December 11, 2023

Is There a Better Way to Register Your Maine Turkey?

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Maine Hunting Today staff writer A. Sayward Lamb believes there’s a better way these days to get the job of registering a turkey done. Recently he bagged himself a gobbler (story here) and spent a whole lot of gas, time and money trying to find a location that had tags so he could register it. Below is his account of what happened along with contact information for anyone wishing to voice ideas about making changes.

Information and Observations from A. Sayward Lamb, Staff Writer, Maine HuntingToday.

On Thursday morning, May 12, 2006, I harvested a turkey gobbler. In compliance with State of Maine law, I drove about nine miles to J&K Sporting Store, in West Paris to register my bird. I was told by the business owner, Kevin Billings, that he did not have any turkey registration tags. He informed me that he called the Warden service on Monday, but at that time, (Thursday morning), he had not received any new registrations. Kevin said that he understood that Litchfield’s store in Sumner, had tags.

So, I drove an additional seventeen miles and tagged my turkey in Sumner. This made a total of thirty five miles of driving, as well as the time involved simply to get my turkey registered.

In my opinion, during these times of high gasoline prices, there has to be a better way of registering turkeys. I forwarded an e-mail message to Wendy Bolduc, of the Dept. of MF&W in Augusta, stating my personal feelings regarding this matter. She forwarded my message to Mark Ostermann, who responded promptly with an explanation of events relating to the method and time of events involved in getting new registrations to West Paris, Thursday afternoon.

By his explanations, it seems I was the only hunter who was unable to get a turkey registered at J&K that day. Nevertheless, this did not eliminate the fact that I still had to drive several extra miles to register my turkey.

In my emails to the Dept. of MF&W, I suggested that there has to be a better way. One of those ways, in my opinion would be for anyone who harvested a turkey to simply send in a postal card (that could be provided with the turkey permit). to the Maine Dept. of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife.

I also inquired from Mr. Ostermann if he could refer me to any person(s) who would have information about how to get these regulations changed. He responded with the following suggestions:

“I have talked with several turkey hunters and I believe we all agree that the present arrangement is an inconvenient, expensive and totally uneccessary way of registering turkeys. Those businesses offering to register turkeys have to be doing it solely as a favor to the hunting public. They have to take time out of their business commitments to register and apply the tag to the turkey. In most cases it has to take from ten to fifteen minutes of time to complete the paperwork and attach the tag to the turkey. All this time and effort for only one dollar! No wonder more businesses aren’t interested in the job of registering turkeys.”

I am enclosing some email addresses given to me by Mark Ostermann, and I urge all of you turkey hunters, who want to see changes made in the present laws and regulations, to respond by contacting the following parties. An overview of the process can be found at ttp://

You may reach the Joint Standing Committee for Inland Fisheries and Wildlife. This committee will have a major role in making changes to the Wild Turkey Registration Law. To reach your state Senators and Reprisentatives, contact:

Paul Jaques, is the Deputy Commisioner, MeDept IF& W: and can be reached at: P.F.JACQUES@MAINE.GOV

Wild turkeys are numerous enough now so that I do not believe that close records of harvesting these birds is necessary. From the information I have received, several different ideas have been discussed. Maybe you have a better idea. If so, please don’t hesitate to pass your ideas to those empowered to make the necessary changes. One thing for sure, there has to be a better way!

Tom Remington