Maine eider hunting is the original sea duck hunt and remains best-of-best. The rugged, rock-clad coasts of northern Maine near Bar Harbor and Acadia National Park annually winter eiders and sea ducks in prolific number. Sea ducks find safe haven near the numerous islands and rock outcroppings, and feast among the area's abundant mollusk beds. With nearly 85 years combined professional sea duck guiding experience in this region, these dedicated watermen have the knowledge, work ethic and equipment necessary to safely deliver superior Maine eider hunting.
Eider hunting is the primary focus. American Eider (Somateria mollissima dresseri) and Northern Eider (Somateria mollissima borealis) are plentiful. Northern Eiders are taken with such frequent regularity later in the season that unless clients are knowingly seeking them for their collection they don't even receive special mention. On average, King Eiders are taken by 1 or 2 very lucky clients and 20-25 leg bands are recovered each season. These Maine sea duck hunts provide generous opportunities for taking all 3 scoters (Common Scoter, Surf Scoter, and White-wing Scoter), which are most abundant before Christmas, and Long-tailed Duck, or oldsquaw, which remain plentiful throughout the season.
Sea duck movement is observed daily so that feeding habits and flight paths are carefully monitored. Whether the morning consists of traditional ledge hunting, boat blind hunting, or layout boat hunting will be determined by weather conditions, wind direction, tidal phase and scout reports. Flexibility and mobility enable adapting quickly and consistently putting sea ducks over the decoys.
Sea duck hunting areas are accessed with large, seaworthy 20' Lund Alaskans powered by 90-horse Hondas. Each boat is fully-equipped with up-to-date Coast Guard-approved equipment, GPS units, chart plotters, sonar, VHF radios and cellular phones. All boats are equipped with custom-built boat blinds. Hand-carved and hand-painted sea duck rigs and Mighty Layout Boys Super Mag-edition layout boats are among the equipment for in-your-face decoying action.
After a 4:30 wake up, fresh-brewed coffee and a hearty breakfast it's a short drive to the launch site. A predetermined hunting location is usually only 15-20 minutes boat ride, and decoy rigs are set preceding the morning flights. At daybreak, sea ducks start trading low across the water towards feeding areas. While sitting on the X, shooting can be extremely exciting, even for experienced sea duck gunners, as flocks of eiders dump paddles-down into the decoys.
Hunters later return to spacious private lodging to relax, recount the morning hunt or simply enjoying quiet time in Maine's splendor. There are also plenty of perfect nearby attractions to complement the Maine sea duck hunting experience. Dinners of fresh Maine seafood, thick steaks, fresh baked breads and choice desserts are a perfect ending to another great day sea duck hunting in Maine.
Maine sea duck hunting runs October through late-January, but we strongly suggest mid-December through late-January as the best Maine eider hunting dates.
Hunts are scheduled as follows: Monday - Wednesday,
Wednesday - Saturday.
No Sunday Hunting in Maine.
$1,700 for 3-day Maine Eider Hunting & Sea Duck Hunting package.
$500 premium for single-hunter bookings.
Note: Maximum 6 hunters per 3-day hunt. There is no minimum group size. Hunting parties shall not be mixed regardless of group size.
"When it comes to bird numbers, quality guiding, and first-rate
food & lodging, this outfitter has it all. They know
how to treat their guests right, and the Master Guides are
safe, knowledgeable and able to get their sports into birds - lots
of them. For a great experience in a beautiful setting, I'd
recommend this Maine eider hunting package with both
barrels." ~ Ralph Stuart, Editor In Chief,
Shooting Sportsman Magazine
Northern Common Eiders
Northern Eiders (Somateria mollissima borealis) are distributed across the Arctic Atlantic from Baffin Island eastward, to Greenland, Iceland and Franz Josef Land. It is one of 4 subspecies found in North America (one of six in the world). The Northern Eider winters in southern Greenland and Labrador southward to Nova Scotia, less commonly New England. Northern Common Eiders use two wintering areas linked by three routes. About two-thirds winter in Greenland and Arctic Canada. Northern common eiders are heavily hunted in Canada and Greenland. Some eastern Canadian Arctic Eiders from a colony near Southampton Island migrate through Hudson Strait along the Labrador and Newfoundland coasts to winter in Atlantic Canada, and occasionally south into main and parts of New England. Northern eiders are said to be larger than their American counterparts (S. m. dresseri) and sport a brighter bill (a more vibrant yellow) with a less pronounced frontal lobe. The American eider has a much more rounded feature where the bill separates at the wedge of the black cap. In addition to the differences of the bill and size, the sails of the Northern eider are more apparent as the scapulars tend to be more exposed at rest as opposed to a more reserved appearance from the American eider. The loral line is thicker than the American eider (where the black begins by the nostril), and the black cap that exists on all subspecies of eider is relatively straight and uniform on the Northern eider.
Related Links - Maine Eider Hunting
Online Maine Hunting License Sporting Travel Resources
Maine Sea Duck Hunting & Eider Hunting Facts
Opening Date: The traditional opening day for sea duck hunting in maine is October 1.
Daily Limit: 7 sea ducks (no more than 4 eiders or 4 scoters)
Possession Limit: Pursuant to sea duck hunting in maine, the possession limit is twice the daily limit (14 sea ducks not to exceed 8 eiders and 8 scoters).
Shooting Hours: Shooting hours on migratory game birds, including sea ducks, are from 1/2 hour before sunrise to sunset.
Getting There - Maine Eider Hunting
Fly into Bangor, Maine the day preceding your hunt. You will be met by a representative (if arranged), or may rent car and drive to lodge in Machias. Drive time is about an hour.
About the Area - Eider Hunting in Maine
Launch sites are in or near Bar Harbor. The Bar Harbor area is beautiful, even during the winter months. It is located on Mount Desert Island and has about 4,800 residents. It was name after the sand and gravel bar, visible at low tide, which forms the rear of the harbor. Bar Harbor is home to the largest parts of Acadia National Park, including Cadillac Mountain the highest point within 25 miles of the Eastern United States coastline. Native American inhabitants called Bar Harbor the "clam-gathering place", leaving great piles of shells as evidence of this abundance. Early industries included fishing, lumbering, and shipbuilding. In the mid-1800s, its rugged maritime scenery attracted prominent artists. Inspired by their paintings, journalists and sportsmen followed. Bar Harbor is a destination for tourists from all over the world.
Nearby attractions include Acadia National Park/ Schoodic Point/ Bar Harbor, Petit Manan Wildlife Refuge, and Nelson Decoys & Puffin Gift Shop withhand carved decoys, songbirds, shorebirds, local artwork, many Maine made items and a fully stocked gift shop. L.L. Bean Outlet is located in nearby Ellsworth, Maine. For more attractions, go to www.visitmaine.com.
Contact us for more information about Maine eider hunting.
Maine Sea Duck Hunting packages include lodging and meals, professional guide services, trophy preparation, and daily transfers.
Maine Sea Duck Hunting packages do not include necessary license and stamps (Maine and Federal), airfare, or round-trip airport transfers (usually $50-100).
In planning your trip to hunt eiders in Maine, remember that New England weather can be unpredictably cold, snowy, and windy, especially in open coastal waters. Depending on dates booked, temperatures can vary from seasonally cool to downright frigid to say the least. Plan your outerwear accordingly:
Maine eider hunting is the bonafide original sea duck hunting experience in the US, and it remains the best. Eiders and sea ducks in prolific number feast on abundant mollusk beds and find safe haven among the area's numerous rock outcroppings. Both Common Eider and Northern Eider (Somateria mollissima borealis) are plentiful.