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Author Topic: Big Bore Air Gun Hunting in Maine  (Read 7489 times))

Offline FredSG

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Big Bore Air Gun Hunting in Maine
« on: January 21, 2016, 02:40:47 PM »
Hello Fellow Mainers,

I sent an Email to SAM regarding the Air Gun Hunting Laws in Maine, more specifically, the use of Big Bore Air Guns for hunting big game in Maine.  The current Maine air gun hunting laws are rather vague and seem to indicate that while "it is legal to hunt small game with a pellet gun or air gun in Maine," nothing is said about "big bore" air gun hunting in Maine for "big game" animals.

SAM's response to my Email was . . . Although our organization has not developed an official policy as this is new technology, my initial response would be that as long as the ballistics and capacity to effectively kill wildlife is comparable to traditional firearms, then we would likely have no problem with air, as it doesnít really matter whether itís gun powder or air that propels the bullet. Air could actually reduce conflicts with the non-hunting public by reducing the sound associated with a firearm discharge. So on initial review, I would say as long as the science and data confirm that air was comparable to gun powder, then we donít understand why there would be problem using air.
I am going to forward this email to my SAM Board of Directors and ask for their opinion and whether they would like to develop a policy.


Maybe a few more letters to SAM might cause them to get more involved in pushing for new and upgraded hunting laws that would take into consideration the use of Big Bore Air Guns for hunting big game animals in Maine.

FredSG
« Last Edit: January 21, 2016, 02:42:26 PM by FredSG »
  • Patten, Maine
Two Flints - Founder & Moderator of the Spencer Shooting Society (SSS). Owner of a Spencer Rifle  issued to the 37th Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry in 1864.  The Spencer Rifle and Carbine was the FIRST repeating firearm used during the Civil War. 
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upthehill

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Re: Big Bore Air Gun Hunting in Maine
« Reply #1 on: January 23, 2016, 03:26:21 PM »
I thought I replied to this, but guess not.

Maine state Statues, Title 12 definitions section 21
http://legislature.maine.gov/legis/statutes/12/title12sec10001.html

21. Firearm.  "Firearm" means any instrument used in the propulsion of pellets, shot, shells or bullets by action of gunpowder, compressed air or gas exploded or released within it.

I've called DIF&W in augusta about this and talked with a warden,  all agree that you can hunt anything in Maine up to and including Moose and Bear with an airgun.  The only exceptions are Turkey which is Archery and shotgun (12ga to 28ga) and nighttime raccoon which is 22LR only.

Dave

Offline FredSG

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Re: Big Bore Air Gun Hunting in Maine
« Reply #2 on: January 24, 2016, 10:15:22 AM »
Dave,

I read your reply on the GTA Hunting Forum, and now in the GTA Maine Forum.  There is no mention of air gun caliber or PSI, FPS, FPE, necessary for hunting Big Game in Maine . . . unless I missed something somewhere in the Regs.  The air gun regulations seem rather vague . . . so if a Warden caught me trying to take head shots on a Moose with my .22 or .30 caliber PCP, would that be OK with him?  Or would I face a fine?  Or be arrested?

Thanks for your input and appreciate your reply.

FredSG
« Last Edit: January 24, 2016, 10:19:58 AM by FredSG »
  • Patten, Maine
Two Flints - Founder & Moderator of the Spencer Shooting Society (SSS). Owner of a Spencer Rifle  issued to the 37th Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry in 1864.  The Spencer Rifle and Carbine was the FIRST repeating firearm used during the Civil War. 
Vietnam Combat Veteran 1967-1969, 4th Infantry Division 3/12 Inf.

AA FAC, S510, 22 cal
AA TX200 MK3, 22 cal
AA Pro Sport, 22 cal
Crosman, RM377, .177 cal
Crosman, 2240 Pistol, 22 cal
Weihrauch HW45 Pistol, 22 cal
RAW HM1000X, 30 Cal
RAW HM1000X, 357 Cal
Omega 4500, Guppy & Tiger Tank

upthehill

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Re: Big Bore Air Gun Hunting in Maine
« Reply #3 on: January 24, 2016, 10:49:28 AM »
Dave,

I read your reply on the GTA Hunting Forum, and now in the GTA Maine Forum.  There is no mention of air gun caliber or PSI, FPS, FPE, necessary for hunting Big Game in Maine . . . unless I missed something somewhere in the Regs.  The air gun regulations seem rather vague . . . so if a Warden caught me trying to take head shots on a Moose with my .22 or .30 caliber PCP, would that be OK with him?  Or would I face a fine?  Or be arrested?

Thanks for your input and appreciate your reply.

FredSG

I'm guessing the warden would feel the same as if s/he were to see you do a head shot on a moose with a rim-fire PB.  probably wouldn't be happy, but if there's no rule, then they wouldn't be able to do much except harass you.

the 2 wardens I spoke with (a local one who lives a couple of towns over from me, and his Sgt in Augusta) Both said they'd have no problem if they saw me hunting with an airgun. The only grey area they had, was (this was back a couple of years ago when hunting with a suppressed firearm was illegal) was the factory supplied barrel shroud.  I showed them a Marauder in .25, and they said they wouldn't have a problem with it.  But the Career III 707 I have that has a threaded barrel. definitely would be a problem, since that one has an obvious LDC screwed onto it.

If you're uncomfortable hunting with an airgun, I would call DIFW and ask to have the local warden give you a call or come over to visit, to talk about it.  The ones I've met really are nice guys, who love to talk hunting / fishing / whatever outdoors.

