Hunter Education

     Since Hunter Education became mandatory for 12-15 year old and first-time hunters in 1988, there has been a 25% reduction in the rate of hunting-related shooting incidents. While hunting is safe in comparison to other common sports, each injury can cause extreme physical and emotional pain for the victim, the shooter, and their families. Hunter Education courses are designed to teach hunting safety, principles of conservation, and sportsmanship. A dedicated cadre of 750 trained volunteer instructors works with 160 Conservation Police Officers to teach 14,000 students each year. A program milestone was reached in 2007 when Hunter Education in Virginia exceeded half-a-million graduates of the course.

    Hunter Education volunteers re committed to training the next generation to be safe, knowledgeable and ethical participants in an enduring Virginia tradition. Many have had enjoyable hunting experiences and now say that they want to "give something back." If this describes you, please get in touch with us. It can be a very rewarding experience. There is a need for instructors, class organizers, and help with transporting materials. Since working with children and firearms is part of the program, all applicants must submit to a criminal background check.


               Anyone who hunts with a firearm during the open firearm season on deer is required to wear two articles of solid-colored hunter orange clothing (fluorescent orange) that are in good and serviceable condition and visible from all sides. One article must be a hat. The other article of clothing must cover a major portion of the torso, such as a jacket, vest, coat or poncho. The presence of a decal on an article of clothing that is otherwise solid-colored hunter orange does not disqualify that article of clothing from satisfying the requirements of this subsection. HUNTER ORANGE means a daylight fluorescent orange color with a dominant wave length between 595 and 605 nanometers, excitation purity not less than 85% and luminance factor of not less than 40%. (NOTE: Waterfowl hunters who are hunting from a boat, blind or in conjunction with waterfowl decoys are exempt from this requirement). Anyone who hunts any species with a firearm in the moose hunting district must still wear one article of hunter orange clothing.

                                       Deer Hunting Information

    Hunting of Antlered deer is legal throughout the State during any open deer hunting season.

    Hunting of Antler less deer (having antlers less than 3 inches in length measured from the skull) is prohibited except by special permit during both the firearms season and the muzzle loading season.

    Deer of either sex may be taken during both archery seasons. Multiple deer may be taken during the Expanded Archery Season and one may be taken during any one of the remaining seasons (with appropriate licenses or permits).

    Baiting deer by placing salt or any other bait or food to entice deer or hunting from an observation stand or blind overlooking salt, grain, fruit, nuts or other foods known to be attractive to deer, during any open hunting season on deer is prohibited. (Does not apply to hunting from an observation stand or blind overlooking: standing crops; foods that have been left as a result of normal agricultural operations or as a result of natural occurrence; or bear bait that has been placed at a bear hunting stand or blind in accordance with bear baiting laws.

    Deer may not be hunted with the use of dogs, artificial lights, snares, traps, or set guns or any firearm using .22 caliber rim fire cartridges, except that .22 caliber rim fire magnum cartridges are permitted. Deer decoys are legal.

    Driving deer or taking part in a deer drive is unlawful, except that 3 or fewer persons may hunt together, without the aid of noisemaking devices. Driving deer is an organized or planned effort to pursue, drive, chase or otherwise frighten or cause deer to move in the direction of any person's) who are part of the organized or planned hunt and known to be waiting for the deer.

                     Carrying Concealed                      Firearms                                                                        

       A permit is required to carry a concealed firearm in Maine, except that licensed hunters and trappers are exempt while engaged in these activities; the latter provision does not authorize the carrying of a concealed or loaded firearm in a motor vehicle. Some town offices or city halls issue these permits to residents. If not, contact Maine State Police. Non-residents may obtain concealed weapons permits from the chief of the Maine State Police: (207) 624-7210.

    Loaded firearms in motor vehicles: It is unlawful to have a loaded firearm or crossbow in or on a motor vehicle (including trailer, ATV, aircraft, snowmobile, or railway car). A loaded clip may be carried in a motor vehicle, but it must not be inserted in a firearm. Persons who hold a Maine concealed firearms permit may carry a loaded pistol or revolver in a motor vehicle. Firearms may be transported in a motor vehicle without a concealed firearms permit provided they are (1) unloaded and in plain view, or (2) are unloaded and placed in a remote secure area (such as a locked trunk) away from the control of the occupants of the motor vehicle. For purposes of this law, a muzzle-loading firearm is considered to be loaded only if charged with powder, lead and a primed ignition device or mechanism. This provision also applies to crossbows.

It is Illegal to:

Other Illegal Areas: Firearms or crossbows may not be carried on game preserves. Firearms must be in a case or stored in the trunk of a car when transported through Baxter State Park.

                                                              Hunting from motor vehicle

            It is unlawful to hunt from or with any motor vehicle, trailer or motorboat, except that migratory waterfowl may be hunted from a motorboat in accordance with federal regulation. (NOTE: Paraplegics and single or double amputees of the legs may hunt from motor vehicles which are not in motion).

                      Hunting from paved way    

        It is unlawful to hunt from or across a paved way or within 10 feet of the edge of the pavement of the paved way including the right-of-way of controlled access highways, or discharge any firearm across a paved way. (PAVED WAY means any road treated with bituminous or concrete material). Possession of a loaded firearm on a paved way or within 10 feet of the edge of the pavement of a paved way or within the right-of-way of any controlled access highway is prima facie evidence of hunting.

                         BIG BUCK SKULL AND ANTLER TROPHY CLUB

    Maine has a club for deer hunters called "The Biggest Bucks in Maine Club", which is sponsored by THE MAINE SPORTSMAN (Box 507, Yarmouth, ME 04096). To qualify, a hunter must shoot a buck weighing at least 200 pounds (field dressed). Application blanks are available from Department wardens and biologists. In addition, any hunter who takes a trophy deer, bear or moose may wish to obtain information concerning The Maine Skull and Antler Trophy Club. Contact Richard P. Arsenault, The Maine skull and Antler Trophy Club, RR 15, Box 190, Gorham, ME 04038.



     DEER-One may be taken annually
    BEAR-One may be taken annually (either by hunting or trapping)                   
    RUFFED GROUSE-Daily Bag 4----Possession 8
    BOBWHITE QUAIL-Daily Bag 4----Possession 8
    PHEASANT-Daily Bag 2----Possession 4
    RABBIT (Cottontail & Snowshoe Hare)-Daily Bag 4----Possession 8
    GRAY SQUIRREL-Daily Bag 4----Possession 8
    Other Legal Species-No limit on the number which may be taken.


    GRAY SQUIRREL....................Oct. 1-Nov. 30
    RACCOON................................Oct. 1-Dec. 31
    SKUNK, OPOSSUM...............Oct. 28-Dec. 31
    FOX...........................................Oct. 28-Feb. 28
    BOBCAT.....................................Dec. 1-Jan. 31
    LYNX & CARIBOU...............NO OPEN SEASON
    CROW (Split Season).............Mar. 14-Apr. 30
    ...............................................July 16-Sept. 29
    MOOSE.................................Oct. 7 - Oct. 12,
    TURKEY...............................Hunting by permit only





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