AUGUSTA — Maine is known for its big deer, but some parts of the state are seeing a critical shortage of white tails.

As fish and game commissioner, Chandler Woodcock is leading efforts to restore the state’s cherished big game animal, which once roamed in greater abundance.

In an interview with The Associated Press, Woodcock said the problem lies in the west, north and east regions. Strategies to restore the sagging numbers include identifying and managing more deer yards, updating deer population goals, and controlling predators – particularly coyotes.

Woodcock says a working group including biologists and hunting experts will devise plans to control coyotes and choose participants in a limited night hunting program in areas where the predators are a serious problem.

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