Skip to content

Maine Hunting Guide

Although Maine is not traditionally known as an ideal hunting state, the diverse landscape supports several different popular game species. There is significant public and private land access, and hunters annually report strong harvest numbers.

What to Hunt

Much of Maine’s coastline supports waterfowl species, but other game animals can also be found throughout the state



Due to habitat changes, Alabama’s quail hunting practices have changed sharply over recent years. Today, most of Alabama’s quail hunting takes place on commercial hunting preserves.



Maine’s bag limit is just one antlered deer, but there is a dense population of upper-end trophy bucks. It is not permitted to hunt antlerless deer during firearm and muzzleloader seasons, except by special permit. Multiple deer may be harvested during the extended archery season. Dogs, lights, snares, traps, and set guns are not permitted, and it is not permitted to drive deer as part of an organized effort. .



Turkey hunting opportunities are abundant in southern Maine, though much of this land is privately owned. In the central and western parts of the state, hunters can enjoy a relative abundance of turkeys on large amounts of publicly accessible land. It is not permitted to use dogs, bait, or traps for turkey hunting in Maine, or to shoot a turkey in a tree.

Other Maine game species include: Bear, Moose, Turkey, Ruffed Grouse & Bobwhite Quail, Pheasant, Woodcock, Common Snipe, Ducks, Sora & Virginia Rails, Crows, Geese, Brant, Gray Squirrel, Snowshoe Hare, Bobcat, Fox, Raccoon, Skunk, Opossum, Coyote, Woodchuck, Porcupine, Red Squirrel, etc. found in the "Hunting Seasons" section at bottom of the page.

Where to Hunt

The vast majority of Maine’s land is privately owned. However, hunting opportunities can be found on limited public land as well as public access lands.

Wildlife Management Areas

Maine's Wildlife Management Areas (WMAs) are designed to protect and enhance important environments and habitats across the state. These areas are open to hunting. All WMAs are subject to seasonal closing for maintenance purposes. It is important to check with the appropriate office before planning a trip.

Private Land

94% of Maine's forested areas are privately owned. However, over half of that area is open to the public. Accessible private land in Maine totals over 10 million acres. It is required by law to obtain permission to hunt on private lands.

Licensing Fees

Everyone hunting for animals or birds in Maine is required to have a hunting license. Additional permits and licenses may be required for certain species of game and methods of take.

License Resident Nonresident
​Big Game Hunting (16 and older) ​$26.00 ​$115.00
​Junior Hunting (0 to 15 years) ​$8.00 ​$35.00
​Small Game Hunting (16 and older) ​$15.00 ​$75.00
​3-Day Small Game* Hunting (valid for 3 consecutive days) ​N/A ​$50.00

Hunter Education

Hunter education is required in Maine. This requirement is waived if a hunter can show proof of a prior license to hunt with a firearm. This course can be taken online or in person. The online course is available only to hunters 16 years of age or older.

Youth Hunting

All children under 16 years of age must have a junior hunting license to hunt in Maine. Hunters between the ages of 10 and 15 must be supervised by a junior hunter supervisor. If the youth hunter is under the age of 10, the Junior Hunter supervisor must be within 20 feet of the youth.

A Junior Hunter supervisor is any person who:

  • Is the parent or guardian of the youth hunter, and is a licensed adult Hunter OR
  • Is 18 years of age or older and:
    • Has been approved by the youth’s parent or guardian
    • Holds a hunting license


Except for some landowners, everyone in Maine must have a trapping license to trap any animals. The following animals are considered furbearing mammals for trapping in Maine: bobcat, coyote, fox, mink, muskrat, opossum, otter, raccoon, red squirrel, marten, skunk, weasel, bear, and beaver. These species have regulations and seasons separate from those set for firearm hunting.

Hunting Seasons

Game Season Begins Season Ends
Deer* Sep 9 2023 Dec 9 2023
Bear* Aug 26 2023 Nov 25 2023
Moose* Sep 25 2023 Nov 25 2023
Spring Wild Turkey* May 1 2023 Jun 4 2023
Fall Wild Turkey* Sep 18 2023 Nov 7 2023
Ruffed Grouse & Bobwhite Quail Sep 30 2023 Dec 30 2023
Pheasant Sep 30 2023 Dec 30 2023
Woodcock Sep 30 2023 Nov 21 2023
Common Snipe Sep 1 2023 Jan 3 2024
Ducks Sep 25 2023 Jan 9 2024
Sora & Virginia Rails Sep 1 2023 Nov 21 2023
Crows* To Be Determined To Be Determined
To Be Determined To Be Determined
Sea Ducks Sep 25 2023 Jan 9 2024
Geese Sep 1 2023 Jan 9 2024
Brant Sep 25 2023 Jan 9 2024
Gray Squirrel Sep 30 2023 Dec 30 2023
Snowshoe Hare* Sep 24 2023 Mar 31 2024
Bobcat Dec 1 2023 Feb 21 2024
Fox Oct 16 2023 Feb 28 2024
Raccoon Oct 2 2023 Dec 30 2023
Skunk, Opossum Oct 16 2023 Dec 30 2023
Coyote Night Hunt Dec 16 2023 Aug 31 2024
Coyote, Woodchuck, Porcupine, Red Squirrel no closed season No closed season

*Hunting dates for this species may vary by zone, method of take, or subspecies of animal. Visit the state’s website here to find out more.

Disclaimer: The information provided here is not to be construed as legal advice or acted upon as if it is legal advice: it is provided for informational purposes only. While we strive to provide accurate, up-to-date content, we cannot guarantee the accuracy, completeness, or currency of the information.