Dunlap Leaving SAM in September

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Matt Dunlap will be leaving his job as interim executive director of the Sportsman’s Alliance of Maine in September.

 Dunlap moved from SAM’s board to the executive director’s job when the board fired the director it had hired when I stepped down last fall after serving for 18 years in that position. SAM was fortunate that Matt was available and I am disappointed that he will not be staying.

 I worked with Matt during his eight years in the legislature, where he was a champion for sportsmen and served on the Inland Fisheries and Wildlife Committee. He also did a superb job as Maine’s Secretary of State, but when his Democratic colleagues lost their majority in the legislature last election, Matt was out of that job – and suddenly available to help SAM at a time when it desperately needed him.

 Dunlap made his decision to leave SAM without a new job in sight.

Quick Legislative Update

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A host of sportsmen’s issues are scheduled for debate and action this week, so I’ve started attending sessions of the Senate and House.

The bill that would allow game wardens to stop ATV riders without suspecting them of a law violation has been enacted and sent to the Governor. Several key people involved in this important issue are worried that the Governor may veto the bill, based on the Constitutional issue. If he does veto the bill, his veto is certain to be sustained in the Senate, where the bill was enacted by only a 3 vote margin. It takes two-thirds of each body to overturn a governor’s veto.

Raye's Deer Bill Wins Unanimous Vote

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The Maine Game Plan for Deer will get a significant boost with the adoption of LD 1569, the “deer bill” sponsored by Senate President Kevin Raye. The amended version of the bill won a unanimous “ought-to-pass” vote from members of the Inland Fisheries and Wildlife on Wednesday (May 25).

LD 1569 adds many elements to the Maine Game Plan for Deer announced a few months ago by the Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife.

The amendment to LD 1569 embodies many of the recommendations created from a December workshop that I organized at the request of Senator David Trahan. Thirty six people participated in the workshop including five DIF&W staff members.

Vacationing at Augusta's Senator Inn & Spa

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You’ve probably eaten a meal or attended an event at Augusta’s Senator Inn & Spa, but have you ever vacationed there? We escaped to the Senator for a divine 24-hour weekend vacation not long ago.

Just 20-miles from home, we luxuriated in the Inn and Spa that manager Roger Bintleff calls “old fashioned,” in its focus on customer service. That it is, but the Senator is also on the cutting edge in comfort and technology.


             Sometimes life just goes too fast. Before you know it one workweek blends into the next and you are trying to juggle household chores with your work life. Sound familiar?

Quick Updates In and Out of Legislature

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Deer Bill

The work session of the IFW Committee on Senator Kevin Raye’s deer bill, LD 1569, has been moved from Thursday (May 26) to Wednesday (May 25), beginning at noon in Room 206 of the Cross Office Building. There was no opposition to the amended version of the bill at its public hearing, but we do expect committee members to have many questions before acting on the bill.


Yesterday’s work session of the ACF Committee on two bills concerning the Land Use Regulation Commission was postponed. The committee schedule calls for a work session today on the LURC bills starting at 1 pm.

Week in Preview May 23, 2011

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While several key bills remain in committee work sessions, most are now in process through the House and Senate. This week, the top issue for sportsmen will be the ATV Stop bill.

This bill would allow game wardens to stop ATV riders without suspecting they are violating a law. After a lackluster debate in the House last Thursday, the bill won a strong 90 to 56 vote. It now goes to the Senate. With the support of all three Senators on the Inland Fisheries and Wildlife Committee, the bill should sail through that body – although these days you can’t take anything for granted.

The IFW Committee has scheduled a work session for noon on Thursday (May 26) in Room 206 of the Cross Office Building on Senator Kevin Raye’s deer bill, LD 1569. The bill got a great reception at its public hearing on Friday. I’ll post a report on the hearing soon.

More Maine Moose Permits - Less Moose Lottery Chances

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If I were King of Maine moose, here’s what I’d do with the lottery and hunt.


1)      Double the permits

2)      Drive down the success rate to 50 percent

3)      Offer one chance per applicant at $5 for residents and $10 for nonresidents

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