April 24, 2014

Turkey Season Starts Monday Throughout Much Of The State

AUGUSTA, Maine ? Spring turkey season starts on Monday, April 28, and this year, hunters in Maine will have more opportunity than ever before with a longer hunting day and the chance to take two bearded turkeys in the spring on the same permit. Youth hunters will once again have their own day on Saturday, April 26.

With a valid Maine big game hunting license, turkey hunters can purchase a spring/fall wild turkey permit for just $20 for both residents and nonresidents. This permit allows turkey hunters to take up to two bearded wild turkeys on the same permit in the spring, and an additional two turkeys in the fall.

Hunters should note that Wildlife Management Districts (WMD) 7-29 are open to spring turkey hunting, and that there is no turkey season in northern Maine in WMDs 1-6. Hunters can take up to two turkeys in WMDs 7 and 9-29, but there is a one turkey bag limit in WMD 8. If a hunter takes a turkey in WMD 8, their second bird must come from WMDs 7 and 9-29 as a hunter may not exceed an individual bag limit in a WMD. More information and WMD maps are available at www.mefishwildlife.com.

Hunters will also be happy to know that the wild turkey hunting season doesn?t end at noon anymore, as you can hunt all day with legal hunting hours stretching from one-half hour before sunrise and one-half hour after sunset.

?Maine has some of the finest turkey hunting opportunities in the eastern United States,? said Governor Paul R. LePage. ?Success rates are high, the birds are lightly hunted compared to other states, and there are a variety of areas to hunt turkeys in the state.?

Wild turkeys are a wildlife success story in Maine. Once gone from Maine landscapes, they are now a familiar sight in all Maine?s 16 counties, thanks to a reintroduction and management plan started in the 1970s by the Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife.

?With a turkey population that continues to grow, turkey hunters are seeing the benefit as they now have longer hunting days, a longer season in the fall, higher bag limit, and more areas open to hunting,? said IFW game bird biologist Kelsey Sullivan.