Rulebook is wrong: Expanded bowhunting doesn’t start until Sept. 12

Bowhunters who plan to take part in the expanded season for deer should be forewarned: The information that they may have seen printed in the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife’s rulebook is wrong.

“In the current hunting regulations summary, there’s a misprint that basically states that the expanded archery season begins on Sept. 7, which is this Monday,” Maine game warden Jim Fahey said on Friday. “That’s an error. The season actually begins on Saturday, Sept. 12.”

Fahey explained that expanded archery zones exist in many of the state’s Wildlife Management Districts in order to lower the deer density by giving hunters a longer season.  Expanded archery season will stretch from Sept. 12 through Dec. 12 this year. The regular archery season runs from Oct. 1 until Oct. 30.

“[Expanded archery zones] tend to be in urban areas where there is a high density of deer and a high frequency of conflicts, whether it’s motor vehicle collisions or crop damage in urban gardens or even flower beds,” Fahey said.

Fahey said that in many of those zones, local ordinances prohibit the discharge of firearms, and bowhunting is a way to reduce the number of deer.

“Archery season was always available [as an option], but some people didn’t want to use what would be their one deer tag [for the year] in the urban scenario,” Fahey said. “The concept of expanded archery is that it’s an expanded opportunity that doesn’t count against the traditional deer tag.”

Fahey said the online regulations summary has been corrected to reflect that the season starts Sept. 12, but is trying to get the word out to those who rely on the printed version.

“We want people to do the right thing and be ethical and comply,” Fahey said, recognizing that some people might make honest mistakes hunt on Monday because they’ve read that the season is beginning.

“We’re going to do the best we can do [as wardens] and use our best judgment should situations arise,” Fahey said.


John Holyoke

About John Holyoke

John Holyoke has been enjoying himself in Maine's great outdoors since he was a kid. Today, he's the Outdoors editor for the BDN, a job that allows him to meet up with Maine outdoors enthusiasts in their natural habitat. The stories he gathers provide fodder for his columns, and this blog.