Sunday Hunting in Maine ?

Discussion in 'Maine Deer Hunting' started by Mark Orion Luce, Jan 15, 2005.

  1. Sunday Hunting Alert

    To SAM’s Rapid Response Team

    January 12, 2005



    You must act now to help us achieve the Sunday hunting opportunities offered by Governor John Baldacci in the proposed new state budget. We ask you to do two things:



    1) Contact the Governor and let him know that you appreciate and support his decision to allow Sunday hunting opportunities.



    2) Contact your State Representative and Senator to urge them to support the Governor’s budget for the Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife, including the Sunday hunting opportunities.



    You can contact the Governor by email (governor@maine.gov), regular mail (1 State House Station, Augusta, ME 04333), or phone 287-3531.



    You can contact your State Representative by email (see instructions below), mail (2 State House Station, Augusta, ME 04330), or phone (287-1400 or 1-800-423-2900).



    You can contact your State Senator by email (see below), mail (3 State House Station, Augusta, ME 04330) or phone (287-1540 or 1-800-423-6900).



    To find out who represents you in the Maine House and Senate, go to SAM’s website (www.samcef.org), click on the “Legislative News” section, then click on the “Find Your Representative and Senator” section. This will direct you to list of Representatives and Senators by town. You can get email addresses and other information about your legislators at the legislature’s website (http://janus.state.me.us/legis/). Finally, if you can’t access the internet, you can get all of this information by calling the Legislative Information Services staff at 287-1692.



    Please send copies of your messages to SAM at members@samcef.org or 205 Church Hill Road, Augusta, ME 04330. We need to know who you contacted and what you said.



    On SAM’s website, (www.samcef.org), you can find much more information about DIF&W’s budget, the Sunday hunting opportunities, and where we’re going from here. All of this information is located in the section on “Legislative News.” At that location you will find:



    An article titled “Sunday Hunting Makes Governor’s Budget,” that explains how SAM was able convince the governor to include Sunday hunting opportunities in the budget.



    An article titled “The Case for Sunday Hunting,” that provides more information about why Maine sportsmen – and our outdoor economy – deserve and need these opportunities.



    An article titled “DIF&W’s Budget – A Summary of the Details.” This is the short version of what is in the budget, including Sunday hunting.



    A letter, titled “Letter to Legislators,” that SAM will distribute to each legislator next week. You can use our letter to create your own messages to the governor and legislators. Please put your messages in your own words, rather than use our sample letter.



    Our website is currently briefly offline but should be back online soon. At the bottom of this memo we’ll place a short article on the issue to get you started.



    The governor’s proposed budget includes Sunday hunting for all species and seasons EXCEPT the November gun season on deer. That’s when sportsmen are out in big numbers and suffer the most conflicts and problems with landowners. All other hunting seasons involve smaller numbers of hunters and few landowner problems. And as the Governor has stated, Maine needs to be competitive in attracting nonresident hunters – who now stop in New Hampshire, Vermont, and New York – all of which offer Sunday hunting. For yourself, and for Maine’s outdoor economy, please give us your help on this TODAY! Thank you!





    Response Letter for Sunday hunting critics



    When considering the Sunday hunting opportunities included in Governor Baldacci’s proposed budget for the Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife, it is important to understand what is not included: there will be no Sunday hunting during November’s firearms season on deer.



    That is the time of year when landowners and the general public have issues with the large number of hunters who are in the fields and forests pursuing deer. All of Maine’s other hunting seasons involve much smaller numbers of hunters and few problems for landowners or the public.



    Maine must be competitive if our outdoor economy is to be sustained and enhanced. Nonresident hunters have been diverted to neighboring states like New Hampshire, Vermont and New York – all of which offer Sunday hunting.



    Hunting has an economic value of more than $450 million, and allowing bird, moose, and bear hunters to hunt the entire weekend will make Maine a more appealing destination for hunters, increasing revenue for both DIF&W and the Maine economy.



    And here’s something else that can’t be ignored. Although a recent study showed that DIF&W provides $4 million of direct services to the general public, the Governor and Legislature have been unable to provide public monies to DIF&W to fund those services – including critical services like search and rescue.



    Maine sportsmen continue to step up and pay higher fees, so that DIF&W can provide these services to the general public.



    In the next biennial budget, the Governor has once again had to ask sportsmen to fill DIF&W’s budget gap, because General Fund tax dollars are unavailable. And to their great credit, the sportsmen of Maine have agreed to so.



    In return, they asked for additional hunting opportunities on Sunday. That is only fair.

    Posted by SAM member,
    Mark Luce
    www.hindsite-deer.com
     
  2. kenton6

    kenton6 Administrator

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    Okay, we've all read this and the talk has been going around for some time on this issue and I want to know what the consensus is from everyone. Is this something we should do? What are the pros and cons to this?

