During the regular firearms, and muzzle-loading seasons, only those hunters possessing a valid Maine Any-Deer permit may hunt antlerless deer and bucks with antlers less than three inches in length.
A reader took the time to do some sampling of data taken over several years to help Maine hunters better understand deer harvest trends. Below you will find a blow-up of one squared-out region of Central Maine, numbered and labeled with town name. Within each of those boxes is a number that shows the number of deer harvested for 2014. You can see the entire map of Maine and the deer harvest report by visiting the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife webpage.
The second graph requires a bit of study. It shows certain comparisons of deer harvest, beginning in 2005 and up until the latest – 2014. The number of deer kills is taken from the Maine map and recorded according to the matching town. These numbers are then compared with other years by straight numbers and percentages. I found it very interesting.
Now that the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife has decided to at least release some information about the 2014 deer harvest, some 5-1/2 months after the fact and they have yet to post the data on their website, the information that was made available shows a continued trend toward smaller-sized buck deer harvested.
In years past, I have provided readers with our own graphic showing recent year’s harvest data in order to make comparisons. A look at the graphic below shows the downward spiral in size of buck deer harvested.
Would Horace Hinckley be an OUTLIER today? His buck would be. . . .
Press Release from the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife:
Deer harvest second highest in the past six years
AUGUSTA, Maine – Deer hunters in Maine harvested 22,490 deer in 2014, the second-highest total in the past six years.
“Hunters had an unusual year with heavy snow hitting much of the state on opening weekend, and then again during Thanksgiving,” said Kyle Ravana, IFW’s deer biologist. “Those are always two of the busiest weekends of the year for hunters, and it gave many hunters the chance to track and harvest a deer.”
Maine’s November firearms season for deer attracts the most hunters and accounts for most of the state’s deer harvest (18,510). Maine’s deer season starts in early-September with expanded archery, and ends with the muzzleloader season in mid-December, providing hunters with over 80 days in which to pursue deer. The deer hunting season allows for the department to manage the deer herd and provide wildlife watching and hunting opportunity in much of the state while decreasing the deer population in other areas in order to reduce deer/car collisions and property damage, and prevalence of lyme disease.
While the 2014 buck harvest was similar to 2013 (15,986 to 16,736, a difference of 4%), a decrease in the number of harvested does was expected due to a previous winter (2013-14) that was above average in its severity which resulted in a corresponding reduction in any deer permits.
The department decreased the number of any deer permits last season by 20% in order to compensate for deer that may have succumbed to the harsh winter conditions. As a result, fewer adult does were harvested. In 2014, 4,401 adult does were harvested, which was approximately 17% below the 2013 harvest of 5,308 adult does. The Any-Deer Permit system plays a vital role in the management of Maine’s deer since it was first implemented in 1986. By controlling the harvest of female deer in the 29 regional wildlife management districts throughout the state, biologists can better manage population trends.
For the 2015 deer season, the department is again suggesting a decrease in the number of any deer permits due to another harsh winter.
For 2015, the department is recommending a total of 28,770 any deer permits. This is a decrease of 23% (8,415 permits) from 2014. Most of these any deer permits will be issued in southern, central and midcoast Maine, where the deer population is growing, remains highly productive, and usually experiences milder winter weather. There also will be some permits issued in eastern Aroosotook, as well as southern Piscataquis and southern Penobscot counties. In most of northern and downeast Maine, there will be no any deer permits issued and hunters will be allowed to take only bucks.
“By decreasing the number of any deer permits available, we can offset some of the impact of the now two consecutive harsh winters,” said Ravana.
The any deer permit recommendation is still in the comment period until June 6. Once the comment period closes, the Commissioner’s Advisory Council will then vote whether to accept the any permit recommendation.
The deer kill over the past five years includes: 2014 –22,490; 2013 – 24,795; 2012 – 21,553; 2011 – 18,839; 2010 – 20,063; 2009 – 18,092; 2008 – 21,062.
Jim Brown, my brother-in-law, took this fine 190 pounds (field dressed) buck with 8 points on a tough hunt in… more »
Source: Jim Brown with a nice buck shot in Brighton Plantation, Maine – Petersen’s Hunting
Michigan considers closing Upper Peninsula deer season in effort to stop decline of whitetail population. But is that a long-term solution?
Source: Should There Really Be Deer There? | Antler Geeks
In Maine, biologists are recommending a cut of 23 percent to the state’s deer hunting permits. In Vermont, the number of antlerless deer permits is being cut nearly in half. In Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, deer hunting could be halted altogether.
“This last winter was one of the worst that I can remember. I suspect that we lost a lot of deer,” said David Trahan, executive director of the Sportsman’s Alliance of Maine. “Although it’s disappointing to see permits go down, I would have to agree.”
Maine’s Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife biologists are recommending the state issue 28,770 “any deer” permits, which allow hunters to harvest bucks or does. The cut would come a year after the state reduced permits from 46,710 to 37,185, a 25 percent cut that was also motivated in part by winter die-offs.
Maine’s deer herd was about 200,000 a year ago. State biologist Kyle Ravana said this year’s estimate should be ready soon. The state Inland Fisheries and Wildlife Advisory Council is expected to vote on the permit recommendations this spring or summer.
It was one year ago today, according to my most reliable source of information, that the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife(MDIFW), finally posted deer harvest data so the rest of us can discover what took place going on 5 months ago.
I and others sound like a broken record wanting to know why it takes 5 months to count deer tagged at tagging stations and make it available to the public. One year some of us made a bunch of noise and got MDIFW to release a preliminary harvest number a couple months after close of the hunt. Now we are back to waiting, waiting, and waiting some more.
If you visit the website, you’ll also notice data from the black bear harvest isn’t even posted yet.
George Smith today wants to know how Maine sportsmen would spend extra money if MDIFW had it. Perhaps we could spend five bucks to teach somebody how to count.
In the meantime, the Quality Deer Management Association recently released its 2015 Whitetail Report, which is based on 2013-14 season numbers.
There are 37 states that provide data to QDMA for its annual report.
Basically, it’s every state but those in the West.
For Pennsylvania, the non-profit organization uses data submitted by the PA Game Commission.<<<Read More>>>
Here we go! Whining and complaining about how whitetail deer harvests in many “deer hunting” states continues to drop. Complain and complain, have meetings and do some more complaining and yet? Not one stinking word spoken about predators. Not one.
If I keep saying the same thing over and over and over, maybe the problem will magically correct itself.
“The causes offered up by officials are many and varied including recent severe winters, disease, tough hunting conditions, intentional herd reduction, and fewer doe tags. Seldom do you hear anything about habitat and hunter-access loss, declining hunter interest, and mismanagement of the habitat and the deer herd…<<<Read More>>>
Round and round the mulberry bush, the monkey chased the weasel. The monkey thought it was all in fun…..POP GOES THE WEASEL.