Forget SAM, they still view airguns as red ryders for kids to play with, my opinion is that the hunting/fishing part of their mandate was reduced greatly when George Smith left.  They are now a political organization, fighting national and 2A issues which, though important, means the hunting/fishing part has suffered.

Offline Jeff m

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Re: Big Bore Air Gun Hunting in Maine
« Reply #4 on: March 26, 2016, 02:39:36 PM »
I have contacted the state rep.  in my area to try & open up big bore air gun hunting in our state . It looks like all the rules pertaining to this need to be gone over. So that means it will need extensive time to do & they will not even start till next year at the soonest! I'm afraid it will be quite some time before any headway is made!
  • Sherman, Maine
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upthehill

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Re: Big Bore Air Gun Hunting in Maine
« Reply #5 on: March 26, 2016, 03:20:51 PM »
I have contacted the state rep.  in my area to try & open up big bore air gun hunting in our state . It looks like all the rules pertaining to this need to be gone over. So that means it will need extensive time to do & they will not even start till next year at the soonest! I'm afraid it will be quite some time before any headway is made!

I don't understand this post.  It is alread legal to hunt anything with any airgun as per state statute 12 section 21.
I've confirmed this with the DIFW in Augusta and with 2 wardens. they ALL said the same thing. Airgun hunting is legal for ALL animals EXCEPT nightime raccoon which is 22LR only  and turkey whichnis archery and shitgun only.

NO new laws or politicians are needed.

Dave

Offline Jeff m

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Re: Big Bore Air Gun Hunting in Maine
« Reply #6 on: March 27, 2016, 06:32:00 PM »
I was talking with IF&W in Augusta last week , they informed me it was not legal to hunt anything in the state with air gun ! I don't know if they were just trying to be difficult or what? Maybe she was full of ----- . She did look in some law book & read me some law , blablabla not legal to hunt with air powered gun!  I contacted a local warden & asked him . He did not see a problem with it. So I have been going in circles!
  • Sherman, Maine
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.357 Evanix rainstorm
.25 Marauder

upthehill

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Re: Big Bore Air Gun Hunting in Maine
« Reply #7 on: March 28, 2016, 10:20:28 AM »
she was full of @$%^.

Title 12 section 21 reads

21. Firearm.  "Firearm" means any instrument used in the propulsion of pellets, shot, shells or bullets by action of gunpowder, compressed air or gas exploded or released within it.

so therefore an airgun is defined as a firearm in Maine, I've had a sergeant and the local warden verify this.
the only grey area is the suppressor / barrel shroud / LDC whatever you want to call it.
but now that hunting with a suppressed firearm is legal. you would only have to get a permit for it.  You'd probably have to bring the air gun into Augusta, or maybe just call and meet with your local warden to show him it.

I highly recommend calling Augusta and ask them to have your local warden call you. they're the one you're going to be seeing in the woods.  and it went a LONG way for me when I meet with mine and showed him some of my AGs, and had him shoot some of them.  as with many people he didn't know about the newer high power AGs and was impressed. Most people (including the secretary you spoke with) think Daisy red rider when you ask them about airguns.

if I ever meet him again in the woods, He'll know exactly what I've got. if it's not him I meet, then it's as simple as "OH I met with Warden Merrifield and he said it was OK after shooting this"

Offline Jeff m

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Re: Big Bore Air Gun Hunting in Maine
« Reply #8 on: March 28, 2016, 09:17:44 PM »
Thanks for the confirmation. Some of the people that work for the state do not have the correct information pertaining to air guns. Thanks again, Dave.
  • Sherman, Maine
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Offline Jeff m

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Re: Big Bore Air Gun Hunting in Maine
« Reply #9 on: July 10, 2016, 04:01:33 PM »
Just figured I would share some info. It may save someone else a big run around. It is not legal for a prohibited person to hunt anything in Maine., until you have obtained a muzzle loader permit from the state . Once you have this permit you can purchase a hunting license that will allow you to hunt. I have been told that as long as the gun has sufficient energy it is legal to hunt big game , deer ,bear, & moose. Happy hunting!
  • Sherman, Maine
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.357 Evanix rainstorm
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upthehill

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Re: Big Bore Air Gun Hunting in Maine
« Reply #10 on: July 31, 2016, 12:15:22 PM »
FredSG and other Mainers.

I was talking to the game warden, Jim Davies, from up our area (he's based out of the Enfield office)
I showed him my Evanix RS2 .357 and R&L .257 condor.  Both are legal for hunting.
The only gotcha is that the Evanix has a 7 round magazine.  only 5 round mags are legal.
He is going to double check with the powers to be to see if there may be an exception to this rule.
But it looks like I''ll need to use this as either a single shot, or modify one of my mags by permanently blocking 2 of the bullet/pellet positions. The R&L is a single shot so no problem there.  I'd have the same problem if I took my FX Wildcat out for small game hunting. I'd have to modify a magazine for it.




Offline Prouzy

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Re: Big Bore Air Gun Hunting in Maine
« Reply #11 on: October 09, 2016, 10:34:43 AM »
I had not seen this before, under FAQ for airguns: http://www.maine.gov/ifw/warden_service/faq.html#guns

"New air rifles are just as powerful as a single shot firearm" and it includes the pic comparison of various calibers that suggest game taken, eg big bore and large game. Certainly seems to support in writing, what Dave has found. This is pretty great.

Chris

Offline FMHans

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Re: Big Bore Air Gun Hunting in Maine
« Reply #12 on: December 14, 2016, 02:09:55 AM »
Great post!
I am glad to hear hunting with air is legal!

-Fritz in Westbrook
  • Auburn , ME