September 22, 2023

Maine Map: Deer Wintering Areas

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I was sent the below map the other day. When I finally got around to looking at it more closely, I began formulating some questions. Perhaps you will have them too. If so, please become part of a discussion in the “Disqus” portion of this post at the end.

As you will notice, the dark green spots on this map show the locations of what the creators of the map are calling Deer Wintering Areas. The map also shows the locations of all the major highways throughout the state. Is it my imagination or do the majority of deer wintering areas happen to exist near to all the main highways? Is it reasonable to assume that much of the population of Maine can be found in and around all the major highways? If so, why?

Also, notice in the Northwest sector of the state – an area often referred to as the Big Woods. Where are all the Deer Wintering Areas? Is it because all the trees have been cut and there are no more Deer Wintering Areas left? Or do many of the deer migrate to the East near Interstate 95 and U.S. Route 1?

In the far north, take notice of the large Deer Wintering Area near the town of Allagash. Is it my imagination, again, or do the deer move closer to civilization in order to spend the winters?

Or maybe, the mapmakers didn’t want to venture too far from the main highways to locate Deer Wintering Areas.

I’m trying to make sense out of the map and what we have repeatedly been told that there are no Deer Wintering Areas left – that they have all been destroyed by logging. Is this why we seem to see the majority of Deer Wintering Areas near major highways? Or have the experts got it all wrong?

What I would like to see, if it even exists, is a map of Deer Wintering Areas from 30, 40. 50 years ago and overlay it with this map to see if those areas have moved, some lost, some added, etc.

Talk is cheap. Valued scientific research might tell us some truth.