Outfitting in Alberta

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

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

No, you currently do not need to write a test to become a guide. However, before you can obtain a big game guide’s designation, you must be recommended by a currently licensed big game outfitter in Alberta unless you have held a big game guide’s licence in another province or territory. There is no requirement for an outfitter recommendation to obtain a bird game guide’s designation. The outfitter you will be working for can issue the guide’s designation.

2) How much insurance do I need to hold as an outfitter, and where do I get it?

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 protects the client deposits that you receive. Hub International has a group policy for APOS members that includes the insurance and bond.

3) How can I get a job in a hunting camp?

Working for an outfitter may be one of the most memorable experiences of your life. Camp help, cooks, wranglers, and guides all play pivotal roles in ensuring guests enjoy their Alberta experience. Outfitters are always looking for hardworking people with enthusiasm, integrity, and people skills. Please click here for more information.

4) What is a bird game addendum?

A bird game addendum is a document that the holder of a bird game guide’s designation must carry when guiding. This identifies 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?

No. Paid access is a common practice in many other countries, but it is illegal in Alberta. No one is allowed to pay a landowner for access, and a landowner is not allowed to solicit or receive payment for access.

6) As a resident hunter, can I contract a hunt with a big game outfitter and purchase a licence using one of his allocations?

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

As a resident of Alberta, you may contract an outfitter for guiding services using your resident hunting licence.

7) How does government manage the number of hunting guests to the province from other jurisdictions?

Non-resident Canadians and non-resident aliens must use the services of an outfitter. This helps ensure that guests to the province enjoy our abundant wildlife in accordance with our laws and regulations.

The Government of Alberta uses an Outfitter Policy to balance the privilege that Albertans enjoy with economic benefits to the province. Hunting opportunity varies by species and region. Currently, 92% of all those who hunt in Alberta are residents of the province. The remainder are guests to our province who enjoy big game hunting opportunities, either through a hunter-host or an outfitter. Non-residents can come to Alberta to hunt waterfowl without an outfitter.

8) Does outfitting have an impact on resident hunting opportunities?

Alberta Fish and Wildlife manages the harvest to provide a balance between resident and outfitting opportunities. Their management policy considers resident demand, population estimates, harvest rates, draw success, etc., in making decisions about the allocation between user groups. Where resident opportunities are very restricted, such as goats and turkey, there is no outfitting. 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. Professional outfitting generates over $100 million of economic activity each year, supporting over 2,000 jobs and bringing tourism into rural Alberta.