Call it what you will — “doe permit,” “doe tag,” or the state-preferred “any-deer permit” — but one thing is certain: Many deer hunters enter each season hoping they’ll receive one.
If you’ve received one, you’re allowed to take an antlerless deer when the season begins. If not? Well, you’ll be hunting for antlered bucks like the rest of us.
This year, the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife is handing out 37,185 any-deer permits, and the drawing was held on Tuesday. Those permits are spread among 12 Wildlife Management Districts, mostly in the southern and central portions of the state.
So, were you lucky?
A little more background: Just a year ago, the state allotted 46,710 permits to hunters.
And while the reduction of 9,525 permits is substantial, it’s certainly not a surprise. The Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife uses the any-deer system to help meet its population goal, and after severe winters take a toll on the state’s deer herd, permit numbers are regularly reduced.
“In the fall of 2013 we saw an increase in the number of successful hunters for the third straight season, a sign that the deer her is rebounding from the back-to-back severe winters in 2008 and 2009,” DIF&W commissioner Chandler Woodcock said in a July press release. “While the deer population has made gains since 2009, this past year’s long, cold winter dictates that we move cautiously with the number of any-deer permits we issue.”
The number of any-deer permits issued over the past five years (including those for the 2014 lottery):
According to the July news release, the DIF&W uses the any-deer permit system to control the harvest of female deer in each of the state’s 29 wildlife management districts. This year, any-deer permits will be allotted in just 12 of those 29 WMDs.