Maine is a land of opportunity for the outdoor enthusiast. With over 17 million acres of untouched terrain, nature offers up its bounty with hunting and fishing galore.
From Moose to Deer, Black Bear to Turkey; whatever your game – “Vacationland” has something for you. Come explore this great state and experience all that it has to offer in terms of wildlife and wild places.
In this exhaustive guide, we will cover everything you need to know about hunting in Maine. You will get to know what animals you can hunt here, where to hunt them, hunting seasons, and license information. So without further ado, let’s get started.
What Can You Hunt in Maine?
Hunting in Maine is an incredible experience. From the big game like deer, moose, and black bear to small critters such as rabbits, squirrels, and furbearers – there’s something for everyone.
White-tailed deer, wild turkeys, and other upland birds are managed responsibly by the state so hunters have plenty of opportunity to bring home a trophy. You can also try your luck at waterfowl hunting ducks or geese during specific seasons.
Whether it’s stalking through dense woods in pursuit of white-tails or floating down rivers casting lines for woodchucks with permission from landowners – get out into nature this season and enjoy all that Maine has to offer.
Maine boasts some of the most spectacular scenery in America, and its abundance of deer makes it a hunter’s paradise. From late August until early December, archers can take to the woods and fields to hunt white-tailed deer during the Archery season. Firearm season typically begins in early November and runs through mid-December, giving sportsmen plenty of time for hunting success.
The Pine Tree State also offers public hunting areas with an array of terrain types that make an ideal habitat for deer. The Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife website provides helpful maps as well as regulations on safe hunting practices like wearing bright clothing or setting up a tree stand or ground blind so you stay hidden from your prey while following all applicable laws and ordinances.
When out on your next hunt in Maine remember: safety first! Be sure you’re prepared before heading out – by doing this, you’ll be ready to bag yourself the perfect trophy buck when opportunity strikes.
Deer Season Maine
|Archery and Crossbow||30 Sep – 27 Oct||Statewide|
|Extended Archery||09 Sep – 09 Dec||Designated districts only|
|Firearm||30 Oct – 25 Nov||Statewide|
|Youth Deer Hunt||20 Oct – 21 Oct||Statewide|
|Muzzleloader||4 Dec – 09 Dec||Districts 12, 13, 15, 16, 17, 18, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 29|
|Muzzleloader Statewide||27 Nov – 02 Dec||Statewide|
|Resident Only Day||28 Oct||Statewide|
Kindly note that the bag limit is 1 Antlered Deer Per Year for all seasons.
At an estimated 60-70,000 animals, Maine’s moose population presents a rare and incredible hunting opportunity. Each year thousands of hopefuls apply for the coveted 2,000 to 3,000 permits issued – making it one of the most sought-after hunts in America.
To get your hands on a permit, you’ll have three options: enter into chance lottery drawings; compete in competitive auctions; or be eligible as a disabled veteran.
Sub-permittee selection is also available for those lucky enough to hold their own permit. So if you’re up for an adventure like no other, make sure to put yourself out there and go after that Maine moose.
Moose Season in Maine (Permit Only)
|Antlerless only||16 Oct – 21 Oct||4A (Adaptive Unit Hunt)|
|Antlerless only||23 Oct – 28 Oct||4A (Adaptive Unit Hunt)|
|Antlerless only||30 Oct – 04 Nov||4A (Adaptive Unit Hunt)|
|Bull only||25 Sep – 30 Sep||1,2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 10, 11, 18, 19, 27, 28|
|Bull only||09 Oct – 14 Oct||1-15, 17, 18, 19, 27, 28|
|Antlerless only||23 Oct – 28 Oct||1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 8|
Kindly note that the bag limit is 1 Moose per year for all seasons.
Maine is an ideal destination for bear hunting, hosting a large population of black bears that roam the state. Whether you’re a seasoned hunter or just starting out, there are plenty of chances to hunt and experience the excitement of bear hunting in Maine.
