Originally published in Compass, December 6, 2012
Deer season wraps up with fewer kills, local tagging stations report
“Everyone was seeing does, but you couldn’t legally shoot them”
by Anne Berleant
The firearm hunting season ended on November 26 and local tagging stations saw fewer deer than usual this year.
“[Hunters] were seeing deer,” said Jim Henry, who registers deer at Northern Bay Market in Penobscot. “Everyone was seeing does, but you couldn’t legally shoot them.”
Henry attributed this year’s lower numbers to the fact that fewer doe permits were issued. He registered 73 deer for the season, of which only 18 were does.
“It’s amazing,” he said. “This is down from the last several years… I’ve never been outside the hundred range.”
C&G Grocery in Sedgwick reported 26 does out of the 133 total tags issued. That number is down from last year, too, when the store registered 138 bucks and 23 does.
However, a low count doesn’t necessarily mean smaller deer.
Sue Dodge, of Brooksville, brought in an 18-point buck to Mike’s Market II in Blue Hill that tipped the scale at 225.5 pounds although she didn’t register it there.
The largest deer registered at Mike’s Market II was by Craig Hastings, of Blue Hill, a 10-point, 199 pound buck.
The newest local tagging station, Mike’s Market II registered 110 deer (and three bears). Debbie Tapley said the season “went quite well, considering we’re new to this.” With the only state-certified scale in the area, more came in than were registered, although Tapley prefers not to weigh the deer herself. “It wasn’t something I was willing to do,” she said.
At the Brooklin General Store, clerk Jo Horne said the biggest deer weighed in at 190 pounds, a nine-point buck brought in by Jay Pelletier. Horne did not know which town Pelletier hailed from. Average weights ran from 160 to 180 pounds, she said, with a total of 57 deer brought in for registering.
“I did tag a few myself,” Horne said. “The biggest rack we had was a 12-pointer.”
“We don’t weigh them” at Northern Bay Market, said Henry, “but we had two or three that had gone over 200 pounds.
Most were in the “smaller buck range,” he added, with crotch or spike horns. “Jody Sheehan had a nice one, an eight- or nine-pointer. I know it went up to 170.”