Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations

Guide Outfitting

Previous Amendments to the Wildlife Act (the “Act”) related to Guide Outfitting: Question and Answers, Prepared for Guide Outfitters and Certificate Holders (June 27, 2012) [PDF 57KB]

Previous Amendments to the Wildlife Act (the “Act”) Questions and Answers, Prepared for Guide Outfitters and Certificate Holders (June 10, 2009) [PDF 55KB]

There are approximately 245 guide outfitters in British Columbia at present. Each guide outfitter is licenced to guide resident and non-resident hunters in an exclusive guide area with clearly defined and legally described boundaries. The guide areas vary considerably in size and availability of big game species. The guide outfitter licence is issued annually. The responsibility for issuing guide licences and guiding territory certificates lies with the Regional Fish and Wildlife Managers within the Wildlife Management Regions in the province.

New Five-Year Guide Outfitter Licence

Five year guide outfitting licences are now available. Learn more:

Basic Eligibility Criteria

The following criteria must be met to proceed with an application for a Guide Outfitter Licence:

  • Must be a Canadian citizen or a permanent resident of Canada (i.e. a landed immigrant).
  • Must satisfy the Regional Fish and Wildlife Manager, within the region you intend to acquire a guide area, that you have a working knowledge of the Wildlife Act and the Commercial Activities Regulation, B.C. Reg. 338/82, Division 1, Guides. This is done through the successful completion of the Guide Outfitter exam.
  • A guide outfitter shall carry, in full force and effect, public liability insurance in an amount of not less than $2, 000 000 that is, applicable to his guiding business, in effect at the time of application for an annual licence, and effective for the term of the annual licence period or for the period for which he has paid an annual fee.
  • Must have permission of the guiding territory certicate holder(s).

To be licenced as an assistant guide outfitter in British Columbia, the following criteria must be met (an exam is not required):

  • Must be eighteen (18) years of age or older.
  • Must have a guide outfitter willing to employ you to guide hunters within the guiding territory under his or her jurisdiction.

Guide Outfitter Exam

The Guide Outfitter examination is a screening tool. A mark of eighty percent (80%) is required to pass the exam. However, as stated within the Wildlife Act, the Regional Manager must be satisfied that the applicant has a working knowledge of the Wildlife Act. This may require further consultation in addition to the exam.

There is no fee associated with the exam. The exam is 2.5 hours in length and is made up of sixty-five (65) multiple choice questions that may cover a number of topics. Questions within the exam are intended to test the applicant’s knowledge of the Wildlife Act and Commercial Activities Regulation.

Study material can be accessed electronically through the internet or in hard copy:

  • Wildlife Act
    • online copy
    • hard copy: public library, or BC Courthouse Library
  • Wildlife Act Commercial Activities Regulation, B.C. Reg. 338/82, Division 1, Guides
    • online copy [PDF 1.07MB]
    • hard copy: public library, or BC Courthouse Library
  • B.C. Hunting and Trapping Regulations Synopsis
    • online copy
    • hard copy: Government Agent Office or wherever freshwater angling licences are sold

You may schedule an examination through your local Government Agent’s Office.

Steps to Obtaining a NEW Guide Outfitter Licence

  1. Review the basic eligibility criteria, to ensure you meet the requirements.
  2. Write the Guide Outfitter Exam. If you do not meet the eighty percent (80%) requirement to pass the exam, the exam can be re-written a second and third time, if necessary.
  3. When you pass the exam, contact the Regional Manager, Recreational Fisheries and Wildlife Programs, within the region you intend to guide. The Regional Manager will schedule an appointment with you to review your exam and discuss the next steps to becoming a licenced guide outfitter.
  4. If the Regional Manager is satisfied that you have a working knowledge of the Wildlife Act, and you have met the other applicable criteria, the following is required in order to proceed with the licencing process:
    • A completed Guide Outfitter Licence application form [PDF 45KB];
    • Instructions on how to complete the above application. [PDF 27KB];
    • Proof of passing the guide outfitter exam (i.e. letter from the Ministry of Environment);
    • Payment of fees.
      • Fees are as follows: $500 licence fee; $25 application fee. All fees are required at the time of application.
  5. Follow the submission instructions on the FrontCounter BC website.

Questions regarding permit requirements that are not addressed within these pages or for contact information visit: FrontCounter BC.

Sample Exam Questions

  • When may a Conservation Officer stop and search a motor vehicle, private or chartered aircraft, boat or other conveyance?
  • What type of offence is committed by a person who resists or obstructs a Conservation Officer from carrying out their lawful duty?
  • Under what circumstances could a client take just the head of a trophy sheep or goat and not the edible portions?
  • What are the edible portions of big game?

Steps to RENEW your Guide Outfitter Licence

Returning Guide Outfitters are required to submit their applications by May 31st of the calendar year in which they intend to guide. Late applications will be accepted; however, an administrative fee of $25 will be charged in addition to the regular licence fee.

Questions regarding permit requirements that are not addressed within these pages or for contact information visit: FrontCounter BC.

Steps to Obtaining an Assistant Guide Outfitter Licence

Basic Eligibility Criteria

The following criteria must be met in order to proceed with an application for an Assistant Guide Outfitter Licence:

  • Must be eighteen (18) years of age or older; and
  • Must be employed by a licenced Guide Outfitter.

Steps to obtain your Assistant Guide Outfitter Licence

The following is required in order to proceed with the licencing process:

Questions regarding permit requirements that are not addressed within these pages or for contact information visit: FrontCounter BC.

Steps to Obtaining or Renewing a Guiding Territory Certificate

  • A Regional Manager may issue a guiding territory certificate to a person who, or to a group of persons, each of whom, (a) is a citizen of Canada or permanent resident of Canada, (b) 19 years of age or older, and (c) has other qualifications prescribed by regulation.
  • Please fill out the guiding territory certificate application form. [updated June 26, 2012 PDF 41KB]
  • Instructions on how to complete the above application. [PDF 26KB]
  • There is no charge for obtaining or renewing a guide territory certificate.

Steps to Transferring a Guiding Territory Certificate

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I find out the status of my guide outfitter or assistant guide licence application?
Please contact FrontCounter BC.
How can I get some guide declaration forms?
Please contact FrontCounter BC.
Who do I contact regarding how to become a guide outfitter, obtaining a list of guide outfitters operating in B.C. and further questions regarding guide outfitting?
Please contact the Guide Officer in Victoria at 250-387-9725. A list of guides operating in B.C. is also available at Online copy [PDF 830KB].
Do I require anything different to operate in a provincial park?
Yes. You require a Park Use Permit to operate your business. Please contact FrontCounter BC.