Maine’s Guiding Heritage

About Maine Guides

Maine Guide’s have a long history of Professionalism and Compentency

Maine has licensed Guide’s for well over a hundred years. Registered Maine Guide’s have long been regarded as among the finest and most competent woodsmen anywhere. The Maine Guide’s license has a long history and our patch is recognized nationally.

Maine’s first documented guides were native Americans, who led Benedict Arnold on his ill-fated march up the Kennebec River Valley and on to Quebec City. The late 1800’s saw the first “boom” of the Maine sporting camps and Maine Guide’s were very much a part of that period and the development of Maine’s recreational industry. Rangeley, the Dead River area, and the Moosehead Lake area were three of the first areas to see the emergence of Maine Guide’s, with Eastern Maine to follow.

To this day, Maine Guide’s are very much a part of Maine’s outdoor recreational industry, and continue to provide their customers with a safe, legal, quality experience.

What is a Maine Guide?

Maine Inland Fisheries & Wildlife defines a guide as follows:

“Guide” means any person who receives any form of remuneration for his services in accompanying or assisting any person in the fields, forests or on the waters or ice within the jurisdiction of the State while hunting, fishing, trapping, boating, snowmobiling or camping at a primitive camping area.

Maine’s IF&W administers the testing process and sees a failure rate of well over 60% for those applicants who do not attend our Maine Guide Course prior to testing. Our applicants continue to consistently achieve a success percentage of over 80%!

Maine Guide License Classifications

The state requires guides to be licensed in one or more categories, depending on how they exercise their guiding privileges. A Maine Guides License is available in one or more of the following categories. The Hunting, Fishing and Recreational categories are the most common.


Allows licensed individuals to guide hunting and trapping activities, including overnight camping trips in conjunction with those hunting and trapping activities.


Allows licensed individuals to guide fishing activities, including overnight camping trips in conjunction with those fishing activities on inland waters.


Allows licensed individuals to guide boating, snowmobiling and camping activities.

Sea-Kayaking & Tide-Water Fishing

Allows licensed individuals to guide sea-kayaking or tide-water fishing activities on the State’s territorial seas and tributaries of the State up to the head of tide and out to the three mile limit, including overnight camping trips in conjunction with those activities. At this time we do not offer preparation for the sea-kayaking and tide-water exams.