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Turkey Hunting in Maine



60,000 to 80,000

Wild Turkey Population


Turkey Subspecies


Number of Licenses Sold Annually


Small-game license, $15; turkey permit, $20

Cost of Resident License and Permit


Three-day small-game license, $50; turkey permit, $20

Cost of Non-Resident License and Permit

Image: NE_eastern_5

Photo by Bruce MacQueen

With an estimated population of up to 80,000 birds, 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 should plan around that. It also makes it tricky for resident folks who work a five- or six-day week.

Steamed lobster with melted butter, trout fishing, and other recreational activities are bonuses here. That's a big upside for visiting hunters. And the cost of turkey hunting for residents and nonresidents is among the most affordable in the country, especially if visitors opt for the three-day small-game license and turkey permit.

There are two Maines: 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 occurred there. Unfortunately, the area is also seeing increasing suburban development. Southern Maine has lots of turkeys, but much of the land is locked up with posted signs. Areas open to hunting, such as agricultural farms, see a lot of pressure. 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 said production was good in 2022, so there should be plenty of 2-year-old gobblers running around. Hunters took about 7,000 turkeys during Spring 2023.

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