Deer Forecast-East

North Country

"All of Maine is about quality deer management," says state deer biologist Gerry Lavigne when asked about quality-buck areas in the Pine Tree State. He points to Wildlife Management Districts (WMDs) 17 and 23 in the central part of the state as having given up dozens of taxidermist-bound bucks in recent years. Also, WMD 17, comprising Penobscot, Somerset, Piscataquis and Kennebec counties, usually produces Maine's highest buck-kill each year. Maine's rugged North Country offers good trophy potential as well, particularly in WMDs 1 through 4. Whitetail densities are much lower in this remote region, but virtually nonexistent hunting pressure coupled with considerable winter mortality gives the area a high proportion of big, mature bucks. Maine's whitetail population is roughly 300,000. Last year, 3,600 bucks four years of age or older were taken along with a total of 21,422 antlered deer. Of those four-year-olds, 757 were 200-plus pounds.