Island Deer Hunts Use Bait

deerbuck3Maine’s Fish and Wildlife Advisory Council is expected next week to approve a special two-week deer hunt in Eastport, and this Portland Press Herald story by Randy Billings may be of interest to the good folks in that Down East town.

I was surprised when the folks in Eastport, which is overrun with deer, removed from their proposal the opportunity to use bait to bring the deer into the stands designated by the town. Hunters must sit in those designated stands, without the opportunity to actually hunt through the town to find their deer. They are also limited to the use of bows. No guns.

In my mind, this is less an actual deer hunt and more a controlled deer kill, designed to reduce the number of deer in Eastport. And I am skeptical that it will significantly reduce those numbers, because the number of permits is low.

Perhaps over time, Eastport will look to Maine’s islands for guidance on how to effectively reduce deer populations. Randy’s story is a good place to start. And yes, these islanders use bait.

You can read Randy’s story here.

George Smith

About George Smith

George stepped down at the end of 2010 after 18 years as the executive director of the Sportsman’s Alliance of Maine to write full time. He writes a weekly editorial page column in the Kennebec Journal and Waterville Morning Sentinel, a weekly travel column in those same newspapers (with his wife Linda), monthly columns in The Maine Sportsman magazine, two outdoor news blogs (one on his website,, and one on the website of the Bangor Daily News), and special columns for many publications and newsletters. Islandport Press published a book of George's favorite columns, "A Life Lived Outdoors" in 2014. In 2014, George also won a Maine Press Association award for writing the state's bet sports blog. In 2016, Down East Books published George's book, Maine Sporting Camps, and Islandport Press published George and his wife Linda's travel book, Take It From ME, about their favorite Maine inns and restaurants.