October 14, 2019

Wardens raise concerns about gun-sales background check proposal

“The Maine Warden Service says ballot Question 3 could be difficult or impossible to enforce, as supporters and opponents launch ads and announce endorsements.”<<<Read More>>>

“The Maine Warden Service, the law enforcement bureau of the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife, is concerned that Question 3, if approved by the voters, will have negative impacts on some individuals who hunt and trap in Maine. Most importantly, this ballot question is written in such a way that it will be difficult—if not impossible—for Wardens to enforce.”<<<Read More>>>

mwsquestion3

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Blind Subservience to mAN-gODS’ Law Enforcement

In a letter to the editor in the Kennebec Journal/Morning Sentinel, a writer states: “Equally disturbing was the total lack of regard for Maine law by the investigation’s subjects. Illegal drug use, drinking and driving, drinking and hunting, driving with a loaded gun in addition to night hunting are not only illegal but dangerous behavior.”

This writer couldn’t agree more. However, to fully demonize and cast judgement on the “subjects” for breaking the laws of the State of Maine, while allowing a different standard for any law enforcement agency is not in the best interest of anyone and carries with it the same reasoning that such behavior by law enforcement, “are not only illegal but a dangerous behavior.” If Maine law allows law enforcement to break laws, it needs to be changed. If not, then how can one claim this behavior is “dangerous” for some but not for others. That’s known as a double standard. There can not exist double standards between the people and the government. Have we not been witness to the historic results?

If for no other reason, law enforcement, if it intends for the citizen-slaves to abide by state’s laws, should set the example and follow the same laws. Why are they any different from you and I?

As a parent, I always had the discussion with my wife, that if we intended our children to grow up with proper morals and behavior, then we must set the example for them. Where there is no leadership, the people perish.

Granting blind deference to any government and/or its agents, believing this is somehow in the best interest of our future as free men, is the exemplification of brainwashing and propagandizing.

If the Maine Courts are ruling according to the written law, they have told us that the actions of undercover agents have been legal. That does not make them right. I, for one, would like to see those rules and regulations changed.

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Government Will Investigate Government in Maine Warden Service Conundrum

*Editor’s Note* – I have written previously on this subject. Follow these links for more information and commentary – HEREHEREHEREHERE

I told you so! Back on May 13, 2016, in response to a news report that the State of Maine would conduct an investigation into possible illegal or improper tactics by undercover Maine Wardens, and the subsequent accusation of stonewalling the press for information under the Freedom of Information Access Act law, I expressed myself thus: “There have been calls for an “investigation” into what’s going on as well as a look into the written policies, which evidently are a secret, that regulate the behavior of undercover Maine wardens. The problem with such an investigation is that it is likely to be the government investigating the government, and we all know what that outcome will be.” (emboldening added)

The Portland Press Herald is now reporting that limited representation from the Maine Judiciary Committee, along with limited members of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife and the Warden Service, will be part of a “hearing,” open to the public but with no outside questions or input. In short, a dog and pony show. “There is no public hearing scheduled. No members of the public, no alleged victims of entrapment, no members of the press who have been stiffed on their FOAA requests, no criminal defense attorneys, nor other interested parties will be allowed to speak or participate. This is simply not fair or adequate.”

Not since the Maine Government investigated itself (this link has several articles about the Baxter Land Swap as well as Gardner Lumber Company cutting of deer yard timber) on the extremely controversial “Baxter Land Swap” and an investigation of the Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife of itself, concerning actions that allowed for the cutting of deer yard forest of certain public lands, – land that was part of the Baxter Land Swap – is there such thumbing of noses at a legitimate judicial review and public transparency – one can only conclude the good ole boys are at work covering their own asses. And, is it my imagination or does it appear as though even the undertaking of a much needed investigation is highly political and falls mostly, if not completely, along party lines?

Like good, non-thinking, robotic slaves, we are to never question government, or its authority, and accept what we are told as being the truth…their truth.

