Hunting News: Maine Worth a Visit

Posted by: : Shayne HeffernanPosted on: October 4, 2013 Hunting News: Maine Worth a Visit

Once reduced to meager numbers, the turkey is now prospering through the combined efforts of wildlife managers and sportsmen. Turkey hunting is a secretive sport in which a camouflaged hunter attracts the wary bird by use of a call. Success is not always measured in the number or size of the animals harvested, but in seeing, hearing or conversing with this game bird.

According to Rob Keck of the National Wild Turkey Federation, “turkey hunting has become one of the safest outdoor activities whether you’re talking about team sports, other types of hunting, or outdoor hobbies such as mountain biking. The incident rate for turkey hunting has fallen to 2.95 injuries per 100,000 hunters, even though the number of turkey hunters has increased dramatically.” Effective turkey hunting safety curriculums have been the key to reducing incidents. It is your responsibility to become safe, ethical hunters, who through example and education preserve the integrity of the sport for future generations.
Spring Wild Turkey Hunting Season Laws and Regulations

Due to an increasing wild turkey population and distribution in Maine resulting from the Department’s active management program, spring/fall wild turkey permits are now available over-the-counter rather than through an application/lottery process. Hunters may now purchase a spring/fall wild turkey permit wherever hunting licenses are sold.

The following laws and regulations are specific to the spring wild turkey hunting season. Hunters must also comply with all other applicable fish and wildlife laws of Title 12, Maine Revised Statutes.

For more information, also see the Spring Wild Turkey Hunter’s Guide.

Spring Wild Turkey Hunting Season

A spring/fall wild turkey permit is required in addition to a valid hunting license that allows hunting of big game.

Note: A valid archery license in addition to a spring/fall wild turkey permit also permits hunting of wild turkey with bow and arrow. To hunt wild turkey with a crossbow, a hunting license that allows hunting of big game or an archery license and a crossbow permit are required in addition to the spring/fall wild turkey hunting permit.

Spring Wild Turkey Hunting Zone and Dates:

The spring wild turkey hunting season is open to turkey hunting statewide (Wildlife Management Districts 1 through 29). See Wildlife Management Districts.

  • April 28, 2013 through May 31, 2014
  • Youth Spring Wild Turkey Hunting Day (resident and nonresident): April 26, 2014

A person must possess the spring/fall wild turkey permit as well as their hunting license or archery license at all times while hunting wild turkey. A person may assist in a hunt without a license or permit for that activity as long as that person does not carry hunting equipment.

Youth Hunting Day:

Youth 10 years of age or older and under 16 years of age who possess a junior hunting license, including a junior lifetime hunting license, may hunt under adult supervision on the first Saturday preceding the opening day of the spring wild turkey hunting season – April 26, 2014.

Note: The spring/fall wild turkey permit is included in the resident junior hunting license and resident junior lifetime hunting license. Effective October 9, 2013, the spring/fall wild turkey permit is also included in the nonresident junior hunting license and nonresident junior lifetime hunting license.

Junior hunters may hunt wild turkey with a shotgun, bow and arrow, or crossbow, and may take up to two (2) bearded wild turkeys but cannot exceed an individual WMD bag limit. Junior hunters must be accompanied by parent, guardian, or a qualified adult. The qualified adult must be a person 18 or older who has been approved by the youth’s parent or guardian and must hold a valid Maine hunting license or have completed a hunter safety course. The accompanying adult cannot possess hunting equipment on the youth hunting day.

Permit Fees:

  • Resident Spring/Fall Wild Turkey Permit – $20.00*
  • Nonresident Spring/Fall Wild Turkey Permit – $54.00*

Note: Beginning January 1, 2014, the cost for a spring/fall wild turkey permit for both residents and nonresidents will be $20.00*.

*Plus agent fee.

Legal Hunting Hours:

Legal hunting time is 1/2 hour before sunrise to 1/2 hour after sunset.

