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Wondering what the Laws and Regulations are for Hunting in Maine?

Maine Department of Inland Fisheries of Wildlife (MDIFW) preserves, protects, and enhances the inland fisheries and wildlife resources of the state. As hunting season begins in Maine, all hunters must have a valid hunting license along with other required permits and stamps depending on the hunted specie. It is unlawful that hunters hunt on Sunday, trespass private land without permission as well as surpassing the daily limit. State law prohibits the use of aircrafts as an aid to locate game and hunt in a powered-on vehicle. It is also illegal to shoot across public roads and waters, and kill or shoot-at any game without the intention of retrieving it. It is also unlawful to hunt while being under the influence of alcohol or drugs. 

*Visit Maine’s Hunting and Trapping Guide for More Information*



Maine boasts the largest population of black bears in the Eastern United States, and without any natural predators it would be easy for the population to grow to dangerous levels. In order to help maintain population control, bear hunting has become a popular big game in Maine. In order to participate in a black bear hunt you need to obtain both a hunting or trapping license, and a bear permit. Bear season is roughly 13 weeks long and they can be hunted with either the use of a firearm or a bow and arrow. The bag limit is 2 bears per year, 1 by hunting and 1 by trapping.

  • General Season: August 31-November 28

*For more information about black bear hunts, visit the Maine Black Bear Hunting guide*


While the pheasant is not native to the United States, it was introduced to certain states and has thrived in them. The bird was initially stocked in Maine during the 1930s, and while it has not begun to establish a breeding population it is continually stocked every year. Roughly 2000 birds are stocked every fall, and has become a popular small game bird to hunt. In order to participate in a pheasant hunt, you need both a hunting license and a pheasant permit. There is a daily bag limit of 2 birds, and a possession limit of 4 birds.

  • General Season: September 26-December 31

*For more information visit the Maine Pheasant Hunting guide*


Just like the black bear, Maine boasts one of the largest populations of moose in the United States. This presents an incredible hunting opportunity, and one that is in high demand. Maine recieves an average of 50,000 applicants every year for a moose permit, and only issue between 2,000-3000 permits. The bag limit is one moose per permit, and may be hunted with either a firearm, or a bow and arrow. In order to join a moose hunt, you must have both a hunting license and apply for a moose hunting permit. Once issued a permit, you must wait 3 years before applying for one again.

  • The seasons vary by zone but generally run from September 28 thru November 28.

*For more information about moose hunts, visit the Maine Moose Hunting guide*

Other Species