Finding a hunting or fishing guide job and starting your career in the guiding industry is a very confusing process. There are many reasons for this including:

  • No central location for hunting or fishing guide job postings. Rarely are jobs postings put in the paper or any where else where a candidate can find out about them. This is why we have added our Swan Mountain Wilderness Guide School Job Postings Board.
  • Many outfitters will hold off posting guide jobs and hiring hunting guides until they know exactly what their customer count is going to be for their upcoming season.
  • The vast majority of outfitter operations are “one man shows” with perhaps one assistant, so it is difficult for a candidate to know which outfitters routinely have guide jobs and regularly hire guides. And, of course, every outfitter is configured differently, some have spring hunts, some run summer trips, seasons vary for hunting by state and based on the area the outfitter has been permitted in.
  • Most outfitters are very difficult to reach as they are out in the field or live in remote areas with poor reception or limited access to or limited usage of email.
  • Many candidates are hard to reach as well because they are living temporarily somewhere, don’t have a cell or access to a land line or simply aren’t readily able to be in contact.
  • Several schools make promises about job placement, but read the fine print! You have to be placeable which means that if you aren’t doing well in the school, they have no obligation to place you. In most instances, job placement promises consist of giving you leads to follow up on yourself, and if you elect not to go with the names you have been given, the guide school obligation has ended.
  • A handful of schools have you work for the outfitter that the school is affiliated with and that becomes your guaranteed job placement.Download Article on Guide Salary Information Now

Hunting Guide Jobs: Learn to Hunt Deer, Elk, Waterfowl & More

Candidates for any hunting guide job must get organized, and lay out a plan for getting hired. Several key decisions must be made before you get started:

  • What area in the country do you want to guide and for what species?
  • Do you want to work around horses or not?
  • Are you looking for multi-season work with one outfitter or are you going to move around?
  • What are your long term career goals in this industry? Are you just going to work for a few seasons, ultimately become an outfitter, do this as a hobby?

Once you have a plan, you must make a commitment to be reachable. This will likely entail getting a cell phone with voicemail and having an email account that can be accessed from any computer.

Finally, you have to do your research on outfitters and start making contact. You’ll need to work many leads, and make contact several times so that you can narrow down the list to an outfitter that is a good fit for you.


As part of your training at Swan Mountain Wilderness Guide School, we will assist you in this entire process. You will be taken through a job planning and goal setting process, resume writing, given access to names and descriptions of outfitters throughout the country that we have researched, and we will train you on initial contact, follow up and the interview process.