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.

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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.

15 Must-Have Items For Ice Fishing Season In Maine

Ice fishing is an excellent way to embrace the cold winter months in Maine. It will get you outdoors for some fresh air, it's family friendly, and a successful day could yield a tasty dinner. If you're new to the sport, we put together a list of gear you'll need for a fun, comfortable, and successful day on the ice. Some of these items are more essential than others. Some gear may not be essential at all, depending on how you plan to fish. Again, the items we listed are geared towards those who are new to ice fishing.

Before we get to the list, remember to dress appropriately for the cold weather. We didn't put warm outerwear on the list, but it's definitely a must-have. Dressing in layers is important to ensure you're warm enough throughout the day on the ice. If you start getting too warm, you can simply take a layer off. Hand warmers are also worth packing.

Explore the Ruins of a Historic Mansion in Acadia National Park

George B. Dorr spent much of his life creating, expanding and caring for Acadia National Park. That's why he's often referred to as the father of Acadia National Park. According to the National Park Service, the property known as the "Old Farm" was accepted by the park in 1941. On the property is the ruins of what was a 30-room summer "cottage," the remnants of a saltwater pool, and a small beach. It's just an easy walk through the woods away.