Don Kleiner is a Master Maine Guide, who has been creating great outdoor memories for clients over a quarter century. Don has received several awards for his work including the 2007 Excellence in Tourism award for a recreation supplier presented at the annual Governor’s Conference on Tourism. Don served as the Director of Information and Education at the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife from 1999 to 2003 and today works off season as the Executive Director of the Maine Professional Guides Association. Don became an Orvis Endorsed Fly Fishing Guide in 2011. Don recently served on the Board of Directors of the Maine Tourism Association a group dedicated to furthering and promoting the tourism in Maine.
Registered Maine Guides have a long and colorful history. Recognized around the world as possessing excellent outdoor skills and knowledge Maine Guides were being used in the days of Thoreau, in fact I am guessing that he was not an easy client. Not taking directions very well, wandering off of the trail and frequently getting lost. Maine Guides were first licensed in by the state 1897 long before any other. The first Registered Maine Guide was a woman, Cornelia Thurza Crosby, or "Fly Rod". In that first year there were around 1700 guides licensed.
Today there are roughly 3000 Maine Guides licensed in specialized classifications including white water rafting, hunting, inland fishing, recreational, sea-kayaking, and tide water fishing. Someone licensed in a specialized classification means they have met the qualifications to guide those activities.
Maine Guides are licensed and registered with the State of Maine. "Guide" specifically means any person who receives any form of payment for services accompanying or assisting anyone in the fields, forests, or on the waters or ice in the State while white water rafting, hunting, fishing, trapping, boating, snowmobiling, or camping at a primitive camping area. Master certification means that a person has acquired experience in a specialized classification that exceeds the minimum requirements necessary to be licensed as a guide in that classification.
To become a Master Maine Guide, a guide must have been working as a guide for ten years, and have had at least five years professional experience in their specialized classification. The process of obtaining a License as a Registered Maine Guide is the most difficult in the country, including knowledge of Maine law, the Maine environment and first aid which is why Maine Guides are held in such high regard.
Much of a successful trip in the outdoors is about knowing where to go, when to be there and what equipment to have on hand. Guides spend years building the experience and knowledge that can make even the most difficult adventure successful. Many guides provide all of the equipment that you will need for a successful trip as well as the skill to make you successful, whether you are looking for a particular wildflower, or wanting to see a specific location, catch a native Maine brook trout or enjoy a great day of hunting.
The number one reason to use a guide is to make the most of your time! Time to spend outdoors is scarce these days. Let someone else put in the time and effort to know where you should go, provide the equipment you should use and be trained to look out for your comfort and safety. Whether you want to take a full-day fishing trip or just spend a few hours learning a new skill, your time is precious…use it wisely.
When you visit a new area just figuring out where to go can take precious time. Let a Maine Guide show you where to go, provide the equipment you will need, make the arrangements and add a lot of fun to your adventure.
Whether you are a beginner or an experienced hand, a guide will make you more successful, offer helpful suggestions, share their knowledge about the area, the wildlife and the environment while adding a great deal to your outdoor experience.
Maine Outdoors is here to help you create great memories outdoors!