December 18, 2014

Here’s a Bear Hug for You

Check out that bear trap. It reminds me of a joke about pain and a bear trap but I guess this is not the forum to share such a story.

PetersonBearNews

But, What About Predators?

Here we go! Whining and complaining about how whitetail deer harvests in many “deer hunting” states continues to drop. Complain and complain, have meetings and do some more complaining and yet? Not one stinking word spoken about predators. Not one.

If I keep saying the same thing over and over and over, maybe the problem will magically correct itself.

“The causes offered up by officials are many and varied including recent severe winters, disease, tough hunting conditions, intentional herd reduction, and fewer doe tags. Seldom do you hear anything about habitat and hunter-access loss, declining hunter interest, and mismanagement of the habitat and the deer herd…<<<Read More>>>

Round and round the mulberry bush, the monkey chased the weasel. The monkey thought it was all in fun…..POP GOES THE WEASEL.

High-Tech Hunting? You Can Count Me Out

PrimitiveHuntingThe other day I was reading an article posted on the Maine Portland Press Herald website, written by Bob Humphrey, about how useful technology has become to hunting and hunters. Perhaps, but I have little interest in changing the bulk of what I grew up loving to do – deer hunting. Color me Crabby Smurf!

And, of course, my comments are sure to be taken the wrong way as some young whipper-snapper, breast fed on gadgets and gimmicks that serve to render one’s brain one-dimensional, robotic and generally dysfunctional, that I want to ban the use of electronics for hunting. Let me reiterate what I said above: I have little interest in changing the bulk of what I, ME, not you and everybody else, grew up loving to do.

What pleasure does one get from “hunting” when gadgetry tells the hunter where the game are? Can’t you do this sort of thing at home on a computer? The article, linked-to above, proclaims that life is ruled by technology, taking neutral ground refusing to clearly state whether that is good or bad, but begins to justify the use of technological gimmicks to prop up the outdoor business.

Imagine you’ve spent several thousand dollars on a caribou hunt and then go five to seven days without ever laying eyes on an animal. Knowing the location of migrating herds allows outfitters to move their hunters into areas where they at least have a chance.

Obviously, this is a legal act, or so I presume, and I will not seriously question the need to make adjustments to hunting techniques based on the scientific need to manage for healthy game populations. Personally, I would never spend “several thousand dollars” for any kind of hunt. And, I would not pretend to deny someone who wants to…, at least until said hunts, technology and all, begin to cut into my experiences and opportunities as a primitive hunter.

Carrying cellphones and other electronic gizmos, loaded with “apps” that become the hunters’ knowledge bank is, well, dishonest in a sense. One has to wonder if these same “hi-tech” hunters have an “app” to dispense toilet paper when nature calls? Or do you just use the phone, GPS, radio, tablet, “eye” pad, etc.? Rinse when you get home.

You decide whether technology of this form is good or bad for society. Personally, I see the cellphone, and similar instruments, as the number one destructive tool of humanity, and it’s getting worse. Go to the grocery store. People “grazing” about the store on their phones, texting and talking, even asking what aisle an item might be in. The shopper can’t function beyond the device. Where’s the shopping list? Why can’t you remember what aisle the coffee is in? Oh, that’s right. You have a devise that will do your thinking for you. How convenient! How inhuman!

I run into people often who might tell me they had been to a “really cool” place. I ask them where it is located. They shrug their shoulders. North or south? Their reply is they have it programmed into their GPS that’s how they get there. Brilliant isn’t it? And of course these instruments are always correct in the information they dispense. NOT!

I grew up knowing north, south, east and west, how to read a compass, look up in the sky, see the sun, see the moon and stars, recognizing items in the forest, learning about deer habits and habitat – and none of it ran off of battery. What happens when your batteries go dead? Did you program your device to remind you to bring spare batteries? What happens when you follow the instructions on your GPS that leads you into territory where there are no “bars” to connect to your brain center? What will you do?

The author begins his piece by saying: “Technology is pervasive in all aspects of our lives.” Of course it is, whether we like it or not. But isn’t there something sacred about you and the forest and leaving that electronic addiction at home?

Oh, wait. Let me Google that and see if I can find the answer to my own question. Where’s my SMART phone?

Maine Trappers Association Presser About Canada Lynx

Maine Trappers Association
News Release

As most all Maine trappers now know we have an Emergency Rule put in place as of 9 December 2014 to take the following actions, due to the recent taking of a second lynx.
1. The use of body grip (lethal) traps in the Lynx Zones (WMD’s 1-11, 14, 18, and 19) above ground or snow level are now no longer allowed.
2. In WMD 7, 14, 18, and 19 body grip (lethal) traps smaller than 7 ½ inches may be used on the ground – only if in a lynx exclusion device.
3. In all the above WMD’s foothold traps above the ground or snow level are no longer allowed.
• This Emergency Ruling was triggered by a contingency provision in IF&W’s Incidental Take Plan developed to obtain a permit under the Endangered Species Act from the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service for the unintended take of Canadian Lynx. Under the conditions set forth in the Incidental Take Plan, if two lynx are killed by legally set traps, trapping rules will be modified to prevent another lynx being killed.
• This Emergency Ruling action was taken by IF&W after their notification of and consulting with the Maine Trappers Executive Officers on the incident. The MTA officers were in total agreement with this emergency action. Any other recommendation or action taken by the parties would have resulted in the U.S. F&WS taking some form of action.
*It should be noted that a 3rd lynx taken in “any part of the state” (no matter what WMD) will have the same results.

