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.