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Antlerless Deer Permit
On this page:
- About Antlerless Deer Permits
- How to Apply for an Antlerless Deer Permit
- Claim and Purchase your Permit
- Purchase a Permit Online
- When an Antlerless Deer Permit is Required
- Permit Allocations and Areas Allowing Antlerless Harvest without a Permit
- Frequently Asked Questions
About Antlerless Deer Permits
Beginning in 2022, a licensed hunter with an antlerless deer permit can harvest an antlerless deer in the designated district and an antlered deer statewide. Antlerless deer permits may be acquired through the lottery, and any remaining permits will be available for purchase on the MDIFW website.
There is no fee to apply to the antlerless deer permit lottery. After the lottery drawing, successful applicants must claim and purchase the permit for $12 (plus $2 agent fee).
Proceeds from the antlerless deer permit fee will help fund the purchase and management of deer wintering areas (DWAs), primarily in northern Maine. Deer wintering areas are a critical habitat for white-tailed deer living at the northern end of their range.
How to Apply for an Antlerless Deer Permit
Apply to the annual Antlerless Deer Permit Lottery
Antlerless deer permit lottery applications are accepted online only. The 2022 lottery opened late June and closed August 1, 2022 at 11:59 PM.
If you do not have access to a computer or the Internet at home, we would suggest:
- Using a computer at your local library
- Using a computer at work during lunch or a break
- Asking a friend or relative with a computer for help in applying
There is no fee to apply for an antlerless deer permit. If you receive a permit you must pay the $12 permit fee and $2 agent fee to claim the permit.
To apply for an antlerless deer permit, you must possess a valid Maine license to hunt big game.
Exceptions: See Maine resident landowners or paraplegic license. Learn how to apply for a super pack antlerless deer permit.
You may enter up to two (2) WMD or deer management subunit choices for your permit in order of preference.
Applicants with a legal residence outside the United States or Canada cannot apply online. Those wishing to apply will need to contact the Department at (207) 287-8000 for help in applying.
Learn More about the Antlerless Deer Permit Lottery
Claim and Purchase your Permit
Claiming your Permit through the Lottery
Antlerless deer permit recipients will be posted on the MDIFW website.
If the permit recipient does not claim their permit, that permit will be forfeited and sold to another person.
Permit recipients will receive their permit number upon payment to claim their permit. The permit number is required when registering deer.
Permit recipients will be notified by email but will not receive a permit or transportation tags via mail.
Super pack license holders still need to claim their permit but will not be charged the permit fee if the permit was awarded during the super pack drawing. Learn more about super pack antlerless deer permits.
Purchase a Permit Online
First come, first served antlerless deer permits are available to purchase online only after the lottery drawing. All hunters, including those who did not apply to the lottery, those who received a permit through the lottery, and those that applied to the lottery but did not receive a permit through the lottery, may purchase an antlerless deer permit online on a first come, first served basis.
When an Antlerless Deer Permit is Required
Regular Firearms Season and Muzzleloader Seasons: During these seasons, only those hunters possessing an antlerless deer permit may hunt antlerless deer and bucks with antlers less than three inches in length; other hunters are restricted to hunting bucks with antlers three inches or more in length.
Regular Archery and Crossbow Season: During the regular archery and crossbow season on deer (does not include expanded archery), bucks may be taken statewide. Antlerless deer may be taken without a permit in designated Wildlife Management Districts (WMDs)/subunits.
Antlerless deer taken without a permit during the regular archery and crossbow season are not additional to the buck that is granted by the archery hunting license.
Hunters who possess an antlerless deer permit may take an additional deer, which must be antlerless, in the WMD/subunit designated on their permit.
Youth Deer Hunting Day (October 22, 2022): On Youth Day, junior hunters may take one antlered deer OR one antlerless deer statewide (without a permit).
- If a junior hunter takes an antlered deer on Youth Deer Hunting Day, they are prohibited from taking additional deer unless they have antlerless deer permits or participate in the expanded archery season (designated areas only) with appropriate expanded archery permits.
- If a junior hunter takes an antlerless deer without an antlerless deer permit on Youth Deer Hunting Day, they are prohibited from taking an antlered deer or additional antlerless deer unless they have antlerless deer permits or participate in the expanded archery season (designated areas only) with appropriate expanded archery permits.
Expanded Archery Season: Those seeking expanded archery antlerless permits do not need to apply to the lottery. Expanded archery hunters must use expanded archery permits. Learn more about expanded archery season on deer.