Bag Limit and Possession Limit:

Two (2) bearded wild turkeys per permit holder. A hunter may take up to two (2) bearded wild turkeys but cannot exceed an individual WMD bag limit. Bag limits per WMD are as follows:

  1. The following Wildlife Management Districts are open during the spring wild turkey hunting season with a two (2) turkey bag limit: WMD’s 7, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, and 29.
  2. The following Wildlife Management Districts are open during the spring wild turkey hunting season with a one (1) turkey bag limit: WMD’s 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, and 8.

Legal Method for Taking Wild Turkey:

Only shotgun gauges 10 through 20 using shot sizes 4 through 6, bow and arrow, or crossbow may be used to hunt wild turkeys during the spring wild turkey hunting season. Electronic calling devices are legal.

Fall Wild Turkey Hunting Season

Fall Wild Turkey Hunting Zones and Dates:

The fall wild turkey hunting season is open to hunting with bow and arrow or shotgun and shall coincide with the regular archery season on deer during October. The dates are from October 3, 2013 through November 1, 2013.

  1. The following Wildlife Management Districts are open during the fall wild turkey hunting season with a two (2) turkey bag limit: WMD’s 15, 16, 17, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, and 28.
  2. The following Wildlife Management Districts are open during the fall wild turkey hunting season with a one (1) turkey bag limit: WMD’s 12, 13, 18, 26, and 29.
  3. The following Wildlife Management Districts are closed during the fall wild turkey hunting season: WMD’s 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 14, 19, and 27.

A spring/fall wild turkey permit is required in addition to a valid hunting license that allows hunting of big game.

Note: A valid archery license in addition to a spring/fall wild turkey permit also permits hunting of wild turkey with bow and arrow. Only persons 70 years of age and older may hunt with a crossbow with the appropriate licenses.

A person must possess the spring/fall wild turkey permit as well as their hunting license or archery license at all times while hunting wildturkey. A person may assist in a hunt without a license or permit for that activity as long as that person does not carry hunting equipment.

Permit Fees:

  • Resident Spring/Fall Wild Turkey Permit – $20.00*
  • Nonresident Spring/Fall Wild Turkey Permit – $54.00*

Note: Beginning January 1, 2014, the cost for a spring/fall wild turkey permit for both residents and nonresidents will be $20.00* (plus agent fee).

*Plus agent fee.

Legal Hunting Hours:

Legal hunting time is from 1/2 hour before sunrise to 1/2 hour after sunset.

Bag and Possession Limit:

Two (2) wild turkeys of either sex and any age per permit holder. A hunter may take up to two (2) wild turkeys but cannot exceed an individual WMD bag limit.

Legal Method for Taking Wild Turkey During the Fall Season:

Only bow and arrow or shotgun gauges 10 through 20 using shot sizes 4 through 6 inclusive, mixed loads that include shot sizes 4 through 7 may be used during the fall wild turkey hunting season. Exception: Persons 70 years of age and older may hunt with a crossbow with the appropriate licenses.

Illegal Hunting Methods:

  • No person may use bait, dogs, live decoys, or traps or other devices intended or designed for the purpose of capturing or ensnaring wild turkeys.
  • It is unlawful to use dogs to hunt wild turkeys, except during the fall wild turkey hunting season.
  • It is unlawful to take a turkey while the turkey is in a tree.
  • It is unlawful to engage in an organized drive of any manner while hunting wild turkeys.
  • A person may not shoot or shoot at a wild turkey decoy of another person.

Other Prohibited Acts:

  • No person may present a wild turkey for registration, or allow to be registered in his or her name, any wild turkey, which he or she did not lawfully kill.
  • No person may possess any part or parts of a wild turkey unless each part is plainly labeled with the name and address of the person who registered the turkey.
  • It is unlawful for any person to hunt wild turkey during any open season after having killed or registered two (2) wild turkeys during that open season.
  • It is illegal to buy, sell (or offer for sale or barter) any wild turkey, or to counsel or otherwise aid in buying, selling (or offering for sale or barter) any wild turkey.
  • It is unlawful to hunt wild turkeys outside of the spring or fall wild turkey hunting zone.

Other Laws and Restrictions Pertaining to Wild Turkey Hunting

Summarized below are some general hunting laws you should be aware of while wild turkey hunting in Maine. This listing has no legal weight and is not intended as a substitute for reading the current Hunting Laws and Rules.

