August 12, 2020

Maine Biologists Concerned About Ticks on Deer But Not on Moose

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

The more I watch the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife (MDIFW) biologists operate, the more I just simply wonder what it is these people are learning, from whom are they learning it, and then I ask myself why I should have any confidence at all that any wildlife management plan is worth more than a pile of moose dung.

It doesn’t take a lot of brains to come to the conclusion that the deer population in Maine is mostly concentrated in the southern half of the state, and that southern sector could be pared down to a concentration of deer in the center of the state. It is understandable then that should the state wish to reduce the deer population, claiming it is now approaching 300,000 (I seriously doubt that), it needs to be done in areas where there are too many deer. That chore is impossible to achieve because there’s not enough open-to-hunting land in these high deer population areas – that’s why there’s too many deer. Increasing “Any-Deer Permits” (ADP) is kind of like what happens when a feller decides to relieve himself while facing a brisk wind.

But, that doesn’t stop the biologists from trying.

I was reading an article in the Portland Press Herald this morning about how MDIFW intends to allot 109,890 ADPs. In 2018, the MDIFW set a new record in ADP allotments shelling out 84,745 ADPs. That year was the ONLY time in MDIFW history of utilizing ADPs to manage the deer population (since the mid-80s), that MDIFW actual met their objective of doe kills.

But is this really the issue here?

Let’s look at MDIFW’s previous statements about how it intends to manage wildlife now that we live in an environmentalist’s post-normal idiotic wildlife management era.

Not that long ago, MDIFW let the public know they no longer intend to count wildlife and use that knowledge as part of their wildlife management plans. Instead, their belief is that if they concentrate on a Kumbaya approach toward sensing the overall health of the herd, that will be good enough. No, really! That’s what they told us.

And yet, in the Portland Press Herald article, the head deer biologist said that the statewide deer population in Maine is close to 300,000. Evidently guessing at the deer population is good enough to justify to the citizens of Maine why the MDIFW intends to issue nearly 110,000 ADPs. Can’t they confirm their deer management goals and what needs to be done to control the population in places where you can’t hunt, by gaining a sense of the overall health of the deer herd? BALDERDASH!!!!!!!!

In the same news report, the same head deer biologist says that in 2018 when the MDIFW decided to issue 85,000 ADPs one of the reasons was because of concerns about “tick-borne diseases in southern and central Maine” in which biologists attribute to too many deer that can carry ticks that spread Lyme disease.

And yet, Maine’s moose population is being systematically decimated due to too many winter ticks. Now granted, I do have enough brains to understand that the ticks the deer carry, can spread a disease that is harmful to people and that, as far as we know, winter ticks on moose are not harmful to people but…but…but…what about the health of the herd? Who cares how many moose there are, even though moose populations are directly proportional to the number of winter ticks, just as biologists believe the number of deer is directly proportional to the spread of Lyme disease? And we have a wildlife management department that doesn’t think counting animals has much benefit?

Does it make any sense at all that wildlife managers are telling us one thing and seemingly doing something else, while at the same time can’t seem to figure out the correlation between deer and moose populations and ticks?

Why should we believe or trust to believe anything these people are doing and saying? Maybe it’s all driven by money? Maybe. Maybe not. Is there money to be made is caving in to the demands of environmentalists, telling the public one thing and doing another? Last time I checked, there are no licenses and fees required to become an environmentalist.

It’s all frustrating as hell.

Evidently a member of Maine’s IFW Advisory Council asked why the state didn’t return to an either sex hunting season, where any licensed hunter can shoot either sex of deer…like we used to and the way other states have done in attempts to reduce their deer numbers (evidently other states are still counting deer?). The answer was put this way. The head deer biologist said that if allotting 110,000 ADPs doesn’t take care of meeting the goal of doe kills, “other methods of thinning the herd will be considered.” This was followed by this highly scientific explanation (rolling the eyes here), “I think it would be hard to take a step back from that once you go in that direction.”

Please correct me if I’m wrong here as I’m not a certified deer biologist or a wildlife manager. I believe what the deer biologist/manager is saying is that should efforts taken in adjusting the issuing of ADPs doesn’t meet management goals, the choices would be better to sit on their asses and do nothing rather than “take a step back” to try something else. Who decided that trying another management strategy was taking a step back?” And why was this person hired as a head deer biologist? And why are any of them paid money for what they do?

If portions of southern and central Maine have too many deer (of course I still don’t know how the MDIFW knows this because they told us they don’t count wildlife anymore) then something ought to be done to reduce numbers. There is no reason that any of us should have much faith in deer manager’s decisions and the stupid excuses they use to justify their actions. Then when it’s all over, they can make up any story they want to cover their butts.

Is the MDIFW using this issuing of a ridiculous number of ADPs, hoping more hunters will apply for a permit, simply a money making scheme? One has to ask.

Some day, my dream will be that even though winter ticks don’t make humans sick, that we know of yet, biologists will figure out that reducing the number of moose will directly result in fewer ticks, just like with deer. So, instead of the woods littered with dead moose that suffered and died needlessly, why not let hunters take a few extra moose for meat in the freezer rather than feeding coyotes? I’m still trying to make sense out what these people do.

All of this reminds me of the time I took my car to the garage to remedy the skip in the engine. I checked back with the mechanic a few days later and he began to tell me all the parts and pieces he had replaced and still the motor had a skip.

Share