Commissioner Judy Camuso of the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife (right) shows off her first wild turkey, which she shot while hunting with mentor Liz Thorndike in 2019. Credit: Courtesy of Judy Camuso

PORTLAND, Maine — The number of deer, turkeys and bears killed by hunters this fall were all down from the previous year in Maine, while moose hunters were more successful.

The Portland Press Herald reports that the reductions were on par with wildlife biologists’ expectations. Maine Wildlife Division Director Nate Webb said fewer permits, extreme weather and abundant natural food were among the reasons for the reductions.

State officials said the preliminary number of deer killed was around 28,000, down from 32,451 in 2018. The turkey fall harvest this year was 1,980, down from 3,507 birds. And the black bear harvest this year was 2,371, down from 3,314. As for moose, 2,820 permits were issued and 1,968 hunters successfully bagged one of the animals. That’s up from 1,888 last year.

The preliminary numbers were available three to six months earlier than they have been in the past because of a new electronic tagging system implemented last year and an associated real-time harvest map that went live online in September.