April 30, 2015

Turkey Season Starts Monday Throughout The State

For Immediate Release: April 30, 2015

AUGUSTA, Maine – Spring turkey season starts on Monday, May 4 throughout the state, and for the first time in modern history, hunters will be able to turkey hunt in northern Maine. Youth hunters will have their own day on Saturday, May 2

“Maine has some excellent turkey hunting,” said IFW game bird biologist Kelsey Sullivan. “Success rates are very good, the birds are lightly hunted compared to other states, and you can now hunt turkeys throughout the state.”

Wild turkeys are a wildlife success story in Maine. Once gone completely 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 valid Maine big game hunting license, turkey hunters can purchase a wild turkey permit for just $20 for both residents and nonresidents. This permit allows turkey hunters to take up to two wild turkeys in the spring, and an additional two turkeys in the fall. Legal hunting hours for turkey hunting stretch from 1/2 hour before sunrise and 1/2 hour after sunset.

While the turkey season is open throughout the state in all wildlife management districts, hunters should note that that there is a split season in northern Maine, as well as one turkey bag limit in WMDs 1-6 and 8. Hunters may take two bearded turkeys, but no more than one of these bearded turkeys can come from WMDs 1-6 or 8.

As this is the first year for turkey hunting in northern Maine, in WMDs 1-6, turkey hunters in are assigned to either Season A or Season B based on their year of birth. During “odd” numbered calendar years such as this (2015), hunters with “odd” birth years will be authorized to hunt during Season A (May 4-9, 2015 and May 18-23, 2015 this year); hunters with “even” birth years will be authorized to hunt during Season B (May 11-16, 2015 and May 25-30, 2015). All turkey hunters can hunt the last week (June 1-6, 2015).

During “even” numbered calendar years (2016, 2018, etc.), hunters with “even” birth years will be authorized to hunt during Season A; hunters with “odd” birth years will be authorized to hunt during Season B. Many turkey hunters are familiar with this split season as it was in place statewide prior to 2007. More information and WMD maps are available at www.mefishwildlife.com.

The Department strongly encourages all turkey hunters to reach out to landowners before hunting. Please remember to ask first before accessing private land, and respect any and all requests of the landowners.

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