All laws become effective October 9, 2013 unless otherwise specified
During the 1st Session of the 126th Maine Legislature, Governor Paul LePage signed several bills into law that promote recreational activities in Maine and will help to ensure our fish and wildlife resources remain viable in the future. Below is a summary of the enacted laws pertinent to the upcoming hunting and trapping seasons.
PUBLIC LAW 2013 CHAPTER 139
An Act To Exempt Persons Who Serve in the Armed Forces from the Requirement To Take a Hunter Safety Course To Obtain a Hunting License
This exempts members of the armed forces, on active duty, who are permanently stationed outside of the U.S. and home on leave from the hunter safety course, archery hunter education course and crossbow hunter education course requirements. They need to show proof at the time they apply for the license that their home state of record is Maine. The next time the member wants to buy a license, if they do not meet the conditions above they must take the safety course.
PUBLIC LAW 2013 CHAPTER 185
An Act To Exempt Members of the Penobscot Nation, the Passamaquoddy Tribe, the Houlton Band of Maliseet Indians and the Aroostook Band of Micmacs from the Special Training Requirements for Archery and Trapping (Effective May 31, 2013)
This exempts members of the above mentioned Tribe, Band and Nation from the special training requirements for, archery hunter, crossbow hunter, and trapper education requirements. A member of any of the tribes listed above will be able to acquire their complimentary archery, crossbow and trapping license without having previously held these licenses and without having to pass the associated education course.
PUBLIC LAW 2013 CHAPTER 213
An Act to Increase the Number of Permits Available for Junior Hunters (Effective October 9, 2013 the next antlerless deer lottery will be held in summer of 2014)
It directs the commissioner to adopt an antlerless deer permit system that may give special consideration to junior hunters by granting at least 25% of the available antlerless deer permits in WMD’s when the junior hunter applies for a permit in that district.
PUBLIC LAW 2013 CHAPTER 215
An Act To Amend the Laws Governing the Discharge of a Firearm or Crossbow Near a Dwelling or Building
This clarifies the original intent of the law by making it illegal to discharge an arrow from a bow or cause a projectile to pass as a result of a discharge from a firearm, crossbow or bow and arrow within 100 yards of a building or residential dwelling without permission from the landowner. The law also defines projectile as a bullet, pellet, shot, shell, ball, bolt or other object propelled or launched from a firearm, crossbow or bow and arrow.
PUBLIC LAW 2013 CHAPTER 226
An Act To Expand Moose Hunting Opportunities
This law guarantees a moose permit to any lottery applicant 70 years or older or who will turn 70 that calendar year, who has accumulated at least 30 points in the lottery system. It also allows a person to decline a moose permit and continue to retain their points towards a future moose lottery when the permit is located in a road safety management area.
PUBLIC LAW 2013 CHAPTER 236
An Act To Expand Crossbow Hunting
DISCLAIMER: Due to the conflict in the law the department has interpreted the meaning of this law to meet the IFW Committee’s intent. Proposed corrections to the law will be put forth in the 2nd session of the 126th.
PUBLIC LAW 2013 CHAPTER 280
An Act To Strengthen Maine’s Wildlife Laws (Effective June 18, 2013)
This law addressed several changes and clarifications in wildlife laws that the Department brought forth which included:
PUBLIC LAW 2013 CHAPTER 322
An Act To Simplify and Encourage the Sale of Hunting and Fishing Licenses and Permits (Effective June 21, 2013)
This allows any Maine resident to transfer their antlerless deer permit to another Maine resident hunter or any nonresident to transfer their antlerless deer permit to another nonresident hunter. The transferee must write their name and address on the permit along with any other information the commissioner reasonably requests. The permit must be returned to the Department prior to the start of the firearms season on deer so the transfer can be documented. The permit must be in the possession of the transferee when the antlerless deer is taken.
PUBLIC LAW 2013 CHAPTER 333
An Act Regarding the Buying and Selling of Animal Parts
This does the following:
This law clarifies language between two of Title 12’s existing laws: Buying and Selling Wild Animals and Birds and the Hide Dealer’s License requirement. It also adds language to the law on buying and selling wild animals and wild birds that prohibit the purchase, sale, offer for sale or barter of any physical part of a wild animal or wild bird, and it adds certain parts that may be purchased or sold, such as naturally shed deer or moose antlers and finished wildlife products, including but not limited to tanned animal hides, bear galls and taxidermy mounts. This does not further restrict the individual hunter or trapper from selling specific parts of legally hunted or trapped bear, moose or deer. For more complete information please see Title 12 Section 11217- 2.
PUBLIC LAW 2013 CHAPTER 372
An Act To Protect Maine’s Loons by Banning Lead Sinkers and Jigs
(Effective dates are specified below)
PUBLIC LAW 2013 CHAPTER 382
An Act To Prohibit the Placement of Cameras and Electronic Surveillance Equipment on Private Property without the Written Permission of the Landowner
This law prohibits a person from placing a camera or electronic surveillance equipment that records any images or data if it is left unattended, outside on the private property of another, without written consent of the landowner. If a person has written permission from the landowner, the camera or equipment must be labeled with that person’s name and contact information.
This law allows a landowner to remove or disable a camera or electronic surveillance equipment placed on the landowner’s private property if written permission has not been granted and/or the equipment is not properly labeled. The exceptions to this law are using a camera to deter theft or vandalism of a vehicle when the vehicle is temporarily parked or when using implanted or attached electronic devices to I.D., monitor and track animals.
PUBLIC LAW 2013 CHAPTER 387
An Act To Expand Wild Turkey Hunting Opportunities
This law will allow a hunter to take two turkeys without having to pay an additional fee for the second turkey [effective 10-9-13] and decreases the permit fees so that residents and non-residents alike pay $20 for a permit that covers both spring and fall turkey hunting [effective 1-1-14]. It will also reduce the fee to register a turkey from $5 to $2 [effective 10-9-13]. The legislature directed the Commissioner to adopt rules specific to wild turkey hunting. PLEASE NOTE: At the time of printing there were a number of wild turkey rules in the process. The final outcome of these will not be known until fall 2013. For the most current information on turkey hunting please visit IF&W’s website www.mefishwildlife.com.
PUBLIC LAW 2013 CHAPTER 404
An Act To Amend the Laws Governing Complimentary Hunting, Trapping and Fishing Licenses for Disabled Veterans
This allows a resident disabled veteran of Maine, who has a service-connected disability of 50% or more to be issued, upon application, and after meeting certain criteria a complimentary license to fish, trap, or hunt (including all necessary permits and other permissions, and upon meeting special qualifications, a guides license).
PUBLIC LAW 2013 CHAPTER 408
An Act to Amend Certain Provisions of the Fish and Wildlife Laws
This bill encompasses changes or clarifications within Title 12 that the Department brings forth each year.
Maine Antler & Skull Trophy Club
Any hunter who takes a trophy deer, bear, moose, or turkey may wish to obtain information concerning the Maine Antler & Skull Trophy Club:
For penalties see Title 23, Chapter 611, §7007.
Regulations in red are new this year.
Purple text indicates an important note.