Hunting licenses are valid from the day they are issued through the next July 31st, except the Nonresident 3-Day Waterfowl and Small Game License. They are available for purchase July 1st.
Full Season Hunting License
Allows you to hunt all legal game birds and mammals in season without the need for additional stamps, except: (1) deer during Archery Season; (2) deer during Muzzleloader Season; (3) sika deer, (4) migratory game birds; (5) furbearers, and (6) black bears. A Bonus Antlered Deer Stamp may also be used with these licenses.
Apprentice Hunting License is now available for first time hunters or junior hunters who are not ready for a regular hunting license. The Apprentice Hunting License is available to both residents and nonresidents. Adults may purchase the Apprentice Hunting License one time and only if they have never held a Maryland hunting license in the past. Junior hunters may purchase the license annually through age 16. Junior hunters must take the required online education course each year before purchasing the Apprentice Hunting License.
Satisfactory completion of a short, online hunter safety course is required prior to purchasing the license and the apprentice hunter is required to hunt with a resident at least 18 years old who possesses a valid Maryland non-apprentice hunting license. The Maryland Natural Resources Police (NRP), Safety Education Section provides Hunter Education Courses.
Resident Apprentice Hunting License .................................................................. $15.00
For first-time Maryland resident hunters of any age who never held a Maryland hunting license. Junior hunters may purchase this license annually through age 16.
Nonresident Apprentice Hunting License ............................................................. $40.00
For first-time non-resident hunters of any age who never held a Maryland hunting license. Nonresident junior hunters may purchase this license annually through age 16.
A person may not purchase an Apprentice Hunting License if they have previously obtained any hunting license in Maryland, unless under the age of 17.
Use of an Apprentice Hunting License requires the following:
- Successful completion of a short, online hunter safety course is required prior to purchasing this license.
- Appropriate stamps are needed to hunt migratory birds and deer (an Archery Stamp, a Muzzleloader Stamp, a Sika Deer Stamp and a bonus antlered deer stamp).
- The apprentice hunter must be accompanied and directly supervised by a Maryland resident at least 18 years old who possesses a valid Maryland non-apprentice hunting license.
- The apprentice and mentor hunter must hunt in close proximity so that the mentor can take immediate control of the archery device or firearm.
- The apprentice hunter can hunt unaccompanied if the full hunter safety course was taken and a Certificate of Competency in Firearms and Hunting Safety was acquired.
Resident Regular Hunting License $35.00
(Age 16 to 64)
Resident Junior Hunting License $15.00
(Under 16 years of age, written permission of parent or guardian required)
Resident Senior Hunting License $5.00
(Age 65 and above, may be purchased in the calendar year in which a resident attains the age of 65.)
Holders of Senior Lifetime Consolidated Licenses
This license has been eliminated, but persons who already hold this license are “grandfathered” and do not need to purchase the Senior Hunting License, Archery, or Muzzleloader Stamps. However, they must buy a Bonus Antlered Deer Stamp (to hunt a bonus antlered deer), a Sika Deer Stamp(to hunt sika deer), a Maryland Migratory Game Bird Stamp (to hunt migratory game birds), a Free Public Hunting Permit (where required), and a Furbearer Permit (to hunt or chase furbearers). A Big Game Harvest Record may be obtained at no charge from any Department of Natural Resources
Sport License Agent location, in person or by mail from any
Department of Natural Resources Service Center, or you can print your own.
Nonresident Hunting License $160.00
(Age 16 to 64)
Nonresident Senior Hunting License $65.00
(Age 65 and above, may be purchased in the calendar year in which a nonresident attains the age of 65)
Nonresident Junior Hunting License $80.00
(Under 16 years of age, written permission of parent or guardian required)
Short Term License Nonresident 3-Day Waterfowl and Small Game License $65.00
Allows nonresidents of Maryland to hunt all legal game except deer, bear, and turkey for 3 consecutive legal hunting days. A Maryland Migratory Game Bird Stamp is required to hunt migratory game birds and a Federal Migratory Bird Hunting and Conservation Stamp is required to hunt waterfowl and coots. A Furbearer Permit is required to hunt, chase, or trap furbearers. The Hunter Education and Safety Requirement does not apply to hunting only waterfowl with this license.
Nonresident Trapping License $50.00
Allows nonresidents of Maryland to trap furbearers in Maryland in addition to a nonresident hunting license and a furbearer permit.
Stamps Needed to Hunt in Maryland
Maryland Migratory Game Bird Stamp $15.00
This stamp is required for all persons who hunt migratory game birds (coots, doves, rails, snipe, waterfowl, and woodcock), including persons not required to have a hunting license and holders of senior hunting licenses. Hunters must possess the printed receipt showing proof of purchase of the Maryland Migratory Game Bird Stamp while hunting migratory game birds. An actual stamp will no longer be provided. The Harvest Information Program (HIP) permit (see Migratory Game Birds) is issued in conjunction with the Maryland Migratory Game Bird Stamp.
