Today I met up with a guide and I received a message from one some time ago and forgot to post about this.
There have been two complaints from guides out along the Rt. 9 corridor and the Stud Mill Rd. corridor.
Recently two women looking for a cache in the woods were being loud and way off course looking for a cache in the woods. They disturbed a guided bear hunt. These guides pay a fortune to lease the areas for these hunts and the customers pay a bunch also. These are not the caches along the roads. These are the caches way out in the woods.
The first confrontation involved two people that were being loud and had a bunch of cookies with them. When asked, they said they were caching. When told they were disrupting a bear hunt they were very surprised and asked if they should be wearing orange. The guide told them that they were more in line of getting eaten rather than shot with all the cookies and junk food they had.
So by request of the paper company and guides in the area they ask that any caches placed off the main roads proper have something prominently displayed on the cache page informing cachers of the bear hunting season like this:
Bear hunting starts last Monday in August through September 30th. Please don't bring food into the woods. Please be quite and stay close to the cache location during these times.
I have contacted some of the cache owners in the general area that the issues have arose and I ask that you pass this along to anyone you know that has a cache that might be in an area like this.
Hunting and Caching
If caching begins to interfere with anything it will get a bad name from the people doing what is being interfered with. I love to hunt, not bear however. I disagree with the statement the guide made about people being attacked by bears because they were carrying cookies. When was the last time you read in a local paper about a bear attacking anyone in the state of Maine? Without stating percentages that aren't usually accurate anyway the majority of the time black bears in Maine are a very shy animal around people. More so since they have been denied the food source the local dumps used to provide.
I'm in my mid 50's and I've been in the Maine woods all through the year and have seen the occasional bear. Most of them, if they became aware I was around, wasted no time leaving the area. Usually at a high rate of speed. The size and gender of the bear didn't seem to matter (not that you can tell at a glance if it's a boy or girlie bear).
I have yet to be "interfered" with by anyone while I was out deer or bird hunting and as a cacher I would pass on searching for a cache if I knew there was a deer hunter nearby. If we all play nice we'll be better perceived by the rest of the world we lovingly refer to as muggles.
I am all for being nice and staying away from an area where anyone is known to be hunting. But people hunt all over the state all year long. Do we just ban all caches in any woods open to hunting? Sheesh! I can understand a guide getting upset anyone is endangering his income. But assuming neither party owns or has explicit permission to be there, cachers could have as much right to ask that the guide move his hunts away from the cache area.
I agree with Kevin, the odds of a bear attack solely because you have cookies is slim to none, even more so when you are talking loudly. In fact, if the cachers remained as quiet as could be as the guide requests, they would be endangering themselves more - the bears are less apt to be scared off, and the hunters are less likely to know they are there.
Again, I am all for being respectful when I know someone is hunting in an area, but I'm not sure I'd post anything on my cache page unless I had a request directly from the landowner. And even then, I would lean towards disabling it during the specified hunting season as some cache owners do with their caches.
There's less big game hunting than small game hunting if you look at the seasons for both. Small game hunting usually wouldn't be interfered with by cachers to any great extent. Big game hunting could actually be benefited by cachers depending on how the hunters are hunting by moving the animal in question toward the hunter. Just don't get caught doing it on purpose, it's against the law in the State of Maine to drive deer to a known location of a hunter with the intent of the hunter then shooting it. Waterfowl hunting from a blind would be adversely affected by cachers since ducks and geese have very acute eyesight and wouldn't land or fly close to the blind if they saw the cachers close by. I won't stop caching in any given hunting season but I will give thought to how I might approach a given cache and if I know there's a bait station close by with a hunter there, out of courtesy to a fellow hunter, I will not do that cache.
A few years ago I adopted a cache. It was on private land and in a bear baiting/hunting area. A long story goes with the adoption but it comes down to Land Owner permission (as is usually required for hunting as well!). If the land owner has granted permission - everyone should be able to play well together with a little education both ways.
The landowner who had the land where my cache was placed requested I disable the cache during hunting season. They also knew it would not prevent some folks from coming - but it did show it as temporarily disabled. For the years it was active I always complied. When they clear cut the land - I archived the cache.
First, if you do not own the land you do not have permission to put caches out there and cause others to be there looking for them.
Second, stupid statements like the ones on here will surly get all the caches in this area to be removed. I have put way too much time and effort into this series to have that happen.
Third, non of us are bear experts or are getting paid to take people out on hunts. So no more statements need be made on that subject.
At this point all that is being asked is to add the warning to the pages.
I have heard a lot of talk on here about responsible cachers and quality hides. Now is the time to see some action from the big talkers.
Be responsible and comply and no harm done.
Be irresponsible and spout off and the consequences will be on your head.
Be forewarned, things are changing.
Look out folks!
I'm going bear hunting with dogs the week of the 13th. Di's oldest son is a guide and has been training his dogs all summer, even in the heat.
I'm bringing my gps, just to mark the truck. If I see my fellow geocachers, I'll give them a wave and tell them what all the barking is about.
There's enough open space and land in Maine for all to play well together!
In a previous life, were you like an Oscar the Grouch type person? :eek::D
Originally Posted by Ekidokai
There is plenty of open space. When people that own and lease the space ask kindly to do something very easy, that should not be a big deal. Voluntary compliance should be our intention.
Originally Posted by dubord207
When we are infringing on others enjoyment or livelihoods this is bad.
Good luck, I love bear meat. Hint, hint.
I hope you heal up quick. I would hate to be accused of beating a cripple.
Originally Posted by JustKev
Most of those caches are in what is known as multiple use areas. Geocachers need to be mindful of others just as the others need to be mindful of others.
I find the remarks made by the "Guide" to be a bit disturbing. He was not being forthright or honest with you. Most guides I have met or know are very mindful of others who are in the area. If he has his clients that close to the road he should consider moving them back just a bit. Most bear baiting stations I have seen (and I have seen a bunch of them over the years) are well back from any of the "Main Road" areas. They are usually in "dead end" areas as well as places that most regular vehicles would have a tough time getting to.
Being a hunter I have had many meetings with folks that I did not expect to be there, but I always felt they were as justified as I as they did their thing.