Erv Malnarich started the first Big Game Guide Training in America when he formed ELM Outfitters & Guides Training in 1959—long before anyone even thought of a need for such training. Erv compiled the first Masters Guides Home Study Manual and hands on training classes and trained thousands of individuals over the years to become big game guides, packers and wranglers. Many are now among the most successful outfitters in the industry today. It’s a tradition we’re proud to continue.
Erv Malnarich was a well known and renowned Outfitter and Guide who worked and lived in the Selway Wilderness of western Montana and Idaho for close to 50 years. In the fall of 1959 while guiding legendary big game hunter and Outdoor Life writer Jack O’Connor, plans for a training program were first put into place. Sitting around a camp fire a day’s ride or so from the nearest road, Erv and Jack started kicking around the idea of how to qualify guides and packers in order to fill the needs for Outfitters throughout the Rockies.
With the help, backing and support of Jack O’Connor and Elmer Keith, writer/editor of Guns & Ammo, it wasn’t long and the very first Training Manual for Guides/Packers & Outfitters along with the Advanced Hands on Training classes were established. “The Outfitter’s and Guides Bible” which was written and formatted in Erv’s easy-to-understand vocabulary and text along with many instructional photos is our Guide Schools cornerstone. Now in its seventh edition, “The Outfitters & Guides Bible” remains the standard for today’s Guides and Outfitting Industry.