Turkey Hunting in Maine

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  • B
  • 70,000

    Wild Turkey Population

  • Easterns

    Turkey Subspecies

  • 12,750 (turkey permits)

    Number of Licenses Sold Annually

  • $35

    Small-game license ($15) plus turkey permit ($20).

    Cost of Resident License and Permit

  • $70

    3-day small-game license ($50) plus turkey permit ($20).

    Cost of Non-Resident License and Permit

With an estimated population of 70,000 birds (up 10,000 from several years ago), a five-week spring turkey season, and low hunter pressure, it makes sense to work the Pine Tree State into your schedule.

There's no Sunday hunting, so nonresidents visiting here should plan around this. This also makes it tricky for resident folks who work a five- or six-day week. Less time to hunt for them.

Steamed lobster with melted butter, trout fishing, and other recreational activities are bonuses here. That's all a big upside for visiting hunters.

And the cost of turkey hunting here for both the resident and the nonresident is among the most affordable in the country, especially if visitors opt for the three-day small-game license and turkey permit.

Where to Go

There are two Maines, namely, the one running from the New Hampshire border north to Portland, and the vast land beyond that city, all the way to Canada.

York and Cumberland counties to the south have high turkey numbers, as the original trap-and-transfer efforts took place here. Unfortunately it's also seeing increasing suburban development.

Yes, there are lots of turkeys in southern Maine, but much of the land is locked up with posted signs. Areas open to hunting such as agricultural farms see a lot of pressure here.

Don't give up though. Much of the land in Maine is privately owned, but access can be granted if you're courteous and persistent while knocking on doors. 

Want less of an access challenge? Turkey hunt western and central Maine. 

As brood-rearing information goes, the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife says hatch production has been stable the last handful of years. 

A total of 5,891 turkeys were taken during the 2021 spring season.

– Steve Hickoff

Turkey Hunting in Maine. Image by Tes Randle Jolly

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