February 3, 2023

Maine: More Moose Permits, Fewer Deer Permits

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According to the Portland Press Herald, the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife (MDIFW), with approval from the Wildlife Advisory Council, is going to increase the number of moose permits up to 2,820, up from 2,500 last year. No reason for the increase was given in the article.

It would seem that MDIFW is heading in the right direction, in tiny increments, in issuing more moose permits to further mitigate the winter tick problem…if that is the real reason for increasing the moose permits by 320 permits.

It appears that MDIFW is planning to reduce the number of “Any-Deer Permits” (ADP) after a record number of 84,745 permits were issued (recklessly) last year.

According to the article, MDIFW head deer biologist, Nathan Bieber, stated that for the first time in over a decade, the department exceeded their doe-harvest objectives – 9,659 does tagged, objective was 8,959.

The question has never been honestly answered as to why doe harvest objectives were not being reached. In an attempt to convince somebody as to why this year the objective was reached, the news article states: “There were three rainy weekend days during the fall hunt last season, making for poor hunting conditions on days most hunters go out. As a result, many hunters who were unable to harvest a buck earlier in the season took advantage of their any-deer tags so they didn’t go home empty handed.”

Seriously? I’m not even sure I want to respond to this. I guess when you don’t have a clue one excuse is as good as another. It may be true, it may not. Am I being unrealistic to expect that in order to responsibly manage deer a manager should have a good handle on the demographics of what’s taking place and why they can’t seem to meet doe-harvest objectives without some kind of weather phenomenon?

At least one thing was accomplished last deer season even if it was at the peril of the deer herd. MDIFW was able to get the total deer harvest up to a number that exceeds abysmal. Keep pumping out those ADPs and in time MDIFW won’t need a head deer biologist.

Help Wanted: MDIFW is looking for a head piping plover biologist. No experience necessary.