Why Use a Permitted Outfitter?

Commercial recreation outfitters, tour operators and river guides must be licensed, bonded and insured to operate in the State of Idaho. In addition, commercial outfitters and guides (including non-profit organizations) must also have a special recreation permit to operate on BLM and National Forest public lands and related waters. A good place to start looking is the Idaho Outfitter and Guides Association website

Licensed and permitted Idaho recreation providers must meet all the required state and federal agency standards. A good reason for using an outfitter is that they will be familiar with regulations and laws of the local area in regards to hunting, fishing or other outdoor activities. Additionally by using a licensed and permitted guide, visitors can be assured that their guide has the professional knowledge and skills to offer a safe and enjoyable recreational experience.

If your outfitter, river guide, or other recreation commercial service provider is operating illegally, you run the risk of having your hunt or trip canceled in progress. If you are hunting or fishing, your fish or game can be confiscated if your outfitter or guide is arrested. Knowingly contracting with an illegal outfitter, river guide, or other service provider could result in felony convictions for all parties involved. You may not have legal recourse if you are injured or if your service provider does not provide the services you purchased.

Indications of Illegal providers:

  • You are not provided a written contract describing what services you purchased.
  • Service provider counsels you not to talk to State or Federal officers or asks you to say you're just friends or family hunting/fishing/recreating together.
  • Protect yourself and use a legal outfitter. If you have concerns that the outfitter is not licensed, verify your outfitter's license by contacting the Idaho Outfitter and Guide Licensing Board or call 208-327-7380. If any portion of your activity takes place on BLM or National Forest lands, contact the local BLM Field Office or Ranger District.

What Do You Do If You Find An Illegal Outfitter?

If You Suspect Illegal Outfitting Or Poaching Activity, follow these steps (you may remain anonymous): 

  • Gather as much information as possible. Write down who, what, when, and where.  Record the date, time, location information, vehicle license plate numbers, color, description, how many people, etc.
  • Report suspected illegal activities to your local BLM Field Office or USFS Ranger District.
  • If activity involves taking of game, call toll free Citizens Against Poaching: 1-800-632-5999 or visit the website.  
  • You may be entitled to a reward offered by Citizens Against Poaching.