Hunters in Maine Harvest Most Deer in Nearly 20 Years

by Will Shepard

Maine had a booming year for deer hunting. In fact, this year, Maine hunters harvested more deer than they had in the last two decades.

Reportedly, the number of deer that Maine hunters harvested at the season close stands at 33,157 total deer. However, that number pales in comparison to other states in the U.S. In fact, in 2018 – a down year for deer hunting across America, this harvest number would put Maine hunters in seventh place.

Nonetheless, 2020 produced a lot of deer for hunters in Maine. Maine hunters tagged and reported an outstanding number of deer for the state. State wildlife regulators attribute the rise in hunting to the pandemic. In particular, Janet Mills believes that Maine hunters used the season to enjoy outdoor activity and exercise safely.

Even though the total numbers are still unofficial, it is the highest since 2002 for the state of Maine. 18 years ago, more than 38,000 deer were harvested across the state.

Maine Hunters Given Massive Number of Deer Tags

In addition to the total number of deer harvested rising, the total number of permits given out rose as well. As mentioned, deer hunting is a safe activity in the outdoors that promotes social distancing.

Due to the relatively mild winters that Maine has been through the last few years, deer populations flourished. Maine uses deer hunting to control the population in the state.

In particular, state biologists recommended that 110,000 “any deer” tags be handed out this season. This permits the harvesting of female or male deer for Main hunters. Due to the high number of deer, this number was deemed as the best way to control the population.

December 12 marked the end of the deer season. Bowhunting was permitted within the state from mid-September, while the muzzleloading season for Maine hunters went from December 7 to December 12. However, there are limitations and regulations for each form of hunting.