June 27, 2017

SAM’s Testimony on Right To Hunt Amendment, Makes Claims Not Entirely True

Recently I wrote about a proposed constitutional amendment in Maine that is being presented as an amendment to protect the “right” to hunt, trap and fish – LD 11. I also wrote that this proposal was one that I could support and I was wrong to have made the statement using the words that I did because I failed to succinctly express the full truth in my statement. Please let me explain.

Yesterday, I was reading David Trahan’s (Executive Director of the Sportman’s Alliance of Maine) testimony before the Legislative Committee in support of the proposed amendment.

To many, his words ring true, much because most of us have been taught certain things about our federal and state constitutions and the rights we have been granted under those constitution. Men don’t grant rights to anyone. They simply claim ownership of them and hand them back to us in some kind of limited form or fully deny us of such rights.

Trahan states that when this nation was founded, wildlife was “placed in the public trust” and as such we had the right to take it for sustenance. Therefore, Americans have always possessed the right to hunt, fish and trap. I will have to save for another day any debate on this so-called public trust and our inherent right to hunt, fish and trap. I will proceed from the perspective of most that they do have either a right or a privilege.

As Mr. Trahan also pointed out, man decided that in order to sustain game and other wildlife, they must construct laws to limit that activity. What happened to our inherent “right” to hunt, trap and fish when the limitations by law became enforced? Is anything really a “right” when it is controlled by man? We evidently believe so. When men, because they couldn’t maintain viable game populations through their own disciplines, called upon man-governments to do it for them, it began the process of destroying any semblance of a right to hunt. I ask once again, what happened to a so-called “right” to hunt wildlife “placed in the public trust” when at least some of that right was ceded over to government and restricted?

This is not that much different than the argument of sovereignty, in which most people do not understand sovereignty of an individual or a government agency. How are you a sovereign individual? Oh, you might say, “Nobody tells me what to do! I’m my own man!” But you are not. You might be a legend in your own mind, but you are not a sovereign individual. Once a man agrees to become part of a community, whether it is a small as a neighborhood or as large as a nation, they have agreed to relinquish that sovereignty and place it under the control of the government. Your act of relinquishment places decisions about your life into the hands of the controlling government agencies.

In Maine, at some point in time, the full right to hunt, trap and fish, was ceded to the State Government to control and make the decisions for us as to what, when and how we might harvest game. Trahan points this out in his testimony. In reality, the sportsmen have very little control over their perceived right to hunt. What has evolved since the creation of game and wildlife laws, is that the government agency formulated to oversee hunting, trapping and fishing, call the shots. Yup, proposals for new laws can be presented. Sometimes they get through a committee and most times not. You are heard before a committee but if you can’t get by the committee then what has become of your “right” to hunt, trap and fish. If you do get through committee you are at the mercy of the Legislature. Where then is your protected right?

Many believe that an amendment to the Constitution will guarantee, protect or create a “right” to hunt, trap and fish. They are wrong. I have written many times on this subject and stated that unless an amendment mandated or forced the government to do something, it is nothing more than words on a piece of paper.

The proposed LD 11 states, in reference to the right of the people of Maine to hunt, fish and trap, that this right: “may not be infringed.” (emboldening added) This is not a mandate. It does not force the Legislature, the Governor, Law Enforcement, or anybody else to stop any infringement of a person’s right to hunt, trap and fish. Go ask a lawyer – or at least an intelligent and honest one (yeah I know). Or go research it yourself. “May” is not a mandate – only a suggestion.

Further, the amendment says that this non infringement of the right to hunt, trap and fish is subject to “reasonable” laws enacted by the Legislature and “reasonable” rules adopted by the department in charge of management of game, fish and other wildlife. Is a “reasonable” law or rule an infringement? We’ve already established that the protection against infringement is non binding because the lawyers chose “may” instead of “must.”

So, who decides what “reasonable” means? I hope you are beginning to understand.

The amendment establishes that the department in reference is supposed to “promote wildlife conservation and management” and “maintain natural resources in trust for public use” (emboldening added) and this evidently will “preserve the future of hunting and fishing.” Nothing here is a mandate that forces anybody to do anything. What is wildlife conservation? As it is in operation today, wildlife conservation becomes a matter of which social entity has the most dollars and the loudest mouth to force their idealistic perceptions and conceptions of wildlife conservation.

The Department, according to this amendment will “maintain” natural resources. Maintain them how and to what levels of population that will guarantee, protect or create the “right” to hunt, trap and fish? This, of course, is left up to the Department, which is what takes places now. There is no mandate. There is no protection of any right.

