Youth hunters in Maine will get a jump start on the firearms season this weekend.
Since October 1, hunters have been hitting the woods with their bows and crossbows in search of deer. Youth hunters will the first this season to take to woods, rife in hand. Youth deer day is set for October 22. Junior hunters who hold a valid junior hunting license can participate in this specially designated hunting day.
As a part of the changes to the Maine alterless deer permit system, youth hunters will be allowed to harvest an antlerless deer on "Youth Day" without a permit. The special rule is statewide, even in WMDs that don't have antlerless tags available. WMDs 1, 2, 4, 5, and 28 did not have antlerless tags available for purchase or via the lottery. There are some rules to consider with a youth taking an antlerless deer without a permit.
- "If a junior hunter takes an antlered deer on Youth Deer Hunting Day, they are prohibited from taking additional deer unless they have antlerless deer permits or participate in the expanded archery season (designated areas only) with appropriate expanded archery permits."
- "If a junior hunter takes an antlerless deer without an antlerless deer permit on Youth Deer Hunting Day, they are prohibited from taking an antlered deer or additional antlerless deer unless they have antlerless deer permits or participate in the expanded archery season (designated areas only) with appropriate expanded archery permits."
On October 29, the firearms season will open to Maine resident hunters. The special day gives Mainers an opportunity to get an early start to the deer season. The rifle season opens to all on October 31, and runs through November 26.