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John's Journal... Entry31 - Day 1

Getting Started as a Hunting Guide

Editor's Note: Brian Ross of Port Sulphur, Louisiana, has guided clients from across the nation to deer and turkeys the past 11 years. You can read more about the adventures of guiding hunters for a living by visiting "John's Journal" and looking for the information on Scott Dillon.

Question: How long have you worked as a hunting guide?

Answer: I've been guiding for 11 years.

Question: How did you get started in the guiding business?

Answer: I went to FWO guide school in Missoula, Montana.

Question: What did you learn at guide school?

Answer: I primarily learned how to take care of horses, pack horses and handle horses in the mountains.

click to enlargeQuestion: Where was your first guide job?

Answer: It was at White Oak Plantation near Tuskegee, Alabama.

Question: So, you went all the way to Montana to learn how to be a guide, and you ended up in Tuskegee, Alabama. How did you get the job at White Oak Plantation?

Answer: Bo Pitman, White Oak's lodge manager, was getting ready to start a season without a guide. He called the guy running the guide school in Montana who gave me a call at home, and I've been here ever since.

Question: What did you learn about guiding once you came to White Oak as a guide? Was the job anything like you'd pictured a guide's job would be?

Answer: Not really. I thought being a guide would be glamorous, and that I'd mainly take care of hunters, track animals and butcher them. But my job has become much more than just doing those things.

click to enlargeQuestion: In your opinion, what does a guide at White Oak do?

Answer: The main thing we must know how to do is handle the clients. We must make sure everyone has a safe and fun hunt.

Question: What does "handle the clients" mean?

Answer: As a guide, I must find out what my clients' needs are and their skill levels and put them out in the right places to hunt.

Question: Why have you stayed with guiding for 11 years? Guiding is the center of your income, isn't it?

Answer: Guiding is what I do. I just like handling all the different people we meet.

Question: What do you like about the different people you meet at White Oak?

click to enlargeAnswer: I like talking to them, getting to know them, becoming their buddy and listening to everyone's life experiences.

Tomorrow: How a Guide Gets Ready for Bowhunting Season


Check back each day this week for more about Diary of a Hunting Guide: Chapter Two ...

Day 1 -Getting Started as a Hunting Guide
Day 2 -How a Guide Gets Ready for Bowhunting Season
Day 3 -Preparing for Gun/Deer Season
Day 4 -The Challenge of Turkey Hunting
Day 5 -Balancing Marriage with a Guiding Career

John's Journal

click to enlarge