Restrictions have been placed on Maine's hunting season, but only for a few communities directly affected by a massive manhunt.

UPDATE: Robert Card has been found deceased. The hunting ban in three communities has been lifted and hunters are free to enter the woods in those communities on opening day. 

When Does Firearm Season Start?

Friday afternoon is when countless hunters in Maine are typically headed to their camps in anticipation of an early morning in the woods. But this year, many waited to hear about how the massive manhunt for a mass murder suspect was going to affect the start of the season.

How Large is the Search?

Robert Card, 40, of Bowdoin is accused of killing 18 people and wounding 13 others on Wednesday evening, when he walked into Lewiston's Just in Time Recreation bowling alley and Schemengees Bar & Grill with a rifle. After the attacks, Card went into the night and hasn't been seen since. Over 300 law enforcement officers, including state, local, and federal agencies, are involved in the search for the man who has multiple arrest warrants for murder.

What Does This Mean for Hunting Season?

Mark Latti of the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife says the manhunt will affect hunting in the communities directly impacted by the search. This includes Lewiston, Lisbon, Bowdoin, and Monmouth. Hunting in those communities is prohibited until further notice, again, in those communities only.

This includes all hunting activities, for all species, by any method, and by use of any implement.

That directive goes into effect at 12:01 Saturday, October 28th, 2023, which is opening day for firearms deer season. More information about this directive can be found on the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife website. 

Maine Department of Public Safety Commissioner Michael Sauschuck cautions residents statewide to remember that firearms season for deer hunting begins on Saturday, so hearing gunfire from the woods will not be uncommon. But if they're truly concerned about what they're hearing, they should reach out to law enforcement.

States with the most registered hunters

Stacker analyzed data from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to determine which states have the most registered hunters. Read on to see how your state ranks on Stacker’s list.

Gallery Credit: Meagan Drillinger

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