Maine Deer News

... For deer to survive Maine winters, work needs to be done to improve the winter shelter and to promote the softwood cover and expand the network of areas deer can use during the winter months, he said. There will also be a focus on improving acorns and other food sources for wildlife in the area...

... The doe doesn’t go far off, and visits her newborn fawn to feed. In most of the cases, people interfering in the process remove the fawn from its mother’s care, waiting to come back....

Pair of sham hearings left no room for listening June 5, 2016 Maine, Kennebec Journal & Morning Sentinel
...  the Maine Legislature’s joint Committee on Inland Fisheries and Wildlife held its own “hearing” to consider allegations of misconduct by game wardens during undercover sting operations.  Both hearings were shams... Neither hearing allowed public comment... Both led to preordained conclusions...

Maine warden commander shuts down undercover operations June 1, 2016 Maine, Hastings Tribune
... A newspaper's lengthy investigation into allegations of misconduct in the Maine Warden Service led the agency's commander on Wednesday to halt undercover poaching operations ...
     Maine Warden Service cancels undercover work, blames media June 1, 2016 Maine, BangorDailyNews.com
... At issue is an investigative report published by the Maine Sunday Telegram/Portland Press Herald last month that delved into a 2-year-old case ... Colin Woodard, who wrote the article, told the Bangor Daily News last monththat he is confident about the veracity of the story. He said Wednesday that the whole situation calls into question how transparent state government is...

... questioned the necessity of a monument in a state-managed land system where 94 percent of state lands are privately owned and 17.7 million acres are forests. Of the 12 million acres of the North Woods, more than 3 million are in conservation easements and more than 300,000 are managed as deer-wintering habitats...

... The tales are strikingly similar: They say Livezey exaggerated crimes, padded evidence, drank excessively on the job, provided alcohol to suspects, enticed people to commit hunting violations and committed wildlife violations himself – something that game wardens are allowed to do in Maine in the course of conducting investigations...

... “But [those numbers] are kind of misleading, because it’s not an increase across the board,” Ravana said. “There are still a lot of [Wildlife Management Districts] — 12 districts — that don’t have any permit allocations due to being chronically under the goal [population].” ...

Are Maine game wardens out of control? May 10, 2016 Bangor Daily News
... Colin’s... impressive report ... You can access it here ... it is very wrong for a game warden to break the law, and encourage others to break the law, in order to arrest someone... the Warden Service should have been much more cooperative in providing Colin with the information ... Don’t they work for us? ...

... Davis said he was troubled by several things revealed in the newspaper’s investigation, including the wardens’ refusal to provide their written policies for undercover investigations and the fact that an undercover warden provided guns, ammunition, transportation, and a searchlight to a target and even shot a deer to encourage him to poach...

... , this newly conserved land includes one of the largest white-tailed deer wintering areas in the region ...  the land has been transferred from The Conservation Fund to the Maine Bureau of Parks and Lands...

... this year’s mild winter was responsible for a lower than average deer mortality rate ...
     Proposal would boost Maine's deer permits by 59 percent May 4, 2016 Press Herald
...  the deer herd is now looking robust in many parts of Maine after a mild winter... Any-deer permits had declined by 23 percent in 2015 ... reduce Maine’s moose permits by 24 percent this year... between 60,000 to 70,000 moose in Maine ...

Eastbrook man gets 8 months for multiple hunting violations May 4, 2016 Maine, Bangor Daily News
... loaded a crossbow, leaned out the passenger side window of the vehicle and shot a doe with it... hunting or possessing an antlerless deer without a permit, hunting when the season is closed, shooting from a motor vehicle and hunting from a paved public way ...

Checking in on Maine's deer herd after mild winter April 23, 2016 Lewiston Sun Journal
...  we’re looking at a winter that may be tied for the most mild winter, at least for deer, going back to 1975.  "The estimated over-winter mortality this year is expected to be a little over five percent; this is about six percent below the long-term average for the state (averages a little over 11 percent) ... Overall 20,325 deer were registered during 2015 [hunt] ... 

