Antlerless Deer Permit Allocations

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MassWildlife Deer Project Leader Bill Woytek presented proposed antlerless deer permit allocations by Deer Management Zone (DMZ) to the Fisheries and Wildlife Board at their June 24 meeting. Woytek's plan calls for a 7% change in permit numbers from the 2002 allocation. A total allocation of 44,000 permits for the combined 2003 white-tailed deer seasons was presented to and approved by the Board. "Permit allocations reflect the population management needs for each zone." says Bill Woytek. "In zones where the deer herd is at or near population density goals a smaller number of permits are allocated. In the eastern zones where deer densities are higher than the population density goals, and at levels that contribute to habitat degradation and human conflicts, we continue our aggressive approach with higher permit allocations."

"It is critical that deer hunters apply for a permit before the July 16 deadline," says Woytek. "Do not assume there will be large numbers of antlerless permits for over-the-counter sales in the fall. Last year, some hunters failed to use the application process, waited until permits became available over the counter and were disappointed to learn that many zones sold out quickly." Permit applications come with traditional paper licenses and are submitted through the mail. Only sportsmen and women who bought a 2003 hunting or sporting license online via may apply electronically for an antlerless deer permit. All selected applicants will be notified of their permit by mail. Applicants not selected for their DMZ of choice will have first option to re-apply for a permit in DMZs where allocations exceeded applications. The final option for obtaining a permit, or acquiring additional permits, will occur some time in early October if there are any remaining permits available for over-the- counter sale. Each antlerless deer permit will come with an antlerless deer tag, increasing the hunter's bag limit for antlerless deer by the number of permits possessed.