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Hunting Areas

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State Parks and Historic Sites

The Maine Department of Conservation, Bureau of Parks and Lands manages one-half million acres of land in Maine for a mix of activities, including hunting and trapping, for its citizens and visitors. The safety of all visitors is of primary concern to the bureau. Certain heavily developed and high-use areas are closed to hunting for all or part of the year. At other areas, the bureau provides as many hunting and trapping opportunities as are reasonable and consistent with its mandates and visitor safety.

Hunters and trappers are asked to exercise due caution and care for the safety and enjoyment of other visitors when using Bureau lands by obeying posted information and the rules listed below.

General hunting, except where specifically prohibited, is allowed from October 1 – April 30. Hunting and trapping shall take place in conformity with the laws of the State of Maine, rules of the Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife, and local ordinances. Trapping on State park or historic site land in organized townships requires the written permission of the Bureau. There will be no hunting allowed on State park lands or restricted zone of the Allagash Wilderness Waterway, between May 1 and September 30.

  • Hunting is not allowed in any Memorial or Historic Site.
  • Hunting is not allowed at Andrews Beach; that portion of Bradbury Mountain State Park west of State Route 9; Cobscook Bay; Crescent Beach and Kettle Cove; Damariscotta Lake; Ferry Beach; Holbook Island Sanctuary; Nickerson Lake; Owls Head Light; that portion of Quoddy Head within 1,000 feet of the lighthouse; Reid, Sebago Lake, Shackford Head, Two Lights, and Wolfe’s Neck Woods State Parks.
  • Work areas and areas with significant public use may be posted and closed to hunting from time to time in the interest of public safety.
  • The discharging of any weapons from or within 300 feet of any designated trail, picnic area, camping area, campsite, parking area, building, boat launching site or other developed area or bridge is prohibited. Loaded weapons are not allowed on the treadway of any trail posted “Closed to hunting”.
  • The baiting of any animal for the purpose of hunting is not allowed.

For more information

Please call (207) 287-3821, TTY (207) 287-2213 or write to:

Maine Bureau of Parks and Lands, 22 State House Station, Augusta, Maine 04333-0022

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Public Reserved Lands

Firearms: Loaded firearms are not permitted in campsites, on marked hiking trails, or at boat launching sites and picnic sites and shall not be discharged within 300 feet of such areas.

Bear Hunting: A permit is required from the Maine Bureau of Parks and Lands to place bait on Public Reserved Land for the purpose of hunting bear.

National Wildlife Refuges (NWR)

NOTE: On National Wildlife Refuges which permit hunting of upland game, persons hunting upland species other than deer and turkey with a shotgun shall possess and use only nontoxic shot while in the field.

More restrictive regulations may apply to National Wildlife Refuges open to public hunting. For additional information on federal refuge regulations, contact:

  • Rachel Carson NWR
    321 Port Road
    Wells, ME 04090
    (207) 646-9226
  • Maine Coastal Islands NWR
    PO Box 279
    Milbridge, ME 04658
    (207) 594-0600
  • Sunkhaze Meadows NWR
    PO Box 1735
    Rockland, ME 04841
    (207) 594-0600
  • Moosehorn NWR
    (Baring and Edmunds Units)
    RR #1, Box 202
    Baring, ME 04694
    (207) 454-7161
  • Lake Umbagog NWR
    PO Box 240
    Errol, NH 03579
    (603) 482-3415
  • Aroostook NWR
    97 Refuge Rd.
    Limestone, ME 04750
    (207) 328-4634

White Mountain National Forest

Oxford County, Maine

The public land within National Forests is open to hunting. Portable observation stands that do not damage live trees may be used. Please contact the Androscoggin Ranger District for more information on bear baiting on National Forest lands at (603) 466-2713.

National Park Service

Acadia National Park & the Appalachian Nation Scenic Trail — hunting, trapping, and/or possessing a weapon is prohibited on land administered by the National Park Service. For further information on these lands contact:

  • Acadia National Park
    PO Box 177, Bar Harbor, ME 04609
    (207) 288-3338
  • Appalachian Trail Park Office
    Harpers Ferry Center
    Harpers Ferry, WV 25425
    (304) 535-6270
  • Appalachian Trail Conference
    New England Regional Office
    PO Box 264, South Egremont, MA 01258
    (413) 528-8002

Mount Desert Island (MDI) is located within the geographic boundary of WMD 26.

Closed and Special Regulation Areas

Unity Utilities District: It is unlawful to hunt on the Unity Utilities District Property located on Route #139 and Prairie Road in Unity, Waldo County.

Gray Squirrels: It is unlawful to hunt gray squirrels on any land which is dedicated as a public or private park or on any land located within the limits of the compact or built-up portion of any city or town.

Haley Pond: It is unlawful to hunt waterfowl on Haley Pond in the town of Rangeley and Dallas Plantation, Franklin County.

