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Contact Middle Fork Outfitters
Contact Middle Fork Outfitters

Guide / Packer's School

The guiding profession is one of the greatest outdoor jobs available to the modern day mountain man. If the thought of riding down the trail leading a string of mules heading for hunting camp makes you sit a little straighter you might have what it takes to become a professional guide in today's outdoor industry.

Before heading to camp, a guide must have the skills and desire to work long hard hours under the same conditions that Jim Bridger and Kit Carson trapped beaver in the Shining Mountains . The mountains are just as steep, and the snow is just as cold as when those first mountain men set their traps in the Rockies.

If you are still sittin' up straight that's where we can help. My wife and I work and live in the back country of the Frank Church Wilderness Area on the Middle Fork of the Salmon River.

We are a family run outfitting business specializing in remote wilderness, fair chase hunts and wilderness guide schools. Our permitted area is located both in and out of the Frank Church River of No Return Wilderness area. Our units 27 and 28 are part of the Salmon Challis National Forest in Idaho. Our permitted area is approximately 160 square miles of unforgettable backcountry beauty. The Frank is the largest wilderness in the lower 48, encompassing 2,362,767 acres. It is much the same as when the Sheepeater Indians roamed these canyons and painted pictographs in there hunting caves.

We offer a three week guiding and packing school where you will learn the skills of the trade, including horse and mulemanship, horse shoeing, outdoor skills and guiding and packing.

Come spend 3 weeks with us at Middle Fork Guide Packing School and we will teach you what it takes to start your career as a professional, guide/packer.

Some of the skills that you will be learning at Middle Fork Guide School are:

  • Horse and Mulemanship
  • Horse Shoeing
  • Packing
  • Guiding Skills
  • Firearm Safety
  • Tack Repair
  • How to Write a Resume
  • Rope Splicing
  • Fly Fishing
  • Camp Set Up
  • How to Sharpen a Crosscut
  • Axemanship
  • Range Estimation
  • Common Sense Back Country Rules
  • Camp Cooking
  • Wrangling
  • Photography
  • First Aid
  • Plant and Tree Identification
  • Boone and Crocket Scoring

Thanks for contacting us. Here is some more information on our school and what you can expect to learn here.

We are a family run business operating under the guide lines of the Idaho Outfitters and Guides Association Code of Ethics. During the school no drugs or alcohol are allowed. We expect the students to conduct themselves in a polite and professional manner at all times. A good percentage of the class time will be spent learning horse and mulemanship, packing, shoeing, emergency vet needs, and how these long ears think. The horse and mule are what makes a wilderness outfitter work. Saddles and tack are provided, but you are welcome to bring your own.

You will be staying in a wall tents or log cabins, with gas lights. All meals are provided for. And outhouse and shower tent will be available.

A typical day will start with wrangling the stock at daybreak, breakfast, class time, and then hands on use of what you have learned that morning. Lunch will be followed a test over what you have learned throughout the day. These are just quizzes of 10-15 questions. A C-average is required for job placement.

There is a grate demand for hardworking, well-trained guides, packers, and cooks in the outdoor industry. The guiding profession is the best job available for you to spend your time outdoors earning a living doing a job that you can be proud of.


Students are expected to attend classes daily for the full time allotted. Excused absences are allowed if scheduled and approved in advance and the class work is made up. Three unexcused absences will result in a dismissal from the school.

Standards of Progress

The course is divided into two parts: guiding, packing, outdoor skills, horsemanship, along with attitude will be one grade. The other grade will be determined by daily quizzes. In order to be eligible for job placement a student must earn a C – Average on both grades. This is a one time job placement service provided by ELM available to graduating students.

A – Excellent
B – Very Good
C – Average
D – Below Average
F – Incomplete

Class Schedule

Due to the small amount of enrollment and the nature of our subject matter, the class schedule is flexible. It will be adjusted daily to meet the needs of the students and other circumstances such as weather conditions and unexpected learning opportunities. The schedule is based on and average of six days per week and twelve hours per day of class work, including instructions and self-study. There will be one day off per week.

