September 18, 2018

Is Maine’s “Any-Deer Permit” Allocation System Broken?

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One has to ask if the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife’s (MDIFW) “Any-Deer Permit” system is broken and/or outdated. Consider this information.

For those who might not know, MDIFW uses a system in which deer managers determine how many antlerless deer permits should be issued in each of the state’s Wildlife Management Districts (WMD). This system is used to control the population of deer within that WMD. The theory is that when MDIFW needs to grow the number of deer in a WMD they reduce or eliminate Any-Deer Permits. On the reverse, if the MDIFW believes the number of deer need to be reduced in a WMD, they increase the number of permits issued. But does this still work and is it time for modifications?

For whatever the reasons, Maine has in much of the state a terrible accounting of a deer herd. In some places, deer have exceeded what MDIFW wrongly determines to be “social carrying capacity” i.e. the number of deer the public will tolerate.

Where once MDIFW set a goal of in excess of 300,000 deer statewide, they now have decided that somewhere around 200,000 is a good number. Perhaps by 2033, that number will be approaching 100,000. And with this information, we know that MDIFW decided to issue close to 85,000 Any-Deer Permits in hopes that with this record number of permits issued – EVAH! – they can come up with about 9,000 does harvested for the 2018 deer season.

DISMAL!

If we consider all of the excuses MDIFW gives for a poor showing for deer management, shouldn’t the department be asking themselves if this Any-Deer program is still viable?

Whether Climate Change is valid or not; whether loss of habitat is valid or not; whether increased access to land is valid or not; whether the destruction of deer wintering areas is valid or not; whether deer managers are brainwashed by Environmentalism is valid or not; whether MDIFW doesn’t have enough money to properly manage wildlife is valid or not; whether social demands are valid or not; whether consistent threats from animal rights groups and environmentalists is valid or not; there are still some things that aren’t really being talked about.

MDIFW said that last deer hunting season the quota for the number of does they wished to be harvested was not reached in all but 6 of the WMDs. However, MDIFW has never given a reason why this happened. It is vital to know. Without knowing this information, how does issuing 28% more Any-Deer Permits this year pass the straight-face test?

Combine this with information provided by George Smith the other day. His article was about a public hearing held by the Fish and Wildlife Advisory Council concerning the proposed issuance of 85,000 (an all-time record) Any-Deer Permits: “The department held a public hearing on June 26 and only two members of the public attended and no testimony was given.”

Maybe the reason MDIFW couldn’t fill their quota last year is that there are too few hunters to get the job done. Maybe the reason MDIFW couldn’t fill their quota is that there just aren’t enough deer to go around. Maybe the reason MDIFW couldn’t fill their quota is that nobody really cares, including MDIFW, any more about MDIFW’s deer management that produces fewer and fewer opportunities to bag a deer – horns or no horns.

So, are we to just assume that because quotas weren’t filled last year a simple issuing of 85,000 Any-Deer Permits will magically cause the quota to be met this year?

Maybe in those WMDs where quotas were not filled, there are so many trophy bucks it was easier to shoot one of those than an antlerless deer?

So, if the continued implementation of an Any-Deer Permit allocation system is failing to grow more deer in northern, western and eastern Maine, and the same system is failing to control the deer population in southern and central Maine, maybe the darn system is broken.

Insanity trudges on!

 

 

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