September 27, 2023

Wildlife Management Districts Aren’t Perfect

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When zones were established for the purpose of a better means of managing wildlife, it certainly helped. It should be understood that, like many “systems,” it is only as good as its weakest link. Such is the case of managing wildlife within districts. It’s not a perfect system, although argument could be made that it is much better than without them.

I’m not exactly sure how boundaries were established in Maine’s creation of Wildlife Management Districts (WMD). More than likely some politics were involved but hopefully not as corrupt as establishing voting precincts in order to further rig the system.

Eastport, Maine has a problem with deer taking over the downtown area. According to the Portland Press Herald, part of the problem associated with trying to mitigate the deer problem, comes from the boundaries established for the WMD for Eastport: “In 2005, the department redrew Maine’s hunting district boundaries for the state’s 27 wildlife management districts and, as a result, Eastport lost its any-deer permits and went to a bucks-only hunt. The state uses the any-deer – or doe – permit system to adjust deer populations in various parts of the state.”

It appears Eastport will get a chance, for one year only, to reduce the downtown resident deer population with an archery cull.

One has to wonder how long it will take before managers get a handle on the fact that deer aren’t where they used to be and have moved into human-settled landscapes, much because it is safer for them. They are not completely stupid animals. Perhaps one way to ease the influx of deer into human-populated areas is the go outside those regions and reduce the number of large predators forcing the deer downtown.

But Don’t Go Look!