Update on New Laws for 2016

ArrayDecember 17, 2015 at 10:56 am

Hunters in Maine should be aware of a few new laws that go into effect January 1, 2016. No Hunting Age Minimum.  As of January 1, 2016, any hunter under the age of 16 may purchase a junior hunting license and hunt. Hunters under the age of 10 must be in the presence of, and under the effective control of, an adult supervisor who remains at all times within 20 feet of the hunter. Hunters from 10-15 years of age must be in the presence of and under the effective control of an adult supervisor. The adult supervisor of the junior hunter must hold, or have held, a valid adult hunting license or have successfully completed a hunter safety course. Increased opportunity for apprentice hunters. Additionally, this law increases the number of times a person may hold an apprentice hunter license from twice to 5 times before becoming ineligible to purchase the license. Click to view the full language of P.L.C. 136, An Act To Eliminate the Minimum Age Requirement for a Junior Hunting License and Increase the Number of Times a Person May Hold an Apprentice Hunter License. Species Management Education Fund - License Fee Increase. This law increases hunting and trapping license fees by $1 and directs IFW to use that revenue to educate the public on the management of game species. The hunting license fees will increase January 1, 2016 and the trapping license fees will increase July 1, 2016 to coincide with the annual license expiration dates. This new law also requires that the IFW Commissioner convenes a stakeholder group to develop recommendations for a 5 year public outreach campaign on IFW’s efforts to manage game species, including a plan for how money in the Species Management Education Fund is to be used. The Commissioner shall report on the recommendations of the stakeholder group, including any suggested legislation to the IFW Committee by February 1, 2016.  The IFW Committee may report out a bill in the 2nd Regular Session of the 127th in 2016. Click to view the full language of P.L.C. 245, An Act To Expand Public Opportunities for Wildlife Management Education. Additional Opportunity for Junior Hunters Who Turn 16. A junior license holder who turns 16 may hunt with that junior license for the remainder of the year, but must complete a hunter safety course prior to hunting without adult supervision. Beginning January 1, 2016, the law will allow holders of junior hunting licenses, after they turn 16 years of age, to also hunt pheasants and migratory waterfowl, and to hunt with a bow and arrow for the remainder of the calendar year for which their licenses are issued without having to purchase pheasant permits, migratory waterfowl permits or archery hunting licenses. Reminder: Anyone 16 and older must purchase a Federal migratory bird hunting stamp even if they are continuing to hunt with a junior hunting license. Click to view the full language of P.L.C. 281, An Act To Clarify and Simplify the Licensing and Registration Provisions of the Inland Fisheries & Wildlife Laws. Maine's hunting laws are available online at www.eregulations.com/maine/hunting/ CLICK HERE for the 2016 hunting seasons and bag and possession limits.