Maine’s landscape, with its large areas of wilderness, thick forests, quiet marshes and sparking lakes, makes it an excellent place for wildlife. Maine is home to a wide range of species, from big game animals such as moose, deer, bear, and bobcat, to small game birds and animals such as grouse, woodcock and rabbit.
Another reason to come to Maine to hunt is the excellent selection of sporting camps and guiding services throughout the state. Whether you’re traveling to Rangeley or to Aroostook County, you’ll be able to find a great hunting lodge to serve as a basecamp for your trip and an experienced guide available to bring you to the best local hunting spots and offer whatever level of help/advice you’re looking for.
Maine’s most iconic game animal, without a doubt, is the moose. Maine has a higher concentration of moose than any other state south of Alaska. You are especially likely to find one of these majestic animals in the northern and western regions of the state, grazing in a secluded mountain pond, or trotting along the side of a logging road. Weighing in at up to 1000 pounds, with a rack of antlers 5’ across, a full grown bull moose is the ultimate trophy animal. Over 3000 moose permits are allocated by lottery to lucky hunters each year.
Of course, Maine is home to other big game species, as well. Whitetail deer are abundant in central and southern regions of the state. Set up a deer stand near a quiet lake and or follow tracks in light snow to find your trophy buck. Maine also has the highest black bear population in the eastern US. Bears are found mostly in northern forests, pawing through berry bushes in a clear-cut area on a late summer afternoon, or scavenging for beechnuts in the fall. These animals are typically hunted over bait, or with the help of hounds.
The wild turkey is another highly popular game species. After making a dramatic comeback, large populations of these birds can now be found throughout the state, and there are turkey hunting seasons in both the spring and fall. So, put on your camouflage, and test your skill at calling to attract turkeys to your blind. If you’ve come to Maine in search a challenge, a bobcat hunt might be just what you’re looking for. These cats live in the cover of thick forested areas and are known to be clever and elusive. Spending a crisp winter day hunting with hounds, looking for tracks in the fresh snow can be strenuous, but extremely rewarding when you finally catch sight of that bobcat you’ve been pursuing.
Maine offers a range of small game species that can provide an exciting hunt, as well. You can spend a fast paced day hunting snowshoe hare over hounds, hurrying as the rabbits zigzag and maneuver through the woods. It’s a great hunting opportunity for all ages, and a fun way to spend a crisp winter day.
Coyote hunting offers a range of possibilities. They can be hunted all year round, and even at night. Often are hunted using bait and calling to attract these clever animals, but can also be hunted over hounds. Coyote hunting not only offers an exciting sport, but also helps reduce deer predation by keeping the coyote population under control.
Maine has healthy populations of game birds throughout the state. Upland birds such as grouse and woodcock are especially abundant in mixed age forests in the north, and flocks of sea ducks and puddle ducks can be found up and down the Maine coast and on inland lakes. You can spend a spend a crisp fall day in the woods with dogs, flushing out grouse, or get up early to set up your decoys and blinds in time to catch the sea ducks waking up and taking off around sunrise.