LD 800

A place to discuss Maine hunting. Topics include Maine's reknowned sea duck hunting.

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Re: LD 800

Postby Thornehead » Wed Apr 03, 2013 2:13 pm

Sunday hunting is a good thing. More opportunities for hunters to be out in the field will help with an already declining outdoor sport. Participation in hunting continues to drop year after year and we need to think of ways to increase participation, particularly among young people. Most folks are busy during the week with work and school and only have one day per week to hunt. Having the opportunity to hunt on either or both weekend days is good for the regular guy in my opinion. Sadly, the bill will likely just die in committee like all the similiar bills before it....
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Re: LD 800

Postby bkmaine » Wed Apr 03, 2013 3:15 pm

I'm still very new to hunting so this might be a naive question, but why do we want more people to start hunting?
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Re: LD 800

Postby Thornehead » Wed Apr 03, 2013 7:25 pm

bkmaine wrote:I'm still very new to hunting so this might be a naive question, but why do we want more people to start hunting?

There are lots of positives...
-ensures the future of our sport
-increases revenues for conservation & game management through equipment & license sales
-pass on the tradition of hunting to our kids

I'm sure I'm missing a few more reasons that I will think of later but you get the gist. I try to introduce a new hunter or two to our sport every season.....hopefully on a Sunday in the future :smile:
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Re: LD 800

Postby tgs » Thu Apr 04, 2013 5:54 am

If this were to move forward, I hope they have a later start to the coastal season or a longer split. It was nice having puddle duck options in January this year, would hate to loose that to get Sunday's.
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Re: LD 800

Postby BMowatt » Mon Apr 08, 2013 3:21 pm

I wouldn't know what to do without sunday hunting. lived in maine for 18 yrs and nobody could give me a good reason why there was no hunting on sundays
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Re: LD 800

Postby K.I. Joe » Mon Apr 08, 2013 5:35 pm

Let me see if the season is sixty days long and they give me Sundays to hunt and closed Wednesdays, I figure that gives me twice the season because I can actually hunt two days a week :hammer: :hammer:
I understand that retired guys can hunt when ever but have a little sympathy for those of us who still work for a living......There doesn't have to be a shorter season if they close Wednesday, or Thursday, or Friday, or Monday, or Tuesday LOL
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Re: LD 800

Postby Seaductor » Wed Apr 10, 2013 9:00 am

NO Sunday hunting!!! I need a day off to rest up every week. Hunting & fishing 5 or 6 days a week is plenty. Sunday's for NASCAR & FOOTBALL NAPS!

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Re: LD 800

Postby titleguy » Wed Apr 10, 2013 10:27 am

As I read the proposed language it applies only to the coastal zone after the 2nd opener. I personally would love to be able to hunt on Sundays during that time period. Because of work, I am limited to Saturdays only ( or holidays) so this would give me more hunting time, even if the season ended earlier. :thumbsup:
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Re: LD 800

Postby 733SubDucker » Wed Apr 10, 2013 1:14 pm

I will clarify that I am not personally opposed to Sunday hunting for small game. I would be opposed to 7 day / week hunting potentially causing waterfowl seasons to end prematurely... in effect "missing" the significant portion of the migration that occurs in the latter stages of the current framework, given those hunting day were run concurrently.

Therefore, if Sunday hunting were allowed... which I'm sorry to remain skeptical and say it will NOT, we would be wise to encourage the use of additional or extended split seasons to hit both the early resident and mid - late season migrators.

IMHO - a one week split in the 'North Zone' season somewhere around the 3rd week of October would be great for central Maine... but I'm sure there are those who would disagree :fingerhead: :lol3:

I feel this issue is mute but for those of you that still wonder why we have not had Sunday hunting in Maine in over a hundred years, this article by George Smith is very enlightening:

"It's Unlikely Maine Hunters Will Ever Hunt on Sundays"
Submitted by George Smith on Mon, 04/11/2011 - 13:24

Sunday came on Monday today. I could script the annual legislative consideration of Sunday hunting bills: same bills, same participants, same result.

