In response to Val Philbrick’s letter, published in the July 6 edition, I would like to address two points.
First, the writer said that “More deer and moose are now co-mingling due to less deep snow in northern Maine.” Co-mingling has nothing to do with the depth of the snow. The longer deep snow is on the ground, the higher the winter mortality rate in deer because the deer can’t run from predators or find food in deep snow. According to the Big Game Management Plan 2017 published by the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife, there have not been any reported cases of chronic wasting disease in Maine. Chronic wasting disease is spread through contact with urine, feces, and saliva.
Second, the writer says that the increase in antler-less permits “would leave many fawns to fend for themselves over the winter.” This is not true. In the winter months, bucks and does, who are normally in segregated groups, “yard up” to protect against predators and to find food. The more experienced, older deer know the travel routes and where the best food sources are. The fawns are not fending for themselves.