June 3, 2023

Are Maine’s ATVers, Snowmobilers, and Boaters Really the Biggest Criminals in the Outdoors?

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I was reading George Smith’s article, “Biggest law breakers are ATV riders, snowmobilers, and boaters.” Not to distract from Smith’s statistics of recreational laws being broken and the work of the Maine Warden Service, but I might question a blank statement that ATV and snowmobile riders, along with boat operators are the “biggest lawbreakers” of any group of outdoor people. Maybe, when you come right down to it, these three groups make up a very large percentage of the total number of “outdoor groups.” In addition, these three groups also utilize motorized vehicles that have a thick book of rules and regulations that, whether intentional or not, would understandably increase the number of citations to be handed out. Are there any laws governing the use of walking sticks or the type and size of binoculars to use for birdwatching? When you think about it for a moment or two, what other “groups” are there out there?

Smith says next week he will look at citations issued to hunters and fishermen. I wonder if we’ll get a distinction between whether any hunting citations included the use of ATVs, boats or snowmobiles? Will we see the same with boating citations lumped in with fishing citations? I feel bad that these three groups might be getting a bit of a bum rap.