It seems like we shouldn’t have to be saying this, but here we are. And it’s from the experts, no less.

The Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife took to Facebook recently to remind residents of the most important rule to follow when entering the woods. Simply put: don’t assume hunting is okay just because the woods don’t have “No Hunting” signs posted.

Specifically, officials would like to remind you of the “Unwritten Rule” of unposted land:

“Always ask permission. Hunting, fishing, or otherwise using private land without the owner's permission is a careless move that puts everyone's future access at risk.

When venturing into the Maine woods, follow the unwritten rule.”

But as is often the case with unwritten rules, there remained some confusion (and frustration) over its vagueness. Underneath the post, one resident wrote:

“Maine places too much of a burden on the Landowner. The burden should be on those who wish to enter onto land that they do not own.”

Added another:

“How about people who post land that is NOT theirs just to keep people away? We have neighbors who put those signs and safety zone signs all over the road and they don’t own ANY of it, please explain.”

But the Department was quick to respond, saying that if you know of people posting land they do not own, report it to Operation Game Thief at 1-800-253-7887. You can also visit for more details.

And woods or not, Mainers: please try to avoid kissing any strange raccoons.

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