To help the wingshooting community better familiarize itself with our new Endorsed Lodge Program, Shooting Sportsman is presenting a series of interviews with representatives from the enrolled lodges. This time we go behind the scenes with Jeremi and Karen Syron, who have managed multiple departments at the world-famous Flying B Ranch, in Kamiah, Idaho, for close to two decades. Jeremi and Karen were happy to chat with us about life at the “B.”
SSM: How long have you been at the Flying B, and what compelled you to get involved with the lodge?
Karen Syron: I came to the Flying B Ranch after getting my B.S. degree in Wildlife Resource Management in 2006, because I had a college classmate who was working here and I thought it would be a good short-term job while I figured out my long-term plans. I was asked to manage the lodge after just 8 months and have never looked for another job. Jeremi started at the ranch 16 years ago. His goal after high school was to be a guide, and at 18 he started as a whitewater-rafting guide. He then obtained his degree in Field Biology and has now enjoyed a 23-year (and counting) career guiding rafters, hunters and fishermen. His time at the “B” started in 2003, when he was asked to join the guide staff, and he has since added the responsibility of overseeing and managing the ranch. Both of us wanted a career that meant something—one that was more than just a job—and we were lucky to find that right out of college at the Flying B. The fact that we met at the “B” and eventually got married was icing on the cake.
SSM: What’s a typical day of hunting like at the Flying B?
Jeremi Syron: A typical day starts with a fresh cup of coffee on the front patio overlooking an amazing canyon view or in front of a fire in the lodge’s great room. Guests enjoy breakfast at 7 and head off for a morning hunt with their guides at 8. They return to the lodge for lunch, after which there is some down time to nap, catch up on phone calls or take a few casts on our private trout pond. The afternoon hunt runs from 2 to 5, and cocktails and appetizers are at 6. Dinner follows shortly after at 7. After dinner guests can lounge in our great room or take to the patio to partake in the hot tub, sauna or fire ring.
KS: I’ll add that our motto is “Dedicated to the hunt since 1985,” and that is why we focus on a lot of time in the field. Our guides meet with our guests to arrange a hunt that meets their exact needs. For some this may mean hunting terrain that allows three generations to hunt together. Others may want the challenge of wild chukar off the canyon rim. The diversity of our terrain allows us to tailor every hunt.
SSM: What aspects of your operation seem to impress guests the most?
JS: The most impressive aspect commented on by guests is our staff. We have a long list of tenured employees providing the best customer service in the industry. A strong team shows dedication, organization and the ability to treat every guest like family. The variety of hunt areas and scenery throughout our 5,000 acres are also often commented on. Species and habitats that typically would take several trips to different destinations to hunt can be enjoyed with us on one visit. You can hunt six species of birds in their natural habitat on our ranch. Also, our guests regularly compliment our upfront pricing and inclusive structure when they come in expecting a bill for birds, ammo, using house guns, shuttles, et cetera and we tell them it’s all covered. No surprise bills at the end—just enjoy your trip while you’re here!
SSM: What is your favorite item on the dinner menu?
JS: My favorite dinner would be the sesame-pheasant-strips appetizer followed by the halibut and the huckleberry crème brûlée.
KS: I would go with either the sesame or the bourbon-buffalo pheasant strips followed by the bison and the huckleberry crème brûlée.
SSM: What part of the job do you find the most gratifying?
JS: I really like seeing people having such a great time with all of the activities the lodge offers. It’s also great to share my guiding knowledge with the people I take afield.
KS: I love that our lodge is upscale but not uptight. It really allows people to feel like they’re at home. Getting to see people bond with their families, clients, colleagues and friends through an unforgettable experience in the field is very special as well. Our staff works hard to create an environment that allows guests to really connect with each other in a meaningful way. Knowing that the experience we provide has a long-term positive impact on our guests makes it feel like much more than a job.
SSM: What has you the most excited about the coming season?
KS: Jeremi and I can’t wait to see our old friends! Eighty-eight percent of our guests each year are returning guests; some have been coming at least once a year for over 25 years! We share photos of our kids and travels over the past year and recount stories of our favorite memories at the “B.” I really miss these people and can’t wait for them to come back. I also look forward to the blend of activities in the fall. It’s exciting to see one guest come back with a beautiful ruffed grouse on the same day that another landed a 40″ steelhead or a young hunter harvested his first whitetail with his dad. There are so many possibilities that no two days are the same. Last but not least, we look forward to reconnecting with our staff, which is the most dedicated and diverse group of people I have ever worked with.
Photographs by Terry Allen.