AUGUSTA, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- Maine's deer herd has been decimated in Western, Northern and Eastern parts of the state. The state is scrambling to put a plan in place to rebuild the herd, but it could take a half a century.
Land use, predators and the weather have all played a roll in the lessening numbers. Commissioner of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife Chandler Woodcock said his department will address two out of three.
"We don't have control over all of the elements. Obviously, the winter severity is a real concern because we've had three of the most difficult winters of the last sixty yrs in the last decade," Woodcock told NEWS CENTER. "That has impacted numbers significantly."
The department is putting together "Maine's Game Plan for Deer" and expects to release it on Thursday. It will attempt to bring together a number of stakes holders with the idea of rebuilding Maine's deer herd in the years ahead.
Coyotes are a particular problem. The commissioner indicated his willingness to pay hunters to go into remote areas to shoot coyotes. That's sure to be a controversial part of the plan. Even considering such an action publicly demonstrates that Maine's new leadership is serious about the problem.
The commissioner's comments give Maine hunters their first idea of how important their concerns are to new Governor Paul LePage.
"The governor is very supportive of IF and W. I think that's important for us hunters to appreciate because although he hasn't been a fisherman or hunter,he is supportive of it.