Maine has one of the best hunting scenes in the eastern part of the USA. The common games in the state are deer, bears, moose, as well as other small game animals.
The state also has various programs to help farmers. There are the Maine Outdoor Partner Programs that provide access for hunters to take games in private lands and forests. Although private lands may be open to public hunting in the state. Hunters still need the permission of landowners.
Another Notable hunting program in Maine is the Hunters for Hungry where some portion of games taken will be donated to needy families.
Maine Hunting Regulations
Maine has hunting laws, regulations, and requirements that everyone looking to take games in the state must abide by. Some of the most important hunting requirements in the state include the following:
Unlawful Hunting Conduct
Unlawful hunting conduct in Maine is any taking, transportation, or possession of game animals, wildlife, or any part of the body when it is not the animal’s specific season, except permitted by Maine wildlife and fishing laws.
Unlawful hunting conduct in Maine also covers the needless possession or taking or destruction of the nest or eggs laid by wild birds.
Selling Games in Maine
Prohibition for the sales of various game birds and animals in Maine include the following:
Selling Wild Birds
It is a prohibition to sell or have in your possession a wild illegally sold bird. Exceptions are allowed for the plumage of game birds that were lawfully taken and sold according to the Maine Federal Migratory Bird Treaty Act.
Selling Finished Wildlife Products
It is not unlawful to purchase, trade-off, or sell wildlife products that are legally in your possession. However, there is an exception for wildlife and wild bird products that are under the protection of the Maine department of inland Fishery and Wildlife.
Selling Deer, Bear, and Moose
In Maine, you can possess, buy and sell deer or moose antlers that are naturally shed. Also, anyone that legally takes or kills a bear, moose, and deer, even without a valid Maine Hunting license, can sell off the various body parts:
- Head, antlers, feet, and hide of the deer.
- Head, hide, bones, antlers, feet of moose.
- Head, hide, teeth, claws, and gallbladder of bears.
For bears, it is a prohibition to sell raw antlers and gallbladders to a person that is not a Maine licensed hide dealer.
Maine Hide License
Before you can commercially purchase, sell, or trade game animals' untanned hides, including that of fur-bearing games, or other body parts of wildlife and birds, it is compulsory that you possess a Maine Hide License. Also, any part of wildlife or game animals that you buy or sell cannot be attached to wildlife and wild birds that are illegal for sale in Maine.
Night Hunting in Maine
Maine hunting regulation prohibits the taking of wild birds and wild animals within the hours of 30 minutes after sunset and 30 minutes prior to sunrise the next day.
However, an exception is allowed to raccoon night hunting in Maine during their open season. The requirements for raccoon night hunting include the following:
- The hunter must be with a hunting dog.
- The hunter must use a hunting rifle or handgun that does not have a greater capacity than the .22 caliber rifle.
- The hunting rifle or handgun will only be loaded when trying to discharge at a treed raccoon or one that has been held by a dog and the hunter can see with the aid of a flashlight.
Placing Bait for Maine Hunting
According to hunting regulations in Maine, bait can be described as an animal, plant, or any part of their body that can be used to attract game animals and wildlife for the purpose of hunting them. The regulations required for baiting game animals in Maine include the following:
- You must get the consent or permission of the landowner or anyone representing the landowner. The permission can either be in written form or oral.
- The bait must be plainly labeled with a tag size of 2 by 4 inches. The tag must contain details of the person placing the bait such as address and name.
- Upon the request of a landowner, the bait must immediately be cleaned up. If the landowner does not request, the bait must be cleaned up within at least 20 days from the last day of hunting on the land.
- Some baiting prohibition while hunting in Maine include the following:
- It is a prohibition to hunt over on another’s baiter site if you do not have the permission of the baiter to do so.
- It is a prohibition to make use of poison, chemicals, or any other medicinal substance to lure game animals.
- It is a prohibition to feed or bait deer in Maine between the first of June and the 15th of December.
