November 25, 2017

Sportsman’s Alliance of Maine Forms New Legislative Action Group

The Sportsman’s Alliance of Maine (SAM) recently announced that it is forming the Institute for Legislative Action. This is not a new concept as many organizations have done this. However, it should help SAM when it comes to legislative work that needs to be done. Time will tell.

In the meantime, I would like to offer SAM some advice. Sometimes SAM becomes a bit provincial, catering to members only. An example of this is in my request for email notifications from SAM but can’t get them unless I am a member. This makes no sense at all.

To be forthcoming, I am not a member of SAM and have no intention to become a member of SAM, mostly because I am not a member of anything and am not beholding to anything or anyone except myself. I do, however, have interest in what SAM is doing and often write about it.

Which leads me to the other issue. I understand SAM having a Facebook presence. Yet, the entire world does not revolve around Facebook, although many in the world seem to think so. I do not “do” Facebook, nor do I ever intend to go back there. Facebook has it’s good points, although I am at a loss to think of any. I am not alone in this denial and refusal to be a part of another fascist, dictatorial entity controlling and spying on everything I do.

When SAM makes announcements and releases letters, news, etc., and posts it on Facebook, non members of Facebook are prohibited from viewing it. In the past, I have published some information I get from SAM members who forward the information.

As an outdoor writer, I cannot visit SAM’s Facebook page to glean for news and events. I am relegated to their website page, which brings me to another issue. SAM’s website has relevant and good information on it but is lacking in the same bits of activity and announcements that can be found on Facebook.

Having once been a part of Facebook and having a website of my own, it’s a simple task to set up your website to do all the things you want to appear on Facebook. This requires establishing an area on the website (a simple blog page would work) where all of this information is entered. Settings in Facebook allow a member to automatically publish whatever appears on this website page, on the organization’s Facebook page.

This way, I and thousands more of us that choose not to be a part of Facebook or members of SAM, can visit the website and read information SAM has made available only on Facebook. This is a big win for everybody and should be done immediately. SAM should understand that by not excluding non members from obtaining relevant and live information can only lead to more membership and better public relations.

Share

SAM Will Host Shed Hunter Gathering….However…..

The Sportsman’s Alliance of Maine, along with the Maine Bowhunters Association, will host what is being called Maine Shed Hunter Get Together. The event is described as being a chance for “shed antler addicts” to bring samplings of their trophies to share with others. It is said to be an “informal” gathering.

However, I believe that it is a good idea to use such a gathering to educate shed hunters and wannabe shed hunters on the proper way to go about doing it with the least negative impact on over-wintering wildlife, in particular deer.

Some states across the nation have been forced to prohibit shed hunting because of the resulting threat from unintended and intended harassment of deer and other wild ungulates. Deer, we know, are often surviving on limited resources of food and energy. The last thing that any deer needs is being harassed by a shed hunter. The timing of when it’s best to hunt antler sheds, can coincide with the same times that deer are most vulnerable.

In visiting some of the website of businesses that offer shed hunting excursions, photos show snowmobiles and ATVs regularly being used to access areas known for finding sheds. While it doesn’t mean that sheds are only found and collected in deer yards, hunters should be made aware that any activity that causes a deer to run to escape, unnecessarily, can contribute to a deer’s death.

It is not my intention to suggest that shed hunting should be necessarily banned, but I would hope that the Fish and Wildlife Department, in conjunction with businesses that are advertising shed hunting excursions, would undertake an educational program designed to limit any and all negative impacts to the animals during the event.

Share

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.

Share

Keeping History Alive

Share

SAM Celebrates Question 3 Victory With Party

Share

Sportsman’s Alliance of Maine Pushing Three Bills This Session

I have heard that the Sportsman’s Alliance of Maine (SAM) is pushing for support of three bills being presented before the Maine Legislature, that are described as in support and protection of hunting, fishing and trapping, changing the way signatures are gathered for public referendum items, and banning public referendum on wildlife issues. Let me address them one at a time.

First, there appears to be another attempt to somehow, through the Legislature, “protect the right to hunt.” I have not seen the language, which, to me, is of utmost importance. It is mostly a waste of time to support any law or constitutional amendment that does not go far enough to protect a right to hunt, fish and trap. What most don’t see is that what has been mostly presented so far, and this is true in several states that have already passed some kind of law to protect hunting, fishing and trapping, is that there is a difference between protecting a right for the opportunity to hunt, fish and trap, and the actual right to hunt, fish and trap. “Opportunities,” as the word is almost always wiggled into any attempt at fake protection of hunting, fishing and trapping, can take on many disguises, some of which one has to use their imagination to see any protection at all.

