AUGUSTA — Gov. Paul LePage and Maine’s top game official say they have a plan to replenish the state’s deer herd.

LePage and Game Commissioner Chandler Woodcock say a healthy deer herd is critical to Maine’s economy and heritage,

Northern, eastern and western Maine have been hit hardest by low deer numbers that have been a concern for two decades. Deer are abundant in southern and central Maine.

A plan presented today by LePage and Woodcock stresses the importance of recognizing and protecting deer yards. It also calls for landowner outreach to better manage deer wintering areas, more coyote control, and more warnings at deer crossing areas along highways,

Officials say healthy and abundant deer mean about $280 million to Maine’s economy, through both wildlife watching and deer hunting.