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Junior Hunters

Hunting Regulations Icon Maine Hunting

Junior Hunting License

Children must have a junior hunting license to hunt. There is no minimum hunting age for a junior hunting license holder, any hunter under the age of 16 may purchase a junior hunting license. Junior hunting license holders can hunt with a firearm, bow and arrow, or crossbow (for additional information, see Crossbow Information). The junior hunting license also includes hunting permits for muzzleloader, spring and fall turkey, bear, coyote night hunt, pheasant, state migratory waterfowl, one expanded archery antlerless deer permit and one expanded archery either-sex permit (allows either an antlered or antlerless deer but not both). A junior hunter who is 15 may continue to hunt on their junior hunting license after turning 16 for the remainder of the calendar year. If a hunter 16 years of age completes hunter safety and upgrades to an adult license they must purchase necessary permits.

Note: Lifetime licenses purchased for a hunter under 16 years of age is considered a junior hunting license until the license is upgraded to an adult license by contacting the Department.

Supervision of Junior Hunters

  • Hunters from 10–15 years of age must be in the presence of, and under the effective control of, an adult supervisor.
  • Hunters under the age of 10 must be in the presence of, and under the effective control of, an adult supervisor who remains at all times within 20 feet of the hunter.

A. “Adult Supervisor” means:

  1. The parent or guardian of the junior hunter who holds or has held a valid Maine hunting license or successfully completed a hunter safety course.
  2. A person 18 years of age or older who: a. Is approved by the parent or guardian of the junior hunter; and b. Holds or has held a valid Maine hunting license or successfully completed a hunter safety course.

B. “In the presence of” means:

In visual and voice contact without the use of visual or audio enhancement devices, including but not limited to binoculars and citizen band radios.

A junior hunter who turns 16 years of age must complete the appropriate safety course prior to hunting without supervision.

Youth Hunting Days

Junior hunters who hold a valid junior hunting license (including a lifetime license) can participate in special youth hunting days for bear, deer, spring wild turkey, and migratory waterfowl. If a junior hunter turns 16 but is still hunting on a valid junior hunting license (including a lifetime license) they may hunt on a youth hunt day and do not have to purchase additional permits. Exception is on migratory waterfowl youth hunt days the junior hunter who is 16 and hunting on a valid junior hunting license (including a lifetime license) must obtain a valid Federal Migratory Bird Hunting Stamp. On these days, all laws pertaining to hunting deer, bear, spring wild turkey, and waterfowl apply.

Youth Hunting Days
Species Youth Hunting Days(s) Regulations Pertaining to Junior Hunters
Bear* August 27, 2016 A licensed junior hunter may hunt bear with a firearm, bow and arrow, or crossbow during the youth bear hunting day. Use of dogs is prohibited; hunting over bait or still hunting is permitted.
Deer* October 22, 2016 Participants are allowed to take one deer of either sex (in WMD’s where antlerless deer permits are issued) with a firearm, bow and arrow, or crossbow. If a junior hunter shoots a deer on the youth deer hunting day, they are prohibited from taking any additional deer, unless they have been awarded a bonus antlerless-deer permit or participate in the expanded archery season (designated areas only) with appropriate expanded archery permits.
Spring Wild Turkey* April 29, 2017 Participants may take up to two bearded wild turkeys with a shotgun, bow and arrow, or crossbow, but cannot exceed an individual WMD bag limit. See Wild Turkey Hunting.
Waterfowl* North Zone:
September 17, 2016 & December 10, 2016
All duck species – except Harlequins, Barrow’s Goldeneye, Moorhens and Gallinules – may be hunted on these days, including geese. For the October 22, November 5, and December 10 youth days, the goose limit is under the Regular Season limit. On September 17, September 24, October 22, November 5, and December 10, scoters, eiders, and long-tailed ducks may be taken as part of the 6 bird daily limit on regular ducks. Also on these dates, 1 Black Duck may be taken.) Special regulations apply to youth and accompanying adult: Youth under 16 years of age, must possess a junior hunting license (no stamps required) and be accompanied by a parent or guardian or person at least 18 years of age approved by a parent or guardian who either holds a valid Maine hunting license or has successfully completed a hunter safety course. Must follow regular season bag limits and exceptions.
South Zone:
September 24, 2016 & October 22, 2016
Coastal Zone:
September 24, 2016 & November 5, 2016
* The accompanying parent, guardian, or qualified adult shall not possess a firearm, bow and arrow or crossbow while accompanying a participating youth hunter.