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Old 04-04-2018, 03:41 PM   #1
Double-O-Dave
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Default Advice about Professional Hunting Guide training/education

Good afternoon:

My son (20 yrs. old) is a sophomore Natural Resource Management student at Angelo State University. He has dyslexia and problems with reading and comprehension, and he is really struggling in school. His goal is to earn his Bachelor's degree in Natural Resource Management and work as a Wildlife Biologist or in the Natural Recourse Management field for either the government (Fish & Game or TPWD), or for a large hunting ranch or group of ranches (private practice).

I am suggesting my son completes his sophomore semester and then take a break from school to reassess his plans. One of the things he has often talked about doing is working as a professional hunting guide, and I'm wondering if he should pursue that interest while he is reassessing the college path.

My guess is that the hunting guides on the large, privately owned ranches run the gamut from those with degrees and specialized education (biologists, animal science types), to people who have learned on-the-job.

My question is do any of you have any knowledge or experience with regards to professional hunting guides, and their training and/or education? Additionally, it would be helpful if you have any knowledge of large hunting ranches where he might make contact with either a manager or guide to ask questions. Finally, if you have any advice or guidance for either me or my son, it would be greatly appreciated.

Regards,

Dave
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Old 04-04-2018, 03:45 PM   #2
PapaBear
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He may contact the JL Bar ranch in Sonora. The Archers are a good family. If I was looking into getting into that business I would talk to them. they are a large operation and have much more than just hunting.
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Old 04-04-2018, 04:02 PM   #3
Dugie
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If he wants to stay in school.....I would have him reach out to the school for help, if you have a Dr. diagnosis they have accommodations that could help him not struggle so much (IE. audio books/notes and/or testing) They can also help him with certain type of filters/paper colors that might assist his reading.
I have 2 kids (much younger) that deal with this and get accommodations through the district, can't imagine that the college wouldn't have something similar.
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Old 04-04-2018, 04:03 PM   #4
Mudslinger
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I would not have called myself a professional guide back in the day, but I did guide for an outfitter for 4 years in NM. Started in August with antelope and finished in January with late cow elk seasons. I made good money and even better in tips, but it was well before daylight until well after dark on the hunting days (up before any hunter and to bed later than any hunter). I also picked up and took people to the airport in Albq. on Thursday after the hunt and picked up the hunters and brought them back to camp on Friday to begin their hunt on Saturday morning. Some of the hunters were a lot of fun to hunt with and then there were the jerks and know it alls that were better hunters than anyone on the planet. I enjoyed most of th guiding, but you have to learn to take the bad with the good. Very seldom do you get to hunt yourself if at all. I loved hunting and most of the guiding, it is a blast to see someone take their first big game animal or first animal of a species or first animal period, but after spending a bunch of days out of months in the field or on the road doing camp set ups or transporting hunters, I was ready not to hunt or see another animal fo a while. Guiding like this may not be like working with a big ranch so zi have no input there. I had no formal training, but if a person does not get along well and cannot relate to other folks, then this may not be a iine of work to be in. Spending all day with a client or clients if you do not get along with most folks can be a disaster.
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Old 04-04-2018, 04:18 PM   #5
Toddcaster
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You might check Rough Creek Lodge in Glenrose. We go there quail and Pheasant hunting every year and I know they have pkg hunts for whitetail and exotics. Same kind of operation as the JL Bar. There is also Graystone Castle in Mingus. IF your son needs any help while in San Angelo, feel free to let me know. My son graduated from there and my daughter (also 20) is there now.
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Old 04-04-2018, 04:55 PM   #6
Toddcaster
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my wife just informed me that there IS some help at ASU for this kind of learning problem. I will pm you the contact info once she gets it. Maybe it will help.
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Old 04-04-2018, 05:10 PM   #7
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pm sent
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Old 04-04-2018, 06:09 PM   #8
chongo
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If I were a young 20 year old kid again, I think I'd try making connections with some outfits in Africa. Find someone who will provide room and board and allow you to go through SA's PH course for licensing and work a season or two with them. Great way to learn the trade and make some good connections.
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Old 04-04-2018, 10:22 PM   #9
Double-O-Dave
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Toddcaster:

PM received. Many thanks. Response pending.

Best regards,

Dave
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Old 04-04-2018, 10:33 PM   #10
Double-O-Dave
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Papa Bear, Dugie, Mudslinger, Toddcaster, and Chongo:

Many thanks for your suggestions and advice. I've asked my son for the names and email addresses for his advisor and current professors. I'm going to contact them and ask them for their assessment of where he is, and what their best advice would be for him.

