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Wild Turkey Hunting

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Anyone who possesses an archery license or a big game hunting license may obtain a combination Spring & Fall Wild Turkey permit. In addition, a second Spring Wild Turkey permit may be purchased by those who hold the combination Spring & Fall Wild Turkey permit.

Landowners

The following laws and regulations are specific to Spring and Fall wild turkey hunting seasons. Hunters must also comply with all other applicable fish and wildlife laws.

Any private landowner is eligible to hunt wild turkeys on their own land without a turkey hunting permit if:

  1. that person owns a particular piece of land that is 25 or more contiguous acres in size and is located within the turkey hunting zone designated for the season that they wish to hunt;
  2. that person is permanently domiciled on that land;
  3. the land is managed for the raising and selling of dairy cattle, dairy products, or beef cattle; and
  4. the land is open to hunting including hunting by permission only. Any family member permanently domiciled on that land is also eligible to hunt wild turkeys on that land without a permit. (Family member means any family member of legal hunting age, including spouse, grandchildren, etc. who resides on the property.) A landowner must provide proof of eligibility if requested by an agent of the commissioner. All other standard reporting and tagging procedures are required. Turkey may be taken during any open week of the season.
  5. Landowners are allowed a bag limit of 2 turkeys in the spring season and 1 turkey in the fall season.

Wild Turkey to Be Tagged

Any person killing a wild turkey shall immediately securely attach to its leg, plainly visible, a tag bearing his/her full name, address and license number. Gift turkey are to be labeled with the name and address of the person who registered it and the year the turkey was registered.

Wild Turkey Transportation

Any wild turkey being moved or transported in any manner must have a tag securely attached, and it must be accompanied by the person who killed it. Unless the wild turkey has been legally registered, no person shall keep a wild turkey at his/her home or at any place of storage (except at the official registration station or at the office of a Maine game warden) for more than eighteen (18) hours without first notifying a game warden.

wild turkey Registration

All wild turkeys taken by hunters shall be presented for registration within 18 hours at one of the registration stations established for that purpose. The entire turkey, except the viscera, shall be presented. The fee to register a wild turkey is $5.00. All radio transmitters, leg bands and wing tags must be submitted to the Department at the time of registration.

Wild Turkey Hunting Prohibitions

  • No person may:
    1. Employ the use of a dog or dogs in any manner while hunting turkey except during the fall season;
    2. Engage in an organized drive of any manner;
    3. Use bait; or
    4. Use a trap or other device intended or designed to capture or ensnare wild turkeys.
  • No person may present a wild turkey for registration, or allow to be registered in his or her name, any wild turkey which he/she did not lawfully kill.
  • No person may possess any part or parts of a wild turkey unless each part is plainly labeled with the name and address of the person who registered the turkey, and the year it was registered.
  • It is illegal to buy, sell (or offer for sale or barter) any wild turkey (except the plumage of legally taken turkeys), or to counsel or otherwise aid in buying, selling or offering for sale or barter any wild turkey, except the plumage.
  • Except as otherwise allowed (spring season) it is unlawful for the holder of a wild turkey hunting permit to hunt wild turkeys after having killed or registered a wild turkey during any open season of that calendar year. A second Spring Wild Turkey permit may be purchased that allows the take of an additional turkey.
  • It shall be unlawful for the holder of a wild turkey hunting permit to hunt wild turkeys outside of the turkey hunting zone.

Questionnaires

A sample of Wild Turkey permit holders, including those who did not hunt or were unsuccessful, will be asked to complete a questionnaire provided by the Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife and return it to the Department within a period of 10 days after the close of the wild turkey hunting season. Information provided by hunters is an important part of the Department’s wild turkey management program.

Note: The fall shotgun wild turkey season involves tactics that are different from the “sit and call” approach and hunters are reminded to use extreme caution while hunting.

Spring Season

A Spring/Fall Wild Turkey permit is required in addition to a valid hunting license that allows hunting of big game. Note: Holders of a Spring/Fall Wild Turkey permit may also purchase a Second Spring Wild Turkey permit that allows the taking of a second bearded wild turkey.

Who May Hunt

Hunters must have a valid Spring Wild Turkey permit and a valid Maine resident hunting license or a valid nonresident or alien big game hunting license in order to hunt wild turkey. (Clarification: A valid archery license also permits hunting of wild turkey with bow and arrow in Maine.) The permittee must possess the permit at all times while hunting. A person may assist in a hunt without a license or permit for that activity as long as that person does not carry hunting equipment.

