MAINE - Turkey permit applications are now available online at www.mefishwildlife.com, and hunters who applied for a permit last year were mailed an application this past week. Hunters have until January 15, 2004, to submit their turkey applications.
A total of 15,600 spring wild turkey hunting permits will be issued by random drawing in mid-February, of which 7,800 permits will be allocated in Season A and 7,800 permits will be issued in Season B. Three percent of the total number of permits will be available to nonresident hunters.
Maine's turkey population is in excess of 25,000 birds, an incredible feat considering turkeys were reintroduced into Maine just over 25 years ago. Wild turkeys were extirpated in Maine due to the clearing of land and excessive shooting in the 1800's. Turkeys were reintroduced successfully into Maine in the late 70's when the state received 41 turkeys from Vermont and released them in York and Eliot. The first modern turkey hunt was in 1986.
Applications are now available from most license agents and all regional headquarters and offices of the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife. You can also apply online at www.mefishwildlife.com.
There is one spring wild turkey hunting zone that includes the following Wildlife Management Districts: 12, 13, 15, 16, 17, 18, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, and 27. For a look at all zones open in the spring hunt, please go online at www.mefishwildlife.com, or to your nearest license agent.
Hunters who are selected for a permit will be assigned into one of two seasons. Season A runs from May 3 - 8, 2004 and May 24 - 9, 2004. Season B runs from May 10 - 15, 2004, and May 17 - 22, 2004. All hunters with a permit can hunt the fifth week of the season, May 31, 2004 - June 5, 2004.
Any resident, nonresident, or alien who is eligible to obtain a Maine hunting license, or who will be eligible to obtain a Maine hunting license by the opening day of the spring wild turkey hunting season, may apply to hunt wild turkey in Maine. Please remember that all applications need to be postmarked no later than January 15, 2004, delivered in person to the Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife Augusta headquarters by 5:00 p.m. on January 15, 2004, or submitted via the internet at www.mefishwildlife.com no later than 11:59 p.m. on January 15, 2004.
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