August 17, 2019

False Historical Claims About Deer and Predators

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Just the other day, I wrote a rebuttal piece attempting to correct terrible information that was published in a Maine newspaper about how, according to the author, “coyote control doesn’t work.”

In the mythical nonsense written about why coyote control doesn’t work, the author quotes work from someone she believes to be a “carnivore conservation biologist” (therefore an expert on predator prey relationships?). This “expert,” in regards to historical deer populations in Northern Maine, was quoted as saying, “They were never there historically. It’s not a place for deer to thrive because the winters are too cold and the snow is too deep for them to move easily. Deer like edge habitat, not forests. They only moved north after the forests were cut down.”

This substantiates the point that “experts” lose any credibility as an authority on predator/prey relationships because they expose their true agenda by making biased and completely false statements to promote their agendas. We see in this statement that this “expert” claims that deer never existed in Northern Maine because deer can’t survive there because “winters are too cold and the snow is too deep for them.” In addition, this same “expert” gets her hateful digs in by making a false claim that deer migrated north into Maine “after the forests were cut down.”

What absolute nonsense! Actual historic documents, not idealistic coyote worship doctrine, show that when wolves and mountain lions were part of the Maine landscape in Northern Maine (that’s where the moose and caribou were found, thus a good meal selection for the wolves and pumas) the deer all lived on the coast of Maine and even crammed onto the islands to escape predator harassment. When the caribou vacated the state, moving into the Canadian Provinces (for whatever reason) the wolves went with them. All of this had nothing to do with the forests being cut down.

To continue the historic timeline of predator/prey relationships, after the wolves left, the deer began moving back north and the population grew significantly.

Beginning the the late 1960’s and early 1970s, the coyote moved into the state and began to flourish. With it, especially in Northern Maine, the deer numbers came crashing down and have never recovered to historic highs and never will so long as predators are protected.

In information I was sent yesterday that originated with Deer Friendly website, provides us with data that makes it extremely difficult to honestly claim that deer in Northern Maine historically were never there. (Refer to the chart below.)

This data shows that in the 1950s and 1960s, before the coyote arrived and flourished, the deer harvests in Aroostook, Washington, Piscataquis, and Somerset Counties, all of which comprise the majority of what we would consider to be Northern Maine, attributed to nearly 40% of the total deer harvest. This might be considered a pretty good indicator that in just 4 counties (of 16), 40% of the deer harvest meant Northern Maine historically DID have more deer than they do today.

Let’s compare. In the 2010s, at a time when the coyote population in the state as well as the bear population, are at historic highs, those same four countries struggle to comprise 20%, or about half, of what used to be the Maine deer harvest.

Claiming that deer were never in Northern Maine is a false statement intended only to justify the allowance of the wanton waste and destruction of coyotes and other large predators. The way these predator protectors present their myths, I wonder if they have ever asked why, if Northern Maine never had any deer, why our neighbors to the north, in Canada, have deer enough to offer their residents an opportunity to stock up venison for the winter?

There are very few, if any, legitimate reasons to not control large predators and manage deer numbers to levels conducive to protect and promote a useful, renewable resource. Presenting false information is intended only to place hunting in a negative light in hopes of ending it, while promoting the status of predators above that of people.

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