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 going out to trap for wild animals or before going out to help another person who is trapping. An unlicensed person may accompany a trapper only as an observer.

All trapping licenses are issued from the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife office in Augusta. Trapping license cannot be purchased online.

A trapping license remains valid from July 1st through June 30 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 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 actually live on that land and the land is used only for agricultural purposes. If you trap for beaver, you must have 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 adult supervisor for up to two years without having to take a trapper education course. An "adult 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 adult supervisor at all times. An apprentice 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. License holders can contact the Department to receive the temporary marten and fisher tags.

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Definitions and Rules

Resident means a citizen of the United States or an alien 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.
  • If owning a motor vehicle located within the state, has registered each such vehicle in 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.

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Trapping License Fees

Residency License/Permit Fee
Maine Residents Trapping (16 and Older) $36.00
Junior Trapping (10 to 15 years) $10.00
Apprentice Trapping (16 and older) $36.00
Bear Trapping Permit (10 and older)* $27.00
Nonresidents Trapping (any age) $318.00
Apprentice Trapping (16 and older) $318.00
  Bear Trapping Permit (10 and older)* $67.00
* 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, except bear, without a license but must be accompanied at all times by an adult supervisor. Children over 10 years of age and under 16 years of age who hold a junior trapping license must be accompanied, 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.

"Adult 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 license or has completed a trapper education course.

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Outdoor Safety Courses

Do you need to take an outdoor safety course to obtain your license for firearms, archery, crossbow, or trapping?

Maine law requires completion to obtain your adult license unless you have previously done so or have held an adult license.

These courses are made available in your area by volunteer instructors certified by the Department of Inland Fisheries & Wildlife. Pre-registration is requested and/or required. Courses will include 6 to 12 hours of instruction dependent on the subject.

Sponsors include school districts, sports clubs, civic groups, and others. Courses will be scheduled based on instructor availability.

For information on becoming a volunteer instructor, contact your local Regional Safety Coordinator or the Recreational Safety Division Office at (207) 287-5220.

For course listings, see Trapper Education Courses.

Recreational Safety Division:

Mailing Address: 284 State Street, Station 41, Augusta Maine 04333
Office Address: 8 Federal Street, Augusta Maine 04330

Michael Sawyer, Recreational Safety & Vehicle Coordinator (207) 287-5222, cell (207) 557-0553
Secretary, (207) 287-5220

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