October 24, 2018

PA Releases 2016 Bear Harvest Data. Maine Asleep At The Wheel

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This year, 2016, Pennsylvania bear hunters took 3,529 bears – 5th highest harvest on record. Officials are telling the world about the great bear hunting Pennsylvania has to offer. This report is calling it “The Golden Age of Bear Hunting.”

Two years ago, Maine harvested, 3,016 bears. It took officials over a year to release any of the harvest data and when they did, it was not announced to anyone. For days on end, I would check in at the website and for days on end, nothing appeared. Hmmmm!

The 2016 bear hunt has long concluded, and hunters can expect the data from that hunt to be available on the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife (MDIFW) website by sometime in September of 2017 – hopefully not long after another new bear hunting season has started.

Some have asked me why I get all “wee-weed up,” as a former president once said, over the release of deer, moose, turkey and bear harvest data. “What difference does it make?”

I wouldn’t expect everyone to understand, or care enough to understand, so let me present it in a way I have not presented it in the past.

Suppose, as we have been told (if you look hard enough), that Maine actually was interested in finding more bear and turkey hunters. There are some reports that make that claim. It is my understanding that this dilemma has become a regular topic of discussion at the planning meetings for bear and turkeys.

It’s a bit odd, to me anyway, that in many parts of Maine the deer hunting sucks, but I have seen MDIFW attempt to convince people through the media that the deer hunting is great. Maine has too many bears and too many turkeys, but I don’t hear any bragging about how good it is. I don’t get it.

It would seem to me, that one way to go about bragging, would be to put some honest effort into getting the harvest information out as quickly as possible and then brag about it. Let the world know that Maine, last year (if they got their data out in a timely fashion), harvested 3,016 bears and 7,570 turkeys.

A message can be sent that Maine cares about, not only the social tolerances of its brainwashed citizenry, but that it cares about the importance of harvest data to keep the hunters happy and to be able to use such information as a marketing tool, instead of some kind of political leverage of power over others – which is what it all too often feels like.

Isn’t it time to put some effort and money where mouths are found? Talk is cheap. If MDIFW wants more hunters – which spells revenue – to assist in better control over turkey and bear populations, they have a terrible way of showing it. One has to assume they don’t care.

Perhaps it’s the Climate Change.

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