Antlerless Deer Permit

Antlerless Deer Permit Update – RESCHEDULED

We apologize for the antlerless deer permit webpage issues on October 5 and are currently assessing what caused the site to go down. No one was able to purchase a permit.

We are rescheduling the permits to go for sale on Tuesday, October 11 at 11:00 AM.

We share in your frustrations and apologize for the inconvenience. We look forward to better serving you next week.

On this page:

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 beginning Tuesday, October 11 at 11:00 AM.

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.

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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

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Claim and Purchase your Permit

Claiming your Permit through the Lottery

Antlerless deer permit recipients will be posted on the MDIFW website on September 1, 2022. Permits must be claimed and paid for by September 29, 2022 11:59 PM.

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.

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Purchase a Permit Online

First come, first served antlerless deer permits will be available for purchase online only beginning 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.

If you received a permit through the lottery and wish to purchase a second antlerless deer permit, you may purchase a second antlerless deer permit online.

If antlerless deer permits still remain after the start of the firearms season, a hunter may purchase 1 additional permit. Hunters will be notified of the opportunity to purchase additional permits on the MDIFW website in early November.

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When an Antlerless Deer Permit is Required

Chart showing deer hunting bag limits when hunting with guns or muzzleloaders

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.

Chart showing deer hunting bag limits when hunting with archery/crossbows

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): Junior hunters may take one antlered deer statewide. Junior hunters may take antlerless deer without a permit in designated WMDs (in 2022 all WMDs/Subunits allow the take of antlerless deer without an antlerless permit) on the Youth Deer Hunting Day.

  • 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.

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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
1 0 Yes No 17 10,790 Yes Yes
2 0 Yes No 18 285 Yes Yes
3 25 Yes No 19 25 Yes No
4 0 Yes No 20 4,845 Yes Yes
5 0 Yes No 21 11,510 Yes Yes
6 120 Yes No 22 11,380 Yes Yes
7 455 Yes No 23 14,570 Yes Yes
8 255 Yes No 24 8,345 Yes Yes
9 60 Yes No 25 15,255 Yes Yes
10 25 Yes No 26 2,030 Yes Yes
11 60 Yes No 27 180 Yes No
12 380 Yes Yes 28 0 Yes No
13 430 Yes Yes 29 1,995 Yes Yes
14 285 Yes No 25a 255 Yes Yes
15 6,550 Yes Yes 26a 205 Yes Yes
16 6,025 Yes Yes Total Permits: 96,340

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Frequently Asked Questions

If you have additional questions about antlerless deer permits, please email ifw.webmaster@maine.gov

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?

Permits awarded through the lottery may be purchased from September 1 - September 29, 2022 at 11:59 PM. Permits that are not claimed by the deadline or permits that were not allocated during the lottery (if there were more permits available than applicants in that WMD) will be sold in October.

First come, first served antlerless deer permits will be available for purchase online only beginning 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.

If you received a permit through the lottery and wish to purchase a second antlerless deer permit, you may purchase a second antlerless deer permit.

If antlerless deer permits still remain after the start of the firearms season, a hunter may purchase 1 additional permit. Hunters will be notified of the opportunity to purchase additional permits on the MDIFW website in early November.

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, they are still required to purchase their antlerless deer permit.

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?

Purchased Permit Lookup

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 ifw.webmaster@maine.gov 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.