Why allow hunting on Land Trust properties?
Hunting is an important cultural tradition that has provided sustenance for the Wabanaki people of this land for thousands of years and continues to provide sustenance, play an important role in conservation, and connect people who call this land home 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.
The Brunswick-Topsham Land Trust recognizes the many intersections that hunting and conservation share, as both require keen observation, understanding, and respect of the natural world. 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. In an effort to support the active farming at Crystal Spring Farm, the Land Trust allows safe and controlled bow hunting.
Can I hunt on a public access easement property?
The Land Trust can only give permission for hunting on the properties that we own outright (see list of where hunting is currently allowed). Many private landowners allow public access on trail systems that the Land Trust manages, such as at Chase Reserve, Cathance River Nature Preserve, and Bradley Pond Farm, but the Land Trust cannot and will not give permission to hunt on any privately owned land. Many easement landowners do not wish to be asked for permission to hunt on their properties through the Land Trust, so please do not contact us looking for easement landowner contact information and respect their privacy.
What are the rules for hunting on Land Trust properties?
- Hunters must follow all state and local hunting laws and regulations
- Hunting is allowed by written permission only on a seasonal basis
- Hunters should know the location of trails, patterns of use, property boundaries, and nearby residences
- Hunters should only cross onto adjacent properties if they have that landowner’s permission
- Trapping is currently not allowed on any BTLT public access properties
- Target practice shooting is prohibited on BTLT properties
- Hunters must yield to hikers when traveling on trails
- Arrows must be stored in a quiver while on a trail
- No field-dressing deer is allowed within 75 feet of a trail
- Firearms must be unloaded when crossing land to access the shoreline for waterfowl hunting
- Hunters must park in designated areas only (if different than a public parking area you will be provided with a map showing designated parking areas)
- No discharge of arrows within 75 feet of a trail is allowed
- Crossbows are only allowed by special permission if the hunter holds a permit from MDIF&W
- Hunters must obtain written permission from BTLT before placing any tree stands, game cameras, or blinds
- Tree stands are allowed by permission only and may not be placed before August 15 and must be removed by December 31
- Duck hunting blinds are allowed by permission only and may not be placed earlier than one week before the duck hunting season begins and must be removed within one week of the end of the duck hunting season
- No tree stands may be placed within 150 feet of a mapped trail. After installing a stand, the hunter must provide BTLT with the coordinates of the stand location.
- Only strap-on or climbing tree stands are allowed and must be labeled with the owners contact information that is readable from the ground level
- No cutting of live vegetation, trees, or branches is allowed to create fire arm shooting lanes or to provide access to and from trails. Minimum removal only if necessary of one or two branches to safely install a stand or to establish a clear line of sight is allowed.
- Hunters should notify BTLT if they observe anything dump, fires, or other signs of disturbance where they are hunting
- Hunting law violations are to be reported a Game Warden at 207-624-7076
- Violations of Maine hunting laws may result in permission being revoked
If you have questions about hunting or see any illegal hunting activity taking place, you can contact a Game Warden 24-hours a day at 1-800-452-4664.