January 27, 2023

MDIFW Avoided the Cash Rewards

In George Smith’s article in the Bangor Daily News, he writes of a question he was asked by a reader as to why, “Maine essentially close[d] the bear season to non-residents during deer season?”, and querying as to why the Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife (MDIFW) and/or the Legislature won’t open the November deer hunting season to harvesting bear by non-residents in the same fashion as Maine residents can do during the deer season.

The MDIFW offers an answer to that question but doesn’t really address the real issue with managing bears or explain their cash windfall by charging non-resident deer hunters an additional $74.00 for a special tag in order to harvest a bear during deer season. (Maine residents must pay an additional $27.00 for a bear permit to hunt bear outside of deer season.)

As Smith explains and has explained, MDIFW is in the process of establishing revised 15-year management plans for big game species that include bear, deer, moose and turkey. Part of the plan for bear involves what the Department can do to create a greater interest in bear hunting in order to better keep in check a still growing bear population.

The explanation as to why non-residents can’t inclusively hunt bear during deer season without a $74.00 tag, does not include why MDIFW or the Maine Legislature decided to create the exemption in the first place. If the MDIFW is certainly interested in keeping hunters happy, providing for the best management of bears, while at the same time looking for ways to increase the bear harvest, they sure have a strange way of going about it.

MDIFW says that after implementation of the bear hunt exemption, non-resident deer hunters continue to lay out $74.00 for a bear tag, even though the success rate is slim to none – barely over a dozen bears harvested. MDIFW says those bear permits range from 700 – 1,000 each season – or a cash windfall to MDIFW of between $51,800 and $74,000 dollars per year. In the grand scheme of government gouging for every tax dollar they can swindle out of the public, this is not a lot of money, but we do need to change the attitudes of tax payers and stop giving these bureaucrats more money so they can find more ways to limit hunter’s ways to harvest game.

The explanation given by MDIFW about the small harvest totals of bears during the deer season is understandable but it doesn’t address the issue of what to do about the Department’s ability to better control the bear population. In the explanation, MDIFW’s bear biologist writes, “…we will consider a variety of options for meeting our management needs that includes reviewing our permit system and making changes if appropriate.”

I understand that in this particular incident MDIFW was addressing the question asked and therefore there was no need to explain more about the proposed bear management plan.

As I said above, MDIFW has an odd way of addressing how to generate more bear kills to control the population. The first mistake, in my opinion, they made was to require bear hunters to pay for a special bear hunting permit ($27.00 for residents, $74.00 for non residents), in addition to the Big Game Hunting License ($26.00 for residents, $115.00 for non residents). Not everyone is made of money and in a time when all governments are out of control and clueless about stealing more and more of people’s money, they fail to realize that two things can happen with this scenario. First, fewer people can and will cough up the money to purchase a bear permit. Second, those still wishing to harvest a bear, will do it illegally. In addition, I tire from listening to lame excuses such as the fees required in Maine are a lot cheaper than in other states. Fine! But we are not talking about other states and never is there any discussion about demographics and other factors that go into the setting of fees for hunting, fishing and trapping. I grew up in Maine and I certainly understand, from my own past, that for some people buying a license is a chore. Is it not discriminatory to set fees that take away some people’s opportunities to hunt, fish or trap?

MDIFW grants Maine residents permission to harvest a bear, at no extra charge, during deer season with the purchase of a Big Game Hunting License ($27.00). How big of them, considering, as shown in the explanation in discussion, very few bears are taken during deer season because the bears are most often in hibernation. But they did put it to the non-residents asking for and additional $74.00 (in addition to the $115.00). While the bear harvest by non-residents before and after is seemingly negligible, a handful of harvested bears versus the cash windfall might be worth losing a few more bears.

If MDIFW wanted more bears harvested, why ask Maine hunters to pay for a permit? Makes no sense. Out one side of their mouths they cry about what they are going to do to curb the bear population. While doing that they stick their hand into hunter’s back pockets and pick them clean with no justification other than they wanted more money. It certainly does nothing to help control bear numbers.

Of the bear hunters that exist and do try to harvest bear, why not offer some means of allowing hunters or trappers to take more than one bear? MDIFW really went all out when they said a person could take one bear by trapping and one by hunting (sarcasm in case you weren’t keen). I bet that knocked down the bear population in a hurry!