High-tech rifles used in hunting raises ethical debate April 16, 2016 Maine, Lewiston Sun Journal
... Should it be legal for a big game hunter to use a computerized targeting sighting system? To be more precise a deer hunter lays down $10,000 for a “smart rifle,” or a Tracking Point Precision-Guided .308 Firearm, is he pushing the envelope on ethics? ... not illegal ... in Maine  ....
Land purchase highlights power of conservation March 31, 2016 Maine, Kennebec Journal & Morning Sentinel
... Deer hunters spent $10 million in the Kennebec Valley tourism zone in 2013, as well as another $11 million in the Maine Lakes and Mountains region to the west and $12 million in the Maine Highlands to the east... without wintering areas like the 3,000 acres near Cold Stream — where they hunker down to wait out the winter months — there would be a lot fewer deer...
... Cold Stream is the first completed project to be supported by LMF under new guidelines, enacted by the legislature, that place increased emphasis on conserving northern Maine Deer Wintering Areas...  last year Governor Paul LePage ... refusing to submit a request for Forest Legacy Funding for a state conservation project...

Mobile-ready Maine hunting and fishing licenses unveiled March 29, 2016 outthere.bangordailynews.com
... The department announced that the Maine Online Sportsman’s Electronic System — often called MOSES — is now faster and (finally) fully mobile...  used to purchase licenses from the field, and phones can be used to display licenses to game wardens ...

Moose lottery now open; fewer permits being issued Marh 26, 2016 Maine, Lewiston Sun Journal
... This year 2,140 permits will be issued. This is 675 less than last year ... Fewer moose means fewer permits ...our moose herd numbers somewhere in the neighborhood of 65,000...

Prime brook trout habitat protected in northwester Maine  March 25, 2016 Press Herald
... An 8,159-acre parcel of prime wild brook trout habitat and deer wintering area has been protected by the purchase of the Cold Stream forest near The Forks in northwestern Maine...

State asks for public input on wildlife management March 19, 2016 Maine, WCSH6
... MDIFW surveyed hundreds of Mainers ... people were willing to let animal populations increase ...  three Moose, Deer and Turkey Management public meetings ...

... during deer hunting season it's illegal to place salt, bait or food to entice deer to a location...

In Maine, game management affects us all March 9, 2016 Kennebec Journal & Morning Sentinel
...Right now, you have an unprecedented opportunity to influence the management of wild game animals in Maine. Maine’s Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife is creating new management plans for deer, moose, bear and turkeys this year ...

Maine Public Broadcasting
... "The tradeoffs between providing hunting opportunity and viewing opportunity, as well risk of vehicle collisions and some of the disease concerns- in particular Lyme disease in white tail deer ... what are the appropriate population levels." ...

Malaria sleuth at UVM tracks parasite to deer February 27, 2106 Vermont, BurlingtonFreePress.com... Are Martinsen and Schall worried that the Americas’ only native, mammal-specific malaria might someday dine on human corpuscles? Not likely, Schall said: “It would have happened by now. The one in deer has been here for millions of years. It’s had its chance.” ...

MDIFW seeks input on Maine's most popular wildlife, fish species February 25, 2016 Maine, Republican Journal
... MDIFW will create a dedicated “town hall forum” at metownhall.org to provide a further opportunity for residents to voice their opinions on big-game issues specifically. The forum will cover deer, moose, turkey and bear issues ... will help shape management of these species over the next 15 years...

Deer Fights For Survival Against Coyote At Maine Camp February 18, 2016 Maine, CBSBoston
... “A coyote chased a deer out onto the ice and it didn’t look good for the deer,” the camp said. “But she was a fighter and was able to escape.” ...

... Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute's genetics center in Washington, D. C., were searching for the source of malaria parasites in birds at the national zoo... not known to cause any risk to humans ... Their find dashes the current belief that no mammals other than people in the Western Hemisphere carry their own native forms of malaria ...
     White-tailed deer have their own form of malaria February 5, 2016 Science News 
... The malaria parasite in deer is a completely different species from the ones that cause disease in humans. A report in 1967 based on one deer in Texas had claimed that the parasite existed and a 1980 paper had named it Plasmodium odocoilei...The parasite has so far appeared at very low concentrations in animals’ blood ...

Cape seeks truce between bowhunters, residents January 29, 2016 Maine, Sentry
...  Complaints about bowhunters have prompted the town council to sponsor a public education effort on rules surrounding the sport, although it stopped short of moving to restrict the season here...

Eastern coyotes are here and they’re a challenging quarry January 24, 2016 Maine, Portland Press Herald 
... Geneticists now lump eastern coyotes into three groups. The largest contains individuals with the presence of some timber wolf genes. A second group has a genetic makeup closer to that of western coyotes ...The third ... Though technically considered eastern coyotes, they have more wolf-like characteristics than the average coyote...

