December 2, 2021

Baiting Deer on the Rise in Maine

Many people who don’t live in Maine don’t realize it is illegal to bait deer – period. When hunting, it is illegal to use anything that a deer can ingest to lure the animal toward your stand. A decoy is legal to use but few do.

Officials in Maine are saying that this abuse is on the increase. They say that partly because of the ease of finding items used for baiting in stores and on the Internet has contributed to this act.

It is extremely difficult to prove when somebody has been baiting deer but Maine officials are on the lookout.

Baiting deer in Maine has a negative effect on all hunters. Deer management practices in the state track this kind of activity and it is factored into the decisions of any deer permits issued and length of season to hunt. No matter what we do legally or illegally, Game Officials are going to work to regulate and maintain a deer herd of a certain size. If baiters continue to kill deer illegally, number of deer killed will rise and number of hunting days for the legal hunter will be decreased or some other method to counter the rise in deer mortality.

So, if you are baiting, I urge you to stop. If you know someone who is, turn them in. As always, it is the honest hunter who has to bear the brunt of expenses for enforcement and sacrifice their own hunting opportunities because of a handful of selfish idiots.

Tom Remington


David Robert Crews Joins Writing Staff at Maine Outdoors Today

David Robert Crews has joined the staff of writers at Maine Outdoors Today – our sister site. A registered Maine Guide, David tells of his experiences as a Maine Guide in northern Maine.From his journeys to Vietnam, falling in love with Patten, Maine, David tells his tales. He also shares with us some of his many photos collected over the years. Some of my favorite are the shots on the “69 Ski-Doo and the old Moto-Ski.Help us welcome David to our staff and stop over and read some of his eight stories published at his site.

Tom Remington


Is This Cool or What?

It has been a while since I heard of anything quite so positive and exciting as what is going on in one high school in Missouri. Ownesville, Missouri has begun a program to get kids outdoors. In short, this is a club where each kid pays $10.00 to join. The club teaches kids about the outdoors and community service. Participating in certain events, each member earns and accumulates points. These points are cashed in for a legitimate day off from school to go hunting or fishing or whatever your favorite outdoor activity is. The idea came from Principal Bob Levy and teacher Bill Seamon.From the Kansas City InfoZone, read some of the things that go on.

“The club’s purpose is to get young people interested in lifetime activities outdoors,” said Seamon. “For most, that means hunting and fishing, but we also get into hiking, camping, and other outdoor pursuits.”

The club has held onto its members with activities including hunter education and water safety classes and camping and trout fishing at a trout park*on a school day. Activities in the club’s future plans include backpacking, a big-buck contest, participating in a prescribed burn for wildlife management purposes, learning to make fishing rods and tie fishing flies, going on a canoe float trip, running a map and compass course, learning to process and cook wild game and building a smokehouse.

One of the club’s most popular events is a wild-game banquet. Last year’s meal included white-tailed deer, moose, elk, antelope, barbecued beaver and raccoon, squirrel, trout and halibut. Wildlife impressionist Ralph Duren capped the evening with his amazing imitations of animal sounds from coyotes to bald eagles.

Besides recreational interests, club members share a commitment to public service. In its first year, they cut firewood for elderly people in the community who heat with wood, donated 50 frozen turkeys to the Owensville Senior Center and took fruit baskets to shut-ins. The club also donated $900 to Missouri’s Share the Harvest program. The money paid for processing of deer donated by hunters to feed needy people.

Attending events also earns members points. A work day is worth three points, monthly meetings two points and fun activities one point. When members accumulate 10 points, they can cash them in to take off one school day a year for hunting, fishing or other outdoor activities.

Now, if we can keep the antis and the extreme left whackos out of this endeavor and figure out how to get more programs like this in high schools all across America, wouldn’t that change the landscape of this country.

Tom Remington


Press Conference With The Maine Warden Service

What: Press Conference with Maine Warden Service Colonel Tom Santaguida and Bob Meyers of the Maine Snowmobile Association

When: 11:00 a.m., December 29, 2005

Where: Second Floor Conference Room
Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife Headquarters
284 State Street
Augusta, ME 04333

Directions: Route 95, Exit 109 (Western Ave.) Head towards city. At rotary, exit onto State Street (Route 27 south). Follow State Street south towards Hallowell. Look for the large white building on the right with the Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife logo about ¾ mile past Capitol Building. We are on the corner of King and State Street, next to Pat’s Pizza.

