Holding true to its mission of “Pioneering Innovation in Guide, Packer and Outfitter Training”, Swan Mountain Wilderness Guide School has developed a new course focused on teaching the skills needed to become a duck, goose and waterfowl hunting guide. Given the popularity of our programs and presence on the web, we have received hundreds of inquiries from folks who would like to be trained on the specifics of being a top notch waterfowl guide. Our duck, goose & waterfowl guide training is quite different from our other programs. In this course waterfowl guide candidates will learn all the facets of how to guide for ducks and geese throughout the various parts of the country. Certain parts of the US and Canada hunt ducks and geese differently. Swan Mountain Wilderness Guide School will cover the various methods and species of duck and goose found throughout North America. The course has been designed from scratch based on interviewing several waterfowl outfitters throughout the country. We have developed curriculum specific to the needs of outfitters when they hire new duck hunting guides. The waterfowl guide training program is a 5 day course and includes the following:

Nature and Behavior of Ducks & Geese

When you train with Swan Mountain Guide school to become a goose or duck hunting guide, you’ll learn:

  • to identify different species and varieties of duck and geese,
  • their habitat,
  • season’s ranges and migration,
  • behaviors; including calls they make: in flight, territorial, male/female,
  • socialization,
  • impact of the weather on their flight behavior

Where to Go

Scouting optimal locations; habitat characteristics; timing both time of year as well as time to hit certain locations; locations, lakes, water holes fields, refuges; waterfowling throughout North America: hot spots in the country, opportunities in Canada and Mexico, flyways and seasons.

Hunting Techniques

Hunting ducks, goose and other waterfowl from boats and canoes; classic blind hunting over decoys; jump shooting; glassing; field scouting; observing; mapping and recording; making a blind; shooting techniques and helping clients be successful; guns: types, safety, performance, issues; ammunition: types, comparatives, performance; true ballistics instruction so candidates can intelligently discuss issues with clients and project trajectories by ammunition type and load for purposes of success at longer distances

Waterfowling Skills

The decoy spread placement and positioning, and flagging; concealment; calling; dog handling; maintaining sites; camouflage and concealment; thorough review of equipment including binoculars, range finders, calls, clothing, waterproof wear, waders and all aspects of footwear; scheduling and keeping it fun in bad weather

Guiding Clients

Personal professional standards in appearance & behavior; customer service including communication of expectations, dealing with troubling issues, controlling client behavior; critical success factors in hunting guiding; the guides personal gear including product review and packing strategy; care of birds including all forms of field dress and meat preparation and transport under various conditions; review of knives and sharpening techniques; full coverage of hunter ethics and difficult client scenarios; safety for yourself & client around dangerous game; taking quality photographs of your client’s successes.

Outdoorsmanship and Woodsmanship

Orienteering including use of, compass, GPS maps, day/night/bad weather navigation; wilderness survival including safety and prevention of common maladies, emergency procedures & evacuation, emergency shelters and fire starting;

Hunting Laws, Rules and Ethics & Responsibilities

Laws & rules coverage from the perspective of the federal and state governments including private & public land use; legal & ethical responsibility of the outfitter and guide; conservation issues; resource scarcity, environmental concerns, activist group interaction, future impacts of further conflicts between groups; learning how to treat personnel and cultivate positive relationships with governing agencies.

Career Development & Finding A Guide Job

Creating an image that will get you hired and make you more money; creating a resume; thorough review of outfitter hiring behavior and how to make initial contact, follow-up and secure a position; realistic purview of length of employment and compensation; off-season opportunities and how to combat having this be a short lived career; doing your due diligence; internet tools for finding a job; critical success factors to help you secure employment;

Health, Safety & Welfare

Wilderness first aid versus standard first aid; drilling down on all aspects of safety for client and staff; hunting in bear country; wilderness citizenship.

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