Our Guide Training Staff – A Rich Resource
Swan Mountain Wilderness Guide School is structured much differently than other guide schools, utilizing a diverse and highly qualified faculty for all our instructional courses for hunters, outfitters, and outdoorsmen. Below we list the many instructors and agency professionals that comprise the faculty of Swan Mountain Wilderness Guide School:
Owner & Founder
Role & Areas of Expertise: School Director, Outfitter Program Instructor, fishing techniques and guiding, waterfowl guide training instructor, customer service, career development, Wilderness First Aid.
Pat Tabor has a B.S., and MBA and was an executive in the corporate world for over 25 years before creating a group of outdoor recreation companies. Often described as a “new generation” outfitter, Pat has brought ingenuity and business savvy to the industry. The end result, Pat owns the largest horseback based outfit in the state of Montana. Pat has hunted all over the world and has a passion to serve clients with the best equipment, stock and personnel. Pat has taught at community colleges and universities and has designed curriculum for specialty workshops on a variety of different topics. He is the current President of the Professional Wilderness Outfitters Association, and President-Elect of the Montana Outfitters and Guides Association.
Patrick Tabor II
Swan Division Manager
School & Camp Manager, School Program Director
Role & Areas of Expertise: School and Camp Manager, Lead Program Instructor, Wrangler School, Packer’s School, Riding instructor
Core Program Instructor
Role & Areas of Expertise: Curriculum design and Program production, all areas of instruction, expert in wilderness medicine, packing, and tracking
Larry Keyes earned his B.S. and M.S. degrees in outdoor education and exercise science. He has conducted a wide variety of outdoor programs and classes for three universities, two colleges and several outdoor educational companies for over 30 years. He owned and operated Bear Tracker Outfitters, the Wilderness Medical & Survival Academy and Bridger Institute, which offer state of the art instruction in an array of outdoor subjects. He has lectured at a number of Wilderness Medicine and Search & Rescue conferences around the country. Larry has used his expertise in horse packing, animal tracking, hunting, wilderness survival, wilderness medicine and wild animal encounters to conduct outfitter/guides schools in three western states for the past 15 years.
Robert C. (Bob) Hoverson
Areas of Expertise: Packing, Leave-No-Trace
Bob Hoverson has a B.S. degree in Forestry from the University of Montana, and recently retired from a distinguished forty-year career with the United States Forest Service. During his USFS career, Bob spent over a decade as a Wilderness Ranger and Timber/Resource Forester. For more than thirty years, he was stationed at the Historic Ninemile Ranger Station, and managed a winter range program, caring for over 200 head of government-owned horses and mules. In 1988 (and for the ensuing twenty-three years!), Bob initiated and managed two programs – the Northern Region Pack Train and the Ninemile Wildlands Training Center. Bob is recognized as a packing authority is responsible for setting today’s packing standard and is author of the book The Packer’s Field Manual, and an instructional DVD entitled Mule Packing-Decker Style.
Areas of Expertise: Taxidermy, Horse Shoeing
Derik Rich is a graduate of Swan Mountain Wilderness Guide School, and now is an outfitter, taxidermist and horseshoer. Upon completion of guide school, Derik completed ferrier and taxidermy courses. Derik has worked for several outfitters in Montana and Colorado, and has worked for Swan Mountain in Glacier National Park the last four years. He owns and operates Swan Safaris operating out of Havre, MT
Jim & Stacey Boyd
Areas of Expertise: Horsemanship
Jimmy and Stacey Boyd help horses and riders become willing partners focusing on equine psychology and behavior. They teach proven problem-solving strategies and help develop better communication and leadership skills. Students learn how to read a horse and interpret their behavior. Jimmy and Stacey are educated, skilled and experienced in the best methods known nationally and internationally for being the most natural and successful with horses. From starting & developing young horses to problem solving and fine tuning, their instincts and communication are exceptional. Both Jimmy and Stacey have been practicing natural horsemanship for many years together and look forward to sharing it with others. They are a wellspring of knowledge when it comes to bits, saddle fitting, shoeing, horse health. Jimmy and Stacey enjoy training and showing their horses in ranch horse competitions, team penning, team roping and more. Jimmy also enjoys hunting with his horses taking them on adventures in the mountains. They have studied masters of horsemanship such as Clinton Anderson, Pat Wyse, Monty Roberts, Pat Parelli and many local horse comrades.
Areas of Expertise: Archery Education, Certified P&Y Measurer
Ron Nail’s bowhunting experience spans 40 years. To give something back to the sport he became certified as a bowhunter education instructor, by the Montana Fish, Wildlife, & Parks, 15 years ago. Montana’s bowhunter education program is accepted in all states, and Canadian provinces that require a bowhunter certification to purchase a bow hunting license.
He is a life member of the Montana Bowhunters Association, a regular member of the Pope and Young Club, and an official measurer for the Pope and Young Club.
Areas of Expertise: Lead Instructor Waterfowl Training
Tryg Kock is a seasoned big game and waterfowl guide and has worked for a variety of different outfitters throughout the west and midwest. Tryg is an expert waterfowl guide and works through the winter and spring months guiding in Nebraska, South & North Dakota and Missouri for geese and ducks.
