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The People

Established in 2013. Black Spruce Dog Sledding is owned and operated by husband-and-wife team Jeff and KattiJo Deeter. 


About Us

Man hugging a group of 4 dogs
Jeff Deeter – Owner & Guide

Jeff ran his first Iditarod in 2008 at the age of 19. Nearly 100 mushers started the race that particular year, and 18 of them scratched or were withdrawn. Jeff finished in 59th place, with a happy, healthy team of dogs. Like most rookies, Jeff’s goals were to finish with a strong dog team and to get a good look at the trail, gaining important knowledge that would help him the next time he ran the race. In the years following his rookie Iditarod run, Jeff continued to compete in mid-distance races and build a more competitive racing team. In the summer of 2010 Jeff met his now-wife, KattiJo. They were co-workers at a dog mushing tour company in southeast Alaska. KattiJo denies it, but Jeff suspects KattiJo first fell in love with Alaska, then with his dogs, and then finally with him. In 2013 Jeff and KattiJo purchased a piece of land, started their own dog tour company, and began construction on their home. Jeff ran the Iditarod again in 2018, and has run it each year since. His highest finish was 12th place in 2021.

KattiJo (Katie) Deeter – Owner & Guide

KattiJo has her Bachelor of Science degree in Therapeutic Recreation from the University of Wisconsin – La Crosse. A lover of wilderness, travel, people and animals, KattiJo spent each summer during college traveling somewhere new and working different gigs. Summer camps, horseback riding and wilderness programs – she tried it all! After graduating from UW-L in 2008, KattiJo still wasn’t ready to settle down and get a “real job.” She spent the next couple years continuing to work her way through most of the contiguous U.S. and by 2010, only Alaska and Hawaii remained on her list of places in America she was itching to visit. A google search for “summer jobs in Alaska” returned an opportunity to work at a dog sledding tour company in Juneau, Alaska. What luck! Luckier still, KattiJo met Jeff that summer and they have been together ever since. They got married in 2013 and honeymooned in Hawaii. KattiJo ran her first Iditarod in 2022.

Richie Beattie and Emily Rosenblatt
Richie Beattie and Emily Rosenblatt – Wildthingz Dog Mushing

Richie and Emily live seven trail miles away from Black Spruce Dog Sledding, and commute to “work” four days each week during the winter via dog sled. They run tours here using their own dogs, and share their own unique experiences of living off grid, training and long distance dog sled racing. In the summer, Richie and Emily live in Cantwell, just south of Denali National Park, where they continue to share their dogs and their story with visitors.

Lindsey Dreese
Lindsey Dreese – Tour Guide / Handler / Reservations

Lindsey has been a friend to Black Spruce Dog Sledding since our very beginning in 2013. After spending one winter as our full time handler, Lindsey left to get a “real job” with the Alaska Department of Fish and Game. But she couldn’t stay away! Lindsey still runs tours at Black Spruce on every Sunday throughout the winter, and picks up extra shifts during the holidays. She has handled on many races, and spent countless weeks kennel sitting for us when we go out of town. Lindsey also tackles reservations and the general running-of-things when KattiJo is on the race trail.

Want to join our crew?

It takes a whole team of humans to have a successful team of dogs. Fill out the application below and tell us about yourself! We are no longer hiring for the 2023-2024 season. Please check back in May of 2024!

Kennel Assistant / Tour Guide

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