November 13, 2019

Outdoors in Maine: Managing moose numbers best left to pros

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*Editor’s Note* – Management of moose is the job of wildlife “pros.” However, not all wildlife pros know what they are doing and have agendas far and beyond “the best available science,” and sometimes even the rule of law. Therefore, we need watchdogs to keep a close eye on their every move, questioning those things that should be questioned.

The author of this piece (linked to below) tells of the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife’s (MDIFW) responsibility and legal obligations to manage moose for viewers and hunters. Managing any animal for the purpose of providing viewing opportunities is a non scientific event proving only to provide management complications for healthy populations. The North American Model, i.e. managing game for surplus harvest, (taking advantage of our God-given resource) has a proven scientific track record while providing a healthy resource.

As the author points out, it appears that attempting to manage the number of moose for viewing and hunting is warring against each other.

Something is wrong as far as I can see things. Hunters are restricted and the number of moose permits available to hunters rise and fall according to how MDIFW determines a need for population controls within Wildlife Management Districts (WMD). There is seldom any complaining by hunters for this, although sometimes we question the reasoning behind certain decisions. At the same time, we are seeing where people are demanding that hunters be short-changed in opportunities to harvest moose simply because of their demands for more viewing opportunities. I believe that what we have witnessed is MDIFW deciding to forego scientific moose management, according to the moose management plans, in order to placate the selfish desires of those riding around in cars hoping to see moose without any effort.

If it is proven, or if anyone is willing to connect the dots, that increasing moose populations to satisfy the social demands of viewers, is exacerbating the tick problem killing moose and spreading disease, this is something that needs to be seriously addressed.

Hunters would be cut off if management demands showed the need. The same much apply to moose watchers.

As Kantar will tell you, he and the Fish and Wildlife Department are obligated by law and tradition to safeguard the moose resource, for moose viewers as well as moose hunters. Ironically, it is possible that an excess of moose in Maine may be exacerbating the moose tick infestations that have taken a lot of young moose.

Source: Outdoors in Maine: Managing moose numbers best left to pros | Sun Journal

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