    Personally, I'm not sure that I would want to see Sunday hunting. I certainly don't think I would fight against it but I do have some mixed feelings. The proposal that is being considered, if I understand it correctly, will probably go unnoticed by most everyone and should boost some revenues in certain areas of Maine economy.
     

  3. I guess my main concern is deer population. Allowing Sunday hunting adds 4 or even 5 more days to the season. Will this make a huge difference in the amount of deer taken for a season?

    We would have to expect the hunter turnout to be as great as on a Saturday or even higher.

    The original purpose was to leave Sunday to God and to church service. Why allow gambling on Sunday and not Hunting? Now 2 wrongs don't make it right BUT is it really wrong to go hunting on God's day? I don't think so personally.

    If I was living back in the days of Abraham then yea maybe.

    So I don't see anything wrong with planning a family event on Sunday.
     
  4. I think the Sunday hunting is going to pertain small game and birds. I will look into it and see what I can find out..

    Small game and birds I could live with............I believe landowners are going to post land because of the Sunday hunting. This will result in fewer "open to hunting" areas.........This could have a very negative impact in the long run.

    Just my thoughts,
    Mark Luce
    www.hindsite-deer.com
     
  5. kenton6

    kenton6 Administrator

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    I agree with you Mark and yes, I believe the Sunday hunting proposal excludes the regular November deer hunting season.
    The last thing Maine needs is for more people to begin posting more land.
     
  6. OK Now I see it. Sorry, I was under the impression deer was included since this topic originated in the Deer forum...

    Personally, I would like to hunt deer on Sunday. I don't have a problem if somebody wants to hunt small game or deer on any given day of the week.
     
  7. To SAM Rapid Response Team

    General SAM Membership Alert

    From George Smith

    January 20, 2005



    Public Hearing Scheduled!

    The legislature’s Appropriations Committee has scheduled a public hearing on the Governor’s proposed budget for the Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife – including Sunday hunting and fee increases.

    We hope you can attend to support SAM’s testimony in favor of the budget. Our opponents will be there in force and we’ve got to turn out our troops – or this tremendous opportunity for Sunday hunting will be lost.



    PLEASE – call or email Kelly in the SAM office and let her know you can attend the hearing. Kelly can be reached at 622-5503 or members@samcef.org.

    The hearing is scheduled for Thursday, February 3, at 1:00 pm, in Room 228 of the Capital building. Please plan to arrive by 11 am to be assured of a seat in the room. Kelly will be there at the door to assist you in finding seating and to help with any other needs. Wear your hunting clothes – and we will also provide stickers that identify you as a sportsman who is there to support Sunday hunting.

    Those who attend the hearing do not need to testify. But if you wish to do so, let Kelly know and I will get back to you with suggestions and an explanation of the committee’s requirements and procedures.

    In addition, if you have not yet done so, please contact your own State Representative and Senator and urge them to support Sunday hunting and the governor’s budget for DIF&W. This is very important. Legislators are getting inundated by our opponents – but they are not hearing from sportsmen who want this Sunday hunting opportunity. They must hear from you.

    I am attaching our last emailed message, with detailed information about how to contact legislators, and a SAM newspaper column that explains the DIF&W budget issues including Sunday hunting.

    Thanks for your help. This is a tremendous opportunity. But if we don’t get Sunday hunting now, with the Governor’s support, we will never hunt on Sundays in Maine. And we won’t get it without your help – NOW!



    January 12 Rapid Response Team Message

    You must act now to help us achieve the Sunday hunting opportunities offered by Governor John Baldacci in the proposed new state budget. We ask you to do two things:

    1) Contact the Governor and let him know that you appreciate and support his decision to allow Sunday hunting opportunities.

    2) Contact your State Representative and Senator to urge them to support the Governor’s budget for the Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife, including the Sunday hunting opportunities.

    You can contact the Governor by email (governor@maine.gov), regular mail (1 State House Station, Augusta, ME 04333), or phone 287-3531.

    You can contact your State Representative by email (see instructions below), mail (2 State House Station, Augusta, ME 04330), or phone (287-1400 or 1-800-423-2900).

    You can contact your State Senator by email (see below), mail (3 State House Station, Augusta, ME 04330) or phone (287-1540 or 1-800-423-6900).

    To find out who represents you in the Maine House and Senate, go to SAM’s website (www.samcef.org), click on the “Legislative News” section, then click on the “Find Your Representative and Senator” section. This will direct you to list of Representatives and Senators by town. You can get email addresses and other information about your legislators at the legislature’s website (http://janus.state.me.us/legis/). Finally, if you can’t access the internet, you can get all of this information by calling the Legislative Information Services staff at 287-1692.

    Please send copies of your messages to SAM at members@samcef.org or 205 Church Hill Road, Augusta, ME 04330. We need to know who you contacted and what you said.

    On SAM’s website, (www.samcef.org), you can find much more information about DIF&W’s budget, the Sunday hunting opportunities, and where we’re going from here. All of this information is located in the section on “Legislative News.” At that location you will find:

    An article titled “Sunday Hunting Makes Governor’s Budget,” that explains how SAM was able convince the governor to include Sunday hunting opportunities in the budget.