For More Information, Contact Mark Latti, 287-6008 or Bob Meyers, 622-

The focus of this press conference is to draw attention to snowmobile safety. With snow on the ground, many are out and about with their machines and the Maine Warden Service, in conjunction with the Maine Snowmobile Association, wants to let everyone know about new laws in affect and to promote a safe snowmobile season.

Last year there were 241 snowmobile accidents of which 7 resulted in deaths. There will be stricter enforcement of operating a snowmobile under the influence of alcohol.

At this press conference, Bob Myers of the Maine Snowmobile Assn. will talk about the new “Left of Center” law that the MSA sponsored. The new law makes it unlawful to ride to the left of the center of a trail when cornering or entering places where the view is blinded. This new law is intended to decrease the number of collisions.

Tom Remington


Pennsylvania Governor Signs First Ever "Families Afield" Bill

On December 22, 2005, Governor Ed Rendell signed into law a first of its kind Bill that will give the Game Commission the authority to set up a youth mentoring program designed to get more young people out hunting and fishing.The bill is part of the Families Afield campaign. The U.S. Sportsmen’s Alliance, along with the National Wild Turkey Federation and the National Shooting Sports Foundation, introduced Families Afield in an effort to counteract the declining numbers of sportsmen by boosting the recruitment rate of young people in the outdoor sports.For more information on this act and contact information, visit the U.S. Sportsman’s Alliance web site.

Tom Remington


Illinois Comes Up Short of Another Record Deer Harvest

2004 was a record breaking year for deer harvest numbers and this season, the numbers came up just short of that record.

Illinois runs two seasons for firearms on deer. The first season ran from November 18 – 20 with a total of 77,051 deer killed. The later season ran from December 1 – 4 and registered 37,158 deer. Add those two together and you come up with a grand total of 114,209. The 2004 total was 116,675.

While the overall total was down slightly, some counties throughout the state saw increases in deer harvest numbers. You can get a list of those numbers by county here.

Officials say that during the second season, bad weathered hampered the efforts of hunters in most parts of the state.

Tom Remington


Missouri Begins to Total Its Deer Numbers

With only archery season still taking place in Missouri until January 15, 2006, officials are counting up the number of deer harvested this season. It appears as though this year’s numbers will be about 9% fewer than last season’s record breaking year.

Here’s a breakdown. During the urban deer hunt from October 7 – 10, hunters bagged 1,838 deer. The youth hunt from October 29 -30 registered 10,577. The regular firearms season that ran from Nobember 12 – 30 saw 205,460 deer killed. The muzzle loader season began on November 25 and ran until December 4. There were 10,115 deer taken then. Finally, the antlerless deer season running December 10 – 18 yielded 21,765 deer. Without the final numbers left in the archery season, the total is 249,912. This compared to 275,329 last year.

Officials estimate that the total deer harvest for archery will run around 30,000 bringing the grand total to around 280,000 deer.

Tom Remington


Blogging the Outdoors

If you’re looking for more information, stories, links, anything to do with the outdoors, Maine Outdoors Today and Blogging the Outdoors will probably have it.

The Black Bear Blog is geared to hunting and fishing and the outdoors, but Blogging the Outdoors covers a much wider spectrum of outdoor activities. I hope you will visit us over there and see what’s up.

Tom Remington


Cabela's Still Eyeing Maine For New Store Location

Cabela’s has been looking for new store locations in the New England area. So far they seemed to have settled on opening up a store in East Hartford, Connecticut in the fall of 2007. Aside from that, no decisions have been made on another site or if there will be another site, according to Jim Aterburn, spokesman for the Nebraska based company Cabela’s.Aterburn says they base their decisions on where a good market is for stand alone stores and Internet buyers as well. Cabela’s has shown an interest in the southern Maine town of Scarborough.

Here is a link to Jamie McLeod’s article in the Forcaster about Cabela’s strategies.

Here are a few highlights of the story.

