Please Sign In

Please enter a valid username and password
  • Log in with Facebook
» Not a member? Take a moment to register
» Forgot Username or Password

Why Register?
Signing up could earn you gear (click here to learn how)! It also keeps offensive content off our site.

Fewer Out-of-State Hunters Coming to Maine, Local Economy Suffers

Recent Comments

Categories

Recent Posts

Archives

Syndicate

Google Reader or Homepage
Add to My Yahoo!
Add to My AOL

Field Notes
in your Inbox

Enter your email address to get our new post everyday.

August 23, 2012

Fewer Out-of-State Hunters Coming to Maine, Local Economy Suffers

By Chad Love

At some point we've all been guilty of griping about all those out-of-state license plates in the parking area of our favorite public hunting area. Sure, it can sometimes be annoying, but all those visitors are also dropping much-needed dollars into local economies. But a precipitous decline in the number of out-of-state hunters visiting Maine is beginning to take its toll on everyone from state agencies to outfitters to mom-and-pop businesses.

From this story on onlinesentinel.com:
A significant decline in hunters coming to Maine from other states is having a far-reaching economic impact, from state agencies to small businesses in rural areas. While sales of hunting licenses rise nationally, the decline in Maine is causing a loss of revenue for the Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife and income for sporting camps and hunting guides. It also is cutting into business in rural towns where traditional outdoor sports are an integral part of the culture and economy. 

Sportsmen, guides, lawmakers and officials in the Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife point to the struggling deer herd as the reason for the drop in license sales.

According to the story, 9,000 fewer hunters visited Maine last year than five years ago, which translates into a $1.2 million loss in license fees alone—this in a state where non-resident hunters pump some $30 million into state and local coffers. So is this just a symptom of issues with Maine's deer herd, or is it a trend elsewhere? 

Comments (7)

Top Rated
All Comments
from Nixstyx wrote 1 year 34 weeks ago

I'll be heading to northern Maine in October for the grouse season, but I won't bother to buy a big game license. It's true that the deer herd is struggling in most parts of the state. I think that, combined with the high cost for a non resident license (though it's nowhere near as high as some other states) is putting people off. There are simply more deer in neighboring states, and the truth is, if I didn't have relatives up there, I'd do my bird hunting around home too.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from coachsjike wrote 1 year 34 weeks ago

i live in new jersey and hunting in new york it costs approx $140 for an out of state license. while i don't mind paying for it, it just sickens me that it is getting more and more expensive to hunt anywhere anymore. our governments know this and don't give a rat's a$$ about it. our government is to blame for our economy falling apart locally and across the nation.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Moose1980 wrote 1 year 34 weeks ago

I've been traveling to Maine since I was a boy and deer hunting there for the last 14 tears. At least in the area I hunt, Northern Somerset County, it's really depressing when you can spend a week in the woods and be happy to just find a track! I'm even cutting my trip short this year because I drew a state land lottery hunt here in CT. Until they can get the loggers to stop cutting out deer yards, Maine needs to be more active in promoting its bear and moose hunting.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from jay wrote 1 year 34 weeks ago

I've been putting in for a non-res moose permit in maine for years. Its a pretty low percent chance to draw as a non-resident, I believe its well under 1% chance. Increasing the number of moose permits for non-residents would easily make up for the shortfall since the demand is so much higher than supply. Of course, this is not popular among Maine residents and its these maine residents who vote for the legislators who control the number of permits. If I was a maine resident who hunted moose, I wouldn't want the increased competition for the permits either.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Pray- hunt-work wrote 1 year 34 weeks ago

My father has been applying for the moose lottery since 1980, the first year of the drawing. I have applied since 1996. I've been drawn twice, he's never got a permit. I agree that it's hard to hold faith in the system and continue applying (many res hunters don't apply anymore) however we are pumping money back into the state, and therefore I'll continue to apply a fee things that I think that the state of Maine should reconsider are 1. Opening the grouse season 2 weeks earlier, this would peak interest in hunting partners traveling to the north part of the state during the first moose season thus pumping more money into the local economy.(grouse hunting is a traditional favorite past time for the non permit holding hunting partners during moose season however it's only an option during the second moose season due to season dates) 2. I think that the state should better regulate the chances of the drawing based on long term entrees having never been drawn. If I knew that I would be drawn at some point every ten years I would feel alot better about my chances. On another note, I do agree that the wintering yards should be protected from the logging companies to an extent, but more importantly I think that the yards should be protected more so from the predators. There are incredible stories from the old time snare trappers talking about what a huge coyote and bobcat kill they would get around the deer yards. ( snares are now illegal to prevent a Canadian lynx by-catch, which has reportedly never happened) and that's a huge burden on the deer in the winter months). Also, the turkeys are now pushing there way further into the northern part of the state and eating ALL the mast that they come to. This is not helping the deer situation at all, if the state would allow more turkeys to be harvested in the northern part of the state I think that this would help big time. A final thought is that the minimum antler restrictions should be upped. A three inch spike is now considered a harvestable buck, I think that if they put the minimum up to crotch horns than there would eventually be more interest in deer hunting in the state by non-Res hunters. Allowing only jr hunters to harvest does for a couple of years would certainly help the population issue as well. Justy two cents anyway, buy something for the state to hopefully consider in the future.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from nehunter92 wrote 1 year 34 weeks ago

