Tags: Gun Control | Maine | hunting | winter

Hunting in Maine: 3 Animals To Hunt in the Winter

By    |   Monday, 01 Jun 2015 02:38 PM

While many flock to the ski slopes, others find hunting in Maine to be rewarding in the chilliest months of the year. Here are three animals that are legal to hunt during the winter in Maine.

For individuals with regular hunter licenses, all of these mammals may be hunted by firearms during their open seasons. As with most other game animals in Maine, except for deer, each also may be hunted by bow and arrow year-round by anyone with an archery license.

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1. Bobcat
Maine’s open season on bobcat starts in early December and lasts about two months, according to the state’s hunting schedule.

In Maine and other Eastern seaboard states, a stuffed bobcat head is considered a highly prestigious trophy, notes the Military.com Outdoor Guide.

While it’s true that bobcats are elusive prey, a fresh winter snowfall simplifies the hunt. A bobcat’s footprints can be easily tracked, states Outdoor Life.

Maine imposes no daily or seasonal bag limits for bobcats.

2. Snowshoe Hare
This year's hunting dates for the snowshoe hare are set for Oct. 1, 2015, through Feb. 28, 2016, on Vilhaven Island and extend through March 31 statewide. Hunting the snowshoe hare can be challenging. At the end of fall, the hares’ coats turn from brown to white, making the varmints difficult to detect in the snow. Unlike rabbits, these critters don’t burrow. Instead, they hide in shallow depressions in the snow. Yet sharp hunters can find their intended prey if they look for black eyes and black-tipped ears against the snow, Field & Stream advised.

The daily bag limit is four snowshoe hare.

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3. Raccoon
The tail end of the raccoon season extends into winters, beginning in early October and running until the end of December. Throughout the open season, raccoon can be pursued during Maine’s regular daytime hunting hours and also at night. Night hunting of raccoons is permitted from one-half hour after sunset to one-half hour before sunrise. Since hunting is illegal in Maine on Sundays, night hunting of raccoons should cease at midnight on Saturday, not resuming until 12:01 a.m. on Monday, according to Maine’s Department of Inland Fisheries & Wildlife Legal Hunting Hours bulletin.

Other small animals and birds that traditionally may be hunted from October through December include the gray squirrel, pheasant, bobwhite quail, ruffed grouse, opossum, and skunk. Daily bag limits are two birds for pheasants and four birds for quail and grouse. There are no bag limits on raccoon, squirrel, opossum or skunk. Night hunting is not permitted for any of these animals except the raccoon.

This article is for information only. Please check current regulations before hunting.

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While many folks flock to the ski slopes, others find hunting in Maine to be rewarding in the chilliest months of the year. Here are three animals that are legal to hunt during the winter in Maine.
Maine, hunting, winter
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2015-38-01
Monday, 01 Jun 2015 02:38 PM
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