Updates to follow.

Best regards,

Dave
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Old 04-04-2018, 10:48 PM   #11
Kdog
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It's seasonal work, but if willing to travel I think it is possible to stay busy. Went on a moose hunt a few years ago. My guide for the hunt does it full time. He guides for hunters in Manitoba, Northwest Territories, Newfoundland, and he has a hunting concession in Australia. Think he also runs some fishing camps in Canada. He mentioned he had to start off at the bottom as a packer and helper. Like anything else in life when you prove yourself you will move up and make connections. I think a person would do better in this line of work if they are willing to move/travel to different places to work. Otherwise I think it is more of a part time gig. Obviously in my example this person is a Canadian, so that is where he works. But I bet a guys could do something similar moving around to places like Alaska/Texas/Western US etc. The guide for my elk hunt strictly guides for elk. He would take like 2.5 months off from his job and go from PA to NM every year. Not sure what exactly he did but it sounded like some kind of factory job, and he had to tell them "I am leaving deal with it."

If he could match up some type of seasonal work to compliment guiding that might work too.

Another option would be to get into flying airplanes. Listened to a Podcast interview with Frank Noska the other day. Being a pilot has been instrumental in creating hunting opportunities for him.

Best of luck to your son.

Last edited by Kdog; 04-04-2018 at 10:50 PM.
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Old 04-04-2018, 10:59 PM   #12
Pedernal
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This is not related to the hunting guide topic but has a list of volunteer positions available that will help him in furthering his education in the natural resources management arena. It would also afford him a brake from school and could provide exposure to real world experience. Best of luck to your son.

https://wfscjobs.tamu.edu/?job_categ...nteer-openings
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Old 04-05-2018, 08:05 AM   #13
cantexduck
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If he wants to work stateside , degree would be helpful . Most of the big ranches have managers who have wildlife degrees.
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Old 04-05-2018, 08:54 AM   #14
pilar
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I did it from 1986 - 2016 if you have questions please pm me a contact number
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Old 04-05-2018, 09:03 AM   #15
Boss Buck
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Colorado has a guide school I think.
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Old 04-05-2018, 09:11 AM   #16
ckamp52
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My wife dealt with the same thing. She is severely ADD and dyslexic Very intelligent, just needed things presented in a different manner. She ended up graduating on the deans list after she quit being hard headed and received a little help. Now, it has been very hard for her to find a good company and manager to realize her potential and work with her. Sadly, most managers do not care or take the time to assess their employees strengths and weaknesses. It has been very frustrating for me to see how she gets treated because she may handle thigns differently than other but can outperform them any day of the week. After about 4 years I believe she has finally found a good place that appreciates the work she puts in for them. It is difficult just tell him not to give up
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Old 04-05-2018, 09:15 AM   #17
txwhitetail
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To get started in guiding without much experience or the right contacts will be tough on a good operation. They are normally staffed year to year by the same folks with a long waiting list. I would look at starting out as more of a ranch hand on a good operation and work your way into a better position. If he stays in school in San Angelo give me a shout I can probably find him a place to help out part time/weekends to start getting some experience.

**** Also my sister in law is an academic advisor at ASU and if you would like her contact she can probably help with resources at the school ****
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Old 04-05-2018, 09:19 AM   #18
wytex
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Some good guide schools in the Rocky Mtn areas . We see adds in local papers looking for qualified guides. If he wants to work in the mountains he should attend one of the guide schools up here. Lots of ranchers also guide and hire for fall.
He might also try to get on with TPW for some seasonal work, wildlife field work can be very rewarding and get a foot in the door for the future.
Good luck.
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Old 04-05-2018, 09:28 AM   #19
Traildust
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I'd work to get him some help on his deficiencies. He quits now, he's not going back.
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Old 04-05-2018, 09:45 PM   #20
Double-O-Dave
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pilar View Post
I did it from 1986 - 2016 if you have questions please pm me a contact number
Thank you, Pilar. PM sent.

Regards,

Dave
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Old 04-05-2018, 09:56 PM   #21
Double-O-Dave
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Good evening:

Many thanks to all of you who responded. I appreciate your support, advice and guidance. My wife and daughter - his big sister - are going to put our heads together this weekend to develop a game plan to help him. I will ask him to read all of the responses to this thread.

Again, many thanks to all of you.

Updates to follow.

Best regards,

Dave
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