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24.171.502    OUTFITTER QUALIFICATIONS

(1) An applicant for an outfitter license shall have the qualifications to provide all services and use all equipment necessary to provide the functions of an outfitter that the license will authorize the applicant to provide. In addition, the applicant shall have:

(a) for a fishing outfitter applicant:

(i) a minimum of three years and 120 days of verified experience as a licensed guide working for a licensed outfitter in this state, guiding clients and using methods for pursuing fish, reduced by no more than 50 experience days for any waiver or combination of waivers; or

(ii) a minimum of three years and 120 days of verified experience as a licensed outfitter, a licensed guide, or equivalent experience in another state guiding clients and using methods for pursuing fish reduced by no more than 50 experience days for any waiver or combination of waivers. All experience in this subsection is subject to board approval; or

(b) for all other applicants:

(i) 100 days of verified experience as a licensed guide working for a licensed outfitter in this state, guiding clients in pursuing the types of game and using methods for which licensure is sought by the applicant; or

(ii) 100 days of verified experience as a licensed outfitter, a licensed guide, or equivalent experience in another state guiding clients in pursuing the types of game and using the methods for which licensure is sought by the applicant. All experience in this subsection is subject to board approval.

(2) For purposes of this rule, verified experience includes:

(a)  written affirmation on forms prescribed by the department from a licensed outfitter(s) in this state by whom the applicant was employed or retained, attesting to guiding experience.  The written affirmation must quantify the number of guiding days the applicant earned while employed or retained by that outfitter; or

(b)  written affirmation on forms prescribed by the department from outfitter(s) or guides from other states or provinces by whom the applicant was employed, attesting to guiding experience.  The written affirmation must quantify the number of guiding days the applicant earned while under employment by that outfitter or guide; or

(c)  for applicants whose experience was gained in a state or province that does not license outfitters or guides, sources of information with board-acceptable guarantees of reliability which may include, but are not limited to, federal land agency records, client affidavits or letters or other client data, reports, recaps, or records with dates that confirm the number of guiding days claimed by the applicant.

(3) Three days of experience may be waived by the board for every day of training completed by the applicant at a department-approved outfitter or guide school. The maximum number of days of experience that may be waived is 30. All experience waivers are contingent upon the applicant completing the board's one-day education program. The department shall approve guide schools based on the following minimum criteria:

(a) The school must require written tests and participants must receive completion certificates.

(b) The school must include, at a minimum, instruction specific to adequate exposure to the knowledge needed to become an outfitter including but not limited to:

(i) advertising;

(ii) marketing and public relations;

(iii) maintaining rate and refund schedules;

(iv) client records and all paperwork for board and agency compliance;

(v) guiding techniques;

(vi) setting up of campsites;

(vii) practical woodsmanship;

(viii) knowledge of firearms;

(ix) field preparation of trophies;

(x) knowledge of equipment, terrain (including water bodies), and hazards to competently provide a safe experience for those persons guided;

(xi) board and other agency laws and requirements;

(xii) federal and state fish and game laws and regulations;

(xiii) knowledge of outfitting area;

(xiv) proper handling of all fish and game;

(xv) federal and Montana employment and wage requirements;

(xvi)  preservation of ecosystem and maintaining present quality of wildlife and environment; and

(xvii) protection of the health, safety, and welfare of clients, other employees, and the public.

(4) The board may waive up to 50 days of experience for an applicant if the applicant is purchasing an existing outfitter operation, is a family member being groomed for succession of an existing outfitter operation to take over as outfitter of record, or is a licensed outfitter seeking an additional license endorsement by applying to add new services to the operations plan. An applicant is not qualified for a waiver under this provision unless:

(a) the applicant receives preapproval from the board for a training and instruction plan documenting, on forms prescribed by the department, how and in what capacity the applicant will work with the licensed outfitter who is providing the training;

(b) the applicant:

(i) has entered into a sales agreement with the selling outfitter for the purchase of the operation;

(ii) is named by the family in a documented succession plan agreement; or

(iii)  is seeking operation plan expansion and has entered into a training and supervision agreement with a licensed outfitter;

(c) the applicant has entered into an agreement with the licensed outfitter that stipulates supervision of the applicant by the licensed outfitter during the 12-month period following board approval of the application. The licensed outfitter may assign or hire another licensed outfitter to provide training detailed within the training and supervision agreement;

(d) the licensed outfitter has a current, approved operations plan on file with the board;

(e) the applicant files an operations plan that is approved by the board; and

(f) the applicant has completed the board's one-day education program.

 

History: 37-1-131, 37-47-201, MCA; IMP, 37-1-131, 37-47-201, 37-47-302, 37-47-304, 37-47-307, 37-47-308, MCA; NEW, 1988 MAR p. 1666, Eff. 7/29/88; AMD, 1991 MAR p. 999, Eff. 6/28/91; AMD, 1992 MAR p. 2376, Eff. 10/30/92; AMD, 1996 MAR p. 668, Eff. 3/8/96; AMD, 2000 MAR p. 730, Eff. 3/17/00; TRANS, from Commerce, & AMD, 2006 MAR p. 324, Eff. 2/10/06; AMD, 2009 MAR p. 1406, Eff. 8/14/09; AMD, 2015 MAR p. 58, Eff. 1/30/15; AMD, 2015 MAR p. 1756, Eff. 10/16/15; AMD, 2016 MAR p. 1960, Eff. 10/29/16; AMD, 2017 MAR p. 1900, Eff. 10/14/17; AMD, 2021 MAR p. 1407, Eff. 10/23/21.

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