September 20, 2018

SAM Will Host Shed Hunter Gathering….However…..

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The Sportsman’s Alliance of Maine, along with the Maine Bowhunters Association, will host what is being called Maine Shed Hunter Get Together. The event is described as being a chance for “shed antler addicts” to bring samplings of their trophies to share with others. It is said to be an “informal” gathering.

However, I believe that it is a good idea to use such a gathering to educate shed hunters and wannabe shed hunters on the proper way to go about doing it with the least negative impact on over-wintering wildlife, in particular deer.

Some states across the nation have been forced to prohibit shed hunting because of the resulting threat from unintended and intended harassment of deer and other wild ungulates. Deer, we know, are often surviving on limited resources of food and energy. The last thing that any deer needs is being harassed by a shed hunter. The timing of when it’s best to hunt antler sheds, can coincide with the same times that deer are most vulnerable.

In visiting some of the website of businesses that offer shed hunting excursions, photos show snowmobiles and ATVs regularly being used to access areas known for finding sheds. While it doesn’t mean that sheds are only found and collected in deer yards, hunters should be made aware that any activity that causes a deer to run to escape, unnecessarily, can contribute to a deer’s death.

It is not my intention to suggest that shed hunting should be necessarily banned, but I would hope that the Fish and Wildlife Department, in conjunction with businesses that are advertising shed hunting excursions, would undertake an educational program designed to limit any and all negative impacts to the animals during the event.

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