June 10, 2023

If Pleas From Maine Hunters Won’t Spur More Action on Deer, Perhaps a Decimated Economy Will

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“We don’t care if we get a deer, but you want to see deer or at least deer tracks. Seems like they weren’t there anymore. We don’t know the reasons why. But now we go to Pennsylvania. They’re not big deer like up in Maine, but at least you see deer during the week.”

Those were the words quoted from an out-of-state hunter in the Morning Sentinel today. And that statement says it all.

Hunters have cried for many years now about a dwindling deer herd. Make no mistake about it, the back to back bad winters took their toll on deer but the problem has been around for a lot longer than that. I had hunters pleading with me to help them do something about fixing the deer problem in northern Maine long before snow began falling those two winters. But any pleading fell on deaf ears.

So, if the powers that be, that is those who have forgotten who pays their salaries, can’t in their hearts agree with the hunters what the problems are, then perhaps the notion that the annual $241 million dollars brought into the state is drying up will do the trick……but don’t hold your breath.

I haven’t had a good laugh in several days but I did this morning. Here’s what I read as it pertains to Maine lawmakers getting into the act to “fix the problem”: “It’s a problem that lawmakers and state officials hope to solve. Sen. Tom Martin, R-Benton, co-chair of the Legislature’s Inland Fisheries and Wildlife Committee, said the Legislature recognized the dire situation and appropriated $100,000 for Inland Fisheries and Wildlife to fix the problem in 2013.” (Emphasis Added)

I suppose that IS the problem. Latest rumor out of Augusta is that the windfall tax revenue, of about $1 million – coming to the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife (MDIFW) from Pittman-Robertson, much of it is going to be spent on fixing rifle ranges. I guess that’s the “dire situation” we are in. It’s so DIRE that rifle ranges are more important than addressing issues like habitat and predation. MDIFW doesn’t want to seriously discuss predator issues and have incessantly harped about loss of habitat and need to protect deer wintering areas and yet a mere $1 million should be spent on rifle ranges. Kick me in the head. I can’t make the connection.

Does Sen. Tom Martin really believe $100,000 is going to “fix the problem” or has somebody been stirring his Kool-Aid? Wouldn’t it be of vital interest to first agree on what the problem is that needs fixing?