April 19, 2019

Story of a Maine “Shed Hunter”

*Editor’s Note* Below is a teaser and link to a Bangor Daily News article about Albert Ladd who has a reputation as a “shed hunter”, among others. Shed hunting is going into the forest searching for antlers that are natural dropped or shed from buck deer and bull moose.

Albert is a friend and someone that I like to think of as my eyes and ears in the field of Western Maine.

Albert Ladd hunts mostly deer and coyote, but he also hunts antlers, the hobby that’s earned him the designation of “shed hunter.”

The 63-year-old Ladd lives on three acres on Route 17, just south of Coos Canyon in Byron, a town bisected by the Swift River north of Rumford and Mexico in Oxford County.

“I’ve lived here all my life,” he said. That includes the many years when he worked in the pulp mill at the New Page paper mill down in Rumford.

“Before I went into the mill, I cut wood for a living for a number of years,” Ladd said. “I’m always in the woods, hunting and trapping.” <<<Read the Rest>>>

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Open Thread – March 8, 2012

Please use this open thread to post your ideas, comments and information about issues not related to the content of articles published on this blog. Thank you.

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Why Government Will Never Assure Your Access To Resources for Hunting, Trapping and Fishing

We must somehow learn to ween ourselves from the hind teat of government. Through the indoctrination and brainwashing forcefully imposed on us from birth, we grow up always looking to government for answers to our problems. When is the last time any government agency, law or program rightfully solved anyone’s problems?

Very few states in this Union have any kind of constitutional or statute law that protects the citizens and their right to make use of the natural resources for hunting, trapping and fishing. To my knowledge, the following states have constitutional amendments that supposedly guarantee the citizens of these states the unobstructed right to hunt: Alaska, Arkansas, Georgia, Louisiana, Minnesota, Montana, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Vermont, Virginia, Wisconsin. Nearly all of these amendments were voted on and approved by the people.

There has been a push of late for states to enshrine their rights to hunting, trapping and fishing but does such a move actually accomplish what people are led to believe it will, i.e. an actual constitutional protection, a guarantee that this right shall never be infringed?

Hunters in states like Idaho are trying to bet their guarantee on a state code. One of the difficulties not being realized by these outdoor sportsmen is that they are not looking at the entire code. It’s not necessarily that they are cherry picking or taking the code out of context, it is that I believe they are victims of exactly what the authors and signers of the code intended. In other words the code was written intentionally to confuse, while at the same time sounding as though it was accomplishing what some of the voters asked for. This is a common tactic of all untrustworthy politicians and another reason none of them can be trusted. This should also bolster the resolve that we the people should not rely on government to protect us from anything.

In Idaho, this code debate began with the announcement by the Idaho Department of Fish and Game (IDFG) that a “Wildlife Summit” was being planned for August of 2012.

Much of the initial outrage occurred when the sportsmen discovered that many anti-hunting, environmental, and non governmental agencies were invited to the Summit. While I certainly agree that anti-hunting and all environmental groups should have no say in fish and game management because of their agendas, whether as individuals or groups, these people do have a right to attend such a meeting.

There are other issues that surround the intent of the Summit. One of them being that some members of the IDFG Commission seem to be indicating that the goal of the Summit is to rewrite the mission of IDFG.

In an email I received from one Idaho citizen who attended a recent IDFG meeting, I was told that one member of the Commission said that these anti-hunting, non governmental organizations (NGO), have a good representation of Idaho sportsmen. The person told the commissioner that he was trying to change Idaho Code 36-103.

This may actually be true, at least from the perspective of someone working very diligently to preserve the hunting heritage of their state but the bottom line is the codes that are written and what they actually say and just as importantly how they would be interpreted in a court of law, determines everything.

In many of the discussions I have read about this issue, the sportsmen seem intent on tossing out the first half of Idaho Code 36-103 , which reads:

36-103. Wildlife property of state — Preservation. (a) Wildlife Policy. All wildlife, including all wild animals, wild birds, and fish, within the state of Idaho, is hereby declared to be the property of the state of Idaho. It shall be preserved, protected, perpetuated, and managed. It shall be only captured or taken at such times or places, under such conditions, or by such means, or in such manner, as will preserve, protect, and perpetuate such wildlife, and provide for the citizens of this state and, as by law permitted to others, continued supplies of such wildlife for hunting, fishing and trapping.

