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Hunting regulations for minors

Youth hunters, 12 to 17 years of age, must follow regulations specific to their age.

No person under the age of 12 may hunt in Massachusetts.

Minors 12–14 years of age

Minors 12-14 years of age may hunt when accompanied by a duly licensed adult. The adult and the minor share one firearm/bow and a single bag limit. Only one minor per licensed adult is permitted.

The adult must have:

  • a valid Massachusetts hunting or sporting license
  • any required state or federal stamps
  • a firearms license if a firearm is being used. Firearms licenses are issued by your local police department.

The minor (12–14 years of age) is not required to possess any of the above.

Minors 15–17 years of age

Minors 15-17 years of age must be licensed and have the required stamps and permits to hunt any bird or mammal.

The minor (15-17 years of age) must be accompanied by an adult unless the minor has a government-issued Basic Hunter Education certificate. Minors hunting without adult supervision must carry their Basic Hunter Education certificate while hunting.

If the minor (15-17 years of age) is hunting with a firearm, they must adhere to Massachusetts Firearms license laws and will likely need to obtain a Firearms Identification Card (FID). Firearms licenses are issued by your local police department. 

Purchasing a Minor Hunting License
(for minors 15–17 years of age)

In order to purchase a hunting or sporting license in Massachusetts, resident or non-resident minors 15–17 years of age must present the following documentation to the licensing authority:

  1. A signed letter of consent from a parent or guardian and
  2. one of the following:
    • A written statement that at all times when hunting or target practicing they will be accompanied by a person 18 years of age or older (this option does not require successful completion of Basic Hunter Education)
    • or– A certificate of completion from a Basic Hunter Education course. 

Minor hunting or sporting licenses cannot be purchased online. If you aren't sure what to bring to a license vendor, download a Massachusetts Minor Hunting Application at 

Minor licenses can be purchased at all MassWildlife offices and participating vendor locations, including some sporting goods stores and other retailers. To find a map of license vendors, visit

Additional Resources for

Resources for Parents and Guardians of Youth Hunters

Hunter Education

Minors can take the Basic Hunter Education course, with parent or guardian permission (it is recommended that students are 12 years of age or older). The Basic Hunter Education course in Massachusetts is a multi-session course offered in various locations throughout the state. For more details, please visit the Basic Hunter Education schedule or call the Hunter Education office at (508) 389-7820. 

To prepare for an upcoming Basic Hunter Education course, students have access to a free, online study guide at


Youth Hunt Days & Programs

Special hunt days and programs are designed for young hunters. Details about youth hunt days and programs can be found by clicking on the following links:


Firearms licensing in Massachusetts

In order to hunt with most types of guns, Massachusetts residents ages 15 and older need to apply for and obtain a Massachusetts Firearms license (i.e. Firearms Identification Card (FID) or a License to Carry Firearms (LTC)). Contact your local police department for application information.

Additional Resources for