Maryland Hunting Licenses
Maryland Full Season Hunting Licenses are valid from the day they are issued through the next July 31. A hunting license year is August 1 through the next July 31.
Be aware that a hunting license holder is required to have a printed paper copy or electronic copy of their hunting license in their possession while hunting.
NEW– An Apprentice Hunting License is now available for first time hunters. The Apprentice Hunting License is a one-time license available to both residents and nonresidents who have never hunted before. Satisfactory completion of a short, online hunter safety course is required prior to purchasing the license and the apprentice hunter is required to hunt with a resident at least 18 years old who possesses a valid Maryland hunting license. The Maryland Natural Resources Police (NRP), Safety Education Section provides Hunter Education Courses (see below for addresses).
Hunter Education and Safety Requirement
To hunt or purchase a hunting license in Maryland, state law requires:
- Presentation of a Certificate of Competency in Firearms and Hunting Safety (required of all first time hunters), or
- Certification that you held a hunting license issued prior to July 1, 1977, or
- Certification that you hunted on private property prior to July 1, 1977, and were legally exempt from purchasing a hunting license, or
- Certification that you are purchasing a nonresident license and will only hunt waterfowl.
Exceptions: Compliance with the Hunter Education and Safety Requirement does not apply to those who are hunting only waterfowl with a Nonresident 3-day Waterfowl and Small Game License (see below) and those shooting under a Regulated Shooting Area Hunting License who are not hunting wild or free flying captive-raised mallards. (See Regulated Shooting Area Hunting License)
The Maryland Natural Resources Police (NRP), Safety Education Section provides the Hunter Education Course required to obtain the Certificate of Competency in Firearms and Hunter Safety. In addition to traditional classroom courses, an online course is available for those 13 and older that requires a mandatory one day Hunter Education Field Day Workshop.
Information about Hunter Education Courses, Boating Safety Education Courses, and Trapper Education is available from the Maryland Natural Resources Police Safety Education Section, 305 Marine Academy Drive, Suite 1, Stevensville, MD 21666, 410-643-8502, and by visiting the DNR website at dnr.maryland.gov/nrp/Pages/home.aspx.
Note: RESIDENT Junior Hunters (under 16 years of age) are entitled to a one-time FREE annual hunting license, Archery Stamp, and Muzzleloader Stamp upon successful completion of a Hunter Education Course. Please bring or fax the form provided by the course instructor to any DNR Licensing and Registration Service Center. A Maryland resident who completes a Hunter Education Course in another state may contact a DNR Service Center for the required application form.
Full Season Hunting Licenses
A Full Season Hunting License allows a person to hunt all legal game birds and mammals that are in season. There are additional stamps or permits required for hunting deer, migratory game birds, furbearers, and bear. See each game section for its requirements.
Hunting License $10.00
For first-time Maryland resident hunters of any age who never held a Maryland hunting license.
Hunting License $20.00
For first-time non-resident hunters of any age who never held a Maryland hunting license.
A person may not purchase an Apprentice Hunting License if they have previously obtained any hunting license in Maryland.
Use of an Apprentice Hunting License requires the following:
- Successful completion of a short, online hunter safety course is required prior to purchasing this license.
- Appropriate stamps are needed to hunt migratory birds (pg. 37) and deer (an Archery Stamp pg. 20, a Muzzleloader Stamp pg. 21, and a bonus antlered deer stamp pg. 12).
- The apprentice hunter must be accompanied and directly supervised by a Maryland resident at least 18 years old who possesses a valid Maryland non-apprentice hunting license.
- The apprentice and mentor hunter must hunt in close proximity so that the mentor can take immediate control of the archery device or firearm.
- The apprentice hunter can hunt unaccompanied if the full hunter safety course was taken and a Certificate of Competency in Firearms and Hunting Safety was acquired.
Resident Regular Hunting License$24.50
–For Maryland residents age 16 to 64.
Resident Junior Hunting License$10.50
–For Maryland residents under 16 years of age. Written permission of parent or guardian is required.
Resident Senior Hunting License$5.00
For Maryland residents age 65 and above. It may be purchased in the calendar year in which a resident attains the age 65.
