LARRY KEYES  Owner & Manager

Larry earned his B.S. and M.S. degrees in outdoor education and exercise/health science. He has developed and conducted a wide variety of outdoor education programs for three universities, two colleges and several outdoor educational companies for over 40 years. He owned and operated Bear Tracker Outfitters, the Wilderness Medical & Survival Academy and now Bridger Institute, which conducts comprehensive programs on a wide variety of outdoor subjects. He has lectured at a number of Wilderness Medicine and Search & Rescue conferences around the country. Larry has used his expertise in horse packing, animal tracking, hunting, trapping, wilderness survival, and wilderness medicine to conduct outfitter/guides schools in several western states for the past 30 years.



JOE HYDE  Instructor

Joe has been packing with horses and mules in the Rocky Mountains for over 60 years. He has covered thousands of miles in Utah, Wyoming, Idaho and Montana’s wilderness areas. Few people have more experience in the backcountry than Joe. He was a professional farrier and has managed a thousand acre cattle ranches in Pinedale of Wyoming for over 20 years. Joe has always been an  avid hunter and guide and has taken more elk out of the Rocky Mountains than anyone  else that I know. While managing the ranch in Pinedale,  Joe has had the opportunity of  taking  famous people from politicians to move stars on pack trips in the Wind River Mountains. 



RON NAIL  Instructor

Ron  has been a avid bowhunter  for over 40 years. To give something back to the sport he became certified as a bowhunter education instructor, by the Montana Fish, Wildlife, & Parks 20 years ago. Ron is an official measurer for the Pope & Young Club and a  life member of the Montana Bowhunters  Association.  His areas of expertise are measuring big game, bowhunting, game calling and brain tanning  (Native American way of tanning animal  hides). Ron owns and operates Cottonwood Ridge Brain Tanning.




Shaun is a professional horse trainer and farrier. He trains performance horses from driving mules to riding draft horses. He trains riders from beginners to completive reiners. Shaun conducts horse assessments, assists with vet care and is involved with the Flathead county 4-H programs as leader and judge. Shaun owns and operates his own horse boarding facility in Columbia Falls, Montana.



SCOTT SMITH  Instructor

Scott has been a professional taxidermist for over 40 years.  He graduated from the American Institute of Taxidermy in 1979 and has made his living at taxidermy since that time. Scott is a master taxidermist and emphasizes that good mounts start at the time that the animal is harvested. Scott teaches the skills and techniques of trophy care and guides students with hands on experience to skin and cape animals in the field for professional mounts.  Scott has spent much of his life teaching and practicing principals of wildlife conservation. 




Matt is an avid fly fisherman, snowboarder, and enjoys the wild places of Montana and the Northern Rockies.  He earned a B.S. in Parks and Recreation Management from Utah State University with an emphasis in Outdoor Education/Recreation.  He worked in Glacier National Park in the backcountry department for eight years before starting a video production company. Since 2014, he has produced an outdoor TV show entitled Big Sky Outdoors that showcases fishing, hunting, and other outdoor activities around the Inland Northwest.



GLEN GRAY Instructor

Glen Gray has a B.S. in forest management and is certified in silviculture and ecology through post-graduate work on his M.S. degree. He has 33 years of forest management experience with the Montana DNRC, 25 of which he served as the manager of the Swan River State Forest. In addition, Glen has guided whitetail and lion hunts for the last ten years in both Montana and Idaho and is considered one of the top houndsman in the state. Glens area of expertise includes: lion & bear hunting with dogs, wild edible plants & berries and woodsmanship.



DJ LEBARON  Instructor

DJ  is the owner of Big Sky Preppers in Kalispell Montana.  He specializes in long term food storage and survival supply.  His roots in disaster mitigation started in Grand Junction Colorado in 1976 where he provided custom  meals to hunters from Texas, California and Arkansas who were hunting the high mesa's of Western Colorado.  Repeated requests moved him to do custom meal planning for folks who were concerned for their families should there be natural or man made disasters.  He moved in 1988 to Vancouver Washington and opened a business in Emergency Preparedness and became an active volunteer with the American Red Cross.  He has trained countless individuals and communities on personal and family disaster mitigation and joined FEMA in 1990 as a certified CERT trainer.  He co-ordinated SW Washingtons community disaster program through 1995.  He has supplied quality products with an office in Utah and another in Colorado.  After retiring his work related occupation he brought his experience to Montana and resides in the Flathead valley. DJ is a core instructor for our Emergency Preparedness/Self-Reliance school




Staff for our Wilderness Cooking Class are the founding members of the  Glacier Chapter of the International Dutch Oven Society. Each of these individuals has vast experience cooking for outfitters, wilderness camps, hunting camps and wilderness guide schools. Their knowledge and experience create a rich learning environment for Wilderness Cook School students.




Staff for the Animal Trapping class are founding members of the Montana Fur Harvesters Association. These trappers have many years of experience trapping all furbearers in most Rocky Mountain states. Their vast experience with traps and snares and their knowledge of furbearers creates an ideal learning situation.


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