The only species of bear found in Maine are black bears. They can be spotted all across the state. When it comes to bear hunting, there are several ways to go about it. Spot-and-stalk is one popular approach that involves stalking prey from afar before taking your shot with patience and precision.
Baiting is another option using bait such as apples or donuts to attract nearby beasts; finally trapping if you’re up for getting hands-on with tracking them down yourself.
Bear Season Maine
|General||28 Aug – 25 Nov||Statewide|
|Hunting with bait||28 Aug – 23 Sep||Statewide|
|Hunting with dogs||11 Sep – 27 Oct||Statewide|
|Trapping||01 Sep – 31 Oct||Statewide|
|Youth Day||26 Aug||Statewide|
Kindly note that the bag limit is 2 Bears per year (1 by hunting, 1 by trapping) for all seasons.
Maine is a haven for wild turkey hunters. Home to two species of birds, Eastern Wild Turkey and Merriam’s Wild Turkey, this state offers up some of the best hunting opportunities in the country.
For those looking to bag their limit, there are several tactics available; using decoys or calls can be an effective way to draw your quarry in while waiting patiently for them to come into view will also bring success.
When it comes time for hunting in Maine though, certain regulations must be adhered to. To ensure that everyone remains safe during this exciting activity, all hunters must wear fluorescent orange clothing when out on the hunt, and having a valid license is also essential before taking part.
With these simple steps followed you’re sure to have an incredible experience but don’t forget: accuracy matters! Make sure you take your shot quickly once you spot one – otherwise, they might fly away faster than expected.
Wild Turkey Season Maine
|Spring Turkey Season||29 Apr – 01 Jun||Districts 7, 9-29 (Bag Limit: 2 Bearded Turkeys)|
|Spring Turkey Season||29 Apr – 01 Jun||Districts 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 8 (Bag Limit: 1 Bearded Turkey)|
|Youth Spring Turkey Day||27 Apr||Bag Limit: 2 Bearded Turkeys|
|General Fall Season||18 Sep – 07 Nov||Districts 6, 7, 8, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 18, 19, 27, 29 (Bag Limit: 1 Turkey)|
|General Fall Season||18 Sep – 07 Nov||Districts 15, 16, 17, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25 (Bag Limit: 5 Turkeys)|
|General Fall Season||18 Sep – 07 Nov||Districts 26 (Bag Limit: 3 Turkeys)|
|General Fall Season||18 Sep – 07 Nov||Districts 28 (Bag Limit: 2 Turkeys)|
|Youth Fall Turkey Day||16 Sep||——-|
Foxes are plentiful in Maine and can be found throughout the state. Whether you’re out during the day or night, there’s no shortage of chances to spot one while on your hunt.
From wooded areas to open fields and meadows, these shy animals often flee when approached so make sure to keep your distance and wear camouflage if possible.
When it comes time for gear selection, a rifle with a scope should do well for long-range shots while shotguns work best up close. For bow or crossbow users, remember to sight it properly before setting out on your mission. Make sure you have plenty of ammo as well as food & water supplies just in case things don’t go as planned.
Late fall/early winter is usually the prime hunting season for foxes since this is mating season – their fur being at its thickest then makes them easier targets from afar too. Before embarking on any hunt though always double-check local regulations first; some regions may restrict certain species’ hunting during particular times of year after all.
|Fox||Oct 16 – Feb 28||No Limit|
As the sun rises over Maine’s forests, hunters prepare for a day of squirrel hunting. With plenty of hardwood oak and maple trees providing food and shelter for these small mammals, there are endless opportunities to take home a few furry critters.
From Eastern Gray Squirrels to Red Squirrels, there is an abundance of species available in The Pine Tree State. Before heading out on your hunt, it’s important to familiarize yourself with local laws regarding bag limits and shooting hours as they vary by species.
To track down those bushy-tailed creatures, you will need little more than a good pair of binoculars or even better – a small game call – plus your trusty shotgun or rifle loaded with shells ready for action.