Jim Arterburn, spokesman for the Sidney, Neb.-based company, said he is not certain when a decision will be made, but said Cabela’s has a strong interest in southern Maine.

That should be an exciting prospect for Mainers and in particular southern Mainers but will it be? Here’s more.

“There are a lot of good Cabela’s customers in Maine. That’s how we site our stores, by looking at where our core catalog and Internet customers are,” Arterburn said.

Oh, yes! More good news.

He said he is not personally familiar with the proposed site for the store and won’t have more details until an official decision is made. Town Manager Ron Owen confirmed that the company has identified a specific site, but said he is not at liberty to reveal the location.

Hmmm! A bit iffy? Not familiar with the site? Town Manager is not at liberty? What kind of liberties does he have?

He acknowledged Cabela’s reputation for aggressively seeking tax incentives when it builds a new store, but said the company has placed stores in areas where no tax incentives were offered and would likely do so again, given the right location.

“We like to get tax incentives when we can, absolutely,” Arterburn said.

But Owen said the town has no intention of offering Cabela’s any kind of tax incentives.

“We do not currently offer tax incentives to anyone,” Owen said.

Well, now, that is certainly encouraging! And the Town Manager’s attitude seems to come shining through just a tad more here.

Owen said he can think of only one instance in which lack of tax incentives may have cost the town a commercial development

Seems like reason enough for me to sit smugly by and watch what could be a few nice jobs go to some other town – or state.

Owen said Scarborough remains an attractive area for development mainly due to its location, easy access to major highways and its low overall tax rate, which can serve, over time, to balance the benefits of a tax incentive elsewhere.

Owen also said he recently received correspondence from a national competitor of Cabela’s, also based in the Midwest, urging the town not to offer the store a tax break.

Now this sounds like sound business practices. I’m sure the Town Manager didn’t heed the advice of a “national competitor”. Yikes!

Arterburn said Cabela’s hasn’t given much thought to L.L. Bean’s presence in Maine.

“We make our retail siting decisions based on the facts before us and our marketing resources. We don’t worry too much about competition. Each store has its own customer base and traditions, and I think we’ll coexist fine,” he said.

This has to be the telltale sign of what is to come. Aterburn says he hasn’t given much thought to L.L. Beans being nearby. Are you kidding me? Beans isn’t Cabela’s but it isn’t Joe’s Bait Shop either.

This all pretty much tells me that Aterburn is politicking with the public and stroking them pretty good to make sure Mainers will continue to be good Cabela’s customers when they locate a new store in southern New Hampshire – or somewhere else where there are better tax incentives. Then what will be Town Manager Ron Owen’s excuse?

Maine is one of those states that has a pretty high unemployment rate compared to other states and provides few jobs with chances for promotion and benefits. But I guess where Scarborough hasn’t given any tax breaks before, that’s reason enough for the rest of the residents of Scarborough to keep on paying those taxes.

I guess it isn’t really that far a drive from Scarborough over to Concord or Manchester, New Hampshire.

Tom Remington


The Obsession of Obsessing

Do you obsess during hunting season or fishing season? Do you lay awake some nights thinking about that big buck you spotted or the monster tracks and rubs you’ve seen? How about fishing? The one that got away? The one you had on right up until you put the net into the water?

We all do it to some degree but some more than others. I suppose it is part of what makes our sport like no other. You could compare it to golf in some ways but before you go laughing at me, let me explain.

I’m a duffer like the vast majority of all of you – unless you play on the tour. You may go out to play 18 holes on Saturday and swing at the ball 80 – 130 times, depending on how good you are. Of those number of swings, you might – and the emphasis is on might – hit one ball “sweet”. Ahhhhhh! Man did that feel good. Good enough that you hit and chase another hundred or so balls hoping to find one more swing and hit that feels just as good or maybe better.

Hunting and fishing are no different. We spend hours looking and once in a while we find that one big ole boy that gives us bragging rights. Enough so that we get up early the next morning and give chase again. As I have told my wife many times, fishing is fishing – it’s not called catching for a reason.

This morning in the Norwich Bulletin, Bob Sampson Jr. has written an article called, “Every Year Presents a New Deer Obsession”. I think you’ll enjoy it and more than likely relate to it as well.

Tom Remington