RUMFORD — Early deer kill numbers from the fall hunt indicate a good season in Western Maine at least, according to Chuck Hulsey, a state wildlife biologist in Strong.

His coverage district spans from Farmington to Bethel and the whole area between the two up to Rangeley.

“The Rumford tagging station — our biggest tagging station — keeps meticulous records and they are up a lot from last year, probably a 25 percent increase,” Hulsey stated in a Dec. 6 Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife biologists’ report.

“Hunting conditions for the season were pretty good for not having snow,” he said. “And throughout the season, I never got a complaint about the deer season, which is unusual.”

Deer season in western and southern central Maine ends on Saturday, when the state’s second week of muzzleloading hunting concludes.

In his deer search, Hulsey said Thursday by phone, it looked like the kill in his coverage area was about 20 percent higher than last year.

“That’s just a rough number,” he said. “I don’t have many meat cutters. I do almost all house-to-house search, so my deer numbers are low compared to the guys toward the south that do lots of deer and high-volume meat cutters.

“That’s the caveat,” he said. “My sample size is small, but I’d say it looked like 20 percent.”

Additionally, Hulsey said his coworker, wildlife biologist Bob Cordes, and a contractor the department hired to help check tagging stations and meat cutters that process deer taken by hunters, said the deer kill was up from last year.

Hulsey said there’s no reason to believe there were more deer hunters this year than last year to account for the increase, but there definitely were more deer this season.

Prior to the season start, Kyle Ravana, Maine’s deer biologist, estimated in an Oct. 31 department news release that if normal hunting conditions and hunter effort prevailed, this year’s deer kill would be in the 25,750 range. That’s a nearly 20 percent increase from last year’s kill.

Statewide numbers are not yet known.

According to the MDIF&W, the total deer kill for the past decade was: 2012 — 21,553; 2011 — 18,839; 2010 — 20,063; 2009 — 18,092; 2008 — 21,062; 2007 — 28,885; 2006 — 29,918; 2005 — 28,148; 2004 — 30,926; 2003 — 30,313.

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