As things stand currently in Maine, most sportsmen are presented with “opportunities” to hunt, fish and trap. Would outdoor sportsmen be just as happy, years down the road, if those “opportunities” shrank to little or no chance to hunt, fish or trap? Any law passed worded with “provide opportunities” would only require the absolute minimum in order to fulfill the mandate. Thought must be given this matter.

What I have been witness to in other states that include only “opportunities” is that they can tell someone at what percentage the voters passed or rejected the law. Other than that, it really has no teeth, but might possibly discourage some under-funded environmentalist group from suing…but don’t hold your breath.

On the other hand, any law or constitutional amendment MUST provide a mandate, that whoever is in control of game management, must manage all game species “for surplus harvest.” I’m not stupid and I understand this is language fish and game departments, as well as slimy politicians, don’t want to see in any law or amendment. They hate placing mandates on themselves. It cramps their style. However, the only way that the actual act of hunting, trapping and fishing can be guaranteed is by including a mandate that the department must manage the game species for surplus harvest, otherwise what’s the point of it all? That would certainly take care of protecting opportunities.

I would fully support an amendment that contains the appropriate language. I wouldn’t oppose a useless amendment for protecting “opportunities,” but I would spend any time supporting it.

A second issue involves some kind of law that would require a different structure for gathering signatures in order to place a proposal on the ballot as a public referendum. Once again, I have not seen the language, but would support a change that would more equitably provide signatures that most closely represents the voting public. Maine has a wide disparaging population that goes hand in hand with political idealism. It appears that it becomes a bit too easy for someone to focus signature gathering on the most densely populated areas of Southern Maine, where residents there more closely resemble citizens of Massachusetts than the northern two-thirds of the Pine Tree State. I don’t think such a change would actually change anything, except that it might discourage fence sitters with little or no money from exercising their right to petition the government. This is something to consider.

Voters should think sufficiently on this issue before tossing support or opposition. What is good for the goose is good for the gander. In other words, for those seeking signatures that would more easily be targeted in northern and rural Maine, an equal number, or a more representative number of signatures, must be gathered from both regions – the door swings both ways.

And speaking of a goose and a gander, this brings me to the third item up for discussion. For the third time I remind readers I have not seen the exact language of the proposed legislation. It is my understanding that a proposal is being promoted by SAM that would prohibit public referendum items that involve “wildlife issues.”

Who is going to decide what is a “wildlife issue” to be accepted or rejected? What could possibly go wrong?

It appears to me that those in support of such a prohibition are making the assumption that they will always be in agreement with how the state, and in particular the Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife (MDIFW), manages game and wildlife. Do you have the confidence that the MDIFW will always be doing what you consider the right thing? What will happen then, if MDIFW decides that it will shift all its funds and employees to protecting piping plovers, allowing the deer herd to go to hell in a hand-basket? You try and try and try to get them to better balance their work. Even SAM has mounted a campaign to deal with issues that are important to its members, but there is no changing their minds. What then? What’s left? Presently, you could gather signatures and mount a referendum campaign for the upcoming ballot to force the changes you seek. With a ban on “wildlife issues” on referendums, this right to petition the state is gone.

It always amazes me to witness, so-called, supporters of rights, who turn around and use their right to take away a right they claim they support.

It sucks that we live in a democracy, where two wolves and a sheep can decide what’s for lunch, but it is the system that we have and our rights need to be protected in order that we can have some kind of recourse when government gets too big and out of control. I have zero faith that Maine’s government, or any other government, gives three pieces of camel dung about me and what I think is important. As I witness the changes taking place within fish and game departments, more closely resembling environmental activism, this right to petition the state on wildlife issues must remain in place.

I would NOT support a ban on referendums that involve “wildlife issues” regardless of what the definition is of “wildlife issues.”

Share

Question 3 Proponent’s Lies Revealed During Debate

Sportsman’s Alliance of Maine

To those that will be listening to the rebroadcast of the MPBN debate on Question 3 between David Trahan and Bobby Reynolds tonight at 8pm, there was a blatantly incorrect statement by Bobby Reynolds that needs correction. Link to MPBN to listen to rebroadcast:http://mainepublic.org/post/debate-ballot-question-3…

Bobby Reynolds claimed that Kittery Trading Post does free firearm transfers (background checks). This claim is absolutely FALSE. After calling Kittery Trading Post and confirming that the statement is false they sent us their rates below for background checks:

KTP Firearm transfer fees:
New Guns: $50
Used Guns: $20

Kittery Trading Post is already getting inquiries about free background checks. Bobby Reynolds and the Yes on 3 campaign owe Kittery Trading Post an apology.

