June 3, 2020

My Letter to Governor LePage – Re: LD372 and Bond Issues

Governor Paul Lepage – Thank you for signing LD372 and other bills to appropriate money and further your commitment to control predators that are seriously harming the state’s deer herd and other species. I hope you will also join other sportsmen in keeping a watchful eye on the Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife to ensure that they will use the funds as mandated by the Legislature and use it effectively.

I hope that you will consider not signing the Bond issues for mostly economic reasons. You’re doing a great job working to get Maine out of debt, we don’t need millions in bond debt piled on now. In particular the bond that would provide money to Land for Maine’s Future, is a proposal that comes premature. It is one thing to seek funding for this program, some of which through wording of the bond proposal, would earmark money to be spent on saving deer wintering areas. This effort may sound good and is certainly well intentioned but, it is quite another to appropriate this money without a real plan. Millions of dollars should not be appropriated to a program that has no viable plan on how it is going to use that money.

Some in Maine, have said that this money to save deer yards is critical and yet they also state that no landowner is going to sell the state a stand-alone deer yard. Where is the plan? Until Maine produces a workable plan that is agreeable to landowners, appropriating money, particularly through a bond is irresponsible…at best.

Thank you again for your efforts and considerations on the upcoming bond issues.

Tom Remington

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Three Maine Moose Bag Out of State Hunter


Photo by Unidentified Fourth Moose

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Teddy Roosevelt’s Odd Perspective on Hunting, Storytelling and Grizzly Bears

Some time ago, some good friends bought me a book for my birthday. The book is called, “Theodore Roosevelt on Hunting“. And shamefully I must say I am just getting around to reading it.

As is the case most often, we as Americans tend to idolize past iconic figures. I suppose each of us has our own individual perspective on Theodore Roosevelt, but most of us are guilty of placing people like him on a level perhaps a bit above being a normal human being, capable of errors, poor decision making and having faults. When we take the time to read personal writings that include accounts of his life, it does offer us a chance to see someone in a different context than the one history has painted for us. Teddy Roosevelt was only human and as much as one might or might not enjoy his storytelling, it seems that he had some unusual views on others who told stories and what I would say was a near bizarre concept about the grizzly bear.

Early on in his book, Roosevelt writes about hunting grizzly bears. He begins by recalling some of his own experiences with hunting the big bears; interesting enough. But then he gets into an odd sort of protective proclamation about grizzly bears and how they have been wrongly labeled as vicious by exaggerated storytelling but then uses his own storytelling (exaggerated?) to label the bears as vicious, still claiming them not to be.

One of the last grizzly bear hunting stories of his own personal account he tells us is of a time when having shot at and wounded a bear, it turned on him. Roosevelt then goes on to write:

This is the only instance in which I have been regularly charged by a grisly. On the whole, the danger of hunting these great bears has been much exaggerated.

I’m not sure I understand what he means by “regularly charged”. I’m still pondering that.

Roosevelt justifies his claim that grizzly bears aren’t dangerous to hunt by telling readers that, “At the beginning of the present century”, (that would be early 1800s) grizzly bears were an “exceedingly savage beast” that would attack a man “without provocation” and that was because there didn’t exist the modern equipment that Roosevelt was using, which has evidently taught the bear to run in the other direction. Roosevelt describes it as: “he[grizzly] has learned to be more wary than a deer, and to avoid man’s presence almost as carefully as the most timid kind of game.”

But did it really teach the bear to run instead of charge or was this merely Roosevelt’s perspective of the temperament of a grizzly bear that, for whatever the reasons, he felt compelled to project?

In his book, Roosevelt pretty much appoints himself as an expert on grizzly bear hunting and behavior while doing his very best to discredit anyone’s grizzly bear story that he might not agree with.

Hence men of limited experience in this sport, generalizing from the actions of the two or three bears each has happened to see or kill, often reach diametrically opposite conclusions as to the fighting temper and capacity of the quarry. Even old hunters – who indeed, as a class, are very narrow-minded and opinionated – often generalize just as rashly as beginners.

I wonder if, in Roosevelt’s elitist mind, obviously placing himself in a class of hunter above all others, he felt the same way toward those “narrow-minded old hunters”, when he became one? He obviously didn’t recognize himself to already be one.

