Hunters can now apply for a 2022 Maine antlerless deer permit.

The Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife is now accepting applications for the 2022 Antlerless Deer Permit Lottery. The lottery system has undergone big changes from years previous. Applications are only being accepted online. Applications must be submitted by August 1, 2022 at 11:59 p.m.

96,340 antlerless tags will be available for the upcoming deer seasons, a cut of 57,570 permits from last year. WMD 25 will have the most tags available to hunters, with 15,255. Swapping or trading antlerless deer permits is no longer allowed, so only apply for a WMD you plan to hunt.

Here's how the new any-deer lottery works:

  • Hunters enter the any-deer lottery for free.
  • If selected for a permit, a $14 fee ($12 tag + $2 agent fee), will be charged for an antlerless deer tag. The fee will need to be paid prior to September 29, 11:59 p.m.
  • Additional tags in WMDs that have extra doe tags available can be purchased on the MDIFW website.
  • No doe tag trades/swaps.

As a part of the changes, youth hunters will be allowed to harvest an antlerless deer on "Youth Day" without a permit. Only junior hunters who hold a valid junior hunting license can participate in this specially designated hunting day, which is set for October 22. The special rule is statewide, even in WMDs that won't have antlerless tags available. WMDs 1, 2, 4, 5, and 28 will not have antlerless tags available for purchase or via the lottery.

Here's the Timeline:

  • Application period now open.
  • Applications are due August 1, 2022 at 11:59 p.m.
  • Drawing September 1. Antlerless deer permit recipients will be posted on the MDIFW website.
  • Claim + Pay for permit by September 29, 11:59 p.m.

The $12 from tags will go to the department's Maine Deer Management Fund. The newly created program works to enhance deer habitat. The funds are used for predator control, and to acquire or enhance deer habitat. In addition to antlerless deer permit fees, $2 from collected deer registrations will go to the management fund. Doe tags are expected to fetch over $750,000 for the fund. The collected funds will be matched 3:1 with money from the Pittman-Robertson Act.

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For more information about the new antlerless lottery system visit the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife website.

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