  • Discharge a firearm, crossbow or bow and arrow or cause a projectile to pass as a result of a discharge from a firearm, crossbow or bow and arrow within 100 yards of a building or residential dwelling without permission of the owner.
  • Shoot from or over any paved way (any road with a bituminous surface).
  • Hunt on Sunday or at night.
  • Hunt without being accompanied by an adult (18 or older) if you are under 16 years of age.
  • Hunt while under the influence of intoxicating liquor or drugs.
  • Hunt with automatic firearms (continue to fire as long as trigger is held back).
  • Interfere with anyone who is hunting legally, or disturb wild animals with the intent to interfere with the hunting of them.

Landowner Permission

The Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife strongly recommends that hunters ask permission of the landowner before going onto land to hunt or scout. Since the hunt will be conducted during the spring (a non-traditional hunting period) and in the most densely populated counties of Maine, it is very important to seek consent from the landowner. The hunter who does this will find that landowners who posted their property during the fall are often willing to allow spring turkey hunting. Usually, the landowner only wants to know who you are and when you are going to be on his/her land. If you fail to gain permission on a parcel, respect the landowner’s rights and seek hunting privileges elsewhere. The success of this and future hunts depends on you.

Landowners

Any private landowner is eligible to hunt wild turkeys on their own land without a wild turkey permit during the spring wild turkey hunting season or the fall wild turkey hunting season if:

  1. that person owns a particular piece of land that is 25 or more contiguous acres in size and is located within the turkey hunting zone designated for the season that they wish to hunt;
  2. that person is permanently domiciled on that land;
  3. the land is managed for the raising and selling of dairy cattle, dairy products, or beef cattle; and
  4. the land is open to hunting including hunting by permission.

Any family member permanently domiciled on that land is also eligible to hunt wild turkeys on that land without a wild turkey permit.

A family member means any family member of legal hunting age, including spouse, children, grandchildren, etc. who resides on the property.

A landowner must provide proof of eligibility if requested by an agent of the commissioner.

Eligible persons may take two (2) bearded wild turkeys in the spring, and two (2) wild turkey of either gender in the fall. Please check the WMD in which you are hunting as some are closed, some are open with a bag limit of one turkey and some are open with a bag limit of two turkeys.

Registration, Tagging, and Transportation

Tagging/Transportation:

Any person killing a wild turkey shall immediately securely attach to its leg, a plainly visible transportation tag bearing his/her full name, address, and license number. You can now make your own transportation tags (include name, address, and license number) on any type of material you choose; you can print them from our website – Transportation Tags PDF; or we can send you a set of tyvek tags if you would like to e-mail your request along with name and mailing address. Gift turkeys are to be labeled with the name and address of the person who registered it and the year the turkey was registered.

Any wild turkey being moved or transported in any manner must have a plainly visible transportation tag bearing the name, address, and license number of the person who killed it securely attached to its leg, and it must be accompanied by the person who killed it. Unless the wild turkey has been legally registered, no person shall keep a wild turkey at his/her home or at any place of storage (except at the official registration station or at the office of a Maine game warden) for more than eighteen (18) hours without first notifying a game warden.

Registration:

List of Registration/Tagging Stations PDF

All Wild Turkeys taken by hunters shall be presented for registration within 18 hours at one of the registration stations established for that purpose.

The entire turkey, except the viscera, shall be presented.

The fee to register a wild turkey is $5.00. Beginning October 9, 2013 the fee to register a wild turkey will be reduced to $2.00.

All radio transmitters, leg bands, and wing tags must be submitted at the time of registration. For information on banded wild turkeys, please contact the closest IF&W Office. Gray (207) 657-2345, Sidney (207) 547-5318, Bangor (207) 941-4474, Greenville (207) 695-3756, and Ashland (207) 435-3231.

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Shayne Heffernan holds a Ph.D. in Economics and brings with him over 25 years of trading experience in Asia and hands on experience in Venture Capital, he has been involved in several start ups that have seen market capitalization over $500m and 1 that reach a peak market cap of $15b. He has managed and overseen start ups in Mining, Shipping, Technology and Financial Services.
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