These four deer are alert to the presence of the photographer, who discovered them in the backyard of a home in Calais earlier this summer. The Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife on Friday will release its list of 2021 any-deer permit lottery winners. Credit: Courtesy of Melissa Huang

Update: The results are out! Find them here.

Friday is the day Maine whitetailed deer hunters find out just how hard they’ll have to work to put some meat in the freezer for the winter.

That’s because the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife is set to release the list of this year’s any-deer permit winners.

On Friday at 9 a.m., Bangor Daily News readers can visit bangordailynews.com/outdoors to find out whether you’ll be able to target antlerless deer this season.

DIF&W will issue a record 153,910 any-deer permits, which allow hunters to tag an antlerless deer, or a buck with antlers less than 3 inches in length.

Antlerless permits are valid during the entirety of the regular firearms season on deer (Nov. 1-27) and the muzzleloader season (Nov. 29-Dec. 11). Hunters also may use the permits to hunt on Youth Deer Day (Oct. 23) and on Maine Resident Only Day (Oct. 30).

Antlerless deer may be taken only in Wildlife Management Districts for which the any-deer permits are valid. Hunters who don’t have an any-deer permit or bonus deer permit are limited to bucks only (antlers 3 inches or longer) statewide.

DIF&W deer biologist Nathan Bieber said hunters harvested 14,020 antlerless deer in 2020, which included 9,120 adult does and 4,900 fawns.

That accounts for 42 percent of the total 33,159 deer tagged by hunters last year in Maine. That was the highest total in 18 years and seems to reflect the health of the state’s deer herd and the persistence of hunters who ventured out during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The WMDs were the most any-deer permits are proposed for 2021 include WMD 23 (25,080), WMD 25 (23,760), WMD 21 (20,475), WMD 22 (20,160) and WMD 17 (15,165).

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Pete Warner

Pete graduated from Bangor High School in 1980 and earned a B.S. in Journalism (Advertising) from the University of Maine in 1986. He grew up fishing at his family's camp on Sebago Lake but didn't take...