Senior Lifetime Consolidated License
This license is no longer available for purchase. Persons who already hold this license are “grandfathered” and:
- do not need to purchase the Senior Hunting License, Archery, or Muzzleloader Stamps.
- must buy a Bonus Antlered Deer Stamp (to hunt a bonus antlered deer).
- must purchase a Maryland Migratory Game Bird Stamp (to hunt migratory game birds).
- must buy a DNR Managed Hunt Permit (where required).
- must purchase a Furbearer Permit (to hunt or chase furbearers).
- must obtain and use a free Big Game Harvest Record for deer and turkey hunting, available through the COMPASS portal at compass.dnr.maryland.gov/ OR any DNR Licensing and Registration Service Center (pg. 6) OR a DNR Sport License agent.
Nonresident Hunting License$130.00
For hunters that are not Maryland residents and are age 16 to 64.
For hunters that are not Maryland residents and are under 16 years of age. Written permission of parent or guardian is required.
For hunters that are not Maryland residents and are age 65 or older. This license may be purchased in the calendar year in which a nonresident attains the age of 65.
Other Hunting Licenses
Nonresident 3-Day Waterfowl
and Small Game License$45.00
- This license allows nonresidents of Maryland to hunt all legal game in season except deer, bear, and turkey for three (3) consecutive legal hunting days.
- A Maryland Migratory Game Bird Stamp is required to hunt migratory game birds with this license.
- A Federal Migratory Bird Hunting and Conservation Stamp is required to hunt waterfowl and coots with this license.
- A Furbearer Permit is required to hunt, chase, or trap furbearers with a Nonresident 3-Day Waterfowl and Small Game License.
- The Hunter Education and Safety Requirement does not apply to hunting only wild waterfowl with this license.
Nonresident Trapping License$25.50
This license is required for nonresidents to trap furbearers in Maryland in addition to a Nonresident Hunting License and an Individual Furbearer Permit.
Regulated Shooting Area
This license allows a person to shoot captive-raised game birds on a state-licensed Regulated Shooting Area only.
- A Regulated Shooting Area Hunting License and the purchase of a Maryland Migratory Game Bird Stamp allows a person to shoot tower-released, flighted mallards on a Regulated Shooting Area.
- This license cannot be used to hunt wild or free-flying, captive-raised waterfowl on a Regulated Shooting Area.
- To hunt free-flying, captive-raised mallard ducks or wild waterfowl on a state-licensed Regulated Shooting Area a hunter must possess a Maryland hunting license, the printed validation showing proof of purchase of the Maryland Migratory Game Bird Stamp and HIP certification, and a Federal Migratory Bird Hunting and Conservation Stamp or its proof of purchase (if over the age of 15).
- A Regulated Shooting Area Hunting License is not required if you have a valid Full Season Hunting License.
- Hunters on Regulated Shooting Areas may shoot captive-raised game birds on Sundays.
Stationary Blind and
Blind Site License$20.00
A Stationary Blind and Blind Site License allows a person to have an offshore waterfowl blind or blind site in Maryland public waters. For Maryland Offshore Waterfowl Hunting information see: dnr.maryland.gov/wildlife/Pages/hunt_trap/offshore_intro.aspx.
Purple Heart Recipients
Maryland residents who were recipients of the Purple Heart Award are eligible for a discounted hunting license and any associated stamps and permits. This year’s discounted rate is 50% of the regular price of the license or stamp. These discounted hunting licenses and stamps can only be purchased in person at a DNR Licensing & Registration Service Center. Documentation proving the Purple Heart Award was received by the hunter must be provided at the time of purchase. The Purple Heart metal does not suffice as proof of receiving the award. All other requirements apply for obtaining a hunting license and stamps.
Complimentary DAV-POW Hunting Licenses
A Complimentary Lifetime Hunting License is available to Maryland residents certified as a former prisoner of war or a 100% service-connected disabled American veteran (Veterans Administration documentation is required).
- This free lifetime hunting license is available only at DNR Licensing and Registration Service Centers.
