New Maine Deer Management Plan Features Deer Feeding

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As we have mentioned in the past, Maine's deer population is well under objective and its been the subject of discussion for some time. Sen. David Trahan, R-Waldoboro is nearing the unveiling of a new deer management plan that will involve systematic winter feeding of deer. Deer feeding can be controversial, and the Maine Sunday Telegraph has a good write up on the pros and cons to any wide spread feeding program.

Next week in Augusta, Sen. David Trahan, R-Waldoboro, is going to unveil a massive whitetail deer plan to help bolster the failing deer herd in western, northern and eastern Maine. Trahan promises more will be done in the Legislature this session concerning deer yards, supplemental feeding and the overall protection of whitetails. Part of that plan involves teaching and helping sporting clubs across the state to feed deer, Trahan said. This legislative nod to the deer feeding practice will delight the [some] in Athens, but may challenge biologists.


Ca_Vermonster's picture

Man, Maine's deer herd in the

Man, Maine's deer herd in the northern part of the state needs ALOT of help, but I am not sure if this is the right way to go about it.

I used to drive for an hour and see 20 deer out in the fields, back maybe 20+ years ago.  Now, you have to drive 20 hours to see one deer, it seems like.

I would just worry that this would make the deer more used to humans, and more dependant on them for food.  I guess it's been okay out west with some of the DFG feed lots for the elk, in their wintering range, but I don't know.

jaybe's picture

I have also heard that it is

I have also heard that it is not a good practice to give deer supplemental feeding during the winter.  I believe that the better answer might be for Maine to work on habitat improvement and predator control as much as is allowed by the Federal Government.

Wolves may be a major factor, but the state probably has no power to control them, and it would be a huge public battle if they were to try. But coyotes could be controlled by encouraging hunters to remove them. Even a small bounty would probably go a long way to increase the number of hunters who would start hunting them.

Best of luck to Maine as they seek to improve their deer herd.