Did You Know Maine Now Allows Turkey Hunting With .410 Shotguns?
Ammo technology has improved leaps and bounds over the years. These developments have lead to recent changes to Maine's turkey hunting laws.
With spring turkey season approaching, Mainers are prepping for the first round of thunder chicken hunting this year. 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 looking to take part in Maine's turkey hunt for the first time, the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries has an excellent ongoing Youtube series for beginners. MDIFW staff and hunting experts teach new hunters about turkey behavior, calling and scouting techniques, essential gear, shot placement, and more.
The first two episodes of the series are available to stream now. The final episode will live stream April 7, at 1 P.M.
Maine's spring turkey hunting season begins on May 3. Youth hunters get a jump start on the season for Youth Spring Wild Turkey Hunting Day, May 1. Spring bag limits are set at two bearded turkeys in Wildlife Management Districts 7,9-29. WMD 1-6, and 8 have season bag limits set at one bearded turkey.