The thrust of the focus by hunters appears to be directed at: “provide for the citizens of this state and, as by law permitted to others, continued supplies of such wildlife for hunting, fishing and trapping.”

This is done with disregard for the rest of the WORDS written into the code by lawyers. Before we take a bit of a closer look at this law, I’ll post here the entire statute:

36-103. Wildlife property of state — Preservation. (a) Wildlife Policy. All wildlife, including all wild animals, wild birds, and fish, within the state of Idaho, is hereby declared to be the property of the state of Idaho. It shall be preserved, protected, perpetuated, and managed. It shall be only captured or taken at such times or places, under such conditions, or by such means, or in such manner, as will preserve, protect, and perpetuate such wildlife, and provide for the citizens of this state and, as by law permitted to others, continued supplies of such wildlife for hunting, fishing and trapping.
(b) Commission to Administer Policy. Because conditions are changing and in changing affect the preservation, protection, and perpetuation of Idaho wildlife, the methods and means of administering and carrying out the state’s policy must be flexible and dependent on the ascertainment of facts which from time to time exist and fix the needs for regulation and control of fishing, hunting, trapping, and other activity relating to wildlife, and because it is inconvenient and impractical for the legislature of the state of Idaho to administer such policy, it shall be the authority, power and duty of the fish and game commission to administer and carry out the policy of the state in accordance with the provisions of the Idaho fish and game code. The commission is not authorized to change such policy but only to administer it.

Lawyers and a court of law can rip this Code to shreds and resulting rulings will leave us all wondering how that was done. While it’s easy as hunters to focus on those highlighted words above, even though the authors may have intended that to be your focus, all the other words have meaning too. To a lawyer and a judge, multiple meanings.

In brief, Part A above does not guarantee that the IDFG or the state of Idaho must grow game populations so that everyone in Idaho who wants to hunt, trap and fish can do so and for all the species in which seasons are provided. As a matter of fact, the Code says that the only time taking of game will be permitted is when there is enough wildlife to go around. However, that “taking” can be limited by any means the IDFG sees fit.

Part B then goes on to give the fish and game commission the authority to administer this code. As much as all of us would love to believe the fish and game commission doesn’t have the right to “change Idaho Code 36-103”, there’s nothing really in that code that guarantees Idaho citizens a right to hunt, trap and fish. What some members of the commission might be interested in doing by inviting anti-hunting groups to the summit, is to build support to change the mission statement of IDFG.

One would think that with the intent of Idaho Code 36-103, i.e to guarantee Idaho citizens the right to hunt, trap and fish, a step up to a constitutional amendment would be an easy task. That didn’t happen though did it? Perhaps now you are getting a better understanding as to why. Who’s your friend? Who’s on your side?

My intent here was not to dissect Idaho Code but to make a broader statement and support with facts on the ground. The truth is not even a constitutional amendment guarantees outdoor sportsmen any right to hunt, fish or trap. It may be perhaps the best chance at achieving such but is far from a blank check guarantee. And for those states with some kind of statute, like Idaho, no code or statute is protected from change, especially those with an agenda.

Most amendments to constitutions are non specific. In states that have such constitutional changes, the amendment may read that the citizens of that state have a right to hunt, trap and fish and that it may go so far as to require the fish and game departments to “perpetuate” wild game for hunting opportunities for the citizens. This is so non specific it leaves the door wide open to interpretation. Forget the intent of the amendment. Intent means nothing when dealing with law makers with an agenda.

Consider the Second Amendment to the United States Constitution. Recently in two Supreme Court rulings it was determined that Washington, D.C. (Heller vs. District of Columbia), and Chicago (NRA vs. City of Chicago) could not prohibit citizens from owning a handgun. While the Second Amendment is suppose to guarantee American citizens a right to keep and bear arms, we see that even with a Supreme Court ruling, the citizens of Washington, D.C. and Chicago do not have a right to keep and bear arms as they wish.

The reality of it is, we deal with many things most of us are completely unaware of. In our reliance on government to protect us, we refuse to believe that our constitutions and laws will not protect us and do what we have been told they will do. Even Supreme Court rulings are not enough to force cities to comply. They would rather take their chances in more courts with more lawsuits because that’s where their friends are. Surely if the rulings of the Supreme Court mean nothing to the governments of local cities, why should we rest that our state governments care one way or the other about our rights to hunt, trap and fish?

