With one of the largest black bear populations in the United States, Maine offers excellent opportunities for hunting and trapping bear. Maine is the only state within the lower 48 states that allows bear trapping as a method of harvest and trapping is an important component of Maine’s black bear management plan.
To better educate, prepare, and remove barriers for those interested in trapping black bear in Maine, MDIFW updated bear trapping permit requirements and developed a Black Bear Trapping Education course. The course ensures new participants are well prepared to understand the unique requirements and safety aspects of bear trapping. The course is available online and will be offered in-person.
The new permit requirements allow bear trapping under the authority of a big game hunting license, removing barriers for residents, nonresidents, and registered Maine guides who offer bear trapping to their clients. Bear trappers must have a bear trapping permit and big game hunting license or a bear trapping permit and trapping license.
Bear trapping permit requirements, effective January 1, 2022:
A bear trapping permit and a big game hunting license or a bear trapping permit and trapping license are required to set a trap for a bear during the bear trapping season (September 1 – October 31). You are allowed to take one bear by trapping and one bear by hunting annually. The fee for a bear trapping permit is $10 for residents and $67 for nonresidents.
Effective as of January 1, 2022, to purchase a bear trapping permit you have three options:
Option 1: Must have completed a Maine Trapping Education course (includes all furbearers and bear) dated after 1978. OR Previously held a Maine Bear Trapping permit prior to 2022.
Option 2: Must have completed the NEW Maine Black Bear Trapping Education course (online or in-person).
Option 3: A person may trap for bear under the supervision of and in the presence of a licensed hunting guide who has successfully completed the Maine Black Bear Trapping Education course. *These permits are only issued from the Augusta office.
First time trapping licenses (including first time bear trapping permits) must be purchased through the MDIFW office in Augusta (in person or by emailing or mailing a Trapping License Application (PDF) to the MDIFW Augusta office). Trapping license renewals, including bear trapping renewal permits, may be purchased online.