Not only, it appears, has Teddy Roosevelt appointed himself the lone grizzly bear hunting expert, he lays claim to be the only one qualified to tell a hunting story. In the thirty pages that Roosevelt appropriates for telling his grizzly bear hunting stories, ten of those pages he dedicates to ballooning his own self-importance with his self-proclaimed authority on grizzly bears and dumping on anyone else with a grizzly bear story to tell I assume because they were not as intelligent as he was.

But oddly, which brought me to audible laughter while reading this chapter, Roosevelt takes 20 pages to retell all the grizzly bear stories he has heard and they are all about hunters being attacked by grizzly bears; some of those attacks being unprovoked. And if that isn’t enough, he also tells tales of humans not hunting and being attacked by grizzly bears unmolested. I guess whether a grizzly bear story is exaggerated or not or tells of grizzlies being vicious or not depends on who is spinning the yarn.

I suppose how often people were attacked provoked or unprovoked back then was all relative and therefore, someone like Teddy Roosevelt could easily state that grizzly bears have no interest in attacking a human. He appears to have had some issues in dealing with “old hunters” and accepting stories or even companionship from some of the “outdoor men” of the time and region.

Don’t take me wrong. There is much in what Roosevelt writes that comes directly from his own experiences of what bears do during certain circumstances. This information was useful then and probably would be useful today if there was any grizzly hunting in the U.S. I wouldn’t, however, be too quick to disregard the other tales from the rugged outdoorsmen of the day. As tall as some of those tales might be, there is always a certain degree of truth in all of them.

I did find it interesting to discover this part of Roosevelt, what in my opinion appears to be a bit of haughtiness on his part – but wasn’t the bully Roosevelt a haughty person anyway?

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Public Informational Meetings Regarding Waterfowl Hunting Zone Line Modifications

Two public informational meetings on the potential to modify the current waterfowl hunting zone lines have been set for Sidney and Bangor, Maine. Adding a third, coastal zone and moving the current North/South zone line further north will be considered.

The Sidney meeting will take place Monday, May 14th, at 6:30 pm at the Inland Fisheries and Wildlife office at 270 Lyons Road.

The Bangor meeting will take place Wednesday, May 16th, 6:30 pm, at the Bangor office located at 650 State Street in Bangor.

Results of the survey that was taken in March will be presented as will draft dates for comment on the proposal. Comments and discussion with those in attendance will also take place.

This is all leading up to the formal proposal for the Migratory Bird Hunting Season that will be advertised during the rule making schedule this summer.

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WMD 9 In Maine Opens for Turkey Hunting

This from the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife:

“As of Saturday, May 5, 2012, Wildlife Management District (WMD) 9 is open to turkey hunting through June 2nd. WMD 9 includes the area northeast of Greenville to Baxter State Park. Analysis of data and observations indicate the turkey population in the WMD is healthy and will support a hunting season like neighboring districts 10 and 14. All the rules and regulations involved in turkey hunting will apply, including having a valid spring Wild Turkey Permit and a valid hunting license.” (emphasis added)

I sure would like an explanation of “Analysis of data and observations”. Hmmmmmmm

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Maine Turkey Hunter Attacked By Coyote

Hiding in the brush and using a hen turkey call, Maine turkey hunter Bill Robinson called in a hungry coyote that attacked him believing the noise to be a turkey. Bangor Daily News has more.

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Milt’s Corner – Maine’s Opening Day Turkey Harvest


Milt Inman photo

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Maine Moose Permit Deadline Rapidly Approaching

The Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife reminds everyone that they have until May 14th to apply for a Moose Permit!

This year’s lottery will take place at the Oquossoc Marina in Rangeley, Maine on June 23rd. Maine plans to award 3,725 permits this year. The winners will be announced first in Oquossoc, and then the entire list will be published.

To apply for a permit to hunt a moose you must apply on-line – the deadline for paper applications has passed.

www.maine.gov/ifw

If you’ve already applied for a permit, we thank you for your application. If you haven’t you can beat the rush of last minute filers!

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Summary For Maine’s 2011/2012 Intensive Coyote & Predation Management


Please click to enlarge.

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Calling in Javalina

Make sure to be prepared should one actually mistake you for another javalina as you’ll see in this video.

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