Guide Outfitter Licence
A guide outfitter is licensed 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. A guide outfitter licence can be issued for a term of 1 year or 5 years. If you hold a 5-year guide outfitter licence, your quota will be updated annually.
You can apply for a guide outfitter licence using BC Hunting Online or continue to apply in-person at a FrontCounter BC office. If you choose to submit your application online, you must have a basic BCeID. You must also have your Fish & Wildlife ID (FWID) prior to submitting your application. As a licensed guide outfitter, you are also eligible to register your clients and buy licences on their behalf.
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.
If not a certificate holder, the guide outfitter must have permission of the guiding territory certificate holder(s).
The remaining term on the Guiding Territory Certificate must exceed the term of licence being applied for.
Must not have any outstanding reports or royalties or active suspensions.
$500.00 Guide Outfitter Licence
$25.00 Licence Application Fee (new applicants only – first time applying for any Guide Outfitter Licence)
Five Year Licence
$2000.00 Guide Outfitter Licence
$25.00 Licence Application Fee (new applicants only – first time applying for any Guide Outfitter Licence)
NOTE: Royalties from the previous year are not processed at the time of application submission. A Permitting Clerk will contact you if additional fees are owed. In the case of renewals, please note that your royalty fees for the previous year must be paid in full prior to a new licence being issued.
Fees are payable at the time of application. Applications will not be processed until the fee has been paid.
The payment can be made by credit card, cheque or money-order. Credit Card payments are securely processed online in the Final Step of the application process. You also have the option to mail in a cheque or money order or pay in person at any of the FrontCounter BC locations.
The Habitat Conservation Trust Fund surcharge is included in the above fee(s).
Fees calculated in the electronic Fish and Wildlife application may not be final. A Permit Clerk will contact you if late fees are owed or if other licence specific fees are outstanding.
What you need to apply?
Proof of passing the Guide Outfitter Exam (new applicants only)
Which Regions your guide area is located in
Including a guiding territory certificate number if you are operating within a guiding territory
Consent of the Guiding Territory Certificate Holder or Agent
This applies if you are not the guiding territory certificate holder
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 (hard copy: public library, or BC Courthouse Library)
- Wildlife Act Commercial Activities Regulation, B.C. Reg. 338/82, Division 1, Guides (hard copy: public library, or BC Courthouse Library)
- Hunting and Trapping Regulations Synopsis (hard copy: FrontCounter BC offices, Service BC Access Centre or wherever hunting licences are sold)
You may schedule an examination through your local Service BC Access Centre. Click here to find the Service BC Access Centre location nearest you.
What Happens After you Apply?
The target time frame for issuing your permit is 30 days
Processing time within the North East Region will be considerably longer as there is a required consultation process with members of the Treaty 8 First Nations communities.
Your application will not be processed until payment has been received in full.
Receiving the application
Your application will be reviewed to ensure that it is complete. Your payment and documents will be entered into the appropriate systems. When necessary, you will be contacted for more information.
An application will not be accepted and processed until all required information as well as payment has been received.
A decision will be made on whether to issue a licence or not after a full review of your submission.
Issuance of Licence
If your application is approved, your licence is issued and available in your Fish and Wildlife profile. If your application was not approved, you will be notified.
Starting spring 2018, you do not need to carry a copy of your guide outfitter licence while guiding; however, you must carry a valid government-issued photo ID and be able to produce your Fish & Wildlife ID number. Conservation Officers will be able to access your profile and verify your licences in the field.
Hiring Assistant Guides
Beginning April 1, 2015 an assistant guide licence issued by government is no longer required, nor available. In order to be an Assistant Hunting Guide, a person must:
Be 18 years of age or older
Have passed the approved assistant hunting guide exam and have a permanent identification number. Assistant Guide Exam information can be found at Guide Outfitter Association of BC Website
Not be prohibited from guiding. Guide Outfitters can check here: Guiding Sanctions (PDF, 78 KB)
Not have outstanding fines owed to government under the Ministry's legislation. Guide outfitters may check for outstanding fines by querying the Ministry of Environment - Environmental Violation Database
Guide outfitters who are considering hiring an assistant guide from outside of Canada are encouraged to contact Citizen and Immigration Canada or visit their website to learn more about the options and process for hiring temporary foreign workers.
A person acting as an assistant Guide must carry a written authorization issued by a guide outfitter at all times while guiding. A sample written authorization is provided here. Also see below for more information about the written authorization.
Authorizing an Assistant Guide
Section 48 of the Wildlife Act provides that a guide outfitter may hire a qualified person to act as an assistant guide. This section also requires that a qualified person hired as an assistant guide must be issued a written authorization, in the prescribed manner and form and with the prescribed content by the employing guide outfitter.
Requirements as to the manner, form and content of the assistant guide authorization have been prescribed under section 1.17 of the Wildlife Act Commercial Activities Regulation (the 'regulation'). The requirements are as follows:
the authorization is to be written;
the authorization is to be legible; and
the authorization is to contain the following information:
the name, birth date and permanent address of the assistant guide;
the permanent identification number of the assistant guide;
the name of the guide outfitter;
the number of the guide outfitter's licence;
the date the written authorization is issued;
the date the term of the guide outfitter's licence ends;
the statement: '(name of assistant guide) has been hired as an assistant guide.';
any restrictions on the assistant guide when guiding for game on behalf of the guide outfitter contained in the contract between the guide outfitter and the assistant guide, such as restrictions relating to season, areas or species; and
a signed statement by the guide outfitter that, to the best of the guide outfitter's knowledge, the information contained in the written authorization is true, accurate and complete.
To help ensure that all the requirements of section 1.17 of the regulation are satisfied the Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations, Fish and Wildlife Branch has prepared the following assistant guide authorization form here. A guide outfitter may elect to use this form or prepare their own authorization. The only statutory requirement is that the authorization must satisfy the requirements in section 1.17 of the regulation.
If you have any questions or concerns regarding the assistant guide authorization form or the requirements under s. 1.17 of the regulation, please contact FrontCounter BC at 1-877-855-3222 (Canada) or ++1-778-372-0729 (From outside of North America).
Acting on Behalf of a Guide Outfitter
If you would like to give consent for a person to act on your behalf for the purpose of registering a client, submitting a guide outfitter report, paying royalties or buying hunting licences, you can now appoint this person as your designate using BC Hunting Online or over the counter at a Front Counter BC or Service BC office. If you cannot attend an office, you may request to appoint a designate over the phone, after verifying your identity.
It is the designates responsibility to first create their own Fish and Wildlife profile, obtain a FWID and become verified.
Once the designate is registered with a FWID, a guide outfitter can add that person as their designate and choose which activities they can perform on their behalf.
The designate registration does not expire. It is the responsibility of the guide outfitter to manage which tasks the designate can perform on their behalf and, where applicable, to remove the privilege of a person to act as designate.
For more information see the Frequently Asked Questions. For step-by-step instructions on how to obtain a FWID, apply for a guide outfitter licence, register a client and buy hunting licences please refer to the Quick Reference Guides.