AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) — Maine is reviewing its deer permitting system because of concerns that hunters aren’t harvesting enough to adequately manage the population.
Maine’s deer herd is around 300,000 and has been steadily growing for several years. The state uses the fall hunting season to try to manage the number of the animals, which can cause traffic crashes and help spread diseases such as Lyme disease.
The Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife is looking for ways to increase the deer harvest, the Bangor Daily News reported. The permitting system is based around permits for “any deer,” which allow hunters to harvest does or bucks.
One proposal would change the system to provide more chances to hunt antlerless deer.
State Wildlife Division Director Nathan Webb told the Bangor Daily News that the state has “kind of reached a plateau or a threshold where we’re just not able to achieve any significant increase in the harvest of antlerless deer despite issuing a lot of permits.”
The state gave out more than 150,000 any-deer permits this year. That was a record number. But Webb said projections show for every 10 any-deer permits, hunters might harvest a single adult doe.
The firearms season for deer starts Nov. 1.