August 13, 2020

My Preferred Special Hunting Interest is Bigger Than Yours

Last week I offered some comments about upcoming bill proposals in the Maine Legislature. George Smith, outdoor writer and activist, says on March 2, 2017, there will be several proposed hunting bills brought before the Joint Standing Committee for Inland Fisheries and Wildlife.

In last week’s article I wrote: “In general, I am opposed to any hunting, fishing or trapping rule that singles out any individual or group of individuals for preferred opportunities to hunt, fish or trap, while prohibiting other individuals or group of individuals from participating in the same activity. Suggesting such permissions and restrictions is much the same as the promotion of closing down all lands and opening them up to hunting by land-owner leases. Leases are very expensive and will automatically exempt a large swath of residents from participation. This is elitism at its ugliest.”

With that in mind, the following bills to be discussed on March 2, 2017, should be voted out of committee for the very reason described above:

LD279 would give veterans preference over all others for Any-Deer Permits.

LD325 does essentially the same thing along with establishing a point system to increase chances at winning an Any-Deer Permit.

LD427 wants to give all Any-Deer Permits to landowners possessing 50-acres or more of land that is left open to the public. After that, if any permits are left over, they will go to “Junior” hunters. Beyond that the rest of us peasants can fight over the chicken scratchings. The King’s Deer? People love their slavery.

LD509 would set a priority to allot at least 10% of Any-Deer Permits, per Wildlife Management District, to hunters 70 and older.

LD555 is a proposal that would benefit any landowner of 25-acres, or greater, that is open to the public,  be allowed to shoot any deer of either sex…during the legal hunting seasons I am assuming.

LD000 a bill to provide any Maine resident, born in the year 1952, in the month of July and has blue eyes, brown/grey hair and getting fat enough he can’t get out of his own way, hunting any species of animal year round. The bill is sponsored by Reps. Dewey, Cheatem and Howe. (And in case you haven’t figured it out yet, LD000 is not real. It’s a joke, but also makes a point.)

Lump them all together and toss them in the waste basket and the MDIFW Committee doesn’t have much left.

LD62 wants to lift the ban on baiting deer. I assume that means hunting over bait. This sort of thing should be left up to the Commissioner as an available tool should it become necessary to manage deer populations.

LD341 appears to be a “clone” bill that you often find Quality Deer Management pushing, mostly disguised as a means of growing a healthier deer herd with more mature bucks. The bill would require that any antlered deer harvested must have at least 3 tines of one inch or longer along the main beam of the antler – on at least one side. From information I have gleaned over the years, I’m not convinced that such a requirement actually makes for a better or healthier deer herd – realizing that establishing such and maintaining a value-weighted measure such as “better” or “healthier” is heavily dependent on many factors – some of which disregard science in favor of perspective. Provided that such an antler restriction would not skew buck-to-doe ratios or age structure beyond what Maine’s deer management plans aim for, it wouldn’t matter to me whether this bill is passed or not. Having said that, I would vote against this measure and perhaps support a similar bill that would give the Commissioner, with approval by the Joint Committee, authority to implement or repeal such a restriction as management goals and results dictate.

Old Hunter says:

 

 

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Former Maine Wildlife Commissioner Turned Politician Sits on Wildlife Committee

Most Mainers involved in outdoor issues probably have already heard that former Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife (MDIFW) commissioner, Roland “Danny” Martin is now a member of the Maine Legislature’s Joint Committee on Inland Fisheries and Wildlife. George Smith has more details about other members appointed to the new term’s committee.

So, one has to ask, is a former MDIFW commissioner, now sitting on the Joint Committee, a good thing or a bad thing? I’m sure opinions will vary as with most outdoor matters. However, thanks to my research specialist, who has uncovered some archived editorials from the Northwoods Sporting Journal about Danny Martin, we can look back to at least one comment made about Martin as he was readying his departure from MDIFW.

Back in a February, 2011 issue of the Northwoods Sporting Journal, page 10, editor V. Paul Reynolds writes: “Where he [Danny Martin] fell short was his inability or unwillingness to put sportsmen above politics. If a commissioner of fish and wildlife won’t stand up for sportsmen on tough issues, who will?”

If that is true, and if you are one who agrees with that assessment then there is probably little need for any optimism that Martin will stand up for sportsmen or separate sportsmen issues from politics now that he is a politician and not a commissioner.

Time will certainly tell what kind of member to the Joint Committee Martin will become. Not intending to insult Mr. Martin, but I would much prefer Danny Martin sitting on the committee than another member of Maine Audubon or the Environmental Protection Department, etc…..I think.

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