Wildlife Sanctuaries and certain Wildlife Management Areas: Unless otherwise specifically provided, it is unlawful to hunt or trap any wild animal or wild bird within the limits of any wildlife sanctuary, any area properly posted by the State of Maine, or within the following described territories:

  • Back Bay Sanctuary, Portland
  • Baxter State Park closed to all hunting except: The area north of Trout Brook in T6R9; in T6R10 or T2R9 and T2R10 where hunting is allowed.
  • Beauchamp Sanctuary (See information on bow and arrow hunting)
  • Cape Elizabeth Sanctuary*
  • Carver’s Pond Waterfowl Sanctuary
  • Colby College Area, Waterville
  • Drake’s Island Game Sanctuary
  • Dry Pond Sanctuary (Crystal Lake)
  • Fairfield Sanctuary*
  • Glencove Sanctuary
  • Gray Game Sanctuary
  • Hog Island Game Sanctuary
  • Jefferson & Whitefield Sanctuary
  • Kineo Point Sanctuary
  • Limington, Hollis, Waterboro Sanctuary
  • Lowell E. Barnes Area, Oxford County
  • Marsh Island Area,* Old Town: Open to the taking of deer during any open season that allows hunting of deer with bow and arrow, including expanded archery.
  • Megunticook Lake and Vicinity Sanctuary
  • Merrymeeting Bay Game Sanctuary
  • Monroe Island Game Sanctuary
  • Moosehead Lake Game Sanctuary
  • Moosehorn Game Sanctuary
  • Narragansett Game Sanctuary*
  • Oak Grove Area, Vassalboro
  • Ocean Park Game & Bird Sanctuary
  • Orrington Game Sanctuary
  • Pittston Farm Sanctuary
  • Prout’s Neck, Richmond’s Island;
  • Rangeley Game Sanctuary
  • Rangeley Lake Sanctuary
  • Rangeley Plantation Sanctuary
  • Readfield and Winthrop Sanctuary
  • Salmon Pond Sanctuary
  • Sebago Lake Basin Area, Standish, Windham
  • Somerset Game Sanctuary
  • Standish Sanctuary
  • Stanwood Wildlife Sanctuary, Ellsworth
  • Steve Powell WMA (Swan Island), Richmond
  • Thorncrag-Stanton Bird Sanctuary
  • Tomhegan Game Sanctuary
  • Wells Sanctuary
  • Wells & York Game Sanctuary
  • Willow Water Game Sanctuary
  • Woodbury Sanctuary, Litchfield, Monmouth
  • York Game Sanctuary, Franklin County

* Trapping allowed in accordance with the general laws of the State.

Native American Territory

As a result of the Maine Native American Claims Settlement Act of 1980, lands purchased by the Penobscot Native American Nation and the Passamaquoddy Tribe within certain designated areas of the State are classified as Native American territory and have special legal status. The Penobscot Nation and the Passamaquoddy Tribe, within their respective Native American territories, have exclusive authority to regulate hunting and trapping. At the time of this publication, parcels of Native American territory had been acquired within the following areas:

PENOBSCOT NATION

Franklin County: Alder Stream Twp.

Penobscot County: T2R9 NWP (western portion), T3R9 NWP (eastern portion), T6R8 WELS (western portion) Argyle Township (northern portion) and T3R1 NBPP (northeastern portion).

Piscataquis County: T6R8 NWP. The Penobscot Nation also has exclusive authority to regulate hunting and trapping in the Penobscot Reservation, consisting of all islands in the Penobscot River north of, and including, Indian Island, located near Old Town, Maine. Contact the Penobscot Nation, Department of Natural Resources for specific locations of Reservation islands.

Passamaquoddy Tribe

Franklin County: Lowelltown, T1R8 WBKP.

Hancock County: T3&4ND.

Penobscot County: T3R9 NWP, T5R1 NBPP, TAR7 WELS.

Somerset County: Holeb T6R1 NBKP, Prentiss, T4R4 NBKP, Hammond Township, T3R4 NBKP, Alder Brook Township, T3R3 NBKP, Pittston Academy Grant, T2R4 NBKP Soldiertown Township, T2R3 NBKP.

Washington County: T5ND, BPP; T19 MD, Indian Township, and Pleasant Point, Perry.

Most of these areas will be conspicuously posted as Native American Territory. Anyone wishing to hunt or trap on Native American territory should contact the appropriate Native American agency for further information.

Penobscot Indian Nation

Department of Natural Resources, 12 Wabanaki Way, Indian Island, ME 04468 (207) 817-7331

Passamaquoddy Tribe

Ranger Department, Box 301, Princeton, ME 04668, (207) 796-2677

Maine Indian Tribal-State Commission

PO Box 241, Stillwater, ME 04489, (207) 817-3799

Hunting/Trapping on Private Property

The Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife Landowner Relations Program is actively working towards enhancing the relationship between landowners and land users. With approximately 94% of the land in Maine privately owned, everyone MUST respect landowners and their rights. Landowner wishes have to be followed by all outdoor recreation participants to help ensure access and use of private property in the years to come.

The Maine Legislature has enacted laws that address the concerns of landowners.

Summarized below are several of those laws and a brief description of each. For further detail on these laws, consult Maine Revised Statues cited in parenthesis.

