As a kid growing up in the North East, I never thought it would be possible to fulfill my dream of becoming a guide in the wilderness of the rocky mountains. After attending the Bridger Institute Hunting Guide class, not only do I possess the skills to fulfill that dream, but I've already landed a job with an amazing outfitter in Montana. Larry Keyes, as well as his other instructors went above and beyond my expectations while teaching in depth classes on subjects necessary for the trade such as horsemanship, packing, hunting skills, tracking, and many more. I would recommend this to anyone looking to become a professional in the outdoors. Thanks Larry!

Nolan Aikman, Hunting Guide School, 2021


My time at Bridger Institute was one of the best experiences of my life. Whether you are looking to go into guide work or just looking to become more self-reliant, Bridger Institute has something for everyone. The wealth of knowledge and insight Larry has is unparalleled, and his patience and willingness to work with people of all skill levels was refreshing for someone who has next-to-no experience doing any of this. Moreover, the level of generosity and hospitality both he and his wife, Julie show their students is amazing. I truly felt at home the entire time I was there. It's not about the money for them; they genuinely love doing this and watching people learn and grow. I would recommend Bridger Institute to ANYONE- young or old; male or female; experienced, intermediate, or beginner, Bridger Institute has something to offer you.

John McLucas, Hunting Guide School, 2020


Finding this school was a major blessing. Larry has a full lifetime of experience and shares it in an intriguing and informative way. He made extra time for the topics we were most interested in and was able to answer any questions we could think of. Julie was incredibly hospitable and they both care about their students and our success on a personal level. They went above and beyond for us. Their drive for their lifestyle is truly inspiring.

I would narrow this down to one of the best experiences of my life and plan to return for more classes as soon as I can. This opportunity allowed me to indulge my passions with others who have the same dedication towards them. The connections I made will likely be helpful contacts in the future while job searching.

The cost of the school is an absolute bargain when you take into consideration all that is included and the knowledge you will gain is priceless. I would highly recommend this class to anyone who is passionate about these topics. Regardless of how experienced you are or are not, what you gain from the class will be worth it ten times over."

Cali Easley, 24 years old, Minnesota


After careful research I decided to attend the month long hunting guide class put on by Larry Keyes of the Bridger Institute. Larry's curriculum had the most depth from what I had been researching and his vast experience and collaboration with other industry professionals seemed to be just what I was looking for.

What a great decision I made! Rarely do I have a "beyond my wildest expectations" experience but this course was a life changer. Larry and his wife Julie treated us like family and nurtured us, fed us and tolerated our inexperience and this led to knowledge and skills and a rock solid foundation in which you can build a career, learn to survive in the wilderness or to treat others that may be injured, learn hunting and fishing skills and horse and packing skills...Larry has devoted his life to share his knowledge of the outdoors and he is the most unselfish man I know. I came back with the confidence that I can survive and prosper in adverse conditions and I never will find the correct words to thank Larry and Julie for all the effort, expense, and knowledge shared for this month long course. They are angels from heaven and I will never forget them for what they gave me. I remain forever indebted.

Tom Hodges, 2020 hunting guide course


Bridger institute opened a whole new world of job opportunities and life experiences waiting to be had. We learned such a wide variety of skills that will be useful in future careers as well as unpredictable life scenarios. Larry and Julie were absolutely amazing and really made sure that we were comfortable and successful in all that we did. Not only did I learn unforgettable skills, I made lifelong friends. Bridget institute is an amazing organization that sets you up for success in any future career you might choose.

McKenna Reid, Minnesota, Guide School 2020


I can not say enough about this Institute!  Larry and Julie Keyes are incredible teachers, leaders, mentors and friends! The men that attend this camp not only leave with a hard earned diploma they also leave with new life-long friends!

Macoy attended in June as a 16 year old. He thrived in the hands on activities and lessons. He also learned so many new skills that will forever be used in his outdoor adventures and possibly some day the workplace!

Macoy looks forward to practicing his new skills and using the education he received as a Wrangler, Guide and some day an Outfitter!

Thank for caring for and challenging Macoy to be a bigger and better young man! We are very grateful!

Melissa, Michigan, Guide School 2018


I would like to take this opportunity to thank Larry and Julie Keyes for sharing their knowledge and expertise.  Larry was very informative and patient when teaching skills such as marksmanship, archery, trapping and tracking and fly fishing.  I have attended other guide schools in Montana and nothing came close to the skills I was able to acquire at the Bridger Institute.  Larry incorporates an extensive hands on approach which allowed me to retain skills after I left the institute.  