    An article titled “The Case for Sunday Hunting,” that provides more information about why Maine sportsmen – and our outdoor economy – deserve and need these opportunities.

    An article titled “DIF&W’s Budget – A Summary of the Details.” This is the short version of what is in the budget, including Sunday hunting.

    A letter, titled “Letter to Legislators,” that SAM distributed to each legislator. You can use our letter to create your own messages to the governor and legislators. Please put your messages in your own words, rather than use our sample letter.

    Bangor Daily News SAM Column

    Sunday Hunting Makes Sense

    Maine’s Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife has never attracted public tax dollars sufficient to pay for the services the department provides to the public. No matter what the mechanism, or how hard sportsmen lobby for public dollars, it simply does not happen. We can’t compete for funding with the real human needs including health and education.

    Three years ago a study demonstrated that DIF&W provides $4 million of direct services to the public each year. Governor Angus King and the legislature responded to that study by enacting a law that requires the governor to provide General Fund tax money to pay for 18 percent of DIF&W’s budget. It has not happened.

    For the second biennium since that law was enacted, public money is unavailable to provide the $4 to $5 million in tax money to DIF&W that the law requires.

    In the last biennium, sportsmen stepped up to fill the gap, supporting a move to increase every single license, permit and registration sold by DIF&W by $3. That $3 across-the-board increase was temporary and expires at the end of 2005.

    This year, sportsmen were united in opposition to re-enactment of that $3 increase, and lobbied strongly for the $4 million that would fulfill the legal requirement for 18 percent public funding for DIF&W.

    When Governor Baldacci was unable to provide this level of public funding in his proposed state budget, sportsmen stepped up again to fill the funding gap, agreeing to make the $3 across-the-board increase permanent, in return for Sunday hunting opportunities and a commitment from the Governor to work together for a long-term funding solution for DIF&W.

    The Governor’s proposed budget for DIF&W specifically includes:

    $700,000 of General Fund tax money in each year of the two-year biennium;

    Sunday hunting for all species and seasons except the November gun season on deer. No Sunday hunting will be allowed during the firearms season on deer except for duck hunters;

    Repeal of the law that prohibits nonresidents from hunting on the first day of the firearms season on deer.

    Extension of the $3 increase in all permits, licenses and fees;

    A higher boat registration fee.

    The department’s budget is essentially flat funded, allowing for a slight increase in spending so that no positions or staff will be cut, but providing for no increases in services and programs.

    The Governor has also pledged to work with sportsmen and DIF&W leaders to find streams of income from the public that would resolve this long-standing funding problem permanently, without tapping into tax money. We anticipate that the Governor will offer a long-term funding solution for DIF&W in his Part II budget that will be submitted later in this legislative session.

    The Governor has put his Sunday hunting proposal in economic terms. At SAM’s Sportsman’s Congress last week, he said, “Maine is one of only nine states in the country that does not allow hunting on Sunday. We attract over 40,000 nonresident hunters a year, but lose many to neighboring states like Vermont, New Hampshire and Canadian provinces where hunting is allowed on Sunday. Hunting has an economic value of more than $450 million, and allowing bird, moose or bear hunters to hunt the entire weekend will make Maine a more appealing destination for hunters, and it will increase that revenue.”

    We must emphasize that this Sunday hunting proposal does not include the November gun season on deer. That’s when hunters are out in big numbers and suffer conflicts and problems with landowners and the public. All other hunting seasons involve much smaller numbers of hunters and few landowner problems.

    We doubt that anyone feels unsafe or any landowner feels besieged in May during the turkey hunting season, or in September and October when hunters pursue a range of game including ducks, geese and grouse with guns and deer with bows.

    For the sportsmen of Maine, and the state’s outdoor economy, we hope the legislature and people of Maine will support the Governor’s proposed DIF&W budget, including the opportunities it offers to hunt on Sundays.
     
  8. kenton6

    kenton6 Administrator

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    Thanks, Mark.

    I sent a letter to th Governor and a copy of it went to SAM. Do you think there is enough support statewide that this will happen? The tone of the SAM letter you posted sounded a bit pessimistic.
     
  9. :shock: I think they are beginning to realize that land being posted as a result of Sunday hunting could offset the benefit.

    :idea: I think it is time that the State of Maine think about a tax break for land owners who allow and support hunting on their land.

    People would not be so quick to post their land if they benefited by a tax break :!: :!: :!:

    Just my thoughts.......................
     
  10. kenton6

    kenton6 Administrator

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    I agree with your thoughts about tax breaks. I am sure there are other "creative" ways to do this BUT Maine has to believe in its heritage of hunting and fishing and understand the value of it. Then they need to stand firmly behind that belief and send a message to others that Maine will not buckle under the pressure from antis to ban it all.