Board Information

Welcome to the Montana Board of Outfitters

301 S. Park Ave

PO Box 200513

Helena, MT 59620-0513

Web: www.outfitter.mt.gov.

Updated Outfitter Operation Plans Update

....Outfitters are required to submit an updated operations plan in 2017. . Please contact the department if you need assistance and they will assist you.

....Outfitters must have a new operation plan on record with the board prior to accessing and lands private or public this season....


2017 Fishing and Hunting Logs by Trip are available.

Department has worked with a group of dedicated outfitters to develop a template spread sheet that will allow outfitters to record activity by trip. The spreadsheet is available under the Forms section.

This is a master log designed to capture information for multiple data points for multiple agencies. 

All fields are not required but are available depending on a specific outfitter's operation plan. The spreadsheet will allow outfitters to sort and report to multiple agencies at the conclusion of the season. 

The spread sheet is color coded. Blue indicates data required for reporting to the Montana Board of Outfitters and green indicates data that may be required by another agency depending on an outfitters operation plan.

Data maintained on this spread sheet can be easily queried and reported to the correct agency at the conclusion of the season. 

Temporary Outfitter Guide Watercraft Identification

Please access the new online license management system to request purchase and print temporary Watercraft Identification Decals 

 

Contact Information

Board Management:
Steve Gallus, Executive Officer
Professional Licensing Bureau
Phone: (406) 841-2370
Email:

Filing a Complaint against a Licensee:
Rita Reichert, Compliance Specialist
Phone: (406) 841-2319
Email:

Continuing Education and Audits:
Phone: (406) 444-5696
Email:

Renewals, License Verifications, Name Changes and Watercraft ID stickers:
Phone: (406) 444-6880
Email:

Outfitter Applications and Licensing Contact:
Phone: (406) 444-5773
Email:

Guide Applications and Licensing contact:
Phone: (406) 444-5711
Email:

Board Events

Board meetings are usually held several times a year. Meeting minutes are posted within 3 days of board approval.

In general, Board meetings are open to the public.

There are certain meetings or parts (Screening Panel and Executive Session), which are closed to the public.

Scheduled and Proposed Meetings

Board Members

Board members are appointed by the Governor.
Members serve 3 year terms with no limit on the number of terms a member may serve.

Individual Board Members can be contacted by email at dlibsdout@mt.gov. In your message please specify which board member you would like to contact. For additional contact information and information on board member terms, please visit the Governor’s Office link for Board Members and Councils at http://boards.mt.gov.

Patrick Tabor, Big Game Outfitter
Fishing Outfitter  vacant position
Apply at: Office of the Governor Boards Councils and Commissions
Rob Arnaud, Hunting & Fishing Outfitter
John Way, Hunting & Fishing Outfitter
Hugo Tureck, Sportsperson
Tim Aldrich, Sportsperson
Timm Twardoski, Public Representative

Exam Information

Outfitter Written Licensing Examination

Outfitter License Exam Dates for 2017

Scheduled Exams will take place in Helena, MT

Montana Board of Outfitters
9:00 AM to 2:00 PM
Park Avenue Building
301 South Park, Helena, Montana

For information on Outfitter exam and licensing contact:
Telephone: (406) 841-2203
E-mail: DLIBSDLicensingUnitC@mt.gov

Montana Board of Outfitters, Outfitter License Exam

Wednesday, April 19, 2017, 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.
Park Avenue Building, Large Conference Room 4th Floor
301 South Park, Helena, Montana

Montana Board of Outfitters, Outfitter License Exam
Wednesday, October 18, 2017, 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.
Park Avenue Building, Large Conference Room 4th Floor
301 South Park, Helena, Montana

Training Class

Advanced Outfitter and Guide Training 2017

Wednesday - July 19, 2017 - Basement Conference Room
Class will begin at 9:00 A.M

Classes are held at 301 South Park Avenue, Helena MT 59601.


Wednesday - October 11, 2017 - Basement Conference Room
Class will begin at 9:00 A.M

Classes are held at 301 South Park Avenue, Helena MT 59601.


First Aid

Licensees who have proven by board record to have previously taken a hands on first aid course - may only utilize board approved on line First Aid classes at ProFirstAid.Com and AHA Heartsaver First Aid Course.

All first time applicants must take and provide certification of a hands on first aid course approved by the board.  You may contact the board office with questions regarding first aid courses approved by the board at 406-841-2300.

Please use the following link for information concerning: First Aid Providers, Exemptions, and Individual Courses

Watercraft Identification

Please visit https://ebiz.mt.gov/pol/ to request additional or replacement watercraft identification decals. You can order, pay and print temporary decals by selecting License Updates within the amendment record found in Professional and Occupational Licensing. You will be required enter a user name and password. 