Squirrel season runs from late August until early March making this the perfect time to get out into nature and fill up that game bag.
|Gray Squirrel||Sep 30 – Dec 30||4 per day|
|Gray Squirrel (Falconry)||Sep 30 – Feb 28||4 per day|
Rabbits are plentiful in Maine, and you’ll find them scattered throughout the state. From open fields to woodlands, they can easily be spotted near roadsides or other areas with thick vegetation.
When winter sets in and food is scarce, these placid little creatures tend to stay close to their burrows; however during springtime when temperatures warm up, they become more active in search of sustenance.
While hunting in Maine, It’s important to remember that rabbits are protected by law here; shooting or trapping requires a valid license from the Department of Inland Fisheries & Wildlife (IFW).
Regulations dictate how many bunnies may be taken each day as well as what types of weapons may be used – so check with your local IFW office before heading out on your expedition.
|Snowshoe Hare||Sep 30 – Mar 30||4 per day|
|Snowshoe Hare||Sep 30 – Feb 28||4 per day|
|Cottontail Rabbit||No Open Season||No Open Season|
Hunting coyotes in Maine is best done during the winter months when they are most active and vulnerable. Look for areas with thick cover such as wooded patches or brushy fields – these provide shelter from the cold and safety from predators.
When it comes to equipment, you’ll need a reliable rifle or shotgun plus quality optics, camouflage clothing for blending into your surroundings, plenty of ammunition, and binoculars to spot them at a distance before taking aim.
|During Daylight Hours Hunt||Open Season||No Limit|
|Night Hunt||Dec 16 – Aug 31||No Limit|
Hunting raccoons in Maine can be a thrilling experience. These omnivores feast on all sorts of food – from fruits and nuts to insects and eggs. But during hunting season (late summer to early winter), it’s time for us hunters to come out with our traps or guns and take these clever critters down.
Respect local regulations; some areas might have special restrictions or bag limits in place. So why not get into the wild this year, and try your luck at catching one of these furry fellows?
|Raccoon||Oct 02 – Dec 30||No Limit|
|Bobcat||Dec 01 – Feb 21||No Limit|
|Bobwhite Quail||Sep 30 – Dec 30||4 per day|
|Pheasant||Sep 30 – Dec 30||2 per day|
|Ruffed Grouse||Sep 30 – Dec 30||4 per day|
|Crow||Feb 06 – Apr 15, Aug 01 – Sep 23||Districts 1-06 (No Limit)|
|Crow||Jan 21 – Mar 31, Aug 01 – Sep 23||Districts 7-29 (No Limit)|
|Skunk||Oct 16 – Dec 30||No Limit|
|Opossum||Oct 16 – Dec 30||No Limit|
|North Zone||Sep 26 – Dec 03||6 per day|
|South Zone-1||Oct 01 – Oct 15||6 per day|
|South Zone-2||Nov 01 – Dec 24||6 per day|
|Coastal Zone-1||Oct 01 – Oct 08||6 per day|
|Coastal Zone-2||Nov 08 – Jan 07||6 per day|
|Early Canada Goose||Sep 01 – Sep 24||Statewide|
|North Brant||Sep 26 – Nov 22||2 per day|
|Coastal Brant-1||Oct 01 – Oct 08||2 per day|
|Snow Goose||Oct 01 – Jan 31||25 per day (Statewide)|
|Coastal Canada Goose-1||Oct 01 – Oct 08||2 per day|
|South Brant-1||Oct 01 – Oct 15||2 per day|
|North Canada Goose||Oct 01 – Dec 09||2 per day|
|South Canada Goose-1||Oct 01 – Oct 15||2 per day|
|Coastal Canada Goose-2||Oct 27 – Jan 07||2 per day|
|South Brant-2||Nov 01 – Dec 13||2 per day|
|Coastal Brant-2||Nov 19 – Jan 07||2 per day|
|South Canada Goose-2||Nov 01 – Dec 24||2 per day|
Maine Hunting License Information
Hunting in Maine is easy and accessible. All you need to do to get your license is fill out an application form, provide some personal information such as name, address, and date of birth (and proof of residency if you don’t live here), and then pay the required fee. You must also complete the Hunter Education Program when applying for a license.
