Some big changes to Maine's any-deer harvest are being discussed. Among those changes is a proposed fee for antlerless tags.

UPDATE: The proposed changes will go into effect for the 2022 Maine deer season. See our newly published article for updated information.

No trades and a fee for doe tags. Those are some of the big changes that could be coming down the line for the Maine deer harvest. This week, the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife discussed the proposed changes in a work session that was streamed online. To be clear this is not law, only proposed changes. The public will have a comment period on the changes.

According to IFW Commissioner Judy Camuso, the any-deer lottery would work like this:

  • Hunters enter the any-deer lottery for free.
  • If selected for a permit, a $12 fee will be charged for an antlerless deer tag. The fee will need to be paid for prior to a set date.
  • Additional tags in WMDs that have extra doe tags available would then be available for purchase, similar to how expanded archery permits can be purchased.

The $12 fee will go to the department's newly established Maine Deer Management Fund.

Here are some of the other proposed changes:

  • 2,000 more any-deer permits will be allocated to Superpack license holders.
  • No any-deer permit swaps.
  • Crossbow hunting changes, including allowing the harvest of fall turkey with a crossbow.

Again, this is not the law of the land yet. The public will have a comment period on the changes.

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The public comment period has yet to be set.

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