2nd Regular Session of the129th Legislature

PUBLIC LAW 2020 CHAPTER 630 (LD 1804) - An Act Regarding the Baiting of Deer
(Effective: June 16, 2020)
This law changes the penalty for placing bait for deer while prohibited (June 1st to December 15th) from a criminal Class E violation to a civil violation with a minimum fine of $500 up to a maximum fine of a $1,000. It also changes the penalty for hunting deer over bait for any adjudication (no longer a conviction) from a criminal Class E violation to a civil violation with a minimum fine of $500 up to a maximum fine of a $1,000. It also makes the language change within the license revocation section related to hunting deer over bait from convicted to adjudicated. The 1st offense remains a 1-year revocation and the 2nd offense remains a 2-year revocation of the hunting license.

PUBLIC LAW 2020 CHAPTER 637 (LD 1905) - An Act To Clarify Crossbow-related Hunting Laws
(Effective March 18, 2020 by emergency)

  • This law clarifies the crossbow hunting related law that passed in 2019 (Public Law 2019 Ch. 98) to state that hunting an antlerless deer with a crossbow may occur during the archery-only hunting season on deer with an antlerless deer permit.
  • It adds that a person 65 years of age or older must complete a hunter safety course or show satisfactory evidence of having previously held a license to hunt with firearms in this or another state in order to apply for a permit to take an antlerless deer with a crossbow.  
  • It makes a technical correction by replacing "crossbow hunting license" with "crossbow permit." The amendment also creates new requirements for crossbow hunter education.
  • It also requires that an applicant for a permit to hunt with a crossbow must provide evidence of completion of an archery hunting education program or a hunter safety course, in addition to evidence of a crossbow hunting education program or an equivalent as determined by the commissioner.

NOTE: The crossbow hunter fact sheet is an extra source of direction related to this new law (will be sent out asap) and information on varying types of hunter safety courses offered will be provided soon.  

PUBLIC LAW 2020 CHAPTER 638 (LD 1920) - An Act To Amend Maine's Fish and Wildlife Licensing and Registration Laws (Effective: June 16, 2020)
Section 1. Amends the law governing the complimentary license package for paraplegics (a person who has lost, or who has permanently lost the use of, both lower extremities) to provide that such a person may, upon application, at no cost, obtain all hunting, trapping and fishing licenses, including permits, stamps and other permission needed to hunt, trap and fish. Previously it only mentioned hunting and fishing licenses, so it was unclear if trapping, archery or other permits were included.
Section 2. Provides the commissioner authority to defer a moose permit for one season when a moose permit holder or immediate family member has a significant medical illness.
Section 3. Exempts New Hampshire watercraft and seaplanes from Maine’s lake and river protection sticker when operating on interstate waters between Maine and New Hampshire as long as New Hampshire reciprocates the privilege.

PUBLIC LAW 2020 CHAPTER 639 (LD 1921) - An Act To Clarify and Enhance Maine's Fish and Wildlife Laws (Effective: June 16, 2020)
Section 1. It waives the 7-day notice requirement for meetings of the Inland Fisheries and Wildlife Advisory Council in cases of emergency rulemaking. Normally there has to be a minimum of 7 days public notice for Advisory Council meetings.

Sections 2. – 6.
It changes the name of the supervisor of an apprentice hunter from a “youth hunter supervisor” to the accurate title of an “apprentice supervisor” and changes the name of the supervisor of a junior hunter from an “adult supervisor” to a more descriptive title of a “junior hunter supervisor”.

Sections 7. – 13.

  • It changes the term that refers to the person who supervises a junior trapper from "adult trapper supervisor" to a more accurate term of "junior trapper supervisor."
  • It clarifies that a person 16 years of age who obtained a junior trapping license before that person reached 16 years of age must either successfully complete a trapper education course prior to trapping or be supervised by a junior trapper supervisor while trapping after the person turns 16 years of age.
  • It changes the name of the supervisor of an apprentice trapper from an “adult trapper supervisor” to the accurate title of an “apprentice trapper supervisor”.
  • Additionally, it changes a statutory reference to the hunter safety course a junior hunter is required to complete if not supervised by a junior hunter supervisor.

PUBLIC LAW 2020 CHAPTER 652 (LD 2003) - An Act Regarding Permits To Possess Wildlife in Captivity
(Effective: June 16, 2020)
This amends the law governing the issuance of permits to possess wildlife in captivity to allow the Commissioner of DIFW to issue a notice of corrective action to a person who possesses wildlife in captivity without a permit and who is issued a permit by the commissioner.

PUBLIC LAW 2020 CHAPTER 662 (LD 2065) -An Act To Address Decibel Level Limits for Airboats
(Effective: June 16, 2020)

  • This exempts airboats, which are defined as flat-bottomed watercraft propelled by an aircraft-type propeller and powered by either an aircraft engine or an automotive engine, from the noise level limits imposed on other watercraft.
  • This law allows the Commissioner of DIFW to establish noise level limits for airboats by routine technical rules.
  • It also requires DIFW and DMR to jointly solicit and collect information regarding airboats, including uses of airboats, noise levels and complaints and suggestions for reducing complaints regarding the use of airboats, from interested parties, including but not limited to harbor masters, town clerks and residents of coastal towns and airboat users and sellers.
  • Based on the suggestions, the Commissioner of DIFW and the Commissioner of DMR may submit legislation to the First Regular Session of the 130th Legislature by February 1, 2021 to implement whatever suggestions the commissioners determine are necessary.

Carryover bills that were not dealt with before adjournment, however if the Legislature reconvenes for a special session before 2021 these could have final resolutions:

LD 650 - An Act To Strengthen Maine's Landowner Relations Program
(Carried over to any special session of the 129th session)

LD 1118 - An Act To Give the Commissioner of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife Rule-making Authority To Establish a Bear Season Framework and Bag Limits
(Carried Over to any special session of the 129th session)

LD 1787 - An Act To Clarify and Enhance Fish and Wildlife Enforcement Laws
(This was held on the appropriations table during the 2019 session and was brought back to IFW Committee for consideration during the 2020 session but has not been passed. This was an IFW bill proposal and IFW will work to have this carried over.)

LD 1932 - An Act To Promote Outdoor Recreational Opportunities for Maine Students
IFW will most likely begin meetings with the interested parties and begin formulating a report back on various options for working with the Universities and private schools on outdoor trips with students.
(Carried Over to any special session of the 129th session)

LD 2001 - An Act To Create an Administrative Review Process for Hunting and Fishing Violations
(Carried Over to any special session of the 129th session)

LD 2043 - An Act To Reclassify Certain Offenses under the Inland Fisheries and Wildlife Laws and Motor Vehicle Laws and Increase the Efficiency of the Criminal Justice System
(Carried Over to any special session of the 129th session)

LD 2130 - An Act To Fund Maine's Recreational Trails
(Carried Over to any special session of the 129th session)

LR 3280- An Act To Clarify All-terrain Vehicle Registration Requirements and Establish Regular Maintenance of All-terrain Vehicle Trails
(Carried Over to any special session of the 129th session)

LD 2043 - An Act To Reclassify Certain Offenses under the Inland Fisheries and Wildlife Laws and Motor Vehicle Laws and Increase the Efficiency of the Criminal Justice System
(Carried Over to any special session of the 129th session)