Today (April 11) the IFW Committee hosted public hearings on four Sunday hunting bills (LDs 749, 810, 906, and 910). Two would authorize Sunday hunting in northern Maine. The other two would authorize Sunday hunting statewide, one for small game and wild birds only, the other for landowners hunting on their own land.

Testimony consumed two hours and was followed by quick committee action killing LDs 749, 810, and 906, leaving LD 910 for an April 25 ,9 am work session.

Rep. Stacy Fitts presented his two bills, LD 906 and 910. He’s been relentless in sponsoring Sunday hunting bills during this 8 years in the legislature, refusing to take no for an answer. I admire his resolve and have, over the years, supported most of his bills. Today I testified in favor of his most compelling bill, LD 910, that would authorize Sunday hunting on your own land if you own 20 acres and keep it open for public hunting. Sponsors of the other two bills didn’t show up, so members of the IFW Committee presented their bills.

Only two individuals and no organizations spoke in favor of Sunday hunting. Both David Wright of Pittsfield (who owns land with Rep. Fitts) and I stood alone today. I have to say I was disappointed that the Sportsman’s Alliance of Maine did not testify in favor of any of the bills. Perhaps that is simply a reflection of the impossibility of accomplishing this goal, the division of opinion within the organization, and an unwillingness to use up any of their political capital with the landowner groups or members of the legislature.

Matt Dunlap, SAM’s executive director, testified “neither for nor against” the bills, noting that one of the first bills he sponsored as a newly-elected legislator would have authorized Sunday hunting for small game in the unorganized territories. Dunlap reported that SAM’s membership remains divided on Sunday hunting, and spoke about the history of the issue, including the fact that the first ban on Sunday hunting was enacted as a game management technique. His testimony ranged across continents, covering issues from safety in Maine to game management in Africa to the politics of the Sunday hunting issue.

As usual, Dunlap’s testimony was educational and entertaining, but, bottom line, abandoned SAM’s long-standing advocacy for Sunday hunting opportunities. I noted in my own testimony that I’ve given up on this issue. SAM appears to have done so too.

Opponents included SWOAM, Maine Farm Bureau, Wildlife Alliance of Maine, U.S. Humane Society, Belgrade landowner/hunter Richard Baker, land manager Gordon Mott, Tim Hobbs of the Maine Potato Board (opposed LDs 749, 810, and 906, but not LD 910), Colonel Joel Wilkinson (opposed to LDs 749, 810, and 906, and testifying neither for nor against on LD 910), and Dan Riley, a lobbyist for SWOAM and hunter.

Colonel Wilkinson, telling Rep. Herb Clark that he was testifying for both DIF&W and the LePage Administration, surprised me when he failed to support LD 910. Governor LePage, in his SAM Survey, was asked, “Should landowners be allowed to hunt on Sundays on their own land?” LePage answered yes. He also answered yes when asked, “Would you be willing to support some limited Sunday hunting opportunities, such as turkey hunting, as long as deer hunting was not included?”

My friend Tom Doak, executive director of the Small Woodland Owners Association of Maine, a group I belong to and value, spoke in opposition to all four Sunday hunting bills.

“It is important to note that the primary opposition to hunting on Sunday is not from those opposed to hunting but from landowners and farmers. These are the very same people who provide 95% of the hunting opportunities in Maine – for free,” testified Doak.

The privilege of hunting for free on someone else’s land, “is an incredible benefit afforded a hunter which is often not fully appreciated and sometimes taken for granted. That benefit has stood the test of time for a number of reasons, but two of the most important are: because the majority of landowners and farmers believe sharing their land is the ‘right’ thing to do and they know that Sunday is a day they can count on for full enjoyment of their property,” said Doak.

“There is no other issue that could fuel conflict between hunters, landowners, recreationalists and the general public more than Sunday hunting,” concluded Doak. “So why do we keep fighting over an issue that so few support?”