- It is a prohibition to bait or feed turkeys and moose between the 1st of December to the 15t of December.
- It is a prohibition to feed and bait turkey in the springtime wild turkey hunting season in Maine.
Shooting Distances for Hunting in Maine
It is a prohibition to shoot a hunting firearm, muzzleloader, or archery device within a distance of 100 yards from a residential building, without obtaining the permission of the owner. In cases that the owner is not around, then you must obtain permission from an adult occupant that lives in the building.
Building according to this regulation does not only refer to residential structures. It covers retail, educational, religious, farm, and commercial structures built to occupy humans or domestic animals, or used as storage for machines and harvested crops.
Open Carry While Hunting.
Open carry while hunting is valid in Maine. However, if you must open carry while hunting with a bow, you must have a license to do that.
Also, you must not use a firearm to take animals during bow hunting.
Maine has hunter harassment laws that help preserve the activities.
The law states that:
- Nobody should deliberately disturb any legal hunting, fishing, or trapping of games in wildlife.
- Nobody shall intentionally interfere or attempt to interfere with animals in the wild, or in aquatic bodies, to disturb hunting activities.
Maine Hunting Licenses, Permits, and Tags.
Hunting licenses issued in Maine are based on the age and residency of hunters, while permits and tags are issued based on game animals. Before you can take some games in Maine, you will need the combination of a valid state hunting license and a game permit.
Some of the most important hunting licenses, permits, and tags in Maine include the following:
Apprentice Hunting License
This license is available for residents or non-resident hunters in Maine that are 16 years old or more and have never possessed an adult hunting license.
Maine apprentice hunting license include the following:
Resident Apprentice Hunting License
This hunting license is only available for residents of Maine. It includes permits to hunt bears and turkeys in the state. It costs $26.
Resident Apprentice CrossBow Permit
This permit allows resident apprentice hunters to carry crossbows while hunting. It costs $26.
Non-residents Apprentice Hunting License
This hunting license is only available for non-residents. It includes permits to hunt bears and turkeys in the state. It costs $115.
Non-residents Apprentice Small Game License
This hunting license will allow non-resident hunters to take small game animals in Maine. It includes turkey permits and costs $75.
Non-resident Apprentice CrossBow Permit
This permit allows non-resident apprentice hunters to carry crossbows while hunting. It costs $56.
Non-residents Apprentice Archery Permit
Non-residents with this permit can make use of archery devices to hunt games in Maine. It costs $75.
Other Residents Hunting Licenses
Maine hunting licenses valid for residents of the state include the following:
Big Game Hunting License
This license is available for resident hunters in Maine that are at least 16 years old. It allows them to hunt big game animals. It costs $26.
Junior Hunting License
This license is available for junior resident hunters in Maine. The age requirement to apply is at most 15 years old. It costs $8.
Small Game Hunting License
This license is available for resident hunters in Maine that are at least 16 years old. It allows them to hunt small game animals. It costs $15.
Hunting and Fishing License
This is a combination license for hunting and fishing in Maine. The age requirement to apply for this license is at least 16 years old, and it costs $43.
Fishing and Archery License
This is a combination license for archery hunting and fishing in Maine. The age requirement to apply for this license is at least 16 years old, and it costs $43.
Disabled War Veteran License
This hunting license is available for veterans in the state with disabilities. It is free of charge.
Maine Non-resident Hunting License
This is a Maine out-of-state license issued to non-resident hunters. Some of them include the following:
Big Game Hunting License
This license is available for non-resident hunters in Maine that are at least 16 years old. It allows them to hunt big game animals. It costs $115.
Hunting and Fishing License
This is a combination license for hunting and fishing for non-residents. The age requirement to apply for this license is at least 16 years old, and it costs $150.
This is a basic hunting license available for non-residents that are 16 years or older. It costs $75.
3 Days Small Game Hunting License
This license is available for non-residents small game hunting and it is valid for 3 consecutive days. It costs $50.
