November 23, 2017

What Kind of Lazy-Ass Hunting is This?

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One proposed bill in Maine concerning deer hunting is LD 62, an act that would legalize hunting deer over bait. Most already know I oppose this as it is not a necessary tool to keep deer populations in check, among other things, and I also find it ridiculous that it is legal to plant a “food crop” specifically for deer and hunt over that, as somehow being that much different than hunting over a pile of bait. Instead of increasing the ability to bait, it’s time MDIFW enacted a law making it illegal to hunt over food crops – those specifically planted at deer bait.


In George Smith’s article about discussion at the committee level on LD 62, there are two distinct comments/testimony made by those in attendance that readers should pay attention to.

One is a man named Guy Randlett, described as a Maine Guide who, among other things, said this: “Sitting in a nice dry ground blind in a comfortable chair from dawn till dusk only enhances it all for me.”

The second testimony is that of Dave Kelso, who favored passage of the bill. Among many issues he presented, he stated: “By allowing baiting for deer, landowners would be in a position to charge a lease fee for bait sites.” In addition, this: “The way that we hunt in Maine is changing and is going to change even more just in my lifetime. Leases and hunt clubs are going to come to Maine. You are going to be hearing about antler restrictions. With limited land and the possibility of having to judge a deer before pulling the trigger, baiting only makes sense to allow everyone an equal opportunity.”

If this is the direction that Maine wants to take its deer hunting, count me out. I realize that each hunter has his own preferences for hunting within the laws that regulate it. I would not suggest denying anybody of those choices. However, what is being described here, as though it is something good, in no way resembles the traditional deer hunting I grew up with. Not unlike catch and release fishing, I find lounging in a recliner waiting for a buck with big enough antlers to satisfy one’s qualifications of “trophy” as being quite perverse.

Because hunting deer while sitting in a blind with all the modern conveniences, staring at a bait pile, is an indication of how deer hunting is changing, I would suggest that, unless I’m the only one left alive who likes traditional deer hunting, we do everything in our power to stop this “progressive” change that will bastardize a once precious tradition.

  • Ian

    This here covers your lease and hunt club concerns….not one hunter here has ever been convicted of trespassing ….true equal opportunity

    No prosecution for recreational activity

    15 (1) In this Section, “forest land” means a wooded area, forest stand, tract covered by underbrush, barren ground, marsh or bog, but does not include
    (a) an area which is apparently a tree plantation area or a Christmas tree management area;
    (b) a special forestry study area;
    (c) the immediate area where any activity is apparently being carried out on woodlands for the purpose of harvesting a forest product;
    (d) a commercial berry growing area.

    (2) No person may be prosecuted for CONTRAVENING ANY NOTICE given pursuant to this Act prohibiting entry or prohibiting activity on forest land if that person is hunting as defined in the Wildlife Act, fishing, picnicking, camping, hiking, skiing or engaged in another recreational activity or engaged in a study of flora or fauna. R.S., c. 363, s. 15.

  • Ian

    (d) dumps or deposits material of any kind or causes, suffers or permits material to be dumped or deposited on premises;

    Maine must have littering laws. Dumping apples or setting up a ground blind or bear bait without permission is technicall littering.

  • Ian

    I ran a learn to hunt program . Crops bait clearcuts old growth travel patterns etc. Remember this one morning we started at the bean field and were planning to backtrack to their bedding areas. At the the top of the field was a blind. I explained how this guy COULDN’T get a deer. Took the youth to the left of the blind and showed him a trail were the deer entered the field then to the right a similar trail. Talked a bit about wind and why the guy was unsuccessful. We then went for a walk in the forest. Not 5min and he shot and missed a big doe. He was hooked for the day.

    Deer werent shot in the fields like TV or at bait piles. They were shot by stalkers.

    If the crops werent there though….therd be very few deer in the area. Crops give the deer the energy they need to be run by coyotes yet still be productive breeders