|Dennis Perry, Registered Maine Guide|
Please comment on your thoughts concerning the meeting.
I had a pretty good feeling when I left last night and that Chandler Woodcock has sparked some positive "new life" within the department. I believe that he will be a man that will listen to someone if they call and return a call if he is unavailable. It’s nice that he is a fellow sportsman as well and understands the thoughts and wants of sportsmen.
There was a lot of talk about the deer population crash.
In the end, yes we have a deer problem in Washington County. I think that the season should be shortened so the deer don't have to look over their shoulders from October 1st until the 2nd week of December.
I think that the state needs to continue the fight and get coyote snaring back with firm rules on this practice. However, this needs to be limited to trained Animal Damage Control agents or appropriate state authorities. No one wants to hear about snaring coyotes, but it is the most effective means to control or stabilize a population. Coyotes are like mosquitoes, we will never be able to get rid of them but my mosquito magnet makes things a lot better at my house. I have noticed in 3 years of running the mosquito magnet, my mosquito population has significantly decreased. I think that the coyote population would have a similar effect if we increase our efforts to control the coyote.
Do we put too much expectation on DIFW?
I don't think that we as sportsman can shoulder or push all the blame on the department, and that each and every sportsman has a choice right now to lay off the younger bucks during deer season. Again, it is a conscious decision that each one of us has to make until there are some new regulations.
What can we as sportsmen do to help the problem?
I think that it is important to take a look at the future of deer hunting in Maine and there is a lack of young hunters getting hooked on deer hunting. You can't go and shoot what we don't have right now. I think that kids get discouraged and eventually lose interest.
There was a lot of talk about coyote predation from game management, increased seasons, and reinstating old practices to reduce the coyote population. What’s you mind on the issue?
I think that one of the people had a good thought with delisting the coyote as a fur bearing animal. That's a good start. We should be able to trap them year round and be able to shoot them year round at night. I believe that a bounty on them complicates issues and would probably stir more strife from anti-hunters. That is something that we don't need.
It was said several times that the bear population is one species that has increased in population and also that bear prey on newborn deer. In addition, it was suggested to increase the bear limit to 2 bear per fall season. Any thoughts?
I like the idea being tossed around with 2 bears per hunter. I believe that a lot of people will see the benefits from this. The State will see it from increased fees and guides will certainly see the benefit with hunters knowing that they can come to Maine for an opportunity to hunt two bears. Gas stations, grocery stores, sporting goods stores, restaurants and others will see a greater economic benefit. It is quite likely that this will be a win-win for everyone.
Throughout the meeting, what stood out most for you?
In the end, I was most impressed with the local guides and sportsmen in the Grand Lake Stream area that took the bull by the horns and locked up thousands of acres of habitat for sportsman through the Downeast Lakes Land Trust. That certainly was not easy, but if 14 dedicated people can do it than I think that leaders in Augusta could and should learn from this model plan and expand from there.
It was suggested that firms such as Old Town Canoe, L.L. Bean, and Cabelas could play key roles in addressing the problems cited during the meeting. Is it feasible to consider this and what may be ways for these companies to contribute especially within the realm of predator control?
I believe that L.L. Bean and Cabelas may be in a position to assist the state of Maine in promoting predator control through effective hunting practices. These companies are the "Big Two" in Maine and it seems that maybe they could put on seminars for the general public by professional predator hunters. It may be possible that the two companies could give a donation of some sort towards predator control.