One of the best indicators of whether a guide school is right for you is to learn from the experience of previous guide school students that attended a particular school.  Swan Mountain Wilderness Guide School has yet to turn away a dissatisfied student.  Many have indicated to us that the actual experience was even better then what they would have hoped.

The testimonials found below came off of evaluations we gave students after their time with us.  From time-to-time we get requests for previous students contact details so they can be consulted as a reference.  The following folks have agreed to be contacted. Please don’t hound them as they are busy people, but be sure to contact anyone of them if you have lingering questions regarding the quality of our programs or the school:

Name Email Phone Number
Wilderness Guide
Jay Bushman jaybushman11@gmail.com 330-936 – 9917
 Clinton Dalley r60749@yahoo.com  use email
 Derik Rich  drich2244@gmail.com  607-435-5399
 Shawn Fulton  shawnlfulton@alltel.net  406-250-0776
 Jake Franklin  jakefranklin90@yahoo.com  909-702-0515
Mike Sluka mslukawalker@yahoo.com 406-499-0141
Anthony Campanella amcampanella@ameripac.net   814-490-7074
Cooper Davis cdavis1@rochester.rr.com 585-889-5473
Peter Dantonio peterdantonio2@gmail.com 406-871 – 6663
 Wrangler/Packer
David Proehl djproehl@gmail.com (308) 754 – 4748
 Zane Brown  zanebrown331@yahoo.com  650-796-8087
 Brittany Arment  brittany.arment@wolves.northern.edu  605-380-4502
 Danielle Long  longdan1@msu.edu  734-904-9631
 Madelyn  ziggy100mph@yahoo.com  406-403-6001
 Outfitter
 Sarah Mayo  sarah@aboadventures.com  210-722-3817
My 6 week stay with Swan Mountain Wilderness Guide School was a once in a lifetime experience to say the least! I truly feel that I learned everything and more than I ever expected upon entering the course. The overall kindness and hospitality of the staff made me feel right at home for my entire stay. I enjoyed the beautiful scenery so much I delayed my flight an extra week just to hunt and explore on my own! After attending the Wilderness Guide School I am forever comfortable around stock and traveling through wilderness area on my own hunts. I feel I have learned a great deal of skills that I will use for the rest of my life! I look forward to the day I can book a backcountry hunt with Swan Mountain Outfitters and enjoy the amazing country once again. Thanks for a great experience!
- Anthony Campanella | Pennsylvania (May '12)
I had worked for years in construction and was pretty burned out.  I go to sportshows, and have always dreamed of getting into the outfitting industry.  I was pretty reluctant to leave a high paying job, so I called and talked to the manager of the school, Pat tabor Jr.  He was really knowledgeable and took the time to walk me through the ins and outs of the industry.  When I called other schools, it seems like all they wanted to do was push me into signing up.  Pat really challenged me to think about this as a life decision.  Well I pulled the trigger, went to the school and got a dream job.  I’m a happier guy now then ever!
- Rick Jennings | Wisconsin (Jun 2014)
I actually visited guide schools last year in order to help make my choice.  I would recommend anyone to do that because then you see what really is true and what is not.  Swan Mountain Wilderness Guide School was hopping when I was there.  Not only was the school going full speed, but the outfit was running students could see what the work actually is.  When I came to school this year, me and some other guys would help the guide staff load up summer trips or trail rides.  It was great exposure.  I got a cool job, and I think I will do this for the rest of my life.  I really appreciated Pat’s experience and counseling.  He has his act together.
- Brian Lester | Ohio (Jul '08)
"The horsemanship and packing training were spot-on for someone with minimal to no previous experience, and you get plenty of "time in the saddle." The instructors and staff were approachable and patient, spending time as needed to ensure understanding of the information. Practical career discussions and opportunities were presented both formally and informally throughout the course. Overall, the course provided a solid foundation to build upon for a career in the industry." (June, 16)
- Erik Back
As a returning GI with Post 9/11 benefits I earned, I knew I wasn’t going to go to a college or University.  I started researching guide schools and found Swan Mountain.  I worked with Pat and his staff to map out taking essentially most of the courses offered. I have to say this school understands the VA process, and I was impressed with Pat’s command of the procedures necessary. I was exposed to many great skill sets. I strongly recommend  Swan Mountain Wilderness Guide School.
- Andy Stewart | Virginia (Aug '13)
Pat Tabor was true to his word.  I was leaning towards a school with the hype about placement, and he told it to me straight.  I learned how to present myself, put together a resume, and how to check out outfitters.  He taught me how to take responsibility for myself, I’m glad I went with this school.
- George Haynes | North Carolina (Aug '08)
I was so impressed by the number and quality of instructors at Swan Mountain Wilderness Guide School.  For each topic, a true expert came in and taught the segment.  My friend went to another school, and he basically heard the same thing from the same guy the whole time.  I also couldn’t believe the quality of the teaching aids, power point presentations off of the computer, WIFI in camp so we could look for jobs, this school was awesome!
- Chris O’Connell | Pennsylvania (Jun '08)
I knew since I was in junior high that I wasn’t going to college.  Hunting and fishing is all I’ve ever wanted to do.  So I started looking on the internet and found Swan Mountain.  First of all you can get ahold of people pretty easy.  I called and talked to a girl named Kristine.  She made it clear she was a reservationist, and told me should could have one of the teachers call me if I wanted.  I wound up talking to an owner I think, and he was really helpful in me sortin out what I wanted to do.  I just think this school know a lot more about what the hunting companies want then the others I talked to.
