Here’s what they hope to accomplish with new big game plans

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 The “expected outcomes” for Maine’s new big game management plans are ambitious, to say the least. A draft of these outcomes was distributed to DIF&W’s Big Game Management Steering Committee at its January 5 meeting, and Nate Webb, DIF&W’s staffer who is directing this process, provided me with a copy.

I think you will find these to be very interesting. But please remember, these are drafts, for discussion purposes only, at this point in the planning process. And you will note that in some of the expectations, they have yet to come up with a number.

Expected Outcomes – Big Game Management Plan

Wild Turkeys

A new method to track wild turkey population trends is implemented by 20XX.

The percentage of the general public that feels turkey populations should remain the same in the area where they lie increases to 70% by 2022.

The percentage of the public rating the management of wild turkeys as “excellent” or “good” increases to 60% by 2022.

The percentage of landowners that experience conflicts with turkeys within a 2 year period declines to less than 8% by 2022.

Public support for legal turkey hunting remains above 90%.

Annual hunter participation by adults increases to at least 20,000 by 2022.

Annual youth hunter participation of at least 3,000 hunters by 2027.

Statewide turkey hunter satisfaction remains above 90%.

Annual spring hunter success rate (harvesting at least one wild turkey) remains at or above 30%.

Deer

The statewide over-wintering population averages 210,000 animals.

The percentage of the public rating the management of deer as “excellent” or “good” increases to 75% by 2022.

Public support for deer hunting to manage the population remains at or above 90%.

Annual hunter participation greater or equal to 150,000 hunters.

Statewide hunter satisfaction with Maine’s Deer Management Program increases to 85% by 2022. Northeast Maine satisfaction greater than or equal to 80%. Central Maine hunter satisfaction greater than or equal to 85%. Southern Maine hunter satisfaction greater than or equal to 90%.

Maintain an average annual statewide buck harvest of at least 15,000 animals.

Seven year running average of the percentage of yearlings in the buck harvest remains below 50%.

Any-deer generally available in WMDs 15-17, 20-25, and 29, with permits issued in other WMDs during some years.

Number of landowners reporting conflicts with deer within a 2 year time period remains below 10%.

Maintain X% prevalence of Lyme Disease.

Maintain deer tick abundance below X ticks/m^2.

Maintain car-deer collisions below 3000 (?) per year… or number of deer crashes per 1m miles identified to the county level.

Bear

The statewide bear population is maintained between 25,000 and 45,000 bears.

The percentage of the public rating the management of bear as “excellent” or “good” increases to 65% by 2022.

Public support for legal bear hunting remains above 80%.

The 4 year running average of the statewide number of bear conflicts do not increase from current levels by more than 10%.

The 4 year running average of yearling weights is maintained above 35 pounds.

The 4 year running average of cub survival remains above 50%.

The number of hunters pursuing bears increases by 25% by 2022.

Statewide bear hunter satisfaction remains above 90%.

Moose

 The percentage of the public rating the management of moose as “excellent” or “good” increases to 70% by 2022.

The percentage of the public that feels the moose population should be increased declines to 10% by 2022.

Public support for legal moose hunting remains above 90%.

Public support for the harvest of female moose increases to greater than 75% by 2022.

Statewide moose hunter satisfaction remains above 90%.

Annual statewide hunter success rate remains at 60% or greater.

Maintain moose-vehicle collisions below XXXX per year.

Increase submission of moose hunter surveys and ovaries from antlerless moose by 50% by 2022.

The percent of the public that feels they know a great deal or moderate amount about moose increases by 10% by 2022.

Develop an improved understanding of the role of winter ticks and moose density in annual adult cow and calf survival rates.

Implement management actions to stabilize or decrease winter tick effects on moose mortality.

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