BAR HARBOR — The town managers of the four Mount Desert Island municipalities will ask their elected officials to consider sending a questionnaire to registered voters asking if they would support hunting as a way to control the island’s burgeoning deer population.
Tremont town manager Millard Billings raised the issue at the Acadia-area League of Towns board meeting in Bar Harbor on Tuesday.
He said he recently attended a meeting at which Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife (IFW) officials discussed what appears to be a large increase in the number of deer on MDI in recent years. According to the IFW officials, Billings said, deer are invading residential neighborhoods because they are being driven out of less developed areas by the growing coyote population.
“They recommended first having a depredation hunt [for the purpose of thinning the deer herd] just for island residents so that the island isn’t overrun by people from all over the state coming to get free deer,” Billings said. “Then we could open it up and just follow the state [hunting] laws after that.”