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Terms of Engagement – Outfitter and Guide

25 April 2018

You may have wondered what is the difference between a “guided” hunting/fishing trip and an “outfitted” hunting/fishing trip. Unfortunately, there isn’t a truly cut and dried answer, but let’s see if we can add at least some level of clarity.

First let’s have a look based on pure definitions of the words, “guided” and “outfitted.”

A guided trip would be one on which you are accompanied and led in the field by a guide; that is a person who leads you to likely spots to find fish and game, advises you on techniques to take the animal or catch the fish, might even call for you or bait your hook, etc. However, a guide usually wouldn’t be responsible or hired to provide your accommodations or any of the equipment you need.

An outfitted trip would be one for which a person or a company – the outfitter – would provide the gear and accommodations you need to hunt/fish at are particular location. That might be tents, cots, packs, stoves, sleeping bags, canoes, etc. or it could be an equipped cabin or lodge etc. An outfitter might also provide a guide for hunting or fishing, but that’s not part of the pure definition of outfitting. Outfitters are frequently responsible for providing at last part of the transportation, where that would not be part of the responsibility of a pure “guide.”

In Quebec, non-resident hunters (those who are coming from outside the province) are required to employ the services of a licensed outfitter to hunt for moose, black bear or woodcock, unless they hunt within a wildlife reserve or a controlled wildlife management zone (ZEC). Outfitters who are members of the Quebec Outfitters Federation (QOF), offer both guided and unguided packages for fishing and for hunting, depending on the needs and desires of their clients.

The picture of what guiding and outfitting are is muddied because other places like Alaska use the terms differently and have different legal requirements for non-resident hunters. (In Alaska an “outfitter” is only allowed to provide transportation and accommodations, but not guiding services, and non-resident hunters for some animals are required to employ the service of a professional “guide.”)

Booking your Quebec outdoor adventure with a member of the QOF ensures that you’ll have the services required by law and the option to add-on services you want to make the trip everything that you want it to be.

By Bill Miller


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