- This license also includes free, lifetime Archery Stamps, Muzzleloader Stamps, and Furbearer Permits.
- The Maryland Migratory Game Bird Stamp, and Federal Migratory Bird Hunting and Conservation Stamp are required to be purchased annually and are not included with this license.
- The use of a Big Game Harvest Record is required each year and can be obtained through the COMPASS portal at compass.dnr.maryland.gov/ OR any DNR Licensing and Registration Service Center OR a DNR Sport License agent.
Members of the Armed Forces Hunting In Maryland
Active duty members of the United States Armed Forces stationed in Maryland:
- are considered residents of Maryland.
- must comply with the Hunter Education and Safety Requirement.
- must purchase a Resident Hunting License and all required stamps and permits before hunting, unless they are on official leave and possess a copy of their official leave orders.
- while hunting during official leave in Maryland with a copy of their official leave orders:
- do not need to purchase a hunting license, deer stamps, or DNR Managed Hunt Permit.
- must purchase a Maryland Migratory Game Bird Stamp, a Federal Migratory Bird Hunting and Conservation Stamp, and a Furbearer Permit to pursue migratory game birds and furbearers.
Any nonresident serving in the United States Armed Forces who is on leave in Maryland, but not stationed in Maryland, must purchase a Nonresident Hunting License before hunting.
Who May Hunt Without a Hunting License in Maryland
All Maryland hunters must comply with the Hunter Education and Safety Requirement.
You are not required to possess a Maryland hunting license if you are:
- a resident of Maryland (and their spouse) who owns property and who hunts only on that property. This also applies to:
- the landowner’s children and grandchildren if they are under the age of 16.
- the landowner’s children and grandchildren, and the spouse of the children or grandchildren, regardless of age, if the child, grandchild, or their spouse lives on the property, or has worked on the property for at least 30 days during the preceding 12 months, or manages the property.
(Each person must individually qualify under these criteria. To qualify for this exemption, a landowner does not need to live on the property but must be able to prove ownership.)
- A person (and spouse) who holds land under lease for agricultural purposes (or a sharecropper), and lives on this farmland, and hunts only on this farmland. This also applies to:
- the lessee’s children and grandchildren if they are under the age of 16.
- the lessee’s children and grandchildren, and their spouses, if the child, grandchild, or spouse of the child or grandchild, lives on the property, or has worked on the property for at least 30 days during the preceding 12 months, or manages the property.
- A nonresident (and spouse) who owns a contiguous piece of farmland that is in both Virginia and Maryland may hunt on the Maryland portion of the property without a Maryland hunting license, if the person’s primary residence is on the Virginia portion of the property. This also applies to the owner’s children and grandchildren if they are under the age of 16.
- A Maryland resident serving in the United States Armed Forces that is on official leave in Maryland (whether stationed in Maryland or outside Maryland) and possesses a copy of official leave orders while hunting.
- A person serving in the United States Armed Forces who has a service-connected disability and possesses a valid military identification while hunting.
- A person who is a retired former member of the United States Armed Services and hunting on farmland that is in active farming status and owned by the person or the person’s spouse, child, child’s spouse, parent, grandparent, sibling, niece or nephew. A retired former member who hunts on farmland without a hunting license must possess the retired military identification card and written permission from the owner of the farm property specifying the relationship of the person to the owner of the property.
Be aware that hunters not required to have a license:
- must obtain a free DNRid number and a free Maryland Big Game Harvest Record if they intend to hunt deer or turkeys. These items may be obtained through the COMPASS portal at compass.dnr.maryland.gov/ OR any DNR Licensing and Registration Service Center (pg. 6) OR a DNR Sport License agent.
- must have Maryland Migratory Game Bird Stamp to hunt migratory game birds.
- must possess the Federal Migratory Bird Hunting and Conservation Stamp to hunt waterfowl and coots.
- must obtain a Furbearer Permit to hunt, trap, or chase any furbearer.
- are not required to purchase Archery Deer Stamps, Muzzleloader Deer Stamps, or Bonus Antlered Deer Stamps.