We know that bears are big killers of deer fawns. MDIFW attempts to use smoke and mirrors to convince people that there are now tons of deer (due to one mild winter, wink, wink), and yet, the deer harvest essentially has remained at historic lows for at least the last 10 years. MDIFW has done nothing to remedy this problem with the exception of coughing up a couple dollars to do some sporadic predator control.

If bear populations are a problem, anyone with a brain should be able to logically conclude that with bears being fawn killers, two birds could be killed with one shot here. Increasing the bag limit on bear, in turn might help grow a deer herd instead of relying on Al Gore and his fake Global Warming.

But wait! MDIFW probably won’t do that because they are owned by the Maine Guides Association. Near as I can tell the guides tell MDIFW what they will and will not do when it comes to bear hunting. Granted, I’m not as stupid as some may think, bear hunting is a cash cow for the guides and they don’t want anybody spoiling their fun. But, at what expense?

It appears from reports I’ve heard and read about, MDIFW is looking at ways of creating more “interest” in bear hunting, hoping this will lower the bear population. Seriously? Again, strange ways of generating an interest in bear hunting. Maine should implement a 2-bear bag limit for one season and then reassess. While they are at it, they should seriously increase the number of moose permits and take a real proactive approach at dealing with an overgrown moose herd that is killing itself with disease and pests – Mother Nature in action.

If MDIFW is only looking for ways of fattening up their cash cow, why not be transparent and go to the hunters, trappers and fishermen, who have paid MDIFW’s way for decades and tell them what they need, what they are going to do with the money and how it will benefit the sportsman. MDIFW might be surprised at the response they get. But, instead, they limit the opportunities for bear hunters while at the same time attempting to gouge their wallets and then wonder what can they do to generate interest.

You can’t make this stuff up.


A Criminal Background Check to Buy a Hunting License?

Our social engineering (brainwashing) shows its very ugly head when calls go out to, once again, punish law-abiding hunters because criminals, crooks, thieves and liars, bought a hunting license, illegally.

If you read this article found in a Maine newspaper, it doesn’t take too many sentences to discover that those involved are habitual offenders, crooks, bums, thugs, killers and liars – just to mention only a few of their better traits.

And learning of these incidents, where one of the convicted felons, who cannot legally possess a firearm, was able to buy a Maine firearm hunting license, the jerks are reacting in knee-jerk form.

Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife (MDIFW) commissioner, Chandler Woodcock and Rep. Skip Herrick, R-Paris, are considering forcing anyone who purchases a hunting license to undergo a criminal background check. This is the typical idiotic, brain-dead response we are used to getting from ignorant, emotional, mental midgets who still haven’t figured out yet that punishing lawful citizens for the acts of criminals does nothing to alter the actions of the criminals.

Here we have a bunch of criminals, who probably, due to lack of good and thorough law enforcement and judicial review, remain on the street acting and behaving as criminals. At least one of the crooks cannot legally possess a firearm but is able to buy a hunting license and because he can buy a hunting license someone thinks that if Maine put license applicants through a national criminal background check, criminals wouldn’t commit more crimes.

It has been pointed out before that those who hate anybody who doesn’t think the way they do will find a way, directly or indirectly, to put a stop to that way of life. They are called totalitarians. Much like how driving the cost of ammunition to levels completely unaffordable would seriously alter a person’s right to keep and bear arms, adding the cost of a criminal background check onto the price of a hunting license, would drastically reduce the number of people wanting to go hunting, and for no good reason.

One has to wonder if punishing hunters was the first thought officials had in response to this latest incident of legal abuse. Obviously having a law to prohibits a felon from owning or possessing a firearm doesn’t have any effect on criminals. Why then would anybody think forcing hunters to undergo a background check before you can buy a license, stop a criminal from going hunting with a gun he/she cannot legally possess?

Perhaps the first thoughts should have been, why are these criminals still walking the streets? When you consider the criminal records of these loathsome outlaws, wouldn’t any problems, real or perceived, be solved by locking them up where they belong? Not in this psychopathic society that believes punishing lawful citizens is the answer.




Editorial: Raising fees is no way to fund Fish and Game

*Editor’s Note* – It is not my intention, at this time anyway, to debate what is the best way to fund New Hampshire’s fish and game department. There is, however, a couple of issues in the linked-to editorial that I wish to add some clarity, if not corrections, so that readers can more accurately decide for themselves.

