August 22, 2019

Maine Not “All In” In Commitment To Restore Deer Herd But We Should be Encouraged

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According to George Smith, blogger and former executive director for the Sportsman’s Alliance of Maine, the Maine Legislative Appropriations Committee, approved a supplemental spending budget for the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife (MDIFW) for $350,000, of which $100,000 is supposed to be used for “LD 372, An Act to Reduce Deer Predation”.

On January 24, 2012, in an article comparing efforts by outdoor sportsmen groups from Maine and Utah, I seriously questioned whether or not promises made by Maine’s Governor Paul LePage, during his gubernatorial campaign, was all talk and no action.

If Maine and the governor honestly are committed to the rebuilding of the deer herd to keep a vibrant industry providing jobs and upholding traditions and heritage, the value of investment would be realized and the Governor and Legislature would find the money to kill a lot of coyotes, reduce bear populations, protect wintering habitat, etc.

To continue my expounding on the doubts of Maine’s total commitment to deer hunting as a necessary part of that state’s economy, along with the long and storied heritage that has been a part of what makes Maine great, on March 15, 2012, I exposed MDIFW’s sparce commitment due to it’s lack of a publicly written and easily accessed “mission statement.

In all honesty, how can the people of Maine feel any kind of certainty that MDIFW is committed to managing it’s game population for surplus harvest, if they cannot publicly state that? Not doing so only leads us to believe that is NOT their goal and as such, why throw away tax dollars for MDIFW’s wildlife hobbies?

On March 28, 2012, I wrote an article in which I questioned whether Maine was “all in” when it comes to this commitment to rebuild a deer herd. I asked many questions.

So, where is Maine’s commitment? What has IFW done? Are there studies that could be done with a commitment of money? Who is finding that money? What has the governor done? When was the last time that senators Snowe and Collins got involved in Maine’s commitment to restore the deer herd? If Sen. Reid can find millions of dollars, can we assume that Snowe and/or Collins could as well? Have all Maine’s hunters and trappers and outdoor sportsman’s groups anted up?

If the commitment is lacking, then perhaps there is also lacking a firm belief in the seriousness of the problem. Or, the belief exists but a poor job of selling and recruiting all influential people stands in the way.

On May 1, 2012, I wrote:

I am assuming, which might be a mistake, that before the Governor and MDIFW made a public announcement of their commitment to rebuild Maine’s deer herd, they crunched some numbers and explored all aspects of the hunting industry in order to decide whether or not declaring “all in” was an investment that was responsible and in the best interest of the people of Maine.

Surprising many, the Maine Appropriations Committee has coughed up $138,000 on two programs to be used to directly or indirectly help the deer herd. It’s now up to the Governor to sign these bills. Will he?

If Gov. LePage signs these bills, it will be far from “all in” but it would be far more encouraging than the crickets we were hearing prior to this and no positive words that any money would be available.

I suggest sportsmen get on the phone and email and let the governor’s office know you urge him to sign these bills.

Tom Remington

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