Connie and Mack Long
Montana is blessed with many invaluable natural resources on her landscape. Some of the most splendid and magnificent resources, vistas and pristine areas are those found in wilderness. Mack and Connie have developed a deep appreciation for them and want to be able to share that wealth with those that otherwise might not be able to enjoy them.
Connie took her first wilderness pack trip with Mack over 25 years ago. Since then, she has taken numerous educational classes to further her passion for visiting the wilderness on horseback. She is a past president of Missoula Back Country Horsemen and currently is the Montana State Chairman. She is a Leave No Trace (Stock) Master Instructor and has taught numerous students over the years. She began guiding in 2007. Connie is a BSN trained Registered Nurse and maintains an active license with the State of Montana and stays up to date with current medical practices.
Mack has BS degrees in Fish and Wildlife Biology and Administration of Justice. He has worked professionally for over 30 years managing, protecting and perpetuating the natural resources of Montana. During his years in fish and wildlife management throughout the state, he has been fortunate to work in every wilderness area in Montana. As a result, he has logged thousands of miles in the backcountry on horses and mules. Mack is also a Leave No Trace (Stock) Master Instructor and has taught Wilderness Skills since 2001.
Both Connie and Mack are active in Wilderness protection and education.
We can’t thank Smoke and Thelma Elser enough for being our mentors, friends and advisers. They have shared with us their nearly 60 years of outfitting experience, knowledge and history. To say that their help and guidance is priceless is an understatement. Smoke still goes with us on pack trips whenever he can and continues to work hard for the wilderness he loves.
Smoke is the author of Packing in on Horses and Mules. This is a book that anyone who wants to be a packer should read. It has been in print for 3 decades and is used as a reference book for several classes, including his own Packing Class that he holds every January to March.
Our daughter, Ehvee, works with several aspects of our Outfitting business. She helps year round at the ranch and is invaluable when it comes to getting all the food and kitchen ready before each of our summer pack trips. She takes care of things when we are gone on trips and handles calls and emails from our guests during that time as well. In 2015 she will be overseeing our “Edge of the Wilderness” 1 to 4 day vacation stays at our “End of the Road” trailhead facilities on the North Fork of the Blackfoot River.
Cloy is our son-in-law and is married to Ehvee. They had a beautiful wedding ceremony at the ranch in June 2014. Cloy has a long history of working with livestock as he grew up on his family ranch in the Moiese Valley just west of our ranch. Cloy enjoys roping and working cattle. He is good natured and always has a smile on his face. We appreciate his help around the ranch when we are on trips.
Chris is our lead packer, wrangler and guide. He is very experienced which makes him a real asset. He is great to have around camp and is always willing to carry on a conversation, help you get ready to go fishing or taking you for a day ride. Chris works his summers and fall for us and then uses his skills as a cabinet maker working in his family cabinetry business.
Kristy has been with us for a few years now and we are really fortunate to have her as part of our team. She helps with all aspects of the trip from cooking, to wrangling, packing and will be guiding in 2015. She is a graduate of the University of Montana and teaches riding and shows horses in her off time.
Jackson is currently a student at the University of Montana. He worked his first summer for us in 2014 and plans to be back in the wilderness with us again this year. Jackson helps with the pack string, setting up camp and caring for the stock while we are in the hills. He is willing to give a helping hand anywhere needed. In the evening, around the campfire, Jackson is a very talented guitar player and sings.
Jeff is a great asset in every aspect of the outfit. Jeff helps with planning, packing, wrangling and is a valued adviser to our business. Jeff was a wrangler and packer for Smoke Elser some 35 years ago while attending the University of Montana. Jeff has his Ph.D and worked as a research biologist in Australia for nearly 30 years. When he’s not busy with us he teaches Anatomy & Physiology and has a Biological Education and Research consulting business.
Sandy has been helping Connie and Mack for several years now. She is a cook and wrangler when Connie and Mack take separate trips. She is a wealth of help for new riders who are on their first horseback trip. Sandy is a therapeutic riding instructor in her free time. She has a Master’s degree from the University of Montana.