Deer Harvest Estimates are in!

Discussion in 'Maine Deer Hunting' started by kenton6, Dec 9, 2004.

  1. kenton6

    kenton6 Administrator

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    Do these estimates seem to correlate to what you as a hunter experienced this past fall?


    For Immediate Release December 9,
    2004

    Deer Kill Expected To Be In 32,000 Range

    AUGUSTA, Maine -- Preliminary deer harvest data collected throughout
    the
    state suggests that this year's deer kill will be in the vicinity of
    32,000,
    up 6% from last year's kill of 30,313 but down 11% from an expected
    kill of
    35,800.

    The total deer kill for each of the past ten deer seasons is as
    follows:
    2003 - 30,313; 2002 -- 38,153; 2001 -- 27,769; 2000 - 36,885; 1999 -
    31,473;
    1998 - 28,241; 1997 - 31,152; 1996 - 28,375; 1995 - 27,384; 1994 -
    24,683;
    1993 -- 27,402.

    "Deer harvests increased by up to 20% in northern and portions of
    eastern
    Maine due mainly to the effects of a mild winter," according to IF&W
    deer
    biologist Gerry Lavigne. "Harvest levels seem similar to last year in
    southern and western Maine, and it appears that the deer kill has
    declined
    in some central Maine areas where the department had increased doe
    permits
    over the past four years in order to reduce the deer population.
    Harvest
    trends and lower sightings by hunters in these central Maine locations
    seem
    to reflect the Department's success in reducing the deer population in
    these
    areas"

    Hunting conditions for the firearm season on deer (which began on
    October 30
    and ended November 27) were better than last year, but were not ideal.
    The
    first two weeks of the season were cool and relatively dry, but woods
    were
    often noisy, which had deer wary. Tracking snow, which greatly
    improves
    hunter success rates, arrived late in the second week up north, but it
    quickly became noisy before melting later in the season. A few
    locations in
    eastern and southern parts of the state received tracking snow for
    brief
    periods. Wind and heavy rain were not as prevalent as last year, but
    the
    latter two weeks of the firearms season were warmer than normal. Many
    biologists noted this may have depressed hunter activity.

    Opening Saturday and the first full week produced a steady harvest with
    a
    good amount of antlerless deer and young bucks. Normally a slow week,
    harvest during the second week of the firearms season remained steady,
    but
    the kill dropped off during weeks three and four. Hunter effort and
    harvest
    were below par during the Thanksgiving holiday weekend, particularly so
    for
    antlerless deer. "Hunters did not seem to be 'cashing in' their
    any-deer
    permits during the final week of firearms season, as they commonly do",
    Lavigne said. As a result, fewer does and fawns were killed than was
    desired.

    The source of this deer harvest estimate is based on a model that uses
    the
    total number of deer examined by wildlife biologists at meat lockers,
    roadside check stations, and home visits. All told, IFW biologists and
    cooperators will have examined 6,500 or more deer in 2004. The number
    of
    deer examined by biologists is highly correlated with total harvest. An
    actual count of the number of deer in harvested in Maine this fall will
    be
    available in March. At that time, Department biologists will make deer
    harvest recommendations for 2005.