2017 Operation Plan Update Instructions

Greetings from the Montana Board of Outfitters. The department has launched an enhanced online system to assist outfitters in maintaining their license. In the past, licensees have had the ability to apply for licensure and renew their licenses online and scan and upload limited documents to accompany the renewal process.  Now, registered system users can report and update all information required by the board and pay for licenses and additional processes in a single financial transaction.   Users may use the system at any time throughout the license year, as it becomes necessary to report or update information to the board.  Features include: 

  •  24-hour access to process land use registration and NCHU transfers
  •  Automated notice of expiring first aid, insurance, or coast guard certificates
  • Online purchase of watercraft identification decals and printing of temporary decals
  • Online calculation of guide experience
  • Online Logs with memory functions and multiple reports available for multiple purposes

IMPORTANT NOTE:   In order to convert to the new amendment record, each outfitter must register and enter their outfitter operations plans (legal descriptions of the operating area and proof of permissions) into the system by February 15, 2017. Updates on paper forms are accepted although it will be necessary to file your plan online for the automation and report options to work for your internal use. If you have any questions, please contact the Board office at (406) 841-2300.

Department staff will be available at the next regularly-scheduled conferences of the Montana Outfitter and Guides Association (scheduled for January 13-14, 2017) with computer access to help you register.  Staff will present at an upcoming Fishing Outfitters Association of Montana Event on March 17-18, 2017.  For access to your online accounts and to get started updating your information visit https://ebiz.mt.gov/pol/

First Aid Certification News for Outfitters and Guides

Licensees who have proven by board record to have previously taken a hands on first aid course - may now utilize the following board approved on line First Aid classes at ProFirstAid.Com:

ProFirstAid
ProFirstAid Basic
ProFirstAid Advanced

All first time applicants must take and provide certification of a hands on first aid course approved by the board.  You may contact the board office with questions regarding first aid courses approved by the board at 406-841-2300.

Lookup Licensed Individual

Licensee Lookup System

This site is a primary source for verification of license credentials.

The Montana Department of Labor and Industry, Business Standards Division, presents Licensee Lookup information as a service to the public. The Division relies upon information provided by licensees to be true and correct, as required by statute. It is an act of unprofessional conduct for a licensee knowingly to provide erroneous information to the Division.

The Department of Labor and Industry makes no warranty or guarantee concerning the accuracy or reliability of the content of this website. Assessing the accuracy and reliability of information obtained from this website is solely the responsibility of the user. If you have questions regarding information found within this Licensee Lookup website, please contact the specific licensing board directly.

Please note that some disciplinary actions against licensees may not appear immediately on the website. Appeals, effective dates of orders and other administrative processes may delay posting on the website. Please contact the specific licensing board directly if you require discipline information that occurred prior to July 1, 1996.

Download List of Licensees

License Download System

This service allows you to purchase complete lists of individuals, businesses, and contractors licensed with the State of Montana through the Business Standards Division.

Options include:

  • Creating a customized list of licensees by selecting board type, license type, license status, county, etc.;
  • Submitting payment for your list using a credit/debit card or registered user account
  • Downloading your list immediately, and if necessary, retrieving your list within 24-hours of purchase

Outfitter

The following outlines general licensing information. For specific information on filing an application, you will need to obtain the license application which includes a detailed listing of the requirements

 

A. Application Fee:

 

All Fees are Non-Refundable: $1800.00

 

B. Education Requirements: None

C. Experience Requirements:
Fishing outfitter applicants must have a minimum of three years and 120 days of verified experience as a licensed guide, guiding clients and using methods for pursuing fish, or equivalent experience as determined by the board. All other applicants must have 100 days of verified experience as a licensed guide, guiding clients in pursuing the types of game and using methods for which licensure is sought by the applicant, or equivalent experience as determined by the board.

D. Examination Information:
Exams are given on the second Tuesday in January, April and October in Helena, MT. Once the application is considered complete, the Board office will send written confirmation of the date and time the applicant is scheduled for the examination. Applicants may inquire regarding possible scheduling of examinations during interim periods.
 

E. Renewal Period: The Renewal period begins on November 1 and ends on December 31. To renew your existing license online click here. To download a current renewal form click here

F. Renewal Fee: $375.00

G. Continuing Education Requirements: Licensees are required to have current first aid certification at all times.

H. Other Special License Requirements: Extensive public and private land use reporting is required as is reporting of client activity at renewal. Requires a detailed Operations Plan and minimum liability insurance coverages on file with the board for license issuance and at all times actively licensed.

Guide

Guide

 

The following outlines general licensing information. For specific information on filing an application, you will need to obtain the license application which includes a detailed listing of the requirements.

