FAQs

Are MDIFW offices closed?

MDIFW offices are currently closed to in-person services until further notice. Most of our services are available online, and if you need any assistance, our staff is available to help through our Facebook page, by email or by calling us at 207-287-8000 Monday-Friday from 8:00am-5:00pm.

If you need to report a violation or if you have an emergency and need the assistance of an on-duty game warden, please call the dispatch center that is closest to you:

Augusta 1-800-452-4664
Bangor 1-800-432-7381
Houlton 1-800-924-2261

Field staff, including biologists and game wardens, continue to work out of local offices and facilities, but are minimizing direct interaction with the public beyond essential services. 

Can I still fish in Maine?

Yes! Fishing is a great way to get outside and recharge. Fishing is considered a permitted activity under Governor Mills' Executive Order. Be sure to purchase your fishing license online and check the current fishing laws as all other current laws and rules apply.

Please follow these steps to avoid the spread of COVID-19 while fishing:

  • If fishing with a child or children, advise them to not wander into the personal space of other anglers.
  • Refrain from carpooling. Only share a vehicle or boat with individuals that you live with.
  • Avoid crowds. If you arrive at your fishing spot and it's crowded, find another location.
  • Avoid sharing fishing gear with anyone. Each angler is advised to have their own fishing gear (bait, bait container, waders, gloves, hand towels, clippers, pliers, or other personal items).
  • If you are fishing at a state or local park, the restrooms may be closed to protect staff and visitors. Use the bathroom before you visit or dispose of waste properly. Carry out any trash, since there are limited staff at these facilities.

Continue to follow the guidance from the CDC below: 

  • Wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available.
  • Cover any coughs or sneezes with your elbow, not your hands.
  • Clean surfaces frequently.
  • Stay home to avoid spreading COVID-19, especially if you are unwell.

Are there changes to the spring turkey season?

Yes, there are some changes to the spring turkey hunting season.

Youth days will be Saturday, April 25 and Monday, April 27 instead of Saturday, May 2.
The start of the regular spring turkey hunting season will be Saturday, May 2 instead of Monday, May 4.

Hunters participating in the 2020 spring turkey hunting season will NOT be required to register (tag) their harvested turkey(s). The is specific to the spring 2020 season only! Hunters will receive a post-season survey and are asked to participate to help provided data used to monitor Maine's wild turkey population.

All other current bag limits, and license and permit requirements apply. Please review Maine's current hunting laws for more information.

Please follow these steps to avoid the spread of COVID-19 while spring turkey hunting:

  • Hunt close to home to avoid unnecesary travel.
  • Refrain from carpooling. Only share a vehicle or boat with individuals that you live with.
  • Do not share a bling with individuals that you do not live with.
  • If you arrive at your hunting spot and it's occupied, find another location. Be sure to get landowner permission before hunting on private property.
  • Avoid sharing gear with anyone. Each hunter is advised to have their own gear and equipment.
  • Follow CDC guidelines on physical distancing.

Are boat launches or wildlife management areas closed?

No. All department-owned and managed boat launches, and wildlife management areas are open for public access. We ask that people not crowd these areas and maintain proper social distancing (at least 6’ apart). Some Wildlife Management Areas in southern Maine are experience heavy use. If you arrive and the parking area is full, please go to a different area to recreate. You can see nearby options at mainetrailfinder.com. Please park only in designated parking areas and do not block roadways. Please note, that boat launches owned by other entities may have closures. 

Are hunter education courses still available to participants?

Currently, most in-person hunter education classes have been cancelled or postponed. Please check the current online schedule for updates. 

Students are encouraged to complete the online option of the hunter education program during this time in preparation to be able to complete the in-person field day as soon as in-person courses can resume. 

The Department is currently exploring alternate methods to deliver safety course programs for the public and will provide updates when they’re available.

Is the Department waiving the requirements for hunter education because of cancelled or postponed in-person courses?

No. Hunter safety programs are critical to ensure new hunters are prepared and are safe before heading out to hunt in Maine. New hunters who are required to do so will need to complete an approved hunter safety program prior to obtaining a hunting license in Maine. Students can complete the online portion of the course now in preparation to complete the in-person field day as soon as in-person courses are able to resume.

The Department is currently exploring alternate methods to deliver safety course programs for the public and will provide updates when they’re available.

Hunters are also encouraged to take advantage of the option to purchase an apprentice hunting license. Learn more about apprentice hunting licenses in Maine. 

Is the Summerhaven shooting range open?

Due to staffing challenges during the current state of civil emergency, the Summerhaven Shooting Range is currently closed to public use until further notice.

Public use at the Summerhaven Shooting Range is restricted to time periods when an approved Range Safety Officer is present. Range Safety Officers at the range are trained and certified volunteers who donate their time to ensure safe shooting practices at the range.

The Range will still be available for use by Law Enforcement Agencies to meet their training needs. Agencies wishing to reserve range time, please contact Craig Gerry, MDIFW Shooting Range Coordinator at (207) 446-4249.

How do I register my boat?

The easiest way to renew your boat registration is online, but not all towns have signed up with the state’s internet vendor, InforME, to do registrations.

Here are a few suggestions from the Department to help you get your boat registered for the 2020 season.

  • First time boat registrations cannot be completed online, they must be done at the town office so the town can collect sales, and excise tax. Registrants should call their town office to see if they are open, and possibly register their boat with the town office through the postal system.
  • If you cannot register your boat online or at the town office, MDIFW will work with you to register your boat. Please call the main office at 207-287-8000 for further assistance.
  • If you just purchased a new boat from a dealer, you should have a temporary registration that is good for 20 days.

The Department is looking for other ways to assist boaters with registrations during the civil state of emergency and will notify boat owners as they become available.

Can I still participate in the Maine Bird Atlas?

Yes. During these challenging times, we know that getting out in nature is an important way to relax, exercise, renew your energy, and that contributing to a project also helps bring a sense of purpose. Please follow these guidelines to help keep yourself and others safe.