Pat Tabor, Owner
Where we Hunt: In the Swan Valley which lies in the heart of the Rocky Mountains in Northwest Montana. This area is often referred to as “Glacier Country” and is nestled just outside of Glacier National Park and the famed Bob Marshall Wilderness.
Types of Hunts:
The latest in hunting guide school instruction, hunting techniques and hunting outfitter and adventurer training taught by recognized experts and professionals. Our 4-5 week wilderness outdoor guide school uses a “hands-on” approach and covers the vital areas of training including: Hunting, Fishing, Game Calling, Horsemanship, Tracking, Field Care, Career Development and much more.
If you’re looking for a more specified course offering consider our supplemental courses including: Wrangler Training, Packer Training, Upland Game Bird Guide Training, Waterfowl Guide Training, Wilderness Cooking School, Houndsmen/Lion Guide Training, Outfitting for Outfitters and more!
Hunting Lodge: Our guide school is conducted out of our Outfitter's Camp in the center of the Swan Valley in Northwest Montana. Unlike many schools that host you on a ranch, this is the real deal, you will be in wall tents and living the guide's life right from the get-go.
Tim Toud, License #BG195
Where we Hunt: Held in beautiful Cody, Wyoming, the East entrance to Yellowstone National Park. Bliss Creek Guide School offers two classes per year, each 4 weeks in length - April and then late June and July. Also Personalized One-On-One Training offered during the rest of the year.
Types of Hunts:
Bliss Creek Wilderness Archery Elk Guide and Packer School focuses on training Archery Elk Guides, the most challenging type of hunt. During the 4 weeks of hands-on training, each student will learn about Game and Fish Regulations, Horsemanship, Packing, Shoeing, Guide Skills and Equipment, Trophy Care, Camp Set-Up and Stalking and Tracking - personalized training included! Our guide school is for those men and women who are VERY serious about becoming a professional guide in a wilderness setting. This is the most demanding guide and packer school in the world. We turn out only the best guides, wranglers and packers in the US, so if you think you've got what it takes, fill out the contact form and we can get more information to you about our program!
Bliss Creek Professional Wrangler School provides comprehensive training and skills needed in the back country wilderness. Camp maintenance, horse and mule care and training, and much more.
Bliss Creek Professional Camp Cook School instructs on hunting camp maintenance and cooking for clients. We offer both private and group schools to meet your needs.
We provide job placement through our vast network of outfitters through the US. We Guarantee it! Career Placement Assistants available for graduating students. We have had a 100% job placement rate since 1992.
Hunting Lodge: During the first 2 weeks, guide students stay at Bliss Creek Ranch in mock-camp setting consisting of wall tents, a cook tent and shower tent. The camp is very similar to the wilderness camp in the Washakie Wilderness. After 2 weeks of training, we pack in to Bliss Creek Meadows for a true wilderness learning adventure!
Montana Licensed Outfitter #192
Yellowstone National Park Outfitter LP - YELL - 105
Where we Hunt:
Paradise Valley south of Livingston, Montana, home of the famous Yellowstone River. The Absaroka-Beartooth Wilderness and Gallatin National Forest borders this blue-ribbon trout stream. Yellowstone National Park is only 40 miles south.
June Class and September Class
Types of Hunts: Bear Paw Outfitters is recognized as the MOST SAFETY CONSCIOUS program in the outfitting industry. We teach a TOUCH OF PROFESSIONALISM not taught at any other school. Job placement assistance. With over 42 years of HANDS ON EXPERIENCE let an expert train you personally. Good horses and mules. Come and learn how to handle the BIG PACK STRING!
I look forward to speaking with you personally and answering your questions. There is a lot of information on our website. When you have a choice, choose to learn from the best!
Hunting Lodge: Outdoor camp - wall tents - hot outdoor shower - outhouse - cots - woodstove when needed.
Where we Hunt: Heart of the Rocky Mountains. School locations include "The Renowned Bob Marshall Wilderness" and "The Prominent Bridger Tetons" and "The Big Horns of Wyoming".
Types of Hunts: Leading the way with integrity to outfitter & guiding careers since 1959. ELM'S hunting guide school training program is highly regarded by outfitters for its proven methods and distinctive quality of training provided to students. Given this our students are in very high demand!
We offer the most comprehensive and intense training program available. Following our Home Study Preparatory Course, you will then go on to a 4 week hands on training class at one of our endorsed schools. Elm endorses only the Top Schools in the Rockies. Each school maintains highly qualified/ professional instructors who train students in the skills needed to work in the outfitting and guiding industry.
