Maine wildlife biologist Norman Forbes filed this report to my inbox:
"The first fall wild turkey hunting season with a firearm began this past Saturday in wildlife management districts 15, 16, 17, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, and 25. The season runs from October 13 thru October 19. A resident or non-resident big game hunting license is required as well as a wild turkey hunting permit ($20.00 for resident, $47.00 for non-resident). One turkey of either sex may be taken and must be registered at an official registration station.
"There has been a fall archery season on wild turkey since 2002 in certain parts of the state with hunter success running approximately between 5 and 15 per cent annually. It is anticipated that the success rate with a shotgun will be greater, and the department will be closely monitoring registration stations, as well as gaining insight from the hunter questionnaire issued to a sample of permit holders.
"The first day of the shotgun season 15 birds were registered at Sawyer’s Market in Little Falls and 5 registered at Wing’s Market in New Gloucester."
[I checked in the first fall turkey at Eldredge's Fly Shop in Cape Neddick that Saturday morning.]
Forbes continues: "One benefit of having a fall season should be a reduction of nuisance birds around farms. Birds that are allowed to forage where livestock are fed quickly become accustomed to the easy pickings and lose their natural wariness over time. Farmers and their family members will not only remove nuisance birds but will also enjoy wild turkey for dinner."