Alberta Professional Outfitters Society

Outfitting in AB

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

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

No, you don't need to write a test to become a guide.  Before you can obtain a Big Game Guide’s Designation, you must be recommended by a currently licensed Big Game Outfitter-Guide in Alberta even if you have held a Big Game Guide’s licence in another jurisdiction. There is no requirement for a recommendation to hold a Bird Game Guide’s Designation.  The outfitter you will be working for can issue the Guide’s Designation.  

2) 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 a group policy for APOS members that includes the insurance and bond.

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

Working for an outfitter may be one of the most memorable experiences of your lifetime. Camp help, cooks, wranglers, guides – these folks all play a pivotal role in ensuring guests 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 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 he is working for and the Wildlife Management Units (WMUs) he is eligible to operate in.

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

While paid access (leasing) is a common practice in many countries, the practice is illegal in Alberta. 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.

6) 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.

You may contract a guide for guiding services using your resident hunting licence.

7) 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 balance the privilege Albertans enjoy. This government policy takes into consideration wildlife populations, resident demand, outfitter success, and other related factors. Opportunity varies by species and region. Currently, 92% of all those who hunt in Alberta are Albertan residents. The remainder are guests to our province who enjoy opportunities through a Hunter-Host or an outfitter and, in the case of  waterfowl hunters who choose to do so, on their own.

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

Alberta Fish and Wildlife manages harvest to provide a balance between resident and outfitted 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 and turkey), there is no outfitted hunting. For species where residents are on a limited draw entry outfitters 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.

9) How do Albertans benefit from the outfitting industry?

Wildlife is a renewable resource. Effective wildlife management requires a carefully planned harvest. The outfitted hunting industry generates yearly over $100 million of economic activity that benefits all Albertans, and over 2,000 people owe their jobs to the operational expenditures of outfitters. 

10) What issues are currently before the outfitting industry?

Our 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.