My Testimony for LD 910

Here’s what I had to say at the hearing.

If this were a horse race, we would credit Rep. Stacy Fitts for entering, yet again, the best horse in the race, still hoping for victory. Sunday hunting on your own land seems very compelling to me.

I purchased my Mount Vernon woodlot for the specific purpose of keeping it undeveloped so I could hunt there. Yet I am denied the opportunity to enjoy this principle purpose on my own land one day each week. This doesn’t seem fair to me, to put it mildly.

Maine’s Sunday hunting prohibition was first enacted on February 28, 1883. We’ve been trying to correct that mistake for 127 years, without success. I don’t think we’ll ever hunt on Sundays in Maine because – well, because we haven’t since 1883.

This prohibition hurts us economically – our neighboring states of New Hampshire, Vermont, and New York – all offer Sunday hunting and steal our hunters (both resident and nonresident) who like to hunt on both days of a weekend. The national hunting magazines have punished and pummeled our state for its lack of Sunday hunting opportunity.

And I’m not the only one who recognizes this problem. In 2005, when we made a serious effort to authorize Sunday hunting, the Kennebec Journal and Waterville Morning Sentinel published an editorial, “Time for Maine to End Ban on Sunday Hunting.”

Please listen to the excellent conclusion of this editorial: “Maine prides itself on its outstanding hunting. It is one of the state’s primary – and growing – industries, which it promotes throughout New England and beyond. It makes little sense that the state would be blessed with such a valuable recreational activity, only to ban it on one of the two days when most residents and nonresidents are likely to participate.”

Over the years I’ve offered heart-wrenching testimony from hunters who never got to hunt with their Dads because their Dads worked six days a week, testimony from Maine residents who spent every Sunday – and a lot of their money – hunting upland birds in New Hampshire, testimony from a Mainer in Rangeley who gave up hunting in Maine altogether to drive 30 miles and spend his Sundays hunting in New Hampshire, the only day his business was closed.

I respect the right of private landowners to tell me they don’t want me to hunt on their property on Sundays – or any other day. What I’m looking for is respect for my right to do what I want on my own private land.

I helped convince Governor John Baldacci to authorize Sunday hunting in his proposed budget, only to watch all of my allies in sportsmen’s organizations speak in opposition at the hearing that found SAM standing alone. It took a long time to overcome the bitterness on both sides of that unfortunate battle. It was a mistake to put it in the budget.

I’ve worked over the last two decades for two initiatives that I thought held particularly great promise: hunting on Sundays for small game in the unorganized territories, and Sunday hunting on your own land – and suffered the inevitable defeats.

I’ve given up, convinced that Maine will stubbornly cling to this Sunday hunting prohibition until it is the only state left – today just 7 states refuse to allow this popular outdoor activity to be enjoyed on Sundays.

You probably know that the only things you can’t do on Sundays in Maine are buy a car and hunt. Auto dealers don’t want to work on Sunday. Many of us do desire to hunt on Sundays.

But we are far from united in this desire, and that’s part of the problem. I generally found SAM members to be divided 60-40 with 60 percent fiercely wanting Sunday hunting and 40 percent opposed for a wide range of reasons from religious to fear that landowners would post more land.

I do think if we ever get Sunday hunting, few will notice that we’re out there hunting on that day, especially if it doesn’t include deer hunting. For all other species, the number of hunters is small. Most species see less than 20,000 hunters. That’s less then the population of Augusta, spread over an entire hunting season and all over the state.

If you authorize this Sunday hunting opportunity, it might quickly be accepted just as Sunday shopping was. A history lesson may help.

Up into the 1980s, Maine people were prohibited from shopping on Sundays in all but the smallest stores. My sister Edie and I collected signatures, for the larger stores, and qualified a citizen initiative for the referendum ballot to authorize Sunday shopping in all stores.

After a hard fought campaign pitting small stores – led by Bob Reny – against large stores and malls – Mainers voted to allow Sunday shopping in all stores – but only by the narrow margin of 52 percent to 48 percent.