Reward offered in illegal killing of pregnant deer in St. Albans January 12, 2016 Maine, Kennebec Journal & Morning Sentinel
... The doe, which was pregnant with twin fawns, was collared and was part of the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife winter severity study ... $1,000 reward ...  killed about 9 a.m. Friday in a field near the intersection of Corinna Road and Nokomis Road in St. Albans ...

70 Moose were Collared in Maine January 11, 2016 Maine, Council Chronicle
...  for the six year study on productivity and mortality of moose... In America, the moose population has been decreasing continuously since the 1990s, but fortunately in the arctic and subarctic regions, their numbers have stayed the same ...

... In Maine it’s illegal to hunt deer but legal to hunt bear over bait. In New Jersey, it’s legal to hunt deer but not bear over bait. Without bait, we wouldn’t be able to achieve desired population objectives for bears, but with it we’d likely decimate our already feeble deer herd ...

Maine's deer hunters disappeared along with the deer January 8, 2016 Bangor Daily News
... 1981 was the peak year for sales of hunting licenses, with 197,697. Sales dropped by 22 percent to 154,808 in 1997 and stuck there... a total of 196,146 hunters had licenses that allowed them to hunt deer in 2014 ...

Focus on antler restrictions might miss greater point January 3, 2016 Maine, Press Herald
... though Maine is seven times larger than Connecticut, its deer population is less than double that of Connecticut. At one quarter the size of Maine, New Hampshire has about half as many deer... hunters on both sides of the antler restriction argument are ultimately in search of a quality buck ...

A lot transpired when it came to Maine's outdoors December 26, 2015 Maine, Lewiston Sun Journal
... Our last two harsh winters have taken a toll on an already hard-pressed deer population, and, to some extent, moose and grouse as well... 

Debate gets ugly about selling wild game December 24, 2015 Maine, Bangor Daily News
...  “Should hunters be able to sell their wild game meat?” 63.96 percent of the 197 respondents said no, 31.47 percent said yes, and 4.57 percent were undecided...  we have the highest proportion (62%) of yearling bucks in our harvest of any state in the nation ...

... The architects of the Central Maine Sportsman’s Access project said the land includes roughly 1,000 acres of “deer yard” habitat – areas used by deer for shelter and safety during the winter – as well as 1,000 acres of wetlands used by moose and waterfowl...

Maine's new big game plans are all about you December 18, 2015 Bangor Daily News
... creation of new big game management plans ... For the first time, the Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife is aggressively seeking the opinions of the public and private landowners...

... antler restrictions ... no question they would improve the age structure in the male segment of Maine’s deer herd ... Proponents typically cite research, biology and numerous examples from other states where mandatory antler restrictions have been successful in increasing the proportion of older bucks in the population...

Deer herd staging comeback in The Forks, boosting business November 29, 2015 Maine, Centralmaine 
...  a change in forest cutting practices also has left more feed for the deer population. He said there appears to be more selective cutting of trees, rather than hard-hitting, mechanical clear cuts of years past, and he is finding deer a lot farther out into the woods than in previous years...

Deer have different personalities November 22, 2015 Maine, Press Herald
... most yearling bucks leave their natal home range some time in the fall and may travel a mile or more to establish a new home range... Each has a different personality, making it that much more difficult to predict what they might do...

Maine wardens seek poacher who shot deer near day care center November 20, 2015 Portland Press Herald
... Wardens were called to Route 139 in the Waldo County town of Brooks at 8:15 p.m. Wednesday ... a deer had been shot in the road ... driving an early 2000s diesel, tan or gold, GMC or Chevrolet extended cab pickup ... call 624-7076

...  charged in connection with the illegal killing of at least four deer in April. All four deer found were does, believed to have been killed at night in open fields and left to waste in the towns of Chesterville, Livermore Falls/East Livermore, Livermore, and Leeds...

How to talk to the public about hunting November 10, 2015 Maine, Bangor Daily News
... “A recent survey of New Hampshire residents found that majorities of respondents who favored an increase in the deer population were still in support of the increase even if it meant an increased likelihood of damage to gardens and landscapes, vehicular accidents, or losses to farmers or timber land owners ...

Maine Moose Hunt November 6, 2015 WCAX.com
... The Maine Department of Inland Fisheries & Wildlife issued 2,740 moose permits this year - the fewest permits in 12 years. Biologists say parasites have culled the moose population in recent years...

How much do you know about the rut? November 5, 2015 Maine, Bangor Daily News
... “We go out and we collect fetuses from road-killed does, and based on the size of those fetuses, we can come up with an estimate of when the fetus was conceived. By and large, probably 90 percent of our samples conceive around that third week of November.” ... biologists estimate the state has a herd of 211,000 deer ...

