There are several open hunting seasons through the fall and winter months! Targeting a new species is an exciting challenge to learn something new, an opportunity to spend more time outside, create memories with friends and family, and to secure delicious table fare. You may even find a shed deer or moose antler. Here are a few hunting opportunities to try:
When people think of ruffed grouse season they often think of peak fall foliage and warm fall days, but this season is open until December 31. Ruffed grouse is a great target species for beginner hunters and there are fewer hunters in the month of December, providing you with plenty of opportunity and snowy views. Try walking brushy trail edges near beech scrub or softwoods, or along streams.
Muzzleloader hunting for deer
Muzzleloader season increases harvest opportunity if you haven’t tagged out already. As the snow falls and there are fewer hunters in the woods, hunters can feel as if they have a hunting paradise to themselves. This is also usually a great way to practice your tracking skills! Before you go remember to purchase a muzzleloader permit.
Muzzleloader Statewide: November 28 – December 3, 2022
Muzzleloader in WMDs 12, 13, 15-18, 20-26, 29: December 5-10, 2022
Antlerless deer permits are still available in WMDs 24, 25, and 29, purchase a permit online today.
For new, young, and food-motivated hunters, gray squirrel is an excellent opportunity and (surprisingly) good table fare. It’s a high-speed hunt and good practice for improving your shooting skills. Gray squirrel are common and plentiful, so it’s a great way to build confidence as a hunter. Gray squirrel season is September 24 – December 31, 2022
One of the enjoyable aspects of hunting in the winter is the ability to easily see fresh animal tracks in the snow! Grab a pair of snowshoes and hire a guide, who may have a trained dog, for an enjoyable winter hunt, or try to find hare located in brushy areas and softwoods stands.
Snowshoe hare season is September 24, 2022 – March 31, 2023 in all Wildlife Management Districts with the exception of Vinalhaven Island, Knox County which has a season end date of February 28, 2023.
Migratory Game Birds
Waterfowl hunting season is a favorite for many… The interactive nature of the hunt, the unmatched sunrises and sunsets on the water, the thrill of seeing waterfowl fly in, and the camaraderie of hunting with friends (furry or human!) are just a few reasons why.
Don’t forget you need both state and federal waterfowl permits. All revenue from the sale of state waterfowl permits is used exclusively for acquisition of waterfowl habitat and waterfowl management activities!
Regular Duck Season:
North Zone: September 26 – December 3, 2022
South Zone: November 1 – December 24, 2022
Coastal Zone: November 8, 2022 – January 7, 2023
Maine predator seasons are long providing hunters ample opportunity. Calling is a popular tactic for luring in wary predators. Many seek the help from a registered Maine guide where bobcats are typically hunted using hounds.
Bobcat: December 1, 2022 – February 21, 2023
Fox: October 17, 2022 – February 28, 2023
Coyote Night Hunt: December 16, 2022 – August 31, 2023 Coyote: Year round
Other season dates:
Pheasant: September 24 – December 31, 2022
Raccoon: October 1 – December 31, 2022
Skunk, Opossum: October 17 – December 31, 2022
Coyote, Woodchuck, Porcupine, Red Squirrel: No Closed Season for Hunting