Federal Migratory Bird Hunting and Conservation Stamp
Federal Migratory Bird Hunting and Conservation Stamp - $25.00
At U.S. Post Offices and at
duckstamp.com - $27.00
This stamp (the federal duck stamp) is required for all waterfowl hunters, including those who are not required to purchase a hunting license. Hunters under the age of 16 are exempt. The federal duck stamp must be signed in ink to be valid. If you order your stamp online,
http://duckstamp.com, you will receive a purchase code. If you purchase your stamp from a sport license agent, Department of Natural Resources online licensing, or a Department of Natural Resources Licensing and Registration Center, you will receive a printed receipt. Both the purchase code and the printed receipt will be accepted as evidence of the purchase for 45 days and must be possessed while hunting waterfowl and coots. The paper stamp will be mailed to the purchaser. The proof of purchase will expire after 45 days after which purchaser must then possess the stamp, signed in ink, while hunting waterfowl and coots. The federal duck stamp does not have to be attached to the hunting license.
Missing Federal Duck Stamp: If you do not receive your federal duck stamp within 2-3 weeks after purchase via Department of Natural Resources online or by phone, please email
email@example.com or call 1-800-852-4897.
Required to hunt deer during Archery Season with valid hunting license. This includes crossbows.
Resident Archery Stamp - $6.00
Nonresident Archery Stamp - $25.00
Required to hunt deer during Muzzleloader Season with valid hunting license. This includes archery hunters that hunt with vertical bows and crossbows during the Muzzleloader Season.
Resident Muzzleloader Stamp - $6.00
Nonresident Muzzleloader Stamp - $25.00
Bonus Antlered Deer Stamp*
One bonus antlered white-tailed deer may be taken with the purchase of a Bonus Antlered Deer Stamp. The Bonus Antlered Deer Stamp must be purchased prior to pursuing a bonus antlered deer. Bonus Antlered Deer Stamps may not be used to take sika deer. Please consult the annual
Maryland Guide to Hunting and Trapping for additional restrictions concerning the use of Bonus Antlered Deer Stamps.
Resident Bonus Antlered Deer Stamp - $10.00
Nonresident Bonus Antlered Deer Stamp - $25.00
*Hunters entitled to hunt without a license do not need to purchase Archery, Muzzleloader, or Bonus Antlered Deer Stamps. Hunters with a Senior Lifetime Consolidated License do not need to purchase Archery or Muzzleloader Stamps but must purchase Bonus Antlered Deer Stamps to take bonus antlered deer.
NEW!! Sika Deer Stamp
Required to Hunt Sika Deer
Resident Sika Deer Stamp - $10.00
Nonresident Sika Deer Stamp - $25.00
Hunter Education And Safety Requirement
To hunt or purchase a hunting license in Maryland, State law requires:
- Presentation of a Certificate of Competency in Firearms and Hunting Safety (required of all first time hunters), or
- Certification that you held a hunting license issued prior to July 1, 1977, or
- Certification that you hunted on private property prior to July 1, 1977, and were legally exempt from purchasing a hunting license, or
- Certification that you are purchasing a nonresident license and will only hunt waterfowl.
Exception: Compliance with the Hunter Education and Safety Requirement does not apply to those who are hunting only waterfowl with a Nonresident 3-day Waterfowl and Small Game License (see below) and those shooting under a Regulated Shooting Area Hunting License who are not hunting wild or free flying captive-raised mallards. See below (Regulated Shooting Area Hunting License) and
Migratory Game Birds (Regulated Shooting Area Requirements).
Trapper Education for Maryland Hunter Education information.
Note: RESIDENT Junior Hunters (under 16 years of age) are entitled to a one-time FREE annual hunting license, Archery Stamp, and Muzzleloader Stamp upon successful completion of a Hunter Education Course and submission of the appropriate application to any
Department of Natural Resources Licensing and Registration Service Center.
Trapper Education Requirement
Any person who is trapping or attempting to trap furbearers (beaver, coyote, fisher, gray fox, long-tailed weasel, mink, muskrat, opossum, raccoon, red fox, river otter, and skunk), under the authority of a Furbearer Permit must first obtain a certificate of trapper education from the Department (or a designee of the Department), except that the certificate is not required if the person held a Furbearer Permit during the 2006-07 trapping season (prior to August 1, 2007). Trapper education courses are held statewide. Any similar certificate issued by another state is acceptable as complying with the educational requirements if the privileges are reciprocal for Maryland residents. See
Trapper Education Requirement.
Special Permits for Hunters With Disabilities
Universal Disability Pass (formerly known as Hunt From a Vehicle Permit)
Hunters with mobility impairments may obtain a special permit so they may hunt from a vehicle. Applications are available from
Department of Natural Resources Regional Wildlife & Heritage Service Offices. A physician must certify your permit application. See the
Public Hunting Lands or visit the department's
Access for All website for public hunting areas that can assist hunters with mobility impairments.
Click here for information about how to apply for the Universal Disability Pass, which has replaced the Hunt from Vehicle Permit.
Crossbow Permits are no longer required in Maryland
Complimentary POW-DAV Hunting Licenses
A complimentary lifetime license is available to Maryland residents who are 100% service connected disabled veterans or former prisoners of war. Applicant must furnish a letter of disability or a letter of certification from the Veterans Administration, along with a completed/signed
Hunting License Application. These documents can be scanned/faxed over to one of our
Licensing & Registration Service Centers.
