Maine Bowhunters


Enclosed are facts about deer management and how ethical bowhunting provides a viable option for deer management.



Purpose: To inform, educate, and communicate the relationships between deer management, landowners and bowhunting.


Populated  areas of Maine where human habitation prevents or limits the use of firearms for hunting creates an overpopulation of deer, resulting in: Destruction of habitat, and increased human / deer contact in adverse ways, endangering human life, health and property.


  • Mature does will regularly give birth to twins yearly.
  • Single and triplet fawns are not uncommon.
  • Two deer without predation can produce a herd of up to135 deer in 7 years.
  • Deer can live up to 18 years.
  • Food types include grasses, shrubs, leaves, needles and "mast" from oak, beech, and apple trees.
  • In areas of overpopulation, deer can cause an "over browsing" effect which destroys most plant species up to six feet destroying the forest renewal process. Gardens, plants and shrubs can also be destroyed.
  • Undernourished deer are smaller- weaker and prone to die from starvation. This is not good for the environment nor is it good stewardship of the animals.
  • Deer require 10-12 pounds of food each day for most of the year.
  • In late winter their diet is supplemented by their stored fat.
  • This is usually the time when overpopulated deer herds extend their range into back yards to consume your shrubs and plants! However, this can happen at any time of year!
  • When deer run out of stored fat and available browse they start to metabolize their bone marrow and starvation is eminent.
  • Deer are ruminants and have multi chambered stomachs similar to cows.
  • Deer establish a home range and will not leave it.
  • Deer are known to starve or drown rather than leave their home range. Example: The islands along Maine's coast and many coastal communities suffer this problem, right now!


  • Deer, being adaptable, learn to live around humans and the "edges" we create.
  • Deer are crepuscular (feeding mostly at dawn and dust) and /or nocturnal, (feeding only at night) especially if pressured.
  • Farmers, orchardist, foresters and nurserymen suffer crop damage from deer.
  • Car collisions result in property loss, personal injury and occasional human fatalities, adding to our increased insurance and medical cost.
  • Deer are host to the tick that carries Lyme Disease.
  • Failure to manage the deer herd makes forest and land management nearly impossible.
  • Forests fail to regenerate when deer exceed 40 per square mile.


Attempts to manage deer through repellents, fencing, relocation and birth control have proven unsuccessful. Deer adapt to repellents, and find ways around/through fences. Relocation causes 80% death due to shock; and all birth control attempts have proven unsuccessful.


Hunting provides immediate population reduction. It is a part of the natural predation process. Man is, after all a predator, highest in the Food Chain. Although most hunters prefer to hunt bucks, Bowhunters tend to shoot more does. In overpopulated areas, more does need to be removed; hence extra doe permits may be required and appropriate. This keeps the herd diverse and viable and at a size which is compatible to the carrying capacity of the habitat, and within the human tolerance level. Hunting allows for more beneficial use of the resource. Most hunters eat what they kill or give it away to others who do. In Maine a law has been passed to legalize the use of deer meat (venison) in soup kitchens or to feed the need programs. Reference : Hunters for The Hungry, telephone number 1-800-4DEERME and Sportsman Against Hunger,, (207) 353-6547.


  • Bowhunting is a low profile method of hunting deer.
  • The average shot is less than 20 yards or 60 feet.
  • A safe and effective way to hunt in heavily populated area's close to houses, farms and roads.
  • Bows and bowhunters are quite and unobstrusive; not disturbing inhabitants of the area.
  • Bows in use today are extremely effective and will shoot a razor sharp broadhead tipped arrow completely through a deer causing massive and immediate hemorrhaging.
  • The resulting blood loss causes dulling of the senses and death is painless and swift.
  • If a deer is wounded it immediately secretes hormones (endorphins) from the brain which dull pain and promote rapid healing.
  • These same endorphins allow non fatally injured deer to recover quickly from the clean cutting wound of a broadhead.
  • A scientific study "Aspects of Wounding White Tailed Deer by Bowhunters" written by Wendy Krueger in 1995 revealed that less than 13% of bow shot deer are not recovered (many of these deer survive their wounds).
  • Bowhunting is a popular and challenging method of hunting with the emphasis on hunting.
  • Bowhunting is recognized by the F&W Departments throughout the United States as a sound game management tool.
  • Bowhunters account for less than 5% of the deer harvested in Maine.
  • The MBA teaches and supports ethical bowhunting behavior. Our members pledge to uphold and obey the laws of the State of Maine, to hunt in a safe and ethical manner, and to respect landowners.

When you permit members of the MBA to hunt on your land, you will host good citizens and concerned bowhunters, who will respect you, your property and the game they hunt.

If you think bowhunting can be a viable solution to your deer management problem please contact:


P.O. BOX 5026 AUGUSTA, MAINE 04332

We will have a local member of the MBA meet with you and work on a bowhunting solution to your problem.

Please visit our sponsor
Please visit our sponsor
Please visit our sponsor


Audette's Ace Hardware
22 Peck Farm Road, Winthrop, ME 04364

Ben's Trading Post
719 Main Street
Presque Isle, ME 04769
click here.

LL Bean
95 Main Street
Freeport, ME 04032
click here.

Maine Seed Company
263 Pulcifur Road
Mapleton, ME 04757
click here.

Old Town Archery Shop
300 Main St., Old Town, ME 04468
click here.