Maine wildlife biologists say the state's deer herd can stand more hunting pressure in the wake of a mild winter and recent permit cutbacks.


The biologists are proposing an increase to the state's "any deer" hunting permits of 59 percent. The permit hike would increase the total number by nearly 17,000.

The state cut back permits by 23 percent last year after harsh back-to-back winters that culled the herd.

The Portland Press Herald reports most of the added permits would be distributed in southern and central Maine. An advisory committee will vote on the number of permits in July.

The "any deer" permits are given out via a lottery. They allow hunters to harvest deer of either sex.