Ammo technology has improved leaps and bounds over the years. These developments have led to changes to Maine's turkey hunting laws.
With the fall season underway, Mainers are hitting the turkey woods in search of thunder chickens. Hunting and fishing laws are ever-changing, so perhaps this equipment requirement change slipped past you. In Maine you can now hunt with 28 gauge and .410 shotguns. These smaller gauge scatterguns were once considered to not have enough power for a clean kill at a distance.
Prior to 2019, turkeys could only be hunted in Maine with shotgun gauges 10 through 20. However, thanks to improvements in ammo technology, .410 has been approved as a capable method of harvest. If you plan to hit the turkey woods with a .410, shot sizes 7 through 9 in Tungsten Super Shot are required.
For those who wish to hit the turkey woods with a crossbow, you're good to go. Crossbows are a legal method of harvest for turkeys during the spring and fall seasons. State law requires a hunter to possess either a valid big or small game firearms hunting license, or an archery license, as well as a turkey permit, and crossbow permit.
The fall turkey season opened to all Monday, September 19. During the fall season hunters can take turkeys of either sex, or age. In some WMDs up to five turkeys can be harvested during the season. A hunter may harvest only one turkey in WMDs 6-8,10-14, 18, 19, 27, and 29.
Season Bag Limits by WMD:
- Five Turkeys - 15-17, 20-25.
- Three Turkeys - 26.
- One Turkey - 6-8,10-14, 18, 19, 27, and 29.
- Closed to Turkey Hunting - 1-5, and 9.
Last year, The Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife made changes to the tagging and registering requirements for harvested turkeys. Now, hunted fall turkeys do not need to be transport tagged or registered. Harvested spring turkeys are still required to be tagged, and registered, in its entirety.