Becoming A Licensed NH Guide
How to Get Certified as a Licensed NH Hunting or Fishing Guide
Guide License Applicants will find the following pertinent materials and a list of suggested readings to assist you in preparing for the New Hampshire Guide examinations. Applicants will need to have a working knowledge of the listed topics to be successful with the exams:
- New Hampshire Fish and Game laws pertaining to the taking, possession, and transportation of fish and/or wildlife in the State of New Hampshire
- New Hampshire Fish and Game laws pertaining to current bag limits on fish and/or wildlife in the State of New Hampshire
- Federal regulations pertaining to the taking, possession, and transportation of wildlife
- General knowledge of fish and/or wildlife management practices in the State of New Hampshire
- General knowledge of fish and/or wildlife life cycles
- Knowledge of the laws pertaining to guides and their clients
- General knowledge of the State of New Hampshire geography
- General knowledge of the flora and fauna of the state
- Knowledge of emergency first aid and CPR
- General knowledge of boating rules and regulations, available through the Department of Safety, Marine Division
To further assist you with some of the subject matters, we suggest you review the following:
New Hampshire Fish and Game Laws Title XVIII, Revised Statutes Annotated, RSA 206 through 215.
Fishes of New Hampshire, by John Scarola.
After reviewing these materials and when you feel comfortable with the subject matter, complete and mail an application to the New Hampshire Fish and Game Department, Law Enforcement Division. Do not include the license fee with the application. After we have completed all necessary criminal records checks, we will contact you by telephone to schedule your examinations. Upon successfully passing the exams, you may purchase your guide license through the Licensing Division.
If we can be of further assistance, or if you have further questions, please contact Law Enforcement at (603) 271-3127.
For information pertaining to the National Forest Outfitter Guide Permits, contact White Mountain National Forest at (603) 466-2713.
Testing procedures for applicants may take several months to complete. All new applicants must successfully pass a written examination with a passing grade of 75% and pass an oral board examination graded as pass or fail. Any applicant unsuccessful in passing the written examination shall be allowed to reapply for a retest after 60 days from the date of original examination. Any applicant failing a second written examination shall be allowed to reapply after 1 year.
All testing procedures are conducted at the New Hampshire Fish and Game Department’s Main Headquarters located at 11 Hazen Drive, Concord, New Hampshire.
The written guide exam dates are as follows:
- Application and all back up paperwork submitted between January 1, 2023 and January 30, 2023. Written Exam on February 27, 2023.
- Application and all back up paperwork submitted between June 1, 2023 and June 30, 2023. Written Exam on July 31, 2023.
In addition to passing the written and oral board examinations, each applicant shall have successfully completed and be currently certified in, at a minimum, a basic first aid course and basic CPR course which requires individuals to perform the practical skill in the course to be certified. First aid and CPR certifications from online courses will not be accepted. Only classroom-style first aid and CPR courses where physical demonstration of acquired skills (mandatory) will be accepted.
Applicants must be ready to identify various animals, birds and fish found in New Hampshire and have general knowledge as it relates to their biology. Other questions will be asked regarding safety, all watercraft regulations, handling of boats, canoes and kayaks, watercraft technology, rescue techniques, aids to navigation, navigation rules and map and compass. In addition hunting guide applicants must possess a valid hunter safety certification and a current hunting license; fishing guide applicants utilizing motorized boats require a commercial boat operators license from Marine Patrol and a current fishing license.
The following materials can be utilized as study guides in becoming a licensed New Hampshire Guide. These materials should be utilized as reference materials only:
- New Hampshire Hunting and Fishing Laws Digest or Laws Annotated and Fis
- New Hampshire Off-Highway Recreational Vehicle Laws Digest
- The Boater’s Guide of New Hampshire
- USDA/Guide Permits – Forest Service Fact Sheet
- Migratory Bird Hunting Regulations
- Outsmart Outback II (first aid procedures and backcountry skills)
- Fishes of New Hampshire by John Scarola
- The Peterson’s Field Guides
- Staying Found – The Complete Map and Compass Handbook by Jane Flemming
- The Essential Wilderness Navigator by David Seidman
- National Audubon Pocket Guides
- Le Master Method of Waterfowl Identification
- Birds of North America
- AMC River Guide
- LL Bean Guide to Canoeing by Ken Stone
- River Rescue by Leo Betchel and Slim Ray
- The Outdoor Leadership Handbook by Gil Gilpatrick
- Be An Expert With Map and Compass by Bjorn Kjellstrom
- You Are Alone in the Maine Woods – The Lost Hunter Guide
As part of the original application process, all applicants for a Guides License shall pass an oral board examination graded as pass or fail. The oral board examination will test an applicant's practical skills, knowledge, and abilities as it relates to the specific guide license requirements. Map and compass knowledge is a must for all guide license applicants. Applicants should also have knowledge as it relates to lost person techniques, survival, and first aid procedures.
Any applicant who fails the oral board examination shall be allowed to retest at the next available date scheduled by the New Hampshire Fish and Game Department. Oral board examinations shall be scheduled periodically throughout the calendar year. Please contact the Fish and Game Department for the next available date.
NOTE: New Hampshire Guides leading clients for hunting and or fishing activities in the White Mountain National Forest must be permitted by the Forest Service, please contact the United States Forest Service Headquarters in Campton, NH at (603) 536-6100 for more information.