Maine Deer News

Prevalence of Eastern Equine Encephalitis Virus Antibodies Among White-Tailed Deer Populations in Maine JP Mutebi, M Godsey, RP Smith Jr, MR Renell, L Smith… - Vector-Borne and Zoonotic …, 2015
... Forty-seven of the 332 (14.2%) sera were positive for EEEV antibodies, showing a much wider distribution of EEEV activity in Maine than previously known...  Our data suggest higher EEEV activity in central Maine compared to southern Maine, whereas EEEV activity in Maine has historically been associated with the southern counties of York and Cumberland...

Hunting bill reflects legislative unfairness March 23, 2015 Maine, Portland Press Herald 
... The present head of the Inland Fisheries and Wildlife Department, Chandler Woodcock, was a member of the committee, as was David Trahan, now executive director of SAM (Sportsman’s Alliance of Maine). The result is almost guaranteed approval of bills that support the powerful hunting and trapping lobby that dominates Maine’s political scene...

It was nice to see the deer had made it through our snowy winter. March 17, 2015 - Maine



... The population objective in WMD 12 is 15 deer per square mile ... small, hard, pointed feet is not a good adaptation for living in Maine where there is deep snow ... When deep snow and bitter winds start early or last late into spring, some deer will deplete their fat reserves and die ... Fawns die off first, followed by adult bucks, and then does...



Time is of the essence in Falmouth effort to help hungry deer March 10, 2015 Maine, Bangor Daily News
... forester hired by the town to harvest in the Woods Road Community Forest, where up to a third of the trees will be selectively cut. The goal is to help out wildlife ... particularly deer.  “The deer are eating balsam fur and hemlock, meaning they’re very, very hungry,” ...

...“Protection of critical wintering habitat to support Maine’s white tail deer population was a primary objective of the 2012 bond funds, which received strong bipartisan support in the Legislature and overwhelming endorsement by Maine voters,” said Trahan in a written statement....

...  A four-point minimum antler size might appeal to hunters, but it will do absolutely nothing to produce trophy mule deer, because hunters simply shoot the first small four-point they see and few deer live long enough to reach maximum antler growth. So while point restrictions will increase the average age of the bucks harvested by a year or so ...

Sebec, Maine Life-Deer Rescue March 6, 2015 t.Dow Photography
...  a small deer made the mistake of getting out too far on the thin ice...  residents of Sebec Village passing by the scene had stopped their everyday lives and began to work together to figure out a way to get the deer out of trouble... Pulled to safety...

Deer can survive cold, snow, but need a thaw February 26, 2015 Maine, Mount Desert Islander
... “Deer always are losing weight in the winter, it’s just how much they lose. But if they are still losing when they are expecting to be finding food in the spring, that is when problems arise for them,” ... 

Deer Plans Pile Up While Deer Population Goes Down February 23, 2015 Maine, George's Outdoor News - Bangor Daily News
... Maine’s had a lot of deer plans over the last 30 years ... In every plan, lack of wintering habitat was cited as the most important issue... SAM’s 1996 task force noted, “During the past 25 years the amount and quality of wintering habitat in Maine has declined markedly ... In 2011, Gerry Lavigne wrote ... the loss of deer wintering habitat must be reversed ...

There are many factors when calculating moose harvests February 14, 2015 Maine, Lewiston Sun Journal
... 65 percent of last fall’s moose hunters were successful. This is the lowest success rate since the inception of Maine’s moose hunt 35 years ago! ...  91.2 percent  ...  a steady statistical decline ... 

Homeless Deer may be doomed in Maine's north woods February 10, 2015 Maine, George's Outdoor News - Bangor Daily News
... Representative Bob Duchesne’s comment sums up the problem nicely. Without habitat – especially wintering yards – deer are doomed. Bob’s radio show with Erin Simons-Legaard, a research professor at the University of Maine’s Forestry School, was – well, there’s no other way to describe it – discouraging and depressing. [Listen to the radio show]

Good and bad legislation in the hunt January 25, 2014 Maine, Press Herald
... Two are constitutional amendments that would exclude wildlife issues or laws governing hunting and fishing from the citizens’ initiative process... another proposal would amend Maine’s constitution “to limit the application of citizen initiatives concerning wildlife matters to counties in which they are approved.” ...

Deer Crossing the Lake just after a snowstorm in Maine. - January 25, 2015



...  in northern Maine, the whitetail deer is struggling to persist. Excuses are abundant: severe winters, deer are at their northern range (although further north in portions of Canada there’s not necessarily the same struggle), loss of habitat, the pope is Catholic, etc. ...

Deer caught on St. John River ice floe January 5, 2015 Maine,  outthere.bangordailynews.com 
... I could see the water pushing up over the ice and the ice started breaking up and flowing downstream, these deer being taken for a ride on a frozen raft of ice...  one of the deer did safely make it to shore ...

Accidents follow early arrival of deer to wintering grounds December 29, 2014 Maine, The St. John Valley Times 
... At least 12 deer have been killed in the past two weeks by vehicles in Allagash ... use caution and slow down ...

