How To Get A Deer Hunting License

I meet many people who want to take up deer hunting but are intimidated by the thought of applying for a hunting license. Thankfully, getting a hunting permit is surprisingly easy – irrespective of where you live. Some states mandate that you’re over 18 years of age, but there is usually scope for young people to submit a license application, too. Obtaining an archery license is another possibility. 

In some states, you can apply for a combined sportsman license to hunt big game such as bobcats and deer, in addition to migratory game birds and other small game animals. Some states may also include a complimentary fishing license.  Hunter education requirements may vary. 

Hunting licenses by state

Since the exact process varies from state to state, we’ll look at all state licensing requirements. You’ll usually require a basic hunting license, plus an additional big game hunting license. You’ll usually require a hunter education certificate, license fees vary and nonresident hunting licenses are often more expensive than resident hunting licenses. Season dates will also vary by state.

Alabama 

If you’re applying in Alabama, you’ll get to apply at the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources. All licenses expire in August,  and you can purchase a lifetime license if you’re an Alabama resident. You can buy via a License Agent or online. 

Alaska

If you want to hunt in Alaska, you’ll need to buy a hunting license from the Alaska Department of Fish and Game. It can only be purchased online. Alaska has additional requirements for game animals, including deer and fur animals.  You may be required to buy additional permits. 

Arizona 

The licenses are valid for one year and can be purchased via a licensed dealer. The Arizona Game and Fish Department will issue your license. 

Arkansas 

 You’ll need to purchase several licenses to hunt deer in Arkansas, including a WMA General Use Permit (for hunting on public land) and a general hunting license from the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission. Licenses can be purchased via an authorized dealer or online. 

California 

You’ll purchase your license via the California Department of Fish and Wildlife. You can purchase them via any CDFW License Sales Office or online. You may need to purchase additional permits specifically for deer. 

Colorado 

If you want to purchase a license, you’ll need to purchase it from the Colorado Parks and Wildlife Dept. You can purchase by phone at 1-800-244-5613, online, or in-person at a retail location. You may have to purchase extra licenses for deer. 

Connecticut 

You can purchase Connecticut hunting licenses via local town halls or online via the Energy and Environmental Protection department. 

Delaware 

You can purchase hunting stamps at your local post office. Hunting licenses can be purchased from the Delaware Division of Fish and  

Florida 

If you want to hunt in Florida, you can purchase a license from GoOutdoorsFlorida.comfrom an authorized agent, or by phone at 888-HUNT-FLORIDA. An extra license is usually required to hunt big game. 

Georgia 

If you want to hunt in Georgia, you’ll need to get your license online from the Georgia Department of Natural Resources. You can also  purchase your stamps, license, or passes via a licensed agent or by calling 1-800-366-2661. 

Hawaii 

Licenses in Hawaii are valid from the date of purchase to the end of the year. You can buy your license from the Division of Forestry and Wildlife. Apprentice licenses are available for a fee.

Idaho 

If you want to hunt in Idaho, you can start by purchasing your license via the Idaho Department of Fish and Game. You can also purchase via a license agent or online. 

Illinois 

When hunting in Illinois, you’ll need a license purchased via the Department of Natural Resources, plus licensed third-party vendors. 

Indiana 

You’ll purchase your licenses through the Indiana Fish and Wildlife website. 

Iowa 

You can buy licenses at local retailers or online via the Iowa  Nonresident hunters may be asked to apply in person.

Kansas 

If you want to hunt deer in Kansas, you’ll need to purchase a yearly hunting license online and any additional required [/su_highlight]You can also purchase over the phone by calling 1-800-918-2877. 

Kentucky 

You’ll purchase your Kentucky hunting licenses through the Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources. You can purchase by phone or online. 

Lousiana 

You can purchase licenses to hunt in Louisiana via the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries or local retailers. You can save your license to your cellphone or print it out yourself. 

Maine

You can purchase Maine hunting licenses at the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife. You can also buy a license from local agents. If you’re purchasing a license for the first time, you may be required to purchase it in person. 

