If you just can’t wait to find out if you’ll be permitted to target deer without antlers during the upcoming hunting season, today’s your lucky day.
The results of this year’s any-deer permit lottery, which is administered by the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife, are available now.
Mark Ostermann of the DIF&W, who runs the computer side of the lottery, notified the BDN of the decision on Wednesday to move the release date up from Friday to Thursday, and OK’d the early release of the names of 26,390 lucky winners.
The results are up at bangordailynews.com and in a template that’s searchable for your convenience.
When Maine hunters head afield this fall, most will be limited to tagging deer with antlers. Among the exceptions: Those who hold valid any-deer permits. Those permits are applicable in specific Wildlife Management Districts — hunters don’t receive a blanket, statewide exemption, as they did several years ago — and permits are only allotted in WMDs where the deer population can withstand the added hunting pressure.
This year, any-deer permits will be allotted in only 12 of the state’s 29 WMDs. The district with the most any-deer permits outstanding this year will be WMD 21 (5,670 permits) which includes Gray, Windham and Sebago Lake. No permits will be awarded in the Down East and northern parts of the state.
In WMDs closer to Bangor, there will be 840 permits allotted in District 17, which includes much of Hermon and stretches west all the way to Bingham and Madison. Another 405 permits are up for grabs in District 26, which includes Hampden, Bangor and much of Ellsworth.
A chart of available permits by WMD can be found at the DIF&W website, www.mefishwildlife.com.
The state began allowing the harvest of non-antlered deer by special permit in 1985. Commonly called “doe permits,” the fact that some female deer actually have antlers has led to the DIF&W officially calling the system an “any-deer” permit lottery.
A further breakdown: A total of 18,378 any-deer permits will be handed out to Maine residents with no other special credentials. Another 6,599 permits will be claimed by landowners who meet certain criteria. Nonresidents will take home 1,181 permits while 232 permits go to those who have purchased “Superpack” licenses from the state.
After a series of harsh winters took a toll on the deer herd in many parts of the state, the DIF&W reduced the number of any-deer permits by 46 percent from 2010 to 2011, from 48,825 to 26,390.
The high-water mark during the any-deer era took place in 2002, when a record 76,989 hunters received any-deer permits. The number of any-deer permits allotted is adjusted by biologists each year and approved through the department’s rule-making process.
Bangor Gun Show on tap this weekend
If you’re a gun enthusiast or just a hunter looking to get a good deal on a new rifle or shotgun, you may want to stop by the Bangor Auditorium this weekend for the 34th annual Bangor Gun Show, which is being presented by the Penobscot County Conservation Association.
The show runs from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sunday. Admission is $7, $6 for current members of the military, the NRA or law enforcement agencies. Children under 12 get in free. Those who join the NRA at the show will also gain free admission.
Proceeds from the event help the PCCA fund college scholarships for wildlife conservation students.