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    George Smiths article.....

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    HOLLABACK

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    George Smiths article.....

    Post  HOLLABACK on Mon Mar 17, 2014 10:26 pm

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    Submitted by George Smith on Wed, 03/12/2014 - 17:55

    The question came from a good friend. “I have to ask: are you helping the Humane Society of the United States on the bear referendum?”


    I should say I was stunned, but actually, the question didn’t surprise me. I’ve been hearing it occasionally since the 2013 legislative session when HSUS announced it would initiative a ballot measure to ban bear hunting with bait and dogs and bear trapping. Some poorly informed people are spreading this rumor.

    The question is preposterous, given that I’ve spent my life advocating for hunters and anglers. But it is illuminating.

    Sportsmen are their own worst enemies. We aim our guns at each other, wasting our ammunition, jeopardizing our cause. Bow hunters battle crossbow advocates. Guides criticize sporting camps for winning the chance to purchase a few moose permits. Fly fishermen fight ice anglers. Some hunters are protesting the legislature’s decision to give 25 percent of the any-deer permits this year to junior hunters.

    Throughout the 18 years that I served as Executive Director of the Sportsman’s Alliance of Maine, I struggled to keep our members united and pulling in the same direction. Some SAM members fished and didn’t hunt. Others were gun advocates who neither hunted nor fished. Although we shared an outdoor heritage, that was no guarantee that we could – and would – pull together.

    For the record, I am helping the leaders of the sportsmen’s campaign, including our very professional and experienced campaign manager James Cote, to defend bear hunting and trapping. I am doing so quietly, in my own way, as best I can. And here is the best advice I can give to all Maine sportsmen.

    Get off Facebook, stop the talk, forget your opponents, and let your campaign leaders lead. They know what must be done to win this campaign. They know the messages you must convey to voters. They know which groups of voters must be reached with those messages. They have a well experienced pollster and media specialist. They have a plan to win this campaign.

    All you can do now is make sure they have the money to win. If we lose, it will be because our campaign fell short of its funding goals.

    I saw two things recently on Facebook, posted by sportsmen, that distressed me. One was a cartoon of three HSUS advocates, portraying them as the three stooges. This only strengthens our opponents. Forget about them! Stop responding to their posts on Facebook and newspaper websites. You are never going to convert them, but your online ugliness hurts us.

    If you must speak in those forums, stick to the messages that James Cote gives to you. Right now, you are way off track.

    I also noticed that some sportsmen are trying to raise money for the campaign by selling a tee shirt with a bear on it and the words: Don’t tell me what I can and can’t do.

    I’ll tell you what you can’t do. You can’t wear this tee shirt!

    Every Maine citizen has an interest in our wild critters. Less than 100,000 of us have hunted and fished each of the last five years. We are not a majority!

    Our future depends – very much – on what the citizens who don’t hunt and fish think about our favorite outdoor activities and about us. Yes, us. Our behavior will dictate, to a great extent, our future opportunities. Yes, they can tell us what we can and can’t do.

    It is imperative that we respect landowners, work with environmentalists, speak rationally and respectfully about each other, and make sure all Mainers understand and support our outdoor activities.

    From my first day on the job at SAM, I recognized this and reached out to environmentalists, landowners, and others. Even today, I get criticized for working with environmental groups. Complain all you want. I appreciate the work of Maine Audubon on brook trout, the work of the Natural Resources Council on climate change, the work of the Maine Conservation Alliance on mining, and the help these and other environmental groups gave to SAM over the years. We have been strong partners and that must continue.

    This is most assuredly not advice for HSUS. It is for you. And you know who you are.

    George's Outdoor News


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    getnlucky

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    Re: George Smiths article.....

    Post  getnlucky on Mon Mar 17, 2014 11:46 pm

    Very well written article. Facebook and social media are the future and is a very vital tool used correctly can generate interest that u never knew about. For example roadkill makes a statement and has 200 friends of those 200 a 100 see it. If I like it and have another 200 friends with a 150 people seeing I liked it.see See how a trend builds. The more that like and share the more people get actual facts. I dont know many other ways that you can reach out in touch a few thousand people in a couple minutes.
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    HOLLABACK

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    Re: George Smiths article.....