Lying

CoconutsBearEggs

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Nightmare Continues: More Accusations Against Same MWS Undercover Agent

The Portland Press Herald has another story today about another “sting” operation that took place in 2013 and 2014 in York County, that involved the same Maine Warden Service undercover officer who has been the focus of “controversial” tactics to catch “criminals” (predisposed to crime?) in Aroostook and Oxford Counties.

There have been calls for an “investigation” into what’s going on as well as a look into the written policies, which evidently are a secret, that regulate the behavior of undercover Maine wardens. The problem with such an investigation is that it is likely to be the government investigating the government, and we all know what that outcome will be.

It is my guess, without having the policies in front of me and judging from previous court rulings, that the undercover agent is following the policies. Perhaps it’s time for an examination of those policies and offer some changes.

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Media and IFW Deflecting Attention Away From More Serious Problems with FOAA

As anyone involved in the corruption of governments, politics and media in general should easily recognize, focusing on one issue to deflect attention away from a more serious issue, is a common event. Such may be the case in Maine where officials of the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife (MDIFW), the Maine Warden Service (MWS), the newspaper conglomerate which involves the Portland Press Herald (PPH), and media in general, appear to be focusing on the accuracy of one newspaper investigation of a sting operation that took place and concluded a couple of years ago.

The undercover operation, which is the topic of great discussion after the PPH released its own investigation, has concluded in the Courts. Disputing what actually took place generally becomes a practice in futility unless serious enough evidence can be uncovered that might warrant a revisiting of the case. Perhaps that was the intent of the PPH reporter.

Arguing the accuracy of the investigation between PPH and the MWS, draws attention away from what I see as a far more serious problem. Today’s media deluge still focuses on the “he-said-he-said” between PPH and MWS/IFW.

After the MWS released an official presser yesterday in response to PPH’s investigation, the Maine Governor’s Office also weighed in on the event by focusing sharply on whose information about the undercover operation was accurate – or perhaps more precisely, who lied. By taking the opportunity to thoroughly trash Maine Media as being biased, Governor LePage doesn’t mince words in personally attacking Colin Woodard, the author of the PPH investigative piece. “Let’s be perfectly clear: Colin Woodard is not a journalist; he is an activist and a novelist who never lets the facts get in the way of his fictionalized stories.”

The Bangor Daily News offers an article that only seems interested in keeping it’s focus on whether the facts of the case are accurate by MWS/IFW reports or those of the PPH.

The Kennebec Journal/Morning Sentinal online media, offers a blow by blow rebuttal to claims made by the MWS in their official response to the PPH investigation. What is missing from all of these reports, with the slight exception found in this report, involves the charade that is taking place over the PPH’s attempts to access email documents from IFW/MWS.

The Kennebec Journal/Morning Sentinal rebuttal responds specifically to claims made by the MWS that they had sent PPH 232 documents. “Only 35 emails have been released in response to the Press Herald’s public records request for communications with “North Woods, Law,” despite more than six months of effort.” The author of this piece provides MWS/IFW some wiggle room out of its statement about releasing 232 documents by saying: “In a separate request for the warden service’s policy for undercover investigations, the newspaper received a single, highly redacted, 16-page document with 15 pages mostly blacked out. The wardens may be conflating the Press Herald request with documents produced for the Kennebec Journal in 2015 in connection with a separate August 2014 public records request. Those were not the documents that the Press Herald requested.”

Additionally, the MWS’ official response claims that they were, “compliant with Maine’s Freedom of Access Act.” The PPH says they were not and offers instead what they claim is a complete publication of all emails exchanged between PPH, the MWS, IFW, Maine Attorney Generals Office, and other lawyers, seeking information about the undercover case and how Engel Entertainment, a video production service that produces the television show North Woods Law, was involved.

If we leave behind the undercover operation that took place in Allagash, Maine, and forget about whether the undercover warden service officer acted properly and within the law and policies of the IFW/MWS, and stop arguing about it, and then focus on the farce and deliberate stonewalling by IFW/MWS in fulfilling their obligation to provide documents through FOAA, we may have a condition worth getting worked up over. However, I don’t think anybody in government wants any attention brought to this event.

