Hunters may soon have the option to register their hunted spring turkey electronically starting next year.
The Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife is proposing a big change to the registration procedures of certain big game in Maine. A proposal seeks to allow the electronic tagging of spring wild turkey, beginning in 2023. Currently, Maine hunting law dictates that hunted spring turkey need to be transport tagged and presented for registration at the nearest open registration station. Hunted fall wild turkey do not need to be tagged and registered.
The language of the proposal reads:
"In accordance with Public Law 2022 Chapter 704, this rule amends Chapter 16 to allow hunters, beginning with the Spring 2023 wild turkey hunting season, to register wild turkeys electronically. Hunters will be required to attach a tag bearing the seal number issued by the electronic registration system until the turkey is processed and packaged for consumption. The rule also clarifies that if a wild turkey is registered electronically, all radio transmitters, leg bands, and wing tags must be submitted to the Department within 5 business days."
The rule change only applies to spring wild turkey. Deer, moose, and bear will still need to be transport tagged and registered at the nearest open registration station.
A public hearing on the proposed change is set for October 14, at 4 p.m., at the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife headquarters, 353 Water St., Room 400, in Augusta. The deadline for public comment is October 24.