Maine Deer Season Set to Start

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The regular firearm season for deer is nearing, with opening day for residents on Saturday, October 27, and Monday, October 29 for nonresidents. The season will continue through Saturday, November 24th.

Department biologists believe that if normal hunting conditions and hunter effort take place statewide, the deer harvest in Maine should be in the vicinity of 29,580 deer. This would be higher than the 20-year average harvest since the any-deer permit regulations were put into effect (28,704) and would be similar to the 2006 harvest of 29,918.

The total deer kill for each of the past ten deer seasons is as follows: 2006 - 29,918; 2005 - 28,148; 2004 - 30,926; 2003 - 30,313; 2002 -- 38,153; 2001 -- 27,769; 2000 - 36,885; 1999 - 31,473; 1998 - 28,241; 1997 - 31,152; 1996 - 28,375; 1995 - 27,384; 1994 - 24,683.

The department manages the state's deer population through the Any Deer permit system, which allows a hunter to kill an antlerless deer. To reach deer population management objectives in 2007, the department has set doe harvest quotas ranging from zero to 1,295 among our 29 WMDs. This year's projected doe kill of 8,488 statewide, is 3.5% below the doe harvest achieved in 2006. This reduced doe quota from 2006 reflects cold February temperatures and deep late season snows that increased winter mortality in many northern and central Wildlife Management Districts. A total of 66,275 any-deer permits were issued statewide ranging from 75 permits in WMD 10 in central Penobscot county to 11,000 in WMD 17(central Maine). WMDs 1-5, 19, 27 and 28 will not have any permits allocated.

The allocation of 66,275 any-deer permits, along with the archery and youth seasons, should result in the statewide harvest of roughly 8,688 does and an additional 4,952 fawns in 2007. Antlered buck harvests should approximate 15,940 slightly lower than the buck kill of 16,149 in 2006.

Currently, The archery season for deer is ongoing, having started on September 27. In certain suburban areas of the state where high population densities of deer are common, an expanded archery season began on September 8, and will continue until December 8.

The fall wild turkey shotgun season is ongoing, concluding tomorrow. The fall archery season for wild turkeys concludes Saturday in some parts of the state, and October 26 in others. Please consult your hunting lawbook for which Wildlife Management Districts are open for turkey hunting. A fall turkey hunting permit is required.