In this 2018 file photo, Bangor Daily News digital sports editor Pete Warner handles the electronic calling duties during an opening day wild turkey hunt in Hermon. Credit: John Holyoke

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The spring turkey hunt will begin on time this year — despite web rumors, officials said Wednesday.

Citing misinformation that has been spreading on the internet, the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife issued a press release on Wednesday to assure hunters that the scheduled spring wild turkey season will begin as originally planned, with Youth Turkey Day on May 2 and the opener for all others on May 4.

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“We received calls and emails that ranged from the season was going to start early to being canceled altogether,” said Mark Latti, communications director for the department. “There was a lot of misinformation being posted and passed along. We sent this out to address those rumors, and also to remind people that the best place for information about hunting and fishing in Maine is our website.”

The spring turkey season is timed to begin during the peak of nesting activity, the department said, and that helps ensure successful breeding while reducing nest disturbance. Hunters enjoy a quality hunt with plenty of eager male turkeys answering calls.

The spring wild turkey season is scheduled to last until June 6. Those hunting in Wildlife Management Districts 1 through 6 and District 8 are allowed to take one turkey during the season. Hunters in WMDs 7 and 9 through 29 can shoot two wild turkeys.

The DIF&W said hunters can increase their opportunity to succeed during the season by using the next several weeks to prepare for their hunts.

“It is never too early for prospective hunters to begin scouting for birds, securing landowner permission (at this time we encourage you to contact landowners via a phone call and avoid meeting them at their house), and practicing with their calls and other equipment,” the DIF&W said in a statement. “For many hunters, much of the enjoyment from hunting lies in effective preparation, and we encourage turkey hunters to take advantage of the longer days and warming temperatures to get outside and enjoy all the Maine outdoors has to offer.”

Latti said Mainers should rely on the department for information about the state’s fish and wildlife resources.

“If anyone ever has any questions about season dates, bag limits, licenses or anything fish and wildlife related, please check our website,” Latti said. “You will find the answer you are looking for and a whole lot more.”

For those who turkey hunt with others, adhering to social distancing guidelines including not being within six feet of another person is important.Also, if you are hunting with folks you don’t reside with, take separate cars to ensure that distance.

For official information and updates during the COVID-19 pandemic, check here.

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John Holyoke

John Holyoke has been enjoying himself in Maine's great outdoors since he was a kid. He spent 28 years working for the BDN, including 19 years as the paper's outdoors columnist or outdoors editor. While...