Maine – From a Hunter’s POV

Posted: 08/15/2012 in Archery, Hunting, Legal, News, Regulations
Tags: , , , ,

This is an ongoing series looking at each state from the point of view of a nonresident hunter trying to find information about deer hunting, the basic explanation is HERE.


Is the information easy to find?

The Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife web site is at the top of the search results.

Grade: A

Website: is it easy to use and understand?

The main page includes what at first looks like a direct link to a large PDF file: surprisingly, this actually leads to a very useful and interactive eRegulations web page.  This page is easy to use, with information exactly where each link claims it is.  How to get a license,  when to hunt, where to hunt, how much a license will cost, and what the rules are for hunting deer in Maine are all quickly found with minimal bureaucratic chaff.

Grade: A

Does the state hold a lottery system for non-residents or are over the counter licenses available?

Hunting licenses are available over the internet or over the counter.  The license structure is simple, quick to read, and compact. It is worthwhile to note that as of this analysis, August 15th 2012, the 2012-2013 Maine regulations have not been published, yet the hunting licenses expire on December 31st of the year they are issued.  A nine month gap between license expiration and new regulations is odd.

Grade: B

 How much does it cost to hunt, and is there a short term license available?

Resident licenses in Maine cost $25.00 with an additional $25.00 for an archery tag, and a $5.00 fee when checking a harvested deer. There are other optional licenses, such as the optional Expanded Archery Deer Permits, however there does not seem to be a specific deer permit.  Nonresident licenses cost $114.00, archery tags are $74.00, with the same $5.00 fee to register any harvested deer at a check station. These permits, except for the Expanded Archery Permits, are for one antlered deer. Maine does not offer a short term license that is usable for deer.  $188.00 for a deer hunt with archery equipment for a antlered deer is quite reasonable.

Grade: B

Are the hunting seasons easy to find and laid out in a logical manner?

The Deer Seasons & Bag Limits page is simple, easy to read and/or print out if needed, and takes just a few seconds to read when gathering the information for a hunt.  This is one of the easiest to read season pages I’ve seen.

Grade: A

Is public hunting available, if so, are the rules different? If the rules are different, are they easy to understand?

Maine seems to use a system that is the opposite of most of the states reviewed so far, some Wildlife Management Areas in Maine are wildlife sanctuaries, while state parks, federal lands, and some other areas are open for hunting.  There are also Native American territories that have special regulations. Inside the digital edition of the General Hunting Rules, on page 29, however, it states that all Wildlife Management Areas (with some listed exceptions) are open for hunting.  This information could be better detailed within the ‘Hunting Areas’ page of the general web site.

Screen capture from the PDF

Grade: B

Are there major issues in hunting this state as a non-resident?

No outstanding issues seem to exist that would make a hunter shy away from Maine. I hunted black bear in northern Maine in 2010 with PB’s Guide Service in North Maine Woods and had a great time.

Grade: A

Summary: Final Grade B

The only negatives found in Maine’s regulatory web site are minor ones: a nine month gap between license expiration and new regulations, a slight failing to adequately explain Wildlife Management Areas without delving into the online yearly PDF, and a few odd fees and regulations such as a very mild nonresident hunting license fee, but a steep (comparatively) archery fee and then an additional $5.00 fee to check the deer.  I have to assume that the $5.00 check fee for big game is an incentive for stores to accept the responsibility for checking harvested game.  Rather than establish a mechanism to pay the agents from the state end, collecting the fee at the tagging end solves several problems at once.

States Completed: AlabamaAlaskaArizonaArkansasCaliforniaColoradoConnecticutDelaware

FloridaGeorgiaHawaiiIdahoIllinoisIndiana, IowaKansasKentucky, Louisiana


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