Even IF, and it’s a bit IF, the Maine Legislature passed any kind of constitutional amendment that some think would protect the right of Maine residents to hunt and fish, it won’t do any such thing without the needed nitty, gritty wording.
What little effort has gone into creating a proposal to protect that outdoor heritage, not only has any proposed language been mostly useless, there has been little support, even from the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife (MDIFW). MDIFW wouldn’t support such an amendment, or at least one that is worded in a way that mandates the department of manage game for surplus harvest. God forbid they should do such a thing…a thing that might anger the environmentalists, of which most employees of MDIFW appear to be environmentalists, more interested in piping plovers than managing deer and moose for surplus harvest to continue providing a resource for hungry hunters.
In George Smith’s recent article he states: “Dave Trahan, Executive Director of the Sportsman’s Alliance of Maine, asked the committee to consider a new Constitutional amendment to protect hunting. He said he’s researching amendments in other states, including the language used in those amendments.”
Why is it that any proposals for a constitutional amendment have to be based on what other states, who have those amendments, used for words? Will this “research” include communicating with those who proposed the amendments, i.e. what they wanted and what they settled for? And will this “research” include talking with sportsmen to find out if the amendment has worked and what would be better if changed? Just because somebody else used it doesn’t mean it is what is best for Maine.
I know of a few states that “settled” for some watered down version that amounted to nothing. Its only purpose then became a bit of leverage where outdoor sportsmen could state that voters approved an amendment to protect hunting and fishing by XXXX percentage of voters. In the meantime, state fish and game departments are struggling to provide “opportunity” and failing at managing game herds.
I’ve explained before that a constitutional amendment is useless if it does not have wording that requires the managing department to grow game populations for surplus harvest. To simply state that the department will provide hunting and fishing opportunity is meaningless. An “opportunity” might be as little as 500,000 hunters vying for 5 tags to hunt deer. What an “opportunity!”
It is puzzling, that we now live in a society where it seems more profitable to that society to protect immoral and unproductive lifestyles rather than promote wholesome ways of living carried down through generations. We are often asked if we think this country is headed in the right direction. Of course it isn’t. When there lacks the support to protect a valuable heritage, what then does our future look like?
Maine people must understand that if a serious attempt at passing an amendment, with any teeth at all, fails as miserably as in the past, the resounding message then becomes, Maine has no more interest in outdoor heritage. Hunting, fishing and trapping will end and Maine will continue to pour its resources into gay marriage, animal rights, welfare, illegal immigration, etc. etc. etc.
Maine needs to get it right.