January 27, 2023

November Deer Hunting Season in Maine Busiest for Wardens. So What Are They Doing?

I doubt few would argue that in Maine, during the November deer hunting season, Maine Game Wardens are busiest running down poachers and protecting the hunting resources licensed hunters pay them to do. So, why then, are wardens visiting classrooms in the public schools teaching kids about how to reconstruct an off-road accident during this time?

I think it is a great thing that the Warden Service provides such terrific public relations activities. For example, this summer, the Warden Service worked with young students at the Maine Conservation School in Bryant Pond to learn all about the things the Warden Service does. It was a very popular class and enthusiasm was high. But should such public service outreach programs be scheduled in the heart of deer hunting season?

In discussions about whether of not the Maine Warden Service is capable of doing a good job, or maybe an adequate job, inevitably I will hear of how lack of money and not enough wardens, due to lack of money, prohibits this law enforcement agency from doing a better job.

Let’s use some logic here. If licensed hunters pay much of the Warden Service’s salaries, if you want to keep up and/or increase the number of licenses sold, is it not logical to conclude that the resources, i.e. deer, bear, turkey, etc. need protecting to ensure hunters are satisfied enough with the product to come back and buy another license, which, in turn, funds wardens?

Which brings me back to the question as to whether or not visiting classrooms in the middle of deer hunting season is in everyone’s best interest? Was this particular school’s schedule so chuck-a-block full, it couldn’t schedule the warden to attend, say just before or right after Christmas break?

To most this may seem nitpicking and perhaps it is. But it is these kinds of little things that do very little to help build a better relationship between outdoor sportsmen and the Warden Service. When sportsmen hear, that at a time when warden services are most needed, they are out teaching kids classes about recreating crime scenes, the department will garner little sympathy when the cries go up that the Service doesn’t have enough money.

I think a little more thought and a bit better planning would do wonders to avoid the critical eye of people like me, who will not look the other way and let it pass. I’ve been in business most of my adult life and I have learned to watch everything that effects money in and money out. That’s my money and it makes me question whether the public servants, paid buy sportsmen, are as protective of citizen’s tax dollars and ensuring they are best spent.

Let’s work harder to get it right. Think!