September 28, 2020

Maine Fish and Wildlife Committee Vote on Class Privilege for Hunting Opportunity

Once again, Maine is back to the discussion of whether non residents can hunt on the exclusive “Opening Day” established for Maine residents. Non residents have been put off by that move since its inception.

A bill proposal that would have allowed any non resident, who owned at least 250 acres of land and that land was open to hunting, to hunt on “Opening Day,” was amended to read 25 acres. That proposal passed the Committee with but one in opposition.

It was bad enough that Maine excluded non resident hunters from opening day, but as I have stated before, I understand the sentiment of Maine hunters. However, now my “understanding” has turned to anger because the Committee has seen fit to promote Class Warfare when it comes to hunting privilege. If a non resident is wealthy enough to own land anywhere in Maine, they have to be rich enough to own at least 25 acres. That’s Class Warfare.

The Maine Legislature should not pass this bill for that reason along. Maine should either allow everyone to hunt on Opening Day, or keep it the way it currently is. There is some level of understanding in providing an extra day for resident hunters/taxpayers. There is only bitter understanding in witnessing class warfare.

Note: In providing readers with full transparency, I was born and raised in Maine and resided their for 50 years. At present, I am technically a resident of Florida. I own land in Maine and reside at my camp there during the summer months. When my wife retires next year, we will become “Snowbirds” and, although we haven’t decided yet, may change our residency back to Maine. I DO NOT own 25 or more acres of land in Maine. I am not resentful that Maine residents choose to hunt an extra day. However, with Maine now subscribing to class privilege, this action upsets me. I am not wealthy enough to purchase the privilege of one extra day.

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Class Privilege For Hunters

It appears the legislative committee for Inland Fisheries and Wildlife has given approval of a plan that would grant opening day hunting privileges to non-residents who are wealthy enough to own at least 25 acres of land in Maine. Hiding behind some nonsense about approving the measure to open up or keep open more land for hunting, the committee has taken a step to promote class privilege. Perhaps many members of the committee have relatives and friends who own 25, or more, acres of land in Maine that would like to hunt on the first Saturday that has been set aside for residents only.

Maybe it would be easier to mail in a copy of your income tax return and set a minimum threshold on income to be eligible to hunt in Maine. Or maybe if you are a fly fisherman only, who practices catch and release…..oh, never mind.

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