- Lenny Banks | Indiana (Jul '14)
We learned so much as family in the outfitter course, I only wish we would have done thos course two years ago.  Pat Tabor’s knowledge of the industry and of business is unparalleled, the depth that we covered the various topics was like taking a mini MBA focused just on Outfitting.
- Cameron Mayo | Montana (Apr '10)
I was interested in working as a wrangler although I didn’t have any experience in the industry. I was happy to learn that Swan Mountain Guide School offered a course which could teach me the necessary tools for the job! I learned a variety of skills that helped prepare me for the job such as knot tying, leading a trail ride and more. Upon graduation I was hired as a wrangler and was very prepared for whatever came my way.
- Rachel Valgean | (May '13)
The wrangler training program was a fun experience and I am glad I did it.  I loved the scenery and the horses were great.  The instructors were knowledgeable on the curriculum and animals.  As someone with previous horse experience, I learned many different knot tying techniques and thoroughly enjoyed working one on one with the professional horse trainer for a few hours. Overall the class was a great experience and it was a fun way to meet interesting people, the instructors were nice and helpful.
- Hannah Hobbs | (May '13)
I was amazed on the number of things we covered.  The instructors at Swan Mountain Wilderness Guide School were top notch.  I went directly into a packer’s job, and I was prepared.  Another kid they hired came from another school, and he didn’t seem to have the confidence I did.  I’m glad we did that 28 mile round trip hay run at school; it was harder then what I did at my job.  It was cool actually learning and living an actual outfitter’s camp, I feel like I got the most real experience for my money.
- Jimmy Kaliston | Indiana (Jul '09)
I enrolled in the wrangler course in order to gain horse experience to work in the equestrian field.  I can honestly say it was one of the best parts of my summer. The instructors did a great job, it was educational, fun and I made great friends along the way.  The learning environment is very hands on which made retaining the information easy.  The instructors weren’t afraid to correct you but they did it in a kind and professional manner.  Thanks to the course I’ve been able to find jobs in my field of interest.
- Madelyn | Montana (Jun '12)
There is really nothing I would change about this course.  I actually wish I could spend more time at the school.
- Ben Henrichs | Wisconsin (Aug '10)
I recently attended Swan Mountain Wilderness Guide School’s 6 day wrangler course.  It was an outstanding experience from start to finish.  I was hesitant going into the course as my horse knowledge and experience was virtually non-existent.  I was quickly put at ease when I met the welcoming instructors and my classmates.  Throughout the week we had multiple instructors; all of whom were excellent teachers and demonstrated hands on learning exercises with horses and mules.   We covered a wide range of horsemanship and wrangling techniques from basic to advance.  My confidence around horses has grown immensely and I would feel capable safely guiding trail rides.  After class was done for the day, we would have dinner and congregate around the campfire, tell stories and have some laughs.  The knowledge, friends and overall experience I gained was valuable and was the perfect way to enjoy time in Montana.
- Brittany | South Dakota (Jun '13)
I chose Swan Mountain Wilderness Guide School because it seemed to be a legitimate business separate from the outfit.  I had a friend that went to school last year, and all it was an outfitter looking to train people and keep them if they work out.  He didn’t get any materials or anything.  We got a cool book authored by Pat Tabor before the class, and an extensive manual when we arrived.  I have some great resources I can refer back to in my career.
- Harry Jameson | Michigan (Sep '08)
Hey, I went to your guide school and am currently working at Potts Creek Outfitters. I have a client here that is wanting to go on an elk hunt in Montana.  I was wondering about your elk hunt so I could give him information about it.  I was wanting to refer him to you guys because I know you guys treated me very well and would treat him the same if he came up so if you could email me back
- Hunter Gadomski | West Virginia (Oct '12)
I was worried when I was looking for schools that the one I chose wouldn’t live up to their promises, but Swan Mountain Wilderness Guide School actually delivered more than what they said they would.  I absolutely made the right choice.
- Brad Barnes | Louisiana (Nov '09)
I’m not sure what I want to do after college, but I knew that I had to at least try going to a guide school to see if that is a real possibility for me after I graduate.  I researched schools a lot on the internet, and was drawn to Swan Mountain Wilderness Guide School based on the way they present their information.  It is as if they are talking directly to me.  I got on the phone with the manager, and he was more interested in helping me make a good decision then trying to con me into something.  Some other schools I spoke with seem to be irrupted by all my questions.  This is a chunk of money, and I wanted to get it right, I’m glad I went to this school, I had an awesome summer, and I plan on pursuing a career in Colorado.
- Kit Jackson | Oregon (Aug '14)
Attending the Wrangler Training Program at Swan Mountain Wilderness Guide School was the horsemanship experience of a lifetime.  It was exactly what I had hoped for when I signed up for the program.  The entire staff was very knowledgeable, friendly, and patient.  Prior to the start of program, I was in touch with the director of marketing who was checking in regularly to see if I had any questions/concerns, which made me feel at ease and very appreciative, and welcome. The horsemanship techniques we learned during the week helped me gain a better understanding, appreciation, and respect for the horse.  I would do it again in a heartbeat.  If your goal is to work on becoming a better horseman/wrangler, I strongly recommend the Wrangler Training Program at Swan Mountain Wilderness Guide School.
- Zane Brown | California (Jun '13)