Hefty 45% increase proposed in any-deer permits

George Smith, Special to The County
7 years ago

Deer hunters will be happy to hear that the Inland Fisheries and Wildlife Department is proposing a significant 45% increase in any-deer permits this year. The proposal must be approved by the Fish and Wildlife Advisory Council, but that’s a sure thing.

I questioned why permits were not increased last year in my district WMD 16, but they’re making up for that this year with the biggest percentage increase of all the WMDs. We’ll go from 1,710 permits in 2016 to 4,550 permits this year, a 375% increase!

A public hearing on this proposal is scheduled for Wednesday, June 21, at 6 pm in Room 209A of the Augusta Armory on Western Avenue in Augusta.

Here’s the department’s explanation of their decision, followed by permit numbers for each district.

Department’s Explanation

For 2017, the Department is proposing a total of 66,050 permits be issued to meet our doe harvest objective of 6,964 animals. This is an increase of 45% (20,425 permits) from 2016. Our recommendations include managing seven WMDs in northern and Downeast Maine with a buck harvest only (no ADPs). These WMDs have relatively unproductive deer habitat and are below population goals. As was the case last year, we recommend issuing a small number of ADPs in WMDs 3, 6, 14, and 18 in order to minimize deer impacts to their overwintering habitats, minimize nuisance issues, and to provide additional hunting opportunity where the population can sustain a light doe harvest. In addition, a small number of permits are being proposed for WMD 2 and WMD 27 for the same reasons mentioned above. Given the unusually mild winter and associated lower than average winter mortality rates this past winter, we are recommending issuing an increase in the number of ADPs in WMDs 7, 12, and 13. Maine’s South-Central and Southern WMDs continue to remain highly productive, therefore we recommend issuing a substantial number of permits in WMDs 16, 17, 20-26, and 29. WMD 15 contains relatively good deer habitat and our management system indices indicate an increase in permits will still allow growth, but at a lessened pace. Conversely, we are recommending a slight decrease in permits within WMD 13. Wildlife Division staff made these recommendations after careful review of the data and feel that these permit allocation levels will best meet current population objectives.

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