Julie's cooking and hospitality is second to none.  She provided us with home cooking and made us feel like part of the family.

I also attended Bridger Institute's self reliance class taught by Julie.  She taught me skills which included canning, jelly making, sprouting, gardening, Dutch oven cooking and my favorite, bread making.  I am currently back home applying the knowledge and skills she taught me.  The lessons were practical, professional and personal.  I thoroughly enjoyed this class and highly recommend this class to anyone looking to attain a high level of self reliance.  It is a one of a kind class and a wonderful experience.  

I thank both Julie and Larry for their dedication to keeping these skills and knowledge alive.  I recommend these classes to anyone desiring to enrich their lives.

Thanks again,  Craig Larkins, Michigan


My stay at Bridger Institute has been an unforgettable experience. Larry and Julie have been so welcoming to me and the others here that i have felt right at home. Fly fishing on

Flathead river and the rodeo in Columbia Falls were just a few of the many highlights of the trip. The country here is beautiful with the surrounding mountains, lakes and pine trees. The time I have spent here has taught me a lot, I wish I could stay longer.

John Bojtor Melbourne, Australia


My brother and I attended the Bridger Institute Guide School and found it to be a very comprehensive program. Not only did they teach basic fundamentals but also advanced skills and techniques in a very coherent manner. Because of their dedicated interest in each student, all students became excellent in a vast variety of topics.

Larry and Julie provided more tha just a service, inviting each of us into their home and investing with care into the life and future of everyone in the program.

Thank You Larry and Julie

Josh & Jonathan Durkin (Contact info on request)


After doing a day or so of research into finding the best guide school, I decided upon the Bridger Institute. I loved the location and the clear directives of what the courses covered, as well as the wide-ranging topics covered - everything I've always wanted to learn.

So, I signed up and attended the Bridger "Mini Guide School" in June of 2018. Growing up I was not lucky enough to have a close family member or friend who was into hunting or shooting, so my experience in these areas prior to coming to the Bridger Institute was greatly lacking.

There was nothing "mini" about the guide school, as we were constantly learning from 8:30am tp 9pm. Larry Keyes, the main instructor: patient, kind, humble, to-the-point and can even tell a joke or two. The main classroom rivals most modern day classrooms and is great for learning. Instructions ranged from brief PowerPoint lectures, guest lectures, hand-on activities, outdoor activities and the occasional informative video from a local fish & game department.

Larry's wife, Julie, the camp cook, prepares all your meals each day and is really sweet as well. I was pleasantly surprised at how good the food was!

Overall my time spent at the Bridger Institute was one of the best times I've had in a while, and I'd wager the best $1,500 I've ever spent! I not only came away from the camp with a bunch of newfound knowlege and experience, but life-long friends as well.

Christopher Zemp (Contact info on request)


I have taken two courses from the Bridger Institute. Without hesitation, I can easily say that they were the best two wilderness education courses that I have taken. The Bridger Institute team is the absolute best out there. I will be a customer for life and I tell my friends about them, because I learned so much, and I had such a great time. They even have a museum at their facility, and the teaching and instructors, especially Larry, are remarkable. If you want to speak to someone who has been through their courses, please contact me anytime at:

Zach Wagner  (Contact info on request)


Larry Keyes and Bridger Institute is by far one of the best choices an aspiring guide can make.  Larry's passion to teach is evident in the amount of preparation that he puts into everything he does.  You will not go wrong taking any type of course from Larry."

Brian Calcagno  (Contact info on request)

I started searching the internet for a guide school in five different states: Idaho, Colorado, Wyoming, Utah, and Montana. Read lots of reviews, called numerous schools and my search or path always lead back to Bridger Institute. BI offered meals, lodging, internet, mules, horses, sawbuck and decker packing, load and gear requirements for hunters, livestock care, knots, hunting, fishing, trapping, meat processing, scoring, capping, tracking, marksmanship, archery, and certification in Wilderness First Aid. All this at one location, affordability range and financial assistant with VA. So I called talked to Manager Larry Keyes and scheduled  my course!

What I expected from course and what I received was beyond my expectations. BI one on one instruction from instructors was excellent also the experience and ethical practices as professional guides greatly appreciated as a student!!!!! During the course the pace was comfortable, no real boring down time or wasted time on useless tasks and the food was great! We had weekends off to experience the beautiful landscape and took a drive to Canada.

