Swan Mountain Wilderness Guide School offers distinctive types of guide training and outfitter school programs covering hunting, packing and trail ride wrangling techniques:
- For Hunting Guide Candidates (4 to 5 weeks)
- For Waterfowl Hunting Guide Candidates, Upland Game Bird Guide Candidates, Houndsmen, and River Guide Candidates (5 days)
- For Hunting, Fishing & Packing Outfitters Seeking to be Licensed or Enhance Their Skills (10 days)
- For Trail Ride Wranglers or Horse/Mule Packers (7 days)
- For Hunters and Adventurers (10 days)
- For Wilderness Camp Cooks (2 weeks)
What To Look For in a Guide School
If you are comparing the curriculum of various wilderness guide training schools, you will find many of the same basic themes. The key is to drill down into the differences of these hunting guide schools in terms of the depth and breadth of what is being covered in each guide school, who is instructing and the details of guide school course material. For instance in courses about horses, are you learning about the anatomy and body parts of horses or are you actually learning horsemanship, how to ride and how to stay safe? In our hunting guide school curriculum at Swan Mountain Wilderness Guide School, we have covered all the basic fundamentals as well as adding many unique program elements that set us apart from other hunting guide schools.
We actually have more content than we typically have time for as we strive to be very thorough. Our program is more intense and does not “peter” out near the end, cutting students loose early or filling time with hikes called “hunting practice”. We challenge you to select a program that will give you what you are paying for! At Swan Mountain Wilderness Guide School, we offer thorough coverage of important topics in an innovative fashion delivered by top-notch experts.
We strongly encourage you to evaluate our curriculum, instructors and course layouts to other guide schools you may be familiar with.
Current Class Pricing
Pack in 21 mi. on a 7 day trail crew. You will work alongside Swan Mountain employees opening up miles of trail in the Bob Marshall Wilderness. Learn how to use the historical tools of the trade such as cross cut , one man , and two man saws , pulaskis and axes.
Swan Mountain will provide all of the food, stock , and accommodations.
This is a volunteer trail work crew with instructional hands on experience to better prepare guides or individuals for backcountry trail clearing.
This trip will be physically demanding , with miles of hiking doing trail work and hours in the saddle.
If you want to see what living and working in the wilderness is really like opt for this FREE ADD ON to any Swan Mountain Class.
Our hunting guide school uses a unique modular approach to providing critical information for hunting guide students in seven distinct categories of learning. Our hunting guide program content is rich in each category with emphasis on not only covering the basics of hunting and guiding techniques as a foundation but also by thoroughly exploring the latest innovations in techniques and gear for hunting.
In addition to summer pack trips, customized trail rides, and hunting trips in the Swan Valley, our sister company, Swan Mountain Outfitters also has the exclusive contract to run all the trail rides in Glacier National Park. With over 14,000 trail rides a summer, we hire over 30 wranglers on a seasonal basis and have intimate knowledge of the most important aspects of trail ride/wrangler based operations. As a result of our first-hand experience in this business, we have developed our Wrangler Training Program to address the need for good base training on how to be an effective wrangler.
Swan Mountain Wilderness Guide School has teamed with Carl Motes-Conners of Montana Rescue who provides instruction in technical river rescue and rope rescue in association with Rescue 3 International, a worldwide leader in water and rope rescue training. We also work on the basics of river running to help new boaters develop their skills. Their philosophy is grounded in prevention and developing situational awareness in each participant. These classes are hands-on and take place in the environments where people recreate and operate.
The Swan Mountain Wilderness Cooking School offers a complete program of instruction in camp and back country cooking. The school is located in a magnificent wilderness setting near Glacier National Park and the Bob Marshall Wilderness in northern Montana. The facilities are co-located with the Swan Mountain Wilderness Guide School and students will be afforded the opportunity to learn and receive hands-on instruction in a realistic environment.
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.
No other outfitters school in America has a program designed like this one addressing the true business aspects of what it takes to run a successful guide and outfitting operation. Like many small businesses, many folks that get into outfitting struggle to makes ends meet. The business is very seasonal, and cash flow is highly irregular. Based around our guide training philosophy, this course will help new outfit owners, those considering going into outfitting and others learn the nuances of running this unique type of service business before they lay down a bunch of cash. The program covers a power house of topics in a ten day period, and is designed to get you in and out quickly so you can get back to your business, yet meet the requirements of one education day for three experience days as required by Montana State Law.
Swan Mountain Wilderness Guide School has developed a new course focused on teaching the skills needed to become a houndsman or mountain lion/bear hunting guide using dogs. 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 Houndsmen/Lion Guide. Training to be houndsmen or mountain lion/bear hunting guide using dogs is quite different from our other programs. In this course guide candidates will learn all the facets of how to guide for lions or bears using dogs throughout the various parts of the country. Certain parts of the US and Canada hunt lions and bears differently. Swan Mountain Wilderness Guide School will cover the various methods found throughout North America. The course has been designed from scratch based on interviewing several houndsmen and lion and bear outfitters throughout the country.
Few guide schools address hunting schools for hunters, a very important sector of the outdoor hunting and wilderness school market. Swan Mountain Wilderness Guide School has surveyed graduates of guide schools that fall into this category to create our curriculum for our Hunters and Adventurers Program.