About Us

John Howell grew up hunting and fishing on his family ranch in Nebraska. He has always had a passion for the outdoors and sports, especially football. While attending Colorado State University on a football scholarship John continued his involvement with the family ranch as his love for the outdoors grew stronger.

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Mailing Address
Dismal River Outfitters
8276 Sand Dollar Drive
Windsor, CO 80528

Physical Location
Dismal River Outfitters
36660 Riverside Drive
Mullen, NE 69152

John Howell

Bruce Grant


Dear John,

I have just returned home from my third hunting trip to Dismal River Outfitters and I am full of great memories. Three days don’t seem as much, but when the days are filled with hunting, viewing game, shotgun shooting and following tracks of a mountain lion, lot of hunters would be envious.

Thank you for a great pursuit of the mouflon, he surely made the stalk and shooting over the Dismal River interesting. When the ram disappeared over the ridge after two 200 yard shots, I have almost started to doubt my shooting skills. What a relief to find him dead when we crossed the valley and what a relief to find that both shots were in the vital zone. That just proves how tough the sheep are.

Thank you for a great company during the evening meals, I very much enjoyed the atmosphere and when you and Joe started to talk football stories and showed me the Superbowl rings, I felt like I was on the top of the world.

I am looking forward to hunting with you again!

Alice Poluchova

John and Joe,

what a great time I had bowhunting turkeys at Dismal River! This was my first bowhunting trip and your patience, advice and low pressure made it so much easier. For me as a photographer, Dismal River is a dream place. Every time I bring home great photographs as well as trophy animal.

Thank you for great company, great food and great hunting experiences.
You will be seeing more of me!



Two long term Goals met at DRO, new ones are set.

My wife, Sue and I were blessed with accomplishing two of our hunting goals in the Fall of 2009 with the assistance of Dismal River Outfitters and the wonderful staff they have.

Since 2004, my wife has actively pursued being able to harvest a bull elk.  We have hunted Wyoming and Montana in the pursuit of her goal, hunting on our own as well as with guides to no avail.  It seemed that either the weather conditions or in the case of the Montana trip a poor experience with a guide interfered with her success.

Not wanting my wife’s desire to harvest a bull elk to wane, we decided to give DRO a chance on helping her five year dream come to fruition and for me to complete a goal of harvesting a bull elk with a bow, a goal since my first archery elk hunt in 1994 where I caught the fever.

What an absolute pleasure it was being at the ranch, with the DRO staff, which made us feel at home in a relaxed atmosphere full of hospitality, good times, laughter, not to mention great meals and great accommodations.

John and Joe made our experience fantastic, with their knowledge, genuine hospitality and their desire to see us succeed in our hunts.  In the evenings back at the ranch we would enjoy the company of the other hunters and guide Jimmy as they relived the events of each day.  Friendships were built, memories created and dreams & goals do come true.  Sue harvested a great bull with huge eye-guards and shiny ivory tips in a hunt that was picture perfect, right down to the exact yardage of 150 yards broadside (minus the leash) that she and John Howell discussed jokingly months before the hunt as her “money-shot”.  For me, well my dream came true too, as I was able to harvest an unbelievable bull with my bow.

Sue and I both have John and Joe to thank for making those dreams come true and the memories that go with it.  Now Sue has set another goal after witnessing the archery hunt, she too wants to begin practicing with a compound bow and be able to take a bull elk with an arrow some day.

Thanks John and Joe, you guys are great and we appreciate all that you did to make our hunt and our time spent with you and everyone else at DRO fantastic.  Sue appreciated most, as being a woman; you guys treated her as a part of your family and made her comfortable and confident in accomplishing her goal. I appreciated each of you for who you are and your desire to work hard to make our goals come true.

John S.

P.S. Sue has her compound bow now and is working towards that next goal.