I have read every single email provided by the PPH in their attempt at getting documents. I see this as nothing more than a deliberate attempt to stonewall. The reasons for such stonewalling is unclear at this time. Perhaps it is nothing more than some perverted sense of retribution toward the PPH. If, as is exemplified by Governor Paul LePage’s disdain toward Maine Media, this same feeling of contempt and disrespect is prevalent throughout his administration, the actions of IFW/MWS can be explained, although not justifiably. At the least, to those who have taken the time to read and understand, it comes across as hiding evidence. And, when people suspect that, then they want to know what is there to hide?

I came to the conclusion, after reading all the emails, that collectively, not that many people can be so stupid. Third Graders could have worked this out in short order.

I think one has to go back to the beginning and examine the FOAA request from the PPH to IFW/MWS. In that request, PPH asked specifically for all email exchanges, for a specified date range of one year, and provided the search term of “@engelentertainment.com” – this being the domain name used by Engel Entertainment as part of their email address. PPH asked that this search be refined to exchanges involving events of the undercover operation in “Aroostook” County, where the sting took place.

Throughout the entire email exchange, it is easily clear that any use of the term “@engelentertainment.com” was omitted from any emails originating from the IFW, MWS, AGs office and representatives. It was so obvious to me, that this was beyond incompetence. It was deliberate avoidance of addressing the real issue.

Several times in the emails, Colin Woodard of the PPH, takes the time to explain to IFW/MWS/AG that he was requesting, from the onset, emails involving Engel Entertainment, and yet, that subject was ignored – repeatedly.

At best IFW/MWS attempted to turn the event back on PPH saying that if they wanted emails from “@engelentertainment.com” it would qualify as a separate request, involving more money and time to get the job done. In attempting to point out to IFW/MWS/AG officials that that search term was included in the original FOAA request, it fell on deaf ears. I could not see how Mr. Woodard could have been more clear on what he wanted.

While these actions come as no surprise to me – I’ve been witness to these government corruption actions before and experienced them first hand – the intent of the FOAA law, or at least what the American people were told, should, in no way, be representative of this action of government or any other government. Unfortunately, it is and short of some highly skilled lawyers and an unending supply of money, there is little hope that when real information is needed, anyone will ever get it. Is this not just a reflection of what we see on a continual basis in Washington? How has that FOAA been working out in getting to the bottom of Hillary Clinton’s email scandal? And how many lawyers and how much money is involved.

Government knows how to take care of government. They know that PPH isn’t going to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars to get information that government intends not to release. And so, the game is played.

BUT, DON’T GO LOOK!

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Maine Warden Service sets the record straight on “North Woods Lawless” allegations

*Editor’s Note* – Obviously somebody is lying, in part or in whole. Readers will have to decide between the Portland Press Herald investigative reporting or the statement by the Maine Warden Service. In addition to these two accounts, in my opinion there still remains unanswered questions about the process of PPH attempting to obtain documents. Read the exchange of emails and then decide if there exists incompetence or deliberate stonewalling.

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

The Maine Warden Service has been working diligently for the last two days in an effort to properly respond to the many inaccuracies contained within a Portland Press Herald story regarding our undercover operation in Allagash in 2014. We were informed today that the Portland Press Herald will not publish our response. Here it is in its entirety.

The story’s headline— “North Woods Lawless” —was correct because in that small isolated area of northern Aroostook County, a lawless attitude toward game laws by a small group of the town’s citizens had prevailed for many years.

That casual disregard was described in the story as “… a hit against our way of life.” that supposedly precipitated the undercover action by the Warden Service. It is well known that within sympathetic, tight-knit communities there is an unwillingness to speak out against one another. Special investigations are often the only means for acquiring evidence necessary for enforcement action. The sentiment of many in Allagash was that this lawlessness had been going on unanswered for far too long and resulted in complaints.

As a result of the investigation, 17 people were convicted of more than 75 crimes and violations that are detailed below. Suspects in this case paid over $39,000 in fines, spent a total of nearly 180 days in jail and had 80 years’ worth of license revocations handed down to those convicted. Thirty-three game wardens were used while serving five search warrants and one arrest warrant in Allagash. The investigation focused on three primary suspects and 15 other associates. Over the course of two years, 31 days were spent by the game warden investigator in contact with the primary suspects. The investigation ultimately moved its way through Maine’s judicial process, including the Maine Supreme Court just last month, which upheld the convictions previously adjudged by the jury of Aroostook County citizens.