Nonresidents of Maryland who own property in the state and hunt on that property are required to purchase a Nonresident Hunting License and all other appropriate stamps and permits.
Individuals who are exempt from Maryland hunting license requirements are subject to all state and federal laws and regulations relative to hunting and trapping.
Universal Disability Pass
Hunters with mobility impairments may obtain a free Universal Disability Pass that will allow them to hunt from a vehicle in designated areas. Applications are available from DNR’s website dnr.maryland.gov/publiclands/Documents/UDisabilityPass.pdf. For Public Hunting Lands that have provisions for the mobility impaired. Please contact each area for their specific conditions.
Purchasing Your Maryland Hunting Licenses, Stamps, and Permits
A DNRid number is required to obtain hunting and trapping licenses, stamps, and permits.
A DNRid Card and number, hunting licenses, stamps, permits, and Big Game Harvest Records are available through:
- the COMPASS portal at dnr.maryland.gov/Pages/licensing.aspx.
- Calling 1-855-855-3906.
- DNR Licensing and Registration Service Centers– Services, hours, addresses and phone numbers are listed.
- DNR Sport License Agents– A list of agents is available at: dnr.maryland.gov/Pages/licensing.aspx, and your local DNR Licensing and Registration Service Center can provide the location for Sport License agents near you.
You may obtain a hunting license 24 hours a day, seven days a week through the COMPASS portal at dnr.maryland.gov/Pages/licensing.aspx. If you provide an email address, a copy of your license will be emailed to you 30 minutes after purchase. The license immediately authorizes your participation in all purchased activities, including deer and turkey hunting. Supporting documents for some privileges will be mailed. Payment can be made by electronic check, Visa, Master Card or Discover.
You may obtain a Hunting License Application by calling or visiting a DNR Licensing and Registration Service Center or from the DNR website: dnr.maryland.gov/Pages/licensing.aspx. Complete all applicable sections and mail it with the appropriate fee to any DNR Licensing and Registration Service Center. Applicants for nonresident licenses are required to submit a copy of their driver’s license, voter registration card or home state hunting/trapping license.
Lost or damaged hunting licenses can be reprinted for free. Call any DNR Licensing and Registration Service Center, or log into your account at https://compass.dnr.maryland.gov/DnrCompassPortal’.
Hunting and Fishing Day
The Maryland Department of Natural Resources will be sponsoring the tenth annual Maryland’s Celebration of National Hunting and Fishing Day on Saturday, September 23, 2017. The event will be held at theIzaak Walton League of America In Washington County located at 12759 Independence Road, Clear Spring, MD 21722. Open to the public, this FREE EVENT will run from 10a.m. to 4p.m.. This family-oriented day offers fun and educational hands-on activities that everyone will enjoy. It is a great way to introduce young people and newcomers to outdoor sports, while teaching them about the important role that hunting and fishing play in Maryland’s wildlife conservation programs. A few of the fun and challenging hands-on activities participants can try include spin casting, archery, and target shooting on the grounds with skilled instructors. There will be displays of hunting and fishing equipment and demonstrations of outdoor skills. Kids will enjoy the clay pigeon and archery shooting range, wood duck box making, fly tying and spin casting, dog demonstrations, and much more!
For more information, visit dnr.maryland.gov/wildlife/Pages/hunt_trap/NHFD.aspx or contact Chris Markin at 410-221-8838 X105 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
WEB-BASED LICENSE SYSTEM
DNR’s web-based COMPASS licensing system provides the fastest and greenest way to purchase your hunting license. In addition to our seven DNR Service Centers and more than 250 sport license agents, this web-based system is available 24/7 for self-service online purchases. Connect to COMPASS through dnr.maryland.gov/Pages/licensing.aspx.
On your first visit, you will supply your personal information. You will receive a free DNRid number and can then print your free DNRid Card. Your DNRid number is all that will be needed to locate your account for future purchases. Licenses are available for instant printing and an electronic copy is emailed within 30 minutes after purchase if you have provided an email address. Hunting and recreational fishing licenses can be reprinted at any time, free of charge. Hunters can print additional Big Game Harvest Records and check your harvest, both free, through COMPASS online.