Safety Courses

COVID-19 Guidance Checklist: Recreational Safety Courses

Hunting and Trapping

Each year, the Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife provides more than 350 courses on hunting with firearms, bow and arrow, and trapping. These are attended by roughly 7,500 students and taught by over 800 volunteer instructors trained by the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife.

Maine law requires completion to obtain your adult license unless you have previously done so or have held an adult license. Hunters and trappers in Maine must attend approved training courses specific to the license type they wish to purchase. By state law, anyone planning to buy a basic hunting license, archery license, crossbow license, or trapping license, must complete the respective hunter, archery, crossbow, or trapper education course. Individuals may purchase each of these licenses by showing a certificate of completion from the appropriate course, or a previously issued license of the same type.

If you would like to refresh your knowledge of safe and responsible hunting, then taking a hunter education course is a great idea.

Recreational Vehicles

The Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife provides approximately 200 courses to about 2,500 students per year for people who want to learn about the safe operation of snowmobiles, boats, or ATV's. Boating safety courses are also provided by the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliaries and by U.S. Power Squadrons around the state.

In order to operate an ATV under 16 years of age, you must complete an approved ATV Safety Course.

ATV Safety Institute Riders Course

The ATV Rider course may be taken in place of and Inland Fisheries and Wildlife course as a legal substitute. For information on the ASI Course, see - Select ATV Rider Course, Click on Online Enrollment, and follow prompts for information on requirements. Note: The ATV Safety Institute E-Course is not recognized by the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife.

Registering For a Course

Don't wait until hunting or trapping season to take a course; it'll be too late! Most courses are offered in the late summer and early fall prior to the start of hunting seasons. Courses are also offered in the spring. Completion of a spring course gives you time to become familiar with equipment, terrain, and hunting techniques. There are no costs for materials or instruction. Some courses may charge a nominal fee to cover the use of facilities and minor instructional expenses. All students will have to provide a survival kit, with most of the contents available from the home. Pre-registration is required. To enroll in the course, please call the listed instructor at the number given on the course listing.

Courses will include 6 to 12 hours of instruction depending on the subject. Sponsors include school districts, sports clubs, civic groups and others. Courses listed as 'Home Study', require attendance at scheduled sessions as well as study at home.

Volunteer instructors schedule each course. Some are completed in a weekend, while others may run multiple evenings, plus a Saturday or Sunday.

Minimum Age

Students must be at least 10 years of age to attend a class for firearms, archery, or trapping. Students under 10 may attend a recreational vehicle course. A person under 16 years of age must attend the ATV training course with that person's parent or guardian.

Become a Volunteer Instructor

To become a certified volunteer instructor, you must:

  • Successfully complete the basic course as a student and complete the appropriate application and written examination.
  • Be at least 18 years old with a record free of convictions. See Note
  • Complete an instructor training course.
  • Join an existing team of instructors or organize a new team.
  • Agree to attend training updates/workshops.

NOTE: Junior Instructor program available for 14 to 18 year olds

For more information, please contact the Safety Division by phone at (207) 287-5220. In order to start the certification process, you must contact the Regional Coordinator for your area.

Duplicate Certificates/Cards

The Department keeps records of graduates from its safety courses. If you have lost your certificate, you may obtain a duplicate from the Safety Division at no cost.

In person - 8 Federal Street, Augusta, Maine

Or use the contact form below.

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