The author states how that raising license fees will drive hunters away from the sport, thus leaving the department with fewer licenses, i.e. revenue, and the loss in revenue would be greater than the projected increase in revenue from a license fee hike.

Personally, I reject license fee increases without first a good and accurate accounting of every penny being spent. There is an historic accounting that should be mentioned concerning this claim. Historically, the raising of license fees, has shown that in the short term, there may be a decrease in license purchases, thus participation in hunting. In the long run, it has little or no effect unless the increase is unrealistically too high.

New Hampshire’s proposal is to raise the fee from $33.00 annually to $43.00. The state claims it hasn’t raised rates since 2003. From that perspective perhaps a $10 increase isn’t “too” high, but then again, it makes New Hampshire one of the most costly licenses to purchase compared nationally.

The point here is that a flat claim that raising license fees diminishes the number of hunters and thus there’s a loss of revenue, is not completely accurate when factoring in long-term demographics.

The second issue has to do with the author’s claim that, ” Cultural changes and the increased development of forests and agricultural lands have caused a decline in the sale of hunting licenses.” At the same time the author states that in New Hampshire license sales have remained flat. According to the National Survey of Hunting, Fishing and Wildlife (2011 edition), hunting licenses for that year totaled 13.7 million (nationally), as compared to 12.5 million in 2006.

New Hampshire license purchases from the years 1996 – 2011, according to the same report, shows a continued decrease. Perhaps New Hampshire has a game management problem that’s not necessarily going to be cured with more money. In addition, further evaluation of reasons given that hunters stopped hunting, shows the number one reason being lack of time, followed closely by lack of access to huntable land.

Generally speaking, revenue shortfalls with fish and game departments come as a result of increases in pay, benefits and retirement to employees. Seldom does any increase in revenue from any source directly result in the improvement of wildlife management. Maybe improved management would cure the revenue problem.

I am opposed to funding fish and game departments with general taxation money. However, this author’s suggestion that a portion of taxes collected from the sale of targeted hunting/fishing products, seems worthy of further discussion.

The latest proposal by the New Hampshire Department of Fish and Game to raise license fees to combat its perennial budget shortfall will add to that collection of artifacts. It will also cost the state more money than it nets for one of the only self-funded departments of its kind.

Source: Editorial: Raising fees is no way to fund Fish and Game | Concord Monitor


Maine Proposes Socialistic Subsidized Mandatory Comprehensive Hunting License

Once upon a time, choice was a good thing. It symbolized independence, freedom, liberty. It was proof that one truly lived in mostly a free country. Those days are gone and an example of the direction this country has taken can be seen in the State of Maine where a bill has been proposed to offer a mandatory “comprehensive” hunting license. It works basically this way. Instead of buying a big game hunting license, with options available to enhance the hunting experience (by choice), totaling by some estimates $130 or so, the bill suggests increasing the cost of a “comprehensive” hunting license to obtain a revenue neutral situation and forcing all hunters to pay.

Once upon a time in Maine, a person could walk into their town office and buy a hunting license. With that license they could go hunting……period. This eventually morphed into a revenue-generating scheme in which hunters had to pay for separate licenses for big game, small game, deer permits, bear permits, turkey permits, muzzleloader permits, archery permits, etc. etc. etc.(Now totaling $130.00) This gradual tax scheme met with little resistance, or so it appeared, mostly due to the fact that the majority of hunters only hunted deer. They therefore needed only one deer hunting license. But the state figured out how to charge extra money for the privilege of shooting a deer without antlers.

We have now reached a point in our continued downward spiral toward complete socialism and the subsidization of anything and anyone, that all may be forced to purchase a one-size-fits-all hunting license, at a higher price of course. What once was choice would then become a state mandated tax, not unlike Obamacare, except this would only affect hunters. Because a handful of hunters buy all the tags and permits and think it’s too high, I must pay more money so they don’t have to. Does that make sense to you? And let’s not forget that the reason given is to make it simpler to buy a license…..really? You know you’re a socialist if……….?

V. Paul Reynolds writes:

For my money, give the sportsman a choice with an optional comprehensive, one-stop hunting license that sells for less than $100.00. The Department would not lose a lot of money, nobody is subsidizing anybody, and the benefit is more simplicity and convenience for both the license sellers and the customers.

As a friend and regular reader of this website once said, the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife spends lots of time and resources attempting to figure out how to make it easier and faster for customers to purchase their products, while neglecting the product itself.