The 2021 Maine Deer Harvest Was The Biggest Season Since 1968
It was a big season for deer hunters in Maine. While a small minority of hunters were successful, the deer harvest was the biggest in more than 50 years.
Over the weekend, the Maine deer season came to an end. The season was on pace to be a big year. Now that the various deer seasons have come to an end, we can officially say it was. According to the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife Big Game Harvest Dashboard, 38,916 (as of the time of publishing) white-tailed deer have been tagged since September. For comparison, the 2020 season yielded 33,157 deer harvested.
The Bangor Daily News spoke with IFW's deer biologist, Nathan Bieber, who said several factors played into making this year's season a huge one. Much of Maine has an abundant deer population, and hunter participation was high this season. Additionally, a record-setting number of any-deer permits were issued to hunters this year, 153,910 permits to be exact.
Bieber said, "With a lot of permits available to harvest does, especially bonus permits allowing hunters to take an antlerless deer and then continue to buck hunt, we’re hoping to see significantly more antlerless harvest." About 15-17 percent of hunters were successful this season. More detailed harvest information for the 2021 will be released in the coming months.
According to past harvest data, the 2021 season was the biggest since 1968; when 41,080 deer were harvested.
The Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife is now issuing 2022 hunting and fishing licenses. Licenses can be purchased online or at any of the more than 800 licensing agents throughout the state.
2021 hunting licenses can still be put to use, as multiple seasons continue through this month into 2021. Maine's gray squirrel and upland bird season ends Dec. 31. Snowshoe hare, bobcat, fox, and coyote (night hunting) seasons continue into 2022. Be sure to check 2021-2022 season dates here.
Licenses support Maine's fish and wildlife management efforts.