December 6, 2022

Winter proves tough on deer, states weigh hunting limits 

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.

Source: Winter proves tough on deer, states weigh hunting limits | Concord Monitor


Maine Losing More Deer To Severe Winter

“Ravana says there are preliminary indications that, while this year’s more severe than average winter is likely to cause significant deer mortality, several factors will keep the numbers lower than the winters of 2008/2009.”<<<Read More>>>

*Editor’s Note* – The deer population in Maine was significantly higher going into the back to back winters of 2008/2009 than what existed going into this winter. The deer population never recovered to those same numbers heading into this harsh winter. While the deer mortality this year may show numbers less than 2008 and 2009, the combined result may put Maine back to square one where the state was at the end of 2009.

Perhaps a slight reprieve may be the results of a handful of places where predator control took place this winter.


Media/Fish and Game Joke of the Year

If the folks at had only waited a few more days (or was it the folks at the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife?), they could have made this a great April Fool’s day spoof.

On March 25, at around 11:00am, the website put up a headline and a brief quip saying that later that day the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife (MDIFW) was planning to share how the severe Maine winter has affected the deer herd. The headline and teaser, which is now gone on their site, looked like this:

Biologists to release winter’s effect on deer population
WMTW Portland-by Paul Merrill-1 hour ago
Biologists with the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife analyzed deer population data on Monday and are going to share their findings with …

Later that same day at 5:52 pm, published an article as a follow-up to the announcement that Maine biologists were going to “share their findings” of how bad the winter has been on deer. The report offered no such thing. This was what MDIFW and the report offered:

Maine state biologists said they expect to issue fewer permits to deer hunter later this year.

The reason? The long, cold snowy winter has done a number on the state’s deer population.

Even though this report goes on to talk about how biologists in Augusta and beginning their normal process of sifting through data to determine how many “Any-Deer Permits” to issue next season (this is done, they say, as a tool to manipulate deer populations in different Wildlife Management Districts) there is NOTHING here about the severe winter, other than to say fewer permits will be issued.

This is either poor reporting or MDIFW’s attempt at setting the stage for another round of excuses as to why deer hunting in Maine stinks.

Perhaps it’s time for a “new understanding and paradigm shift” about how deer can no longer survive in Maine because of global warming. You see, according to the Algorites, Algorism states that both mild winters and severely cold and snowy winters are the result of global warming. In addition, loss of habitat, lack of mast crops, spruce bud worm, deer ticks, Lyme disease, big deer, little deer, not enough deer, too many deer, too many predators, not enough predators, too many turkeys, not enough turkeys, budget shortfalls, lack of Incidental Take Permits, and you can add anything else you want to add, are all caused by global warming.

I hate to seem always critical but damn this kind of stuff is getting really old! How much do we pay these people? As was relayed to me by one reader, “The size of the report reflects the size of the deer herd.” He also said it was equivalent to an elephant [defecating] a pea.

Maybe we should just all give up……oh, wait. Hasn’t that already……..?