John's Journal...

The Colorado Outdoor Adventure
Guide School with Willie Webb, Jr.

Whitetails and Dreams

Greg MillerEditor’s Note: The Colorado Outdoor Adventure Guide School (COAGS), of
Cripple Creek Colorado, is a unique learning environment which includes indoor classroom instruction and outdoor, hands-on activities that provide the students with the groundwork needed to attain success in the outdoor-recreation industry. Although most of the students aspire to become employed in the outdoors, COAGS welcomes any outdoors enthusiast who wants to become more comfortable in the wilds to participate in any or all of the courses.

In late January 2006, the Colorado Outdoor Adventure Guide School inaugurated a new class and program, the two-week Whitetail Pro Guide and Management School, to provide education to the outdoor-recreation industry. It marked the first time any COAGS course would be offered anywhere but their Gold Camp Greg MillerRanch. Two of south Texas’s premier whitetail ranches, the Double Dime and
the Perlitz, opened their gates for students wanting to become guides in the whitetail industry or obtain a better understanding of white-tailed deer management. The white-tailed deer, the most-hunted big-game species in North America, also is the most-abundant game, with over 36 million throughout the United States, Canada and Mexico. COAGS President, Gary Jordan, saw the need to provide qualified guides and more-educated outdoorsman to this growing whitetail hunting and management industry. He contacted Paul Johnson, owner of Vinegaroon Wildlife outside of Del Rio, Texas, who put Jordan in contact with the Double Dime and the Perlitz ranches. Each class location has a little something different to offer. The Texas ranches near Carrizo Springs, feature world-class accommodations and whitetails. Also, the Gold Camp Ranch, located a few miles from Cripple Creek, Colorado, offers mountain majesty and generally cooler temperatures. The same curriculum is taught at all the campuses.

The first three classes are held at the 10,000-acre south Texas Double Dime Ranch, owned by Chipper Jones, the Atlanta Braves third baseman, and administered by his father, Larry. Larry, along wGreg Millerith his staff, is very
cordial and answers any questions presented by the students and the staff. The accommodations are spacious rooms, and you can enjoy catch-and-release fishing right outside the main lodge.The Perlitz Ranch, owned and operated by Jimmy Perlitz, has been known to produce some incredible whitetails with “Monster Bucks” and “Hunting the Country” TV shows having filmed at there. The Perlitz also has wonderful facilities with a very large bunk house with a firing range and sporting clays range. Like Jones, Perlitz too is very cordial and answers any questions posed by the students. The final location for the whitetail instruction is COAGS’s very own Gold Camp Ranch, with accommodations somewhat rustic and breath taking mountain vistas. No whitetails are present at 10,000 feet, but opportunities present sightings of elk, mule deer and bears. Classes in Colorado are held in August and late September, a magical time in the Rocky Mountains. The aspens change colors, turning the green mountain sides into bright reds, yellows and oranges. Students can hear elks’ bugling, and sometimes snow falls.

South Texas and Colorado offer different facilities, sights, experiences and guest speakers, yet the staff teaches the same information at all locations. In Texas, Larry Jones and Jimmy Perlitz provide two philosophies on deer management and open their ranches to the COAGS whitetail students. Some of the speakers may include: Al Brothers, known as the “godfather” of quality Greg Millerdeer management and spent the last 50 years managing white-tailed deer
throughout Texas and the Southeast; Dr. Jim Cathy, a wildlife Biologist who’ s worked extensively with genetics and other scientific research on whitetail, mule deer and sheep; outdoor writer and television personality Larry Weishuhn of Texas, who talks with students about the various aspects of whitetails and the outdoor industry; and Judd Cooney, an outdoor writer from Colorado who owns an outfitting operation in Iowa, who speaks to the students at the Colorado classes about being versatile in the white-tailed industry.

The Whitetail Pro Guide and Management School offers more than just subjects related to white-tailed deer and makes students better outdoorsmen and more-diversified employees in the whitetail hunting industry. Courses like camp cooking, wilderness survival, land navigation and attitude and leadership are covered during the two-week course. Students become first aid and CPR certified. They also learn how to start their own businesses and use outdoor writing, photography, videography and their experiences to propel themselves into an outdoor career. Too, time is spent learning habitats of dove, quail and turkey and hunting techniques. Students learn the many species and sub-species of each game bird as well as the management practices and food plot tactics pertaining to each game bird, of course, the heart of the Whitetail Pro Guide and Management School is the white-tailed deer. On the first day of classes, students learn the opportunities in the whitetail and outdoor industry. Students learn to properly score antlers, and spend many hours looking at pictures and videotape of white-tailed bucks to allow students to hone their field-judging skills. Whitetail students also learn to age deer by dentine wear and learn field care and caping of harvested game, as well as meat procurement.

The most-important aspect of white-tailed deer COAGS students will learn is management. Conservationists have succeeded in re-establishing the population of white-tailed deer from less than 500,000 in 1900 to nearly 36 million today. This two-week school gives students hands-on study of white-tailed deer management about correct habitat and improvements, food plots and supplemental feeding. Students learn about proper buck-to-doe ratios, the balance of nature, the impact of predators and poor range conditions, the differences among trophy, quality and sustain yield management and the importance of age in a whitetail operation. If you spend your days dreaming of guiding sportsmen in the pursuit of this North American big game species or want to become a better outdoorsman and manage your own herd, then join the Colorado Outdoor Adventure Guide School’s staff for the Whitetail Pro Guide and Management School. More information and class schedules can be found at or by calling

Tomorrow: What You’ll Learn at the Colorado Outdoor Adventure Guide School

Check back each day this week for more about "The Colorado Outdoor Adventure
Guide School with Willie Webb, Jr."

Day 1: Whitetails and Dreams
Day 2: What You’ll Learn at the Colorado Outdoor Adventure Guide School
Day 3: The COAGS Experience
Day 4: What is COAGS?
Day 5: COAGS’ Graduates and Their Futures


Entry 375, Day 1