... Gun safety advocates, local police and the Maine Warden Service have concerns about the use of silencers while hunting. Critics say the silencers may lead to more hunting close to homes and other illegal practices, such as hunting out of season or outside legal hours... the Maine Warden Service, which testified against it during the legislative process...

Maine firearms deer hunting season now open October 31, 2015 Maine, WCSH6
... Officials expect it to be a good hunting season, with the deer population up to about 210,000 after some tough winters in 2008 and 2009 that depleted it to under 150,000...

Regional numbers low for opening day of deer season October 31, 2015 Maine, Lewiston Sun Journal
... as of 1 p.m. Saturday, the store had tagged only three deer. Owner Cheryl Wells said they usually see anywhere from eight to 15 the first day... Storekeepers in Hebron had tagged two by 2:30 p.m., which owner Beth Frances said was pretty low. They usually see a dozen opening day...

Conservancy buys forest land in Sunkhaze-Bradley corridor October 31, 2015 Maine, Bangor Daily News
... More than 12,700 acres of forest land located next to the Sunkhaze Meadows National Wildlife Refuge have been purchased by the The Nature Conservancy in Maine ... home to a broad range of animals, including beaver, deer, moose, bear and birds...

Deer season starts Saturday for residents, Monday for nonresidents October 29, 2015 Maine, Boothbay Register
...  Deer hunting alone contributes more than $100 million ($101,419,052)... The lack of snow early in the winter allowed deer to feed and conserve energy, lessening some of the effects of the long winter.  White-tailed deer in Maine are near the northern edge of their population range, and winter can impact deer survival...

Public Lands Commission slams the door on Governor's demands October 29, 2015 Maine, Bangor Daily News
... Senator Saviello suggested that the state ought to be purchasing deer yards. Doug Denico cautioned against this, reporting that the timber in those deer yards would be valued at $2500 to $3000 per acre, making the purchase of those yards, “horribly expensive.” ...

Kennebec Journal & Morning Sentinel
... growing popularity of deer hunting in the state ... Maine’s deer population has rebounded in recent years following severe winters in 2008 and 2009, and the population is approximately 210,000 ... Last year, hunters killed 22,490 deer. Of those, 15,986 were bucks and 6,504 were antlerless ... 

Big changes coming for Maine's big game plans October 26, 2015 Maine, Bangor Daily News
...  All four big game animals will, for the first time, be included in a single plan: deer, moose, bear, and turkeys. And a new aggressive effort will be made to engage the public in the process ...  “The public expects these species to be managed for more than hunting and fishing.” ...

New England Deer Forecast October 21, 2015 Maine, Game & Fish
... Due to continuing winter mortality and sub-standard habitat, Maine’s deer harvest has dwindled by more than half since the 1950s. Some 22,490 deer were tagged overall in Maine last year, some 30,000 fewer than were taken in 1956...

... a bill to require deer hunters to only shoot bucks with a minimum antler size... Judy Camuso, DIF&W’s Wildlife Division Director, delivered the agency’s testimony in opposition to the bill... given the proposed APR, many of the bucks in the current annual harvest would be protected from hunters.   This would significantly decrease the opportunity for hunters to successfully harvest deer...

... In Maine, state biologists recommended a nearly 25 percent reduction in deer hunting permits for 2015 because of the tough winter’s toll on the herd ...

Maine sporting camps – going, going gone? September 27, 2015 Portland Press Herald 
... The loss of deer hunters over the last five years has been particularly painful. Deer nearly disappeared in western and northern Maine after two tough winters, and our failure to protect critical deer wintering areas was a key factor ... “in 1904 there were at least 300 sporting camps in operation in Maine. By 2007, this number had dwindled to fewer than 40.”...

Keeping an eye on Maine’s deer population in winter September 26, 2015 Maine, Sun-Journal
... If the deer biologists can nail down the winter deer kill, they can then "manage" the overall deer numbers by correspondingly increasing or decreasing the harvest quota for antlerless deer.  For many years, one of the most valuable tools in this regard has been the WSI, or Winter Severity Index ...

... For those who thought allowing 10-year-olds to hunt was a bad thing, here’s a news bulletin you may have missed: In June, Gov. Paul LePage signed LD 156... there will no longer be a minimum hunting age in Maine...