Almost half the voters didn’t want Sunday shopping. Today, few would give up their opportunity to buy groceries and other goods on Sunday. It is widely accepted. It is unthinkable – today – that we would be prohibited from shopping on Sundays.

Perhaps Sunday hunting would follow the same path – controversial at the start – but widely accepted after a brief transitional period.

Alas, I don’t believe we’ll ever find out. Because nothing has changed.

We have another Governor who supports Sunday hunting. Governor LePage, in his SAM survey, said he would support, specifically, the opportunity for landowners to hunt on their own land on Sundays.

We have a hunting community that is divided on the issue.

We have groups that represent landowners united against Sunday hunting.

Same race. Same horses. Same result. I am afraid we’re beating a dead horse here.
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Re: LD 800

Postby Thornehead » Tue Apr 23, 2013 11:27 am

Looks like NC will be adopting Sunday hunting this year and will be addressing the lost waterfowl days. Although it does not appear that Sunday hunting will be allowed on public land, it is certainly a step in the right direction. Sure wish Maine would follow suit with something similar....

The article below is from the NC Wildlife Commission

NC Wildlife Commission Adopts Resolution Supporting Sunday Hunting

on Mar 15, 2013 12:17 PM • Views 3863

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Media Contact: Carolyn Rickard

RALEIGH,N.C. (March 15, 2013) — The N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission has adopted a resolution supporting a bill that would allow people to hunt on Sundays on private lands.

During the March 14 business meeting, the Commission adopted a resolution in support of Senate Bill 224, which would remove a prohibition against Sunday hunting on private lands with shotgun, rifle or pistol set out in N.C.G.S. 103-2.

The mission of the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission includes conserving and managing wildlife resources and enhancing the state’s rich hunting heritage by providing opportunities for hunters to enjoy wildlife-associated recreation.

“Allowing Sunday hunting on private lands will provide additional hunting days and additional options for youth and adults whose school and employment responsibilities limit their hunting opportunities to weekends,” said Gordon Myers, executive director of the Wildlife Commission.

The prohibition against Sunday hunting serves no purpose with regard to conservation of wildlife resources and habitats. North Carolina residents who currently seek hunting opportunities in neighboring states that do allow Sunday hunting take substantial revenues elsewhere instead of keeping these dollars within North Carolina borders where they would generate tremendous economic benefits, particularly to rural areas and businesses.

In 2009, the Commission adopted regulations allowing hunting on Sundays on private lands with archery equipment. Since September 2010 North Carolinians have been hunting on Sundays on private lands with archery equipment without incident or conflict.

The Commission also adopted a motion Thursday directing Myers to work with the Legislature and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to find a solution for the potential loss of compensatory hunting days for those who hunt migratory waterfowl on public waters, should Senate Bill 224 become law.

View full text of the resolution.

For more information on hunting in North Carolina, including season dates and regulations, visit http://www.ncwildlife.org.

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Re: LD 800

Postby flylineguide » Mon Apr 29, 2013 8:20 am

I thought this bad peice of legislation died along with my bill :biggrin: . But it is in the paper today in the midwest and my phone is going crazy. As said before 107 days only.

The current system of how/who/when, both councils should be disbanded, polling nonresidents, sets Maine's waterfowl laws sucks. So until that changes, I would not support any Sunday hunting. I.E. Closing any part of the late season to allow Sunday hunting is unacceptable to me. Running 7 days a week is not good either.

My opinion about my personel hunting time. What little I get I sure would like a 2nd day to share with my daughter in the feild. Which would mean Sunday.

But as a guide we need that day off, for change over/travel. So a Wednesday closure to make up for it would have to be part of the law for me to support it.

Anyone know who started this bill? Just wondering if this is more 'from away' legislation or not thought threw 'yocal' legislation.
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Re: LD 800

Postby flylineguide » Mon Apr 29, 2013 12:21 pm

Just got word this was killed !!!!!thankfully.
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