According to preliminary numbers, hunters in Maine may have had one of the best years in decades. The numbers have already shown a significant increase over last year’s totals.
Hunters in Maine may have harvested the most deer this year since 1968. According to the Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife, 38,916 deer were harvested this year.
This would be a 17% increase over last year’s harvest, when 33,159 deer were harvested, Outdoor Life reports.
This year’s numbers are the highest since 1968, when 41,080 deer were harvested in the state.
State deer biologist Nathan Bieber told the news outlet, “The amount of available opportunity certainly factors in as well. With a lot of permits available to harvest does, especially bonus permits allowing hunters to take an antlerless deer and then continue to buck hunt, we’re hoping to see significantly more antlerless harvest.”
A record number of deer hunting permits were issued this year as well. A total of 153,910 free permits were issued, allowing residents to hunt multiple deer throughout the season (with restrictions).
While hunters have struggled in some northeastern states, Maine isn’t the only state seeing good numbers in 2021.
Fox News previously reported that 1,200 bears were already harvested in the state before the primary hunting season had officially begun. The season ran earlier this year from Nov. 20 thru Nov. 23.
This year’s hunt also provided hunters in the state with the opportunity to hunt on a Sunday.