Selecting an undercover case

There are a number of criteria that are considered prior to moving forward with an investigation of this nature. The first is whether or not the suspects of the investigation are inclined on their own to violate fish and game laws. The primary defendants in this case did have prior serious fish and wildlife violations—contrary to the statements used by the story’s author claiming that Carter McBreairty had “… no previous convictions.”

In addition, game wardens in the area had received numerous complaints about ongoing illegal hunting activity by the defendants, heavy drinking, violent tempers and attempts to try to intimidate local law enforcement. The complaints of ongoing poaching demonstrate that traditional patrol techniques were not successful in curtailing the illegal behavior. Soon after the warden investigator made contact with each of the defendants, they quickly confirmed their continued tendency to violate the law. The seriousness of the violations, coupled with the defendants’ criminal history and continued intent to violate, resulted in the investigation being authorized.

Release of documents

The story leads the reader to believe that the Maine Warden Service only produced a 16-page document and 35 emails in response to the author’s request. In reality, the Department has produced over 232 documents, for which the Portland Press Herald and their attorneys have paid.

Additionally, while attempting to accommodate the Freedom of Access Act request initiated by Colin Woodard, he filed a complaint with the Office of the Attorney General, which compelled the Warden Service to direct communications through attorneys. The Office of the Attorney General determined the Maine Warden Service was compliant with Maine’s Freedom of Access Act. The Maine Warden Service continues to work with the Attorney General’s Office to guide the release of records requested.

The Warden Service routinely processes requests for information through cooperative communication with the public to ensure the correct records are produced. Woodard resisted staff attempts to clarify the scope of his request, which would have reduced staff time and costs incurred by the requester. The Warden Service even dedicated time to create summary documents—which is not required under FOAA—in an attempt to expedite the request and make the process more efficient for Woodard.

“… SWAT-style raid…”

Woodard’s story asserts the Maine Warden Service used SWAT teams and tactics when conducting the operation in Allagash. Additionally, the story alleged the operation was embellished for purposes of the “North Woods Law” camera crews who were present. He is wrong. There were no SWAT teams or tactics used in the investigation, and no part of the investigation was embellished. This can be seen clearly in the episode of “North Woods Law,” which was titled “Throttle Out” and aired June 19, 2014.

The operation in the town of Allagash included serving five search warrants at separate residences as well as an arrest warrant signed by the Honorable Justice Hunter. Occupants of an additional three residences were identified as needing interview follow-ups. For operational logistics and officer safety, four to five game wardens were present at each search warrant, including one supervisor, one warden assigned to collect evidence, one warden assigned to interview, one warden conducting the search and one safety warden. Additionally, two wardens were typically sent to each of the residences with occupants who required follow-up interviews. One warden for each of these critical roles at a search warrant is well within a reasonable number of officers for such an operation.

On the evening of serving the warrants, one “North Woods Law” camera crew of five was used and divided into two small groups to cover more than one location. As per protocol for the camera crews, they never entered any of the houses and did their filming from the street, gathering video mostly of wardens carrying evidence from the residences.

Undocumented “… meal of onions and venison…”

The story described one of the defendants feeding the warden “… onions and venison, for which he would later be charged with possession of undocumented meat.” The deer was in fact described to the warden by the defendant as being a 140-pound doe which he had killed prior to the open deer season—an “early bird special” as described by Jess McBreairty. Additionally, McBreairty killed the doe in a wildlife management district that has been closed to the taking of antlerless deer for the past several years. This was further indication that the defendants were making a significant negative impact on local game populations.

“… entrapment…”

Woodard attempted to convey to readers that the game warden in this investigation acted outside the law. The author used expressions such as: “…persuaded,” “… entrapment,” “… entice,” and “… padding evidence.” He implied that these techniques were used in an effort to tempt defendants to commit crimes that they otherwise would not have committed. The game warden was also accused of frequently being intoxicated and was “… providing alcohol to suspects to entice them to commit crimes.” None of these unsubstantiated accusations are true.

