This year, the second annual Orvis-Endorsed Flying B Ranch Wingshooting Guide School will be held March 11-17. The title is a mouthful, we know, but it is important to note that this is no standard guide school. This school is aimed at those who want to guide at the level of skill and service expected of Orvis-endorsed wingshooting lodges.
The Orvis endorsement requires that the wingshooting program–and specifically the guides–meet the highest standards of skill, communication, and guest care. There are numerous wingshooting guide schools throughout the country, and a few of their graduates have become full-time guides for us, after additional training. However, we have found that, no matter how acclaimed the school or the graduate, they all come to us lacking the specified training required to guide for us at the Flying B Ranch. In addition to learning our 5,000 unique acres of hunting terrain, they need to be trained on everything from client communication and safety instruction, to dog handling and hunt planning.
The common theme is that there is no guide school focused on the high-end wingshooting industry we work in, and even guide-school graduates are not prepared for the highest standard of service that we require from our guides. “Good enough” is not good enough to work for an Orvis-endorsed wingshooting lodge, and surely not good enough to work at the Flying B Ranch–where we want every guest to walk away saying we have the best guides they have ever hunted with.
Being open year-round, we provide full-time employment to our guides, which along with the “secret sauce” of the Flying B dynamic, has built us a team of the most experienced guides in the industry. Our three primary course instructors have a combined 66 years of guiding experience, 50 of that at Orvis-endorsed lodges. Guide-school lead instructor BJ Walle is a finalist for this year’s Orvis Wingshooting Guide of the Year Award.
In our more than 36 years in operation, we have progressed from being one of the first Orvis-endorsed wingshooting lodges, to being six-time Orvis Wingshooting Lodge of the Year Finalists and two time Orvis Wingshooting Lodge of the Year. Last year our Wingshooting & Fishing Manager, Rich Coe, was an Orvis Wingshooting Guide of the Year Finalist in his 21st year here at the Flying B Ranch. We are fortunate to have exceptionally unique habitat offering the most diverse upland hunting landscape available to the most discerning of wingshooters looking for a challenging mixed bag upland hunt.
Our week-long guide school will be capped at just six students. Following our busy spring wingshooting season, we have dedicated our most experienced guides’ time to teaching this school, which will be a comprehensive course involving all aspects of guiding at an Orvis-endorsed wingshooting lodge. We are providing meals, lodging, and equipment required for this course. The week will wrap with each student conducting multiple hunts for some of our most experienced FBR wingshooting guests.
This course is intended for those serious about becoming a career guide in the wingshooting industry, whether they be novice or experienced in the general hunting industry. Our goal is to provide a guide school that prepares guides for working at the highest levels of the industry. Following completion of the course, students will receive the following:
- Certificate of Completion
- Personal reference letters from three professional guide instructors
- Orvis Endorsed Flying B Ranch Guide School references upon request for future applications
- Graduate listings on Orvis Jobs page and in Orvis Hunting online
- Orvis guide vest and chaps
We at the Flying B Ranch know that we can always improve on what we do, and therefore we are constantly learning and adapting the experiences we provide to our guests. We are excited to welcome a new crop of guides, also eager to learn, and looking to challenge themselves to the highest standards as professional wingshooting guides. We see this course being a source for us to find future FBR guides, as well as being a great resource for many other lodge partners in the Orvis-endorsed wingshooting industry. Continuing to surpass the standards that wingshooters expect when visiting Orvis endorsed lodges is a benefit to all of us in the industry, and this course is a new way in which we can continue to challenge ourselves to raise what is already a very high bar.
For more information on the inaugural Orvis-Endorsed Flying B Ranch Wingshooting Guide School, call 800-472-1945 or email General Manager and guide, Jeremi Syron for more information at firstname.lastname@example.org.