301 South Park, 4th Floor (map)
P.O. Box 200513
Helena, MT 59620-0513
Fax: (406) 841-2305

Board Office Contacts:

For information on Guide and Professional Guide applications and licensing contact:
Telephone: (406) 841-2202

For information on Outfitter applications and licensing contact:
Telephone: (406) 841-2203
For information on renewals, license verifications, name changes and Watercraft ID stickers:
Telephone: (406) 841-2205

For information on continuing education and audits:
Telephone: (406) 841-2204

For information on filing a complaint against a licensee contact:
Jennifer Schofield, Compliance Specialist
Telephone: (406) 841-2386

Board Management:
Steve Gallus, Executive Officer
Board Management Bureau
Telephone: (406) 841-2370

  • Board Info.
  • License Info.
  • Regulations
  • Applications / Forms
  • Complaints
  • Services / Links






Montana Board of Outfitters Frequently Asked Questions




1. What is my Montana Conservation License number and how do I obtain one?

Your Montana Conservation (Fishing & Hunting) License # is now the combination of your date of birth and your ALS #. Contact the Department of Fish, Wildlife and Parks for information on obtaining a conservation license. Fish Wildlife & Parks <return to top>

2. What is the difference between a Guide and an Outfitter?

In Montana there is a substantial difference between Guides and Outfitters. Guides must work for Outfitters, and any clients they guide must come from their endorsing Outfitter. To become an Outfitter, a Guide must have 100 days of guiding experience, take an exam, pay a minimum of $1,800.00, and meet other criteria. Becoming a Guide is relatively simple compared to Outfitter qualifications. <return to top>

3. Do I need First Aid or CPR to comply with the rules?

Only Basic First Aid is required to become a Guide in Montana. Internet courses are not accepted. <return to top>

4. Do I need a Guide License to take clients on float trips or scenic hiking trips?

No. A Guide license is needed only if clients are hunting or fishing and paying for it. For further information on the requirements for guiding hikes and scenic float trips, or starting a business in Montana, etc. contact the Secretary of State. <return to top>

5. Do I have to report a Fish & Game violation, or Felony, if it happened a long
time ago or it happened before I was a Guide?

Yes. Please reference the following: 37.47.341 Montana Code Annotated <return to top>

6. If I am a Guide, and I have Independent Contractor Status, can I guide my own clients without an Outfitter?

No, all the same rules apply to a Guide with Independent Contractor Status that apply to a Guide without Independent Contractor Status. <return to top>

7. Where do I get boat stickers for the Big Hole, Beaverhead and Madison rivers?

These are issued to Outfitters by the Bozeman Regional Fish & Game Dept. Their telephone number is (406) 994-6359. <return to top>

8. What is required to be considered a Montana Resident for purposes of in state Guide License fees?

A current Montana Drivers License. <return to top>

9. How can I pay for my Guide License?

Please send a personal check or a money order with your Guide application. <return to top>

10. How do I get a duplicate License if I lost mine?

Send or Fax the Board office a written statement requesting a duplicate License and a brief explanation of why you need one. There is a $5.00 fee for the duplicate license.
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11. How do I get duplicate boat stickers?

Call, e-mail, or write the Board office and request them. There is a $5.00 fee for one set of duplicate stickers. <return to top>

12. Can I fax you an application?

No, we can not accept an application with faxed or photocopied signatures. <return to top>

13. Where are you located?

PO BOX 200513
HELENA MT 59620-0513
(406) 841-2304 FAX: (406) 841-2309 <return to top>

Map of Helena, and directions to the Board of Outfitters Office.

14. Do you accept walk-ins for Guide applications?

Yes we do. We are available to process walk-ins from 8:00 to 5:00 Monday through Friday. Please call ahead and we will review the application with you on the telephone to confirm that all necessary criteria are in order - before you make the trip here. <return to top>

15. What is the Emergency Guide license?

On March 10, 2010, the Board of Outfitters held a full board meeting. At that meeting, the Department informed the Board that Administrative Rule No. 24.171.604, the Emergency Guide Rule exceeds the administrative authority delegated to the Board and therefore, the Emergency Guide Rule should be repealed. The Board will soon be meeting to discuss the repeal of the Emergency Guide Rule. In the meantime, the Board formed an interim committee to propose alternatives to the emergency guide rule. In the interim, the Board determined that Emergency Guide applications will not be processed. Because Emergency Guide applications are not being processed, guide applicants must use the 2010 Guide Application form to become licensed. guide license application <return to top>

16. As a Guide, can I work for more than one Outfitter?

Yes, all that is required is to have any Outfitter you work for sign your License and include the dates you work for the Outfitter. <return to top>

17. What is the Guide application processing time?

Most Guide applications will be processed within ten days. <return to top>

18. Are Guides required to have insurance?

No, Guides are not required to have insurance in order to become licensed by the Board of Outfitters. <return to top>

19. Can Guides advertise?

Yes, but the advertisement must include the Guides' License # and the endorsing Outfitter's name, address, telephone number and license number. <return to top>

20. How do I get a Guide License application?

Call the Board office at (406) 841-2304 or download Guide License Application in PDF format from this website: <return to top>

21. When do the Licenses expire?

Guide and Outfitter Licenses expire every year on December 31st. <return to top>

22. Can I go to a Guide school?

The Board does not regulate guide schools however, one benefit to attending a guide school is that three days of experience may be waived for an outfitter license applicant for every day of training completed at an outfitter or guide school. Please reference the following Administrative Rule: 24.171.502 OUTFITTER QUALIFICATIONS <return to top>

23. As a guide, can I accept payment from a client for the outfitter?

Yes, but only on behalf of and with the express consent of your supervising outfitter. Please reference the following Administrative Rule: 24.171.2301 UNPROFESSIONAL CONDUCT AND MISCONDUCT <return to top>

24. What are the general qualifications to become a Guide?

The appropriate fee: Resident and Nonresident $150.00
Proof of current First Aid.
Current Montana Conservation License.
Completed application. <return to top>

25. Can I start guiding after I have sent in my application (when it's "in the mail")?

No, you must have your Guide License on your possession and signed by your endorsing Outfitter in order to be legally guiding. <return to top>

26. Is there a difference between a Hunting Guide and a Fishing Guide?

No. If you have a Montana Guide License you can guide either hunting or fishing.
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27. What are the requirements for Professional Guide?

An applicant for a professional guide's license must meet the standard qualifications for a guide license, in addition to, the following qualifications:

(a) have held a guide license in the state of Montana for at least three years;
(b) have not had disciplinary action taken against the applicant's guide license in this or any other state;
(c) have spent at least 300 days guiding clients in the field as evidenced by employment records, or client report logs of endorsing outfitters;
(d) applicants must produce, on a form provided by the board, character
references from three clients the guide has guided, one licensed outfitter, and one licensed guide and present evidence of 15 hours of training or education obtained in the year previous to application in addition to guiding experience, in topics relevant to guiding as approved by the board. Please reference the following Administrative Rule: 24.171.601 GUIDE OR PROFESSIONAL GUIDE QUALIFICATIONS <return to top>

28. Will I keep my same Guide # each year?

Yes. <return to top>