Maryland 

You’ll purchase your license at the Maryland Dept of Natural Resources; you can apply online or by mail via the Department of Natural Resources Service Center. 

Massachusetts 

You can purchase your license through a MassWildlife office or a licensed vendor. You can also buy online. 

Michigan 

You can purchase a Michigan hunting license from the Michigan Department of Natural Resources. You can also purchase it in-store or via the department online. 

Minnesota 

If you want to hunt in Minnesota, you can buy your Minnesota Department of Natural Resources license. You’ll apply based on the type of animal you’re hunting, and you may be required to provide your social security number.

Mississippi 

You can purchase a Mississippi hunting license via the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries & Parks. You can buy them online in addition to your local offices. 

Missouri 

You can buy your permit at the Missouri Department of Conservation, online, or at an MDC office. Statewide third-party vendors can also help you purchase a license. 

Montana 

If you want to hunt in Montana, you can buy a hunting permit online or via Montana’s Fish, Wildlife, and Parks Dept. You may  obtain special licenses separately. 

Nebraska 

Hunting in Nebraska will require you to purchase a license online or in-person via the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission.   Some species will need you to enter a lottery. 

New Mexico 

If you want to hunt in New Mexico, you’ll need to purchase your license at the Game and Fish Department. There are some additional licenses for some zones. 

New York 

 NYS Department of Environmental Conservation; you can purchase your license online, over the phone, or with a third-party agent. 

New Jersey 

You’ll need to purchase a hunting license via the State’s Division of Fish and Wildlife.  You can buy your license in person via a third-party agent or online. 

North Dakota 

You’ll need to purchase your license via a licensed vendor or at a North Dakota Game and Fish Department office. You can also buy your license online. 

Ohio 

You can buy your license via the Ohio Department of Natural Resources. You can purchase in person or online.  

Oklahoma 

You can purchase a yearly license via Oklahoma’s Wildlife division. You will have to purchase an additional license to hunt deer. 

Oregon 

To hunt in Oregon, you’ll need to purchase an annual license through the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife. 

Rhode Island 

You’ll go through the Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management to purchase your deer hunting license. You can purchase  online or in person. 

South Carolina 

You can go through the Natural Resources department (of the state). You can purchase in person or online. 

South Dakota 

 Department of Game, Fish, and Parks. You can apply in person or online with a licensing agent.[/su_highlight] 

Tennessee 

You can go through the Wildlife Resources Agency or Go Outdoors Tennessee. You can purchase  online or in person. 

Texas 

You can buy your license via the Texas Parks and Wildlife department;  you can do it online or through a third-party agent.  

Utah 

To start hunting in Utah, you’ll need to purchase your license with the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources. You can purchase your permit online or in person. 

Vermont 

You’ll need to purchase your licenses via the Vermont Fish and Wildlife Department. You can purchase online, in-person, and by mail order. 

Virginia 

You can buy your license via DWR in Virginia. You can purchase online, in-person, via dropbox, or by phone. 

Washington 

If you want to hunt in Washington State, you’ll need to use the Department of Fish and Wildlife. You can make your purchase in person or online. 

West Virginia 

You can go through the DWR in West Virginia to get your hunting license. You can purchase online or through a licensing agent. 

Wisconsin 

You can buy your license in the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources,  it’s easier to purchase it online, but you can purchase them in person. 

Wyoming 

You can buy your licenses via the Wyoming Game and Fish Department. You can buy them over the counter or online. 

Wrapping up

If you want to take advantage of hunting season, you can apply for a license with the relevant organization listed above. You’ll usually require a hunter education course and veteran ID card if you’re a disabled veteran or member of the armed forces on active duty (to receive relevant discounts). Senior citizens may also receive a discount. There are different license categories for rifle hunters, muzzleloaders, and archers (including crossbow hunters). 

Trey

About the Author

Trey is a lifelong hunter and avid camper. He lives outside Denver, CO with his wife Kaci and their lab mix Ziggy. They spend as much time as possible outdoors - hunting, fishing, and camping.

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