Trapping is an important aspect of managing Maine's black bear population. A new course seeks to grow the method of harvest.

Trapping is the most regulated outdoor sport in Maine. Anyone who has taken a trapping class in Maine knows the activity strictly follows best management practices for the welfare of targeted animals. Today's trappers need to do it precisely by the law book, and more ethically than the previous generations of trappers. There's never been more of a microscope on trappers than there is today.

A new course offered by the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife seeks to expand the use of trapping to harvest black bears. According to IFW, "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 new course is offered online or in-person.

With the new changes to the law, black bear trapping permits can be obtained if:

  • You have successfully completed a Maine Trapping Education Course, dated after 1978. The Maine Trapping Course focuses on trapping furbearers, and black bears. Or if you have previously held a Maine Bear Trapping permit prior to 2022.
  • You completed the new Black Bear Trapping Education Course online, or in-person.
  • Or you may trap for bear under the direct supervision of a licensed hunting guide who has successfully completed the Maine Black Bear Trapping Education course.

If you are applying for a trapping license or a black bear trapping permit for the first time, you must purchase the license in-person at the IFW office in Augusta. Another option is to send-in an application via email or mail.

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Trapping license renewals, including bear trapping renewal permits, may be purchased online.

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