Junior Hunters

hunting laws book cover

On this page:

Junior Hunting License

Children 16 and under must have a junior hunting license to hunt. There is no minimum age to purchase a junior hunting license.

After a junior hunter's 16th birthday, they may continue to hunt on their junior license for the remainder of the calendar year, if they complete the hunter safety course they can continue to hunt on their junior license and hunt without supervision (except for youth hunting days) or they may upgrade to an adult license and cannot hunt on youth hunt days. If they purchase an adult license they must also purchase necessary permits.

Junior license holders can hunt with a firearm, bow and arrow, or crossbow (see Crossbow Information. The license 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.

Note: A lifetime license purchased for a hunter under 16 years of age is considered a junior license until upgraded to an adult license by contacting MDIFW.

Back to top

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.

    Note: On Youth Only Hunting Day, the accompanying parent, guardian, or qualified adult shall not possess a firearm, bow and arrow or crossbow while accompanying a participating youth hunter.

B. "In the presence of" means:

"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.

Back to top

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 person is continuing to hunt on a junior license and has turned 16 they may hunt on youth hunting days. If that 16 year old who is hunting with a junior hunting license has completed their hunter safety course they still must have adult supervison on the youth days only.

On these days, all laws pertaining to hunting deer, bear, spring wild turkey and waterfowl apply. The accompanying parent, guardian or qualified adult, shall not possess a firearm, bow and arrow or crossbow, except on youth waterfowl days*. On youth deer, bear and spring turkey days the parent, guardian or qualified adult may carry a handgun pursuant to Title 25 M.R.S. SS 2001-A, but the handgun may not be used for the purpose of hunting.

16-year-olds still hunting on valid junior hunting licenses may hunt on youth hunt days without purchasing additional permits, except for migratory waterfowl youth hunt days, which require anyone 16 or older to obtain a valid Federal Migratory Bird Hunting Stamp.

Youth Hunting Days
Species Youth Hunting Days(s) Regulations Pertaining to Junior Hunters
Bear* August 25, 2018 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 20, 2018 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 27, 2019 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 15, 2018 & December 8, 2018
All duck species - except Harlequins, Barrow's Goldeneye, Moorhens and Gallinules - may be hunted on these days, including geese.

For the October 21, November 4, and December 9 youth days, the goose limit is under the Regular Season limit. On September 15, September 22, October 20, November 3, and December 8, scoters, eiders, and long-tailed ducks may be taken as part of the 6 bird daily limit on regular ducks. Also on these dates, 2 Black Ducks may be taken.) Must follow regular season bag limits and exceptions.

The supervisor may not carry a firearm, bow and arrow, or crossbow while accompanying a youth hunter on a youth hunt day except when it occurs during the early goose season the accompanying adult may hunt for geese only.
South Zone:
September 22, 2018 & October 20, 2018
Coastal Zone:
September 22, 2018 & November 3, 2018
* The accompanying parent, guardian, or qualified adult shall not possess a firearm, bow and arrow or crossbow while accompanying a participating youth hunter. The accompanying parent, guardian, or qualified adult may carry a handgun pursuant to Title 25 M.R.S. SS 2001-A, but the handgun may not be used for the purpose of hunting. .

Back to top