About Us and the Guides
John and Jeanie Wilkinson have been guiding and outfitting hunters for over 40 years. They have built Cottonwood Outfitters as one of the premier and most respected outfitter companies in Montana. Hard work, lots of sweat and perseverance is what you will notice Cottonwood Outfitters is all about when you show up to hunting camp thanks to John and Jeanie.
John and Jeanie recently sold Cottonwood Outfitters and is now operated by Kyle Mutcher with the continued mentorship of John Wilkinson.
John is an older fella, in fact none of us are too sure how old. We heard rumor he helped build the first railroad if that gives you an idea though. John was the President of Montana Guides and Outfitters in 2006 and 2007 and is a past 2 year term member of the Private Lands/Public Wildlife Council. He is also a present member of the Montana Board of Outfitters which is a 5 person board appointed by the governor of Montana. Although he may be a bit weathered, it does not show for he can still hike the hills, cape a deer in 24.7 seconds (give or take a second or two), and spot a great trophy anywhere in the landscape. Just be sure he changes is glasses towards low light. He has been known to head for camp during prime time hunting because he was wearing his sunglasses, turns out it makes it look a lot darker than it truly is. His personality, knowledge and experience for hunting is something a younger guide or outfitter could only hope to have in their future.
Jeanie cooks, cleans, books hunters, helps organize and sends hunting applications. She also checks to make sure they are correctly completed and sent to the state of Montana (and somehow finds time to keep John in line). Her cooking is really something else. We can assure you that if you do not gain weight during your hunt, it’s your fault for not eating enough do to the fact that there are always mass amounts provided. Her hardy meals with always a wonderful desert are sure to put a hunter to rest earlier than they had intended. John and the guides particularly enjoy her flat cake. You ask what flat cake is? And all we can say is you will just have to come to camp and try it while hearing the story behind the extravagant creation. She is one of the nicest and warm hearted persons you could ever meet. Just be sure to stay out of her kitchen when she is preparing a meal, you would not believe how much a spatula can hurt even when you’re a grown adult.
This Utah native grew up hunting, fishing, and exploring some of the best mule deer and elk opportunities the nation has to offer. His passion for wildlife management, education, photography, and a love for all things hunting, has led him to a successful and experienced life of guiding. He may not have been born here, but his family ties to Eastern Montana run generations deep. Between those family ties, friends, and better hunting opportunities than any other state, he decided to scratch his own history into the prairie soil in 2012 and hasn’t looked back. Years of sports and construction management positions have taught him how to be a team player, natural leader, and fierce competitor. This human pack-mule has always been willing to go the extra mile for clients and for Cottonwood Outfitters.
With John Wilkinson’s helpful mentorship, Kyle recently completed his first successful year as Manager. Although he’s not licensed yet, he’s well on his way to becoming the new Outfitter here at Cottonwood.
Pictured here is Roger Bryant, a 44 year old Virgo who has been hunting for 32 years and with Cottonwood Outfitters for 16. If you are entertained by stories and want to hear lots of them, Roger is a good match. Roger is a busy man with a family and a full time job on a ranch/farm, but finds time to primarily guide for rifle deer with Cottonwood. Roger is a great time for any of our hunters and works hard to be sure their hunting experience with Cottonwood Outfitters is exactly what they expected. His years of elk hunting and guiding have given him great knowledge towards big game behavior, a must to an enjoyable and successful hunt. If he whips out a little book while you are on your hunt don’t worry, nothing is horribly wrong, he is just reminding himself the difference between deer, elk, and big foot.
Chance Barrett, the strong silent type is a Montana native and has bounced around the state from Bozeman to Belt, Lodge Grass, Lewistown until his wife convinced him to come back to Miles City. In the off season he dabbles in a little bit of everything but his true passion is in guiding.
Shawn Swenson, though he may be our youngest guide he has a strong passion for Southeast Montana and the outdoors. You won’t be disappointed with him as your guide!