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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.

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 2 turkeys in the fall season, Please check the WMD in which you are hunting as some are closed, some are open with a bag limit of one turkey, and some are open with a bag limit of two turkeys.

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 until 10/8/13 and Eff. 10/9/2013, the fee to register a wild turkey is $2.00. 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;
    5. Shoot a turkey out of a tree.
    6. 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.
    7. 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.
    8. 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. It is unlawful for any person to hunt or register a wild turkey during the spring turkey season after having killed two turkeys or after having registered two turkeys during the spring turkey season. It is unlawful for any person to hunt or register a wild turkey during the fall turkey season after having killed two turkeys or after having registered two turkeys during the fall turkey season.
    9. It shall be unlawful for the holder of a wild turkey hunting permit to hunt wild turkeys within a WMD which is closed to hunting wild turkeys.

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.

Who May Hunt

Hunters must have a valid spring/fall 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 and crossbow 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 a firearm, archery or crossbow equipment (means to kill).

Permit Fee

A combined spring/fall permit is available to residents and non-residents for $20.00.

Note: The spring/fall turkey permit allows the taking of two (2) bearded wild turkeys in the spring and two (2) wild turkeys of either sex in the fall.

*Plus agent fee.

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 – April 26, 2014.

Two (2) Wild Turkeys of either sex and any age per permit holder. A hunter may take up to two wild turkeys but cannot exceed an individual WMD bag limit.

Note: The spring/fall wild turkey permit is included in the resident junior hunting license and resident junior lifetime hunting license. Effective October 9, 2013, the spring/fall wild turkey permit is also included in the nonresident junior hunting license and nonresident junior lifetime hunting license.

Junior hunters, including a junior lifetime hunting license holder may hunt for two bearded turkey with a shotgun, bow and arrow or crossbow and must be accompanied by a parent, guardian, or a qualified adult. The qualified adult must be a person 18 or older who has been approved by the youth’s parent or guardian and must hold a valid Maine hunting license or has completed a hunter safety course. The accompanying adult cannot possess hunting equipment on the youth hunting day.

Spring Legal Hours

Hunting Hours: 1/2 hour before sunrise to 1/2 hour after sunset.

Spring Wild Turkey Hunting Areas and Dates:

The spring wild turkey hunting season is open to turkey hunting statewide (Wildlife Management Districts 1-29).

  • April 28, 2014 through May 31, 2014
  • Youth Spring Wild Turkey Hunting Day (resident and nonresident)- April 26, 2014
  • The 2014 spring wild turkey hunting season, is open to all hunters with appropriate licenses.
  • Shotgun: person must possess a valid big game hunting license and a turkey permit.
  • Bow & Arrow: person must possess a valid archery license and a turkey permit.
  • Crossbow: person must possess either a valid hunting license or archery license as well as a turkey permit. (A person must have taken an archery and crossbow hunting education course or show proof that the person has previously held an archery and crossbow hunting license prior to purchasing their crossbow permit).

The permittee must possess the spring/fall wild turkey permit as well as their hunting license or archery license 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.

Spring Bag and Possession Limit

Two (2) bearded wild turkeys per permit holder per season. A hunter may take up to two (2) bearded wild turkeys but cannot exceed an individual WMD bag limit. Bag limits per WMD are as follows:

  1. The following WMD’s are open during the spring wild turkey hunting season with a two (2) turkey bag limit: WMD’s 7 & 9-29
  2. The following WMD’s are open during the spring wild turkey hunting season with a one (1) turkey bag limit: WMD’s 1-6 & 8

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, bow and arrow, or crossbow may be used to hunt wild turkeys during the spring wild turkey hunting season. Electronic calling devices are legal.

Fall Season

  • Fall Wild Turkey Hunting Areas Open and Dates:
    1. The fall wild turkey hunting season shall coincide with the regular archery season on deer during October. The dates are from October 3, 2013 through November 1, 2013.
    2. The following Wildlife Management Districts are open during the fall wild turkey hunting season with a two (2) turkey bag limit: WMD’s open: 1516, 17, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25 and 28.
    3. The following Wildlife Management Districts are open during the fall wild turkey hunting season with a one (1) turkey bag limit: WMD’s open: 12, 13, 18, 26, and 29.
    4. The following Wildlife Management Districts are closed during the fall wild turkey hunting season: WMD’s: 1-11, 14, 19 and 27.
  • The fall wild turkey hunting season, is open to all hunters with appropriate licenses.
    1. Shotgun Hunting: a person must possess a valid big game hunting license and a turkey permit.
    2. Bow & Arrow: a person must possess a valid big game hunting or archery license and a turkey permit.
    3. Crossbow: a person 70 years of age and older and a person with a crossbow disability permit may hunt with a crossbow with the appropriate licenses.
  • The permittee must possess the spring/fall wild turkey permit as well as their hunting license or archery license 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.

Fall Permits

Any person who possesses an archery license, or a hunting 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). (Effective 1/1/2014, the fee for nonresidents and aliens will be $20).

Fall Bag Limit

Two (2) Wild Turkeys of either sex and any age per permit holder. A hunter may take up to two wild turkeys but cannot exceed an individual WMD bag limit.

Fall Legal Method for Taking Wild Turkey

Bow and arrow or shotgun gauges 10 through 20 using shot sizes 4 through 6 inclusive, mixed loads that include shot sizes 4 through 7 must be used. Exception: Persons 70 and older or persons who have a valid crossbow disability permit may hunt with a crossbow if they have appropriate licenses.

Fall Legal Hunting Time

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

Hunters For the Hungry

Attention hunters! Some Maine citizens lack adequate nutrition. A gift of meat from your hunt can help reduce hunger in Maine.

Hunters for the Hungry is a program for donating wild game meat to food kitchens, shelters, and charitable organizations statewide.

To find out how you can help call

1-888-4DEERME (433-3763)

2013–14 Wild Turkey Seasons & Bag Limits

Seasons

Dates

Daily Bag Limit

Possession Limit

Spring Wild Turkey

Youth Spring
Wild Turkey

April 26, 2014

One (1) bearded wild turkey

WMDs 7, 9–26, 28

April 28 – May 31, 2014

Fall Wild Turkey (bow & arrow or shotgun)

WMDs 15, 16, 17, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 28

Oct 3 – Nov 1, 2013

Two (2) wild turkey either sex, either age

WMDs 12, 13, 18, 26, 29

Oct 3 – Nov 1, 2013

One (1) wild turkey either sex, either age

WMDs 1-11, 14, 19, 27

Oct 19 – Oct 25, 2013

Closed to hunting

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

See page 20 for information on the use of crossbows.

Regulations in red are new this year.

Purple text indicates an important note.

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Conservation Partner Advertisements: The Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife allows appropriate advertising in its annual regulation guides in print and online, in order to defray or eliminate expenses to the state, and support enhanced communications with Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife Constituents. Through a unique partnership with J.F.Griffin Publishing, LLC & eRegulations.com, ‘Conservation Partners’ have been established that pay for advertising in support of the regulations both in print and online. The Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife neither endorses products or services listed or claims made; nor accepts any liability arising from the use of products or services listed. Advertisers interested in the Conservation Partners program should contact J.F.Griffin/eRegulations.com directly at 413-884-1001,
JF Griffin Media
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