Crossbow Hunter Safety

Taking a hunter safety course is the first step to joining a wonderful community of conservationists! Hunters have a longstanding role as conservationists, helping keep wildlife populations at healthy levels and giving biologists valuable harvest data. Hunters also provide funding for wildlife management through the purchase of their license and a manufacturer-paid tax on firearms and ammunition. Without hunters, it would not be possible for the department to closely monitor and protect game and non-game species in our state.

Hunting is the ultimate way to connect with our state’s fantastic resources, bond with friends and family, and bring home excellent table fare. Maine offers some of the best hunting opportunities in the country. With over 17 million acres of extraordinary land and waterways, there’s so many options to explore. Here is what you need to know to get started by completing your crossbow safety course.

Crossbow education courses are available in two different formats: online and traditional in-person.

Note: To hunt with a crossbow you must successfully complete a crossbow hunting education program in addition to completing an archery hunting education program OR a firearms hunter safety course. There is no set order in which the courses must be taken. See exceptions and learn more about the crossbow hunting permit (PDF).


Students can complete the crossbow safety course online at Upon successful completion of the online course, students can pay $30.00 to obtain their course completion voucher (crossbow education card) which allows them to purchase a Maine crossbow hunting permit online or from a licensing agent (such as a town office or sporting goods store). Please review the additional requirements for obtaining a crossbow permit.


Traditional in-person courses are available to all students and are taught by trained, certified volunteer instructors who meet state and international standards. Volunteer instructors provide valuable information to new hunters including insight into the sport of hunting, resources and support. In-person courses provide students the opportunity to ask questions of instructors and gain further guidance. There is typically no fee to complete a traditional in-person course, although some course hosts require a nominal fee to help cover facility rental or cleaning costs.

In-person courses require students to attend a 3-hour session of classroom instruction and successfully pass a written exam.

Current Courses

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Take the next step!

Completing a hunter safety course is just the first step toward a lifelong journey of learning and being a safe and successful hunter. Enhance your skills and boost your confidence with one of our many next step opportunities. Whether you want to learn more about hunting a certain species, need more practice with your method of harvest, or just want an opportunity to ask questions and connect with other hunters, our next step workshops are the perfect place to start.

Learn more