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Maine Hunting Laws



Maine Hunting Laws Featured Image

Open season is just a few weeks away for most of the US. It’s an exciting time of year for veteran hunters and beginners alike. But before heading out on your first hunt in the Pine Tree State, make sure you’re familiar with Maine hunting laws.

Most seasoned hunters may be well aware that hunting laws evolve on almost a yearly basis. The governments’ objective is to address public safety. Mainly these changes are made for the benefit of the hunter and the hunted.

Maine Hunting Laws

It’s a must to keep up to date on Maine hunting laws before heading out on your first hunt. Studying your state’s hunting laws might be a bit time consuming, and we know you’re impatient to get out there and start shooting. But breaking the law and having to pay a fine can put a serious damper on your hunting season.

Keep reading to learn about Maine hunting laws including dates, which animals you’re allowed to hunt, which weapon you’re allowed to use, how to get a hunting license, and much more.

1. Deer Hunting in Maine

Deer Hunting in Maine | Maine Hunting Laws
image via HC Dragon Creek
  • Firearms:                  October 31 – November 26
  • Resident Day Only: October 29
  • Youth Deer:              October 22
  • Archery:                    September 29
  • Expanded Archery (Designated areas only): September 10 – December 10
  • Muzzleloader:
    • Statewide: November 28 – December 3
    • WMD’s 12, 13, 15 through 18, 20 through 26, 29: December 5 – December 10

Basic Limits | Daily Possession:

  • 1 Deer/Year
  • Only deer with antlers at least 3 inches long may be taken from October 29 – December 10
  • Except, any deer may be taken in designated WMD’s by hunters with any-deer permits.
  • Additional deer may be taken by participating in the Expanded Archery Season or if they possess a bonus antlerless deer permit or superpack antlerless deer

If you want to know about other game species hunting seasons, you can start reading about them here.

Do you want to know the basics of deer hunting? This article will explain to the deer senses.

Hunting Equipment

Hunting Equipment | Maine Hunting Laws
image via North American Muzzleloader Hunting
  • Firearms: It is unlawful to hunt with or possess for hunting…
    • Any firearm that continues to fire as long as the trigger is held back.
    • Any firearm that reloads itself after each shot
    • A magazine capacity of more than 5 cartridges + 1 in the chamber with a total of 6 rounds, unless it has been modified to contain a maximum of 5 cartridges only.
    • Any firearm fitted or contrived with any device for deadening the sound of the explosion without a permit.
    • Tracer or explosive bullets
    • Rimfire cartridges that are .17 or .22 caliber, except .22 magnum
  • Archery:
    • Hand-held bow with a minimum draw weight of 35 pounds
    • Broad-head arrows
    • A 7/8 inch width requirement is imposed for arrow heads (expandable mechanical broadheads included)
    • Set bow, poisonous or explosive tipped arrows are illegal.
  • Crossbows:
    • Only those with shoulder-type stock is allowed
    • Hand-held pistol-type is unlawful
    • Draw weight of not less than 100 lbs, with no max draw weight
    • Must be equipped with a mechanical trigger safety device in working condition
    • Scopes is allowed
  • Muzzleloaders:
    • Capable of firing only a single charge
    • That is 40 caliber or larger

If you want to know other specific details on laws pertaining to hunting equipment you can start reading here. A handy 13-in-1 multitool can also help keep your weapons in top shape, so bring it along with you. You can shop for it right here.

2. Duck Hunting in Maine

Duck Hunting in Maine | Maine Hunting Laws
image via Flickr | Patrick (Buzz) Hayes
  • Regular Ducks (Mergansers included):
    • North Zone: Sept. 26 – Dec. 3
    • South Zone: Oct. 1 – Oct. 15 | Nov. 1 – Dec. 24
    • Coastal Zone: Oct. 1 – Oct. 15 | Nov. 11 – Jan. 4, 2017

Daily Limit: 6 ducks

Possession Limit: 18 ducks

  • Sea Ducks:
    • 11 – Jan. 19, 2017

Daily Limit: 5 ducks

Possession Limit: 15 ducks

  • Brant:
    • North Zone: Sept. 26 – Dec. 3
    • South Zone: Oct. 1 – Oct. 15 & Nov. 1 – Dec. 24
    • Coastal Zone: Oct 1 – Oct. 15 & Nov. 11 – Jan 4, 2017