Common ground no matter where hunter stands December 28, 2014 Maine, Press Herald
...  fewer than 20 years ago it was illegal to hunt from an elevated perch in Michigan ...  other states have ended their long-standing tradition of baiting out of concern for the spread of diseases like CWD.  In Texas, bait is not only legal for deer hunting but represents the principle tactic... if it weren’t for corn and other supplemental feed, Texas probably wouldn’t have near the number or quality of deer that exist in the state...

... because the strategies are voluntary, deer are in trouble. Landowners ignored the last round of voluntary deer guidelines. Now, barely 1 percent of over 9 million commercial acres are fit for deer survival.  Deer yards used to be protected by law. Biologists documented them, and the old Land Use Regulation Commission made them off limits to harvesting...

Deer rescued from icy Kennebec River December 10, 2014 Maine, Bangor Daily News 
... rescued by firefighters and game wardens... After about 20 minutes of warming, the deer was able to stand and walk away ...
     Skowhegan firefighters talk about rescuing deer from river December 10, 2014 Maine, WGME
... they used their Rescue Alive Sled to get to the deer and pull her out of the water and ice. Only a handful of fire departments in Maine have this particular rescue sled ...

Hunter shot deer, left it to die slow, painful death December 8, 2014 Maine, Centralmaine
...  I opened the drapes at dawn and saw a deer lying in open field about 200 feet from me. While watching, I saw him rise, attempt to walk, then bellyflop... inspected the forelegs and confirmed the buck had been running when shot. He said the Warden Service has been trying to educate hunters not to shoot running deer as this — a lost, wasted deer — was the result...

Early returns on the deer harvest November 29, 2014 Maine, Lewiston Sun Journal
... Region A biologist, Scott Lindsay, said, "numbers may be down a bit from from last year." The Central Maine biologist, Keel Kemper, observed "a slow start to the season," ...

Each fall, Maine Wildlife biologists are busy monitoring the health of Maine's white-tailed deer herd. Over the course of a season, IFW biologists will examine thousands of harvested white-tailed deer. The biological data gathered provides an important window into how quickly deer are growing, population densities in the area, and monitors the potential for disease. - November 26, 2014



With help, deer herd will rebuild November 23, 2014 Maine, Portland Press Herald
...  the state’s deer herd dwindled ... In the north, it’s a combination of severe winters, predation and insufficient protection of winter habitat. In the south, it’s largely an artifact of population goals based on cultural rather than biological carrying capacity...

Hunter finds scarce 8-point antlered doe November 10, 2014 Maine,  WCSH-TV
... an 8-point antler female deer -- or doe. The deer was unique because of its gender. The doe weighed in at 244 pounds, and the dressed weight was 185 pounds... "The feet of the deer had the big dewclaws and the tracks that were leaving the marks were completely typical of a buck." ... 

Western Maine Audubon to hear talk on moose and ticks November 10, 2014 Maine, Lewiston Sun Journal
...  an adult moose can be bled to death by winter ticks over a season. In the mid-West some moose herds have been cut in half by this affliction and are in jeopardy. 
..  winter tick infestations are seriously hurting moose populations in New England as well...

Maine’s Declining Deer Habitat. This is an audio interview about a new study from the University of Maine School of Forest Resources that looks at what has happened to the habitat. Bob Duchesne’s Wild Maine: Maine’s Declining Deer Habitat ‎‎‎‎‎‎‎[AUDIO]‎‎‎‎‎‎‎. Deer need mature conifer habitat, but forest management has resulted in more younger forests that don't provide wintering habitat in eastern Maine. - November 8, 2014



Bar Harbor voters reject deer hunt concept plan November 6, 2014 Maine, Bangor Daily News
... Local residents voted down on Tuesday a non-binding measure aimed at gauging support for relaxing deer hunting laws inside the town limits.  The referendum was defeated by a 196-vote margin, out of 2,546 votes cast...

For deer hunters, season looks mighty promising November 1, 2014 Maine, Sun-Journal 
... there has been a definite rebound of deer numbers following the severe winters of 2008 and 2009... The deer recovery is attributted to a number of factors: first and foremost, consecutively mild winters, "focused predator control" (dead coyotes) and better protection of deer wintering areas...

... Saturday is the one day this year when the deer and moose hunts are restricted to state residents ...

... . “Some people don’t have stomach for wild game, so a lot of police departments keep a list of people who would like to pick up the animal. If the driver refuses the road kill, police use the list to attempt to contact someone willing to come get the animal.” ...

Islesboro rejects deer sharpshooter plan October 20, 2014 Maine, workingwaterfront.com 
... Linda Gillies, a member of the town's deer reduction committee who supported hiring the sharpshooters, believes a majority voted against the proposal out of concerns for safety and in the belief that island hunters would reduce the population during the hunting season...

Maine data: The deer population declined into 2014 as a result of the severe winter to about 150,000 - 200,000 - closer to 200,000 in 2013.  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. The population had rebounded somewhat in 2013 and trended higher since 2010 as a result of mild winters. Two consecutive severe winters in 2008 and 2009 significantly reduced the herd and decimated the northern herd which has not recovered.  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 200,000.  The state stopped making a formal population estimate in 2003. 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]
     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.
      A population of about 76,000 moose that had been somewhat stable but a radio collar study indicates 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.
     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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Deer Yard in Northern Maine


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