All Maine outdoorsmen play role in fighting poaching September 14, 2015 Portland Press Herald
... When four deer were killed last April in central Maine, their bodies left to rot in the spring sun ... while Maine is a national leader in combating poaching, there’s always more to do. And it’ll take the help of all outdoorsmen and women to get it done...  the state’s anti-poaching program, Operation Game Thief, has been effective, taking in over 8,000 calls leading to 2,500 convictions ...

State must make a point out of letting bucks replenish September 13, 2015 Maine, Portland Press Herald
... There’s been a fair amount of discussion lately about the concept of antler-point restrictions [APR] ...  one reason why now might be a good time for Maine to at least consider APRs. We’re trying to grow our herd in most if not all of the state. The deer population has been devastated by predators, insufficient protection of winter habitat and severe winter conditions...

... Last year In Maine 25,000 deer were tagged legally. Wardens estimate nearly that many were taken illegally...

Maine's annual deer hunting permit drawing is Wednesday September 6, 2015 Foster's Daily Democrat
... Maine is issuing 28,770 deer hunting permits, down from 37,185 permits last year...

Rulebook is wrong: Expanded bowhunting doesn’t start until Sept. 12 September 4, 2015 Maine, outthere.bangordailynews.com
... “In the current hunting regulations summary, there’s a misprint that basically states that the expanded archery season begins on Sept. 7, which is this Monday ...The season actually begins on Saturday, Sept. 12.”...

Maine hunters ready for reduced Sept. 9 deer permit drawing August 18, 2015 Portland Press Herald ·
... Maine is issuing 28,770 deer hunting permits, down from 37,185 permits last year...

Maine data:  In November, 2015 an estimated 211,000 deer, slightly above the March estimate of 210,000.  In order to reduce hunting pressure, Maine issued fewer any-deer permits, 28,770  compared to 37,185 for the 2013-14 season.  Harsh winter in 2014-15.  The 2014 deer population was estimated at around 220,000, declining as a result of the severe winter.  A 19 percent winter deer mortality rate was estimated for the north in 2013 - 2014. In response, the number of "any deer" permits for the 2014-15 hunt was reduced by 9,525 to 37,185, further cuts of 23 percent are in place for 2015.  The 2014 harvest was 78.4 percent bucks, 196,146 deer hunting licenses were sold, probably about 160,000 hunters participated. A 65 percent success rate.  The population had rebounded somewhat in 2013 and trended higher from 2010 as a result of mild winters, but the 2013-2014 and 2014-2015 winters were the 14th and 11th worst winters for deer since the 1950s. .Two consecutive severe winters in 2008 and 2009 significantly reduced the herd and decimated the northern herd which has not recovered, the total population fell to under 150,000.  Doe hunting has been prohibited in northern Maine for years. Other efforts such as coyote control have not been successful in rebuilding the herd. The deer population was estimated at about 275,000 in the late 1950's and during 1998 to 2000.  
     The average population estimate from 1955 to 2003 was around 215,000.  Some recent estimates put the deer population at 150,000 to 200,000.  A recent study suggests changes in forest management may be "indicative of declines in extent of deer wintering habitat throughout the Northern Forest Region" [Study in PDF file]  Or more directly from a hunting guide: "when they started cutting deer yards, they pretty much wiped out the deer herd in northern Maine. The deer population in the Southern region rebounded to near pre-2008 levels. Maine's Game Plan for Deer [PDF]  Deer habitat, particularly for wintering, has declined dramatically in Maine over the last 25 years.
     The reported number of deer harvested during 2012 was 21,553; the 2011 harvest was 18,170, only slightly above the 2009 figure which was the lowest in decades, with a total of 18,092. In 2010, the total was 20,063, with a significant increase in the number of yearling bucks sporting multi-pointed antlers and a decrease in the percentage of antlerless deer taken. 
      Moose About 60,000 to 70,000 in 2016.  Estimated at 76,000 moose in 2012 that had been somewhat stable, but a radio collar study indicated a 30 percent winter mortality rate for adult females in 2014. As in many states, winter ticks are driving populations down.  Moose permits were reduced by 25 percent, further reductions in 2016.  Population estimates for Moose improved with the 2015 number at 60,000 to 70,000.
     Bear, coyote, turkey, caribou About 25,000 black bear, 12,000 to 13,000 coyotes (many with wolf DNA), stable population since 1985.   About 60,000 wild turkeys.  The last caribou seen in the state was illegally shot on Mt. Katahdin in 1908.
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Gerry Lavigne, who served as Maine's state deer biologist for 30 years, talks about areas with deer habitat, but no deer. - January 14, 2013