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.
Ruffed grouse and bobwhite quail season is September 25 – December 31, 2021
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 29 – December 4, 2021
Muzzleloader in WMDs 12, 13, 15-18, 20-26, 29: December 6-11, 2021
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 25 – December 31, 2021
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 25, 2021 – March 31, 2022 in all Wildlife Management Districts with the exception of Vinalhaven Island, Knox County which has a season end date of February 28, 2022.
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, 2021 – February 21, 2022
Fox: October 18, 2021 – February 28, 2022
Coyote Night Hunt: December 16, 2021 – August 31, 2022
Coyote: Year round
Other season dates:
Migratory game birds: various dates, learn more
Pheasant: September 25 – December 31, 2021
Raccoon: October 1 – December 31, 2021
Skunk, Opossum: October 18 – December 31, 2021
Coyote, Woodchuck, Porcupine, Red Squirrel: No Closed Season for Hunting