January 18, 2022

Tagging Maine’s Ruffed Grouse

It appears from all indications that very few people are aware of, “An Act to Strengthen Maine’s Wildlife Laws.” It is even more concerning that even fewer people have been made aware of Sec. 11. 12 MRSA §11857 of that act, entitled, “Unlawful possession of ruffed grouse.”

Here is that section only but I would advice hunters to check out everything within “The Act.”

Sec. 11. 12 MRSA §11857 is enacted to read:

§ 11857. Unlawful possession of ruffed grouse
1. Daily bag limit. A person may not take more than the daily bag limit of ruffed grouse during any open season on ruffed grouse as established by the commissioner.
2. Possession limit. A person may not possess more than the possession limit of ruffed grouse taken during any open season on ruffed grouse as established by the commissioner.
3. Duty to label ruffed grouse. A person shall label any ruffed grouse that the person has taken, before the next calendar day begins, with the name of the person who harvested the ruffed grouse and the date it was taken if that person is within or travelling through the unorganized territory.
4. Penalty. A person who violates this section commits a Class E crime for which a fine of not less than $100 plus $25 for each ruffed grouse taken in violation may be adjudged.

So, if you are a partridge hunter, better take along some paper and pen and something to attach a tag to a bird if you plan on hunting in or traveling through Maine’s “Unorganized Territories.”

I’m sure there is a reason for such a law, where there has never been one before, but it kind of smells a bit like one of those “I gotcha!” laws.

Share

Deer Hunting With Drones?

I was sent some information from a reader about the prospects of hunting deer or other animals with the use of a drone; a drone being a remote controlled flying contraption that provides video or photos of areas used to locate game for hunting purposes.

First of all we must bear in mind the Airborne Hunting Act:

This Act, Public Law 92-159, approved November 18, 1971 (85 Stat. 480) and subsequently amended by P.L. 92-502, approved October 28, 1972 (86 Stat. 905) added to the Fish and Wildlife Act of 1956 a new section 13 (16 U.S.C. 742j-l), which is commonly referred to as the Airborne Hunting Act or Shooting from Aircraft Act, prohibits shooting or attempting to shoot or harrassing any bird, fish, or other animal from aircraft except for certain specified reasons, including protection of wildlife, livestock, and human life as authorized by a Federal or State issued license or permit. States authorized to issue permits are required to file reports with the Secretary of the Interior containing information on any permits issued.

Also keep it in your mind that this act, having been through the rigors of the courts at differing times, has some degree of time restrictions. It is my understanding that a certain period of time must elapse from the time a prospective hunter spots game and when he is on the ground and can legally shoot.

Tech is all over the place and it seems that more tech products are being released every single day. Many high-profile technology companies usually hold their own separate event throughout the year just to unveil their latest new electronic gadget, and never then take out world famous exhibitions to showcase their newest electronic gadget. So let’s take a closer look at the top 10 hottest trends in technology in the coming years. Droneuncover covers the latest trends in drones, and remote operated helicopters. Happy searching!

I’m not sure that this law would pertain all that much to hunting with a personal drone. However, one must be sure of their own state statutes. In Maine, I believe the law is quite clear in that it states:

1. Prohibition on use of aircraft to hunt. A person on the ground or airborne may not use an aircraft to aid or assist in hunting:

I would suppose that once lawyers got involved, a debate might ensue as to the definition of “aircraft”. It is also my belief that when this statute was written, it was not written to deal with drones. Rather it was written to deal with a hunter on the ground by aided by a pilot in the plane as to the location of game.

What are the statutes in your state and if legal would you consider using a drone to assist you with hunting? With the ever increasing presence of technology in the sport of hunting one has to wonder what the limits are and whether or not each state is keeping up with regulations to ensure that such contraptions aren’t having negative effects on the sustainability of game populations.

This blog addresses hunting with a drone and questions the ethical ramifications of drone hunting. And the video below is sample video taken from a small remote controlled drone. If the quality and capabilities of affordable drones in general is represented in this video, I certainly wouldn’t fear the overuse of the devices.

I should also point out here that I had previously had conversations with a friend about another issue concerning the use of drones for business related items and with a bit of research it was determined that the federal government, i.e. the FAA, is beginning to crack down on the personal use of drones and is intending to regulate the activity. This should mean, licensing and all other means of pricing and regulating hobby users out of commission.

It may not be a matter of whether you would use a drone to hunt with but a matter of whether your government will permit it.

Share

Rome Burns While Congress Struggles To Save Junk Mail

At what point in our history did it become a good thing to compromise everything good away? So many today lament that the United States Congress is so dysfunctional that it can’t compromise on anything and get anything done. I suppose this sort of thought goes hand in hand with comments made a few years ago by Maine’s Senator Olympia Snowe when she stated that her job was to go to Washington and write bills.

