Trapping License Information

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Trapping License Requirements

Except for certain landowners, full-time Department employees engaged in official duties, and children under 10, everyone, including animal damage control agents and animal control officers appointed pursuant to Title 7, must have the appropriate trapping license before setting a trap for wild animals or before assisting another person who is trapping. An unlicensed person may accompany a trapper only as an observer.

A person buying a trapping license for the first time must purchase it through the MDIFW office in Augusta via mail or in person, click here for a trapping license application (PDF). Beginning in 2021, trapping license renewals including bear permits can be purchased online.

A trapping license remains valid from July 1st through June 30th of the following year.

  • Maine residents under 10 years old may trap without a license, except bear. An individual must be at least 10 years of age to trap a bear.
  • Maine residents and nonresidents who are at least 10, but less than 16 years old, must have a junior trapping license. (Note: A junior trapping license issued to a 15 year old is good for the entire calendar year regardless of when he person turns 16.)
  • Maine residents who are 16 or older, must have a resident trapping license (see resident landowners below).
  • Resident landowners, and immediate family members may trap without a license on their own land as long as their license to trap is not under revocation or suspension, if they currently live on that land and the land is used only for agricultural purposes.
  • Nonresidents: Nonresident trappers 16 years of age and older must have a non resident trapping license. Nonresidents 10 to 15 years of age must have a junior trapping license and those under 10 years of age may trap without a trapping license.

Note: Nonresidents who are citizens of the U.S. are not allowed to trap beaver unless their home state allows Maine residents to trap beaver. A nonresident who isn't a citizen of the U.S. cannot trap in Maine unless it is for beaver AND their province of residency allows Maine residents to trap beaver in that province.

Apprentice License: An apprentice trapper license allows a person who has never held a valid adult trapping license to go trapping with an apprentice trapper supervisor for up to two years without having to take a trapper education course. An “apprentice trapper supervisor” is one who has held a valid adult trapping license for the prior 3 consecutive years. The holder of an apprentice trapper license must, while trapping, be under the direct supervision of an apprentice trapper supervisor at all times. An apprenticeship trapper license allows a person to trap for all species that may be legally trapped, except black bear. The fee for an apprentice trapper license is the same as a regular trapping license.

Attention Lifetime Trapping License Holders

The Department mails trapping information to all trappers each fall. Please contact the Department at (207)-287-8000 if your contact information has changed or you no longer plan to trap.

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Harvest Reports

Trappers that are 16 years old and older, including Lifetime License holders, are required to complete a Fall and Spring Harvest Report, even if you did not trap. These reports are mailed to all trappers each fall and can be completed online. These reports provide important data for all furbearers on trapper effort trends. More information: Trapping Laws.

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Definitions and Rules

Resident means a citizen of the United States or a person who is not a citizen of the United States who has been domiciled in the State for one year who:

  • if registered to vote, is registered in this State;
  • if licensed to drive a motor vehicle, has made application for or possesses a motor vehicle operator's license issued by the State;
  • has registered in Maine any motor vehicles they own that are located within the State;
  • is in compliance with the state income tax laws;
  • is a full-time student at a Maine college or university who satisfies above requirements.

NONRESIDENT means a person who does not fall within the definition of a resident.

PURCHASE YOUR TRAPPING LICENSE ONLINE

Trapping license renewals, including Apprenticeship Trapping, Bear Trapping Permit, and Junior Trapping License can be purchased online.

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Trapping License Fees

Residency License/Permit Fee
Maine Residents Trapping (16 and Older) $36.00
Apprentice Trapping (16 and older) $36.00
Bear Trapping Permit (10 and older)* $10.00
Nonresidents Trapping (any age) $318.00
Apprentice Trapping (16 and older) $318.00
Bear Trapping Permit (10 and older)* $67.00
Juniors
(Resident & Nonresident)
Junior Trapping (10- 15 years) $10.00**
* A trapping license is also required.

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Trapper Education Course

When applying for any Maine trapping license (except a junior license), proof of having successfully completed a state-approved trapper education course is required or proof of having held an adult trapping license (in Maine or in some other state, province or country) at some time since 1978. See Outdoor Safety Courses.

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Trapping by Youth

Children under 10 years of age are allowed to trap all legal species without a license but must be accompanied at all times by a junior trapper supervisor. Exception: Children under 10 years of age may not trap black bear. Learn about bear trap permit requirements

Children over 10 years of age and under 16 years of age who hold a junior trapping license must be accompanied by a junior trapper supervisor unless they have successfully completed a trapper education course.The person who accompanies a youth trapper is responsible for any violations committed by this trapper.

"Junior Trapper Supervisor" for a junior trapper means a parent or guardian of the junior trapper or a person 18 years of age or older who is approved by the parent or guardian of the junior trapper and who holds or has held a valid adult trapping li cense or has completed a trapper education course.

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Outdoor Safety Courses

Maine law requires all firearms, archery, crossbow, or trapping license applicants to complete an outdoor safety course, unless they have previously held an adult license.

To purchase a bear trapping permit, you must complete the black bear trapping education course online or in-person, learn more at mefishwildlife.com/bearcourse. Exceptions to this course requirement can be found on the bear trapping page.

Trapping courses are traditional, in-person classes. Firearms, bowhunter, and crossbow hunter safety courses are available in two different formats: online and traditional in-person classes. An in-person skills and exam session is required for students ages 10-15 who take firearms and bowhunter safety courses online. The in-person classes are sponsored by school districts, sports clubs, civic groups, and others, and are taught statewide by volunteer instructors certified by MDIFW. Pre-registration is typically required.

To begin taking a course online or to register for an in-person course, visit Trapper Education Courses. For information on becoming a volunteer instructor, contact your local Regional Safety Coordinator or the Recreational Safety Division Office.

Recreational Safety Division
(207) 287-5220

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Maine Lifetime License

A Maine Tradition and a Gift that Lasts a Lifetime

A lifetime license, purchased for yourself or as a gift, allows the bearer to fish, trap, and/or hunt for their lifetime, regardless of where they live in the future. Revenues generated by these licenses are deposited in a special trust fund that provides longterm financial support for Maine’s fish and wildlife.

Lifetime license holders (not complimentary) are required to purchase any additional hunting/fishing permits between the ages of 16 and 69.

Maine Resident Applicants 70+ Years of Age

For a one-time fee of $8.00, a senior lifetime license entitles the holder to all privileges they are qualified to receive including hunting, trapping, archery, and fishing The resident lifetime trapping license holder (70 years of age and older) must obtain the bear trapping permit free of charge, by calling MDIFW at 207-287-8000.

Note: If you purchased a senior lifetime license before age 70, you do NOT have to pay the $8.00 fee.

Other Complimenary Trapping Licenses

For information on other complimentary/special licenses call 207-287-8000.

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