Game Husbandry Permit/License

Any person who desires to raise, breed, protect, or sell native game birds in Maryland is required to have a Game Husbandry License/Permit. The fee for the Game Husbandry License/Permit is $5.00. Native game bird species that this permit is required for include the following: bobwhite quail, ring-necked pheasant, wild turkey, ruffed grouse and any waterfowl species regulated by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

Species covered under the game husbandry permit may only be sold live to a person who has obtained a State permit to possess that species; i.e., licensed game breeder, retriever trainer, regulated shooting area, etc.; or dead, with no permit necessary, for human consumption. However, an individual may purchase live birds without a permit if he intends to keep them for less than 48 hours.

The license specifies the species of game birds which may be bred, raised, protected, or sold and for what purpose. It also specifies the type of fencing or other requirements necessary to prevent undesirable mixing of native wildlife and the captive game birds, and other conditions necessary to ensure adequate protection of native wildlife.

Term of License

The license expires on December 31 after the date of issuance and may be revoked at any time for noncompliance with the license's terms and conditions.

Reporting Requirements

A ledger must be kept for any species raised or acquired, the number killed, and the number sold dead or alive, etc. The entry shall be made within 48 hours of the occurrence. Also, a bill of sale or similar document shall be kept as long as the animal remains in your possession.

The licensee must also allow the Department to enter and inspect the records and the premises where operations are carried on at any reasonable hour.

Shipping or Removing from Premises

If any game bird raised in captivity is shipped or removed from the licensee's premises, the game bird must be properly identified until prepared for final consumption or disposition. If moved within the State any game bird moved must be accompanied by an itemized bill of sale from the licensee. If shipped out-of-state, any game bird must have a bill of lading attached to the shipping carton, crate, or other container.

Click here for Application for Game Husbandry Permit

Related Permits

Request by E-mail:

Request by Phone:
Toll-free in Maryland:
1-877-620-8DNR [8367], Extension 8540
TTY: Maryland Relay via 1-800-735-2258 or 711

Request by Mail:
Wildlife Permit Coordinator
Maryland Department of Natural Resources
Wildlife and Heritage Service
580 Taylor Ave., E-1
Annapolis MD 21401

The Tawes State Office Building is open to customers by appointment only; walk-in customers will not be accepted without a confirmed appointment.

To schedule wildlife permit appointments please email or call 410-260-8540.