Alas, the great divide, that nasty lack of compromise by members of the U.S. Congress. Perhaps if we had never acquired this fabricated “need” for compromise, a far lot less would have been “done” – defined better as destroyed – in Congress and we wouldn’t be finding ourselves in the messes we are currently. For certainly doing nothing is far superior than destroying the lives, liberties and happiness of others for the sake of “getting something done”. Senator Snowe labels herself a Republican, not that labels pertaining to party affiliation mean anything anymore, and yet she believes it’s her job to go to Washington and write bills. Probably a sensible person would have fingers left over uncounted if they named all the necessary laws that have been crafted since the signing of the Declaration and the U.S. Constitution. (Note: Almost nobody in America today would agree with that statement.) It is not taught, nor is it even recognized that for every bill Congress writes, that’s one less freedom you have and that much more power and control you have willingly ceded to a government that is untrustworthy.

Need I remind the people that the vast majority of those legislative measures get their roots from those who find a need to control others, expressing their lack of faith in their fellow man. Thomas Jefferson found considerable faith in his fellow man. Once, he and John Adams were arguing about the role of government’s power over the people. Jefferson said to Adams, “You have a disconcerting lack of faith in your fellow man Mr. Adams, and in yourself, if I may say.” Adams snapped back, “Yes, and you display a dangerous excess of faith in your fellow man, Mr. Jefferson.”

Perhaps Adams was right. Maybe Jefferson placed a bit too much faith in his fellow man but to maintain the sovereign independence of the human being, a person must retain the promise, as from God, the means in which to discover and appreciate such freedoms and inalienable rights without the interference of government. Thomas Jefferson, in a further expression of his certitude of man’s aptitude to do what’s right, wrote: “An honest man can feel no pleasure in the exercise of power over his fellow citizens.”

And yet, the people of this day, the victims of Jefferson’s concerns over the tyranny of dishonest men exercising power over others, can seemingly only echo the moans of others who castigate the lack of compromise as reason for not taking more from government.

In America today, debt piles up at immeasurable speed. God told his people, “Owe no man anything.” I suppose one of the reasons for accumulated debt is the result of taking our eyes off God as a country. Very serious issues face the American people. I question how much any of them understand the extent of this seriousness and yet our Congress, every one, fight tooth and nail for themselves and only themselves. Why do we insist on thinking otherwise?

Recall, if you will, several years ago when the people of this country asked Congress if there was something that could be done about receiving unwanted telephone calls from telemarketers, etc. Our self-aggrandizing Congress crafted a law prohibiting such calls. It was even done giving people a choice to enlist in the program or not. However, I cannot fail to mention that Congress exempted themselves from any such law. This way they could, in their intrusive, selfish and disgusting ways, intrude on your privacy anytime they saw fit in order to promote their own lies and propaganda.

And today, while Congress fights and argues like spoiled rotten brats to save the Postal Service, make no mistake about the fact they will do everything in their power to screw you over and protect their own self interests. While Senator Joe Lieberman and Senator Susan Collins regurgitate and swallow again that there needs to be, “some kind of compromise on amendments”, Senator Harry Reid promised that senior citizens wouldn’t be denied their junk mail.

Sen. Reid, hiding behind a chameleonic lie, attempting to convince people he gives two pieces of a rat’s ass about senior citizens, I’m sure was doing as Doug Powers at MichelleMalkin.com said and, “Why am I guessing that the “junk mail” Reid is worried about being delivered to his elderly constituents are the letters from Harry Reid’s office?”

This appears about all our Congress is capable of doing, which may, in and of itself, be a good thing. While it’s too late now, I just wish there were never compromises made on 99.9% of anything. I was trying to explain this to my mother one day and so I put it in terms I thought she would understand. I hope some readers here can as well. I asked her if compromise is such a good thing in order to “get something done”, as she had worded it to me, then I suppose being a believer in God Almighty, a born again Christian and one who stands firmly on the word of God, you would be willing to compromise the promises of God in order that you can better get along with other religions?

For now, it is probably best that the president go on permanent vacation and send Congress home for recess, while suspending all of their pay. For we have reached a point where I certainly find greater solace in this government doing absolutely NOTHING, than to keep forcing onto me the compromises “in order to get something done”.

Tom Remington

Tom Remington

Share

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

Share

Open Letter to Maine Trappers, Hunters, Commissioner Woodcock and Governor LePage

*Editor’s Note:* The below letter was sent electronically to Gov. Paul LePage, MDIFW Commissioner Chandler Woodcock and several hunting industry leaders throughout Maine.

