November 14, 2018

MDIFW News — Deer Season Set To Start Saturday

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Press Release from the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife:

Deer Season Continues With Opening Of Firearm Season

AUGUSTA, Maine – This Monday, October 29, marks the beginning of the regular firearm season for deer, an eagerly anticipated event for tens of thousands of hunters across the state. Saturday, October 27 is opening day for residents and qualifying non-residents.

“With a growing deer population in central and southern Maine, we expect to see even more successful hunters this year,” said Nathan Bieber, the Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife deer biologist. “Last year was the most successful year in ten years, but this year has the potential to be even better for deer hunters.”

The regular firearm season for deer opens on Monday, October 29 for nonresidents, Saturday, October 27 for residents, and the regular firearms season for deer concludes on Saturday, November 24. “With cool weather for the start of season, and even fresh snow up north for the big woods trackers, we expect to see many successful hunters this weekend,” said Bieber. “Even if the rain materializes in the southern part of the state, it will remain cool and leave the woods quiet for hunting.”

Maine has over 215,000 licensed hunters, and hunting continues to be an economic catalyst in much of Maine, supporting over 3,400 jobs with an economic output of over $338 million.

Deer hunting in Maine provides many families with wild game meat that is high in nutrition, sustainable, free range, and organic. On average, a 150-pound field dressed deer will provide close to 70 pounds of meat. Last year’s deer kill provided over 1.5 million pounds of meat to hunters and their families.

This year’s deer season has the potential to be even better than 2017, when Deer hunters in Maine harvested 27,233 deer in 2017, the highest total in the last ten years and an increase of 15% from 2016.

For this coming deer season, a total 84,745 any-deer permits are proposed for 22 of the state’s 29 wildlife management districts, an increase of 28%. Last year, there were 66,050 permits available to hunters. Hunters who do not receive an Any Deer permit are only allowed to shoot an antlered deer (with some exceptions during archery season and on youth day).

Permit numbers increased in nine southern and central wildlife management districts, decreased in 11 WMDs and stayed the same in nine WMDS. You can find the complete numbers at https://www.maine.gov/ifw/hunting-trapping/any-deer-permit.html. One reason for the permit increase is that the 2017-18 winter was more moderate in central and southern Maine, while up north the winter was a little more severe than years past.

The department manages white-tailed deer through regulated hunting, and manages the deer population in parts of the state to limit vehicle crashes, reduce incidence of lyme disease and reduce property damage complaints. In other areas of the state, the department manages the deer population to increase opportunities for hunting and viewing.

Maine’s framework of deer seasons begin the Saturday after Labor Day and continues into mid-December. These structured seasons, along with controlling the harvest of female deer in the 29 wildlife management districts across the state through the Any Deer permit system, allows biologists to manage population trends.

If you plan on hunting this year, experienced hunters are encouraged to introduce someone new to the sport. An apprentice license is available to both residents and non-residents, and sales of the license have increased by nearly 50% since they were first introduced in 2008. An apprentice license allows someone to hunt in the presence of an experienced hunter. For more information, please visit https://www.maine.gov/ifw/hunting-trapping/licenses-permits/hunting-license.html#apprenticeship.

And remember; please seek landowner permission on the land you want to hunt. Asking for permission only takes a minute, and the time that it takes benefits both you and the future of hunting. Over 90% of Maine is privately owned, and the overwhelming majority of Maine’s outdoor recreational activities take place on private land, so please treat the land as if it were your own.

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