The hands on class curriculum begins First and Foremost with ethics and attitude. All aspects of horesemanship, horse and mule packing, woodsmanship/outdoor skills, guiding, hunting techniques, transporting of livestock, shoeing, weapons knowledge, map/compass skills, setting of camps, forest service regulations. First Aid and CPR class plus much more. Class sizes are very limited assuring our students receive more personal instruction. Select schools also offer a 2-week backcountry camp cooking class Job placement assistance for all qualified graduates. Many have made the decision to get paid for doing something they enjoy. "Let Elm be your guide into this wonderful and unique lifestyle"
Hunting Lodge: Wall tents and the clear mountain air!
"Our Program Trains for Success"
"Our Students Achieve Success"
Texas Guide School Office
Where we Hunt:
Based out of the Texas Hill Country. The terrain ranges from planted fields to tall rugged rocky hills. This makes the hill country perfect for a large verity species both native and exotic.
Types of Hunts:
Texas Guide School is here to train and prepare you for a career as a professional hunting guide. This program is a result of over 15 years experience in the outfitting business having hired many guides from other schools. It is designed to give you essential information and hands on training to hone your new skills including: field judging, scoring, identification, scouting, calling techniques, Meat and Taxidermy care after the hunt and much more. With a strong emphasis on in the field and hands on experience you will leave this program ready to guide.
This is a great course for aspiring hunting guides as well as anyone who just wants to improve their hunting abilities.
Hunting Lodge: Students are housed in a comfortable lodge with meals.
A Day in the Life of a Big Game Hunting Guide, by Michael Knott, Program Director Elm Outfitting-Guide Training
Professional hunting guide and owner of Elm Guide School, Michael Knott, writes the following article about the pleasures and challenges of pro hunting guides and outfitters. If you are considering a career in the hunting industry or becoming a pro hunting guide, this is a great article to read!
Morning starts early for a guide especially the month of September here in the Northern Rockies. Around 3:30 AM. There are horses to catch, feed, water and saddle. Breakfast can be as early as 4:15 so bring your appetite! You will need it for the long day ahead. To get where you need to be by first light you must be out of camp and on your way well before 5:00. You are lucky as the first part of your ride will be up one of the major pack trails, so you point your trusty mount in the right direction and give him his head.
By 5:45 you reach your cut off trail that leads you up towards the top of the ridge. In the pre-dawn the trail is almost non existent so you must use your keen senses and the sky line to guide you. Taking it slow you pick your way up to where you will leave your horses. As you never know how the days hunt may go? You automatically take their bridals off and loosen their cinches some before tying them off and heading out the ridge. It may be well after dark before you are back. Mornings in the high country is truly seeing and experiencing God's handiwork at its best! Add rutting and bugling elk to the picture, it quite the deal.
Guiding for clients is a big responsibility and you must always remember no matter what, safety is a must!
Quietly we navigate to an advantage point where we can hear and see a whole lot of country. You know the drainage well and it most often holds a good herd of elk so anticipation is high.
Mesmerized by the quiet we sit motionless and just listening for a bit. It’s a big watershed with many openings and has everything elk need, feed, water and good security.
As the night gives way to light we start glassing the closer parks. Nothing! You continue to scour the valley below, still nothing. You must be patient and thoroughly glass the openings one by one. Right now you are glad that you spent the little extra and picked up a good quality 10x42 optic's, they sure are doing a fine job. Even in this low light they are gathering good intensity.
Finally you glass a few head that look to be heading towards the timber. Way down the drainage about two miles away you pick-up on some cow's. Most likely it's the tail end of a larger herd. You don't spot any bulls but you are confident that they are there as it is the height of the rut.
Your hunter is a archery hunter so you must get in close. All likelihood they are heading to a bedding area high on a north facing bench about a mile above the park. You also know that the chances of getting there before the thermals change are nil. Not wanting to risk it we make plans for a late afternoon or evening hunt.
No good to go right into their bedding area. Work your way down bring your horses and take your time. Don't get to close, about a third of a mile this side of the bedding area is close enough. Let the elk rest, you do the same. The air currents should be stable all afternoon but keep an eye on them.
If everything goes picture perfect you will hear a bull bugle by mid afternoon or before. You move in, set up and pull a nice 6 point bull past your hunter within 20 yards. He makes a clean broadside shot and recovers his bull within 100 yards. Giving you plenty of time for pictures, caping, field dressing, quartering, hanging, brushing it up and back to camp by 9:00 pm. Time to enjoy a good supper and by morning rested and ready to pack the bull back to camp.
It can come this easy but nine times out of ten it won't. You can expect to put in some real long days and late nights. Miles and miles in the saddle. Setups that didn't pan-out, bulls that hangup on you, elk-less hours sitting over wallows and several other misfortunes along the way.
Always remember that your worst day of elk hunting will be far superior than the best of days down amongst deprived flat-landers!