Junior Hunting License
This license is available for junior non-resident hunters in Maine. The age requirement to apply is at most 15 years old. It costs $35.
Archery Hunting License
Non-residents that want to take games with only Archery devices in Maine must first obtain this license. The age requirement to purchase the license is 16 years and older. It costs $75
6 Days Archery License
This archery license is available for non-resident hunters and is valid for only 6 days. The age requirement to apply is 16 years or older, and it costs $26.
Maine Lifetime Hunting Licenses
Maine issues lifetime licenses based on age. Some of them include the following:
0 to 5 Years Old
The Lifetime hunting license for this age grade is available for both residents and non-residents at costs of $150 and $450 respectively.
6 to 15 Years Old
The Lifetime hunting license for this age grade is available for both residents and non-residents at a cost of $300 and $900 respectively.
For other age-grades, only residents’ lifetime licenses are available. The costs are:
- 65 Years Old ($50)
- 66 Years Old ($40)
- 67 Years Old ($30)
- 68 Years Old ($20)
- 69 Years Old ($10)
- 70 Years and Older ($8)
Maine Fishing Licenses, Permits, and Tags.
Fishing licenses, permits, and tags available in Maine includes the following;
Season Fishing License
This license will allow a holder to harvest fishes in specific seasons. It is available for both residents of Maine and non-residents at costs of $25 and $64 respectively.
Hunting and Fishing Combination License
Holders of this license can take part in Maine hunting and fishing seasons. It is available for residents and non-residents at costs of $43 and $150 respectively.
Archery and Fishing Combination License
Holders of this license can take part in Maine archery hunting seasons and fishing seasons. It is available for only residents at a cost of $43
15 Days Fishing License
This license is only valid for 15 days. It is available for non-residents at a cost of $47.
One Day Fishing License
This fishing license is only valid for one day. It is available for residents and non-residents at a cost of $11.
7 Days Fishing License
This fishing license is only valid for 7 days. It is available for non-residents at a cost of $43.
Serviceman Dependent Combination License
Members of the US Armed Forces or National Guard can apply for this combination license to hunt and fish in t Maine. It costs $20.
Serviceman Dependent Fishing License
Members of the US Armed Forces or National Guard can apply for this license and fish in Maine. It costs $10
Maine Hunting Seasons
Hunting seasons in Maine vary for game animals and the type of hunting firearms needed to take them.
The 2020/21 hunting season for various wildlife in Maine includes the following:
Maine Deer Hunting Seasons
- Resident Only Hunting Season (31st of October)
- Youth Hunting Season (24th of October)
- Firearms Hunting Season (2nd of November to 28th of November)
- Archery Hunting Season (3rd of October to 30th of October)
- Muzzleloader Hunting Season (Statewide: 30th of November to 5th of December and Selected Regions: 7th of December to 12th of December)
- Expanded Archery Season (12th of September to 12th of December)
Deer hunting season may vary according to Maine hunting zones and Wildlife Management Areas. To take part in a deer hunting season, hunters must purchase deer permits. Also, hunters are advised to check the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife websites for more information about deer hunting in certain areas of the state.
Maine Bear Hunting Season
- General Hunting Season (31st of August to 28th of November
- Dogs Hunting Season (14th of September to 30th of October)
- Bears Bait Hunting Season (31st of August to 26th of September)
- Youth Hunting Day/Season (29th of August)
- Maine Moose Hunting Season
- General Hunting Season (28th of September to 28th of November)
- Resident Only Day/ Season (31st of October)
Moose hunting dates vary according to Maine hunting zones. Only hunters that hold a state valid permit will be allowed to take Moose, and there is usually a bag limit of one Moose per year in most cases. Hunting season for moose may also vary for different locations in the state.
Maine Wild Turkey Season
- Fall Hunting Season (14th of September to 7th of November)
- Spring Hunting Season (3rd of March to 6th of June)
- Spring Youth Hunting Season/Day (1st of May)
Turkey hunting in Maine may vary according to the state’s hunting regions. This implies that some parts of the state may still be restricted for turkey hunting during the game open season. Hunters are advised to visit the Maine Department for Inland Fisheries and Wildlife Website for more information.
