AUGUSTA, Maine - After reviewing data associated with last year's deer harvest and the severity of the 2004-2005 winter, the department is proposing to decrease the number of any deer permits available to hunters to 70,725 permits for the 2005 season.
Through these permit recommendations, the department wants to stabilize the deer population in the northern, central, and parts of southern Maine; increase the deer population downeast and in the western part of the state; and reduce the deer population in the coastal sections of Cumberland and York counties. To accomplish that, the department is increasing the number of any deer permit numbers in five wildlife management districts, issuing the same number of permits in seven WMDs and, decreasing the number in 18 WMDs.
While this past year's winter was average in its severity in much of the state, northern Aroostook County as well as much of coastal Maine and southern Oxford, Kennebec and Waldo counties saw a winter that was above average in severity.
"While we would like to see the deer population increase in Northern and eastern sections of the state, population recovery is still limited by the amount of wintering habitat in these areas," said Mark Stadler, Director of the Wildlife Division for Inland Fisheries and Wildlife. "We are currently working with large landowners to ensure enough winter habitat is available to sustain long term population recovery goals."
This year, IFW is recommending 70,725 any-deer permits. This is subject to approval by the Commissioner's Advisory Council. The total number of any deer permits issued the past five years are 2004 -- 76,150; 2003 -- 72,600; 2002 -- 57,349; 2001 - 54,000 and 2000 -- 75,525 .
The number of permits and what WMD they are issued in are listed below:
The proposed number of any deer permits is part of an agency rulemaking proposal, and those wishing to comment on the proposal may do so until May 21, 2005. Please submit your comments to Andrea Erskine, Inland Fisheries and Wildlife, 41 State House Station, Augusta, ME, 04333-0041; or email email@example.com.
The department uses the Any-Deer permit system to manage the white-tailed deer population in the state. By controlling the harvest of female deer in 30 regional wildlife management districts throughout the state, biologists can manage population trends.
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