Skip to main content

Nate Webb takes over as Director of Wildlife

Nate Webb has researched and hunted animals I can only dream about; wolves, cougars, grizzlies
and even Big Horn sheep. I first met Nate when we worked on Maine’s bear management plan
for MDIFW. An avid outdoorsman, Nate is incredibly knowledgeable about all things wildlife in
Maine and beyond.

So, I was not surprised when I saw the notification that he had been named the new wildlife
director of the department. I sat down with Nate to go over some of his goals and reflect on all of
the impressive animals he has studied so far in his career.

I asked him the question “Now that you are the wildlife director, what’s on your priority
list?” and we went from there. “I want to make sure that we are working towards the broader
vision for IFW and following Judy’s direction and initiatives,” Nate started, “Obviously, we
want our staff to be well supported and get the trainings that they need so that they can be the
best at their jobs. We have a lot of people coming up for retirement so we are looking at the
future and how we can be the most successful.”

One objective that is weaved throughout the entire big game species management plan is
the need for communication with the public. How do you see that evolving? “We know that
we can reach hunters, trappers and anglers but we also want to reach the non-consumptive public
and let them know about what we are doing.” Nate continued, “For example, we just wrapped up
an eagle survey that was paid for with Pittman-Robertson money. We now know that Maine has
more nesting pairs of eagles than existed in the entire lower 48 when the recovery efforts began.
We need more people to understand the complete role that the department has when it comes to
all of Maine’s outdoor resources. And the funding behind it. Pittman-Robertson can be used for
mammals and birds but when we want to study pollinators, we need to find the funding to do

One of Judy’s goals is to get more women and youth into the woods and streams. How do
you see yourself working to make that happen? “That is a crucial piece of growing our
outdoor community. Across the country, you see license sales drop but if you dig deeper into the
data, you can see that women are buying more licenses and their growth is trending upwards.
We need to make sure that we are helping them feel comfortable and encourage them to get out
there. Our daughter sees my wife out there hunting and trapping, so to her, it is normal to think
that women and girls do that. I really want to utilize our R3 (recruitment, retention, reactivate)
initiatives and Information and Education department to promote and demonstrate ways for more

What other priorities are you looking at over the next few year? "Since the wildlife plan is complete, we can work to implement it and really work to communicate with the public on issues that are facing wildlife. We have a great team with Mark Latti and Emily McCabe," Nate replied, "Our goal is to help hunters, trappers and wildlife watchers appreciate and understand the mission of the department."

Anything else? "We want to tackle private land and how to ensure that it stays accessible.  Maine is made up of almost all private land.  If we don't take care of the land that we are using, we could lose it.  Out West, a lot of land is public so they don't have the same concerns as we do when it comes to land.  We need to make sure that we are respecting landowners and working with them so that everyone can have the best experience in the woods and waters as possible."


Popular posts from this blog

The unlikely bear hunter

Jesse Phillips had no intention of bear hunting.  He was along for the ride with friend and host of Blood Origins , Robbie Kroger, who was on his annaul bear hunt with Grove Hill Outfitters .  Being convinced that he should go hunt, Jesse grabbed the 45-10 and headed into a treestand.  He wore his cowboy boots, jeans and flannel, "the only thing I didn't do was put on deoterant" Jesse laughed.  Climbing up into the stand a little before 2pm, he held no expectations for seeing his first bear in the wild.  He was doing this just to apease the guys in camp.  At 4:02, a bear appeared. "He was about 40 yards away," explained Jesse, "and he was just walkeding around, sniffing and eating.  He wasn't interested in the bait at all."  Watching the bear, Jesse knew he needed to remain calm. He was in no position to move his gun and take a shot without the bear spooking. The bear walked in and out of the opening with no intention of heading to the bait. Jesse

Grateful for the community

I am technically an adult-onset hunter.   I started when I was twenty after watching Dad hunt every fall and deciding that I wanted to see what it was all about – and that killing your own meat was not a bad thing. If you had asked me (or dad) to imagine what the next decade and a half would be like, I guarantee you neither of us would have pictured this! As I write this, I have just hung up the phone with Taylor and Mark Drury. Throughout deer season, I will be writing up all of the Drury family hunts that will be featured on DeerCast (make sure you have the app or the website bookmarked!) I am also going to continue interviewing hunters from across the country and Canada that have taken amazing deer. Just like last year when I got to f eature Wayne Bernier  from Allagash Adventures after he dropped his amazing 200lb, 20 point buck with a 31 inch spread! The fact that I get to do this blows my mind. I get to share a mutual love and excitement over hunting with so many people and

The Blood Origins Project

"I was looking for a narrative that described who we are as hunters,” my friend Robbie Kroger explained to me, “Essentially looking for an authentic truth about who we are. I couldn't find it. So we built it with Blood Origins.” If you have never heard of Blood Origins, set aside a solid hour and watch the videos on their website or YouTube, featuring some of the most influential people in the hunting world. People like Will Primos , Cuz Strickland and Jim Shockey all share a small piece of their story and the how and why hunting was so important. Robbie has more than 30 unique stories from hunters, nonhunters, men, women, veterans, young and old and each one is a personal look into the importance of hunting and conservation. “It is about our community, and conveying the truth around hunting” said Robbie. The fact that Robbie and I even connected is a testament to the power of the hunting community. As a native South African, American and Mississippian, Robbie was determined