At no time did the warden in this investigation entrap, persuade, entice or tempt any defendants to commit a crime. The defendants in this investigation had strong, controlling personalities and often commented how they wanted to teach the game warden the “Allagash way.” The warden took a passive role while hunting with the group and followed their lead and instructions. During this investigation, the game warden often attempted to limit and at times stop a defendant from killing moose and other wildlife.

On numerous occasions, Reid Caron attempted to convince the game warden to kill multiple moose and deer. On one occasion, the game warden stopped Caron from attempting to kill both a cow and a calf moose. On another occasion, Caron tried to night hunt a federally protected Lynx; the game warden prevented this by scaring the Lynx into the woods with his vehicle. Those found guilty as a result of this investigation killed five illegal deer, one moose and wounded one additional moose without the undercover warden being present.

The game warden did shoot one male deer with Reid Caron. This was after Reid Caron shot and wounded two deer at night on Halloween 2013 and after Caron had shot at numerous deer at night.

Caron insisted the game warden shoot and laid out the rules for the game warden to do the shooting.

Defendants often challenge the warden once they realize they [defendants] have been committing all the violations.

By not following the defendant and killing an animal, the game warden would jeopardize his safety and the entire case. The deer which the game warden shot was one of two wounded deer that Caron shot five nights prior. The actions of the game warden were in compliance with policy and law. In some cases, officers are challenged and tested by suspects. Failure to follow their direction or demands will jeopardize the officer’s safety and identity with the suspect(s).

Past documented occasions during similar investigations have lead game wardens to be threatened with their lives. Reid Caron had previously shot and wounded two deer at night and shot at other numerous deer at night. The game warden was successful in those instances and avoided killing an animal. The circumstance in this case of a deer being shot by the game warden was the result of Reid Caron ordering the game warden to shoot a deer. The game warden complied to protect his undercover status and quite possibly his life.

Providing/Consuming Alcohol

The warden in this case put himself in situations where he could document as many violations as possible, while at the same time trying to minimize his participation in the illegal activities. However, in order to “fit in” with this group of excessive drinkers, the game warden did consume minimal amounts of alcohol and used several techniques to appear or pretend he was consuming alcohol. At no time during this investigation was the game warden intoxicated while in character.

The customary practice for this group was to buy and bring large amounts of alcohol to camp or while out hunting. The game warden followed that pattern and brought his own alcohol. The game warden did not provide his alcohol to the suspects in this investigation. On one occasion only, in October of 2012, Jess McBreairty specifically asked the game warden for one (1) beer purchased by the game warden.

They were working outdoors on a tractor while McBreairty smoked a marijuana cigarette and were not engaged in hunting activities.

“… providing the man with the gun, ammunition, vehicle, and spotlight…”

Over many years of participating in covert operations, the Warden Service has seen time and again defendants who would rather use other individuals’ firearms and vehicles in the event they are caught.

It is common knowledge among suspects, especially those such as Jess McBreairty and Reid Caron who have been convicted of past offenses involving mandatory jail time and loss of firearms, to know the potential to lose valuable equipment. Of the 15 defendants in the case, all used their own firearms and associated equipment at some point to commit fish and wildlife crimes.

Reid Caron, an educated violator

During several incidents of night hunting with Reid Caron, he told the game warden he is more careful and has learned from getting caught in the past. Caron stated numerous times, after finding rifle shells, that he must spend time looking for evidence left behind of his illegal night hunting activity. Caron often commented to the warden that this is why he will never get caught again. It should also be noted the illegal activity continued even when the game warden was not in the area, and they used their own firearms and equipment to commit crimes.

