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Tagging, Transportation & Registration

Tagging Requirements

Prior to presenting a bear, deer, moose, or wild turkey for registration, a person may not possess or leave that animal in the field or forest unless that person has securely attached a plainly visible tag to the animal with that persons name, address, and license number on the tag.

Transporting Harvested Animals

A person may not transport a harvested wild animal or wild bird unless that animal or bird is lawfully possessed by the person. Once the animal or bird has been registered, it may be transported by another person. A person may not present for registration or allow to be registered in that person’s name, a bear, deer, moose, or wild turkey that the person did not lawfully kill.

Transportation Prior to Registration

Prior to registration, a person may not transport a harvested bear, deer, moose, or wild turkey unless that animal is open to view. For purposes of this section, “open to view” means the animal is not concealed and can be readily observed in whole or in part from outside of the vehicle or trailer being used to transport the animal.

Registration Requirements

A person who kills a bear, deer, moose, or wild turkey must:

  1. Remain with the animal until it is registered, exceptions found in Time Limits for Registering section.
  2. Present that animal for registration in that person’s name at the first open registration station for that animal on the route taken by that person; and
  3. Leave the registration seal attached to the animal until the animal is processed and packaged for consumption.
  4. Pay a fee of $5.00 for registration of a bear, deer or moose (of this fee, $2 is retained by the agent and $1 is dedicated to a Deer Habitat Enhancement Fund.) The wild turkey registration fee is $2.00.

Time Limits for Registering

A person may not keep an unregistered bear, deer, moose or wild turkey at home or any place of storage for more than 18 hours. This does not apply to an animal that is kept in an official registration station for the animal or at the office of a game warden. A person may leave an unregistered harvested animal in the woods if that person notifies a game warden within 18 hours as to the location of that animal and the circumstances necessitating leaving that animal in the woods.

A person on a hunting trip in an unorganized township and staying at a temporary place of lodging may keep an unregistered harvested animal at the temporary place of lodging for no more than 7 days or until that person leaves the woods, whichever comes first.

A person may not possess a bear, deer, moose, or wild turkey that has not been legally registered except as otherwise provided in the statutes regarding animals causing damage or nuisance.

Bobcats taken by hunting must be tagged by a Department employee within 72 hours from the time they were taken.

Condition of Animal Presented for Registration

A person may not present a bear, deer, moose or wild turkey for registration unless it is presented in its entirety, except that the viscera and rib cage of the animal may be removed in a manner that still allows the determination of the sex of the animal.


A moose may be dismembered for ease of transportation, and the lower legs, head and hide of a moose may be removed. If the head of the moose is not brought to the registration station, a canine tooth or the lower jaw must be presented at the time of registration. Parts of a moose not presented for registration may not be placed where they are visible to a person traveling on a public or private way.


Hunters are required to remove a premolar tooth from the bear they harvest and provide the tooth when they register their bear. Hunters will receive instructions at the registration station or can go online. Hunters will be notified of the age of the bear they harvested on the Bear Hunting Page on the Department’s website next August.

Possession of Gift Bear, Deer, Moose, or Wild Turkey

A person may not possess any part or parts of a bear, deer, moose, or wild turkey given to that person unless that gift bear, deer, moose or wild turkey is plainly labeled with the name and address of the person who registered it and the year it was registered.

Big Buck Club

Maine has a club for deer hunters called “The Biggest Bucks in Maine Club,” which is sponsored by:

The Maine Sportsman
183 State St., Suite 101
Augusta, ME 04330

To qualify, the minimum dressed weight (without heart, lungs, and liver) must be 200 pounds. Application blanks are available from Department wardens and biologists or by calling The Maine Sportsman at (207) 622-4242.

Dog Training Season

  • Dogs may be trained on fox, snowshoe hare, and raccoons from July 1st through the following March 31st. It is unlawful to use or possess a firearm, other than a pistol or a shotgun, loaded with blank ammunition, while training dogs on fox, snowshoe hare, or raccoons (except during the open hunting season on these species). Dogs may be used to hunt wild hares during the firearm season on deer.
  • Residents may train up to 6 dogs on bear from July 1st to August 27th, 2015 except in portions of Washington and Hancock counties that are situated south of Route 9.
  • Sporting dogs may be trained on wild birds (does not include wild turkey) at any time. The commissioner may authorize the use of firearms during such training to shoot and kill wild birds propagated or legally acquired by the permittee and possessed in accordance with the laws pertaining to breeders licenses.
  • A person must possess a valid hunting license to engage in these activities, except Sunday or when training on pen-raised birds.
  • A person may not hunt with a dog in pursuit of bear, coyote or bobcat unless the dog has a collar that legibly provides the name, telephone number and address of the owner of that dog.
  • A person or persons may not use more than 6 dogs at any one time to hunt coyotes or bobcats.
  • A person may not use a dog to hunt coyotes or bear during the period from 30 minutes after sunset to 30 minutes before sunrise.
  • For more information on hunting bears with dogs see Bear Hunting.

A person with a suspended or revoked license may not train dogs.

Leashed Dog Tracking License

A license is available which allows the tracking of wounded deer, moose, and bear with dogs. The fee for this license is $27. The fee for a 3-year license is $81. A person who holds a valid license may charge a fee for dog tracking services without having to hold a guides license as long as that is the only service provided. Contact the Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife for details.

Regulations in red are new this year.

Purple text indicates an important note.

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