This morning I took the written exam to become a Registered Recreation Maine Guide at the Augusta Armory. There were about 22 men and 3 women taking the test. Of those, nearly half were for the Sea Kayak guide license, 2 were recreation, 3 were fishing and the rest were hunting. We got our test booklets and an answer booklet. According to my booklet my test was written in 2003.
I had questions on heat stroke and first aid. I had a few questions about animals, birds, and their mating, breeding, and feeding habits. The "Critters of Maine" book prepared me for these. I had a ton of questions on canoeing and canoe rescues. It was a good thing I knew the parts of a canoe. I thought I knew a ton about boating laws, lights, pfd types, and pfd requirements. There was more on the exam than I knew. I guessed a bit when it came to larger boats and boat navigation.
When it came to mammal, bird, and fish identification, I had prepared with "Critters of Maine" and the IF&W published "Fishes of Maine". Most of the pictures seemed straight out of the fish book and I think I got all the fishes correctly identified. As for mammals, the black and white pictures are tough to discern. Suffice it to say, you'll need to know the difference between a bobcat and a lynx, an otter, weasel, mink, marten, and fisher, chipmunks and 3 different types of squirrels, etc. As for duck identification, I completely did awful. I guessed on all 5. The pictures were bad and though specific characteristics were there, all I could do was know that I was choosing a drake or a hen from the multiple choice answers. It was not a proud moment.
I finished third of fourth and the administrator told me to wait if I wanted to know if I had passed or not. Of course I waited to see how I had done. After a few minutes he gave me the thumbs up. I'd like to have done better but a pass is a pass. I'll be learning more guide stuff and taking trips with other guides this year so stay tuned.....