The mild winter in the Northeast was good for deer, until now.
With the mild winter in the very northeast region of the country, specifically Vermont, NH, and Maine, more deer were able to survive throughout the normally brutal time of the year.
Patrick Whittle of the AP reported that the deer laden states up north are going to be issuing more hunting permits this year, because so many more deer survived an easy winter season.
Defending the decision to increase permits, wildlife regulators with the states constitute that the uptick in permits given out isn’t simply to appease deer hunters. They say it is critical to prevent the deer herd from growing to the point where it becomes a problem, which can happen if they aren’t kept in check. If there is unchecked growth due to a higher number of deer surviving easier winters, it can lead to more traffic accidents and food competition between the deer resulting in starvation.
Not only are the states issuing more permits, they are increasing them significantly, especially Vermont and Maine.
Maine’s wildlife regulators may increase the number of permits by as much as 60 percent, which would be up more than 45,000. State deer biologist Kyle Ravana said the majority of the extra permits will be issued in southern Maine, where a higher number of deer survived. Maine has about 210,000 whitetail deer, which are near the northern edge of their range in the state.
Vermont is going to issue almost 19,000 antlerless deer permits this year, which is nearly twice as many as last year. Vermont deer management program leader Nick Fortin explained that the harvest management tool in certain parts of the state where there is too many deer or there is a need to prevent the herd from growing any further.
In New Hampshire, deer permits are issued for the southeastern part of the state, and those will increase by a small amount. State officials have said they expect hunters to exceed last year’s deer harvest of 10,895.
Winter can have a big effect on deer population. If you live in one of these states, this season could be one to get more meat in your freezer.