Fact vs. Fiction – Reid Caron

Here are the facts about Reid Caron, who was described in a February 5 story as being “in dire straits and needed the food” back in 2008 when both he and Jess McBreairty killed a moose at night. When Caron committed that crime, he was employed as an Allagash Wilderness Waterway Ranger (see story here: http://bangordailynews.com/2008/09/22/news/allagash-ranger-charged-with-illegal-moose-kill/ ) and both he and McBreairty were convicted; Caron for night hunting and McBreairty for Hunting Moose in Closed Season and Shooting from a Motor Vehicle. Caron resigned from his position as a waterway ranger shortly thereafter. See full BDN story: http://bangordailynews.com/2009/03/26/news/park-ranger-resigns-in-wake-of-night-hunting-conviction/

Contrary to the Portland Press Herald’s story, McBreairty and Caron—whom Woodard portrayed as being in “dire straits and needed the food”—subsequently left the moose, which they poached at night, to rot.

Hope Kelly’s allegations that “I thought it was a home invasion.”

Contrary to Hope Kelly’s (Reid Caron’s mother) statement that “eight or 10 men came into her house unannounced,” game wardens who entered Hope Kelly’s residence both knocked and announced their presence and immediately notified Hope Kelly that they were there to execute a search warrant. There were not 8 to 10 wardens that arrived at her residence, as Woodard reported. There was 1 game warden sergeant and 3 game wardens. One additional game warden arrived later to take custody of Reid Caron and to interview him.

The warrant was audio taped and was in the hands of Woodard. However, he chose to mislead readers and relay Hope Kelly’s account instead. As soon as the residence was secured, Hope Kelly sat down at her own table, was shown the search warrant and was interviewed about to her involvement in the investigation.

The canned vegetables

During the course of the search warrant, a number of canned vegetables were seized inadvertently, a mistake that wardens made. The vegetables were in canning jars that were identical to and packaged with the illegal moose meat. Immediately upon being informed by Rep. John Martin that some non-evidentiary items were seized from her residence, we promptly returned the items. At the time they were returned, Ms. Kelly signed for the return of the property. That receipt is available to view. At no point did the Warden Service seize peaches.

In addition to the illegal canned moose meat, which was erroneously described by the author as “meat never proven to be illicit,” illegal moose and illegal deer parts were also seized from Ms. Kelly’s residence. As for any remaining canned evidence not being returned to Ms. Kelly, all other canned evidence was determined to be contraband and was forfeited upon adjudication.

“… scant results.”

These are the words that Woodard emphasized in his effort to play down the poaching of Maine’s wildlife. This group was found guilty of committing the following and paid nearly $40,000 dollars in fines.

Reid Caron (37) of Allagash, previously under revocation, but had been reinstated in 2010, received 364 days in jail, all but 90 days suspended. Caron paid $21,200 in fines and lost his hunting license privileges for 44 years. He was found guilty of:

Nine (9) counts of Night Hunting

Three (3) counts of Hunting Under the Influence

Five (5) counts of Closed Season Hunting of Deer and Moose

Four (4) counts of Exceeding Limit on Deer

Four (4) counts of Illegally Hunting Antlerless Deer

Two (2) counts of Possession of Night Hunted Moose and Deer

One count of Guiding w/out a License

One count of Hunting Moose w/out a Permit

One count of Possession of Unregistered Deer

One count of Over Limit of Grouse

Seven (7) counts of Shooting from/Loaded Firearm in a Motor Vehicle

Carter McBreairty (59) of Allagash received 364 days in jail with all but 30 days suspended and 60 days of 24-hour home confinement. Carter was ordered to pay fines of $8,550; he surrendered three (3) firearms; and his hunting license privileges in Maine will be suspended for 24 years.

Carter was found guilty of:

Three (3) counts of Hunting Under the Influence

Three (3) counts of Exceeding Bag Limit on Deer

Three (3) counts of Loaded Firearm in a Vehicle

Night Hunting

Failure to Register a Deer

Over the Limit of Brook Trout

Two (2) counts of Theft of Services

Jess M. McBreairty (51) of Allagash, who was already under revocation for a previous night hunting case, received 50 days in the Aroostook County Jail, paid $3,000 in fines and lost his hunting license privileges for 12 years. Jess McBreairty was found guilty of:

Loaded Firearm in a Motor Vehicle

Hunting w/out a license

Exceeding Bag Limit on Deer

Hunting Under Revocation

Illegal Possession of an Antlerless Deer

Possession of a Deer in Closed Season

Violation of Condition of Bail

Fourteen (14) additional defendants in connection with this case from the towns of Allagash, Winterport (ME), Palermo (ME), Derry (NH), Chester (NH), St. Francis (ME) and Fort Kent (ME) were found guilty of 17 additional violations, including Possession of Firearm by a Felon, Furnishing a Place for Minors to Drink, Illegal Possession of Moose Shot from a Motor Vehicle, Hunting w/out a License, Furnishing a Schedule Z Drug, and Illegal Possession of Grouse. Those fines totaled $7,250.