A. Application Fee:

All Fees are Non-Refundable: $150.00

B. Education Requirements: none required

C. Outfitter Endorsement, Experience or Guide School for initial application required.

 

D. Renewal Period: The Renewal period begins on November 1 and ends on December 31. To renew your existing license online click here. To download a current renewal form click here

E. Renewal Fee: $150.00

F. Continuing Education Requirements: Licensees are required to have current first aid certification at all times.

All first time applicants must take and provide certification of a hands on first aid course approved by the board.  You may contact the board office with questions regarding first aid courses approved by the board at 406-444-5711.

 

 

Renewal Process

  1. The renewal deadline date (expiration date) for all Outfitter and Guides is December 31st of each year.
  2. Licenses issued 60 days prior to December 31st of each year will be given a renewal date of the following December 31st. (i.e. If license is issued November 15, 2017 the license will be given an expiration date of December 31st 2017, by which they need to renew.)
  3. Renewal opens 60 days prior to your expiration date. We encourage you to renew your license early in the renewal cycle.
  4. Please note that our online system is available 24/7 during the renewal cycle however, there is no staff available to assist you after 5:00 p.m. Waiting until the last hours to renew could mean that there is no one available to assist you and this may cause your renewal to accrue late fees.

Statue/Rule Information

All of the Statutes and Rules listed here are applicable to this board.

Statutes are laws passed by the Legislature. All changes in statutes must go through the legislative process and be passed into law before they become effective. Title 37, Chapter 1, Part 3 is the Uniform Regulatory Act passed by the Legislature in 1995. All professional and occupational licensing is covered in these statutes.

Administrative Rules pertaining to guiding and outfitting are written and adopted by the Board of Outfitters. The Board writes rules in order to administer the laws over which the Legislature has given the Board authority. Rules can be changed by going through the rule-making procedure. They do not go through the Legislative process. The Board of Outfitters continuously reviews rules to determine needed changes.

The Administrative Rules of Montana (ARM) at this site contain what should be the same text as the official version published by the Office of the Secretary of State. There is a possibility, however, that the content may vary from the official version. In addition, the format has been changed for viewing on this web site. A copy of the official ARM in official format can be obtained from the ARM Bureau of the Office of the Secretary of State by emailing SOSARM@mt.gov  A web version of the ARM published by the Secretary of State can be viewed at Secretary of State's Administrative Rules of Montana.

Administrative Rules

Rules Notices

In the matter of the amendment of ARM 24.171.408 outfitter records, 24.171.412 safety and first aid provisions, 24.171.413 watercraft identification, 24.171.502 outfitter qualifications, 24.171.504 successorship, 24.171.505 fishing outfitter operations plan, 24.171.520 operations plans and amendments, and 24.171.2101 renewals

MAR Notice No. 24-171-37

In the matter of the amendment of ARM 24.171.401 fees, 24.171.408 outfitter records, 24.171.413 watercraft identification, 24.171.502 outfitter qualifications, 24.171.505 fishing outfitter operations plan, 24.171.507 outfitter examination, 24.171.520 operations plans and amendments, 24.171.2101 renewals, 24.171.2301 unprofessional conduct and misconduct, and the repeal of 24.171.702 transfer of river-use days

NOTICE OF PUBLIC HEARING ON PROPOSED AMENDMENT AND REPEAL

NOTICE OF AMENDMENT AND REPEAL

Effective October 29, 2016

In the matter of the amendment of ARM 24.101.402 definitions and 24.101.403 administrative fees, and the repeal of 24.101.401 purpose, 24.101.407 licensing, and 24.101.414 renewal notification

NOTICE OF PUBLIC HEARING ON PROPOSED AMENDMENT AND REPEAL

NOTICE AMENDMENT AND REPEAL

Effective October 16, 2015

In the matter of the amendment of ARM 24.171.401 fees, 24.171.407 inspection, 24.171.408 outfitter records, 24.171.412 safety provisions, 24.171.413 watercraft identification, 24.171.501 application for outfitter license, 24.171.502 outfitter qualifications, 24.171.504 successorship, 24.171.507 outfitter examination, 24.171.520 amendment to operations plan, 24.171.601 guide qualifications, 24.171.602 guide license, 24.171.701 NCHU categories, transfers, and records, 24.171.2101 renewals, and 24.171.2301 unprofessional conduct, the adoption of NEW RULE I booking agents and advertising, NEW RULE II outfitter assistants, and NEW RULE III nonroutine applications, and the repeal of ARM 24.171.402 effect of fee for expansion of net client hunter use, and 24.171.503 outfitter application

