colorado Guest Ranch, Coulter Lake Guest Ranch
Colorado hunting guide school
Coulter Lake Guest Ranch, Colorado

Coulter Lake Guide School - Rifle, Colorado

Professional Hunting Guide

Topics Covered
Personal professional standards in appearance & behavior; customer service including communicating with clients, dealing with troubling issues, controlling client behavior; critical success factors in hunting; care of game including field dress and meat preparation, packing out, including backpack and horse/mule packing; trophy identification under the sanctioned scoring methods most commonly used including Pope & Young, and Boone & Crockett; proper caping techniques; review of knives and sharpening techniques; full coverage of hunter ethics and difficult client scenarios; safety for yourself & client around wounded game; taking quality photographs of your client's successes.

Unique Items Covered
Customer service techniques that will earn you better tips; hands on client interaction at an operating guest ranch; actually being on and assisting with clients on trail rides; riding and hiking the Colorado Mountains; learning hunting skills, hands on, for elk, mule deer, and antelope; tracking, track identification, spotting game, finding game, stalking game, basic trout fishing; elk calling skills including cow calls and bull bugling.

Horse, Mule and Packing Techniques

Topics Covered
Saddles and equipment; horse and mule behavior and behavioral issues; horse & mule care & nutrition, common health problems and how to treat with equine First Aid; trailer loading and transportation of stock; packing horses & mules with Decker & Sawbuck pack saddles; leading a string & common problems; basic horse/mule maintenance of foot & legs; all aspects of riding including back country issues, common mistakes, working with green stock, lunging, natural horsemanship; defensive riding, teaching clients how to ride & stay safe; riding in the dark and in serious weather conditions.

Colorado hunting ranch, Guide school


Topics Covered
Orientating; including use of, GPS, maps, day/night/bad weather navigation; wilderness survival; including safety and emergency procedures & evacuation, emergency shelters and fire starting; camping in the wilderness; including campsite selection and layout, types of tents & erecting tents; camp equipment; including different types and uses, lanterns, stoves, tools and maintenance of such; outback cooking; including cooking with fires & Dutch oven cooking, nutrition and safe food storage; bear prevention; minimum impact techniques; camp safety & hygiene; keeping horses in the wilderness; organizing and successful elements of providing pack trips; chainsaw and axe use; camp management procedures; including job assignments, schedules and standards of appearance & behavior; trail clearing techniques and issues.

Health, Safety & Welfare

Topics Covered
Actual Red Cross First Aid & CPR certification; personal health & hygiene of you, the guide, and your clients; water access and management; wilderness ethics; gun & bow safety; behavior towards other campers, backpackers, hunters; bear & lion awareness & protection of humans & the animal; backcountry fire awareness prevention and emergency procedures; you as the source of confidence & stability for inexperienced people in the backcountry.

Laws, Rules, Ethics & Responsibilities

Topics Covered
Laws & rules coverage in all aspects of the outfitting and guiding business from the perspective of the federal and state governments including; forestry, parks, fish & game agencies, private & public land use. These will include; permits & licenses, communication expectations, standards of performance; legal & ethical responsibility of the outfitter and guide and how to handle issues with locals, clients, employees and employers; National Forest and BLM rules & regulations; conservation issues including no trace, resource scarcity, environmental concerns, activist group interaction, future impacts of further conflicts between groups, and resulting outfitter/guide responsibilities for survival of the industry; learning how to treat personnel and cultivate positive relationships with governing agencies.

Colorado hunting guide school training

Career Development

Topics Covered
Creating an image and skills that will get you hired and make you more money; thorough review of outfitter hiring behavior and how to make initial contact, follow-up and secure a position; realistic view of length of employment and compensation; off-season opportunities; skill development that will enhance your value in the industry; personal planning & goal setting, formalizing the process of you reaching your internal expectations; understanding the other parties in the business designed to help you be more realistic about you and your future employer's expectations; how to evaluate a future employer, doing your due diligence; internet tools for finding a job; getting along with the rest of the employees of the outfit, what to expect, and what role your personality plays.

Unique Career Opportunity

We will actually train qualified individuals to be hired directly into one of our two outfitting businesses.


Required items needed for attending school

Duffel Bag Good Optics, water proof preferred Day Pack, quiet material 2 Bic Lighters Small First Aid Kit Sun Block Flashlight, extra batteries 1 Water Bottle 1 quart, hydration bladder for backpack good idea as well Camera Small Travel Alarm Clock Towel and Washcloth 1 Hunting Knife, 1 Pocket Knife & Sharpener Multi Tool (such as a Leatherman) 1 Pair Leather Gloves, 1 Pair Warm Waterproof Gloves Sleeping bag with stuff sack (rated to at least 0 degrees), Pillow Toiletries, Razor, ect. Clothes for at least 1 week (include wrangler type jeans and long sleeve shirts) Vest and Heavy Coat 1 set of camouflaged clothing (shirt & pants) Rain Suit and/or Slicker (light weight duster type rain jacket ideal for riding) Hunting/Hiking Boots, broke in Flat Bottom Riding Boots, cowboy type boots Small Head Lamp Leather Belt Notebook and Pen Extra Pair of Glasses, if you wear them Money for laundry, shopping & in town days


Items not required to acquire but you are welcome to bring

Your own vehicle if you plan on exploring area on your days off Gun and/or bow may be brought Fishing gear Elk bugle with grunt tube and a cow call GPS (prefer Garmin) with plenty of batteries Cell Phones, but they don't work in camp


Suggested items needed to be a guide

Day Pack, quiet material, camo preferred Seasonal clothing for guiding in summer, fall and winter conditions Additional sets of camouflaged clothing (shirts, pants, hat, gloves, gators and jacket) Blaze orange hat and vest or coat Shooting Sticks (Primo trigger stick is great) GPS (prefer Garmin) with spare batteries Cell Phone Gators made of quiet material, preferably waterproof Rangefinder Your own vehicle is a must if you plan on working

If you do plan on purchasing items and have questions or want recommendations, feel free to email or call. This is not a request for you to go out and spend a bunch of money. The fact is you can make it through the school with very little equipment and just the essential clothing.


Registration for 2018

Enrollment for 2018 has begun!

Title Start Date Application Deadline Price
Professional Hunting Guide June 11th June 1st Free (see below)
Professional Hunting Guide August 1st July 15th Free (see below)

Sign-Up Process

All interested applicants are welcome to apply. Guide school requires no tuition. Only qualified applicants will participate. Required qualifications will meet the guidelines for employment as hunting guides and/or wranglers for either Coulter Lake Outfitters and/or High Desert Ranch & Outfitting.

Coulter Lake Guide School does not discriminate based on race, sex, religion, or ethnic origin.


Outfitter of Record/Contact Information

Any courses that involve actual hunting or fishing are offered under Colorado License #2805

Randy Sloan
Coulter Lake Outfitters
High Desert Ranch & Outfitting
80 County Road 273
Rifle, CO. 81650
Email: or

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Coulter Lake Guest Ranch is an equal opportunity service provider under special use permit by the White River National Forest, Colorado
Coulter Lake Ranch Professional Colorado Guide School - Rifle, Colorado
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