Deer in Spring Landscape

Waterfowl Outfitting and Guiding Permit/License

The Department recently finalized the regulations related to waterfowl outfitting and guiding. The regulations include definitions, application procedures, qualifications, restrictions while guiding, and record keeping requirements. These are the Application for a Waterfowl OutfitterApplication for a Waterfowl Guide, and two record-keeping forms (Field Record and Outfitter List) you will need to complete as described in the regulations. In addition, the following are answers to frequently asked questions concerning the new regulations.

Frequently Asked Questions About the Waterfowl Outfitting and Guiding Permit/License
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1. Who needs a waterfowl outfitter license?

An individual must possess a waterfowl outfitter license if the individual receives monetary compensation from hunters for providing personal guiding services to hunt wild waterfowl.

2. Who needs a waterfowl hunting guide license?

A waterfowl hunting guide is an employee of a waterfowl outfitter and is the individual that provides personal guiding services to hunters. These employees accompany hunters in the blind and perform activities that include calling, dispatching and retrieving downed waterfowl, controlling the times and zones of shooting, and the species and number of waterfowl taken.

3. What are the qualifications for a waterfowl outfitter license?

A Waterfowl Outfitter must be at least 18 years of age, possess a valid Maryland hunting license, and have one of following sources of experience:

  1. previously licensed by the Wildlife and Heritage Service as a Master Hunting Guide, or

  2. have been licensed by the Wildlife and Heritage Service as a waterfowl hunting guide for two seasons during which the applicant worked as a waterfowl hunting guide for a licensed waterfowl outfitter.

In addition, in the preceding 3-year period, the applicant may not have been convicted of two or more violations arising out of a separate set of circumstances of any state or federal migratory game bird laws or regulations pertaining to:

  1. hunting with the aid of bait,

  2. exceeding the daily bag limit,

  3. hunting with the aid of live decoys,

  4. violation of shooting hours,

  5. hunting during a closed season and

  6. waterfowl outfitting and guiding.

4. What are the qualifications for a waterfowl hunting guide license?

A Waterfowl Hunting Guide must be at least 16 years of age and possess a valid Maryland hunting license. In addition, in the preceding 3-year period, the applicant may not have been convicted of two or more violations arising out of a separate set of circumstances of any state or federal migratory game bird laws or regulations pertaining to:

  1. hunting with the aid of bait,

  2. exceeding the daily bag limit,

  3. hunting with the aid of live decoys,

  4. violation of shooting hours,

  5. hunting during a closed season and

  6. waterfowl outfitting and guiding.

5. Do hunting clubs need to have a licensed waterfowl outfitter and waterfowl hunting guides?

Hunting clubs are groups of individuals who pay dues to lease land to hunt wild waterfowl. A hunting club needs to have a persons licensed as a waterfowl outfitter and waterfowl hunting guides only if the hunting club provides its members with personal guiding services.

6. What restrictions are placed on waterfowl hunting guides while they are guiding a hunting party?

The only restrictions on waterfowl hunting guides while guiding a hunting party are:

  1. that they must possess a valid Maryland hunting license and

  2. while providing personal guiding services in either the Offshore Waterfowl or Sea Duck Hunting Zones, they must possess a valid U. S. Coast Guard Captain’s or Master’s license.

7. Does a licensed waterfowl outfitter also need to obtain a waterfowl hunting guide license before the outfitter may serve as a waterfowl hunting guide?

No, a person who is licensed as a waterfowl outfitter is also entitled to serve as a waterfowl hunting guide.

8. Does a waterfowl hunting guide need a valid U. S. Coast Guard Captain’s or master’s license to take parties out into the Sea Duck Zone or the Offshore Waterfowl Hunting Zone?

A waterfowl hunting guide, or a waterfowl outfitter performing the duties of a waterfowl hunting guide, must possess a valid Captain’s license or master license in order to take a person hunting in the Sea Duck Zone or the Offshore Waterfowl Hunting Zone.

9. What are the fees for a waterfowl outfitter license and a waterfowl hunting guide license?

The fee for a waterfowl outfitter license is $300 and the fee for a waterfowl hunting guide license is $50. The fees are set by the Maryland General Assembly.

Waterfowl Outfitting and Guiding Regulations

Application for a Waterfowl Outfitter

Application for a Waterfowl Guide

Field Record Form

Outfitter List of Waterfowl Hunting Guides Employed Form

If you have additional questions or comments, please contact:

Request by E-mail:
(include US Mailing Address)
customerservice.dnr@maryland.gov

Request by Phone:
(410) 260-8540
Toll-free in Maryland:
1-877-620-8DNR [8367], Extension 8540
TTY: Maryland Relay via 1-800-735-2258 or 711

Request by Mail:
Wildlife Permit Coordinator
MD DNR- Wildlife and Heritage Service
580 Taylor Ave., E-1
Annapolis MD 21401