If deer hunting was easy, we would all have meat in the freezer.
That said, if you want to increase your chances of harvesting a deer next season, I have a suggestion for you: complete your permit application for any deer.
The Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife is now accepting permit applications for any deer, which allow hunters to take an animal of either sex.
There is no charge for the permit. All you need to do is go to the DIF & W website at anydeer.web.maine.gov/online/any_deer_lottery/ and fill in the requested information.
The state plans to issue approximately 153,910 permits for any deer this year, which allow hunters who own them to tag an antlerless deer or a deer with antlers less than three inches in length.
ADMs for which the greatest number of deer permits are proposed for 2021 include ADM 23 (23,980), ADM 25 (23,760), ADM 21 (20,475), ADM 22 (20,160) and ADM 17 (15 165).
The license is valid during the regular firearms seasons (November 1 to 27) and the muzzle-loading pistol (November 29 to December 11). It is also valid for those licensed to hunt on Young Deer Day (October 23) and Maine Residents Day (October 30).
While you are completing the application, you also have the option of requesting a bonus deer tag. These further increase the chances for hunters to harvest an additional antlerless deer in areas where more permits are granted than applications are received, and in deer management subunits.
This means that you could potentially catch two deer in the fall, if you play your cards right and have a little luck.
If you’re like me, your first instinct is to chase a male, maybe the one with a nice pair of antlers. But in my experience, the frustration of deer season can change your approach.
If your main goal is to put game on the table, it is best to have a permit for any deer, as it often seems easier to find.
Antlerless deer can only be captured in Wildlife Management Districts for which deer hunting licenses are valid. Hunters who do not have a deer license or bonus deer license are limited to males only (antlers three inches or larger) statewide.
The deadline to apply for a deer license and bonus license is August 17 at 11:59 pm You must have a valid big game license to apply.
You can request up to three ADM choices, in order of preference.
The draw for the permit for all deer will take place on September 10 and the results will be posted on bangordailynews.com and on the DIF & W website.