The Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife (MDIFW) announced today the 2012 deer season in Maine appears to have been a successful one. MDIF&W biologists estimate a harvest of more than 21,000 deer taken by resident and non-resident hunters.

While biologists will not have an official tally until February, the current estimate represents at least an 11.5 percent increase from 2011, when 18,839 deer were registered.

“This increase is due in large part by the nearly record mild winter of 2011 to 2012 and improved overwinter survival of fawns producing a bumper yearling crop,” Biologist Lee Kantar said.  “In addition, allocation of Any Deer permits were conservative for 2012 to maximize growth in many Wildlife Management Districts.”

During the fall, biologists visited meat cutters, registration stations, hunting camps and hunter residences to get a firsthand look at harvested deer and collect measurements on weight, age, antler dimensions and lactation. They used that information to predict what the final harvest numbers will be.

To obtain the final harvest numbers, biologists will review and summarize information from registration books they receive from hundreds of stores in the State.

This year, MDIF&W issued 34,160 any deer (doe) permits in 13 of the State’s 29 Wildlife Management Districts.

For more information on deer hunting in Maine, go to www.mefishwildlife.com.

Image courtesy Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife

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