Throughout the country there are literally hundreds of organizations whose mission is to represent those of us who hunt and fish and recreate outdoors. Quite frankly, some are better than others.

V. Paul Reynolds, Outdoors Columnist

Nationally, at the top of my list are the NRA and the RMEF (Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation). The NRA works tirelessly to protect our hunting heritage by fighting to protect our right to bear arms. The RMEF has been incredibly active and successful in conserving and protecting elk habitat and in funding the reintroduction of elk in a number of states where these magnificent animals once roamed.

In Maine, the Sportsman’s Alliance of Maine (SAM) has evolved as THE premier state sportsman organization. Over the years, it has benefited from superb vision and leadership, not the least of whom was the late George Smith. David Trahan, SAM’s current executive director, has brought his own brand of mature leadership and steadfast stewardship to the helm of the Alliance.

Here are just some of SAM’s accomplishments this year on behalf of its membership:

• Helped elect Senator Susan Collins and in so doing defeated one of the most extreme gun control advocates ever to run in Maine.

• Helped convince Sen. Collins to oppose Pres. Biden’s nomination of David Chipman, an ardent gun control activist, to head the ATF (Alcohol, Tobacco & Firearms) in Washington.


• Helped defeat countless bills in Augusta that abridged firearm rights in Maine.

• Led a successful fight to keep gun shops open during the pandemic.

• Supported a number of new laws that benefit sportsmen.

• Introduced legislation that will appropriate millions of dollars, as well as federal matching funds, that will allow IF&W to purchase and protect in perpetuity dozens of major deer wintering areas in the North Woods.

This last item is a big deal! It is landmark legislation that has the potential to be a game-changer in the annals of Maine whitetail survival and herd enhancement. This could not have happened without the skillful advocacy and passion of David Trahan and SAM’s membership.

Maine sportsmen and sportswomen who are not today dues-paying members of SAM might want to give consideration to a membership. Never in my memory has my membership meant more and never has our support of SAM been more deserving.

You can sign up online at or call Becky at 207-623-4589.

V. Paul Reynolds is editor of the Northwoods Sporting Journal, a Maine guide and host of “Maine Outdoors,” a weekly radio program heard Sundays at 7 p.m. on The Voice of Maine News-Talk Network. He has authored three books, which can be purchase online through Contact him at [email protected]

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