Monday, September 13, 2010

Maine's Toughest Test Gets Facelift

IFW, in its infinite wisdom to further complicate the lives of some of the most dedicated and highly skilled sportsmen in the state, have decided to edit the requirements of the Maine guide examination. Last revised in 2002, the test was perhaps ready for a much deserved face lift, however, I argue with IFWs changes. On the top of my list of complaints, is the addition of a second oral examination for any NEW (applying after Sept. 1st) guide candidates wishing to receive all three Recreation, Hunting and Fishing endorsements. Why someone would need to complete a second oral examination, for one additional endorsement, is beyond ridiculous. Maybe I need to dumb myself down with a few more mercury filled Maine fish meals, to better understand this level of stupidity.

The one saving grace in this hullabaloo, is that a candidate need only to take the navigation portion of the oral exam once (for now anyway). When I asked IFW why they make a person take the lost person scenario twice, they responded that it was for "legal" reasons. Hmmm, something doesn't smell right. What good is finding a person, if you can't "navigate" them out of the woods? Who is the mentally challenged group of individuals that set these new requirements? I am certain that the committee was something akin to a Larry, Moe and Curly convention.

In addition to the lost person scenario, the oral will contain 10 five point and 5 ten point questions, as well as photographs of waterfowl, mammals, flyfishing flies, ammo, pfds and fish. In other words, the identification section has been removed from the written and added to the oral part of the exam. The written portion of the test is also changing and will be comprised of 100 questions rather than the old test that boasted well over 200.

What does this ultimately mean for me, currently holding a Maine guide license in recreation and hunting? It means that when I finally decide to obtain my "fishing" endorsement, I will need to once again complete an hour long oral examination, once again completing the lost person scenario. While this is not an extremely complicated endeavor, it is a slap in the face to those of us whom have already completed this requirement and were deemed by IFW as competent outdoor leaders. At the very least, I would have expected IFW to grandfather in any currently registered guides and allow them to complete their endorsements, however, this obviously appears to much to ask of an organization that continues to treat poorly its biggest supporters.

For more check out the DUCKMANS BLOG.


  1. I'm guessing that you have to pay something for each test you take??? If you do it sounds like a new way for them to make more money to me.

  2. I'm just going to toughen up and make it happen, especially since I have momentum... It bummed me out before, but that excitement is building again for the big show... plus we will have to schedule another sporting event around my return to Rabidland!!!

  3. DDH, My friend the eternal optimist. You are a champion among men. Me I prefer to occasionally look at the glass at 1/2 empty and bathe in cynicism and sarcasm . . . does this make me a bad person or simply a realist?!?! :)

  4. Joe, From what I can see of IFWs budget woes I was amazed to find that they actually dropped the price tag for each guiding endorsement by $3.00. In my estimation that is a total cost savings of $9.00! How exciting! Its almost enough for a coyote night hunting permit!

  5. My dad always said if it works don't mess with it.
    Why do they really see the need to change things is beyond me.

    Whitetail Woods Blog / Blackpowder Shooting

  6. A glass half empty only begs to be finished off, then filled back up... maybe we will partake in some celebratory drinks (or agents to stop the misery ) at that interesting watering hole you led me to???

  7. DDH, Sounds like a plan! Refresh my memory, was that the watering hole with the attached brewery or the other establishment with the sign out front promising naked women and beer?

  8. RK, I agree. I would have liked to know what the reasoning was behind the change as it may enlighten and make us less grumpy.

  9. Great post, I am almost 100% in agreement with you

  10. When I took my test in 1999, You had to take 3 orals. one for each endorsement. But I only had to do the map&compass and the lost person once, in the 1st oral. Are you sure they will be giving you the Lost person again? I think that is incorrect.
    Just tell them...In the word of Daniel Boone, when asked had he ever been lost he replied: " I don't recall that I have ever been lost...I was bewildered once for 3 days" .....You'll have to buck up and do what they tell you :@

    1. PM,

      That information is straight from IFW on the lost person twice. Has to do with liability?!?! Though I would think Map and Compass would be just as important?!?!

      I need to study up on the fishing and just do it!!


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