Permit Allocations and Areas Allowing Antlerless Harvest without a Permit
Antlerless Deer Permit Allocations by Wildlife Management District (WMD)/subunit for 2022 and Antlerless Harvest without a Permit During the Youth Day and Regular Archery and Crossbow Deer Hunting Seasons
The number of antlerless deer permits to be allocated for each WMD or deer management subunit will not exceed the numbers listed below. The WMDs or deer management subunits in which antlerless harvest without a permit is allowed during the Youth Day and regular archery and crossbow deer hunting seasons are designated below in the “Youth Day Antlerless w/out Permit” and “Reg. Archery Antlerless w/out Permit” columns.
|WMD or Subunit||# of Permits||Youth Day- Antlerless w/out Permit||Reg. Archery- Antlerless w/out Permit||WMD or Subunit||# of Permits||Youth Day- Antlerless w/out Permit||Reg. Archery- Antlerless w/out Permit|
|16||6,025||Yes||Yes||Total Permits: 96,340|
Frequently Asked Questions
If you have additional questions about antlerless deer permits, please email email@example.com
How will proceeds from the antlerless deer permit fee be used?
$12 from each permit will be deposited into the Maine Deer Management Fund, the $2 agent fee will cover administrative costs. Proceeds from this permit will help fund the acquisition and management of deer wintering areas (DWAs), primarily in northern Maine. Deer wintering areas are a critical habitat for white-tailed deer living at the northern end of their range. A DWA is the habitat where deer go year after year to avoid harsh winter winds and deep snow. Any acquired lands will also be managed as public Wildlife Management Areas (WMAs) open to public recreation.
The charge will appear on your credit card statement as "ME IFW ATV SNOW REG", which is how the funds are coded into the system. All funds from antlerless deer permits go to the Maine Deer Management Fund.
When can I purchase a permit online?
First come, first served antlerless deer permits have been available for purchase online only since Tuesday, October 11 at 11:00 AM. All hunters, including those who did not apply to the lottery, those who received a permit through the lottery, and those that applied to the lottery but did not receive a permit through the lottery, may purchase an antlerless deer permit online on a first come, first served basis.
Beginning Thursday, November 17 at 10:00 AM, all hunters will be able to purchase a third antlerless deer permit online, for a total of three antlerless deer permits.
Hunters who were issued a permit through the lottery and claimed their permit by the deadline can purchase four antlerless deer permits total (one through the lottery, and three online).
Hunters who were not issued a permit through the lottery and/or who have not yet purchased an antlerless deer permit online may do so at any time and do not need to wait until November 7.
Antlerless deer permits will be sold online only.
Are hunters that are over 70, junior hunters, landowners, or those with a qualifying complimentary hunting license required to purchase their antlerless deer permit?
Yes, hunters over 70, junior hunters, and landowners are still required to purchase their antlerless deer permit.
Complimentary Paraplegic Hunting License Holders: Those who have a complimentary paraplegic hunting license do not need to apply for an antlerless deer permit as their license grants the right to an antlerless deer from any wildlife management district (WMD) where antlerless deer permits are allocated. Beyond this first granted antlerless deer, additional permits must be purchased.
Do I need to use my antlerless deer permit before I can purchase another through the website?
No. You are not required to use your antlerless deer permit before you purchase another; you may hold multiple antlerless deer permits at one time.
Are bonus permits still available?
MDIFW is no longer issuing “bonus permits.” Antlerless deer permits that have been allotted that are not issued during the one-round lottery or paid for by the recipient will become available for purchase by any hunter, for the same fee.
Can I swap or transfer my antlerless deer permit?
Antlerless deer permits may not be swapped or transferred.
I purchased a permit, but do not know my permit number. Where can I find it?
My name is spelled wrong on my permit, what do I do?
If your name was spelled incorrectly, you will need to enter it incorrectly to purchase your permit. After you purchase your permit, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and the Department will correct it.
Do I need to enter the lottery and pay for the permit if I have a super pack hunting license?
Super pack license holders must apply to the antlerless deer permit lottery.
If super pack license holders are awarded a super pack antlerless deer permit through the lottery, they must claim the permit but will not need to pay the fee. If the permit recipient does not claim their permit by the deadline, that permit will be forfeited and sold to another person. If the permit was acquired during the regular lottery drawing and not the super pack drawing, the recipient must pay the fee.
How do I know if I received a regular lottery antlerless deer permit or a super pack antlerless deer permit? Look in the far right "Superpack" column of the lottery results. If there is a “Yes”, you received a super pack permit and do NOT need to pay (you still must claim the permit). If there is a “No” in the Superpack column, you received an antlerless permit during the regular lottery permit drawing and MUST pay for the permit.
Learn more about the antlerless deer permit lottery for super pack license holders.
What is considered an antlered vs. an antlerless deer?
An antlered deer is considered a deer with antlers three inches or longer.
An antlerless deer is any deer which does not have antlers or any deer which has antlers less than three inches in length measured from the skull.
Why am I only able to choose 2 districts on my application?
With the new lottery system, the Department’s goal is to make sure people are receiving a permit in the district that you want to hunt in. Adding more district selections increases the likelihood of someone getting a permit that will not be used.