May 23, 2019

Are They the King’s Moose Or Are We Now Subsidizing Maine’s Sporting Camps

According to George Smith, he reports, “DIF&W, as it has on almost all the bills this session, testified in opposition to the change.” 

The change in question here is in regards to another elitist, socialism-type, subsidized effort to give an even larger percentage of moose hunting permits to sporting camps struggling to make a go of things. If things don’t stop, all hunting permits will go to special interest groups and preferred, elitist organizations. This often means those who most are in need of meat for food, can’t afford to play or don’t stack up to some good-ole-boy’s idea of who can hunt and who can’t.

Since when is Maine now responsible for subsidizing sporting camp owners? Free Enterprise dictates that you either got a good product that is in demand or you don’t. Only socialistic/communistic societies bilk the general tax payer to subsidize a business so that government can benefit. In this case, it’s not just a subsidization, it’s a case of being able to afford the King’s ransom.

We further read, “…two national hunting trip brokers, Worldwide Trophy Adventures (A Cabela’s Partner) and Huntin’ Fool, direct clients to send a couple hundred thousand dollars to the Department, in part based on the odds of getting a tag in Maine…” And this somehow is justification for the proposed bill?

So, according to this article, the odds of winning a lottery permit to hunt a moose has dropped by 50%. Yes, the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife (MDIFW) has seen fit, despite the hundreds, perhaps thousands, of moose suffering and dying each year due to winter ticks, to reduce the number of permits issued for hunting moose, evidently to perpetuate the winter tick problem. This reduction not only involves nonresident moose hunters. It has the same effect on Maine residents, and yet some in the legislature and those totalitarian/socialists think it’s equitable to subsidize the sporting camp owners and to hell with the rest of the hunting industry, as well as the many hundreds, or thousands, of Maine residents wishing for a chance to hunt a moose.

Maine Guides and Camp Owners already dictate to the MDIFW how to run game management and hunting seasons. Perhaps it’s time to end the good ole boy’s club of elitist participation and return to a science-based management plan and an even odds chance for every Maine hunter to obtain a permit to hunt.

Evidently, some are pushing to move hunting, and in particular moose hunting, into an elitist event of which only the wealthy can participate.

Thank you MDIFW for opposing such nonsense, and many of the other preferentially biased bill proposals aimed at benefiting special interest groups.

I have sympathy for people’s business’s that take a hit for any reason. That doesn’t make it right to force license holders and tax payers to foot the bill to keep them solvent. I doubt government would subsidize my business.

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Maine Now Offers Elitist, Privileged Moose Hunting Opportunities

Here I go again about to make more enemies within the hunting community. Due to Maine Governor Paul LePage’s failure to veto a very bad hunting bill, “An Act To Promote the Maine Economy and Support Maine’s Sporting Camp Tradition” went into effect on January 12, 2014. The governor did not sign the bill either. By default, it became law.

The bill began as LD738 and then was amended, actually replaced by S-304.

It creates a new moose hunting permit lottery system for hunting outfitters, who may sell or transfer the permits as part of an eating, lodging and hunting package. The permits made available for this lottery, if any, will come from 10% of the number of permits that exceed 3,140, which is the total number of moose hunting permits issued in 2010. Individuals hunting with permits issued under this system must hunt with a licensed Maine guide. Proceeds of the new lottery system will be allocated to youth conservation education programs under certain conditions and any remainder will be allocated to the Moose Research and Management Fund.

This is wrong on many levels. First, this action steals away from Maine residents, the same opportunity as anyone else to have the opportunity to hunt a moose. Whether it is one permit or 1,000, any number of permits that are allocated to specific special interest or those only with the ability to pay more money than anyone else, is wrong.

Second, this is nothing more than government subsidizing of private business. What makes it doubly worse is that it is the conservation-minded hunters’ tax dollars, from fees paid for licenses, that provides for the management of moose herds in the State of Maine. Is it right then that those tax payers have their moose hunting opportunities taken away from them for the purpose of subsidizing Maine guides and outfitters, who, according to the stipulations of the bill, provides for the sale of moose permits to wealthy “sports” who can afford them.

Third, there exists a number of people in Maine who have never had the opportunity to hunt moose. Some have tried every year since the moose hunt was reimplemented. Think now how these few will feel? Many hunters each season lament the problems with the moose lottery in that with its design, some have obtained several permits while others have never received one. These hunters have demanded changes to a more fair system.

Fourth, none of the money generated from these moose permits that will go to the privileged will do anything to enhance moose hunting in Maine. One might be able to argue that the increased revenues would be used to improve the moose herd and overall bettering moose hunting opportunities, but it’s not set up that way.

Singling out sporting camps and in addition singling out only those sporting camps that meet certain requirements, perhaps above beyond even the majority of camps and outfitters, is doubling down on commonality while promoting privilege and elitism in the hunting community. Are these moose now property of the king?

I am all for enhancing hunting opportunities when the science dictates those harvest requirements. But those opportunities must be made available to ALL those who buy a license to hunt. Setting aside advantages to targeted groups is wrong.

The bill is designed to take advantage of a growing number of moose permits being made available because of a robust moose population. Should the number of permits drop below the 3,140, no specialized and privileged moose permits would be available. However, this last moose season, moose permits totaled 4,100 or 960 more than the 3,140. No matter what kind of spin you want to put on this, that’s 96 moose opportunities taken away from the residents of Maine, some who have been trying since the very first moose lottery system to get a permit. This just isn’t right.

Governor LePage should have stiffened his spine and vetoed a very bad bill designed to enhance the privileged while doubling down on the regular hunters of the state, stealing away their deserving opportunities to hunt moose.

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