    Post  HOLLABACK on Tue Mar 18, 2014 8:24 am

    I agree getnlucky! social media is a great source for information now a days..I think what the article is getting at is.....Most problems now is, Bad news travels way faster then good news......and the more people that talk on the issue usually needs to add their own views and before ya know it, the blue bird in the tree singing is now.... A sick bird that turned black that is crying.......lol......Kinda like the schools classroom whisper.....Its very easy for us all to get upset knowing more on the issues then the general public does....and the manner in which we deal with it is in the publics eye, a lot more then we think....Everyone is entitled to their opinion just hope folks are open minded enough to know that strong holding does no good at all in political issues....This is not a democrat or republican issue either, its a Maine issue....Last thing we need is for it to get separated by party favorites.....I've mentioned before to be careful on what is being posted for a reason, knowing others are shopping for info, especially the closer November gets....


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    DogChaser

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    george Smith. ..

    Post  DogChaser on Tue Mar 18, 2014 7:11 pm

    I think another very important point in his article was that we need to stick together. As a group dog hunters are very small, when you break us up into individual groups rabbit hunters, coyote hunters, duck hunters...our numbers fade away fast. This is our last chance to stick together. If you dont support bear hunting now who will support your sport next year ???

    Harebound

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    Re: George Smiths article.....

    Post  Harebound on Wed Mar 19, 2014 4:40 am

    What he is telling us is to shut up and send money. If we loose he has already said it will because we did not raise enough money not because "the plan" they have didn't work. I completely agree with Hollabacks concern of saying or showing the wrong thing but when somebody makes a public comment that we abuse our dogs because we put them in dog boxes or we are only in it to kill something I will continue to respectfully correct it. The average person will not take the time to learn the truth they will take those comments and assume it is real. Mr. Smith is wright that those who are pushing this will never change their minds but for those who are reading and willing to learn the facts , can be swayed once the facts are given. I have read this article several times and I find it to be arrogant and condescending. Maybe I'm missing something but that's how I see it.

    getnlucky

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    Re: George Smiths article.....

    Post  getnlucky on Wed Mar 19, 2014 6:39 am

    Hunters and houndsman need to unite and kill them with the truth,facts and kindness. Of course they will watch every move we make and.use what they can against US. WE ALL DO THE SAME TO THEM. Think about the last time u talked with some one about the referendum. Did you talk about the HSUS. What did u say? Be grown adults. It takes more of a man to walk away then to run your mouth and make them look stupid and yourself. This article is one mans opinion nothing more nothing less. What is the big campaign strategy? Where can we find this campaign strategy? There is a lot to winning hearts and minds which we are going to lose acting like nimrods in the public eye.
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    HOLLABACK

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    Re: George Smiths article.....

    Post  HOLLABACK on Wed Mar 19, 2014 8:32 am

    These articles are being written from Mr Smith for a reason I'm sure...A lot of folks follow his articles especially non- bear hunters..(Remember he worked with these folks before)..I think the point that's trying to be made is that all bear hunters are respectful but a few take it a bit far..(We'd be foolish not to mention it)...I agree upon correction when its needed,,,,Absolutely!!!!! As far as information with strategy,and whats going on.....Very easy, call James Cote' personally! His address and number is posted in every article issued,and he's there to help in every way.....Raise'n money is most important.....correcting when nessasary, and smart public practice.....
    We all have to remember folks that don't understand these issues come to a conclusion on judgment by simply hearing or seeing something that rubs them the wrong way....and their minds are tainted to the sport......We have a job to do to change that! Like Mr. Smith said only 100,000 of us hunt and fish now.(not many bear hunters in that number either)......We're really relying on others to help fight it....nows the time to be a bit humble.........


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