Outdoor Essays

Posted March 13, 2009, at 11:57 p.m.

Proactive measures needed to help deer

In regards to the decrease of the deer population in northern Maine and the talk of shortening the deer season I can only say, “Why wasn’t more done to help save the herd during last year’s hunting season?”

The severe impact that the deer herd went through last winter was known before the start of last year’s hunting season. Some minor reductions in any-deer permits was done but was nowhere near what was needed to help maintain the herd and to help prevent stopping the impact from getting worse, which I believe has happened.

I also believe that this puts a bigger impact on the population of bucks since they are pursued more because of the decrease in the overall deer population. We all know that the degree of the severity of the winters in northern Maine is one of the biggest factors affecting deer population. Hunting in Maine is something that has to be maintained no matter what the costs. The Department of Inland & Fisheries budget is strained way too much and the decrease in license purchases for deer hunting licenses, the impact on guides, hunting camps and all other businesses that are supported by the hunters should the season be shortened, will have a major impact on northern Maine.

What the solution is, I don’t know, but I think all hunters agree that something has to be done. I hope that it will.

One other thing: I believe that any boat that uses the inland waters of this state should be registered and also should have to purchase the milfoil sticker.

It is not just the motors of boats that can transfer the milfoil. Any part of any boat, paddles and a person’s foot can carry the milfoil.

Another question: What about floatplanes? As they go from one body of water to another, what is to prevent them from spreading the milfoil? I am sure there isn’t anybody cleaning the skis as the plane lifts off of the water.

Robert Beaulieu

Mapleton

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Feeding deer should be illegal in Maine

One way to help the deer population, in District 17 anyway, is to make it illegal to feed the deer. People do not realize how many deer are getting hit by automobiles every year crossing the roads to get to someone’s feeding station.

I work at the Piscataquis County jail in Dover-Foxcroft and got to pick up 16 deer last winter for coyote bait. Almost all of the deer were hit crossing the road to get to someone’s feeding station. At least half of them were pregnant does.

So I do not see how these people think they are helping the deer make it through the winter. I have only picked up two this winter because of the hard winter last year from deep snow. There are not that many deer left to get hit.

Michael McEwen

Dexter

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Respect needed for landowners’ rights

Are you a hunter who hunts exclusively on your own land? If so, you are very lucky to have the property and wildlife at your disposal. I am a bowhunter, and I love to hunt the expanded zones.

The Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife has a “Cautionary note to expanded zone hunters: Nearly all land in the expanded zones is privately owned. DIF&W strongly urges all hunters to obtain landowner permission. Please hunt ethically. Your behavior while afield may well determine the future of these hunts.”

I, for one, make sure to get landowner permission on all the land I hunt, do you? It is not that difficult to contact a landowner to discuss the possibly of hunting their land. Almost all of the landowners I have talked to have been great.

If the landowners are not hunters themselves, they at least realize the important role that hunters play in controlling the herd to prevent overpopulation that can lead to disease and starvation. Over the years I have had landowners say no for many reasons: they hunt there, they don’t like hunting, someone else is already hunting there. A couple have turned me down due to previous bad experiences with allowing hunting on their land. The reason given was: One had not been asked for permission but someone was hunting there and trimming trees and cutting fence. The other landowner had to deal with hunters fighting over stand locations and who was there first.

I can understand why they no longer allow access to their land. If you are one of the people who hunt without permission, or fight with fellow hunters, it’s time to grow up and take responsibility. We all need to show respect and gratitude to landowners who allow us access to their land. A little effort on the hunter’s part will go a long way to ensure access and good landowner/hunter relations for everyone. Please make the effort!

Deanna Page

Dexter

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Note to readers:

The BDN reserves the right to edit Outdoor essays for libel, taste, clarity, and to fit available space. Outdoor essays should be 300 words or fewer and include a signature, full name, address, and daytime phone number. Outdoor essays may be mailed to: P.O. Box 1329, Bangor, ME 04402, or e-mailed: bdnsports@bangordailynews.net

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