AUGUSTA, Maine — Maine’s 2011 deer season resulted in a total harvest of 18,839 deer by resident and nonresident hunters. Although the winter of 2010-2011 was tough, especially midwinter, snow disappeared rapidly and deer benefited from spring rains and a relatively early spring green-up, according to a press release from the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife.
The DIF&W said overwinter survival of fawns increased, giving a boost to yearlings available during the fall hunting season. Increased success by archers and youth hunters alike continues to demonstrate the allure of bowhunting, and the interest of young hunters in pursuing one of North America’s most exciting game species.
The harvest did drop 6 percent from 2010, but state officials say that decrease is largely a result of a significant decrease in any-deer permits that were allotted. The state reduced the number of any-deer permits by 46 percent for the 2011 season.
The Any-Deer Permit System allows IFW’s wildlife biologists to regulate the taking of antlerless deer. Since adult females are the most important element of the population from a reproductive standpoint, the 2011 decrease in any-deer permits will help ensure continued population growth for 2012 and beyond, according to the press release.
The protection of antlerless deer resulted in a 23 percent decline in the adult doe harvest and a 25 percent decrease in the fawn harvest. The adult buck harvest increased by 5 percent in 2011 compared to 2010.
Other positive notes cited by the DIF&W: The Youth Deer Day harvest increased by 21 percent. Harvest by archers increased by 29 percent during the expanded and October seasons.
State biologists say that a mild winter should benefit deer in much of the state and the 2012 hunting outlook should also improve.
For more information in the 2011 deer harvest visit http://www.maine.gov/ifw/hunting_trapping/hunting/harvest.htm