I have been involved in an issue associated with the use of fishing
accesses. The F&W staff effectively controls the regulations for
fishing accesses and they are very protective of the primary users:
fishermen and hunters. An example of that is Vermont is the only state I
could find in the northeast that has fishing accesses instead of public
boat launches. Many groups have tried to get a 'seat at the table'.
Those that have been successful have needed considerable political or
economic power. Some of these groups have explored the use of a
'non-harvesting use license' and neither the department nor the
legislature has supported the idea.
Accesses: As a practical matter, if several cars full of birders show up
at a crowded access, there is a fair chance that the local warden will
get a call. If a car or two shows up at an access that is not busy and
they park in car-designated spaces, away from the ramp there is not
likely to be an issue.
Hunting: I have found talking to bird hunters can be interesting.
They often know a lot about their quarry from a perspective that we may
not see. For non-hunters, the risk of being shot is extremely small* .
I find a blaze orange hat and vest makes me more comfortable.
*As someone who is interested in risk, I looked through two years of
hunter injuries in the US and found seven non-fatal, non-hunter
injuries. I did not find any non-hunter fatalities but if there were a
couple of them the risk would be about the same as driving a mile in a
car. On the other hand, for anyone thinking of using a tree stand for
birding, there were a LOT of tree stand accidents.
On 11/13/2013 8:26 PM, Scott Sainsbury wrote:
> I am not anti-hunting. But, there are times / places when it would be good if those of us who enjoy Vermont's public wild places for non-harvesting purposes had a voice in how different assets are used and managed.
> Please tell me if I'm wrong, but I believe that today, it's the sale of licenses and stamps that determine who get's the votes with Fish and Wildlife and the legislature. Others of us can buy those licenses, but I don't believe there is any way that F&W can tell who buys them, or what their desires about conservation and use management are.
> I've mentioned before that perhaps it would be good to start a non-harvesting use license that gives F&W a way to understand how many people are using our outdoor resources for non-harvesting purposes. It would be a voluntary "license" as there is no enforcement associated with non-harvesting activities. But, if the money raised from such a program went to F&W, then those who buy the licenses could earn a place at the table when policy is determined.
> I'm guessing that the State wouldn't want to administer such a program, so, I'm not sure of how it might be executed. Any thoughts?
> I know I've brought this up before -- hope you all aren't sick of it. Just seems like it could be a great example of Vermont Grass Roots representation if we could figure something out.
> On Nov 13, 2013, at 6:40 PM, Kaylee Pollander wrote:
>> Hi all,
>> I was out birding there too today and ended up discussing this same
>> fact. And yes it is open to hunting. The state has recently changed what
>> activities have priority at these sites and boat launching and hunting have
>> priority. Activities like birding are not mentioned in these new
>> regulations. I know it is a bit strange for people to be hunting in such a
>> heavy use area, but just be aware that they can hunt at a number of these
>> such sites and give hunters their room and we can all use these sites
>> without any problems!
>> Kaylee Pollander
>> On Wednesday, November 13, 2013, Nancy Goodrich wrote:
>>> At the Shelburne Bay fishing access today at 3:00pm 2 hunters got out of
>>> their separate trucks , each with a rifle and walked to the big rock at the
>>> end of the parking lot and then walked out of sight down toward the water.
>>> Is this an area that is open to hunting ?? Nancy Goodrich, Shelburne
> Scott Sainsbury
> Beacon Associates
> P.O. 1660
> Waitsfield, Vt. 05673
> 802-496-9393 ext 13
> 802-249-0525 (mobile)