By Margaret Gerber, BTLT Director of Stewardship
The Brunswick-Topsham Land Trust recognizes the many intersections that hunting and conservation share, as both require keen observation, and understanding and respect of the natural world. Hunting is an important cultural tradition that has provided sustenance for thousands of years to the people who call Maine home, and continues to provide food, play an important role in conservation, and connect people with nature.
Present day Maine is 94% privately owned with varying levels of public access, and traditional hunting access to land in the greater Brunswick, Bowdoin, and Topsham area is disappearing as ownership changes hands and land is developed.
Hunting is not only an important tradition in Maine, but an important management tool to protect farmers’ livelihoods. Deer can ravage crops overnight and create a significant burden for farmers, straining their finances, endangering the health safety standards of their fields, and costing them valuable time and labor.
Expanded bow archery season begins on September 11th and runs through December 11th, so next time you head out on the trails, remember to wear your blaze orange!
Below is some information for trail users to help ensure a safe visit to the few BTLT trails where bowhunting is allowed:
- Bowhunting only is currently allowed at Crystal Spring Farm, Tarbox Preserve, and Woodward Cove. Blaze orange vests can be found at the parking area kiosks for visitors to wear while on the trails and return after using.
- Hikers should wear blaze orange and exercise caution during hunting season (click here to find hunting season dates).
- Hunters who you encounter on trails will have their arrows in a quiver while traveling, making it impossible for an arrow to accidentally be fired.
- Please stay on marked trails and keep your dogs on leash – it is required on all BTLT trails all year long, and is especially important during hunting season to keep deer from being disturbed. There are fines if your dog is off leash and chases deer, so leash your dog or leave them at home during hunting season!
- Please note that hunting on Sundays is illegal in Maine.
- Bowhunters are not allowed to discharge an arrow within 75 feet of a trail and are made aware of the location of all trails on the property they are hunting.