• IF&W and the MTA board are diligently working together to a resolution to this issue, with the end results hopefully benefiting Maine trappers being able to continue to trap in the future in the affected areas for marten and fisher in some fashion that will prevent the taking of the final 3rd lynx. Meetings have been and are being held by both parties to work towards a resolution.
• A meeting of MTA officers, directors, and any members who want to attend to talk about Lynx and what actions we need to take to help resolve this is planned to be held either the 4th or 11th of January 2015 in Bangor at the Bangor Motor Lodge. IF&W will attend this meeting so that we can all work to a resolution. The actual date and time will be determined and disseminated to MTA members as soon as possible.

Open Thread – Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Monis

“Consistently Weird”

Please use this open thread to post your ideas, information and comments about issues not covered in articles published on this website. Thank you.

SHOCK: NR House Committee Discovers “Post-Normal” Science in ESA

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, December 15, 2014

Committee Report Uncovers Lack of Independence & Accountability of Peer Review Process for ESA Listing Decisions

WASHINGTON, D.C. – House Natural Resources Committee majority staff released a report today that questions the independence and accountability of the peer review process in recent Endangered Species Act (ESA) listing decisions. The report entitled, “Under the Microscope: An examination of the questionable science and lack of independent peer review in Endangered Species Act listing decisions” studies the federal government’s peer review process for 13 different ESA listing decisions made by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (FWS) since July 2013. The report found numerous examples of potential bias and conflicts of interests with the peer reviewers and a lack of transparency and consistency in the peer
review process.

“The decision of whether or not to list a species under the Endangered Species Act has significant implications for the economy and livelihoods of impacted communities and private landowners. As such, these important decisions must be based on sound science that has undergone an independent peer review. This report raises troubling concerns about the lack of independence of the peer review process and whether many current, upcoming or recently finalized listing decisions, such as the White Bluffs Bladderpod in my Central Washington district, are scientifically sound,” said House Natural Resources Committee Chairman Doc Hastings (WA-04). “With hundreds of ESA listings driven by this Administration’s closed-door settlements with litigious groups, discovery of any potential bias about how ESA data and science are reviewed casts serious doubt on the credibility of these decisions, and provides more evidence that the ESA needs continued oversight and updating.”

Specific findings of the report include:

* The FWS does not have clear or consistent policies and procedures in place across all Regions to ensure that peer reviewers with potential conflicts of interest are identified and screened;

* The FWS generally seeks peer review of its proposed listing decisions at the same time they are made available for public comment, rather than earlier in the process when the peer reviewers may have more meaningful input;

* The FWS regularly recruits the same scientists on whose work a listing decision is based to serve as peer reviewers, including those who have known policy positions or affiliations with advocacy groups that support the listing decision, rather than truly independent scientists;

* The FWS uses scientists as peer reviewers who have received grants or other financial assistance from the Department of the Interior and its bureaus and other agencies; and

* The FWS routinely withholds from the public the identities of peer reviewers, qualifications of peer reviewers, and details about their comments.

Deer Season in Northeast Ends on Tough Note

“The early arrival of winter has certainly made for an interesting end to big game seasons. The snow caused deer to yard up already in some areas, and guys I have talked to have seen very little movement over the past couple of weeks.”<<<Read More>>>
SnowDepthDec15

Sandy Hook Families Sue Gun Manufacturer

Can it get any more absurd?

“Family members of some of the victims of the 2012 mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., have filed a lawsuit against the manufacturer, distributor and seller of the rifle used by the gunman to kill 26 people.

“The lawsuit filed on behalf of 10 victims claims that the Bushmaster AR-15 rifle never should have been sold to the public because it is a military weapon.”<<<Read More>>>

World Champion Elk Callers Crowned

Press Release from the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation:

LAS VEGAS – Amateur and professional elk callers from California, Idaho, Nevada and Oregon are the new world champions for 2014.

Competitors from four other states and two Canadian provinces also received honors.

The 2014 World Elk Calling Championships, sponsored by the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation (RMEF) and Leupold, were held during the annual RMEF convention and expo, which concluded Dec. 7 in Las Vegas.

Results:

Professional Division
1. Corey Jacobsen, Boise, Ida.
2. Bryan Langley, McMinnville, Ore.
3. Al Morris, Springville, Utah
4. Matt Brimmer, Keno, Ore.
5. Jason Phelps, Pe Ell, Wash.
6. Lance Sellers, Boise, Ida.

Men’s Division
1. Dirk Durham, Moscow, Ida.
2. Shane Donner, Calgary, Alta.
3. Greg Hubbell Jr., Belmont, Calif.
4. Kevin Akers, Oregon City, Ore.
5. Tom Gonzales, Phoenix, Ariz.
6. Travis Jones, Stevensville, Mont.

Women’s Division
1. Misty Jacobsen, Del Ray Oaks, Calif.
2. Kristy Titus, Prineville, Ore.
3. Amy Morris, Springville, Utah

Natural Voice Division
1. William Card, Fallon, Nev.
2. Trent Penrod, Lakeside, Ariz.
3. Sam Jacobsen, Boise, Ida.

Youth Division
1. Brayden Langley, McMinnville, Ore.
2. Austin Rose, Boise, Ida.
3. Russell Nemetchek, Saskatoon, Sask.
4. Isaac Jacobsen, Boise, Ida.

Pee Wee Division
1. