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All children that have not yet reached their 16th birthday 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 with or without taking the hunter safety course. If the junior hunter does take the hunter
safety course it must be appropriate for the method in which they intend to hunt with. He or she may then hunt without supervision and keep all the junior hunter permits but must carry their valid junior hunting license as well as their hunter safety card.
The junior hunter is not required to upgrade to the adult license until the calendar year they turn 17 but they may upgrade to the adult license in their 16th year. Upgrading while they are 16 years of age will require them to purchase any necessary permits. Junior license holders can hunt with a firearm, bow and arrow, or crossbow (see Laws Pertaining to Hunting Equipment for more 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: Junior hunters do not need to obtain a physical permit for the permits listed above as they are included in the license.
Note: A lifetime license purchased for a hunter under 16 years of age is considered a junior license until upgraded to an adult license which can be done by contacting MDIFW.
- Hunters from 10–15 years of age must be in the presence of, and under the effective control of, a junior hunter supervisor.
- Hunters under the age of 10 must be in the presence of, and under the effective control of, a junior hunter supervisor who remains at all times within 20 feet of the hunter.
A. A "Junior Hunter Supervisor" means:
- 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.
- A person 18 years of age or older who:
- Is approved by the parent or guardian of the junior hunter; and
- 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.
Junior hunters who hold a valid junior hunting license (including a lifetime license) can participate in special youth hunting days for bear, deer, spring and fall 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 and fall 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 and fall 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.
|Species||Youth Hunting Days(s)||Regulations Pertaining to Junior Hunters|
|Bear||August 26, 2023||A licensed junior hunter may hunt a 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, 2023 - October 21, 2023||Junior hunters may take one antlered deer statewide. Junior hunters may take antlerless deer without a permit in designated WMDs (in 2023 all WMDs/Subunits allow the take of anterless deer without an antlerless permit) during the Youth Deer Hunt. If a junior hunter takes a deer during the Youth Deer Hunt, they are prohibited from taking additional deer unless they have antlerless deer permits or participate in the expanded archery season (designated areas only) with appropriate expanded archery permits.|
|Spring Wild Turkey||April 27, 2024||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.|
|Fall Wild Turkey||September 16, 2023||Participants may take up to two wild turkeys on this day, with a shotgun or bow and arrow, but cannot exceed an individual WMD bag limit. If hunting in different WMDs, the order in which they are taken does not matter.|
September 16, 2023 & December 9, 2023
|ALL duck species except Harlequins, Barrow’s Goldeneye, Moorhens and Gallinules, may be hunted on these days, including geese. For the Sep 23, Oct 21, Oct 28 and Dec 9 youth days, the goose limit is under the Regular Season limit. On youth waterfowl hunting days, 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.
September 23, 2023 & October 21, 2023
September 23, 2023 & October 28, 2023