Following a warmer-than-usual winter season, the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife is proposing big changes for the 2016 deer hunting season.  Across 18 of Maine’s 29 wildlife management areas, the department is proposing 45,755 any-deer permits for deer hunters this fall.

“Last year’s winter was more moderate in many areas of the state, and the increase in the number of any-deer permits reflect that,” MDIFW wildlife biologist Kyle Ravana told The Courier Gazette.

The any-deer permit is run through a lottery system in the state of Maine that grants successful applicants the opportunity to shoot, as the name suggests, any deer.  Applicants can choose up to three preferred management zones for consideration during the application process.  Those that are not successful in obtaining an any-deer permit are only able to kill antlered deer.

Only a year ago, there were only 28,770 of these permits available to hunters and the recently proposed numbers represent a whopping 60 percent increase in these types of permits.

Hunters in the state average around 20,000 kills per hunting season, and the state effectively utilizes this program to properly manage the whitetail population.

The application period for any-deer tags is now open.  The deadline for paper applications is July 29, while online applicants have until August 15th to apply on the Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife’s website.