CORRECTED NOTICE OF
AMENDMENT, ADOPTION, AND REPEAL

NOTICE OF PUBLIC HEARING ON PROPOSED AMENDMENT, ADOPTION, AND REPEAL
posted October 09, 2014

NOTICE OF AMENDMENT, ADOPTION AND REPEAL
posted January 22, 2015

In the matter of the adoption of NEW RULE I military training or experience

NOTICE OF PUBLIC HEARING ON
PROPOSED ADOPTION

posted March 21, 2014

AMENDED NOTICE OF PUBLIC
HEARING ON PROPOSED
ADOPTION

posted May 2, 2014

NOTICE OF ADOPTION
posted October 23, 2014

In the matter of the amendment of ARM 24.101.413 renewal dates and requirements, 24.171.401 fees, 24.171.408 outfitter records, 24.171.701 NCHU categories, transfers, and records, 24.171.2101 renewals, the adoption of NEW RULE I incomplete outfitter and guide license applications, and the repeal of 24.171.409 guide to hunter ratio and 24.171.605 provisional guide license

NOTICE OF PUBLIC HEARING ON PROPOSED AMENDMENT, ADOPTION, AND REPEAL
posted October 18, 2012

AMENDED NOTICE OF PUBLIC HEARING ON PROPOSED AMENDMENT, ADOPTION, AND REPEAL
posted October 18, 2012

NOTICE OF AMENDMENT, ADOPTION, AND REPEAL
posted April 19, 2013

In the matter of the adoption of NEW RULE I registration for out-of-state volunteer professionals NOTICE OF PUBLIC HEARING ON PROPOSED ADOPTION
posted November 7, 2011

NOTICE OF ADOPTION
posted January 27, 2012

In the matter of the amendment of ARM 24.171.401 fees, 24.171.408 outfitter records, 24.171.412 safety provisions, 24.171.512 inactive license, 24.171.602 guide license, 24.171.701 determination of client hunter use, 24.171.2101 renewals, and the adoption of NEW RULES I and II web site posting and successorship

NOTICE OF PUBLIC HEARING ON PROPOSED AMENDMENT AND ADOPTION
posted July 8, 2011

NOTICE OF AMENDMENT AND ADOPTION
posted October 11, 2011

In the matter of the amendment of ARM 24.101.403 fees, 24.101.413 renewal dates and requirements, and 24.171.401 fees

NOTICE OF PUBLIC HEARING ON PROPOSED AMENDMENT
posted July 13, 2010

NOTICE OF AMENDMENT
posted October 8, 2010

 

In the matter of the amendment of ARM 24.171.401 fees, 24.171.412 safety provisions, 23.171.2301 unprofessional conduct and misconduct, the adoption of NEW RULE I provisional guide license, and the repeal of 24.171.604 emergency guide license

NOTICE OF PUBLIC HEARING ON PROPOSED AMENDMENT, ADOPTION, AND REPEAL
posted June 18, 2010

NOTICE OF AMENDMENT, ADOPTION, AND REPEAL
posted August 20, 2010

In the matter of the amendment of ARM 24.171.602 guide or professional guide license, 24.171.604 emergency guide license, 24.171.2301 unprofessional conduct, and the adoption of NEW RULE I guide to hunter ratio

NOTICE OF PUBLIC HEARING ON PROPOSED AMENDMENT AND ADOPTION
posted September 21, 2009

NOTICE OF AMENDMENT AND ADOPTION
posted March 5, 2010

 

In the matter of the amendment of ARM 24.171.401 fees, 24.171.502 qualifications, and the adoption of NEW RULE I pertaining to outfitters

NOTICE OF PUBLIC HEARING ON PROPOSED AMENDMENT AND ADOPTION
posted February 20, 2009

NOTICE OF AMENDMENT AND ADOPTION
posted August 11, 2009

 

In the matter of the adoption of NEW RULE I pertaining to licensee lookup database

NOTICE OF PUBLIC HEARING ON PROPOSED ADOPTION
posted January 23, 2009

NOTICE OF ADOPTION
posted July 10, 2009

Statutes

Complaint Information

/Portals/133/Documents/Complaint%20Process%20FAQs%2012-2016.pdf

It is the policy, intent, and purpose of the Board of Outfitters to provide quality regulatory functions and services to the profession it regulates and the public in order to promote, maintain, and preserve an ever-improving high degree of competence in the profession, satisfaction in the public, and an everlasting environment in which the profession operates.

In order to meet its mission, the Board is charged with taking appropriate action for Unprofessional Conduct and Misconduct. You can learn more about the complaint process or file a complaint with the Board here.

