The first day of over-the-counter "any deer" permits was a big one.

The Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife has released data from the first day of over-the-counter purchases of antlerless deer permits. According to department data, over 20,000 permits were sold as of October 14. More than 16,000 permits were sold on Tuesday October 11. IFW says, "At the time the site went live at 11:00 AM, there were approximately 12,000 people immediately entering the queue. The page saw an inflow rate of up to 600 users per minute!"

At the time of the publishing of this article, WMDs 22-25, and 29 still have permits available. IFW says "If there are antlerless deer permits remaining after the start of the firearms season, hunters may purchase one additional permit. Hunters will be notified of the opportunity on the MDIFW website in early November."

Tags cost $14 ($12 tag + $2 agent fee). The $12 will go to the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife 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. Based on the released data, multiplied by tag fees, about $240,000 has been collected for the fund so far.

Maine resident hunters will get a jump-start on the rifle season on October 29, for Maine Residents Only day. Youth Hunters also get a special day to hunt, October 22. Only junior hunters who hold a valid junior hunting license can participate in this specially designated hunting day.

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The season wraps up with a two week (in some areas) muzzleloader season. Week one, November 28 through December 3, is statewide. Week two, December 5-10, is only in WMDs 12, 13, 15-18, 20-26, 29.

Cruise this Aroostook County Scenic Byway for Endless Foliage Views

One of Maine's northernmost scenic byways is a perfect foliage cruise this fall. The Fish River Scenic Byway follow's a 38 mile stretch of Route 11 in northern Aroostook county. The byway begins in Portage Lake and winds it's way through the densely forested lands to Fort Kent. Along the way you'll see vast valleys of wildflowers, views of scenic Eagle Lake, and one huge hill that offers views of Mt. Katahdin. The trip ends, America's first mile.

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