Dave Miller on Predator Workshop: “First Real Positive Efforts”
October 1, 2012
The Sportsman’s Alliance of Maine and Gerry LaVigne, sponsor and put on Maine’s first Predator Control Workshop. Below is a summation of that workshop by David Miller, who attended the workshop and was a presenter for the function.
On Saturday, September 29th, The Sportsman Alliance of Maine sponsored the first workshop addressing the need for and the methods required to control predators, which is one of several key factors causing the decline of the deer herds in the Western Mountains, Aroostook County, and Down East portions of Maine. The loss of these deer herds has resulted in a tremendous impact on the state’s rural economies. Deer hunting has for generations brought in millions of dollars annually to the state’s economy and been a welcomed addition of healthy meat to the family dinner table.
This work shop is one of the first real positive efforts to reverse the situation. The Maine sportsmen have not had much in the way of constructive support in stopping the downward spiral of the deer within the state. This workshop was the first big step in a statewide effort.
This day long work shop was the result of efforts by Dave Trahan of the SAM, Gerry Lavigne and the dedication and professionalism of the guest speakers and demonstrators from a cross section of well known “working outdoorsmen”, not the normal outdoor writers and politicians seen at many events like this. These keynote speakers were the hands on experts in their respective fields which included two MIF&W [Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife] personnel who addressed land owner relations and ethics, a firearms specialist who addressed firearms and ballistics commonly used in predator control work, and experts in their respective fields of predator calling, coyote hounding, coyote baiting/shooting shacks/and night hunting, and coyote trapping.
The SAM facility was packed with over one hundred concerned outdoorsmen who are fully supportive of efforts to reduce the predation of deer to a level where the herds will be able to recover. With the excellent results of this first step it is hopeful that this effort will continue at larger facilities across the state to stimulate the public in participating in these efforts.