article by Katelyn Dearborn
edited by Brianna Mooers
Maine’s Most Dangerous Season?
The start of fall marks a Mainer’s favorite season: Hunting season. Most people would say it’s the most riveting sport that Maine has to offer, with over 30 different species to hunt, in millions of woods to choose from. But many would disagree. In fact, Maine’s hunting laws have become quite a debate over the past few years for multiple things. Endangered animals, animal cruelty, hunting grounds, and even second amendment rights have been argued about over this issue, and still are today. So for those who may be new to this state, new to the sport, or already enjoy the sport, this article is to inform you on some of the issues that revolve around this specific time of year, and can maybe help you decide your own opinion on these topics.
Maybe We Shouldn’t Kill ALL of Them..
When it comes to hunting, there just seems to be two kinds of people; The ones who hunt for fun, and the ones that are mad at the hunters because they’re killing innocent creatures. Well, you gotta hand it to those hunters, because they help the community a lot by keeping animal populations from getting too high, attracting tourists and foreigners from out-of-state, giving us the food we eat.
But the ‘haters’ aren’t wrong however. I mean, what’d those animals ever do to you? You take their home, take their food, kill them, stuff them and hang them on your wall, and many people choose to eat them. And now you’re driving them extinct! That’s right, there are endangered animals up for game out there that we are doing nothing to protect. Take the New England Cottontail for example. There are now less than 300 left in Maine, but are still easily killed by hunters who don’t know any better.
Is That Really a Great Hunting Spot?
Maine is filled with woods, and most of those woods are full of animals just prancing around waiting to be shot. So where do people like to hunt? Right next to lively neighborhoods, of course! Maybe not the big cities out in the open, but there are plenty of homes out in some of those woods where some creatures still hop around. If it’s close to home, then why not?
Why, probably because it’s not very hard to mistake a person for an animal. Or to miss-fire and hit the side of a house. Because it’s happened before. Although these instances are rare, they can still easily happen. In fact, I live in a neighborhood where we see people hunting around us all the time, so I have to wear something bright when I walk home from school. And pretty soon, other kids and I will be walking home in the dark as well, to make matters worse. This is an issue I more than disagree with. And I’m not the only one.
But, as dangerous as it may seem to have gunshots be heard from not even a mile away, it is important for keeping deer population from skyrocketing. Too many deer can cause an increase in car crashes as well as an increase in Lyme disease since deer can easily spread ticks around. And many neighbors do find it annoying when deer eat from their gardens. "Deer in urban areas can live for a very long time," DNR deer biologist Chad Stewart says. "They're completely absent or void of any sort of predator, short of a car, which is not really the way you want to manage a deer herd."
In conclusion, those are just a few of the issues still swirling around in our community. Hopefully this article educated you on some you didn’t know, or at least got you thinking in a different perspective.
Have fun, and stay safe!
- “Hunting Areas”, Hunting Areas: Hunting Laws & Rules: Hunting & Trapping: Maine Dept of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife, www.maine.gov/ifw/hunting-trapping/hunting-laws/hunting-areas.html
- “ME” U.S. Precision Defense, www.concealedcarry-ccw.com/Second-Amendment-Rights/Maine-ME/
- Humphrey Bob, “Hunting: Good and Bad Legislation in the Hunt”, Press Herald, 24 Jan. 2015, www.pressherald.com/2015/01/25/bob-humphrey-good-and-bad-legislation-in-the-hunt/
- Coker Karen, “Maine Compass: Beaver Deceivers Allow People, Nature’s Engineers to Go with the Flow,” Kennebec Journal & Morning Sentinel, 25 Aug. 2017, www.centralmaine.com/2017/08/26/maine-compass-beaver-deceivers-allow-people-natures-engineers-to-go-with-the-flow/
Sabalow Ryan, “Why the DNR Wants People Hunting behind Your Subdivision,” Indianapolis Star, IndyStar, 25 Sept. 2014, www.indystar.com/story/news/local/2014/09/25/dnr-wants-people-hunting-behind-subdivision/16179859/