In addition, Bobby Reynolds made claims that David’s statements about states having the power to establish gun registration databases, was false. Since the debate David has contacted a lawyer from Portland and confirmed that Bobby Reynolds was incorrect in this statement as well.

Maybe in the future the Yes on 3 campaign should get their facts straight.

Perhaps Maine voters should contact the Yes on 3 campaign
http://responsiblemaine.org/contact/ and tell them to keep the debates honest.

one

two

three

four

 

Share

It’s a Shame Really

I think that it is a shame that an organization like the Sportsman’s Alliance of Maine (SAM) is left with no money/resources to do the things a sportsman’s group should do. SAM was much bigger and better than fighting against animal rights and environmental groups, along with fascists like Michael Bloomberg. SAM used to have time and money to look after the needs of sportsmen, working with the fish and game department to make hunting, fishing, trapping, snowmobiling, ATVing, hiking, boating, wildlife management, etc. better and better all the time. No longer.

In the last ten years SAM has been zapped of all it’s resources and energy fighting against totalitarians who are convinced THEIR world would be better off by destroying the world so many Americans love and grew up with. Instead of making our outdoor recreation and sporting opportunities better, all that is left is the likeness of David and Goliath. As Goliath systematically weakens the little boy with the sling shot, until there’s nothing left to fight with, the giant, with much more powerful weapons, will prevail. Isn’t that all part of the plan?

Two anti-hunting bear referendums by hateful groups and now an evil man, who has surrounded himself with evil, brain-dead people, who are clueless as to what they are doing (most of them), want to further destroy your rights and freedom. What happened in this society that causes others to destroy that which is good, in the name of progress (that is what they call it)?

Bloomberg and others know that they have the money and power over little bothersome gnats like SAM. They will get what they want because they understand you better than you understand them.

In the meantime, SAM is hogtied, spending all it’s time fighting the fascist bullies. It is no longer a sportsman’s group but a small voice crying in a wilderness of Zombies.

What’s wrong? I just returned from a bicycle ride to Central Park (no not New York). I met perhaps a couple hundred people. I am not exaggerating when I say that not one of the people I saw was without a goddamn cellphone or some electronic device shoved in their faces – even all the Middle School children on their way to school. Zombies one and all. The world I live in, not theirs, that is the physical things around me, ain’t so bad. It’s interesting, sometimes pretty to look at. There are birds and other animals running about, and trees along with beautiful sunshine. The Zombies have left all that behind and cashed it in for their little mind-controlling toys – an instrument of destruction 100 times greater than the television set.

The fascists control those instruments of the Beast. They will convince the world that hunting, trapping and fishing are evil practices. They will convince the world that there is no need for guns. Central Government will prevail. They will control. Just keep watching your electronic device.

It’s a crying damned shame! We were told this would happen.

But don’t go look!

Share

SAM’s Executive Director Testifies Before House Subcommittee on Quimby National Monument

Condensed SAM Testimony
Delivered by David Trahan, June 1, 2016

It is SAM’s mission to defend the rights of sportsmen and firearm owners. In addition, we promote the responsible conservation of our natural resources. On several occasions, including last year, we polled our members on whether they supported the creation of a National Park for the Katahdin region of Maine, as proposed by Roxanne Quimby. Each time the answer was a resounding NO, with our last poll at 92% opposition.

Through the generations Mainers have struck a delicate balance with landowners, sharing the land for all sorts of recreational uses, like hunting, fishing, trapping, and snowmobiling. Over time, large landowners have leased land and camps to outdoor recreationists, and as a result, thousands of camps have sprung up in the wilds of Maine. During these adventures into the Maine woods, moms, dads, grandfathers, uncles, aunts, and friends learned how to hunt, fish, camp, and conserve our natural resources, and in the process built bonds that made families stronger, and men and women better citizens.

Unfortunately, that delicate balance between landowners and Mainers was threatened in the early 1990s when the radical group Restore the North Woods appeared on the scene. They proposed abandoning traditional recreation like hunting, snowmobiling, and other motorized recreation, as well as ending logging. Instead, they proposed creating a 3.2-million acre wilderness National Park surrounding Baxter State Park. The opposition to this attempt to place northern Maine in federal ownership was swift, and overwhelming.<<<Read the Rest>>>

RestoreBoston

Share

MDIFW Commissioner Opposes SAM Bill LD 1593

Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife commissioner, Chandler Woodcock, submitted testimony in opposition to a Sportsman’s Alliance Bill proposed bill, LD 1593. His opposition appears based on restrictions he believes the bill will place on the Department under certain conditions that would be forced upon the MDIFW, when certain conditions exist.

While the intent of the bill is understandable, the bill does have its problems.

Share