AUGUSTA — The Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife is proposing a reduction in antlerless deer permit allocation numbers for this fall’s hunting season as part of its ongoing efforts to manage deer herd numbers statewide.
In a press release issued Tuesday, Commissioner Chandler Woodcock proposed 26,390 antlerless deer permits for the state’s 29 wildlife management areas this year, a reduction of 22,435 permits or 46 percent from 2010.
The allocations are based on biological and harvest data, winter weather information, population density levels and other factors thoroughly researched and analyzed by department wildlife biologists.
Antlerless deer permits also are known as “any-deer” or “doe” permits. This year is the 26th year that an any-deer permit system is being used to regulate antlerless harvest during the firearm and muzzleloader season. Once the allocation numbers are finalized, the department will inform hunters when it is time to enter the any-deer permit lottery, the press release said.
“For the last few years, particularly after the harsh winters of 2008 and 2009, people have expressed concerns about the reduction in deer populations statewide, with some regions of the state experiencing more of a decrease than others,” said Woodcock. “We’ve listened, and in recent years, we’ve conducted additional studies, including aerial surveys, to determine the full depth of this situation. We need to help our deer herds grow. This year’s any-deer permit allocation is one step in that direction.”
The proposed allocation is not the final number and could be changed. Woodcock’s recommendation has been discussed through two of three rule making steps before the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife Advisory Council. More data is being studied and will be presented in May’s advisory council meeting.