Guiding has enjoyed a long and colorful history in New York State. Early surveyors and sportsmen needed help in traversing the northern wilderness so they engaged the services of old woodsmen.

Many of these first "guides" were trappers, hunters, or loggers who "hired out" to occasional visitors for extra cash. As tourism flourished, guiding became a full-time profession and resulted in the Adirondack Guides Association being formed in 1891. Following World War II, the lure of the wilderness waned and the Association all but dissolved.

By the 1970's, the public showed a renewed interests in the outdoors, but had difficulty locating reliable guides. Thus the old tradition of "guiding" was revived in 1981. when the informal New York State Outdoor Guides Association was formally incorporated.


The purpose of NYSOGA, established by its Board of Directors, is to:

  • Promote safety in guiding for guides and their clients
  • Provide educational and marketing services for NYSOGA members.
  • Increase awareness of the professionalism of guiding with the public and with the land management agencies.
  • Participate in legislative reform for the betterment of guides, the profession of guiding, and the health of our natural resources.

Please click on the membership hyperlinks below to go right to that topic or just scroll on down and read about each one to find the one that best fits you.

NOTE: To join NYSOGA you must have a New York State Guide license.

If you do not have a license to guide please go to our General Information page to find out how you can receive your NYS guiding license.

[ Active Membership ] [ Associate Membership ]
[ Membership Application ]


ACTIVE MEMBERSHIP - Dues $75 a year

To become an Active Member, an individual must:

  • Hold a current license to guide from the State of New York.
  • Submit a completed application together with a copy of his/her New York State guide's license.
  • Pay the annual dues of $75.00.

An Active Member receives:

  • A Certificate of membership and membership card.
  • A one-year subscription to Guidelines, the quarterly in-house publication of outdoor news.
  • Membership discount on advertising programs.
  • Clearinghouse inquiry names.
  • Access to NYSOGA's Sponsor Members for field testing and products/service evaluation.
  • Participation in all NYSOGA events, such as the Annual Convention/Rendezvous, the Summer Rendezvous, consumer sport shows, and other marketing and social opportunities.
  • Vote at all NYSOGA meetings.
  • Use of NYSOGA logo in individual promotions.

To become an Associate Member, an individual must:

  • Be a former licensed guide or licensed guide who no longer actively works at outdoor guiding.
  • Submit a completed application.
  • Pay the annual dues of $40.00.

An Associate Member receives:
  • Admission to all regular NYSOGA meetings and functions.


Please click here to download a PDF of NYSOGA Membership Application. Do you need a PDF Viewer? Please click here to download Adobe Acrobat Reader

Guides applying for ACTIVE MEMBERSHIP - Please complete and return the application with the copy of your guide license (the small one with your picture*), guiding activities description and the $75 membership fee payable to NYSOGA.

Inactive guides applying for ASSOCIATE MEMBERSHIP - Please complete and return the application along with the $40 membership fee payable to NYSOGA.

Please mail completed application with payment to:
NYSOGA, c/o Lee Godin, 121 Hillcrest Ave., Albany, NY 12203-2712

*Please note that a copy of both sides of your license must be included with your application for ACTIVE membership. The certificate will NOT be accepted as proof of being a licensed guide.

Allow 6-8 weeks processing time. Only applications with the correct payment and proof of valid license (for Active Members) or expired license (for Associate Members) will be processed.

For questions regarding membership, please email or contact Lee Godin (518) 542-2709 Email:

NYSOGA New York State Outdoor Guide Association
1936 Saranac Avenue, Suite 2 - 150, Lake Placid, NY 12946
1-866-4NYSOGA (1-866-469-7642)  · 
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