Alberta Professional Outfitters Society

About APOS

Outfitter FAQs

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

1) Can outfitters pay landowners for exclusive access to private land?

While paid access (leasing) is a common practice in many countries, in Alberta, the practice is illegal. Within our province, hunting is accessible to all people – regardless of their financial status. No one is allowed to pay a landowner for access – nor is a landowner allowed to solicit or receive payment for access.

2) How are the numbers of Non-Resident (NR) and Non-Resident Alien (NRA) hunters controlled?

The Outfitter-Guide Policy is designed to both provide economic benefit to Alberta’s economy and to balance the privilege Albertans enjoy to hunt elsewhere through the provision of NR and NRA opportunities here. This policy of the Minister takes into consideration wildlife populations, resident demand, outfitter success, and other related factors. Opportunity varies by species and region. Currently, 92% of all hunters in Alberta are residents – the remainder are NRs and NRAs who hunt here through a combination of Hunter-Host licenses, outfitter allocations and, in the case of those NR and NRA waterfowl hunters who choose to do so, on their own.

3) How does a person obtain employment in a hunting camp?

Working with a guided hunting expedition may well be one of the most memorable experiences of your lifetime. Camp help, cooks, wranglers, guides – these folks all play a pivotal role in assisting hunting guests to enjoy their Alberta experience. Outfitters are always looking for hardworking people with enthusiasm, integrity, and people skills – contact the APOS office for more information.

4) What impact does outfitted hunting have on resident hunting opportunities?

Alberta Fish and Wildlife manages harvest to provide a balance between resident and NR/NRA hunting opportunities. Their management policy considers resident demand, population estimates, harvest rates, draw success, etc., in making decisions about the allocation of harvest among all user groups. Where resident opportunities are very restricted (such as goats & turkey), there is no outfitted hunting. For species where residents are on a limited draw entry NRs/NRAs are often allocated a small percentage. For species like black bears, where the Province’s harvest goal is not met by resident hunter activity, a greater percentage is allocated to the outfitting industry.

5) What measures are taken to discipline outfitters who have broken the law?

APOS has developed a comprehensive disciplinary policy. Depending on the severity of an offence, sanctions vary from a warning letter to a complete dismissal of an outfitter’s permit to operate. Like other professional organizations, APOS members hold in contempt those whose actions tarnish the tremendous service provided by the majority of our members.

6) What issues are currently before the outfitting industry?

The biggest concern is always the health of our wildlife and its habitat. Disease, industrial and other land uses, and wildlife management practices can all influence wildlife populations. Further, there are many current issues regarding access to the resource. Additionally, anything that imposes barriers to traveling clients is always a concern.

7) How do Albertans benefit from the outfitting industry?

Wildlife is a renewable resource – much like timber, grain, or cattle. Effective management requires a carefully planned harvest, and offering a limited number of opportunities for non-Albertans is more than simply neighbourly. The outfitted hunting industry generates over $100 million of economic activity that benefits all Albertans, and over 2000 people owe their jobs to the operational expenditures of outfitters. Most importantly, our “open door” policy is reciprocated to all Albertans who wish to enjoy hunting opportunities in other jurisdictions.

8) Do I need to write a test to become a guide in Alberta?

No, there is no test in place to become a guide.  Before you can be issued a Big Game Guide’s Designation, you must be recommended by a currently licenced Big Game Outfitter-Guide in Alberta, probably the one you would be working for, even if you have held a Big Game Guide’s licence in another jurisdiction.  The Big Game Outfitter-Guide you will be working for can issue the Guide’s Designation to you.  There is no requirement for a recommendation to hold a Bird Game Guide’s Designation.  The Bird Game Outfitter-Guide you will be working for can issue one to you.

9) As a resident hunter, can I contract a hunt with a Big Game Outfitter-Guide and purchase a licence using one of his allocations?

Allocations can only be used to purchase a licence for someone who lives outside of Alberta.

10) I know there is a requirement to have insurance to hold an Outfitter-Guide Permit.  How much do I need and where do I get it from?

 You must hold at least $5 million of Commercial General Liability as well as a Deposit Indemnity Bond for $10,000.  If you are purchasing the insurance through your agent, the Commercial General Liability must cover outfitted hunting in Alberta.  The Bond is for the protection of client deposits that you receive.  Hub International has put together a group policy for APOS licenced Outfitter-Guides that includes the insurance and bond.

11) What is a Bird Game Addendum?

A Bird Game Addendum is a document the holder of a Bird Game Guide’s Designation must carry with him when guiding to identify the Outfitter-Guide he is working for and the Wildlife Management Units (WMUs) he is eligible to operate in.