Hunting enthusiasts in the Northeastern United States eagerly anticipate each hunting season. Maine stands out among the states in this region as a top hunting destination, providing a variety of game species and hunting opportunities.
In this thorough guide, we'll go in-depth on the hunting seasons in Maine, complete with season dates, bag restrictions and regulations to help you better prepare for your hunting, whether you are an experienced hunter or a novice to the sport.
Maine Hunting Seasons: Dates&Limits
Now, let's jump to the most important part and see when the Maine hunting seasons start. The following info will give you all the crucial information you require to organize your hunting exploits in Maine,
Maine Deer Season
|Expanded Archery||Designated areas only||September 9, 2023, to December 9, 2023||
1 Antlered Deer Per Year
|Regular Archery and Crossbow||All||September 30, 2023, to October 27, 2023|
|Youth Deer Hunt||All||October 20, 2023, to October 21, 2023|
|Maine Resident Only Day||All||28-Oct-23|
|Firearms Season||All||October 30, 2023, to November 25, 2023|
|Muzzleloader Statewide||All||November 27, 2023, to December 2, 2023|
|Muzzleloader||12, 13, 15-18, 20-26, 29||December 4, 2023, to December 9, 2023|
*Note: Deer with antlers at least 3 inches long may be taken from October 28, 2023, to December 9, 2023. Exceptions apply for hunters with Antlerless Deer Permits and expanded archery hunters. See Antlerless Deer Permits for more details.
Non-resident hunters: Non-residents with 25 or more acres of open hunting land in Maine, a valid hunting license, and no legal restrictions may hunt deer on the Resident-only day.
Maine Beer Season
|Youth Bear Day||All||26-Aug-23||
2 Bears Per Year (1 by hunting, 1 by trapping)
|General Hunting Season||All||August 28, 2023, to November 25, 2023|
|Hunting with Bait||Bait placement: July 29, 2023||August 28, 2023, to September 23, 2023|
|Bear Trapping||All||September 1, 2023, to October 31, 2023|
|Hunting with Dogs||All||September 11, 2023, to October 27, 2023|
Maine Moose Season
|Antlerless-Only||4A (Adaptive Unit Hunt)||October 16, 2023 - October 21, 2023||
1 Moose Per Year
|November 6, 2023 - November 11, 2023|
|October 23, 2023 - October 28, 2023|
|November 6, 2023 - November 11, 2023|
|October 30 , 2023 - November 4, 2023|
|November 6, 2023 - November 11, 2023|
|Bull-Only||1-6, 10, 11, 18, 19, 27, 28||September 25, 2023 - September 30, 2023|
|October 9, 2023, 2023 - October 14, 2023, 2023|
|Antlerless-Only||1-6, 8||October 23, 2023, 2023 - October 28, 2023, 2023|
*Please note that moose hunting season dates and WMDs are subject to change.
Hunters issued a moose permit for the Adaptive Unit/WMD 4A moose hunt who do not harvest a moose during the first week listed on their permit may hunt in their respective zone from November 6, 2023, to November 11, 2023.
Maine Turkey Season - Spring
|All Hunters||7 and 9-29||April 29, 2024, to June 1, 2024||2 bearded Wild Turkeys|
|1-6 and 8||April 29, 2024, to June 1, 2024||1 bearded Wild Turkey|
|Youth Spring Wild Turkey Day||27-Apr-24||Up to 2 bearded Wild Turkeys|
You may take up to 2 turkeys for the spring season, but you cannot exceed the individual WMD bag limit.
Maine Turkey Season - Fall
|General Hunting Season||WMDs||Dates||Limit|
|15-17, 20-25||September 18, 2023, to November 7, 2023||5 Wild Turkeys|
|26||September 18, 2023, to November 7, 2023||3 Wild Turkeys|
|28||September 18, 2023, to November 7, 2023||2 Wild Turkeys|
|6-8, 10-14, 18, 19, 27 & 29||September 18, 2023, to November 7, 2023||1 Wild Turkey|
|Youth Turkey Day||1-5, 9||Closed to taking of Wild Turkeys|
You may take up to 5 wild turkeys for the fall season, but you cannot exceed an individual WMD bag limit.
Upland and Migratory Birds
|Ruffed Grouse & Bobwhite Quail||All||September 30, 2023, to December 30, 2023||4||8|
|Pheasant||All||September 30, 2023, to December 30, 2023||2||4|
|Crows||1~6||August 1, 2023, to September 23, 2023
February 5, 2024 to April 5, 2024
|7~29||August 1, 2023, to September 23, 2023
January 22, 2024 to March 30 , 2024
Hunting Regulations And Tips In Maine
Hunters in Maine need to adhere to a set of rules, regulations, and ethical guidelines to ensure safe, legal, and responsible hunting practices.
Here is a comprehensive list of what hunters need to pay attention to and follow when hunting in Maine:
Hunting License and Permits: Obtain the appropriate hunting license and any necessary permits for the specific game species and hunting methods you intend to pursue. Ensure you have the correct type of license (resident or non-resident) and that it is valid for the specific area and season.
Hunting Seasons and Bag Limits: Familiarize yourself with the hunting seasons and bag limits for the game species you plan to hunt. Ensure you hunt only during open seasons and do not exceed bag limits.
Wildlife Management District (WMD): Know the boundaries and regulations for the Wildlife Management District (WMD) in which you plan to hunt. Different districts may have different rules.
Blaze Orange Clothing: Wear blaze orange clothing during firearm hunting seasons to increase visibility to other hunters. Maine regulations specify the minimum amount of blaze orange that must be visible on your clothing.
Safe Firearm Handling: Practice safe firearm handling at all times. Keep your firearm pointed in a safe direction, keep it unloaded until ready to use, and only place your finger on the trigger when you are prepared to shoot.
Hunting Methods: Use legal and ethical hunting methods for the game species you are pursuing. Ensure you are aware of regulations regarding baiting, trapping, hunting with dogs, and other specific methods.
Hunter Education: Complete a hunter education course if you are a new hunter or if it is required by law. This course covers firearm safety, hunting ethics, and other essential knowledge for hunters.
Private Property: Respect private property rights and obtain permission from landowners before hunting on private lands. Be aware of land use regulations and boundaries.
Reporting Requirements: Comply with any reporting requirements for harvested game. For certain species like moose, deer, and bear, hunters may be required to report their harvest.
Ethical Hunting Practices: Follow ethical hunting practices, including taking only ethical shots within your effective range, tracking and retrieving wounded game, and avoiding unnecessary suffering of animals.
Leave No Trace: Leave no trace by packing out all trash and adhering to ethical field dressing and game retrieval practices.
Wildlife Conservation: Support wildlife conservation efforts by following hunting regulations designed to sustain healthy wildlife populations.
Youth Hunting: If participating in youth hunting activities, ensure that youth hunters are supervised and educated about safe and ethical hunting practices.
Transportation of Game: Properly tag and transport harvested game as required by law. This may include attaching a tag to the animal and keeping records of the harvest.
Check for Updates: Regularly check for updates to hunting regulations, as rules and requirements may change from year to year.
Hunting Ethics: Abide by hunting ethics and principles of fair chase, which include sportsmanship, respect for wildlife, and consideration for other hunters and the environment.
Maine's rugged landscapes and diverse wildlife offer an inviting playground for hunters of all levels of experience. However, navigating the state's hunting regulations is essential for both safety and compliance.
Please note that Maine hunting seasons and regulations can change, so always check for updates before embarking on your hunting adventure. Happy hunting!