Please give me an overview of what your company does and where you are located.
Top Gun Hunting oversees the operation of three companies.
• Circle KBL Outfitters and Guides
• Western Montana School for Guides
• Selway Adventures
We are based in Darby, Montana at the south end of the Bitterroot Valley. Surrounded by 3,000,000 acres of the Bitterroot National Forest and at the Gateway of the Bitterroot-Selway Wilderness in Idaho in the headwaters of the River-Of-No-Return. We provide a full service wilderness packing and hunting outfitting operation.
How long have you been in business, how did you get started, and who are some of the key members of your operation?
In 1990 Scott Boulanger made one of the biggest decisions of his life. Just 26, Boulanger was already a Master Electrician who owned a 10-man electrical contracting shop in Vernon, Conn. A lifelong hunter and angler, he had always dreamed of making his passion for the outdoors pay.
So Boulanger enrolled in a hunting-guide school, the Russ Willis School for Guides in Noxon, Mont. During four weeks of instruction, Boulanger learned the fundamentals of working with horses and mules (including how to pack and shoe them), how to set up a wilderness camp and what it takes to guide hunters on successful elk hunts.
"It was awesome," Boulanger says of the experience. "I went as a vacation and to learn about Western big game. I fell in love with it, went home, sold everything and came back to Montana to live and work as a guide."
In 1997 Scott bought an outfit, Circle KBL Outfitters and Guides and also started Western Montana School For Guides. Through the years many clients and students have experienced the great hunts and the years of experience on many exciting wilderness hunts and learning experiences.
In 2009, Scott and his wife, Tara, expanded their operations to include Selway Adventures. The Bitterroot-Selway wilderness is the 3rd largest wilderness in the continental United States. It has an abundance of wildlife and the kind of beauty you can find only in the heart of the Rocky Mountains.
Can you describe and give me a brief history of some of your hot products or services?
Circle KBL Outfitters and Guides
Each spring, fall and winter the Mountains of Montana and Idaho offer an abundance of opportunities for the hunting enthusiast. Spring bear hunting over bait in Idaho gives many successful hunters the chance of taking one of the Color Phase black bears that are common there.
In the fall we hunt elk and deer during the early archery-only Montana season. On the 15th of September we pack into the Selway in Idaho to hunt the bugling bull elk or look to bag a nice mule deer or white tail as they enter the rut in November. With the coming of the snow we really enjoy the baying of the hounds as we chase the trophy mountain lions that make their home here.
Whatever your hunting needs are, Circle KBL strives to provide our clients with the personal service and the opportunities you should expect from a first class hunting outfitter and guide service.
Western Montana School for Guides
About the time the Lion Hunting is done and bear hunting begins, we start gearing up the Western Montana School for Guides for the arrival of our students. With classes in May, June, July and August there is much to be done as we prepare the students to take the path toward becoming Professional Adventure and Big Game Hunting Guides.
Our student spend 28 days working hard and learning while we cover many topics of value to each future guide. We begin with hands on training with horses and mules to give the students the training they need to ride and pack in the wilderness. Along the way we cover many important topics to begin developing the necessary guide skills. From knots to wilderness first aid, the four weeks with us are jamb packed with information and training.
If you have ever thought that you would enjoy the life style of a hunting guide then Western Montana School for Guides is a sure footed way to get you started.
During the summer months we spend our time taking individuals and families on a variety of adventures exploring the beautiful Bitterroot Mountains of Western Montana or taking pack trips into the Selway Wilderness in Idaho.
Our string of 40 horses and mules get their summer exercise carrying adventurers over the mountain trails enjoying the fresh mountain air and the majestic scenery. From a couple of hours on horseback or a combination “Saddle n’ Paddle” that includes a float trip down the river, we do our best to provide our clients with some of the most fun our scenic area has to offer the outdoor enthusiasts.
Many enjoy a 7 day pack excursion into the wilderness to observe wildlife and the majesty of our high mountain valleys. Along the way we often find a mountain stream to cast a fishing line into.
What are some of your company's future goals?
We expect that Montana has a great future as a destination for those who are interested in experiencing the majesty and beauty that our National Forests and Wildernesses have to offer.
We hope to be a part of that future by continuing to provide our customers with the top notch services they have come to expect from our operation.
With some new changes in the GI bill, Western Montana School for Guides hopes to encourage more veterans to consider entering the outfitting and guiding industry. Guiding is not for everyone, but if the shoe fits, it can lead to a lifetime of enjoying the outdoors.
What new products or services can we look forward to from your company in the future?
We are currently exploring some new hunting areas on the east side of the valley where the elk populations are doing really well. We also have been expanding our operation to include more private ranch hunts for elk where the success rate is very high
We expect to expand our menu of summer recreation opportunities to include more wilderness pack-in adventures.
What is your opinion of the future of the long-range hunting and shooting industry?
We expect to see the long-range hunting industry continue to grow. Many of our clients seem to be more interested in long range hunting each year.
Tell me about your (or some of your team's) personal hunting style, location, species, etc.
We enjoy hunting deer, elk, bear, mountain lions, antelope, and on occasion, sheep, goats and moose in Montana and Idaho.
What non-hunting and shooting hobbies or activities do you participate i
How long have you been an active member of LongRangeHunting.com and how have you found LRH to be beneficial to you personally or to your business
2 years. LongRangeHunting.com has proved to be both a good source of up to date information regarding the Long Range Hunting industry as well as a great place to reach out to folks that might be interested in the various services we offer.