| If you think it’s still “summer” and there’s plenty of time to think about hunting season, consider this: Applications are now available for Maine’s 2004 any-deer permit lottery. Maine is a bucks-only state under the general rule for firearms deer hunting, so if you want the option of taking a doe (or buck with antlers less than 3 inches in length, hereafter referred to as an “antlerless deer”) this is the way to get it done. The deadline to submit this application is 11:59 p.m. EST Aug. 6, 2004 just around the corner, as they say!
Applicants applying to hunt on their own land without a license and applicants with a legal residence outside the U.S. or Canada must use a paper application and may not apply for an Any-Deer permit online. Paper applications should be available now. To obtain an application for 2004, call the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife at (207) 287-8000. There is no application fee to apply for the Any-Deer Permit.
Applicants may apply for permits to hunt antlerless deer in up to three wildlife management districts in order of preference. A permit holder may kill an antlerless deer only in the wildlife management district for which his or her permit is valid. Hunters not possessing an Any-Deer permit may hunt bucks only (antlers 3 inches or longer) anywhere in the state.
Applicants must possess a valid Maine license to hunt big game at the time they apply for an Any-Deer permit, unless they qualify to hunt on their own land under the Maine resident landowner provision.
Maine resident landowners may hunt without a license on their own land if they live on that particular piece of land, the piece of land exceeds 10 acres in size, and the land is used exclusively for agricultural purposes. A landowner whose hunting privilege is under revocation is not eligible to receive an Any-Deer permit or Bonus Deer permit. Landowners may enter the drawing by submitting a signed, landowner affidavit form with their application. Landowner affidavits are mailed to all landowners who applied with one the previous year. If you require a landowner affidavit form to apply, you may request one from the Department. An unlicensed resident landowner may apply for an Any-Deer permit or Bonus Deer permit only in the district where his or her qualifying land is located. If an unlicensed landowner is selected to receive a permit, the permit is valid only on the qualifying land, even if a hunting license is later acquired. In order for a permit to be valid anywhere in a district, a hunting license must be acquired prior to application and that license number used on the application.
Any private landowner is eligible for the landowner permit drawing if the person owns a particular piece of land that is 25 or more contiguous acres in size, is agricultural, forested or undeveloped land and is open to hunting, including hunting by permission. Any dependent living in the household of a qualifying landowner is eligible.
Qualifying landowners must complete the landowner permit application and the standard Any-Deer permit application (both included on the same application form - see exceptions above). The location of the qualifying property must be provided (tax map and lot number).
You do not have to apply in the same district where the 25+ acre parcel of land is located if you apply with a regular hunting license. The district choice on your application applies to both drawings.
You will automatically be included in the general permit drawing if you are unsuccessful in the special landowner drawing.
You must possess a valid Maine license to hunt big game at the time you apply for an Any-Deer permit or Bonus Deer permit, though there are exceptions. Residents may purchase a license online or from license agents throughout the state.
An applicant who applies with an archery license and receives a permit may take an antlerless deer with a firearm during the regular firearm season or muzzleloading season provided a valid firearms license is also possessed.
Any person who has been issued an Any-Deer Permit or a Bonus Deer Permit can transfer the permit to a junior hunter, a person 65 years of age or older, or to a person with ambulatory disabilities (suffering from the loss of, or the permanent loss of the use of, both lower extremities).
A resident permit may only be transferred to another resident, and a non-resident permit may only be transferred to another nonresident. Transfers may be done online until 11:59 p.m. Oct. 29th, 2004. Permits can also be transferred by completing the 2004 Any-Deer-Bonus Deer Permit Transfer Request Form that is mailed along with the permit. The Department must receive transfer request forms no later than Oct. 29, 2004. Allow at least one week for processing. Print a new Any-Deer-Bonus Deer Permit Transfer Request Form if you
have misplaced your original.
An Any-Deer-Bonus Deer permit winners will be allowed to swap their permits with another permit winner in order to swap hunting districts, however, Any-Deer permits may only be swapped for Any-Deer permits and Bonus Deer permits may only be swapped for Bonus Deer permits. Residents can only swap with residents, and non-residents can only swap with non-residents.
A complete listing of all 2004 Deer Permit winners and their mailing addresses is available by calling (207) 621-2600, Ext. 38. Swaps may be done online until 11:59 p.m. Oct. 29, 2004. Permits may also be swapped by completing the 2004 Any-Deer-Bonus Deer Permit Swap Request Form.
The permit swap fee is $8 (each person involved in the swap may pay $4 each for a total of $8 if desired).
Recipients of Any-Deer permits will be determined by a random drawing from among applications submitted by licensed hunters. The drawing will be held in September, and permits will be mailed to all successful applicants by late September. Successful Bonus Deer permit applicants will be notified by mail in late September-early October and must pay a $13 permit fee (in person or by mail) before receiving the Bonus Deer Permit. Applicants not selected in the drawing will not be notified.
To apply for a Bonus Deer Permit, enter 1 WMD choice in the "Bonus Deer Permit WMD Choice" box. Selection of permit holders will be done by WMD. Permittees will be chosen through chance drawings and will be assigned to a WMD using their preferences as indicated on their application. If you do not want to apply for an Any-Deer Permit but would like to apply for a Bonus Deer Permit if they become available, designate a WMD choice for a Bonus Deer Permit on the application. No WMD changes can be made after the drawing.
For more information, log onto the MDIFW’s Any-Deer Permit site at http://www.informe.org/ifw/nedeer/index.html.
There’s no question that tagging “a deer” in Maine has become somewhat more complicated of late. If you aren’t up to the paperwork challenge, you may still just purchase a firearms hunting license and take a buck with antlers over 3 inches in length. Of course, if you don’t have that “doe permit” in your pocket come November, how many bucks do you think you’ll see? Murphy knows, and so do you!