August 17, 2019

Why Did Maine Issue 1,275 Antlerless Permits in 2018 in Regions of No Deer?

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It was heavily questioned last season when biologists at the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife (MDIFW) issued a record number of “Any-Deer Permits” (ADP) while the overall state’s deer herd is abysmal in some places. Yes, the bulk of the deer population is in Central and Southern Maine where winters are milder and large predators are less hungry and aggressive. And that’s where the bulk of the permits are issued. I get it!

I understand the desire of MDIFW biologists to better control the swelling deer populations (if in fact they are) in these regions, but what has puzzled me is last year’s allocation of ADPs in Wildlife Management Districts (WMD) in the Northwest sector of the state, specifically WMDs 7, 12, and 13.

Last year Maine biologists allotted ADPs to these three WMDs totaling 1,275 – 400, 400, and 475 permits respectively. Why? I’ve hunted these regions for my entire life and while I’m willing to admit that in my advancing years, I don’t cover the ground I used to but how much age and experience compensates for lack of geographical discovery, I’m not sure. I can honestly assess that from my perspective there hasn’t been any descent deer hunting in these three zones for quite some time…and NOTHING has changed in quite some time.

So, why did MDIFW issue 1,275 ADPs last season?

While that number, spread out over three zones, may not seem like a large number of permits, it is when you consider what percentage of ADPs issued is represented in the overall deer population in those three zones.

In the new proposal of ADP allocations, MDIFW is suggesting reducing those three zone’s ADP issuance to ZERO! Shame on the MDIFW and the Advisory Council for issuing the 1,275 for last season.

But the damage may have already been done.

It appears that MDIFW’s goal is to reduce the deer population in the state to absolute minimums for “social” reasons and to carry out the long term goals of Environmentalism to manage for scarcity and NOT manage for surplus harvest to feed the people.

I wonder what the New Science Romance Biologists will suggest to kill unwanted deer after biologists and managers have driven the hunters from the state due to poor hunting conditions and animal rights groups and environmentalists finally get their way?

If they are waiting on Climate Change to do their managing for them, they might want to rethink that strategy. According to their own Climate Change nonsense, as the climate in Maine warms, the “northern fringe” of deer habitat will recede further north. This means habitat more conducive to less climate mortality – i.e. severe winters. Then what? With moose gone, having retreated further north to a cooler climate (chuckle, chuckle) there will be less competition for food and habitat. Then what?

What a joke.

Maybe it’s not so easy making these management decisions from the confines of a four-walled office space. I dunno. Does the Advisory Council ever go out in the woods? Who are they listening to?

It’s a crap shoot!

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