GO! The only flaw I see in your plan is Anchorage, I would much rather live in a town of 250 than 250,000. The biology degree sounds like a good plan to me. You can't swing a dead cat around here without hitting an unemployed engineer. I had a plan very similar to yours 35 years ago, I wanted to go to school in Alaska but let family talk me into a local school that I never finished. It wasn't a complete wash out, I joined the Navy and never looked back. I retired from the Navy and moved back home to a boring job and relatively tame life, wishing everyday I was in Alaska or somewhere in the Rockies.
Follow your dream, don't be a should of, would of, could of. You'll regret it the rest of your life.
I think of this subject from time to time. One can't go back in time, and truthfully I don't think I'd want to. We can only move forward with the limited time we're given. Below are a few quotes of inspiration that stand out to me. I'm a Christian so the first is from Proverbs, one is from my former boss and CEO and another is from Ralf Waldo Emerson.
“A man’s heart plans his way, But the Lord directs his steps.”
“My favorite things in life don't cost any money. It's really clear that the most precious resource we all have is time.”
“Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.”
- Ralf Waldo Emerson
My thought is that you will take "your" path. We are all on one and there are lots of paths and trails one can take in life. They all have different challenges, consequences and rewards. Just make sure your path is the very best one for you. Make it an awesome adventure.
Grizz hit the main points perfectly - I just want to stress what I think is an important point: A permanent job, a house and/or a family become anchors - not in a bad way, it's just what they are. They will limit the time, money and freedom you need to just get up and go places and do things.
So, I also vote for going to Alaska, knock out some school and live life. You can take your time doing clsses at a community college while you figure out what you want to do and by that point, you will have not only your associates done, you'll have some experience under your belt that no school will ever be able to teach you.
You might also look at the Guard (Army or Air) up there. Good training for your main specialty, college bennies, a paycheck once a month for drills, you get to travel to some cool places (besides Afghanistan) and training courses like arctic survival school.
The first time I laid eyes on the Great Land, my thought was "...If I had come here as a young man, I would have never left...". We are losing our wild places and hunting rates at an alarming rate. Go see what is there, while it is still there. Since you are getting a few advisory quotes in some of the other posts, I will add one. "He who hesitates is lost.". Do it now!
Many words of wisdom in that post from GRIZZ. It's true that you may never be rich working law enforcement or wildlife biology, trust me, but it is all about the quality of life that you want to experience. I am making considerably less now than when I was in the Military, but I wouldn't trade it for the world now that I am living in the place the I want to live, and doing the job that I choose to do. Figure out what your highest priorities, and dreams are, see where they intersect and then go for it. Good luck where ever you decide to relocate.
You have had some good advice already but I would like to weigh-in too. I came to Alaska about 38 years ago and have never left. I requested to be sent here while in the Air Force and they agreed to do so, lucky me. After the Air Force I joined Alaska Fish and Wildlife. I didn't need a degree then and you still don't, although it helps if you have an applicable degree. I'm retired from FWP and have worked as a wildlife survey pilot and air transporter and continue in working with Fish and Game issues and teach hunter safety.
Alaska is a wonderful place to live and for those with the ambition to work, there are jobs available. At 18 you can get seasonal work with Fish and Game which can lead to more permanent jobs later. Don't expect big money though. The oil field jobs pay more but are generally applied for online, not by coming to Alaska and walking in. Do your homework before coming up, spring is the best time since more jobs are hiring then. You can run out of money very fast if it takes too much time to get hired. Anchorage or Fairbanks are probably your best bet for finding jobs and meeting folks, but I agree they are not as enjoyable as living rural.
Check with hunting guides on the Alaska Professional Hunters Association website if you are looking for a job as a packer, many guides are looking for young strong guys willing to work. If you go this way, send me a p.m and I can try to tell you some that I would avoid or wouldn't fly with!
After 38 years I can say without reservation that it's worth the hard work and dedication it takes to make the move.
We moved to Anchorage when I was 7 from CA and have never looked back, this is the place to be if you like to fish and hunt. I took wild life and fisheries management in High School as as well as a taxidermy class. Got a good start on some fun jobs, but ended up driving truck like my dad, pays better and the Jet boat likes gas. Great hunting close to many towns, birds and 4 leged critters, just last weekend 40 mi from town we were duck hunting and a nice size set of brown bear tracks got out atention on the sand bar!!!!
Come up in the spring, april 1st and give it a try.
I agree with the idea that you should do it now.
I have moved to Alaska a couple times once, after I got out of the mliitary on a couple year hiatus, and another time with the military. I always had a job going there, something not everyone that moves to Alaska does.
We will be moving back up when the kids are a bit older, but now having infants at -40 isn't fun.
Fishing is the best it can be in the world. No place comes close.
Hunting is all about having a means to access the wilderness; airplane, jet boat, airboat, hovercraft, or rarely horses. Hunting from the road system isn't limited, but it's the same as hunting in a over the counter area in much of the west. It's pretty tough, with tons of people.
No single place in Alaska has all species, and sometimes you may have awesome moose, but nothing else. Or awesome caribou but nothing else. Or only sitka blacktails, and brown bears are on a drawing with limited tags.
As for having a trapline in Alaska, the best thing you can do is buy an established line from someone else. Traplines are a financial way of life for many in Alaska, and are sold in newspapers and on Craigs list.
I know it sounds wierd to sell an intangeble piece of property that you don't own, but thats the way of the land up there.