The fact remains that all those involved plead guilty or were convicted by a jury of their peers for breaking the law. Some even went so far as to appeal all the way to the Supreme Court, which upheld their convictions and the merits of the case were affirmed 7-0 by Maine’s highest arbiters of justice.

We know the Portland Press Herald story leaves some with questions regarding the investigative process used by the Warden Service. We firmly believe that effective special investigations remain an essential part of our 136-year mission to fairly enforce the laws protecting Maine’s invaluable fish and wildlife resources. This has been an investigative unit that exemplifies our very best work:http://georgesoutdoornews.bangordailynews.com/2012/08/11/maine-woods/mount-vernon-poachers-my-neighbors-rounded-up/

Maine people and those who are connected to our state deserved to hear the truth. We appreciate being able to set the record straight.

Very respectfully submitted, Corporal John MacDonald Spokesperson – Maine Warden Service

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Maine Police Officer “Unintentionally” Shoots Cow Moose

According to the Lewiston Sun Journal, Farmington, Maine police sergeant, Edward Hastings, while legally hunting with a shooting partner for moose during the annual moose hunt in Maine, “unintentionally” killed a cow moose and a bull moose. I believe that the intent was to kill only the bull.

Hastings immediately notified authorities, including his boss at the Farmington Police. The Maine Warden Service is charging Hastings with “a rule violation.”

What wasn’t exactly pointed out in the news article is that Hastings, by lottery, had drawn a permit for a bull moose. You can find the results of the moose lottery on the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife (MDIFW) website. A screen shot is included below.

hastingsmoosepermit

By rule, the winner of a moose lottery can name a shooting partner. That partner can legally shoot a moose for the permit holder. The news article is not completely clear as to whether or not the shooting partner fired any shots at the moose, only to state that the investigation revealed it supposedly was Hasting’s bullet that killed the cow. It appears the shooting partner was not charged. And, of course, by rule if your permit is for a bull moose, you cannot legally shoot a cow moose.

I’m sure that Mr. Hastings had no “intention” to shoot two moose and one ended up being a cow. From the news report it states:

Hastings and his moose-hunting permit partner shot at a bull moose during the legal season on Oct. 16 in Freeman Township, but when they got to the site where the moose fell, two moose were down — a bull and a cow, Lt. Tim Place of the Maine Warden Service said Thursday.

It is also, by rule, the responsibility of the hunter to be 100% sure of his or her target. Apparently, Hastings and his shooting partner were not 100% sure. The news article also stated:

Hastings’ case was treated the same as those of other violators, Place said.

Failure to identify a target is pretty cut and dry, with no room left for error, when it involves the shooting of a human. Not that a moose and a human are equal in value of life (maybe to some it is) but it will be interesting to see to what extent, if any, failing to identify target will play in this court hearing.

And let’s hope that preferential treatment isn’t extended to Hastings because he is a member of the law enforcement fraternity.

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Moneyless Maine Fish and Game Investigating Car Crashes

I’m sure we could hear every stinking, rotten excuse in the book but it seems to me that when a department, like the Inland Fisheries and Wildlife in Maine, incessantly complains and uses as an excuse that they have no money, and then we read where the Maine Warden Service is out investigating car accidents, it’s reason enough to create little white balls of spit on the outer part of your bottom lip.

The Maine Warden Service, of which I have few complaints and this certainly is not one of them, is a division of the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife (MDIFW). At nearly every turn of the page, sportsmen hear the excuse that MDIFW is broke. Some are out beating the bully pulpit to throw control of the MDIFW into the hands of environmentalists because the department is just so desperate for money. We even hear how certain poaching or general fish and game law enforcement can’t be carried out in the manner it should because the MDIFW is broke.

