No one speaks at hearing on any-deer permit increase

The Fish and Wildlife Advisory Council has unanimously approved a substantial increase in any-deer permits. A total of 84,745 permits will be issued to meet DIFW’s harvest objective of 8,909 does.

That’s an increase of 28% from the permits issued last year. And apparently we are all in favor of this increase.

The department held a public hearing on June 26 and only two members of the public attended and no testimony was given. The department did receive 57 written comments by email with some in favor and some opposed. The department also said it received questions or ideas not relevant to the proposal.

The Advisory Council also modified the language in the rules for youth hunting days for deer to clarify that the adult supervisor may carry a handgun, but not for the purpose of hunting while accompanying youth hunters. This rule change was initiated by the legislature this year.

The department noted that the winter of 2017 – 18 was mild to moderate in central and southern Maine and severe in northern Maine. This resulted in increased permit numbers in southern WMDs and continued moderate to no permits being issued in northern WMDs.

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.