Upland Game Season – A Maine Tradition
Upland game hunting is upon us! Ruffed grouse (in Maine, “partridge”) season starts September 30, 2023, and ends December 30 (a Saturday). Daily bag limit is 4; possession limit is 8. Partridge hunting starts one-half hour before sunrise, and ends one-half hour after sunset.
Woodcock season also begins on September 30, but ends sooner, on November 21 (a Tuesday). Daily limit of woodcock is 3; possession limit is 9. And while woodcock hunting also starts one-half hour before sunrise, hunters must unload at sunset, since the rules are different for these migratory birds.
Although it’s possible to hunt grouse and “timberdoodles” without a dog, the magic of upland game season is found in the teamwork of hunter and dog – whether it’s a German Shorthaired Pointer (GSP), a Brittany, a Llewellin setter, or any of other dog that have been trained all year by their patient masters to sense the presence of birds, point or flush the birds, and then – after the shot – retrieve them. So owners of hunting dogs – this is your time!
The Maine Sportsman’s October issue celebrates this annual rite of early autumn, starting with the cover photo of a hunter raising his trusty side-by-side shotgun as a bird flushes across the field.
On the inside pages, guide Michael Browning offers a sporting dogs special section, “Training Bird Dogs, and Letting Them Come Into Their Own” (page 29); while Col. J.C. Allard presents “October Belongs to the Birds” (page 37). And our Rangeley, Midcoast and Aroostook County regional columnists contribute the type of where-to, how-to upland game information on which generations of Maine Sportsman readers have come to rely.
Our attention this month also turns to the upcoming deer seasons. Val Marquez provides a bowhunting special section, titled “What Broadhead is Best for Maine Bowhunters?” (page 28), while perennially-successful white-tail hunter Blaine Cardilli addresses a situation many Central and Southern Maine hunters experience, in his deer special, “Tactics for High-Pressured Deer” (page 27).
So as not to leave power-sports aficionados behind, the October issue features Steve Carpenteri’s “Hunting with Your ATV” (page 21), and also (since snow season is not too far in the future) “Pre-Season Snowmobile Prep” (page 39).
The October issue celebrates successful bear hunters, including Brendan Gardner’s new state-record sow, and the outstanding results of hunts by Emily Albright, and youth hunters Weston Alex Charles and Boden Fenderson.
So pick up a copy of The Sportsman’s October issue – from your mailbox if you’re a subscriber, at your favorite store, or by calling our friendly office staff at 207 622-4242, and enjoy a massive 84 pages (more than 10% bigger than the other guys) packed with content, including informative columns and articles, great letters to the editor, and the best cartoons in print.
The fall hunting seasons are here – get out there and enjoy them!
Will Lund, Editor
The Maine Sportsman magazine