Permit Fee

A combined Spring/Fall permit is available to residents for $20.00 and nonresidents for $54.00 (plus agent fee). Holders of this permit may obtain a 2nd Spring Bearded Wild Turkey permit for $20.00.

Youth Hunting Day

Youth 10 years of age or older and under 16 years of age who possess a junior hunting license may hunt under adult supervision on the first Saturday preceding the opening of the spring wild turkey Hunting season. The resident Spring/Fall Wild Turkey permit and the Second Spring Wild Turkey permit are included in the resident Junior Hunting License.

Junior hunters may hunt for two bearded turkeys in zones open to hunting with shotguns or bow and arrow, and must be accompanied by a parent, guardian, or a qualified adult. The qualified adult must be a person 18 years of age or older who has been approved by the youth’s parent or guardian and must hold a valid Maine hunting license or completed a hunter safety course. The accompanying adult cannot possess hunting equipment on the youth hunting day.

Spring Legal Hours

One-half (½) hour before sunrise until 12:00 p.m. (noon) local time.

Spring Area Open to Hunting

There is one spring wild turkey hunting zone as follows: Wildlife Management Districts (WMDs) 7, 9 through 26, and 28.

Spring Bag Limit

Two (2) bearded wild turkey per permit holder per season. To harvest 2 wild turkeys during the spring season, a Spring/Fall Wild Turkey permit along with a Second Spring Wild Turkey permit is required. A Second Spring Male Wild Turkey permit may be obtained by holders of the combined Spring/Fall Wild Turkey permit.

Spring Legal Method for Taking Wild Turkey

Shotgun gauges 10 through 20 using shot sizes 4 through 6, mixed loads that include shot sizes 4 through 7, or bow and arrow must be used to hunt wild turkeys during the Spring wild turkey hunting season. Electronic calling devices are legal.

Fall Season

Fall Zone

There will be a Fall wild turkey hunting season as follows:

  • Zone 1:  WMDs 12, 15, 16, 17, 18, 20 and 26;
  • Zone 2: WMDs 21, 22, 23, 24 and 25;
  • Zone 3: WMDs 15, 16, 17, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25 and 26.

Fall Permits

Any person who possesses an archery license, or a firearms license that allows the hunting of big game, may purchase a Spring/Fall wild turkey hunting permit from a license agent to hunt during the fall wild turkey season. Permit fees are $20.00 for Maine residents, and $54.00 for nonresidents and aliens (plus agent fee).

Fall Bag Limit

The bag limit for wild turkey during the fall season is 1 (one) wild turkey of either sex and any age per permit holder.

Fall Legal Method for Taking Wild Turkey

Only bow and arrow may be used to hunt wild turkey during the fall wild turkey hunting season in Zone 1 and Zone 2. In Zone 3, permit holders may use (with appropriate license) bow and arrow, shotgun gauges 10 through 20 using shot size 4 through 6 inclusive, mixed loads that include shot sizes 4 through 7 to hunt wild turkey. Dogs and electronic devices are legal.

Fall Legal Hunting Time

Legal hunting time is from ½ hour before sunrise to ½ hour after sunset.

 

2012–13 Wild Turkey Seasons & Bag Limits

 

 

 

 

Seasons

Dates

Daily Bag Limit

Possession Limit

Spring Wild Turkey

Youth Spring
Wild Turkey

April 27, 2013

One (1) bearded wild turkey

Note: A Second Spring Wild Turkey permit may be obtained by holders of the combined Spring/Fall Wild Turkey permit for a fee of $20, which allows a second bearded wild turkey.

WMDs 7, 9–26, 28

April 29 – June 1, 2013

Fall Wild Turkey (Archery Only)

Zone 1:

WMDs 12, 15, 16,
17, 18, 20, 26

Oct 6 – Oct 20, 2012

One (1) wild turkey either sex, any age
(shotgun or bow)

Zone 2:

WMDs 21, 22, 23, 24, 25

Sept 27 – Oct 26, 2012

Fall Wild Turkey (Archery & Shotgun Hunt)

Zone 3:

WMDs 15, 16, 17, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26

Oct 13 – Oct 19

 

 

 

 

All dates are inclusive except that hunting is prohibited on Sunday.

See Archery & Crossbow Laws for information on the use of crossbows.

Regulations in red are new this year.

Purple text indicates an important note.

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