2021 Expanded Archery Hunting Season (Deer)

September 11 – December 11

For more information about this year’s hunting seasons and hunting laws,

please visit the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife.

Where is hunting currently allowed?

The Brunswick-Topsham Land Trust currently allows hunting by permission only on the following properties:

Crystal Spring Farm (Brunswick) 

  • Bow hunting only is allowed due to public trails and active agriculture

Cow Island (Androscoggin River, Topsham) 

  • Bow hunting and firearms are allowed in accordance with Topsham hunting ordinances
  • Waterfowl hunting is allowed

Mill Forest (Topsham)

  • Bow hunting and firearms are allowed in accordance with Topsham hunting ordinances
  • Waterfowl hunting is allowed

Tarbox Preserve (Topsham) 

  • Bow hunting only is allowed North of Middlesex Road due to public trails
  • Bow hunting and firearms are allowed south of Middlesex Road in accordance with Topsham hunting ordinances 
  • Waterfowl hunting is allowed

Perry (Topsham) 

  • Bow hunting and firearms are allowed in accordance with Topsham hunting ordinances

Woodward Cove (Brunswick) 

  • Bow hunting only is allowed on land due to public trails
  • Waterfowl hunting is allowed

Woodward Cove – Degen (Brunswick) 

  • Bow hunting and firearms allowed in accordance with Town ordinances
  • Waterfowl hunting is allowed

How To Obtain Permission to Hunt on Brunswick-Topsham Land Trust Properties

DEER AND TURKEY HUNTING:

All hunters must receive permission to hunt on Brunswick-Topsham Land Trust (BTLT) lands. To ensure fairness, observe the carrying capacity of each property, and consider the safety of hikers on public trails, the number of permitted hunters are limited per property. 

Due to high demand in the Brunswick-Topsham area for deer and turkey hunting, permission is given on a lottery system basis. To be entered into the lottery, please fill out the Permission Request Form below and email it to hunting@btlt.org or mail it to the Land Trust office located at 179 Neptune Drive, Brunswick, ME 04011. Permission Request Form must be received by the FRIDAY BEFORE LABOR DAY to be entered into the lottery. The lottery drawing will take place the day after Labor Day each year and hunters will be notified if they have received permission. 

Once the lottery has taken place, no additional permissions for deer or turkey hunting will be given for the duration of the hunting season unless a hunter with permission notifies the Land Trust that they will no longer be hunting, in which case an additional drawing will take place. Applications can be submitted at any time throughout the year and there will be a lottery drawing the Monday before spring turkey season begins.

WATERFOWL HUNTING:

Providing access to the water for traditional uses such as clamming, worming, fishing, and waterfowl hunting are important conservation values to the Land Trust. Blinds are allowed and require permission from the Land Trust by emailing hunting@btlt.org. Blinds must be labeled and firearms must be unloaded when hunters are traveling across land to the shoreline. Any canoe or kayak left on a Land Trust property should be labeled with the owners contact information.

Information for Hikers

  • 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 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. 

Frequently Asked Questions

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.