Maine Any-Deer Permits Down

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In an effort to conserve the Maine deer population, any-deer tags have been reduced by 46%. Hunters are allowed one antlered deer annually, but this year the any-deer tags have been almost cut in half.

The winters of 2008 and 2009 took a toll on Maine's deer population. Maine is working with land owners on deer habitat and also help with controlling predation on the deer.

The regular firearm 2011 season opens this Saturday for residents, the following Monday for non-residents. The season will end November 26th, which then opens the muzzleloader season. 12,000 antlered bucks and close to 5,000 antlerless deer are expected to be harvested during the seasons. From


hunter25's picture

At least they are taking

At least they are taking measures to try and get things under control. I have seen this trend in many of the northern states. In upper Michigan where I was born the herd is far worse than it was when I moved away over 25 years ago. It went up for awhile after the move but now many things have contributed to bringing it down. Hsrd winters up north combined with increased wolf predation and now from what I'm told the lack of timver cutting has reduced forage. I considered going back there to hunt but according to statistics the success is only an average of 5% now. Not worth for me to drive that far and miss work for a week. Hopefully I will do better here but it's not looking real great in north Texas this year either.

Good luck to you guys in Maine and hopefully things will return to normal in just a few years for you.

Retired2hunt's picture

  Great find of the PDF


Great find of the PDF swisheroutdoors!  And I won't be going to Maine anytime soon for a deer hunt so your honey hole remains intact!


swisheroutdoors's picture

Some perspective for you all

Check out the links I'm attaching to this response.  In it you will find a PDF map of Maine broken down by townships.  As you can see the upper part of Maine are unorganized square townships.  The numbers in each township represent how many deer were taken in that area.  You cannot leave the North Maine Woods without tagging a deer at the nearest gate.  That's how this information is gathered.  Yes I'm sure some have taken some illegally and not reported it but that number is probably insignificant.  If you go to the other link it provides you with each year for different species.  The PDF link is statistic from the 2010 Deer season.  Notice all the single digit number of deer taken.  That's the North Maine Woods.  3.9 million acres and only a small portion of deer taken.  1 it’s really difficult to hunt and tasks the best of hunting skills.  2 the deer are just not there anymore.  I here stories from the past where deer were just everywhere.  Oh how I long for those yester years to come to the future.  Anyway great information if you’re planning a hunt in Maine and know what county and area your hunting in.  You can view the past few years and see the average amount of deer taken each year for a specific township and not just a County.  Aroostook County being larger than the state of Rhode Island.  Oh and no hunting my favorite spot. haha.


Ca_Vermonster's picture

In my reply, that's where I

In my reply, that's where I was referring to, was Aroostook cty.  We used to see deer all the time up there, but not any more.  I was born there, by the way..... Wink

numbnutz's picture

You know sometimes you have

You know sometimes you have limit or eliminate hunting oppertunities all together to help the deer herds out. I'm sure there is a lot more to the story than what is presented here. Like CA_a says a slow down in the logging industry probably has some do with the decline in the deer population. 20,000 plus tag reduction is a huge number. Severe winters have a lot to do with declineing deer numbers but it's usually a short term problem. Here in myy part of the world logging was a huge industry but about 15 years ago it was almost completely shut down in some parts of the state. In the southern part there was huge logging projects and during that time there were very nice record book deer taken on a regular basis but now that the logging stopped so had the deer harvest. I'm guessing it's due to lack of forage for the deer, Also poaching has something to due with it. It's kind of sad that people like CA_ had so many memorize hunting and seeing deer in an area and now you may go a month before seeing a deer. I hope with the tag reduction and less hunting pressure the deer will rebound and flurish once again. 

Retired2hunt's picture

  Vermonster - thanks for


Vermonster - thanks for providing more detail on this.  They say nothing about 2010 as well.  I tried to find more information myself.  Here is a link to a press release - again it is just focused on the 2008 and 2009 weather being the primary reasoning.

I wanted to know what 46% represented to see how significant of a number it was.  This year the state of Maine is providing 26,390 any-deer permits.  That means approximately 22,500 permits are not being issued.  That is a significant amount.

Vermonster - you hit it with the northern part of the state being the issue.  Only 12 of the 29 districts have any-deer permits with district 13 being the first district in line and in the central part of the state.  No district above it has these permits issued.

Hopefully this action helps the population rebound.  It sounds as if the Maine DOW is trying to make up for the lack of clear cutting by having the landowners develop more food supply areas.  Time will tell if this works.



Ca_Vermonster's picture

Surprise, surprise!  The only

Surprise, surprise!  The only problem with what they are saying is that Maine's deer herd has been declining, at least in the part of the state I and my family used to hunt, for 20 years.  Southern Maine has seen some really good deer numbers the last decade.  Good harvest statistics, etc.

However, go north of Agusta or so, and it's a different world.  Long gone are the days where I would drive around each evening with my grandparents and count 20 deer out in the fields.  It used to be a nightly ritual whenever we would go up to visit.  Looking for deer and moose.  But now, you could go each evening for a week, and you'd be lucky to see anything other than moose.

Yes, severe winters have some to do with it, but it's also the slowdown of the logging industry.  They used to make large clear cuts, which in turn, created great areas of browse for the deer to survive on throughout the winter.  Now, with infinately less land that has been clearcut, the browse is not there.  Plus, with a booming moose population, they eat all the lower stuff, and the only thing left is the higher stuff for the moose to eat.

They actually entirely did away with doe permits in the northeast areas a couple of years ago.  They need all the breeders they can get.  The last time my dad got one up there was a doe 20+ years ago.

Anyway, i could go on and on.  I grew up hunting in Maine and Vermont, so it's near and dear to my heart.  Some of my hunting stories I submitted in the past are from Maine.  Lots of memories, but not many new ones to be made, I am afraid.