Opportunities for People with Disabilities

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Permits Available to Individuals with Permanent Physical Disabilities

About the Permit

The Commissioner may issue a special permit to a person with a permanent physical disability. The permit allows that person to hunt, trap, or fish at times or in a manner otherwise prohibited by Maine law in order to enhance access to hunting, trapping, or fishing opportunities. The commissioner may authorize only the minimum special exceptions necessary to overcome the applicant's disability and allow that applicant to safely hunt, trap or fish.

How do I apply for the permit?

The applicant must provide the commissioner with a letter (medical evaluation form) signed by a licensed physician clearly stating the nature of that person's disability, the permanence of the disability and the extent to which the disability affects that person's ambulatory ability or endurance; use of one or both hands, arms or legs; or sight or hearing.

Each applicant's disability and needs will be reviewed by the department and a determination made regarding the special authorization that may be made to enhance the applicant's access to fishing, hunting and trapping opportunities. The commissioner determines, based on the information provided, whether or not the permanent physical disability prevents that person from safely accessing hunting, trapping or fishing opportunities at the times or in the manner allowed by law. The person must also meet all other requirements for issuance of that permit and related licensing requirements and is not otherwise ineligible for that permit. See Special Permit to Accommodate Permanent Physical Disabilities (PDF).

You may also email, write or call the department for an application at Maine Department of Inland Fisheries & Wildlife, Information Center, 284 State Street, 41 State House Station, Augusta, ME 04333-0041 - Telephone (207) 287-8000

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Specific Permits Available to Individuals with Disabilities

The law allows for specific permits to be issued as follows:

Acquired Brain Injury (fish only)

A complimentary fishing license may be issued to any person with a head injury as defined by Title 22, section 3086.

This complimentary license remains effective for the life of the license holder if the license is not revoked or suspended.

The license can only be obtained from MDIFW's main office in Augusta. Download Complimentary License Application (PDF).

Blind (fish only)

A complimentary fishing license may be issued to a resident who is 16 years of age and older and blind.

This license remains valid for the life of the license holder, as long as the license holder continues to satisfy the residency requirements in Title 12, section 10001, subsection 53, and the license is not revoked or suspended.

The application must be accompanied by certified evidence that the applicant is permanently blind. For the purpose of this subsection, "blind" means having visual acuity for distant vision of 20/200 if the widest diameter of field vision subtends an angle no greater than 20 degrees.

The license can only be obtained from MDIFW's main office in Augusta. Download Complimentary License Application (PDF).

Developmentally Disabled (fish only)

A complimentary fishing license may be issued to any person with developmental disability, as defined in Title 5, section 19503, subsection 3.

The application must be accompanied by a statement signed by the persons physician that states that the applicant's functional limitations substantially limit that person's ability to fish independently.

This complimentary license remains effective for the life of the license holder, if the license is not revoked or suspended.

The license can only be obtained from MDIFW's main office in Augusta. Download Complimentary License Application (PDF).

DHHS Custody (fish only)

A complimentary fishing license may be issued to any resident 16 or 17 years old who is in the custody of DHHS.

The license can only be obtained from MDIFW's main office in Augusta. Download Complimentary License Application (PDF).

Disabled Veterans

A disabled veteran who has a service connected disability evaluated at 50% or more may obtain a complimentary license to fish, trap, hunt, including archery, muzzleload, bear, migratory bird, pheasant, spring/fall wild turkey, coyote night hunt, crossbow, one expanded archery antlerless deer permit, one expanded archery either sex permit, and upon meeting the qualifications, a license to guide.

This license is available to disabled veterans who are residents of Maine, New Hampshire, and Vermont.

This license(s) remains valid for the life of the license holder, as long as the license holder continues to satisfy the residency requirements in Title 12, section 10001, subsection 53, and the license is not revoked or suspended.

Note: Holders of this license no longer have to obtain the additional permits each year as they are now included as part of the license. They must still apply for any lottery permits such as moose and any-deer.

The license can only be obtained from MDIFW's main office in Augusta. Download Complimentary License Application (PDF).

Paraplegic

A complimentary resident hunting and fishing license may be issued to a resident who has lost, or who has permanently lost the use of, both lower extremities. This license remains valid for the life of the license holder, as long as the license holder continues to satisfy the residency requirements in Title 12, section 10001, subsection 53, and the license is not revoked or suspended.

Those who have a complimentary paraplegic hunting license or are suffering from the loss of, or the permanent loss of use, of both lower extremities or have lost all or part of one or more lower limbs not including a partial foot amputation are entitled to an any-deer permit in the district of their choice in any part of the State open to the taking of antlerless deer. Those who have a complimentary paraplegic hunting license do not need to apply for an any-deer permit. Your license grants you the right to an antlerless deer from any wildlife management district where any-deer permits are allocated. When registering the antlerless deer, use your MOSES ID number as your permit number. Those who do not have a complimentary paraplegic license but qualify under this section must submit a letter signed by a physician verifying the ambulatory disability.

A complimentary nonresident hunting and fishing license may also be issued to a person from another state who would qualify as described above as long as the state where the person resides provides a reciprocal privilege for residents of this State.

The following states currently have reciprocal privileges (New Hampshire, Vermont, Connecticut and Massachusetts).

The license(s) can only be obtained from MDIFW's main office in Augusta. Download Complimentary License Application (PDF)

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Other Complimentary Licenses:

Patients and Inmates at Certain State Institutions

Free fishing privileges.

Patients at Togus VA (fish only)

Allows inpatients at Togus VA Hospital to fish without license in the inland waters within 25 miles of Togus

Group Home Residents and Students With Disabilities

Permit to fish without a license for periods of not more than 3 days as long as the fishing activity is conducted as part of an educational program. While fishing, all patients must be supervised by a member of the facility's staff or a volunteer supervisor, or the patient's must be carrying a valid pass from the group home or hospital which clearly states that he/she is a patient at the facility and authorized to fish under a Group Home Fishing Permit issued to the facility. Staff and supervisors are not covered by the permit and must possess a valid fishing license in order to fish.

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Existing Statutory Authorizations

Shooting From a Motor Vehicle

Allows paraplegics and single or double amputees to shoot from motor vehicles that are not in motion.

Unconventional Weapons

Provides for a license to be issued to individuals who have lost both arms, or the use of both arms to hunt with an unconventional weapon, as long as they can demonstrate to the satisfaction of the commissioner, proficiency with the weapon, including knowledge of safety skills and responsible hunting practices relevant to that weapon.

Fly Fishing by Person Who Has Suffered the Loss of an Arm

Allows a person who possesses a valid fishing license and has suffered the loss of an arm to use any type of rod and reel to fish with a fly on waters open to fly fishing only. For the purpose of this subsection, "loss of an arm" means the physical loss of the arm at the wrist or above.

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Accessible Recreation and Leisure Activities