Equipment List

  • A pair of quality binoculars preferably waterproof, 10x40s are the best.
  • A BIC lighter.
  • One good hunting knife, preferably a four inch folder.
  • One good day pack.
  • A flashlight, such as an LED.
  • Small camera with extra film.
  • If you wear contacts or glasses, try to bring an extra set.
  • Personal items - washcloth, toothbrush, chapstick, deodorant, prescriptions, headache medicine, and any other personal items we may have missed.
  • Sleeping bag that is good down to 10º below zero.
  • Rain gear preferably no plastic, as it is very noisy and rips easily.
  • Good pair of leather boots already broken in with Vibram or Air Bob soles.
  • A pair of shoes for around camp such as slippers, house shoes, tennis shoe etc.
  • A good sealed water bottle.
  • Miscellaneous: elk bugle, cow calls, hatchet, fishing pole with Idaho fishing license (we have a lake on the ranch that you can use.
  • Any special medications need to be kept in your daypack.

If you are in question about anything else or would like specific clothing
recommendations please contact Ron Ens.

Hunting Experience

                     Weapon Type                           No. Animals Killed





Back Packing Experience:

Fishing Experience:

Stock Handling Experience

Horse Experience:

Mule Experience:

Packing Experience:

Horse Shoeing Experience:

Vet Experience:


Middle Fork Guide & Packer School LLC

Frank Church Wilderness, IDAHO
Ron & Karla Ens
990 Silver Creek Rd
Challis, ID 83226
(509)-671-7126 & (509)-671-7127
Email: mfoutfitters@gmail.com


August 1 – August 20
20 days of class time, with four days off. You will need to arrive at the BC Ranch the day before class starts.
Tuition: 20 day guide & packer school. $3,500

A 50% deposit is required.
The remaining balance is due 60 days prior to arrival.
Deposits are non-refundable.

We accept personal checks, cashier checks and cash.
IMPORTANT: all students are subject to an additional 6% Idaho sales tax, and a 3% Forest Service use fee.

We recommend Sportsman´s Travel Insurance: www.sportsmantravelinsurance.com

We are located 2 hours from Challis, Idaho, and 2 1/2 hours from Salmon, Idaho. There are two options for arrival at the B-C Ranch for your wilderness trip.

  1. You can drive yourself into the ranch. We will provide driving instructions. If you are using a personal or rental vehicle, four-wheel drive is recommended for the late season hunts.
  2. You can fly into the B-C Ranch. This requires a commercial flight into Boise, Idaho. Then a fight into the B-C Ranch via backcountry plane. The B-C Ranch has a very good airstrip and there are excellent backcountry flight services available. We will be happy to help with reservations.
  3. Simplot is a fly in only ranch. The Lower-Loon airstrip is owned by Idaho State Fish and Game.

Middle Fork Guide & Packer School LLC

Contract and Student Information
Please Print.

Name: ______________________________________________________
Address: _____________________________________________________
City: ________________ State: ________________ Zip:  ______________
Phone: ___________________________ Fax: _______________________
E-Mail address: ________________________________________________
Driver´s License #: ________________ Date of Birth: _________ Gender: _______
Height: ____________Weight: ____________Hair: ____________ Eyes: ________
Dates Selected: ________________________________________________
Additional Information:________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________________

Please make check or money order for deposit and balance due
payable to Middle Fork Outfitters.
1.Cost of School: ______________
2.Deposit (50% of line one): ______________
3.ID Sales Tax (6% of line one): ______________
4.Forest Service Fee (3% of line one): ______________
5.Balance due 60 days before school starts (add lines 2, 3, and 4) ______________

Note: Deposit is required in order to secure your class and dates. All deposits are nonrefundable

Student Signature: ________________________________________________
Outfitter Signature: _______________________________________________

Please fill out all information on page 1 and 2 and return with appropriate funds to:
Middle Fork Outfitters
990 Silver Creek Rd
Challis, ID 83226

For more information Contact us at:

Ron & Karla Ens - Manager
Cell: (509) 671-7126 (Ron)
Cell: (509) 671-7127 (Karla)
Backcountry Phone: 208-473-4448
Email: mfoutfitters@gmail.com


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