I want the Warden Service to do their job but I seriously question whether reconstructing automobile accidents is part of what I pay taxes to the department for.

With all this pleading for money, not once, by this current governor or any that have come before him, have they asked for an accounting of the money being spent. Never! But yet they plead for more of it. Hasn’t this become the American way – just throw money at it? No accounting. No transparency. Just demand and get more money.

And then we pick up the newspaper and we read about a tragic automobile accident, in which a woman loses her life. It appears there was a two-vehicle collision in which one vehicle caught fire. My sincere sympathies go out to the family.

At the very end of the news account we read this:

Wells Police and an accident reconstructionist from the Maine Warden’s Service are investigating the crash. As is usually the case in such accidents, the investigation could take months

Perhaps it was not mentioned in this report about wildlife being involved in this accident and death. Was there a moose that caused it, or a deer? Why are sportsmen’s tax dollars being used for accident investigations while at the same time there’s whining and complaining that the department is broke and the Maine Warden Service can’t do a “proper” job because of lack of funds? And please notice the report says this investigation could last for months.

And forget about the money! Why is a wildlife enforcement agency reconstructing accident scenes even if the Warden Service was flooded with money? We just finished the annual moose hunts and now are heading into deer hunting season, with archery season already underway. How many deer will get poached this fall because one of our wardens is stuck investigating a traffic accident?

Governor LePage, Chandler Woodcock and Maine sportsmen need to wake up and start making demands for answers and actions to correct these kinds of problems. Without doing so, you have no right to bitch and complain about how poorly you think the department is being run.

If the Maine Warden Service is going to be used for this kind of work, then there needs to be some kind of reimbursement program to take money from taxpayer funds, i.e. law enforcement, to give back to the Warden Service in ample enough funds where additional wardens can be hired to replace the lost work to the fish and game department.

Hey! I have an idea! Why doesn’t law enforcement just go and fund and hire their own reconstruction/instigation team?

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$3,000 Reward For Information About Idiot Poachers

From the Bangor Daily News:

On either the night of Oct. 5 or Oct. 6, a person or group of people killed four deer on the Lane Road in Ripley. The Maine Warden Service was notified on Monday and started an investigation, according to Maine Warden Service Cpl. John MacDonald.

“Two does and a lamb were night-hunted, shot and left in a field,” MacDonald said in a statement late Thursday morning. “Wardens determined another deer was night-hunted, shot and taken. All the deer appear to have been shot the same night. Wardens then found nearby parts of a boned deer they believe was from the deer that was taken.”<<<Read More>>>


MDIFW Photo

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Bearing the Burden of Beastly Bears, Banal Balderdash and Bully Bobbies

Reports are everywhere these days of people seeing bears in their yards and attacking their bird feeders, rummaging through garbage and even tearing down flagpoles to get a bird feeder. So far, even though reports of human/bear encounters is nearly double that of last year at this same time, nobody has gotten hurt in Maine. This is not the case in nearby New Hampshire, where a woman was slashed by a bear when she opened her door to let her dog out.

The balderdash that is often spewed by wildlife officials and others is that bears won’t harm humans. We are told to keep our garbage inside and take bird feeders down, which is good advice, but it is not good advice to dismiss, off hand, the fact that bears can be quite unpredictable and are governed by circumstances that drive them to survive, including the search for food. Depending upon the severity of effects from such circumstances, it can place an individual in a very precarious situation if presented to a very hungry, protective or angry bear. Bear that in mind when outside.

In Penobscot, Maine, a resident is not only battling bears tearing up his property but he is feuding with the Maine Warden Service over whether such actions provides him the opportunity to shoot bears ripping down bird feeders, crushing his garbage cans and destroying his barbecue grill. The Warden Service said that kind of personal property isn’t considered personal property in which bears need to be destroyed to warrant killing the bear. The owner of the property thinks otherwise. He claims next time he’ll kill the bear and suffer the consequences of jail time and a fine.

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