Great experience at BI money while spent, and I have already assisted to two archery horse and mule guided hunts so far this year and planning on two more in rifle season! The level of training I received from BI has made me a valuable asset to any guided hunt! And my Surfer Dude boss is happy I went to, he's thinking about buying a mule to carry out harvest next time!

Ron Lineback   (Contact info on request)


"Over the past five years I have taken several classes at Bridger Institute and can say without reservation that they are one of the very best at what they do. Each class that I took was packed with valuable information and hands-on experience. Their passion for teaching is obvious and the quality of their courses is top notch. They really care about the students. The experience and knowledge of their instructors is a valuable resource for the future. I highly recommend all of the courses conducted at Bridger Institute to anyone who is interested."

Ken Cordoza (Contact info on request)


"I worked as a wrangler for different trail riding establishments for several years. I had some experience in packing horses and mules, but wanted to improve my skills. After talking with Larry Keyes from Bridger Institute and with a few past students that had taken classes there before, I decided to attend the Bridger Institute Guide School and Packing School. The information and skills that I learned during these courses was beyond anything that I had imagined.  I thoroughly  enjoyed every day of each of these courses. If you want to improve your skills in horse packing, hunting, fishing, trapping, wilderness first aid, wilderness survival, and more you would be hard pressed to find a better school. My experience there was great."

Chip Lowley  (Contact info on request)


"I took the Bridger Institute course in the spring of 2017. This course helped me to be much better prepared for the guiding job that I obtained in Alaska. My first year on the job I had three hunters and all three got nice Dall Sheep Rams. I love my job and will be returning next year. The Bridger Institute school incorporates a vast amount of information in each of it’s classes. It was not uncommon for us to finish at 9:00 pm or 10:00 pm in the evening most days. My favorite sections of the course were horse packing, hunting, trapping and wilderness first aid and wilderness survival. The course was great the instructors were great and the food was great. I highly recommend this course for anyone who is interested in entering the guiding industry. You will be much better prepared."

Russell “Tommy” Robinson   (Contact info on request)


"I attended the Bridger Institute Self-Reliance (Homestead) Week while my friend attended the Self-Reliance (Wilderness) Week. We are both from Utah and viewed this trip as an educational vacation. It was an amazing week for both of us. Though we attended different courses during the day, we joined together for meals and evening activities. We would have easily spent the same amount of money or more on just a regular vacation to this beautiful part of the country, but to receive all the information on self-reliance was off the charts. If your are interested in becoming more self reliant and want to vacation in beautiful Northwest Montana, this is the program for you. We will be going back for more Bridger Institute courses in the future."

Mindy Anderson (Contact info on request)


"I am writing in support of you and the Bridger Institute.  I am doing so because in my 50 years of hunting, fishing, camping and backpacking throughout the Western United States I have never meet anyone as knowledgeable as you concerning outdoor subjects.  Additionally, you have the rare ability to convey your vast knowledge in a concise, exciting and understandable manner.  It has been my privilege to attend a number of your presentations and classes and I can honestly say that I have learned something new and valuable each time.  What you know about topics as diverse as “outdoor survival” and “how to be a big game guide” still astonishes me despite knowing you for many years.

I must also comment on the Bridger Institute facilities.  As you know, I have brought many of my family members and friends to see your class room.  Each time my guests have come away raving about your displays and exhibits.  Several guests have commented that your class room is more like a museum than a school setting.  The hands-on learning experience you provide is second to none.

Perhaps the best thing about the Bridger Institute is your professional demeanor and your impeccable character.  Students can be assured that you will deliver on your promises.  Also, I have never met anyone as dedicated as you to outdoor subjects.  You emphasis on ethics for the sportsperson set’s you and your Institute apart from others.

I do not often write letters of recommendation, but I do so unhesitatingly for you.  Anyone who wants to be improve their outdoor skills should consider attending one or more of your courses of instruction.  Without fear of overstatement I describe you as the best and most knowledgeable outdoor instructor that I have ever meet.  I wholeheartedly recommend you and the Bridger Institute to anyone seeking to improve their outdoor skills."

Marty Pomeroy (Contact info on request)


"What a great course. Very comprehensive. Many things covered that you would normally not think of. I was impressed with the thorough teaching and the practice time allotted to apply what was just taught in the classroom setting to a “practice” with fellow students. Well worth the time!"

John Moran (Contact info on request)

What People are Saying...