There will be less Maine "any-deer" tags available this season. However, there should be plenty to go around.

Big changes are coming to Maine's any-deer lottery. The Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife has provided additional information regarding the new system in which antlerless deer permits will be distributed. See our in depth article (below) about how the new lottery will work.

Prior to the changes in the lottery system, it wasn't very uncommon for some applicants to be drawn for multiple tags. I myself was repeatedly drawn for a tag, and a bonus permit. In 2021, a record setting number of permits were up for grabs; 153,910 to be exact. The number of permits was upped by 44,020 from 2020, when 109,890 permits were issued.

96,340 antlerless tags will be available for the upcoming 2022 deer seasons, a cut of 57,570 permits from last year. While it is a big cut in permits, it will likely translate to hunters not receiving a bonus tag this year. Hunters who weren't selected via the lottery can purchase one of the left over permits, if any, in a particular WMD. If you are selected for an antlerless tag, you can purchase another tag. Those two tags will have to be filled before purchasing a third, or any more additional tags.

WMD 25 will have the most tags available to hunters, with 15,255. Swapping tags will no longer be allowed, so only apply for an area you plan to hunt. Applications will begin to be accepted online later this month.

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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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