The amendment further states that “public hunting and fishing are the preferred means…” (emboldening added) Where is the mandate here that will guarantee, protect or create a “right” to hunt, trap and fish? The Department might “prefer” to use hunting and fishing but what if they decide to import wolves to control populations of deer and moose? Where is the mandate? Where is the protection of any “right” to hunt, trap and fish? And would such a decision be “reasonable?”

The truth is, that while this is better language than previously proposed in other amendments, voters in Maine should not be misled to believe that this amendment, as written, will guarantee, protect or create for Maine citizens, the “right” to hunt, trap and fish.

And on the reverse of this, as I have already read in a few spreads of clap trap nonsense, such an amendment, as written will not destroy the process to petition the state. This should be obvious once you understand this proposal has nothing in it that is a mandate, forcing anybody to do anything.

When I said this amendment was something I could support, that statement was not accurate and I apologize for misleading people, if I did. First, I could not “support” such and amendment in the literal sense because I am not a legal resident of Maine and therefore could not vote for it if I wanted.

My thinking at the time was that while there still were no mandates in the proposal, perhaps the language was such that it might deter the onslaught of lawsuits and referendums that have been piled onto the Pine Tree State. It may, in fact, increase them. It is difficult to assess.

I will work harder to choose my words and the statements I make more carefully.

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Somethings Do Not Improve With Time

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Fishers Sue to Get Rid of Obama’s New England Ocean Monument

*Editor’s Note* – For those who believe government owned and control property guarantees access.

PORTLAND, Maine (AP) — A coalition of commercial fishing groups filed a lawsuit on Tuesday to challenge the creation of a national monument off the coast of New England.

President Barack Obama created the monument in September using executive authority under the Antiquities Act. The monument is called the Northeast Canyons and Seamounts Marine National Monument, and it is made up of nearly 5,000 square miles of underwater canyons and mountains.

The creation of the monument closed the area to most commercial fishing and has been opposed by fishing groups for months. A coalition of the groups filed their lawsuit Tuesday in federal court.<<<Read More>>>

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2016-2017 Refuge-Specific Hunting and Sport Fishing Regulations

SUMMARY: We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, propose to add 1 national wildlife refuge (NWR or refuge) to the list of areas open for hunting, increase the hunting activities available at 12 other NWRs, open 1 refuge to fishing for the first time, and add pertinent refuge- specific regulations for other NWRs that pertain to migratory game bird hunting, upland game hunting, big game hunting, and sport fishing for the 2016-2017 season.<<<Read More>>>

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Spring Bites

By Eleazer Peabody

It is mid May and the warm days have softened our cool souls from this past winter freeze. Not much rain yet, but the alder leaves are the size of a mouse’s ear and the black flies are venturing forth ready for a blood meal—Fishing Season Is On!!!!

Friday, last, I was passing along Twitchell Brook, heading toward Greenwood City, when I glimpsed a splash in a small pool formed by an eddy around a couple of large boulders. I got the truck off the road best as I could, and set the brake to keep it from rolling down “Falls Hill.” I slid my way down the gravel bank to the side of the brook. Standing on a rock at the edge of the pool, I shaded my eyes to peer into the slow-moving current. I looked long and hard for my first glimpse of a spring “brookie!”

I couldn’t see anything moving, so thought my tired eyes probably saw something else. I had a few minutes to spare, so I climbed back up the bank to the road and walked back down to the truck. Behind the back seat was the old bamboo, long stick and a brass Pfleuger fly reel. I slid them out carefully and fitted the three pieces end to end. After carefully aligning of the eyes, I strung the thick line through to the tip.

Selecting the first fly of the season might seem like an endeavor needing much care, but I am not so sentimental when the trout are hungry! Now was the time for action, and small, brown, anything should do the trick. Tying on the Burnt Miller tested my finger dexterity, especially as I was moving back up the road to the bridge beneath Bald Bluff.

I moved carefully to the side of the brook, taking care not to cast a shadow across the pool. I dabbed the fly gently across the water, using just a short length of line, employing an up and down motion with the rod. I expected a splash from a monster at any minute—the winter dream of any devout angler. Again and again, I tempted any finned creature, but to no avail. I moved downstream along a dead water until I reached the top of Twitchell Brook cascades.

There in the current, I used the flow of the water to add action to the fly. I let it drift back and forth behind all the rocks within reach, and carefully moved down to the next pool. There were a couple of shiners trying to eat a fly that was slightly smaller than them. When I’m fly fishing, I often feel that if there is a trout around, it would be more aggressive and take first pick of new food drifting into his domain. No luck…

In a short while, I came to the place where I first became attracted to this fine stream. Using extra care, I raised the rod from behind an old spruce stub. I pulled the fly back with my fingers, putting a little strain on the rod. I then let go, snapping the fly out into the pool. Splaaash!!!

