Legal firearms for hunting
Handguns, rifles, and shotguns not larger than 10-gauge are legal for hunting in Maine, except as follows:
(A firearm that continues to fire as long as the trigger is held back.)
It is unlawful to hunt with or possess for hunting any automatic firearm.
(A firearm which reloads itself after each shot and requires a separate trigger pull for each shot.)
It is unlawful to hunt with or possess for hunting any auto-loading firearm which has a magazine capacity of more than 5 cartridges (plus 1 in the chamber for a total of 6), unless the magazine has been permanently altered to contain not more than 5 cartridges. (Note: This provision does not apply to .22 caliber rimfire guns or to auto-loading pistols with barrel lengths of less than 8 inches.)
Illegal use of lights
From September 1 to December 15, it is unlawful to use artificial lights from ½ hour after sunset until ½ hour before sunrise to illuminate, jack, locate, attempt to locate or show up wild animals or wild birds except raccoons which may be hunted at night with electric flashlights during the open season (see General Hunting Provisions for details).
New This Year: An exception to this may be made for agents appointed by the Commissioner to hunt coyotes at night during this period under policies established by the Department.
It is unlawful to hunt with the use of (sell or offer for sale for the purpose of hunting) a set gun, or any poisonous or stupefying substance (except rodenticide for orchard mouse control and gas cartridges for woodchuck control).
Illegal devices for hunting
In addition to poisonous bolts or set guns, the following are illegal:
It is unlawful to hunt with or possess for hunting any firearm fitted or contrived with any device for deadening the sound of the explosion.
Cartridges which contain tracer bullets or explosive bullets may not be used for hunting.
No firearm may be used which uses .17 or .22 caliber rimfire cartridges, except .22 magnum. No firearms of any kind may be carried while hunting deer with a bow and arrow during the special archery season on deer and the expanded archery season on deer, except that a person who also holds a license that allows hunting with firearms may carry a handgun but it cannot be used to shoot a deer or dispatch a wounded deer.
It is illegal to use .17 or .22 caliber rimfire firearms, shotguns using shot loads or a crossbow. Hunters who have a moose permit and are 70 years of age or older or disabled persons who have a special handicap permit to use a crossbow may hunt moose with a crossbow (expires 1/1/2015).
Carrying concealed firearms
A permit is required to carry a concealed firearm in Maine, except that licensed hunters and trappers are exempt while engaged in these activities; the latter provision does not authorize the carrying of a concealed or loaded firearm in a motor vehicle. Some town offices or city halls issue these permits to residents. If not, contact Maine State Police. Nonresidents may obtain concealed weapons permits from the Maine State Police: (207) 624-7210.
Loaded firearms in motor vehicles
It is unlawful to have a loaded firearm or crossbow in or on a motor vehicle (including trailer, ATV, aircraft, snowmobile, or railway car). A loaded clip may be carried in a motor vehicle, but it must not be inserted in a firearm. Persons who hold a Maine concealed firearms permit may carry a loaded pistol or revolver in a motor vehicle. Firearms may be transported in a motor vehicle without a concealed firearms permit provided they are (1) unloaded and in plain view, or (2) are unloaded and placed in a remote secure area (such as a locked trunk) away from the control of the occupants of the motor vehicle. For purposes of this law, a muzzleloading firearm is considered to be loaded only if charged with powder, lead and a primed ignition device or mechanism. A crossbow is considered loaded if cocked and armed.
It is illegal to:
Other illegal areas
Firearms and crossbows may not be carried on game preserves. Firearms and crossbows must be in a case or stored in the trunk of a car when transported through Baxter State Park.
Regulations in red are new this year.
Purple text indicates an important note.