Maine’s difficulty in recruiting out of state hunters stems from a few issues, the biggest of which in my opinion is unnecessary restrictions. The most glaring restriction in Maine is something that most states that consider themselves “hunter friendly” would like to move away from, a Sunday hunting ban. Maine is like many New England states in that it has no Sunday hunting. Notice how I said “many” not “all.” New Hampshire, Maine’s only neighboring US state, also happens to be one of three NE states that allow Sunday hunting (the other two being Vermont and Rhode Island.) People who hunt in a neighboring state obviously need to travel, which means they cannot get in for a quick hunt before or after work, and cannot just take a day trip to their hunting spot. This means that weekends would comprise a large chunk of hunting time for these outdoorsmen. With a Sunday hunting ban, Maine axes half of that time. Other restrictions could play part too, such as Maine having a minimum age restriction which NH does not have. Once you reach Maine’s minimum age of 10, you still need to buy a junior license for the next 6 years ($34 a pop for non-residents.) It may also be worth noting that for deer, traditional drives are illegal in Maine, and only 3 people may “hunt together,” whatever that means. These complaints could all be considered minor, but they could each contribute a small piece to an ever growing group of alienated hunters. As for implementing APR’s, for a New England deer herd that screams of a bad idea. In a previous post I mentioned how in NE, antler structure tends to be smaller, making APR’s less plausible. This is New England, not the Midwest; you can’t really “grow” trophy deer around here. They’re out there sure, but Maine has a long way to go before becoming known as a “trophy state” Most NE hunter’s I know don’t care that much about antlers anyway, just the amount of meat they are getting. I totally agree on the point of limiting doe harvests. Harvesting Does from a NE herd is risky business and many states, such as Maine and NH, have ended up in bad ways because of it.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Pray- hunt-work wrote 1 year 32 weeks ago

The APR isn't a restriction to create some sort of trophy buck, I don't ever see that happening. It is to allow bucks to reach that 2 1/2 yr old mark for breeding perpouses. I would dare say that 6-7 out of ten bucks harvested in Maine each fall are between a spike horn and a crotch horn. That doesn't count the doe with nuts that fill a percentage of our antlerless deer permits given each year. We have to create more breedig potential for Maine's whitetail herd, and if that means fewer doe harvests, letting spike horns live to see another day, protecting their winter yarding sites, and larger predator control measures, than I'm all for it. All that said, it's not about helping raise the number of out of state hunters in Maine, it's about helping the animal populations in Maine. However, I say they go hand in hand.

0 Good Comment? | | Report

Post a Comment

from coachsjike wrote 1 year 34 weeks ago

i live in new jersey and hunting in new york it costs approx $140 for an out of state license. while i don't mind paying for it, it just sickens me that it is getting more and more expensive to hunt anywhere anymore. our governments know this and don't give a rat's a$$ about it. our government is to blame for our economy falling apart locally and across the nation.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Moose1980 wrote 1 year 34 weeks ago

I've been traveling to Maine since I was a boy and deer hunting there for the last 14 tears. At least in the area I hunt, Northern Somerset County, it's really depressing when you can spend a week in the woods and be happy to just find a track! I'm even cutting my trip short this year because I drew a state land lottery hunt here in CT. Until they can get the loggers to stop cutting out deer yards, Maine needs to be more active in promoting its bear and moose hunting.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from nehunter92 wrote 1 year 34 weeks ago