Complaint Contact

Rita Reichert, Compliance Specialist
Telephone: (406) 841-2319
E-mail: dlibsdcomplaints@mt.gov
 
Complaint Process
Complaint Form
Complaint Process FAQ

 

How to File a Complaint

The Department is charged with regulating professions and occupations for the protection of the public as a whole. Although the Department does not represent individuals filing complaints, the Department will review complaints in a timely manner to ensure a complaint is processed and that the Board will take appropriate action.

The length of time for resolution of a complaint is impossible to estimate due to the various complexities presented in individual complaints.

The following types of complaints may be filed:

  • Unprofessional conduct by a licensee;
  • Unprofessional conduct by a license applicant;
  • Unlicensed practice of the profession or occupation.

If an individual is unsure of what constitutes unprofessional conduct and needs a description of the various types, reference to Montana statutes and rules will provide an answer. These are found at your local public library or at the appropriate board site on this web page.

Drop Off or Mail to:
"Name of the Board or Program the complaint pertains to"
Business Standards Division
301 South Park, 4th Floor
PO Box 200514
Helena, MT 59620-0514

The Complaint Process

Business Standards Division

This process is used for the Boards that are administered in the Business Standards Division. 
The various Programs administered in the Division use a similar process.

Frequently Asked Questions about Complaint Process

IMPORTANT

When filing or responding to a complaint, be as thorough as possible. You may attach additional documents to the complaint form to ensure that all pertinent information has been included. The Screening Panel meeting is NOT a hearing, but is a time for the panel to consider the complaint and response. Attendance is your choice. If you attend the panel may ask additional questions. Please notify this office prior to the meeting if you plan to attend.

After a complaint has been filed against a licensed individual...

The Compliance Office will send a letter of acknowledgment to the person who filed the complaint (Complainant), and a letter requesting a response (with a copy of the complaint) to the licensee against whom the complaint was filed.

The Licensee may submit a written response addressing the complaint to the Compliance Office. The process continues whether or not a response is submitted. The Complainant is not entitled to a copy of the response.

The Compliance Office will notify the Licensee and Complainant regarding the date and time of any meeting during which the case will be discussed.

Complaints remain confidential unless a Notice of Proposed Board Action is issued, which is a public document along with all subsequent legal filings.

MEETINGS 
Closed Meeting - During a Closed Meeting only the Licensee, the Complainant, and/or attorneys for either can be in attendance. Minutes of Closed Meetings are not public documents.

Open Meeting - A public meeting which anyone can attend. The minutes of Open meetings are public documents and made available online via the specific Board’s webpage.
(Adjudication Panel meetings are usually open.)

Individuals may attend a meeting in person or by telephone. Please notify this office prior to the meeting if you plan to attend the meeting.

SCREENING PANEL

Screening PanelA committee comprised of members of the Board. The Screening Panel’s function is to determine the preliminary action(s) to take on a complaint. Possible preliminary actions include dismissal, investigation, or a finding of Reasonable Cause.

The complaint and response (if any) are submitted to the Screening Panel members. The Screening Panel meeting is not a hearing, but rather a committee meeting to review and discuss the complaint and response to determine if disciplinary action is warranted.

DISMISSAL

If the Screening Panel dismisses a complaint, the complaint can be dismissed with or without prejudice (see definitions below).

Dismissal With Prejudice - The complaint is dismissed and cannot be considered by the Screening Panel in the future.

Dismissal Without Prejudice - The complaint is dismissed but may be considered by the Screening Panel in the future if there are ever allegations of a similar nature.

INVESTIGATION

Only a member of the Screening Panel can request an investigation of a complaint. If an investigation is requested by the Screening Panel, the case is assigned to an investigator who may request an interview with the Licensee, the Complainant, and/or other individuals. Upon completion of the investigation, a written report is submitted to the Screening Panel, which will then determine if there is Reasonable Cause to proceed with disciplinary action.


REASONABLE CAUSE

Reasonable Cause - A finding by the Screening Panel that evidence exists that a violation of statutes and rules has occurred which warrants proceeding with disciplinary action.

If Reasonable Cause is found, the Department Counsel issues a Notice of Proposed Board Action (Notice) to the Licensee. Once a Notice is issued, it is public information. A proposed Stipulation may be included with the Notice.

Notice - A legal document from the Department’s Legal Counsel which sets forth the Department’s factual assertions, the statutes or rules relied upon, and advising the licensee of the right to a hearing.

Stipulation - A tentative agreement for settlement of the case. A Stipulation is not finalized until approved by the Adjudication Panel. 

The Licensee may either sign the Stipulation or contest the proposed action by requesting an administrativeHearing (a legal process before a Hearing Examiner). If the Licensee wishes to request a hearing, written request must be received within twenty (20) days from receipt of the Notice. Failure to either sign a Stipulation or request a hearing within twenty (20) days may result in the issuing of a Final Order of Default against the licensee.

