Spring turkey hunt frequently asked questions

The spring wild turkey hunt begins in less than one month! We know we aren’t the only ones with a countdown….

Youth day is Saturday, April 30 and the season opens to all hunters May 2 – June 4, 2022. Here are answers to frequently asked questions:

What ammunition can I use while turkey hunting?

A person can use shotgun gauges 10 through 20, using shot sizes 4 through 6 or mixed loads that include shot sizes 4 through 7. In addition, shotgun gauges 10 through 28, including .410, may be used with shot sizes 7 through 9 in Tungsten Super Shot.

If I harvest a turkey during the spring season, do I need to register it at a tagging station?

Yes. All turkeys harvested during the spring hunting season must be registered. Click here to find a tagging station.

How can I find out what Wildlife Management District (WMD) I am in to determine my bag limit on turkeys?

You can use either the interactive WMD map or download a PDF.

How many turkeys may I harvest?

Bag limits vary by Wildlife Management District (WMD). In WMDs 7 and 9-29, the season bag limit is 2 bearded wild turkeys. In WMDs 1-6 and 8, the season bag limit is 1 bearded wild turkey. 

If I hunt in a WMD that has a one turkey bag limit, can I harvest another turkey in a WMD with a two-turkey bag limit?

Yes, you just cannot exceed that WMD’s bag limit or the season bag limit. The order in which they are taken does not matter. If hunting in a WMD with a two-turkey limit, you may harvest both turkeys in the same day and be tagged out for the season.

Are electronic calls legal?


Can I hunt a turkey with a small game license as long as I have a turkey permit?

Yes, both nonresidents and residents may hunt turkey as long as they have a small or big game firearms or archery license, in addition to a turkey permit. Buy a license or permit online.

Note: Lifetime license holders that are between the ages of 16 & 69 must purchase a turkey permit to legally hunt turkey (does not apply to the complimentary hunting licenses).

Does my junior hunter need a turkey permit?

Junior hunters (hunters under the age of 16) and hunters over the age of 70 are exempt from the $20 turkey permit fee.

Will the spring turkey permit cover me for the fall turkey hunt as well?

Yes, this covers you for the fall and spring turkey seasons.

If I have a valid cross bow permit can I hunt a turkey with it?

Yes. A person hunting with a crossbow must possess either a valid big or small game firearms hunting license or an archery license as well as a turkey permit and crossbow permit.

How long does the beard on the turkey have to be to legally harvest the turkey?

There is no minimum beard length, the beard just has to be present.

What should I know about Avian Influenza?
Avian Influenza is a low risk to humans. No human case of HPAI (Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza) has been detected in the United States. Turkeys are generally not impacted by HPAI, as wild birds that are impacted include waterfowl, gulls, hawks and eagles. Although there is a low risk of wild turkeys being infected, you should practice safe hygiene when hunting, harvesting, and processing wild turkey. Wash your clothes and boots after coming in from turkey hunting, and before walking around any backyard poultry. Clean your wild turkey thoroughly as well as any equipment used for processing. You will also want to cook your wild turkey thoroughly prior to eating.

These are just a few answers to frequently asked questions. Before hunting, it is your responsibility to review all hunting laws by visiting mefishwildlife.com/huntinglaws

Turkey hunting resources

Watch this 10-minute How to Turkey Hunt video. Watch a first-time hunter and experienced hunters go turkey hunting, learn tips and tricks, and more. Click here to watch now.

More information

Purchase a hunting license or permit online

2021-2022 Maine Wild Turkey Hunting Quick Reference Guide (PDF)

Wild turkey hunting laws

2021-2022 Legal Hunting Hours (PDF)

Hunting with nonlead ammunition Hunting on private land

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