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2012–13 Licensing Information

Who Needs a License?

Anyone 10 years of age and over must obtain a license to hunt wild birds or wild animals. Maine resident landowners, including immediate family members over 10 years of age, as long as their license to hunt has not been revoked or suspended, may hunt without a license, including archery, crossbow and muzzleloading (but must purchase all other permits) on land they own and reside provided the land exceeds 10 acres in size and is used exclusively for agricultural purposes.*

  • Children under 10 years of age are not allowed to hunt.
  • Hunters 10 years of age to 15 years of age must possess a junior license.
  • Hunters 16 years of age and over must possess an adult license to hunt. (Note: A Junior License holder who turns 16 may hunt with that Junior License for the remainder of the year except on the Youth Waterfowl Day, the Youth Turkey Day, and the Youth Deer Day)
  • A person may assist in a hunt without a license or permit for that activity as long as that person does not carry hunting equipment or engage in driving deer.

* This does not apply to moose hunting. A license is required.

What Are the Requirements for Obtaining a License?

Applicants for an adult hunting license must show proof of having previously held an adult license to hunt with firearms in any year beginning with 1976 or successful completion of an approved hunter safety course from this or any other state. Residents must provide proof of residency when applying for a license.

Convicted felons who have not been issued a permit to carry a firearm cannot purchase or possess a firearms hunting license in Maine (Title 15, sub-§393, sub-§§ 1 & 2).

To obtain an adult archery hunting license, you must show proof of having held an adult license to hunt with bow and arrow in any year after 1979 or successful completion of an archery education course.

How Are Licenses Obtained?

Residents and Nonresidents may obtain hunting licenses from agents throughout the state (sporting good stores, many convenience stores, town clerks, and turnpike service centers) or from the Department office in Augusta. Nonresidents may also obtain them by mail from the Department office in Augusta.

(Note: Not all town clerks issue nonresident licenses.)

Licenses may also be purchased online at Agents are authorized to process applications online for moose and antlerless deer permits; they may charge a fee of $2.00.

It is unlawful to obtain any license or permit through misstatement or misrepresentation or to possess any license or permit which has been altered, mutilated or tampered with in any manner.

Other Hunting License Provisions

  • You are required to keep your hunting license and any necessary permits with you while hunting or transporting wild birds and wild animals and, if requested to do so, must show it to any warden, law enforcement officer, Department employee, guide or landowner upon whose land you are hunting.
  • Any license issued by the Department must be signed prior to use.

Please Note: The Commissioner may revoke the license of any person convicted of violating the fish and wildlife laws, in addition to any penalty which may be imposed by a court of law. Some violations result in mandatory revocation. See list of violations.

Are There Any Other Permits Required?

There are certain permits required (in addition to the regular hunting license). See individual species pages for this permit information.

Special Licenses

Special Privilege Licenses

  • Anyone serving in the U.S. Armed Forces and permanently stationed at a military base in Maine (includes spouse and dependent children if they permanently reside with that person) may purchase a resident license to hunt, trap, or fish.
  • Maine military personnel who are on active duty in the U.S. Armed Forces and permanently stationed outside Maine may purchase either a hunting, fishing or combination hunting and fishing license for $3.00*. Spouse and dependent children who reside with that person may obtain a combination license for $20.00*, or a hunting or fishing license for $10.00* upon proof that their home of record, as recorded in a service record, is Maine. (*Plus agent fee.)
  • Any citizen of a foreign nation, under 21 years of age, who is living with a family in Maine in connection with any cultural or educational exchange program may purchase a resident license to hunt or fish.

Complimentary Licenses

  • A Maine resident who is a war veteran and has a service-connected disability of 100%, or has served in a combat zone and has a service-connected disability of 70% or more will be issued, upon application, a complimentary license to fish, trap, or hunt (including all necessary permits and other permissions and upon meeting qualifications, a guide license). These licenses may only be obtained from IF&W’s main office in Augusta.
  • Maine residents and nonresidents (if reciprocal privileges exist in their home state) who are suffering from the loss of, or loss of use of, both lower extremities, will be issued, upon application, a complimentary license to hunt or fish as well as an antlerless deer permit. These licenses may only be obtained from IF&W’s main office in Augusta.
  • The commissioner shall issue a hunting, trapping and fishing license, including permits and other permissions needed to hunt, trap and fish, to a person, 10 years of age or older, who is an enrolled member of the Passamaquoddy Tribe, the Penobscot Nation, the Houlton Band of Maliseet Indians or the Aroostook Band of Micmacs that is valid for the life of that person without any charge or fee if the person presents certification from the respective reservation governor or the Aroostook Micmac Council stating that the person described is an enrolled member of a federally recognized nation, band or tribe listed in this subsection.
    NOTE: Holders of disabled veteran licenses & Native American licenses are subject to rules governing a lottery or drawing system for issuing a particular permit.


Other Licenses

(Available at the Augusta Office only.) For detailed information on the following licenses, contact the Department at (207) 287-3614.

  • Hide Dealers License: Required for anyone who commercially buys, sells or barters any raw, untanned wild animal hide, head, or gall bladder from any bear.
  • Seasonal Hide Dealers License: Required for any place of business that butchers wild animals and commercially sells or barters the heads or untanned hides of deer or moose that they have butchered.
  • Taxidermist License: Allows a place of business to lawfully possess fish or wildlife for the sole purpose of preparing and mounting them and to also buy, sell or barter raw, untanned hides or heads of wild animals.
  • Guides License: Required for anyone who receives any form of remuneration for their services in accompanying or assisting others while hunting, fishing, trapping, boating, snowmobiling, or camping at a primitive camping area.

Apprentice Hunters License

An apprentice hunting license is available for first time hunters 16 years of age or older. This license may only be held once and is intended to introduce a person to hunting for the first time. A person holding this license may not hunt other than in the presence of a supervising person at least 18 years of age who has held a valid Maine hunting license for the prior 5 consecutive years. The supervisor is responsible for ensuring that the holder of an apprentice license follows safe hunting protocol as well as all hunting laws. For more information contact IF&W at (207) 287-8000.

Apprentice Licenses

  • Resident Hunting (includes bear and turkey permits) – $25
  • Resident Crossbow – $25
  • Resident Archery – $25
  • Nonresident Hunting – $114
  • Nonresident Small Game – $74
  • Nonresident Crossbow – $55
  • Nonresident Archery – $74


Regulations in red are new this year.

Purple text indicates an important note.

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