While the Warden Service looks the other way and often participates in them, it is illegal in Maine to charge people for a wild game dinner. Sportsmen’s clubs, Unity College, and even some churches serve wild game dinners and charge for them, but generally report that they charge for the “social hour” before dinner and then provide the dinner for free.
I hate it when we have to do things like this to enjoy something that should be ok. So I’ve proposed legislation this session to make these dinners legal. Senator Tom Saviello will sponsor the bill.
Senator Saviello is also sponsoring my bill to require landowner permission to pick crops on private land, such as mushrooms and fiddleheads. This bill will go to the Agriculture, Conservation, and Forestry Committee. That committee worked on similar legislation last year, focused on those who pick crops commercially on private land without permission, but failed to support that proposal.
As landowners, my wife and I enjoy foraging for our mushrooms and fiddleheads. No one else should be able to take those crops from our woodlot, without our permission. I saw an angler earlier this year park his car next to our bridge and get out to fish the stream. But before he did, he ambled over onto our front lawn and picked an apple off our tree. What gave him the idea that this was ok without asking us? Time to stop this bad behavior and show more respect for private landowners.
PHOTO: Wild game dinner and fundraising event at Unity College.