Predators & Small Game
Maine's deer hunting has seen better days according to this Antler Nation report.
Season Dates: The statewide archery season for 2012 runs Sept. 28 through Oct. 26. There is an expanded archery season in the southern portion of the state that opens Sept. 8 and ends Dec. 8. Rifle season is open Oct. 29 - Nov. 24. Muzzleloader season opens Nov. 26 and ends Dec. 1.
The Grade: D-
Given the rich heritage of Maine's whitetail hunting and the storied status of its big north woods bucks, it pains us to give the state such a low grade. But it must be done.
Maine's deer population has been on a steady downward trend for the past decade or so. Theories abound as to why, but the fact of the matter is that there are far fewer deer in Maine today than there were 10 years ago. Some areas of the state are estimated to have deer densities of less than two per square mile. Select areas of southern Maine have an overabundance of deer, but most of that region is privately owned and semi-urban, making access difficult at best.
Earlier this year, the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife unveiled a plan that will attempt to rebuild the state's deer population. Until then, Maine hunters will face lean times. Right now, the limit is one deer per season with antlers of at least 3 inches, although opportunties such as the draw-only ''Any Deer Permit'' exist and do allow hunters the chance to take an antlerless deer.
Maine does offer about a half-million acres of public hunting in its Public Reserved system, so you will have some room to roam. You just might not see any deer while you're out roaming. Season dates are strangely timed as well, and short.
Antler Nation Knowledge: According to a report on the MDIFW website, Maine's whitetails are among the largest of all whitetail subspecies. Mature bucks can attain record live weights of 400 pounds, although 300 pounds is more common.
Record B&C Typical
Taken by Ronnie Cox in Aroostook County in 1965.
Total B&C Typical Entries
Record B&C Non-Typical
Taken by Hill Gould in Washington County in 1910.
Total B&C Non-Typical Entries
Est. Whitetail Population
No. Licenses Sold Annually
Deer to Hunter Ratio
Resident license and permit
Nonresident archery licenses are $74; nonresident gun licenses are $114.