Tracking bears, highest turkey harvest in years: Maine biologists present wildlife report 2021


From focused harvest data to research and management updates, the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife’s Research and Management Report has published a comprehensive look at how wildlife biologists monitor the state’s wildlife and implement innovative tools to ensure effective management and protection for each Kind in the region to ensure state of Maine.

Click here to view the 2020-2021 Research and Management Report.

Click here to view harvest dates for the summer and fall 2021 hunting season.

What to expect in the report:

female black bear with cubs

Black bear

With one of the largest and longest-running programs of its kind in the United States, MDIFW biologists have captured and tracked over 3,000 black bears in the past 45 years. These data provide vital information about the health and condition of bears, an estimate of the number of cubs born each year, and cause-specific mortality rates. Get an inside look at how MDIFW biologists work to maintain a stable black bear population across the state with methodological seasons, permits, and pocket restrictions.



The wildlife biologists at MDIFW describe the Adaptive Management Hunt, which was implemented in 2021, and outline the intensive work of the study on the survival of Moose Adult Cow and Calf. Learn about Maine moose reproduction, biological data collection, and how permit assignments are developed to help protect healthier moose across the state.


Fur bearer

Furbearers, the most diverse group of harvested species in Maine, are made up of predators, prey, strayers, and keystone species. Active fur management, including modern regulated trapping, plays an important role in the success of other wildlife. This year’s R&M report describes how the regulated harvest of these species is helping to reduce disease and parasites in populations, increasing the survival of endangered and threatened species by reducing predation, and providing biological data for nationwide surveillance requirements.


White-tailed deer

With five structured deer hunting seasons, the R&M 2020-2021 report provides insight into the number of permits issued across the state, the makeup of the sex and age of deer hunting in 2020, and the efforts of our dedicated hunters. The report details the valuable data collected from harvested deer to assess the condition and health of the state’s deer population, the collection of biological data and its contribution to chronic waste disease monitoring, and ongoing advances in the deer winter mortality study.


Wild turkey

After a successful year of wild turkey reproductive years, the 2020 fall season resulted in the highest wild turkey harvest since the 2002 fall season. The adaptive harvest management system has provided harvest recommendations for seasons with the flexibility to adjust as annual and periodic data is collected on Maine’s wild turkeys. Find out more about wild turkey research projects and the biological data that the wildlife biologists at MDIFW support in the management process in the R&M report 2020-2021.


Migratory birds

With more than 20 migratory bird species, the collaboration of MDIFW and the US Fish and Wildlife Service is essential to monitor and evaluate the harvest for each species. Take a quick look at the waterfowl crop estimates in the R&M 2020-2021 report.

2021-2022 wildlife conservation projects and data will be available in the next research and management report. To view previous reports and updates on small mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians, invertebrates, and more, please visit


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