Default - the licensee’s acceptance of the disciplinary action demonstrated by failing to participate in the process

ADJUDICATION PANEL

Adjudication Panel - A committee comprised of members of the Board who are  NOT on the Screening Panel. The Adjudication Panel determines the final outcome of a case.

The Adjudication Panel reviews the record to determine appropriate sanctions. A Final Order is issued by the Adjudication Panel, completing the complaint process.


COMPLAINT PROCESS FLOW

1


Current license status and information regarding disciplinary action(s) against
a licensee can be accessed online at:
https://ebiz.mt.gov/pol/

Unlicensed Practice Complaint Process

Department of Labor & Industry - Business Standards Division

PO Box 200513, Helena, MT 59620-0513

When a complaint or other information is received alleging possible unlicensed practice...

  • (If the allegation is not made in the form of a formal written complaint, a complaint form is completed by the Department and a complaint number is assigned.)
  • A copy of the complaint and a request for a written response are mailed to the person against whom the complaint was filed (Respondent).
  • A written acknowledgment that the complaint has been received is mailed to the person who filed the complaint (Complainant)
  • The respondent may submit a letter of response to the complaint. If a written response is not submitted, the complaint process continues without a response.
  • The complainant and the respondent are sent written notify cation of the date, time, and location of any meeting at which the complaint will be discussed.

The Board Meeting

  • Unlicensed Practice complaints are addressed by the Full Board in executive session (meaning closed to the public). Board meetings are open to the public unless the chairperson determines an individual’s right to privacy outweighs the public’s right to know. If so, that portion of the meeting will be closed to the public (only the respondent, complainant, and legal counsel for each (if any) may be present).
  • The complaint and response (if any) are provided to the board members prior to an upcoming board meeting for their review. The board meeting is not a hearing, but rather a meeting at which the information provided is considered and discussed by the board.

DISMISSAL

  • If the board dismisses a complaint, the complaint can be dismissed with or without prejudice.
  • Dismissal With Prejudice-The complaint is dismissed and cannot be considered in the future.
  • Dismissal Without Prejudice-The complaint is dismissed but may be considered by the board in the future if there are ever allegations of a similar nature.

INVESTIGATION

  • The board can request an investigator be assigned to gather additional information surrounding the allegations made in the complaint. This may involve interviews with the respondent, the complainant, and possible witnesses.
  • After the investigation has been completed, an investigative report is prepared and presented to the board for consideration at a subsequent meeting.
  • Following the board’s review of the investigative report, a determination is made to either dismiss the complaint or take action in the form of a Cease and Desist or an Injunction.

CEASE & DESIST / INJUNCTION

  • The board may issue a Cease & Desist or seek an Injunction.
  • Cease & Desist–A letter from the administrative agency prohibiting a person or business from doing or continuing to do a certain activity.
  • Injunction-A writ granted by a court prohibiting a person or business from doing or continuing to do a certain activity.

For more information, contact DLI Business Standards Division at 406-841-2300

FAQ

No, there is no instant reciprocity granted for licensure as an outfitter. An applicant may be able to obtain credit towards the experience requirement for Montana only if the documentation coming from the state in which the applicant is licensed is of sufficient detail to determine that Montana requirements are met. ARM 24.171.502 requires a minimum of three years and 120 days of verified experience as a licensed outfitter in another state guiding clients and using methods for pursuing fish, subject to approval by the board, reduced by no more than 50 experience days for any waiver or combination of waivers. For all other applicants, 100 days of verified experience in another state guiding clients in pursuing the types of game and using the methods for which licensure is sought by the applicant, subject to approval by the board, reduced by no more than 80 experience days for any combination of waivers. Assessments will be only be made of the applicants experience in another state as a licensed outfitter, a licensed guide, or equivalent experience as determined by the board. All experience in this subsection is subject to board approval.

You may submit application and supporting documents subject to approval by the board and subject to all rules regarding experience requirements.

 

The Montana Board of Outfitters (MBO), sets experience, qualification, and testing requirements for licensing outfitters.  Guides are licensed via experience, education, or qualifiaction and must initially be sponsored by a licensed outfitter. All applicants must be 18 years of age, possess a Montana FWP Conservation License, and a valid hands on first aid certification from a board approved course for initial licensure.

 

 

No.

Board Rule requires logs to include;
(a) the outfitter's name and license number;
(b) each client's name and automated licensing system number;
(c) dates of service to clients;
(d) big game animals taken by clients, specifying the species and sex of each big game animal and stating for each big game animal whether it was taken on public or private land within the outfitter's operations plan;
(e) districts hunted and water bodies, including section of a river or stream, fished by clients;
(f) category of NCHU applicable for each client; and
(g) the name of the outfitter assistant or the name and license number of the guide who accompanied the client.

