Legislators shoot down grouse labeling requirement

Maine grouse hunters will be rejoicing to learn that the confusing and onerous new law requiring the labeling of grouse in the unorganized territories will be a one-year wonder. Here today. Gone tomorrow.

grouseLast year, for the first time, hunters who harvested grouse in the unorganized territories and stayed there overnight had to label the birds with information including the day the birds were shot. Game Wardens contended that this new rule would help them assure that hunters stayed within their daily and possession limits.

The new requirement didn’t exactly draw rave reviews from grouse hunters. In fact, many were downright ugly about it.

Yesterday, at a work session of the legislature’s Inland Fisheries and Wildlife Committee, Representative Paul Davis led an assault on the new rule. OK, he did it politely, but firmly.

Warden Major Chris Cloutier did his best to defend the rule, but honestly, was hard pressed to do it. The rule is hard to justify.

The IFW Committee voted unanimously to repeal the law, virtually guaranteeing that the entire legislature will follow suit.

If you whipped up a bunch of labels for the 2014 grouse hunting season, you won’t be needing them!

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, georgesmithmaine.com, 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 the spring of 2016, Islandport Press will publish a Maine travel book by George and Linda, and Down East Books will publish a book about Maine sporting camps by George. In 2014 George won an award for the state's best sports blog, from the Maine Press Association.