Hunting may be a way of life in Maine, but many people are not always aware when seasons begin.

Karen Wrentzel, 34, was shot and killed by a hunter on her property in Hebron on Oct. 28, the opening day of deer season.

Her grandmother, Beverly Spofford, said Wrentzel and several family members did not know the season had begun.

They question whether people are adequately notified of the start of hunting season.

Cpl. John MacDonald, the Maine Warden Service spokesman, said the department makes every effort to get information to people.

“The IFW has a significant social media following,” MacDonald said. “Obviously, not everyone follows it … but it certainly is advertised.”

For those who don’t hunt, however, coming across the information may not be so easy.

Investigators continued Friday to question the hunter and his father in the fatal shooting last week and again declined to release their names.

Once the investigation is complete, the case will be turned over to the Attorney General’s Office for a determination as to what, if any, criminal charges will be brought, according to a news release from the Warden Service.

This year, the hunting season for deer ends Nov. 25 for firearms. Muzzeloaders can be used from Nov. 27 to Dec. 9, with restrictions specified on the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife website. Bear season this year is from Aug. 28 to Nov. 25, and moose, with local restrictions, can be hunted from Sept. 25 to Nov. 25.

Hunting is prohibited in Maine on Sundays.

During these dates, the department recommends that everyone wear blaze orange when in wooded areas.

Spofford said Wrentzel’s land was not posted at the time of the shooting and that she generally did not mind people hunting on her 15 acres.

In Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont, people can legally hunt on private property that is not posted. In Massachusetts, the law is similar, though certain towns may have bylaws that require landowner permission.

It is illegal in Maine, however, to disturb the land without permission, including hanging tree stands and baiting.

“You also can’t shoot within 100 yards of a dwelling,” MacDonald said.

Jeff Martin of Bethel owns 4 acres of woods and does not allow hunting on his land.

“I don’t allow anyone to hunt around my house because you don’t know how many people are responsible enough not to shoot toward it,” said Martin, whose land is not posted. “If I owned more land, I would post it,” he said.

Vince Meisner of Albany Township owns 36 acres in Albany and 20 in Bethel, not posted, but property lines are marked. He allows people to hunt on his land, but he insists they ask.

“I look for people coming up my road, and if I see them parked, I’ll go talk to them,” he said. “I’ll let them park here and hunt here but want them to come to my door and check with me, once.”

It’s the responsibility of the hunter, not the landowner, to connect, MacDonald said. He and the other game wardens recommend getting permission, regardless of the law.

“It’s been this way for a long time,” he said. “A lot of people appreciate it – that’s our heritage. But most hunters get permission, anyways.”

One of those is Bethel native Mike Cross, now of Madison, N.H., who has been hunting for 20 years.

“I also ask permission before hunting season starts,” Cross said. “It doesn’t look good to show up in full gear and ask to shoot the deer standing out front.”

Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.