Landowner Liability (14 MRSA §159-A) Limited Duty

An owner, lessee, manager, holder of an easement or occupant of premises shall owe no duty of care to keep the premises safe for entry or use by others for recreational or harvesting activities or to give warning of any hazardous condition, use, structure or activity on these premises to persons entering for those purposes. This subsection applies regardless of whether permission has been given to another to pursue recreational or harvesting activities on the premises.

Exceptions to Limited Duty

  1. For a willful or malicious failure to guard or warn against a dangerous condition, use, structure, or activity; and
  2. When financial consideration is paid for the exclusive right to make use of the property for recreational activities.

Costs and fees

The court shall award any direct legal costs, including reasonable attorney’s fees, to an owner, lessee, manager, holder of an easement or occupant who is found not to be liable for injury to a person or property pursuant to this section.

Posting of Land (17-A MRSA, §402)

Posting may be done in one of the following four ways:

  1. Use of signs placed no further than 100 feet apart that deny access for a particular activity or for all activities.
  2. Paint system utilizing “OSHA Safety Purple” (or a close match thereto) paint marks placed on trees, rocks, fence posts or other objects now mean access by permission only. (These objects must be placed no further apart than 100 feet.)
  3. Landowners may post their land “in a manner reasonably likely to come to the attention of the intruder.”
  4. Landowners may verbally or in writing convey to others to stay off their property.

Other provisions of posting

  1. Signs or paint markings must be at all vehicular access entrances from a public way.
  2. It is unlawful to post the land of another and to remove, destroy, mutilate or deface any signs or paint marks.
  3. Trespass by a motor vehicle is a violation of the trespass law.

Trespass Damages (14 MRSA, §7551-B)

Any person who enters the land of another without permission and causes damage to the property of another is liable to the owner in a civil action. Violations of this law will have the following results:

  1. If the damage is intentional the person doing the damage is liable to the owner for 2 times the actual damage plus additional costs which include the attorney fees of the landowner.
  2. If the damage is unintentional, the person doing the damage is liable to the owner for the amount of the actual damage plus additional costs which include attorney fees of the landowner.
  3. A person doing damage to property of another may also be charged criminally for doing the damage.

Unlawful cutting of trees (14 MRSA, §7552, and 17 MRSA, §2510)

It is unlawful for any person to intentionally, knowingly, recklessly or negligently cut down or fell any tree without the consent of the owner of the property on which the tree stands.

Abuse of Another Persons Property While Hunting (12 MRSA §10652)

It is unlawful to tear down a fence or wall, destroy any crop, leave open any bars or gates, or insert objects into trees on another person’s land without permission (see observation stand information).

Littering

It is unlawful to dispose of litter anywhere in this state except in areas or receptacles designed for that purpose. See laws pertaining to field dressing lawfully harvested wild game.

Civil Trespass (12 MRSA, §10657)
Prohibition

While engaging in any activity regulated by the Department of Inland Fisheries & Wildlife, a person, knowing that the person is not licensed or privileged to do so, may not:

  1. Enter or cause a projectile to enter any place from which that person may lawfully be excluded and that is posted in accordance with Title 17-A, section 402, subsection 4 or in a manner reasonably likely to come to the attention of intruders or that is fenced or otherwise enclosed in a manner designed to exclude intruders; or
  2. Enter or remain in or cause a projectile to enter or remain in any place in defiance of a lawful order not to enter or an order to vacate that was personally communicated to that person by the owner of the place or another authorized person.

Definition of projectile: For the purposes of this section, “projectile” means a bullet, pellet, shot, shell, ball, arrow, bolt or other object propelled or launched from a firearm or a bow, crossbow or similar tensile device.

For information on other provisions of these laws, contact the Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife at (207) 287-8000.

Commercial Shooting Areas

A person may not charge any fee for access to land if the fee is contingent upon the taking of game on that land or directly related to the taking of game on the land, unless the land is an authorized commercial shooting area licensed as follows: The Commissioner may issue licenses for the establishment and operation of commercial shooting areas, authorizing the owner of a commercial shooting area to charge others for the opportunity to hunt mallard ducks, pheasants, quail, Chukar partridge, and Hungarian partridge in that area (12 MRSA section 12101).

The operator of a commercial shooting area may authorize a person to hunt other wild birds or wild animals in a commercial shooting area during the regular open season on those species, in accordance with the provisions of 12 MRSA Part 13, as long as the person possesses a valid state hunting license that allows the hunting of those wild birds and wild animals.

The operator of the commercial shooting area shall provide to each person taking birds in that area a receipted invoice or bill of sale for possession and transportation of those birds.

Enforcement

Enforcement of the trespass laws of a commercial shooting area is the responsibility of the owner and may not in any manner be considered an obligation of the Department.

Commercial Shooting Areas

Hunting on commercial shooting areas is governed by the license provisions of Section 12101. For a complete copy of this law, and to obtain a list of commercial shooting areas, call the Information Center at (207) 287-8000.

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Regulations in red are new this year.

Purple text indicates an important note.

Return to the eregulations.com home page
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JF Griffin Media
J.F. Griffin Media reaches 9,000,000 sportsmen every year through our print and digital publications. We produce 30 hunting and fishing regulation guides for 15 state agencies. For advertising information, please visit: www.jfgriffin.com