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Outfitter Regulation Information

The information below are FAQs  that are provided only as a summary of Illinois’ deer, wild turkey and waterfowl outfitter regulations.  A complete copy of the regulations contained in Administrative. Rule 640 . You can find documents and information on the sidebar to your right.

What is the purpose of having Outfitter Regulations?

The development of outfitter regulations was initiated by concerned hunters and outfitters.  Their interests were to ensure hunters utilizing outfitters were provided the proper services and treatment, to strengthen the reputation of the outfitting industry in Illinois, and to ensure the proper management of the State’s deer herd and wild turkey flock. In 2015 the Wildlife Code (520 ILCS 5/3.1-3) was amended to include waterfowl outfitters.

Who needs to apply for an Outfitter Permit?

An outfitter is a person (as defined in the Wildlife Code (520 ILCS 5/1.2l), including an officer or employee of a person, who provides or offers to provide outfitting services for waterfowl, deer or wild turkey hunting. Outfitting services are any service that, for financial or other consideration, offers or promises waterfowl, deer and/or wild turkey hunting access, assistance, guidance or opportunity on private or leased lands.

Leasing or renting land for the purpose of providing hunting opportunity to others or subleasing such land for waterfowl, deer and wild turkey hunting requires you to obtain an Outfitter Permit.

Does a landowner who leases his/her property to a hunter or group of hunters need to obtain an Outfitter Permit?

No, as long as he/she does not provide outfitting services to hunters.  Providing a place to stay on the landowner’s property does not constitute an outfitting service.

What are the qualifications for becoming an outfitter?

An outfitter must be at least 21 years of age and not have had his or her hunting license revoked or hunting privileges suspended within the past five years.

What are the qualifications for a guide?

A guide must not have had his or her hunting license revoked or hunting privileges suspended within the past five years, have a current Illinois hunting license and habitat stamp, and have successfully completed a State-approved hunter-safety course.

How much does an Outfitter Permit cost?

The fee for a Class A (deer/turkey) outfitter permit is $500 for a resident and $2,500 for a nonresident.

The fee for a Class B (waterfowl) outfitter permit is $250 for a resident and $1,500 for a nonresident.

How do I apply for a permit?

You can apply for an outfitter permit by contacting the IDNR - Office of Law Enforcement at One Natural Resources Way, Springfield, IL 62702-1271, phone 217/782-6431.  The office will provide you an application and the forms to complete.  You will also be asked to submit:

  1. Proof of current commercial liability insurance for property damage, personal injury and death with a minimum benefit of $1,000,000.  (This is not required of applicants whose sole activity is arranging hunts on property controlled by others.) 
  2. A list of guides, including their address, date of birth, and Social Security Number, who are to be employed by the outfitter.  (This list of guides may be modified at any time by providing the change(s) in writing to the Office of Law Enforcement.)
When do I apply for a permit?

Applications will be accepted from January 15 through July 15, inclusive.  Applications and renewals received after July 15 may not be processed by September 1.  The permit is for one year from July 1 to June 30.  A full application is required every five years.

What is required to renew a permit?

After you have received your initial permit, you can renew your permit annually for the next four years.  The annual renewal process involves providing the appropriate fee, proof of insurance, (for Class A permits) the annual report of harvest completed with the previous year’s information, and a notice of any change(s) to your original application.

What are the minimum standards that the IDNR expects of outfitters?

The Department expects an outfitter to:

  1. Prior to providing outfitting services supply each client in writing the type of service provided, dates of service, cost of services, and a copy of the outfitter’s refund policy;
  2. Be responsible for ensuring each client has the necessary permits, stamps Harvest Information Program (HIP) registration and licenses prior to hunting;
  3. Indicate clearly to clients the boundaries of the property they will be hunting and any special restrictions with conducting their hunt;
  4. Make no guarantees as to the success of the hunt;
  5. Not misrepresent their facilities, prices, equipment, services or hunting opportunities;
  6. Not take or attempt to take any wildlife on behalf of the client; and
  7. For Class A Permit only: maintain a current log of all individuals who hunt on the property controlled under the outfitter permit, including the dates they hunted, their Department  customer identification number, and harvest information.
  8. for Class B Permits: require all waterfowl hunters to register daily, on the daily registration  forms provided by the Department, prior to entering the field to hunt on the area covered by  his/her permit. 
What information will the IDNR be able to provide to the public about outfitters?

The IDNR will only be able to provide the names and addresses of licensed outfitters.  We will not be able to provide referrals, arrest/criminal histories, or other types of information.  Potential clients should be aware that licensing by the state does not mean that the outfitter has been certified as to competence, quality of hunt, etc.