Mainers may see a 40 percent increase in the number of any-deer permits, as wildlife biologists look to control the deer population and prevent the spread of Lyme disease.
The move comes as the dense white tail deer population has become a nuisance in southern, coastal and central Maine, the Portland Press Herald reported.
If the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife approves this move, it will distribute 153,910 any-deer permits — a significant increase from the 109,990 that were issued last year. This would follow a three-year trend of permit increases, as the state issued 61 percent more any-deer permits in 2020 than in 2019.
Permit increases would target 11 districts — extending along the coastline from Kittery to Mount Desert Island, and inland from Fryeburg to Old Town. It would also include permits for islands located southwest of Bar Harbor, according to the Press Herald.
Typically, applications are accepted until the middle of August and are announced in early September.
The push for increased deer population management follows the record number of moose permits considered this past winter as part of the effort to help curtail the spread of ticks that carry Lyme disease and ravage moose populations.
Lyme disease infections have steadily climbed throughout the state over the past 15 years, and southern and central Maine communities are more likely to see high deer populations that carry ticks.