GRAY, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- With Maine's hunting season about to begin, hunters are being warned to act like guests. Ninety-five per cent of Maine is privately owned, so it's rare when someone is hunting on public land.
In Maine, a landowner must post the land to prevent various forms of recreation. That means, if land is not posted, it is open to any form of recreation. When that recreation is ATV-ing or hunting, it can cause particular unease for landowners. More land is posted every year.
"I don't get a sense, it's anti-hunting," says Tom Doak of the Small Woodland Owners Association of Maine (SWOAM.) "A lot of landowners own the land for kind of peace and quiet and the hunting season for some is not a peaceful thing."
Denny Denham is a landowner in Gray and an ardent sportsman. This year, for the first time, he is posting his land hunting by permission only. Because he had his woodland thinned, he is concerned that strangers might hunt too close to abutting property owners.
"When I grew up hunting, we sort of hunted the neighbors property. We kind of knew each other. It was just assumed it was O. K. to do. Now we're much more urban. We have people coming out who don't have land. They're not neighbors and just sort of wander on the property."
Mark Latti of the Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife says people should act as guests on private land. "For many," Latti said, "owning land is personal. Someone misbehaving on private property can block that land for everyone forever."
The hunting season begins Saturday morning and ends on the Saturday after Thanksgiving. Hunting is legal each day from one half hour before sunrise until one half hour after sunset.