AUGUSTA, Maine — Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife biologists are preparing reports that may help hunters in the weeks ahead.
Southern Lakes Region
“We are at numbers that we usually have at the end of the season, all our registration stations are up in numbers,” says IFW wildlife biologist Scott Lindsay, who has seen a lot of deer and deer hunters as this deer season continues.
“Everyone has been very positive about the season, and we are getting a lot of favorable comments from hunters,” said Lindsay.
Lindsay added that all the positive comments are not necessarily from successful hunters. Many hunters are seeing deer but being selective.
“We had one hunter who said that in Buckfield over a period of a half dozen days, he saw several deer that he could have taken, but he was waiting for a larger buck to show,” Lindsay said.
And there have been larger bucks showing up as well. Lindsay said they are seeing several deer a week in the 240-pound range, with lots of fat in the hips and the shoulders. He said the big ones have been tagged throughout the region, mentioning towns such as Wells, Waterboro and Hartford as successful locations.
“Deer are going into the winter in very good shape,” Lindsay said.
Central and Midcoast Area
In central Maine, hunting conditions remain excellent.
“Things have been robust as far as quantity and quality,” said biologist Keel Kemper, who said that numbers continue to be up throughout the region.
As is typical of the third week, Kemper said he saw a drop in the numbers this week. Last week was busy with excellent weather for hunting and the Veterans Day Holiday. Earlier last week, three straight windy days decreased hunter effort and slowed deer movement.
Kemper estimates that he will examine approximately 500 deer this year. While the specific timing of the rut is difficult to pin down, judging by what he is seeing and hearing from hunters, we are coming into the rut if we are not already there.
While things may have slowed down this week, Kemper expects to see a surge in hunters and the number of deer tagged during the Thanksgiving week.
Up in Region D, while there may not be the number of deer that are south of there, hunters are certainly bagging some large deer.
“Deer numbers have been steady, and I have seen 10-15 deer that are over 200 pounds,” said Bob Cordes.
One thing that Cordes did note is that he has been seeing big deer throughout the season.
“They’ve been coming in steady, from youth day right into this week,” Cordes said.
DIF&W wildlife biologist Chuck Hulsey has been traveling through the region, taking biological samples from deer, and he had several observations.”
“Seems like we are seeing a higher percentage of nonresident hunters than we have seen recently,” said Hulsey. He hasn’t been seeing a lot of hunters, but the hunters he has seen have been generally very positive.
“We aren’t getting a lot of complaints, and that tells me the season is going well,” said Hulsey, who noted that when it’s not going well, he tends to hear from quite a few hunters.