Maine’s difficulty in recruiting out of state hunters stems from a few issues, the biggest of which in my opinion is unnecessary restrictions. The most glaring restriction in Maine is something that most states that consider themselves “hunter friendly” would like to move away from, a Sunday hunting ban. Maine is like many New England states in that it has no Sunday hunting. Notice how I said “many” not “all.” New Hampshire, Maine’s only neighboring US state, also happens to be one of three NE states that allow Sunday hunting (the other two being Vermont and Rhode Island.) People who hunt in a neighboring state obviously need to travel, which means they cannot get in for a quick hunt before or after work, and cannot just take a day trip to their hunting spot. This means that weekends would comprise a large chunk of hunting time for these outdoorsmen. With a Sunday hunting ban, Maine axes half of that time. Other restrictions could play part too, such as Maine having a minimum age restriction which NH does not have. Once you reach Maine’s minimum age of 10, you still need to buy a junior license for the next 6 years ($34 a pop for non-residents.) It may also be worth noting that for deer, traditional drives are illegal in Maine, and only 3 people may “hunt together,” whatever that means. These complaints could all be considered minor, but they could each contribute a small piece to an ever growing group of alienated hunters. As for implementing APR’s, for a New England deer herd that screams of a bad idea. In a previous post I mentioned how in NE, antler structure tends to be smaller, making APR’s less plausible. This is New England, not the Midwest; you can’t really “grow” trophy deer around here. They’re out there sure, but Maine has a long way to go before becoming known as a “trophy state” Most NE hunter’s I know don’t care that much about antlers anyway, just the amount of meat they are getting. I totally agree on the point of limiting doe harvests. Harvesting Does from a NE herd is risky business and many states, such as Maine and NH, have ended up in bad ways because of it.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Nixstyx wrote 1 year 34 weeks ago

I'll be heading to northern Maine in October for the grouse season, but I won't bother to buy a big game license. It's true that the deer herd is struggling in most parts of the state. I think that, combined with the high cost for a non resident license (though it's nowhere near as high as some other states) is putting people off. There are simply more deer in neighboring states, and the truth is, if I didn't have relatives up there, I'd do my bird hunting around home too.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from jay wrote 1 year 34 weeks ago

I've been putting in for a non-res moose permit in maine for years. Its a pretty low percent chance to draw as a non-resident, I believe its well under 1% chance. Increasing the number of moose permits for non-residents would easily make up for the shortfall since the demand is so much higher than supply. Of course, this is not popular among Maine residents and its these maine residents who vote for the legislators who control the number of permits. If I was a maine resident who hunted moose, I wouldn't want the increased competition for the permits either.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Pray- hunt-work wrote 1 year 34 weeks ago

My father has been applying for the moose lottery since 1980, the first year of the drawing. I have applied since 1996. I've been drawn twice, he's never got a permit. I agree that it's hard to hold faith in the system and continue applying (many res hunters don't apply anymore) however we are pumping money back into the state, and therefore I'll continue to apply a fee things that I think that the state of Maine should reconsider are 1. Opening the grouse season 2 weeks earlier, this would peak interest in hunting partners traveling to the north part of the state during the first moose season thus pumping more money into the local economy.(grouse hunting is a traditional favorite past time for the non permit holding hunting partners during moose season however it's only an option during the second moose season due to season dates) 2. I think that the state should better regulate the chances of the drawing based on long term entrees having never been drawn. If I knew that I would be drawn at some point every ten years I would feel alot better about my chances. On another note, I do agree that the wintering yards should be protected from the logging companies to an extent, but more importantly I think that the yards should be protected more so from the predators. There are incredible stories from the old time snare trappers talking about what a huge coyote and bobcat kill they would get around the deer yards. ( snares are now illegal to prevent a Canadian lynx by-catch, which has reportedly never happened) and that's a huge burden on the deer in the winter months). Also, the turkeys are now pushing there way further into the northern part of the state and eating ALL the mast that they come to. This is not helping the deer situation at all, if the state would allow more turkeys to be harvested in the northern part of the state I think that this would help big time. A final thought is that the minimum antler restrictions should be upped. A three inch spike is now considered a harvestable buck, I think that if they put the minimum up to crotch horns than there would eventually be more interest in deer hunting in the state by non-Res hunters. Allowing only jr hunters to harvest does for a couple of years would certainly help the population issue as well. Justy two cents anyway, buy something for the state to hopefully consider in the future.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Pray- hunt-work wrote 1 year 32 weeks ago

The APR isn't a restriction to create some sort of trophy buck, I don't ever see that happening. It is to allow bucks to reach that 2 1/2 yr old mark for breeding perpouses. I would dare say that 6-7 out of ten bucks harvested in Maine each fall are between a spike horn and a crotch horn. That doesn't count the doe with nuts that fill a percentage of our antlerless deer permits given each year. We have to create more breedig potential for Maine's whitetail herd, and if that means fewer doe harvests, letting spike horns live to see another day, protecting their winter yarding sites, and larger predator control measures, than I'm all for it. All that said, it's not about helping raise the number of out of state hunters in Maine, it's about helping the animal populations in Maine. However, I say they go hand in hand.

0 Good Comment? | | Report

Post a Comment