​Who May Hunt Without a License

​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.

Notes:

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 DNR Sport License agent or online at www.dnr.maryland.gov/service.

  • 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 (Safety Tips​).