Holy cow,” I might have said aloud. I thought a beaver had slapped his tail on the water!

I didn’t immediately react to this outburst.

Now, totally startled, and slowly retrieving the line so I can set the hook, my fly floats casually on the breeze back to me. I stepped back to grab the fly, and the moss under foot of the rock I was standing on, let go. The next second my butt was engulfed in a torrent of ice water. I’ve dropped my pipe, and I sucked in a deep breath from the shock.

I didn’t get totally wet, as the pool is only six inches deep there. The icy water now is soaking through my clothes that didn’t get directly immersed – and sends new jolts of incredible shock through my body to my surprised brain! Ahhh…

With my heart beating rapidly, I gulped more short breaths of air.

I pondered what to do next. “Could I possibly try tossing out the fly again? Surely any fish that might be in the water, have heard my cuss words and everything else loud and clear.”

My lower half, now really dripping wet and cold, I am beyond just being startled. I pawed around a couple of moments to find my, now drenched, corncob and instinctively stuck it back in my mouth. “I’ve got to get back to the truck.”

I mostly crawled, on hands and knees, up the bank through the bushes, black flies, and gravel to the side of the road. After I got standing, the tug of wet pants weighed me down more than my hurt pride. Step after squishy step, I dragged my sopping form down to the truck. I unceremoniously dumped my gear in the truck body? then reached in and quickly started up the truck to power up the heater. I worked my rain coat out from behind the seat in the cab to keep my wet form from soaking the truck seat. Sliding carefully in with soggy pants, I put the truck in gear and shudder my way home!

Hot tea and a hotter bath were in order!

Submitted with warming thoughts?
Eleazer Peabody

SpringBitesPhoto

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Does Maine Fish and Game Dept. Really Need a Marketing Program?

George Smith has his undies in a bunch over one of his apparently failed bill proposals that would have forced the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife (MDIFW) to establish a marketing position. Why? Is it really the responsibility of MDIFW to “market” its programs? Is the idea to market MDIFW so as to generate income from increased license sales and fees? Another question, if ever asked, is seldom examined to understand what it means – who is the marketing director going to target?

I could spend a great deal of time discussing the business end of a marketing approach, and talk about what point is there is marketing to draw deer hunters to Maine, for example, when the market is poor at best. But, as would generally be the case, I would be accused of being a downer, instead of burying my head in the sand and pretending all was great with deer management.

Instead, I want to focus on one aspect of what Smith mentioned in his article.

In 2003 and 2004, The Management Assistance Team of the International Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies examined the various divisions of Maine’s Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife and issued a very detailed report with many recommendations….these recommendations were never implemented. In fact, not long after the recommendations were received, DIF&W abolished its marketing position!

I would like to give MDIFW, and/or the governor, and/or the Legislature, credit for making sure these recommendations were never implemented. Anything that comes from the Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies (AFWA) is usually designed as a destructive mechanism to anything that once resembled normal fish and game heritage.

I’ve written often about AFWA before and they are a fraudulent group that was successful in convincing Congress to let them have a percentage of the Pittman-Robertson and Johnson-Dingell, excise tax money so that they can promote their anti hunting, fishing and trapping agendas.

I’ve also written about the outcome-based efforts of the most recent survey foisted on unsuspecting Maine sportsmen about hunting and fishing. Like the AFWA, these programs are designed by environmentalists for environmentalists whose goals are to end consumptive use of natural resources and eventually to put an end to the event itself. Odd isn’t it, or it would be if people would open their eyes, that sportsmen pay all the money, have it taken away from us by political, non-governmental agencies and used against us. If more sportsmen could see this, perhaps more than a small handful would begin asking what the hell is going to happen when the money dries up because there are no more sportsmen to take advantage of?

Which brings me back to the question of who is a marketing director going to target. Most will think a marketing director would be targeting other hunters and fisherman. On the surface, it might even appear that way. However, the real target will be those most susceptible to the propaganda created by Environmentalism. Most Maine sportsmen understand conservation of fish and game. Some are conned by Environmentalism, such as wanting for everyone to release all the fish they catch to save the planet. We play right into their hands when we do this sort of thing. What will the fishermen be saying when, after the forcing of catch and release, a perverted act in and of itself, the catch aspect is also done away with. Won’t happen? Just wait. It’s nearer than you think.

Environmentalism is no friend of the traditional hunter, trapper and fisherman…no friend at all. Our fish and game agencies have almost unanimously become fish and wildlife, or departments of natural resources, and along with it, imitate the environmentalists way of how fish and wildlife are discussed. This has been done by design and that design is such to destroy traditional hunting, fishing and trapping.

Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife doesn’t need a marketing director. I’ve spent a number of years writing about hunting, trapping and fishing and the outdoor business in general. In a previous life, I was quite extensively involved in the hospitality trade and tourism industry. One of the most important things I learned in those years was the simple truth that you have to have something that is marketable – that people want or you can convince that they want. The raw truth in that is that if you market something and the clientele discover the product stinks, you are in big trouble. So, you better have a good product first.

Another aspect I discovered, which caught me by surprise, was to learn that a large percentage – perhaps a majority – of Maine sportsmen, do not want to market hunting and fishing to “outsiders.” They want what limited product they have for themselves. And, for that you cannot blame them.

If we focus on deer hunting as an example, we know that from the deer harvest highs of many years ago – 35,000+ – to the lows of the latest years – less or near 20,000 – marketing a limited product to out-of-state interests might somehow generate a tiny bit more revenue, but most of that would end up being offset by the loss of locals who will give up hunting because the hunting is so poor and they have to share it with out-of-state hunters. And of course, if the product remains poor, what few hunters that were captured with a marketing scheme, upon discovery of false advertisement, would return home and never come back.

Consider marketing Maine fishing. Now, the push is to promote non-consumptive use of brook trout fishing – one of Maine’s more prized natural resources. This would mean a marketing campaign, aimed at convincing the “catch and release” brook trout fishermen to fish Maine waters. This means marketing to promote Environmentalism. That would result in a bigger push to force catch and release fishing, i.e. to end fishing altogether. But I know most don’t want to believe my words. We’ll see.

I don’t think MDIFW is the place that should be directing its resources and energy to market a product. Maybe the saying of “if you build it, they will come” comes into play here. And if the State of Maine believes they have a marketable product now, big enough to share with “those from away,” then the effort should come from the Office of Tourism, not the Department on Inland Fisheries and Wildlife. Tourism is the specialty of the Office of Tourism, not MDIFW.

Thank you to the Appropriations Committee for giving a 7-6 ought not to pass. Let’s hope the Legislature sees fit to drop this proposal and if necessary get a governor’s veto.

 

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Jaguar Fishing – This Ain’t No Croc

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IFW Wants To Hear Your Opinions About Maine’s Fisheries

Press Release from the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife:

Dear Maine Angler,

The Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife (MDIFW) is embarking on a study to revise its longterm fisheries management plan.  There have been several opportunities for angler input into the process, including a scientific survey and a series of focus groups (licensed resident and nonresident anglers were randomly selected to participate in each). 

However, MDIFW wants to hear from all anglers, and there are two ways you can be involved in the process.  The first is through an online “Town Hall” forum allowing anglers to submit comments to the agency and discuss fisheries management with one another.  

The fisheries Town Hall forum can be accessed here:  www.mefish.org.

The second way to participate in the process is by attending one of the public meetings on fisheries management taking place this month and next.   Here is the schedule for the meetings:

  • Thursday, March 17 from 6:00 to 9:00 p.m.; Embassy Suites, 1050 Westbrook Street, Portland, ME 04102, Katahdin Room
  • Thursday, March 17 from 6:00 to 9:00 p.m.; Northeastland Hotel, 436 Maine Street, Presque Isle, ME 04769, Red Room
  • Thursday, March 31 from 6:00 to 9:00 p.m.; Black Bear Inn, 4 Godfrey Drive, Orono, ME 04473, Blue Room
  • Tuesday, April 5 from 6:00 to 9:00 p.m.; University of Farmington, Lincoln Auditorium, 224 Main Street, Farmington, ME 04938

Many anglers in Maine are also hunters and landowners, and a similar research process is being conducted to update MDIFW’s big game management plan.  

An online Town Hall for big game management issues is accessible at www.metownhall.org.

The public meetings on big game will be split between meetings for deer, moose, and turkey issues and meetings for black bear issues:

Deer, Moose, and Turkey Management Public Meetings:

  • Saturday, March 19 from 1:00 to 4:00 p.m.; Embassy Suites, 1050 Westbrook Street, Portland, ME 04102, Katahdin Room
  • Saturday, March 19 from 1:00 to 4:00 p.m.; Northeastland Hotel, 436 Maine Street, Presque Isle, ME 04769, Red Room
  • Saturday, April 2 from 1:00 to 4:00 p.m.; Black Bear Inn, 4 Godfrey Drive, Orono, ME 04473, Blue Room

Bear Management Public Meetings:

  • Wednesday, March 16 from 6:00 to 9:00 p.m.; Embassy Suites, 1050 Westbrook Street, Portland, ME 04102, Katahdin Room
  • Wednesday, March 16 from 6:00 to 9:00 p.m.; Northeastland Hotel, 436 Maine Street, Presque Isle, ME 04769, Red Room
  • Wednesday, March 30 from 6:00 to 9:00 p.m.; Black Bear Inn, 4 Godfrey Drive, Orono, ME 04473, Blue Room

Thank you for your interest in Maine’s fish and wildlife resources.  We hope to hear from you soon.

