12 replies [Last post]
Tndeerhunter's picture
Offline
Grand Slam Challenge Winner!
Location: Tennessee
Joined: 04/13/2009
Posts: 1110
What's up in Maine?

I've got a few buddies that live in Maine and I happen to be a big fan of Maine hunting for both deer and bear. I've not hunted deer in Maine for many years now (15+), but did enjoy a modicum of success over my 6 years of deer hunting there tagging two nice bucks in the process.

My question pertains to Maine's deer herd now and the seemingly low success ratio that seems to be the norm the last several years. I have talked with hunters who rarely even see deer while hunting and who have even gone a season without a single sighting.

I know the deer population varies widely between southern Maine and the big woods of northern Maine, but is there something else afoot? Could the proliferation of moose be harming the deer, by eating browse up to a level where deer can no longer feed? Could the lack, for many years now, of no spring bear season mean bears have free roam during the fawn dropping springtime? Is the coyote population such that it's harming the deer numbers too?

Any information would be greatly appreciated!

Thanks.

Ca_Vermonster's picture
Offline
Grand Slam Challenge Winner!Moderator
Location: San Diego, CA
Joined: 07/27/2007
Posts: 5729
Well, as you said, there is a

Well, as you said, there is a huge disparity right now between northern and southern Maine.  Southern Maine has some of the best hunting tobe found right now, and northern is in the dumps.

I was born in northern Maine on the canadian border, and all of my relatives on my Mom's side still live and hunt there.  When i used to go up to my grandparents, 20 years ago, we would drive around for an hour and wee 20-30 deer.

However, right now, we are lucky to see one deer in 20 hours of driving.  It's really, really sad.

I have always attributed it to a combination of things, but it all starts with clear cutting, or the lack thereof.  When they stopped clear cutting years ago, that created a lack of low browse that the deer would feed on through the winter.  You used to drive by clear cut after clear cut, and that's where you would see the deer. 

However, with less low browse for the deer to eat, you then bring on the moose.  There is an overabundance of moose out there too.  They eat the low browse along with the deer, and when that's gone, the moose can eat the bark off the trees, or eat a little higher up,.  The deer cannot eat that high up the tree, and cannot digest bark, so they are screwed, so to speak.

I don't know if you will ever see the clear cutting come back, but until it does, I think most of the deer will be the deep woods big boys, but not in any number whatsoever.

maineguide's picture
Offline
Location: Downeast, ME USA
Joined: 09/03/2002
Posts: 330
Another thing that has

Another thing that has happened here is that our old gov. thought it was a good idea to get rid of our snaring program. And that is the number one thing that has hurt our deer in the past 3-4 years. I sure hope our new gov. gets it back

Tndeerhunter's picture
Offline
Grand Slam Challenge Winner!
Location: Tennessee
Joined: 04/13/2009
Posts: 1110
thanks

Isn't it a wonderful thing when someone who knows nothing about managing wildlife makes, or helps make, decisions? 

Thanks again for the input!

maineguide's picture
Offline
Location: Downeast, ME USA
Joined: 09/03/2002
Posts: 330
You got that right. They are

You got that right. They are better off to stay out of it.

groovy mike's picture
Offline
Grand Slam Challenge Winner!
Joined: 03/19/2009
Posts: 2485
sounds like NY

Sounds like NY politics! 

At least we are not alone!

TJB10709's picture
Offline
Joined: 10/20/2009
Posts: 3
Deer on Maine?

I have been hunting with my family just outside of oldtown in greefield for about twenty years and have seen very few deer. I know there is a ton of coyote up there which can't be good.  Since i been up there i have seen three bucks shot from our camp and ironically 2 out of 3 were in the last 5 years.  My brother actually shot one this year, last day of the hunt. It makes it incredibly rewarding when you do shot one. There is still hope!!

PreviewAttachmentSize
maine_deer_1[1].JPG
maine_deer_1[1].JPG1.83 MB
Tndeerhunter's picture
Offline
Grand Slam Challenge Winner!
Location: Tennessee
Joined: 04/13/2009
Posts: 1110
tough hunting

Congrats to your brother on harvesting a fine Maine buck! There's no doubt that deer hunting in Maine is tough. Perhaps that's why I enjoyed it enough to travel back there 6 times to do it. When you finally whack a nice Maine buck, you can feel a sense of accomplishment, not doubt about that! Yes

tim416's picture
Offline
Location: Maine
Joined: 01/13/2011
Posts: 3
As was mentioned earlier in

As was mentioned earlier in this post, I believe it's a combination of issues. The lack of clear cutting has definetly reduced some of the new growth which provides browse for deer. The fewer areas that do have new growth require the deer to compete with the moose which are able to browse much higher. I live in Bangor and do most of my hunting on large tracts of paper company land north of Bangor. During the past few years I have seen more and more moose in this area. I have been hunting and fishing in this area for thirty years. In my earlier years I never remember seeing a moose at all in these areas. The higher population of coyotes cannot be ignored and, in my opinon has had as much to do with the depletion of the deer herd as any other factor. I rabbit hunt every weekend throughout the winter in these same areas and each year we find more and more signs of coyote kills on deer.

Tndeerhunter's picture
Offline
Grand Slam Challenge Winner!
Location: Tennessee
Joined: 04/13/2009
Posts: 1110
Deer vs moose

I had wondered if that might be the case in some areas, that the higher browsing line the moose can reach plus their higher numbers might cause a decline in deer population. I think that may be a very viable cause/reason we'e seeing less deer. I know moose numbers have gone way up in the last 20 years and perhaps the moose and moose hunting has become more important.

Ca_Vermonster's picture
Offline
Grand Slam Challenge Winner!Moderator
Location: San Diego, CA
Joined: 07/27/2007
Posts: 5729
Whereabouts Tim?  Up near

Whereabouts Tim?  Up near Stinkin Lincoln????? lol

I was born in Houlton and still have alot of family there, so I am pretty familiar with the area north of Bangor.... Wink

Welcome to the site!

Related Forum Threads You Might Like

ThreadThread StarterRepliesLast Updated
Maine Moose Lotery?guideone2505/28/2008 06:19 am
Spot N' Stalk in MaineMaineBearHuntr309/24/2004 16:20 pm
Going to Maine!brian n1610/20/2007 06:28 am
Maine Turkey Permitsmaineguide012/07/2004 14:55 pm
Maine bearhuntShephunts1001/31/2006 09:43 am