First Five Sportsmen Say Survey Questions Deliver Interesting Results

Since launching the Sportsmen Say Survey on my website,, a few weeks ago, I’ve been pleased with the response and level of participation. We’re off to a great start!

Survey questions are generally linked with a column I’ve posted about a specific issue, and give you a chance to voice your opinion on those issues. I share the results of the surveys with reporters, bloggers, legislators, state agency staff, and the public.

Participation in the first four surveys ranged from a high of 289 to a low of 41. Here are the results.

Question: Should Maine’s Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife do more to protect native and wild brook trout, including banning the use of live fish as bait on wild brook trout waters in order to reduce the chance of an introduction of new competing fish species in those waters?

289 people answered this question. 61 percent said yes while 39 percent said no. The legislature praised DIF&W’s new brook trout policy and plan that extends protection to more than 120 additional wild brook trout waters.

Question: Do you think it should be illegal to charge a fee for wild game dinners in Maine?

105 people answered this question. 87 percent said no while 17 percent said yes.

Question: Is all the wild game meat in your freezer and home properly labeled?

The same 105 people answered this follow-up question. 55 percent said no and 45 percent said yes. I will not be disclosing to the Maine Warden Service the names or addresses of the people who answered no!

Question: Do you support the legislature’s decision to allocate 25 percent of the any-deer permits to junior hunters?

While this issue set off a storm of protests on Facebook and around the state, with a lot of negative comments, 54 percent of the 54 people who answered the survey question said yes, and 46 percent said no.

Question: Do you support a $5 increase in the fee for the milfoil sticker, required for boat registrations, with the money directed to the Department of Environmental Protection for its invasive plant program?

I posted this question late in the process, after the legislature’s Inland Fisheries and Wildlife had voted in favor of the fee increase, so it drew only 41 responses with 88 percent saying no and just 12 percent in favor. This increase is now poised for action in the House and Senate.

If you would like, there is still time to answer these questions. Go to my website, click on Sportsmen Say Survey, and have at it!


George Smith

About George Smith

George stepped down at the end of 2010 after 18 years as the executive director of the Sportsman’s Alliance of Maine to write full time. He writes a weekly editorial page column in the Kennebec Journal and Waterville Morning Sentinel, a weekly travel column in those same newspapers (with his wife Linda), monthly columns in The Maine Sportsman magazine, two outdoor news blogs (one on his website,, and one on the website of the Bangor Daily News), and special columns for many publications and newsletters. Islandport Press published a book of George's favorite columns, "A Life Lived Outdoors" in 2014. In 2014, George also won a Maine Press Association award for writing the state's bet sports blog. In 2016, Down East Books published George's book, Maine Sporting Camps, and Islandport Press published George and his wife Linda's travel book, Take It From ME, about their favorite Maine inns and restaurants.