October 23, 2019

Minnesota: Why a Deer Management Audit Will Prove Nothing

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DoeDeerYesterday I posted a link to a news article from Minnesota where it appears enough hunters pestered the state’s legislature long enough to prompt them to cave in to an audit on how the fish and game department there makes decisions pertaining to deer management.

In the article that I linked to, a few things were stated that should be red flags for those who exerted enough effort to get the legislature to act. I wonder if others can see these flags.

It is my belief, based only on the information that can be taken from this news article, that any audit, as it appears will happen, is designed for failure before it starts. Here’s why.

First, is that this call for an audit of how the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (MDNR), is now being prompted by “government-as-usual.” Government is usual and does little for the people or their concerns. Aside from the fact that members of this government know nothing about deer management, how can they conduct an honest assessment to determine if there actually exist problems within the MDNR’s management plans? Which brings me to the other issues.

The article states the following:

Specifically, the audit will likely examine the following questions:

— How does DNR estimate and monitor Minnesota’s deer population, and how do these methods compare with other estimation and monitoring approaches?

— How does DNR establish the state’s deer population goals, and how does this compare with methods used by other states?

— To what extent do DNR’s deer population goals reflect an appropriate balance between stakeholder interests?(emphasis added)

If we look at the issue of “how do these methods compare with other states,” the assumption is being made here that “other states” do it right. Do they? Isn’t this an example of blind faith in a system designed for outcome-based wildlife management goals from others with little or no interest, and sometimes outright opposition to, managing deer for surplus harvest, i.e the interests of hunters?

One has to have their head buried in the sand to not see the evolution of what once was fish and game management to what is collectively, through central control, labeled department of natural resources – removing any and all reference to “game.”

All fish and wildlife/natural resource departments today are heavily infiltrated with biologists, administrators and wildlife managers trained to think beyond the normal paradigm of the North American Model of Wildlife Management. It has been openly stated that their goal is to change the way America approaches fish and wildlife management. Therefore, today, most all fish and wildlife departments have devised deer management plans that do not necessary manage for hunters surplus harvest but to manage deer according to the whims of social demands.

This is revealed to us in the third part of what the article states as something that will be specifically looked at with this audit: “…deer population goals reflect an appropriate balance between stakeholder interests.”

Deer management is a scientific endeavor and should not be, nor should it have ever become, a means of performing a balancing act between social entity’s demands with varying personal ideologies and what science should be dictating.

However, even the science has changed. It is what is now referred to as post-normal and by some as romance biology. Disguised as science, the demands of socialists, through central command, have taken over fish and game management. While hunters still fund the process, socialists get their demands met and the hunters, all to often, do not.

What Minnesota is looking at, is a government bureaucracy, that knows nothing about deer management, seeking comparisons of other government bureaucracies that are all cut from the same cloth. In addition, it appears as though any conclusions that might come out of such an audit will be mostly influenced by the demands of social groups and little to do with science or American heritage and tradition.

In short, it appears to me that the government is placating the hunters because they already know the result of any audit will be only what they desire it to be. Hunters in Minnesota should not get their hopes up very high. While we should all congratulate the hunters for their efforts to at least rattle the cages of law makers, most of whom believe themselves to be a cut above everybody else, it is too bad that included in this demand for an audit wasn’t the desire to seek answers for what is good for the hunting heritage of Minnesota and not how Minnesota looks in comparison to other states.

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