December 4, 2022

Maine Warden Service Needs More Women and Baiting Deer?

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While the problems at the Maine Warden Service (MWS) continue to fester, much because government and law enforcement have opted to “investigate” themselves, denying any wrongdoing and to hell with anyone who thinks they might have, writers are offering their own suggestions of how to remedy the Maine Warden Service’s problems.

First, one writer suggests that all these issues would go away if the MWS would just hire more women. Let me understand this. It seems, according to an expose filed by the Portland Press Herald, the MWS is carrying on some illegal acts during their undercover investigations, may have colluded with Animal Planet’s television crew filming of “North Woods Law,” to embellish reality, and refuses to provide right-to-know documents or the ones provided are heavily redacted. Even if, all things considered, women are capable and qualified to do the exact same job as a male warden, I need some assistance in understanding how these actions of the MWS will all go away if more women were on the force. Have I missed something about women in the past 50 years? Or better yet, have I missed something about men?

Another writer, who claims to be a big fan of “North Woods Law,” says that he has issues with camera crews following law enforcement around taking pictures. My question then would be how can one expect a reality TV show about the Maine Warden Service, a law enforcement organization, if there are no cameras rolling? Are they then supposed to witness the action then go back to the studio and try to recreate it?

The same author, evidently believes that the same issues I’ve mentioned above would not have taken place if wardens hadn’t been active in campaigning against the last proposed anti-hunting bear referendum. In addition, somehow this author doesn’t even suspect, as Maine humorist Tim Sample used to say, that bear baiting and deer baiting have nothing in common with the exception that bait is used. Somehow, baiting bears, if allowed, should then be permitted to other species. For $100 I could let him buy a clue and provide a little understanding as to why bears are baited in the first place and deer are not. However, I doubt that would help, because throughout the entire bear referendum campaign, it was repeated, like a broken record, that baiting of bears is a necessary tool in order to better control the population of bears. Hint: Maine does not have a deer population problem, that is, too many deer. If they did, they might allow baiting deer if it was deemed a necessary tool to control deer populations.

But that’s not the issue for this guy is it?

Let me repeat. The MWS is being accused of questionable tactics by undercover agents and withholding FOIA documents. Suggestions for remedies, we have just discovered, include hiring more women and not allowing wardens to campaign in referendums that would severely impact their jobs. In addition, if baiting bears would stop, these problems would go away.

But the ignorance grows. This author has suggested that nobody would be paying much attention to the MWS if they hadn’t botched the search and rescue efforts of the woman who wandered off the Appalachian Trail and wasn’t found until later. Search for the lost hiker began in July of 2013, was called off about 8 or 9 days later and her remains were finally located in October of 2015. The author appears to indicate that because the hiker’s body was found, “less than 3 miles from where she went missing,” the MWS was inept in their search effort and tactics. Obviously the author knows nothing about how large an area “less than 3 miles” would be in a circumference around the point where searchers THOUGHT the hike MIGHT have gone missing. I also wonder if the author has ever participated in a search and rescue with the MWS?

I’m not sure I understand the need to dump all over the MWS and to exploit a war between an administration and a news agency, to promote equal rights for women and faulting the MWS for doing a difficult job. Perhaps it’s more just a dislike of the MWS or something. If anybody has issues with the MWS then take the initiative to address those issues and not use an unrelated incident to badger the Service for some other reason.

The issues appear simple. Maine needs to review its undercover sting policies and release documents legally requested. This will never happen so long as the government agency investigates itself. But for certain, these issues will not go away if more women are hired and if we can only ban bear baiting.