Massachusetts hunting licenses are required for all hunters in the state planning on taking wildlife from public hunting grounds. Hunters found to be hunting on public grounds without the proper credentials may be subject to poaching and other criminal charges, which can result in a number of fines and penalties. Hunting license requirements are set by the Massachusetts Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs. The state wildlife department regulates and approves hunting license applications submitted by both resident and non resident prospective hunters in Massachusetts. Each Massachusetts license to hunt is categorized based on a number of factors, such as the applicant’s age, residency status, the length of the hunting license’s validity and the type of animal the applicant wants to hunt with that particular license. Prior to buying hunting licenses though, applicants must first complete the state’s hunter education requirements. Hunter education courses cover a wide variety of hunting topics such as ethics, wildlife conservation, survival skills and the proper ways to set up camp in the wilderness. Applicants must also submit documents proving certain details about themselves, including proof of identity, proof of residency and proof of age (depending on which license the applicant is applying for). Prospective hunters can submit a hunting license application to the Massachusetts Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs online, in person or over the phone. Hunters must also pay the associated hunting license fee at the time of application. For more information on how to get hunting licenses in Massachusetts, read the sections outlined below:
- Types of Massachusetts hunting licenses
- How to buy Massachusetts hunting licenses
- Hunting education courses in Massachusetts
- Replacing Massachusetts hunting licenses
What types of hunting licenses are available in Massachusetts?
All hunters in Massachusetts must possess a valid hunting permit while hunting for game on public land. Each license to hunt is issued by the Massachusetts Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs to both residents and non residents. Hunting licenses are classified based on a number of factors, such as the applicant’s age, residency status, the length of time the hunting license is valid for and the type of animal the license allows the applicant to hunt. Hunters should know which type of license is right for them prior to submitting a hunting license application to the local wildlife department.
Available hunting license types include residential hunting licenses (for both citizens and non-citizens) and non resident hunting licenses. Additionally, the state wildlife department also offers a variety of hunting stamps including archery stamps, waterfowl stamps and primitive firearms stamps. Available hunting permits include wild turkey permits, black bear permits and antlerless deer permits.
Fees for each license to hunt in Massachusetts vary depending on the applicant’s residency status and age. Residents receive a discounted rate on hunting licenses, in comparison with non residents. Likewise, seniors and minors also receive discounts on residential hunting licenses.
How do I purchase hunting licenses in Massachusetts?
Various hunting license application methods are available to prospective hunters through the Massachusetts Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs. Prior to buying hunting licenses, hunters should make sure they have gathered the required documents (i.e. proof of residency, proof of age, proof of identity, etc.) and completed all hunter education requirements. Prospective hunters can buy hunting licenses in one of three ways:
- In person
- Over the phone
To buy hunting licenses online, complete a hunting license application through the MassFishHunt Online Licensing System. In the system, applicants must provide personal information such as their name, address, date of birth and Social Security Number. In addition, applicants must pay their hunting license fee with a credit card.
To buy hunting licenses in person, visit an authorized Massachusetts licensing agent. Licensing agents can be found at retail stores, city or town clerk offices, Massachusetts Division of Marine Fisheries offices and Division of Fisheries and Wildlife offices. To buy hunting licenses over the phone, call the Massachusetts wildlife department’s hotline between 5 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Sunday.
Non-U.S. citizens applying for hunting licenses may need to submit additional documents for identity verification.
Am I required to take any hunting classes to be eligible for a Massachusetts hunting license purchase?
Hunters submitting an hunting license application to the Massachusetts Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs are required to first take and pass a hunter education course. Exemptions are made for all hunters who previously bought hunting licenses prior to 2007. Upon completion of the hunter education requirements, hunters will be given a hunter education certificate of completion, which can be used to buy hunting licenses through the state wildlife department. Hunter education courses are taught by wildlife experts and cover topics such as firearm safety, wildlife conservation and management, survival skills and hunting ethics.
Prospective hunters between 15 and 17 years of age must provide the following documents when applying for a hunting license: a hunter education certificate and a letter of consent from a parent or guardian. Applicants with hunter education certificates from other states may buy hunting licenses in Massachusetts.
How do I replace hunting licenses in Massachusetts?
Lost or stolen hunting licenses can be replaced through the Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs. To do so, visit the MassFishHunt Online Licensing System and log in to the account you originally used to buy hunting licenses. Once logged in, click the reprint hunting license link and print the duplicate.
Hunters who bought hunting permits in person or over the phone must visit a local Massachusetts wildlife department office, a Division of Fisheries and Wildlife office or a Division of Marine Fisheries office to buy a duplicate hunting license. The department does not charge a fee for hunting license replacements.