Tagging, Transportation & Registration

hunting laws book cover

On this page:

Tagging Requirements

Prior to presenting a bear, deer, moose, or wild turkey for registration, a person may not possess or leave that animal in the field or forest unless they have securely attached a plainly visible tag to the animal with their name, address, and license number on the tag.

You can make your own tag to attach to the animal which must include your name, address, and license number or you can download the Transportation Tags (PDF).

Back to top

Transporting Harvested Animals

A person may not transport a harvested wild animal or bird that they do not lawfully possess, nor may they present for registration, or allow to be registered in their name, any bear, deer, moose, or wild turkey that they did not lawfully kill.

Prior to registration, any harvested bear, deer, moose, or wild turkey in transit must be open to view, meaning that the animal is not concealed and can be readily observed in whole or in part from outside of the vehicle or trailer transporting it.

Once an animal or bird has been registered, it may be transported by another person.

Back to top

Registration Requirements

A person who kills a bear, deer, moose, or wild turkey must:

  1. Remain with the animal until it is registered, (with some exceptions – see Time Limits for Registering section).
  2. Present the animal for registration in that person's name at the first open registration station for that animal on their route
  3. Leave the registration seal attached until the animal is processed and packaged for consumption.
  4. Pay a fee of $5.00 to register a bear, deer or moose (of which $2 is retained by the agent and $1 is dedicated to a Deer Habitat Enhancement Fund) or $2.00 to register a wild turkey.

To view PDF documents, you will need the free Adobe Reader. If you need assistance, view our PDF Help page, or email us.

Back to top

Time Limits for Registration

A person may not keep an unregistered bear, deer, moose, or wild turkey at home or any place of storage for more than 18-hours. This does not apply to an animal that is kept in an official registration station for the animal or at the office of a game warden. A person may exceed the 18-hour limit under special circumstances, but that person must still notify a game warden within 18 hours.

A person on a hunting trip in an unorganized township and staying at a temporary place of lodging may keep an unregistered harvested animal at the temporary place of lodging for no more than 7 days or until that person leaves the woods, whichever comes first.

A person may not possess a bear, deer, moose, or wild turkey that has not been legally registered, except as otherwise provided in the statutes regarding nuisance animals or animals causing damage.

Bobcats taken by hunting must be tagged by a MDIFW employee within 72 hours of the time they were taken.

Back to top

Condition of Animal Presented for Registration

A person must present a bear, deer, moose or wild turkey for registration in its entirety, except that the viscera and rib cage of the animal may be removed in a manner that still allows the determination of the animal's sex.

Moose

A moose may be dismembered for ease of transportation, and the lower legs, head and hide may be removed. If the head of the moose is not brought to the registration station, a canine tooth or the lower jaw must be. Parts of a moose left in the field may not be placed where they are visible to a person traveling on a public or private way.

Bear

Hunters are required to remove a premolar tooth from the bear they harvest and provide the tooth when they register their bear (instructions available at registration and online). Hunters will be notified of the age of the bear they harvested on the Bear Hunting Page of the MDIFW website prior to the start of the next bear hunting season (late August).

Back to top

Possession of Gift Bear, Deer, Moose or Wild Turkey

A person may not accept as a gift any part of a bear, deer, moose, or wild turkey unless that animal, or part thereof, is plainly labeled with the name and address of the person who registered it and the year it was registered.

Back to top

Hunting with Dogs and Dog Training

Dog Training Season

  • From July 1 through the following March 31, dogs may be trained on fox, snowshoe hare, and raccoons. During such training, it is unlawful to use or possess a firearm, other than a pistol or a shotgun loaded with blank ammunition, except during the applicable open hunting seasons on these species.
  • Dogs may be used to hunt wild hares during the firearm season on deer.
  • Sporting dogs may be trained on wild birds (not including wild turkey) at any time. The commissioner may authorize with a permit the use of firearms during such training to shoot and kill wild birds propagated or legally acquired by the permittee and possessed in accordance with the laws pertaining to breeders, licenses.
  • Residents may train up to six dogs on bear from July 1 to August 24, 2018 except in portions of Washington and Hancock counties that are situated south of Route 9.
  • A person must possess a valid hunting license to engage in these activities, except Sunday or when training on pen-raised birds.
  • A person may not hunt with a dog in pursuit of bear, coyote or bobcat unless the dog has a collar that legibly provides the name, telephone number and address of the dog's owner.
  • A person or persons may not use more than six dogs at any one time to hunt bear, bobcat, and coyote.
  • A person may not use a dog to hunt coyotes or bear during the period from 1/2 hour after sunset to 1/2 hour before sunrise.

For more information on hunting bears with dogs, see bear hunting.
A person with a suspended or revoked license may not train dogs.

Leashed Dog Tracking License

A license is available which allows the tracking of wounded deer, moose, and bear with dogs. The fee for this license is $25 for one year or $81 for three years. A person who holds a valid license may charge a fee for dog tracking services without having to hold a guide's, license, as long as that is the only service provided. Contact MDIFW for details.

Back to top