Daily Limit: 2 ducks

Possession Limit: 6 ducks

  • Special Falconry:
    • North Zone: Dec. 22, 2016 – Feb. 11, 2017
    • Coastal & South Zone: Jan. 7, 2017 – Feb. 28, 2017

Daily Bag: 3 migratory game birds

Possession Limit: 9 migratory game birds

  • Youth Waterfowl:
    • North Zone: Sept. 17 – Dec. 10
    • South Zone: Sept. 24 – Oct. 22
    • Coastal Zone: Sept. 24 – Nov. 5

Daily Limit: 6 birds

  • Special Waterfowl:
    • December 10

Daily Limit: 6 birds

For other migratory game birds seasons and bag limits, you can refer to the migratory game birds seasons of the Dept. of Inland Fisheries & Wildlife for the State of Maine.

Hunting Equipment

Hunting Equipment | Maine Hunting Laws
image via North American Muzzleloader Hunting
  • Shotgun
    • With ammo not larger than a 10-gauge
    • Capable of holding a maximum of three shells.
    • If magazines has been cut or gun has been modified with a one piece-filler to achieve the maximum shell holding limit.
    • The one-piece filler cannot be removed without disassembling the gun.
    • Fired from the shoulder
  • Hand-held bow and arrow
  • Crossbow
  • Falconry

You can learn more about the general laws, illegal devices, hunting orange requirements and more by reading the laws of MDIFW.

3. Bobcat Hunting in Maine

Bobcat Hunting in Maine | Maine Hunting Laws
image via Flickr | chetty4u
  • December 1 – February 14
  • No limit

Method of Take

Method of Take | Maine Hunting Laws
image via Shooting Times

Since bobcats are legally classified as big game animals, the following hunting equipment are as follows:

  • Firearms: It is unlawful to hunt with or possess for hunting:
    • Any firearm that continues to fire as long as the trigger is held back.
    • Any firearm that reloads itself after each shot
    • A magazine capacity of more than 5 cartridges + 1 in the chamber with a total of 6 rounds, unless it has been modified to contain a maximum of 5 cartridges only.
    • Any firearm fitted or contrived with any device for deadening the sound of the explosion without a permit.
    • Tracer or explosive bullets
    • Rimfire cartridges that are .17 or .22 caliber, except .22 magnum
  • Archery:
    • Hand-held bow with a minimum draw weight of 35 pounds
    • Broad-head arrows
    • A 7/8 inch width requirement is imposed for arrow heads (expandable mechanical broadheads included)
    • Set bow, poisonous or explosive tipped arrows are illegal.
  • Crossbows:
    • Only those with shoulder-type stock is allowed
    • Hand-held pistol-type is unlawful
    • Draw weight of not less than 100 lbs, with no max draw weight
    • Must be equipped with a mechanical trigger safety device in working condition
    • Scopes is allowed
  • Muzzleloaders:
    • Capable of firing only a single charge
    • That is 40 caliber or larger
  • Traps

Discover more information about their habitats, home range, feeding habits just to name a few, at the MDIFW website.

License Information

Requirements for an adult hunting license:

  • Must show proof of having previously held an adult license to hunt with firearms or bow and arrow in any year beginning with 1976.
  • A successful completion of an approved hunter safety or archery education course from any other state.
  • Proof of residency must be provided for residents.

Refer to the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries & Wildlife for more information on how to acquire a hunting license, who needs a license, exceptions, and more.

Watch this world class hunts video by Nathan Theriault while hunting moose in Maine!

As long as you are knowledgeable with the hunting laws in the state of Maine and abide by them to the letter, you and your hunting buddies will surely enjoy every minute of hunting. Plus, you can teach your friends how to make these 15 jerky recipes to chew on while on the hunt.

Hunt safe and hunt proud!

Is hunting in your blood? Then, you would want to know more about the hunting laws and regulations in other states. You can start stalking them here.

Get this fixed blade hunting knife over at our Amazon store. Use NCSAVE10 to enjoy a really awesome discount.

hoffman-richter-fixed-blade

Featured image via Flickr | Patrick (Buzz) Hayes

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