wildlife curtailed his globe-trotting adventures. He accepted an appointment to the Board of Game. His tenure on the Board coincided with one of many management crises related to the wolf. The challenges of trying to manage this predator generated lots of work and a wide spectrum of emotions.
Throughout his interview, Al recalls how hunting and fishing served as a focus for his life. These activities brought him pleasure and influenced his career decisions. He continues to share these passions with his family at every opportunity.