The New York State Outdoor Guides Association (NYSOGA) was originally founded on June 28, 1891 and reorganized in 1981. NYSOGA represents guides from every part of New York State, with its organizational structure following that of the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation’s “regional” lines.

Officers are selected from the membership and elected annually. Regional Directors come from each of the nine DEC regions. These Directors are selected by the guides themselves and report on activities, recruit new members, promote quality guiding, have a presence at sport shows, assist with training, and participate in legislative activity. Click here to see a list of all the Executive Officers, Regional Directors and Directors at Large.

Committee chairpersons are also selected from the membership and serve on Virtual Office, Guidelines, Membership, Marketing (including GTG, Shows, Products, Web Site, Real Property, Group Insurance, Clearinghouse), Standards and Education (including Kids to Camp, DEC/PR&HP, Resource Text), Legislation, Bylaws (including Policies, Ethics), Waterfowl, Whitewater, Rendezvous (including Awards, Nominations), and Goodwill Ambassador.

A unique aspect of NYSOGA is its self-discipline policy. Each member, by virtue of his/her membership, agrees to adhere to the Code of Ethics as noted. Violation of this Code results in disciplinary action within the organization, thus ensuring a highly credible and professional roster of guides for the public’s hire.

The Board of Directors meets regularly to conduct business, and the association conducts two Rendezvous as well as other membership gatherings.

All members must possess a New York State guide license to be eligible for membership in NYSOGA. Potential members should write to NYSOGA, 211 Main Street #150, Lake Placid, NY 12946 for a membership application or further information about the organization.

General Information

NYSOGA serves to assist the NYSDEC in the guide’s licensing
process. At the annual NYSOGA Rendezvous, held in March; programs are available to assist participants to obtain a NYS Guides License. The Association hosts National Safety Council training sessions in First Aid, CPR and Basic Water Safety. Additionally, NYSOGA offers a guide license prep and review class during the Rendezvous time to prepare applicants for the written portion of the Guides Exam.
The NYSDEC administers a Guides Exam at the Rendezvous every year.

If you are interested in applying for your NYS license you MUST contact the NYSDEC. Click here to go right to NYSDEC web site and learn more about whats involved.

Once an applicant has successfully passed the exam and completed the other necessary components of the licensing process and have their license; they are then eligible to apply for membership in NYSOGA. This organization is a progressive leader in the field of professional outdoor recreation leadership. Additionally, NYSOGA functions to provide marketing for its member guide services through attendence at sports shows, media contacts and numerous public relations efforts. NYSOGA is one of the largest organizations of outdoor professionals in New York State. For further information on becoming a member please email the organization or complete our membership application.

Code of Ethics

The Environment

I will subscribe to a professional standard of wilderness travel and low-impact environmental usage. I will acquire a useful knowledge of local natural history, and the ability and willingness to impart this knowledge to my clients. I will maintain orderly, sanitary and environmentally sound camps at all times.

Respect for the Law

I will fully cooperate with all wildlife officials, law enforcement officers, private landowners and public land management agencies. I will abide by and advise my clients of all applicable conservation and game laws, statutes, and regulations, and will not condone their violation.

Equipment and Services

I will provide clean, well-maintained, serviceable equipment and gear that is adequate for all conditions likely to be encountered. I will employ competent and courteous personnel in sufficient number to adequately care for the comfort of my clients. I will offer reasonably well-prepared and balanced camp fare for clients and employees in keeping with the nature of the trip.

Accurate Information

I will accurately advise my clients of the factors and conditions involved in achieving their goals. This includes weather conditions, terrain, fish and game populations, and the equipment, physical endurance and skills required for the activity to be undertaken.


I will at all times provide for the safety of clients and employees.

Trophies and Limits

I will never fill a client’s game tag or limit of fish or game. Barring unforeseen conditions, all fish and game hides and capes will be prepared and delivered to the processor, taxidermist, or to the client at the conclusion of the trip in a satisfactory and usable condition.

Truth in Advertising.

I will not misrepresent rates, service and/or accommodations, nor otherwise mislead prospective clients through false advertising.


A NYSOGA member failing to abide by this Code of Ethics will be subject to investigation by the New York State Outdoor Guides Association and may lead to reprimand, fine, suspension, and/or expulsion.

The Mission Statement defines the business NYSOGA is in.

The Vision Statement defines the Board’s idealistic “waking dream” of how we would like our organization to be. It is a Philosophy

The Goals Statement defines what the Board values about working relationships. It holds the association management accountable for acting in a way that is congruent with its Vision. As such, the statement becomes a benchmark for all Board actions as a governing body and as individuals.

The NYSOGA Mission:

To enhance the guiding profession in New York State with the highest standards of honesty, safety, and professionalism by providing New York State licensed guides with support services, representation, and a sense of community.

The NYSOGA Vision:

To be an internationally recognized association of the world’s best and most respected professional guides. To work purposefully and relentlessly to achieve our Goals and fulfill our Mission.

The NYSOGA Goals:

NYSOGA will uphold and live by the following goals:

  • To increase membership by attracting and retaining new members;
  • To improve exposure / promotion of the Association and its members;
  • To elevate the professionalism and reputation of the Association;
  • To improve the financial position of the Association;
  • To increase general member participation in leadership roles;
  • To improve the business efficiency of the Association; and
  • To improve relations with the Department of Environmental Conservation and the legislative process.