A guide is a person at least 18 years of age who offers services for hire, part or all of which include directing, instructing, or aiding another individual in fishing, hunting, camping, hiking, whitewater rafting/canoeing/kayaking, or rock and ice climbing.
DEC’s Special Licenses Unit administers licensing of outdoor guides. Applicants need not be a resident of New York State to receive a guide’s license.
To provide enhanced access to examinations for applicants, DEC is offering licensed guide examinations online in 2022. Exam dates and application deadlines are:
- February 4th, 2022 – 8 am to 11 pm (Registration must be received by January 28, 2022)
- March 5th, 2022 – New York State Outdoor Guides Association (NYSOGA) meeting only (Registration must be received by February 26th, 2022). In addition, in-person examinations will be offered at the NYSOGA winter rendezvous on March 5th, 2022.
- April 8th, 2022 – 8 am to 11 pm (Registration must be received by April 1st, 2022)
- May 13th, 2022 – 8 am to 11 pm (Registration must be received by May 6th, 2022)
- June 17th, 2022 – 8 am to 11 pm (Registration must be received by June 10th, 2022)
- September 16th, 2022 – 8 am to 11 pm (Registration must be received by September 9th, 2022)
- October 14th, 2022 – 8 am to 11 pm (Registration must be received by October 7th, 2022)
The registration deadline for exams is seven days before the examination. Instructions and registration information about the exams can be found on DEC’s Licensed Guide Program webpage.
To register, visit the 2022 Licensed Guide Exams Registration website and follow the directions. Applicants will receive an email acknowledging registration, and an additional one-time link for use to access the website on the date of the exam. Upon successful completion of the exam(s), applicants will receive information on applying for the appropriate guide license, including an application form.
An outline of exam content and a study guide can be found on the DEC Licensed Guide Program webpage. The Fieldbook, a reference book published by the Boy Scouts of America, is also recommended and can be found at a local library or bookstore. A list of current New York State Licensed Guides is available online.
For questions or assistance, contact the Special Licenses Unit at NYS DEC Special Licenses Unit, 625 Broadway, Albany, NY 12233-4752; Phone: (518) 402-8985, Fax: 518-402-8925; Email: SpecialLicenses@dec.ny.gov.