Montana Outfitter License Requirements

What is the difference between a Guide and an Outfitter?

A guide must work for a licensed outfitter, and any clients they guide must come from their outfitter.

Do I need to be licensed in Montana to guide people hunting or fishing?

You must be a licensed guide to take people hunting or fishing for pay, but not for taking clients on hikes or float trips.

How do I become a licensed Guide in Montana?

The Montana Board of Outfitters regulates guides and outfitters. The qualifications for a person applying for a Guide License are:

  • Must be 18 years of age or older.
  • Must possess a valid Montana Wildlife Conservation License along with a Montana hunting and fishing license. Follow the link below for information on these licenses.
  • Must be physically and mentally capable of performing the duties of a guide.
  • Must be recommended by an outfitter with a valid Montana Outfitter license.
  • Must have a current first aid certification. The American Red Cross of Montana offer hands on classes in many Montana towns throughout the year. To find one near you, follow the link below.  After your hands-on certification, you may take the renewal test online at the address furnished on the board website below.
  • Must meet one of the following requirements in the area to be guided in: 1) have at least one season experience of hunting and fishing, 2)  have worked for 6 weeks for the outfitter signing the license, or 3) have received training as a guide from a board-approved school.
  • Must have knowledge of the hunting and fishing techniques needed to provide the guide service.
  • Must have knowledge of the equipment and terrain.

If you meet those qualifications, you deliver the completed Montana Guide Application, along with the application fee, to the Montana Board of Outfitters by mail or in person at:

301 South Park, 4th Floor
P.O. Box 200513
Helena, MT 59620-0513
Phone:  (406) 841-2202  Fax:  (406) 841-2309

How do I become a Licensed Outfitter in Montana?

You must have 100 days’ experience as a licensed outfitter in another state or a licensed guide working for a licensed outfitter in Montana. You must have no violations relating to fish and game laws of any state, and you must not have committed any fraud or misrepresentations relating to the business of outfitting. If you meet those qualifications, you can download the 12-page application at the supplied link below; submit the completed Outfitter License/Examination Application in person or by mail to the Montana Board of Outfitters along with a check or money order for the nonrefundable application fee. Submit your application well in advance of the next scheduled examination date as it will take the Board a minimum of 30 days to investigate and verify an application. The board may require an inspection of your equipment. You must also provide proof of liability insurance before your outfitter license is issued.

How much does it cost to be a licensed Guide in Montana?

The New/Original License and Examination Application for Outfitter costs:

The Re-Application Fee for a Guide License is:

All fees are nonrefundable.

Should I incorporate my outfitter’s business in Montana?

Often when people find themselves building a successful business, they decide that they need to protect their personal assets by separating them from their business assets. You can form a corporation or a limited liability company with the Secretary of State in Montana to receive that protection. This is where we can help. Sign up for our registered agent service with All Day $49 Montana Registered Agent and we can file your formation documents quickly and properly with the Montana Secretary of State for just under $300.00. If you would like to file your own documents, we furnish you with all the resources in your online account, plus ongoing business compliance services for the flat rate of $49.00. Just click on “Sign Up” at the bottom of the page and get started.

Montana Wildlife Conservation License

Montana  Board of Guide and Outfitter Application forms
American Red Cross of Montana