Statistics sheets are not required for hunting or fishing activity.

Outfitters are not required to send in all supporting documents for Land Use. Outfitters are required to have on file with the board an updated Operations Plan that includes a summarization of land use. The summarization will include a listing of all public lands and necessary requirements for all private lands by outfitting type fishing or hunting. The most effective method to complete this requirement is for outfitters to update their operation plan online via the amendment record accessed through the departments Ebiz portal.

Outfitters are required to send copies of certificates of insurance and first aid.

Outfitters shall maintain current, true, complete, and accurate records, submit the records to the board as required by administrative rule, and make the records available at all times at the outfitter's main base camp or business office:

Proof of First Aid and Certificate of Insurance is required for renewal. Changes in law and rule have streamlined many other reporting requirements.

Outfitter records shall be maintained on forms prescribed by the department and shall contain information as required by the board in addition to information for operations plans under ARM 24.171.520

24.171.520 OPERATIONS PLANS AND AMENDMENTS (1) An operations plan is prepared by the outfitter and submitted to the board and consists of the following:
(a) an affidavit by the outfitter to the board that the amount and kind of equipment that is owned, leased, or contracted for by the applicant is sufficient and satisfactory for the services advertised or contemplated to be performed by the applicant;
(b) for fishing outfitters, a summarization of the boundaries of the outfitter's operation, provided in the following terms, except as otherwise provided in ARM 24.171.505:
(i) the name of each water body, including the section of each river or stream, that may be utilized by the applicant while providing services;
(ii) a description of private land, by name of ranch and county where located, over which access is allowed; and
(iii) an affidavit by the outfitter to the board that the outfitter is in possession of any public land permits or licenses properly executed for federal or state public property where the outfitter is authorized to operate;
(c) for hunting outfitters a summarization of the locations and boundaries of the outfitter's operation, which is where the outfitter is authorized to operate, provided in the following terms:
(i) the name of each public land agency or owner of private property;
(ii) contact information for the owner or the agent of each private property where the outfitter is authorized to operate, including, but not limited to, the owner's or agent's phone number and address;
(iii) total acreage on a per-owner basis of the private land where the outfitter is authorized to operate for any duration of time and for any species of game; and
(iv) the legal description of the private acreage where the outfitter is authorized to operate, either by geo-code number assigned by the Montana Department of Revenue, or by aliquot parts. If less than the entire section or parcel is reported, then the boundary shall be described down to the quarter-quarter section or the government lot number;
(d) the number of NCHU per category; and
(e) an affidavit by the outfitter to the board that the outfitter possesses public land permits or licenses properly executed for federal or state public property where the outfitter is authorized to operate.
(2) An outfitter may amend the operations plan on record by adding or subtracting any additional or replacement information and submitting the updated plan to the board, except that when adding a service identified in (5), the outfitter must apply for an amendment to the outfitter's operations plan by stating in writing the proposed changes and submitting it to the board, along with the fee required in ARM 24.171.401.

(3) As part of renewal, each outfitter shall attest that all lands information required as part of the outfitter's operations plan on file with the board is current and accurate.
(4) Whenever the outfitter gains permission to use additional private or public property, the outfitter shall update the operations plan the earlier of:
(a) the end of the license year during which the outfitter first became authorized to use it, and
(b) before actually using it.
(5) All amendments will be considered by the board using the same criteria as new applicants, including being required to take those parts of the outfitter examination that apply to the proposed amendment, if an outfitter is applying to add the following to the operations plan:
(a) hunting;
(b) fishing;
(c) watercraft used for fishing or hunting;
(d) upland game bird;
(e) waterfowl; or
(f) saddle or pack animal use.

 

No. The Board no longer has the legal authority to issue more NCHU. The only manner that an outfitter can acquire initial or additional NCHU is by purchasing from an existing NCHU holder. A substantially streamlined method has been developed and is available online to allow a transfer of NCHU from one licensee to another. The Board will be the Official record keeper of which licensed outfitters own NCHU, under which categories and specific amounts. No authorization by the Board for transfer is required other than the person receiving NCHU must be a licensed outfitter.

 

No. While it is true that only licensed outfitters can legally provide hunting and or fishing services for remuneration, the rule is not intended to imply that they are the only individuals that can take payment on behalf of their organization. The Board recognizes that many outfitters hire agents, guides, employee, reservationists, etc., to assist in the conduct of the business, and the collection of client receipts on behalf of the outfitter’s business is not considered a violation of board rule.

 

No. While ARM 24.171.2301 does require that the outfitter “set all contract terms and conditions with clients”, it does not specifically indicate that the contract be in writing. Under common law, contracts can be and often are verbal.

