128th Legislature (2018)– Summary of Laws Enacted Related to MDIFW

Public Laws

PUBLIC LAW 2018 CHAPTER 325 (LD 1759) - An Act To Rename the Coast of Maine Wildlife Management Area as the Alan E. Hutchinson Wildlife Management Area (Effective: August 1, 2018)
This law renames the Coast of Maine Wildlife Management Area to the Alan E. Hutchinson Wildlife Management Area in honor of Mr. Hutchinson.

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PUBLIC LAW 2018 CHAPTER 355 (LD 1816) - An Act Regarding the Penalties for Hunting Deer over Bait (Effective: August 1, 2018)
This changes the penalty for a 2nd conviction of baiting deer from a permanent hunting license revocation to a 2-year license revocation beginning the date of conviction.

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PUBLIC LAW 2018 CHAPTER 356 (LD 1823) - An Act Regarding the Repeal of a Provision of Law Allowing Certain Nonresidents To Hunt Deer before the Open Season on Deer (Effective: August 1, 2018)
This law makes permanent a law that went into effect for a trial period and would have been repealed.  The law that allows NR hunters to hunt on resident only deer day if they own 25 continuous acres of land will remain in effect.

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PUBLIC LAW 2018 CHAPTER 357 (LD 1790) - An Act Regarding Youth Hunting Day for Hunting Bear and Carrying a Handgun during the Regular Archery-only Season on Deer (Effective: August 1, 2018)
This law clarified that the Commissioner may establish, by rule, a youth bear hunting day. Additionally, MDIFW agreed to add rule language that will allow the supervisor of a Jr. hunter, on youth hunt days for bear, deer and turkey to carry a weapon for personal protection only, not for hunting purposes.  It also replaced outdated language in the archery season section of law that referred to a concealed weapons permit and now refers to the new “open carry law”. This allows a person to carry a handgun, for safety purposes. Formally, hunters who hunted for deer during the archery only season could carry a handgun if they had a valid concealed weapons permit and the weapon was concealed.

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PUBLIC LAW 2018 CHAPTER 366 (LD 1824) - An Act Regarding the Termination of the Authority To Issue a Permit for a Noise Suppression Device on a Firearm for Hunting (Effective: April 8, 2018 by emergency)
This allows the suppression permit for hunting to remain in law.  When the law was passed two years ago it had a sunset provision and that sunset provision is now repealed. There will no longer be a fee for this permit and all current permit holder’s permits will remain in effect unless they are revoked.

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PUBLIC LAW 2018 CHAPTER 379 - (LD 630) - An Act To Prohibit Third Parties from Facilitating Transfers of Moose Permits for Consideration (Effective: August 1, 2018)
This law changes how a moose permit holder may transfer a hunting zone, area or season by allowing compensation between two parties who are transferring moose permits but prohibiting anyone from facilitating that.  It defines “facilitate for consideration” to mean: directly receive compensation or something of value solely as part of an exchange of moose permits. Additionally, the law states that MDIFW may assist in the exchange between two permit holders but the State bears no responsibility to enforce the terms of the exchange. Previously the law prohibited parties from being compensated when transferring permits.

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PUBLIC LAW 2018 CHAPTER 423 – (LD 1835) – An Act To Transfer Funds within the Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife (Effective: June 25, 2018-Emergency)
The Legislature must approve use of funds from the Department of Inland Fisheries & Wildlife carrying account before they can be transferred to another DIFW account. The law approved the transfer of $300,000 from the carrying account to the Warden Service General Fund account by June 30, 2018 and approved the transfer of another $300,000 from the carrying account to the Warden Service General Fund account by June 30, 2019.

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PUBLIC LAW 2018 CHAPTER 427 - (LD 768) – An Act To Simplify Nonresident Hunting and Fishing Licenses (Effective: January 1, 2019)

  • This law repeals the term and definition "alien" throughout Title 12. The law now includes any person who once was an "alien" (a person who is not a citizen of the United States) as a nonresident or a person who does not meet the definition of a resident.
  • It repeals any "alien" license to hunt, fish or any combined licenses and repeals the "alien" muzzle-loading permit, crossbow permit, archery license, moose permit, and antlerless deer permit.
  • It attempts to clarify that a nonresident who isn't a citizen of the U.S. can buy a nonresident trapping license but can only trap for beaver, no other species. 

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PUBLIC LAW 2018 CHAPTER 441 - (LD 1683) - An Act To Extend the Term of Guide Licenses (Effective January 1, 2019)
This changes the term of the guide license from 3 years to 5 years to alleviate concern over having to complete a fingerprint and background screening so frequently.  The license fee changes from $81 for the 3-year license to $135 for 5-year license, respectively. This change was made to continue to generate the same revenue as the 3-year license did.

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PUBLIC LAW 2018 CHAPTER 458 – (843) – An Act To Adjust the Formula for Calculating the Allocation of Moose Permits for Hunting Lodges(Effective: December 13, 2018)

  • This changes the nonresident moose permit allocations from 10% down to 8%. 
  • It allows for no more than 2% of the total moose hunting permits to be sold to hunting outfitters, after a lottery of qualified applicants is run by the Department. A hunting outfitter is defined as a person who operates a sporting camp as defined within the Dept. of Health and Human Services statute (Title 22) and who provides a package deal that includes food, lodging and the services of a licensed guide for hunting.
  • This will require a separate moose lottery be conducted by DIFW. 
  • It repeals the law language that was passed in 2014 that allowed the Commissioner to have a moose permit drawing allocating 10% of the moose permits if the moose permit allocations exceeded 3,140 in that year. That 10% was allocated for persons who qualified as a hunting outfitter.

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