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Waynesboro man trains in Colorado as outdoor guide

January 11, 2000|By RICHARD F. BELISLE, Waynesboro

WAYNESBORO, Pa. - Some of us are lucky enough to make a living doing what we love to do most. Scott McCulloh wants to become one of the lucky ones.

McCulloh, 31, changes tires at S&S Tire Service Inc., his father's business on West Main Street in Waynesboro. But his passion is hunting and fishing, and he's been honing his outdoor skills all his life.

Of course he can read maps and compasses. But there's more. He said he can tell by looking at a topographic map where deer or turkey will be lurking. He knows where wild trout swim in out-of-the-way streams. He can find a coyote in the dark and he can flip a fly where he wants it.

His father, Dean McCulloh, said Scott has been hunting and fishing since he was a small child. "I started him out, but I couldn't stay with him," he said. "Everything he learned, he learned on his own."

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Scott McCulloh quit his job in an auto body shop to take a one-month guide course in June 1999 at Pike's Peak Outfitters in Woodland, Colo.

"I was trying to find a way to get paid for something I love to do," he said.

The course taught him the best way to call in deer, turkey, coyote and waterfowl. He learned the nuances of dealing with clients, to treat those who seek trophies differently from those who are just out for a good time, and to identify when a client has reached the limit of his ability and stamina, he said.

McCulloh also learned about creating a safe environment for his clients, which encompassed first-aid techniques and performing CPR. He learned the value of setting up a proper hunting or fishing camp and some important camp cooking techniques. "Cooking is a big part of guiding," he said.

He finished the program and returned to his father's tire shop as a certified, professional guide. Pennsylvania game laws have no licensing provision for guides, nor do they require any special training.

"Anybody can be a guide in this state. They don't even have to know what they're doing," he said. "That's not safe for the clients. I think they are better off going with a professional."

McCulloh plies Michaux, Buchanan and Rothrock state forests, state game lands and private lands - "all the places I've hunted and fished in all of my life," he said.

"I monitor the animals. I know where the deer are and where they're going to be. I know where the wild trout streams are and I know what they area eating and when they are eating it. I know how to match the hatch," he said, a fisherman's term for selecting an artificial fly to match what trout are eating at the time.

Most of McCulloh's clients won't come from the area. "They already know where to go. They don't need a guide," he said. "I need to target people who live away from here, people in the cities. They who need my services."

McCulloh wants his own Web site and will promote his business at sports shows.

His rates vary but generally are about $125 for a one-day deer or turkey hunt and $75 for a half-day of fishing, he said.

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