Areas of Expertise: Lead Instructor Upland Game Bird Guide Training
Mac Minard is a seasoned upland game bird expert and trainer of pointing and flushing dogs. Mac is currently the Executive Director of the Montana Outfitters & Guides Association. Prior to coming to Montana to take over the #2 Fisheries position in Montana FWP before his retirement, he was a lead fisheries biologist in Alaska which included piloting his own plane. Mac now enjoys extensive upland bird hunting often spending more then 100 days in the field.
Areas of Expertise: River Training
Carl Motes-Conners is a professional whitewater guide and Rescue 3 International Water Instructor. He has been training professionals in the outdoor industry for seven years. Carl manages Great Northern Guides, overseeing fishing and whitewater rafting tours, and is also the head instructor of The Glacier River School in West Glacier, Montana. Carl works closely with many other local outfitting businesses, agencies and US military to train their personnel in technical swiftwater rescue. Certifications include: Rescue 3 International Instructor: Water, Technical Rope Rescue: Technician Level, PSIA Nordic Instructor: Level I, and a BS from the University of Montana in Nature Based Tourism.
Role & Areas of Expertise: Lead Instructor EquineCare
Jim Ford is a certified Equine Dentist with a practice that covers multiple states in the west. He is an expert at equine health and behavioral care. Jim resides in Wyoming but frequently travels to Montana to serve his clients and instruct at Swan Mountain Wilderness Guide School.
Virginia H. (Gini) LaMaster
Role & Areas of Expertise: Leave-No-Trace, Cooking
In the fall of 2009 Gini LaMaster was selected to represent West Virginia by Back Country Horsemen of America to attend the National Leave No Trace Stock Master Educator Course, at the Ninemile Wildlands Training Center in Montana. That, coupled with her strong organizational skills and event management experience made Gini’s selection to the National LNT Stock Teaching Team a natural choice. Gini is uniquely qualified to ride, pack, provide back country meals, and teach Leave No Trace. Gini is directly responsible for the founding of Back Country Horsemen of West Virginia (BCHWV), the formation of the Northern Highlands Chapter, and five additional chapters in the state. She is currently a National Director of BCHA, the State Chairman for BCHWV and President of her local chapter. As a pioneer culture authority, Gini has demonstrated and taught early-American frontier living skills, such as food preparation and preservation, Dutch oven cooking, textile production and animal husbandry at historic sites including Mount Vernon and the Museum of American Frontier Culture. She now works seasonally for Swan Mountain Outfitters in Swan Lake, Montana, combining her talents with stock management, back country and wilderness skills and exceptional client services in the Flathead National Forest, the Bob Marshall Wilderness and Glacier National Park.
Resident Instructor, Mentor
Areas of Expertise: Lead EquineCare Instructor, guiding, camp mentor
Shawn Fulton served as one of Swan Mountain Outfitters lead packers in Glacier National Park, and prior to that managed a horse facility in the midwest for nearly 10 years. Shawn has extensive experience with medical treatment of horses and rehabilitation. Shawn has been part of the guide staff in the Swan Division for several years and assists with several programs and serves as a mentor to students in camp.
Resident Instructor, Mentor
Areas of Expertise: Fishing Instructor, guiding, camp mentor
Tom Stehn is on the Swan Mountain staff entering his fourth year with the outfit. Tom is originally from New Jersey and has been a deep sea fishing charter guide the last seven years His maturity and “can do” attitude landed him tops in the guide school class. Tom worked in Glacier Division his first year in the summer and then joined the Swan Division for fall hunting and has been there ever since. Tom guides for bears in the spring and mulies/whitetails in the fall and is our lead fishing guide during the summer.
Areas of Expertise: Backcountry horsemanship, packing and outfitting
Cecil Noble, a fourth generation Montanan and pioneer in the outfitting industry founded Lion Creek Outfitters. Since 1972, Lion Creek Outfitters had offered guided elk hunting, deer hunting, and summer horse pack/fishing trips in the Bob Marshall Wilderness and its surrounding areas of the Flathead National Forest. Cecil sold his company to Swan Mountain Outfitters in 2005. Cecil has served as president of Montana Outfitters & Guides Association (MOGA) and has been instrumental in the formation of rules and regulations affecting the outfitting industry over three decades. Cecil is a horseman extraordinaire, and a true innovator in developing faster, safer and less expensive ways to pack, clear trails and accomplish a number of other tasks related to back country outfitting.
Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks provides enforcement officers and or program information specialists to help candidates to understand the importance of game laws, resource management, expectations of guides and outfitters and understanding the pressures of the non-hunting public.
The Montana Board of Outfitters is the licensing agency for outfitters and guides in the state of Montana. Representatives provide their direct perspective of the issues and challenge the Board faces and will inform students on what is required for obtaining licenses and maintaining a good relationship.
Montana DNRC has graciously offered to provide specialists to discuss state regulatory, land use and conservation issues. They will openly discuss issues relating to guided services on state lands, public use issues and challenges from an environmental perspective.
The Flathead National Forest, a division of the USDA-USFS, is providing information officers as resource to our school to understand the expectations of outfitters and/guides, the permitting process, and conservation practices