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What You Can Do With Your Hunted Deer

Aug 17, 2007
Hunting the deer nowadays has become a commercial business, where people are hunting the deer to be sold.

Some years ago, there was an out-of-state hunter who came to Maine and hunted for a week, but due to inexperience or bad luck, he failed to bag a deer. For some reason he did not hire a guide. Perhaps lack of money or a desire to hunt on his own was the reason. At any rate, the day before he was to leave he stopped at my place to admire a deer which we had hung the day before. It was not a very good deer, just a small buck.

Still, any deer would look good to a man in his situation. This buck had been wounded and, although it had been tracked until dark, it did not die until sometime in the night. I had tracked it the next morning and by the time I found it, some animal-probably a fox-had eaten the fat that surrounds the base of the tail, so that the tail was missing or detached from the body. This man expressed a wish to purchase the carcass. I was beginning to have conscience pangs at this time and was reluctant to let him have the buck. I pointed out all of the poor features of the animal, even the missing flag. He asked what had happened to it. I explained that it was a young buck and probably never had any tail. I sold him the deer and gave him in detail the tale of the hunt. I will bet that he has been back to Maine for another deer and I hope he has learned enough about the animals so that he has never needed to purchase another deer without a tail.

Speaking of poaching days and incidents. Jacking of deer is one of the easiest methods of bagging one of these animals. There is no sport in it, but poachers use it when there is a ready-made market for deer. Here in the deep woods, it is not so easy as in the more open areas down state. I have put a lot of thought on this problem since I reformed. The Fish and Game Commission and the Legislature have wasted a lot of time in trying to stop this practice by prohibitory means. I do not know why they have never asked a poacher how to prevent the jacking and selling of deer. Almost any of them would say, "If we didn't have so many willing customers, there would be no object to killing deer for sale."

This would not solve the problem, and I would hate to see the day when the wardens cracked down on our visiting hunters by investigating every deer shot in Maine. Such an investigation would be impossible, but our wardens are likely to try anything once.

I wish that in the early days of conservation, the law- makers had given serious thought to the control of market hunting instead of outlawing it. It seems to me that a few expert jackets could have been licensed and given permits to sell a certain number of deer to un-successful hunters who failed to bag their game in a lawful manner. Such a system might have worked. But as it is, deer hunting, with all its faults, is still a pretty clean sport. A lot of planning goes into a deer hunt. We guides do much work in making and revising our plans as the occasions occur that the average hunter doesn't realize.

Control of the market hunting is very important to prevent hunting for illegal purpose. It is important to know by the people not to buy the deer meet from a hunter to prevent the illegal act.
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