Individuals who wish to purchase their first ever hunting or sporting license and who have never graduated from a Basic Hunter Education course should enroll.
Who needs to complete a Basic Hunter Education course?
By state law, anyone 18 years of age or older, who wishes to purchase a Massachusetts hunting or sporting license must have either:
A government issued Basic Hunter Education certificate from any jurisdiction
A hunting or sporting license held prior to January 1, 2007 from any jurisdiction in North America
If you completed your Basic Hunter Education requirement in another state, you must be diligent and ensure that you understand and adhere to Massachusetts' hunting laws. For a guide, please download the Massachusetts Hunting and Fishing Regulation Guide or pick up a hard copy at any license vendor.
Minors (17 years of age or younger) follow specific regulations based off of their age but will still need to have completed a Basic Hunter Education if they wish to continue hunting once they are 18 or older. Additionally, if they wish to hunt alone (15 years of age or older) and/or participate in certain youth hunt programs/days, they will need to have a certificate of completion from a Basic Hunter Education course.
Basic Hunter Education vs. a Firearms Safety Course
The Basic Hunter Education course is not the same as a Firearms Safety Course. You cannot use a Firearms Safety Course certificate to meet the requirements for purchasing a hunting or sporting license.
Obtaining a firearms license (FID or LTC)
Those wishing only to obtain a firearms license do not necessarily need Basic Hunter Education.
Successful completion of either a Certified Firearms Safety course or the Massachusetts Basic Hunter Education course fulfills the requirements to apply with your local police department for a Firearms Identification Card (FID) or a License to Carry (LTC) permit.
If you DO NOT plan on hunting, a certified firearms safety course is the ideal choice to fulfill the training requirement needed to apply for a firearms license with your local police department. These courses are taught by independent instructors certified by the Massachusetts Department of State Police and are typically 1 day in length.
If you DO plan on hunting and you have never held a hunting license prior to 2007, then you must take a Basic Hunter Education course. The Basic Hunter Education course is offered by MassWildlife's Hunter Education Program and typically includes 15 hours of instruction over a minimum of 2 days.