Unlike our other programs, this course is offered on the east side of the Continental Divide where the grasslands are home to thousands of upland game birds. The facilities are co-located with Swan Safaris bird hunting operations and students will be afforded the opportunity to learn and receive hands-on instruction in a realistic environment.

We have developed curriculum specific to the needs of outfitters when they hire new upland game bird guides. The upland game bird guide training program is a 5 day course and includes the following:

Nature and Behavior of Upland Game Birds

Species and varieties; habitat; season’s ranges and migration; behaviors; 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; bird hunting throughout North America: hot spots in the country, opportunities in other countries and seasons.

Hunting Techniques

Flushing and pointing with dogs; hunting without dogs; glassing; field scouting; observing; mapping and recording; 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

Upland Game Bird Hunting Skills

Reading wind and planning hunt routes; Dog spread placement and positioning; dog handling; maintaining sites; thorough review of equipment including binoculars, dog electronics, 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 in the field; 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.

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

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;

Heath, Safety & Welfare

First aid; drilling down on all aspects of safety for client and staff; hunting in wide open grass country; conservation; private land rights and good citizenship.

When you have successfully completed the Swan Mountain Wilderness Upland Game Bird Guide Training you will be ready to apprentice in any bird hunting operation, you will have the training and experience to do so successfully. We cannot guarantee a guide job for you. The road to success depends on you and the effort you put into your career. But, if you have the energy, the enthusiasm, and the right training, you cannot fail. If you are interested in finding a job as a guide we will provide the training and the advice to get you well on your way.

At Swan Mountain we are dedicated and determined to offer the finest world-class training as well as an extraordinary outdoor experience. You will meet and work with experts in many fields and make friendships that will last a lifetime.

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