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.
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.
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.
|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 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.
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.
|Game||Season Begins||Season Ends|
|Deer*||Aug 27 2022||Oct 28 2022|
|Bear*||Sep 26 2022||Nov 26 2022|
|Moose*||Sep 27 2021||Nov 27 2021|
|Spring Wild Turkey*||May 2 2022||Jun 4 2022|
|Fall Wild Turkey*||Sep 19 2022||Nov 7 2022|
|Ruffed Grouse & Bobwhite Quail||Sep 24 2022||Dec 31 2022|
|Pheasant||Sep 24 2022||Dec 31 2022|
|Woodcock||Sep 24 2022||Nov 15 2022|
|Common Snipe||Sep 1 2022||Jan 3 2023|
|Ducks||Sep 26 2022||Jan 7 2023|
|Sora & Virginia Rails||Sep 1 2022||Nov 21 2022|
|Crows*||To Be Determined||To Be Determined|
|To Be Determined||To Be Determined|
|Sea Ducks||Sep 26 2022||Jan 7 2023|
|Geese||Sep 1 2022||Jan 31 2023|
|Brant||Sep 26 2022||Jan 7 2023|
|Gray Squirrel||Sep 24 2022||Dec 31 2022|
|Snowshoe Hare*||Sep 24 2022||Mar 31 2023|
|Bobcat||Dec 1 2022||Feb 21 2023|
|Fox||Oct 17 2022||Feb 28 2023|
|Raccoon||Oct 1 2022||Dec 31 2022|
|Skunk, Opossum||Oct 17 2022||Dec 31 2022|
|Coyote Night Hunt||Dec 16 2022||Dec 31 2022|
|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.