These whitetail does check out a nearby hunting party in northeast Somerset County during the moose hunt in October 2017. State biologists have recommended a 28 percent increase in any-deer permits for the 2018 hunting season. Credit: Pete Warner

Hunters who are hoping to increase their odds of harvesting a deer this fall are running out of time to enter the state’s any-deer permit lottery. The deadline is Wednesday, Aug. 15, at 11:59 p.m.

According to a Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife press release, the any-deer permit system gives state biologists the ability to adjust the state’s deer population by increasing or decreasing the number of breeding female deer on the landscape.

Hunters can enter the free lottery at

The permits are allotted in specific Wildlife Management Districts, and the possession of an any-deer permit allows the hunter to target does or fawns as well as antlered deer.

This year the state has proposed to allot an all-time high number of any-deer permits — 84,745. That number will be finalized by the commissioner’s advisory council on Aug. 23 and the drawing will be held on Sept. 7.

Maine deer hunters harvested 27,233 deer in 2017, a 15 percent increase over the previous year.

The deer harvest totals for the previous decade: 2016: 23,512; 2015: 20,325; 2014: 22,490; 2013: 24,217; 2012: 21,365; 2011: 18,365; 2010: 20,063; 2009: 18,092; 2008: 21,062; 2007: 28,885.

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John Holyoke

John Holyoke has been enjoying himself in Maine's great outdoors since he was a kid. He spent 28 years working for the BDN, including 19 years as the paper's outdoors columnist or outdoors editor. While...