Moose bills get some traction at legislature

Members of the legislature’s Inland Fisheries and Wildlife Department have sent us mixed messages on the many moose hunting bills considered this session.

In divided votes, the following moose bills were rejected by the committee:

A bill to double the number of moose permits auctioned by DIF&W for conservation camp scholarships for kids from 10 to 20;

A bill to allow those who trade permits to include, in the transaction, some cash payment.

On the other hand, the committee endorsed some changes, including these:

A bill that allows kids under 8 years of age to apply for moose permits and accrue points, but not win a permit.

A bill to give moose permits to hunters ages 65 and older who have accumulated at least 30 points in the lottery.

Hearings on these bills were entertaining. I particularly liked this comment from Senator Paul Davis who sponsored one of the bills: “I shot more moose than anyone in this room. As a state trooper I shot them in the head.” Paul was referring to moose that had been run down by motor vehicles. He also said he’d never applied for a moose hunting permit!

Don Kleiner of the Maine Professional Guides Association testified that, “a moose hunt is the hunt of a lifetime and the hunter should be old enough to remember 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, 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 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.