Not to customers directly, but a guide can advertise to potential endorsing outfitters in order to solicit more opportunities to obtain guide days. It is important for guides to recognize that under Montana Outfitter statutes and rules, only outfitters are deemed to “have” clients. While you may have serviced specific customers over several years, they are deemed clients of the outfitter that reports their service on his or her respective client logs and therefore are not the guide’s clients. If a guide desires to actual “have” their own clients, they would need to become a licensed outfitter.

 

Montana law defines an independent contractor as: "an individual who renders service in the course of an occupation and: (a) has been and will continue to be free from control or direction over the performance of the services, both under a contract and in fact, and (b) is engaged in an independently established trade, occupation, profession, or business."

 

Use this Independent contractor exemption certificate application to apply as a sole proprietor or contact the Independent Contractor Central Unit, (406) 444-9029, for an application. NOTE: For a corporate officer or manager of a manager managed corporation, check the FAQ "What is the 'Limited Liability Corporation' exemption from Workers' Compensation? The application is in three parts: An 'application' form (a questionnaire that you MUST sign in front of a Notary Public - usually at your bank or credit union) outlining your business structure (most guides are Sole Proprietors), your 'profession or trade' (fishing guide), and other information. NOTE: Line 3 of the 'application' says "I am providing documentation . . . etc. The new IC system requires you to submit proof that you operate an independent business and uses a point system to gauge whether you meet legal requirements. The simplest way to make sure you have the minimum number of points (15) is to send three items along with your application:

A copy of your guide or outfitter license (3 points)
A copy of your liability insurance (6 points)
A list of your equipment (boat(s), trailer, oars, life vests, etc.) with approximate dollar value (6 points)
A waiver form of workers' compensation benefits that must be initialed at each paragraph, then signed in front of a notary.
Gather all the parts and documentation required, then send the whole bundle with the $125 fee to:

MT Dept. Labor & Industry, Employment Relations Division Independent Contractor
Central Unit P.O. Box 8011 Helena MT 59604-8011

NOTE: It typically takes the IC Unit less than a week to issue an ICEC; in most cases, they mail out the ICEC within 2 to 3 days of receiving an application.

 

Issuance of Independent Contractor Exemption Certificate (ICEC) to independent contractors in their own independently established businesses that have elected to not cover themselves under a Montana workers​’ compensation insurance policy.

Contact 406-444-9029

 

Work Comp laws at 39-71-417 MCA state:

A person who regularly and customarily performs services at a location other than the person's own fixed business location shall apply to the department for an independent contractor exemption certificate unless the person has elected to be bound personally and individually by the provisions of compensation plan No. 1, 2, or 3. Since most guides and outfitters work away from their 'place of business', they are covered by this section of law. However, the law goes on to say:

An officer or manager who is exempt may apply, but is not required to apply, to the department for an independent contractor exemption certificate.

An officer of a quasi-public or a private corporation or a manager of a manager-managed limited liability company who qualifies under one or more of the following provisions:

The officer or manager is not engaged in the ordinary duties of a worker for the corporation or the limited liability company and does not receive any pay from the corporation or the limited liability company for performance of the duties; The officer or manager is engaged primarily in household employment for the corporation or the limited liability company; the officer or manager either:

Owns 20% or more of the number of shares of stock in the corporation or owns 20% or more of the limited liability company; or Owns less than 20% of the number of shares of stock in the corporation or limited liability company if the officer's or manager's shares when aggregated with the shares owned by a person or persons listed in subsection (2)(r)(iv) total 20% or more of the number of shares in the corporation or limited liability company; or The officer or manager is the spouse, child, adopted child, stepchild, mother, father, son-in-law, daughter-in-law, nephew, niece, brother, or sister of a corporate officer who meets the requirements of subsection.

For more information Montana Secretary of State (406) 444.2034

Download copies of the Limited Liability Corporation Articles of Organization

Yes. Under current Administrative Rules, candidates can seek to have days of experience waived under two methods: 1. Completion of an approved guide school program yielding 3 days of waived experience for every day of completed program to a maximum of 30 days, and up to 50 days waived of experience based on the submittal and approval of a 12 month Supervision Plan between a buyer and seller of an outfitting business, and the subsequent approved completion of the plan. These options are specifically described at ARM 24.171.502. Please note that for applicants seeking a fishing endorsement, days of experience cannot be reduced by more than 50 experience days for any waiver or combination of waivers. For all other applicants, up to 80 days of experience may be waived using the combination of waivers.

 

If the routine license application was submitted within the 15 day period without deficiency in required information, then the outfitter assistant can continue to provide services until the Board has issued the respective guide license.

 

Click here to view FAQ regarding the Department of Labor and Industry administrative suspension process adopted by the board.