Maine Small Games Hunting Season
- Gray Squirrel Hunting Season (26th of September to 31st of December)
- Snowshoe Hare Hunting Season (26th of September to 31st of March)
- Bobcat Hunting Season (1st of December to 29th of February)
- Woodchuck Hunting Season (Open Season)
- Coyote Hunting Season (Open Season)
- Porcupine Hunting Season (Open Season)
- Red Squirrel Hunting Season (Open Season)
- Coyote Night Hunting Season (16th of December to 31st of August)
- Ruffed Grouse and Bobwhite Quail Hunting Season (26th of September to 31st of December)
It is important to know that bag limits, hunting requirements, and regulations, and special seasons for hunting will be dependent on the game animals and their season. Hunters should make sure that they know the specific date for the game they want to take in their hunting zone. They should also visit the Department’s website for more information about regulations for the hunting season.
Maine Wildlife, Games, and Fishes
Some of the most common games for hunting in Maine include the following:
Maine Deer Hunting
Aside from the WMAs in the state, Deer hunting in Maine is common in wetland habitats, forest land areas, active farmlands, and deteriorating agricultural fields. The most common type of deer in Maine is the white-tailed deer and they are common in forest stands that have no canopy features, and farmlands that contain forages for the animals.
Maine Bear Hunting
Bear hunting in Maine is common because of its even distribution across all parts of the state. However, black bears are more concentrated in the eastern and northern part of Maine, and you will rarely find them in the south of central Maine with a human population.
Maine Moose Hunting
Moose Hunting in Maine takes place in almost all WMA. They are widely dispersed throughout the state, but they have the most population in mountainous areas and lakes in the western part of Maine. Moose are best spotted during dusk and dawn especially between the months of May to July.
Maine Turkey Hunting
Turkey hunting in Maine began as far back as 1977 when it was introduced to the state by the Maine Department of Inland Fishery and Wildlife. Also, due to the transfer, trapping, and dispersal of the game in the state, wild turkeys are now well distributed in Maine, especially the eastern part. Some of the counties where you can find them include Cumberland, Hancock, Penobscot, Kennebec, Lincoln, Oxford, Somerset, etc.
Maine Grouse Hunting
Grouse hunting in Maine takes place in all parts of the state. The species common is the ruffed grouse. They mostly dominate woodland areas of the state like upland hardwoods, softwood areas, orchards, etc.
Maine Duck Hunting
Ducks are waterfowls, and they are mostly found in wetland areas that are far from human settlements. Most Maine public hunting lands will have ducks in their ponds and lakes, especially the shallow parts of these water bodies.
Maine Shooting Ranges
Shooting ranges in the state that are open to the general public to practice include the following:
- Arnold Trail Sportsman Association
- Hermon Skeet Club
- Pleasant River Fish & Game Conservation Association
- Presque Isle Fish & Game Club
- Rangeley Region Skeet & Trap Association
- York County Fish & Game Association
- Western Maine Fish & Game Club
- Varney's Clay Sports
Maine Hunting Lands for Sale and Lease
Hunting lands for sale and lease in Maine include the following:
- Wilton, Maine (Franklin County) 22 acres.
- Gouldsboro, Maine (Hancock County) 27.2 acres.
- Patten, Maine (Penobscot County) 264 acres.
- Mexico, Maine (Oxford County) 2,760 acres.
- Roxbury, Maine (Oxford County) 89 acres.
- Wellington, Maine (Piscataquis County) 35.33 acres.
- Lynchtown Township, Maine (Oxford County) 15.22 acres.
- Linneus, Maine (Aroostook County) 167 acres.
- Livermore, Maine (Androscoggin County) 214 acres.
- Springfield, Maine (Penobscot County) 58 acres.
At the moment, there are no hunting lands for lease in Maine.