I have spent much of the last three days studying and researching the laws governing trapping, snaring and in particular the Coyote Control Program. I finished up a 30 minute session on the telephone with the Maine Law Library this morning and learned some very interesting pieces of information. I’ll try to spare all the details and provide only those of importance.

PL2003 c. 655 an act by the Legislature, effective Aug. 31, 2004, repealed all of Title 12, section 10105 subsection 3. In other words there is no longer a Coyote Control Program in Maine. Prior to the repeal, the language of 10105 sub 3 was as follows:

“3. Coyote control program. Pursuant to section 10053, subsection 8, the commissioner shall maintain a coyote control program as follows.
“A. The commissioner may employ qualified persons to serve as agents of the department for purposes of coyote control. These agents must be trained by the department in animal damage control techniques and must be utilized by the department to perform coyote control duties in areas where predation by coyotes is posing a threat to deer or other wildlife. Each agent shall execute a cooperative agreement with the department specifying the conditions and limitations of the agent’s responsibilities as an agent, including any terms for reimbursement of expenses or payment of wages.
“B. Agents must be trained in the use of snares and must be deployed in the unorganized townships to control coyotes during the winter months. All snaring must be carried out under the direction of department officials and with the knowledge of the local game warden. All areas of snaring activity must be adequately posted.
“C. Agents may be utilized for the benefit of agricultural interests as long as the department is reimbursed annually for the cost of those efforts by the Department of Agriculture, Food and Rural Resources from funds specifically appropriated or otherwise made available to the Department of Agriculture, Food and Rural Resources for that purpose.”

All that exists now in Maine Statute Title 12, Section 10105 is:

3. Coyote control program.
[ 2003, c. 614, §9 (AFF); 2003, c. 655, Pt. B, §21 (RP); 2003, c. 655, Pt. B, §422 (AFF) .]

The history line across the bottom tells us the process of the elimination of the Coyote Control Program laws.

All that governs snaring in Maine is Maine Statute 12252 which bans snaring and Maine Statute Title 12, Section 10105, subsection 1:

1. Authorize taking or destruction of wildlife. Whenever the commissioner determines it necessary for the accomplishment of the commissioner’s statutory duties, the commissioner may authorize a person to assist the commissioner in the taking and destruction of any wildlife. The commissioner may place conditions or restrictions on any authorization granted under this subsection. A person who violates a condition or restriction placed on an authorization granted under this subsection invalidates that authorization and subjects that person to applicable laws under this Part.
[ 2003, c. 614, §9 (AFF); 2003, c. 655, Pt. B, §20 (AMD); 2003, c. 655, Pt. B, §422 (AFF) .]

This repeal, which by the way includes LD237 which provided the guidelines in which the IFW Commissioner could implement a snaring program, could have effectively been undertaken during the recodification process that became law in 2003. I don’t know that this happened but it is a possibility. Regardless, it is my opinion that the laws of the State of Maine and the wishes of the people have been circumvented through manipulation of the “process” in order to achieve certain goals and agendas.

So, it would appear, by law, the ONLY thing the Commissioner has a legal right to do is hire or appoint trappers/hunters to target coyotes, with limited traps due to lynx lawsuit protections or rifles, that are killing our deer herds. And with no more Coyote Control Program, in which the Legislature once many years ago and reiterated several times after, mandated that the Commissioner/IFW formulate a Control Program, does this not make Maine more susceptible to lawsuits by targeting coyotes or any other predator to save deer?

Any notions anyone has that Maine will ever implement a snaring program again should be flushed out of their minds. We can waste time blaming anyone and everyone for what has happened but it fails to change the facts.

Snaring is not supported by IFW, I don’t know if the Legislature or the Governor’s office supports it, but it will never happen and it will definitely not happen with the approval of the USFWS. So, let’s stop wasting our time and energy. It’s just NOT going to happen.

As sportsmen, who care about our opportunities to hunt for deer and fill our freezers for food for the year, how do we change 1.) the laws and support needed from the Joint Committee and the Legislature to save this industry?, and 2.) how do we change the attitudes of those at IFW who support the propagation and spread of predators, rather spend their time and efforts on non game programs and view hunting and trapping as activities that they deem as socially unacceptable activities? These attitudes have no place in a fish and game department in which I invest my hard earned money to support. This MUST change!

It’s time for IFW, the Legislature and the Governor’s office to come clean on where Maine stands in its statutes to govern trapping and snaring and move forward in an aggressive and meaningful manner to remove harmful predators and rebuild the deer herd. If this can be done, it is my belief that there will be more support from the sporting community to dig in and help.

Share