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Powerful Animal Rights Lobby Puts Profits Over Mankind

This is a rebuttal to a hypocritical blog by Val Philbrick on Don Loprieno’s blog at the Bangor Daily News.

The blog spends ample time attempting to convince readers that lobbying efforts by certain members of Maine’s hunting, fishing and trapping industry are corrupt and causes harm to wildlife in pursuit of profits. Ignorance and hypocrisy abound.

I basically have two points to make. The first is that while the North American Model of Wildlife Conservation is still practiced, at least to some degree by fish and game agencies that have not fully succumbed to the “new ways to discuss wildlife management,” it is a proven model for the management of abundant wildlife of all species for the benefit of ALL. The new way wildlife management is discussed, promotes scarcity and disease, along with the destruction of rights and private property, while limiting access to public lands. Over-protection of animals is a perverted practice that places the health, safety and general welfare of people at risk at the expense of people’s right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

The second point to make is that it is quite hypocritical that this author, evidently suggesting lobbying for the hunting, fishing and trapping industry is somehow unethical, immoral and a danger to wildlife, doesn’t happen to mention that she is a member of the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) and People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA). If one wanted to discuss ethics and morality as related to HSUS and PETA, a book could be written.

Evidently a man is not worthy of his hire. There seems to be opposition to a couple of tens-of-thousands of dollars made to promote and protect the hunting, fishing and trapping industries while there is no mention of the MILLIONS of dollars being made by members of HSUS, PETA and many other Environmental and animal rights groups. I wonder how this small handful of Maine outdoor industry lobbyists’ ethics would stand up in comparison to the filthy, rotten, lying, cheating and stealing done by most of these Environmental/Animal Rights groups?

This author claims that lobbying the government to perpetuate a proven means of wildlife management is exploiting wildlife for profits. The author indicates that this practice should be ended. Really? I certainly have my own opposing thoughts and opinions to the corruption of lobbying, as it exists today, and so, if one is to call for the ending of lobbying of the hunting, fishing and trapping industry, then let’s put an end to the perverted and exceedingly corrupt lobbying efforts of the HSUS and PETA, along with any and all groups. In short, let’s outlaw lobbying at every level of government.

I find it interesting that for years groups like HSUS and PETA, as well as Environmental groups, have become spoiled due to their fine organizational skills and fund raising, to do their lobbying and propagandizing of a nation, unopposed. Decades too late, the lobby opposed to the radical and perverted ways of HSUS and PETA, etc. are beginning to get their act together, in the sense that they are figuring out that the best way to fight fire is with fire. They have been left with no other choice. And now we see animal rights perverts and human haters throwing hissy-fits because a handful of lobbyists in Maine are opposing anti-human activities of the far more powerful and organized groups such as HSUS and PETA.

If this author is honestly suggesting that an end be put to political lobbying in Maine, then sign me up. There is nothing more that I would like to be witness to, than HSUS, PETA, Wildlife Alliance of Maine, Audubon, National Wildlife Federation, Natural Resources Council, Animal Welfare Institute, and all the rest banned from buying votes in the Legislature. Bring it on!

If the call for an end to lobbying for everyone is not sincere, and this is only an attempt to clear the field of any opposition for the animal rights knuckleheads, then pointing the finger at the hunting, fishing and trapping lobby only shows the totalitarianism that drives these close-minded groups.

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Federal Agency Bans Wolf, Bear Hunting Methods in Alaska

*Editor’s Note* – This is probably a good example of how regulation, and thus elimination of, hunting, fishing and trapping will take place in all of the United States in the future. It closely follows the fascist control of the central government, spreading out into all departments.

On Friday, the National Park Service (NPS) published new hunting regulations that would ban several controversial hunting practices from National Preserves in Alaska. The new regulations overrides current state wildlife laws and Alaskan officials have stated that they were concerned over the intrusion by the NPS in what they say should be a state concern. In a press release, the Alaska Department of Fish and Game called the new regulations “restrictive” and detrimental to practices that have a “longstanding importance” to state hunters.

Source: Federal Agency Bans Wolf, Bear Hunting Methods in Alaska – OutdoorHub

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