There are discounted rates available for folks under 18 or over 65 years old. But that’s not all – depending on the type of game you’re hunting and where it takes place, additional permits may be necessary. This could include archery licenses for bowhunters; muzzleloader permits; turkey tags; waterfowl stamps etc.
It should also go without saying that hunters must obey state regulations at all times when in pursuit of their prey – from following bag limits to utilizing proper safety equipment whenever outdoors.
Where Can You Hunt in Maine?
Venturing out to hunt can be a daunting task, but with 94% of Maine’s forest land privately owned and over half open to the public, there are plenty of options.
Before you explore private property though, always get permission from the landowners. It’s important that we show our appreciation for their contribution to preserving access for everyone – fail to do so and it could all disappear. So take advantage of this unique opportunity by doing your part: Ask first before searching for your game on private land.
Public Hunting Places in Maine
Baxter State Park
Get ready for a thrilling outdoor experience in Baxter State Park! With a valid Maine hunting license, you can explore the park’s natural beauty and diverse wildlife.
From white-tailed deer to black bears and ruffed grouse, there is an array of game species to hunt with firearms or archery equipment from September–December each year. Don’t forget trapping opportunities too.
It’s important for all hunters to follow safety regulations and ethical practices while respecting the balance of nature within this beautiful wilderness area. Familiarize yourself with the rules prior to your journey so that you get the most out of your time spent outdoors in this unique space.
Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument
Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument is home to some of the best whitetail deer hunting around. With its ample cover, spotting these animals isn’t a hassle; it’s an opportunity for the perfect stalk.
And if that wasn’t enough, there are plenty of open meadows and fields offering great shooting opportunities too. But don’t worry if you’re after something bigger – moose or bear can be found here as well.
For waterfowlers, this national monument has a range of ducks and geese waiting to make your time spent out on the lake or river more exciting than ever. Don’t forget about small game either – rabbits and squirrels are plentiful in Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument so bring your A-game when you head out with your trusty rifle.
Aroostook National Wildlife Refuge
Aroostook National Wildlife Refuge provides a prime hunting destination for outdoor enthusiasts in northern Maine. Spanning 25,000 acres of untouched wilderness, the refuge is home to an array of wildlife including moose, deer, black bear, ruffed grouse, and snowshoe hare.
Hunters can pursue their quarry from September through April with valid state licenses and stamps as well as blaze orange apparel. Depending on the species pursued – firearms or archery equipment may be used – however regulations should always be consulted before heading out.
At Aroostook NWR, hunters are able to enjoy nature while responsibly participating in one of America’s oldest pastimes; providing a unique opportunity that could only come from this wild corner of our nation.
Moosehorn National Wildlife Refuge
For a truly unique hunting experience, head to Moosehorn National Wildlife Refuge. With over 30 miles of trails and plenty of public access points, you can explore the diverse terrain ranging from flat open fields to thickly wooded areas.
Whether you’re an avid bird hunter or just looking for some exciting game species like deer, bear, and moose – Moosehorn is sure to offer something special. During the fall migration season, take advantage of this prime location along one of the major migratory routes for birds and other wildlife.
You can also obtain specialized permits allowing private land hunting within refuge boundaries – an opportunity not many reserves have. So make your way out here when you are out hunting in Maine.
Private Hunting Places in Maine
Understanding the regulations for hunting on private land in Maine is essential. To be able to hunt, you must have written permission from the owner or their representative. Furthermore, it’s important to be aware of any local laws that might affect how you’re allowed to hunt.
When selecting a spot for private hunting, there are plenty of considerations; an abundance of wildlife and suitable cover for game animals should top your list. Also, check if there are any limitations on weapons or methods used while hunting. The last thing you want is an unexpected surprise when out in the field.
Lastly, make sure that all parties involved feel comfortable with having hunters present on their property.