• About MWGO

    The Maine Wilderness Guides Organization is an organization of Registered Maine Guides, Sporting Camp/Lodge owners and outdoorsmen and women. We are committed to protecting the habitat we guide in for our profession, our clients, and for the fish and game we pursue, and for future generations. Our membership is composed of a diverse selection of professional guides who are committed to providing safe, educational, and meaningful outdoor experiences for our guests. MWGO is the leading organization offering guide trainingand development opportunities for the professional guide and those preparing to take the Maine Guide exam. MWGO guides have made a commitment to maintain qualifications and standards higher than the minimum required by the state of Maine.

    Good wildlife habitat is good guide habitat
    MWGO also promotes non-motorized backcountry areas and trails large enough for extended trips. These large scale backcountry areas are also good habitat for the fish and game we pursue or simply enjoy watching. Good wildlife habitat is good guide habitat. MWGO is an active advocate in the areas of fish and wildlife conservation and quiet backcountry recreation areas. We also monitor the legislative agenda and the Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife about matters that are of importance to Maine Guides.

    For more information about Registered Maine Guides licensing process, categories, or qualifications and standards go to Maine Guide-Classification/Standards or go to the IF&W website.

    Not all Registered Maine Guides are members MWGO. To be a member of MWGO in good standing, guides are obligated to adhere to the MWGO code of ethics. The Registered Maine Guides listed in the search directory are members in good standing.


    • Respect the land and the landowners.
    • Provide the safest possible trips for our guests, with quality equipment and instruction.
    • Obey all fishing, hunting, boating, and camping laws and regulations.
    • Assist/help authorities, outdoorsmen/women in need.
    • Strive to maintain guiding skills and standards which are above those required by the state.
    • Educate others about natural resource issues, stewardship, and the importance of conservation.


    In 2004, a group of conservation minded wilderness guides and sporting camp owners began meeting to discuss ways to protect the remote areas we depend on for our business. It quickly became apparent that no one was representing our interests and concerns, so we decided to form the Maine Wilderness Guides Organization. We are a respected membership organization with a strong advocacy voice for the needs of wilderness guides and the conservation and restoration of remote places required for our profession. Through cooperation with landowners and land managers, both public and private, MWGO is striving to establish a reputation of inclusiveness and integrity. Many of our individual programs are already nationally, and internationally, recognized as models for high standards of education, instruction, and quality wilderness experiences. We are primarily, but not exclusively, engaged in people-powered trips, fishing for wild populations of native fish, and heritage hunting.* We require areas large enough for multi-day, non-motorized trips, areas that support wild populations of fish and game that are not readily accessible by motorized transportation. We are not against motorized forms of recreation. We believe that the Maine Woods is a big place; providing areas of non-motorized wilderness experiences is in the best interest of every outdoor enthusiast. We are committed to sharing that experience with those who cherish the outdoors. We encourage any guide who is concerned about the development pressure on Maine's North Woods to join our organization. Professional Guides will also be interested in our ongoing Guide Training opportunities designed to help guides maintain and improve their skills in a variety of specific areas. However, you do not have to be a guide to join. Any sportsman / sportswoman or outdoor enthusiast who shares our vision for a wild undeveloped Maine woods, with public access for traditional outdoor pursuits, may join as a supporting member. Maine Heritage hunting

    *Heritage hunting is defined as pursuing game the way your grandpa did, on foot in remote areas without the use of hi-tech aids.


    To provide a unified voice for the profession of wilderness guiding while maintaining the highest professional, educational, and stewardship standards, for the conservation of remote woods and waters.


  • MWGO Quality Endorsement

    MWGO’S Wilderness Guide Quality EndorsementMWGO Wilderness Guide Quality Endorsement

    Download fillable Word document application

    Download PDF file application

    In an effort to maintain high guiding standards and to encourage professional guides to continually strive to improve their skills, the Maine Wilderness Guides Organization (MWGO) has created the Maine Wilderness Guides Quality Endorsement Program. The standards to be met to receive the Maine Wilderness Guides Quality Endorsement are higher than the State of Maine standards, but are standards that most professional guides would want to achieve and maintain. The Maine Wilderness Guides Quality Endorsement Program is voluntary – no one is required to participate. Endorsed guides may use the Maine Wilderness Guides Quality Endorsement logo in their marketing and promotional materials.

    To apply for the Maine Wilderness Guides Quality Endorsement, download and complete the application form and mail to the address at the bottom of the application.

    Please send all requested documentation in one packet. For additional information or questions about the Maine Wilderness Guides Quality Endorsement Program, please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or phone (207) 284-3731.

    MWGO Wilderness Guide Quality Endorsement – Summary

    A.    General Qualifications: apply to any guiding discipline recognized by the State of Maine

    a.      Must be a member in good standing with the Maine Wilderness Guides Organization

    b.     Participation is voluntary

    c.      Guides must maintain current First Aid and CPR certifications – the 16-hour Wilderness First Aid course is the minimum standard accepted

    d.     Documented ongoing Professional Development that is guiding related must be demonstrated, with a minimum of 16 hours every 3 years

    e.      Documented Public Service work in the fields of outdoor education, conservation education, or outdoor safety must be demonstrated, with a minimum of 24 hours every 3 years

    f.       Documented minimum of 5 years experience in the specific discipline for endorsement must be achieved

    g.      References – one from a guide and one from a client the applicant has guided in the past

    h.      Endorsement is valid for a 3 year period

    B.    Rationale

    a.      State of Maine standards are not high enough (i.e. no First Aid requirement for renewal)

    b.     Quality endorsement encourages a higher standard for professionalism

    c.      Quality endorsement is a marketing asset

    C.    Endorsement Process

    a.      A member of the endorsement committee will confirm receiving your application and references

    b.     After the committee reviews your application materials, they will contact you to schedule an interview either in person or by phone

    c.      The committee will notify you within a week of the interview if you have been endorsed

    d.     If you are not endorsed, the reasons will be communicated and a plan developed to work with the applicant towards endorsement

Maine Wilderness Guides Organization, Augusta, Maine

126 Western Avenue #155
Augusta, Maine 04330