Looking to pass the state exam for new guides? Most applicants do not pass on their first attempt! The failure rate is well over 50%. The state is looking for specific knowledge from their new guides...so even if you have spent a lifetime in the outdoors, you may miss the information that they are specifically looking for. We will prepare you fully for this test, and will be there to assist you until the patch is yours!
Registered Maine Guides Michael Tuminaro and David Tyrol instruct this course in a fun, hands-on fashion. Their job is to make you feel comfortable in the classroom and present an interesting and engaging class that will fully prepare you for your testing process and guiding clients in the field afterwards. Mike and Dave are not just teachers, they're also fully functioning professional Maine guides who spend many days each year in the field guiding clients. These guides also teach police officers, corrections officers and first responders at the Maine Criminal Justice Academy in Vassalboro, ME. When it comes to experience with emergency response, thinking under pressure, safety with firearms, or running a successful guide service, you could not be in better hands. Without a doubt, you'll be prepared for your test!
Our classes are usually held at the Sportsman's Alliance of Maine located in Augusta, ME. This beautiful facility includes not only the classrooms, but also over 100 acres of trails, trout ponds, shooting ranges for archery and firearms, and much more! During our Maine Guide School we'll utilize a variety of lecture and PowerPoint presentations, hands-on learning, videos and outdoor exercises to make sure that you're 100% ready to pass your test and function competently as a guide. Because passing your test is paramount to us, we will be with you throughout the entire testing process, to ensure that you successfully walk out of your test with a guide patch.
You'll be fully prepared for your testing process with the IF&W, whether you're looking for a certification as a hunting, fishing or recreational guide. We'll let you know what you'll encounter during your test day and how to successfully navigate both the written, oral and map and compass portions. We regularly consult with IF&W to make sure that we're teaching consistently with the knowledge base that they'd like to see in their guides.
What You'll Learn:
Map and Compass Skills
Map and compass skills are essential to safely navigating in the outdoors. We will make sure that you're ready to read topographic maps, plot routes, account for magnetic deviation, and utilize a compass in the real world. This portion of the guide's tests accounts for many failures, so we want to make sure you're ready to perform on your test day.
IF&W requires those looking to become Registered Maine Guides to have a working knowledge of not just Maine's game species, but also plants, animals and trees. We'll be covering game animals such as big game, small game, waterfowl and fish, plants and tree species commonly encountered while out in Maine's woods and on the waters.
Law and Regulations- Hunting, Fishing and Boating
How big does a brown trout need to be to harvest from a northern lake vs. a southern river? What equipment do you need on a 16-foot boat with a motor? You'll be prepared for these types of questions and more involving:
We'll prepare you to know how to safely operate a boat in Maine's waters, whether it's a canoe in a small river or a bass boat in a large lake. You'll be earning your Maine Boat Operator's license with your guide's license, so you'll need to know safety gear, man-overboard response, lighting, PFDs, alcohol and much more.
Response in Emergency Situations/Catastrophic Events
The IF&W test administrators will be presenting you with a “catastrophic” or “lost person” scenario. This seems to be the most intimidating part of the testing process to most people. The state test administrators want to make sure that you're prepared for these situations and can think clearly under pressure and keep your clients safe. We can help take the stress out of this part of the process and prepare you to answer their tough questions calmly and confidently.
Whether it is safety with firearms in the woods or in keeping your clients safe on the waterways, our Maine Guide School will prepare you to keep yourself and your clients safe and happy on your excursions.
Starting a Business & Marketing
If you are looking to work for an established operation or start your own business, we'll give you the advice you need to start your career as a Registered Maine Guide. Topics include legal paperwork for starting a business, money management, marketing and social media presence.
Tying knots, cooking a shore lunch, packing a canoe or backpack, canoe strokes, and other interesting and fun topics are also on the itinerary. Bring your questions….we'll be happy to address anything you'd like to know!
What To Expect At Our Maine Guide School:
Our Maine Guide School Prep Course is a three day, in-person school. Zoom is just not practical for such a hands-on course.
The first day, plan on arriving at 7:45am so we can check you in and introduce ourselves. Coffee and donuts provided. The remainder of the day will consist of classroom work, map and compass practice, and something outdoors if the weather permits. There will be furs, photos, a canoe and paddle, lures, flies and other items that you'll need to know for your test. Each day we'll meet at 8AM and stay until all of your questions are answered…usually around 4:00pm. Lunch can be ordered from any one of our local eateries, or you can bring your own. If you need a hotel, we'll be able to put you in touch with one, usually at a discount for our students.
You'll receive everything you need on the first day, including study materials, notebook, and compass at no additional cost.
We will teach you on a personal level catered to your needs. We'll conduct mock oral boards, give you pop quizzes to prepare you with test questions, and make sure that you walk into your test with confidence.
We would love to see you at our Maine Guide School! Contact us anytime for further information at 207-629-8297. Maine has a long and venerable history behind its Registered Maine Guide patch. It's an honor to earn one, and we'll be there to help you do just that.
Next Maine Guide School
August 12 - 14 in Augusta
Your enrollment will be confirmed, contingent upon space and payment in full. Please note that because of class demand and associated pre-training expenses, the course fee is non-refundable less than 2 weeks before the start of training. Prior to two-weeks, the payment is refunded at 75% of the total course fee.