The lifetime license is available only at the department's
Licensing and Registration Service Centers and includes the bow stamp, muzzleloader stamp, sika deer stamp and furbearer permit. The Maryland Migratory Game Bird Stamp is not part of the Complimentary License. The Migratory Game Bird Stamp, Federal Migratory Bird Hunting and Conservation Stamp, and the
Big Game Harvest Record are required for each year and can be obtained from a
Licensing and Registration Service Center, a
sport license agent, or online at:
Hunters in the Armed Forces
Maryland residents serving in the United States Armed Forces and stationed in Maryland must purchase a Resident Hunting License before hunting, unless they are on official leave and possess a copy of their official leave orders. Maryland residents serving in the United States Armed Forces, while hunting during official leave in Maryland, do not need to purchase a hunting license, deer stamps, or Department of Natural Resources Managed Hunt Permit; however, they must purchase a Maryland Migratory Game Bird Stamp, a federal Migratory Bird Hunting and Conservation Stamp, and a Furbearer Permit. You must possess a copy of your official leave orders while hunting and comply with the
Hunter Education and Safety Requirement.
Any nonresident serving in the United States Armed Forces whose duty station is in Maryland must purchase a Resident Hunting License before hunting. Any nonresident serving in the United States Armed Forces who is on leave in Maryland, but not stationed in Maryland, must purchase a Nonresident Hunting License before hunting.
Purple Heart Recipients
Any Maryland veteran who has received a Purple Heart for injuries sustained defending our nation now qualifies for a 50 percent discount on Maryland hunting and fishing licenses. The new discounted rate went into effect July 1, 2017.
Individuals interested in applying for the new discount program must apply directly to one of the
department’s regional licensing and registration services centers. Active duty military personnel must provide official documentation on their Purple Heart award; veterans are asked to bring their official discharge papers (Form DD214).
Nonresidents Attending College in Maryland
Nonresidents of Maryland who attend college in Maryland may purchase a hunting license at a resident rate upon providing proof of enrollment in a Maryland college. In order to complete this purchase you must apply directly to one of the
department’s regional licensing and registration services centers.
Who May Hunt Without a License
It is unlawful to hunt without a valid hunting license in your possession unless you are exempt from this requirement as described in this section. You are not required to possess a hunting license or stamps (except the Maryland Migratory Game Bird Stamp, the Federal Migratory Bird Hunting and Conservation Stamp, and a Furbearer Permit) if you are:
- A resident of Maryland (and their spouse) who owns property and who hunts only on that property. This also applies to: (1) the landowner’s children and grandchildren if they are under the age of 16; and (2) the landowner’s children and grandchildren, and the spouse of the children or grandchildren, regardless of age, if the child, grandchild, or their spouse, lives on the property, has worked on the property for at least 30 days during the preceding 12 months, or manages the property. Each person must individually qualify under these criteria. To qualify for this exemption, a landowner does not need to live on the property but must be able to prove ownership.
- A person (and spouse) who: (1) holds land under lease for agricultural purposes (or a sharecropper); and (2) lives on this farmland; and (3) hunts only on this farmland. This also applies to: (1) the lessee’s children and grandchildren if they are under the age of 16; and (2) the lessee’s children and grandchildren, and their spouses, if the child, grandchild, or spouse of the child or grandchild, lives on the property, has worked on the property for at least 30 days during the preceding 12 months, or manages the property.
- A nonresident (and spouse) who owns a contiguous piece of farmland that is in both Virginia and Maryland may hunt on the Maryland portion of the property without a Maryland hunting license, if the person’s primary residence is on the Virginia portion of the property. This also applies to the owner’s children and grandchildren if they are under the age of 16.
- A Maryland resident serving in the United States Armed Forces while on official leave in Maryland (whether stationed in Maryland or outside Maryland). You must possess a copy of official leave orders while hunting. See Hunters in the Armed Forces in the following text.
- A person serving in the United States Armed Forces who has a service–connected disability and possesses a valid military identification while hunting.
- A person who is a retired former member of the United States Armed Services and hunting on farmland that is in active farming status and owned by the person or the person’s spouse, child, child’s spouse, parent, grandparent, sibling, niece or nephew. A retired former member who hunts on farmland without a hunting license must possess the retired military identification card and written permission from the owner of the farm property specifying the relationship of the person to the owner of the property.
Hunters not required to have a license must obtain a free DNRid number and a free Maryland Big Game Harvest Record if they intend to hunt deer or turkeys. These items may be obtained from a
Department of Natural Resources Service Center, Department of Natural Resources
Sport License agent or online at
- Nonresidents of Maryland who own property in the State and hunt on that property are required to purchase a Nonresident Hunting License.
- Individuals who are exempt from Maryland hunting license requirements are subject to all State and federal laws and regulations relative to hunting and trapping.
- The Hunter Education and Safety Requirement applies to all individuals hunting in Maryland, even if they are exempt from the requirement to purchase a hunting license (see above).