You just found out your local town clerk or other favorite license vendor is no longer selling hunting, fishing, or trapping licenses. That’s because the Division of Fisheries and Wildlife (MassWildlife) has eliminated handwritten licenses, permits, and stamps. Many town clerks and vendors chose not to participate in the new MassFishHunt system. No more depending on the mail for Division permits!
It’s easy to buy a license, stamps, turkey or bear permits, take the Harvest Information Program (HIP) survey and apply for an antlerless deer permit. Here’s how:
- Go to www.mass.gov/dfwele/licensing/index.htm which explains the new MassFishHunt electronic license system. Follow the instructions, and print out your license, permits, and tags! You need a credit card and will pay a $1.50 MassFishHunt convenience fee per license plus a 3 percent credit card fee for the total transaction.
- Visit your local MassWildlife office. MassWildlife District Offices are located in Ayer, Belchertown, Bourne, Dalton, and West Boylston; or visit the Westborough Field Headquarters or Boston office. Only checks, cash and money orders are accepted.
- Go to an official license vendor in your area to buy licenses, turkey and bear permits, and stamps. You can also apply for an antlerless deer permit and complete a HIP survey. Contact your local MassWildlife office for a list other license vendors. You can pay in cash, checks, or credit card at these locations.
- What if you don’t own a computer or printer, or you’re computer-phobic? Visit your local library where staff can help you in the process. A number of people use libraries to download tax forms and conduct e-commerce. You will need a credit card and be prepared to pay a small fee to the library for printing out your paperwork.
- Remember, minors ages 15-17 may not buy a hunting or sporting license through home or library computers, but must go through a license vendor or MassWildlife office. They (or their parents) need to provide a hunter education card and/or letters of consent.
- NEW for 2012: Antlerless Deer Permit Procedure. Antlerless deer applications are still due by July 16 and can only be applied for through MassFishHunt. Here’s what’s new: between July 31 and December 31, applicants must go back online to MassFishHunt (at home or any license vendor) and go through a menu which will immediately notify the applicant if they were selected for a permit in the zone of their choice.
- NEW for 2012! Freshwater fishing Licenses for minors ages 15-17 are now free. They still need a license to fish, but it’s free. Youths under age 15 can fish, but don’t need a license.
Need more information? Call the nearest MassWildlife office about the new system or go online. Click the link to the FAQ section and a detailed explanation on the new system.
My final suggestion to the computer-savvy license buyer: Be a good sport by offering to help your computer–phobic friend or family member to purchase their license on line. That way you can ensure that you all will be ready to enjoy the great outdoors together throughout the year!