Poaching

207-571-8146

Maine's Poaching Laws Are Far From Toothless

Bear Trap

With so much land, wilderness, and wildlife in the state, Maine is very concerned with how people hunt and fish inside its borders. If the state didn't make extensive regulations and enforce them as much as possible, people from all over the region would come to Maine and hunt and fish until there wasn't anything left.

That's why the Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife has made rules for hunting and fishing, such as when and where you can and can't hunt, and how much you can take. Violating these laws is poaching.

Poaching is a serious problem, both for those who do it, and for those who don't. Poachers, if caught, can face serious penalties, and can lose their hunting or fishing registrations, sometimes forever. Landowners and other members of the public who don't poach suffer, as well – every deer that a poacher kills is one less that can be seen and enjoyed while on a hike through the woods.

One way of poaching is to hunt out of season. The penalties for out-of-season hunting in Maine are some of the highest in the country, and depend on the kind of animal being hunted:

 

Crime Class

Jail Time

Fine

Bear, Deer, or Moose

D Misdemeanor

Minimum of 3 days for first offense, and 10 days for subsequent offenses

Minimum $1,000

Wild Turkey

E Misdemeanor

None

Minimum $500

Another common way of poaching is to exceed your bag limit, which limits the number of a certain animal that you can hunt in a year. Again, Maine has some of the toughest laws in the country when it comes to poaching, and exceeding your bag limit is no exception:

 

Bag Limit

Crime Class for Exceeding Limit

Jail Time

Fine

Bear

2

D Misdemeanor

Maximum of 180 days

Minimum $1,000

Deer or Moose

1

D Misdemeanor

Minimum of 3 days for first offense, and 10 days for subsequent offenses

Minimum $1,000

Wild Turkey

1

E Misdemeanor

None

Minimum $500, plus $500 for each wild turkey above the bag limit

To better enforce these laws, the Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife, with fewer than one hundred rangers to oversee the entirety of the state, has enlisted the public's help to report poachers. Those who report illegal hunting in the state of Maine can be rewarded with up to $1,000 if the information leads to an arrest for a hunting or a fishing violation. Rewards of up to $2,000 can be handed out if a report leads to an arrest for introducing non-native fish into Maine's waters. This money comes from Maine Operation Game Thief, a non-profit organization that works with the Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife.

Maine Poaching Lawyer Serving Biddeford, Bangor, Saco, Portland and Augusta

Because they're so extensive, Maine's conservation laws, including those regulating hunting and fishing, can be difficult to understand. Call the law office of William T. Bly, at (207) 571-8146, if you have questions or concerns regarding your hunting or fishing permit, or if you are facing charges concerning the violation of Maine's conservation laws. 

The Law Office of William Bly

Here at The Law Office of William T. Bly, we provide professional and aggressive criminal defense representation that exceeds the expectations of our clients and secures their freedom and their future.

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What distinguishes our firm from the numerous law firms throughout the state is that we genuinely care about the well-being of our clients. Because Attorney Bly is a sole practitioner, every client receives hands-on and personalized attention from Attorney Bly and our staff throughout the entirety of their case.

50 Adams Street
Biddeford, ME 04005
(207) 571-8146
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