And while you are sleeping, changes to our laws are taking place that we know nothing about. For instance, in Maine, I was researching to find out what the state statutes were regarding trapping. You can find the details here, but what I discovered was that during a federally mandated “recodification” process, your laws can and are being changed and you may not know it.

We are told by our government that recodification of all states’ laws will be done every ten years. The intent of this action is supposed to be to clear up redundancies and other issues that make deciphering and interpreting the laws clearer and easier. What I discovered was someone took this opportunity to rewrite the laws the way they wanted them done. BTW, a new round of recodification is supposed to take place in 2013. Pay attention!

With a legislature either deaf and dumb to the responsibilities of the job or in on the illegal action, it is a snap to pass these recodified laws. After all, it’s just a housekeeping measure, right?

We must stop depending on government for anything. They cannot be trusted nor will they protect you and I from anything. To stop this would be monumental because it would require a complete makeover that begins in our schools and homes. At the ballot box we can work harder at getting the right people elected but it doesn’t end there. We need watch dog groups that will follow everything each law maker does and make sure the public knows and understands. This of course will never happen because there aren’t enough people who care.

Tom Remington

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20 Dead Maine Coyotes

I am told that these dead coyotes are at least part of efforts by Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife’s attempt at targeting coyotes in deer wintering areas.

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Open Thread – March 7, 2012

Please use this open thread to post your ideas, comments and information about issues not related to articles published on this web site. Thank you.

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Stunning View Across Kachemak Bay, Alaska

I am told that from this view and perspective, Homer Spit is to the left and out of view.


Photo by Al Remington

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Presidential Candidates Talk Sportsmen’s Issues with USSA

(Columbus) –Like so many other states during the last 90 days, Ohio is now taking its turn as the center of the political storm. The Republican candidates for the White House are crisscrossing the Buckeye state to make their case to voters prior to tomorrow’s “Super Tuesday” primary.

This full court press, in the backyard of the U.S. Sportsmen’s Alliance’s national headquarters, provided staff leadership a chance to visit and have dialogue with the campaigns and candidates.

Today, former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum agreed to sit down to talk about the most important issues facing sportsmen with USSA staff. Bud Pidgeon, USSA president and CEO; Rob Sexton, Senior Vice President; Doug Jeanneret, Vice President of Marketing; and Evan Heusinkveld, Director of State Services, spent 30 minutes with the presidential hopeful at an American Legion hall.

“I have spent my career fighting to preserve the 2nd Amendment and the traditions of the sportsman, and I will continue working to ensure these rights are never infringed upon,” said Sen. Santorum. “I have to admit though, that one of the best things about being on this campaign was the Iowa pheasant hunts – and the high point for me was watching my oldest son take his first pheasant.”

Prior to the meeting, the Santorum campaign provided information on his views on hunting and second amendment rights. Click here to read the Santorum document in its entirety. USSA will publish Sen. Santorum’s responses to questions asked by USSA leadership tomorrow on the organization’s website www.ussportsmen.org.

Former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney’s campaign also provided information explaining his views on hunting and the second amendment. Click here to read the Romney document in its entirety.

Governor Romney recently addressed his feelings regarding our outdoor heritage during a campaign stop in Ohio on Feb. 29, 2012.

“My own view is, lets protect the second amendment, lets protect the right of Americans to bear arms, whether for hunting, for sportsmen, for personal protection, for whatever legal purpose someone might have,” said Romney.

The U.S. Sportsmen’s Alliance was pleased to have a discourse with both candidates.

“Given that one of these two men could very likely lead our country, it is vital for sportsmen to have every chance to learn more about where they stand on hunting, conservation and gun rights,” said Bud Pidgeon. “We are very pleased to have had the opportunity to visit, and will continue to provide information on the candidates whenever possible.”

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Open Thread – March 6, 2012

Please use this open thread to post your ideas, comments and information about issues not related to the content of articles published on this blog. Thank you.

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Scientists find fungus that kills Lyme disease-carrying ticks

BRIDGEPORT, Conn. — Local scientists have found a way to control the ticks responsible for passing Lyme disease on to humans. A new natural pesticide, derived from a strain of fungus that is deadly to the black-legged tick could help keep tick populations under control.

Unlike some synthetic pesticides that can be dangerous for more than just ticks, the fungus does not harm honeybees, earthworms or other beneficial insects.<<<Read the entire article>>>

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NRA’s “Trigger the Vote” Campaign

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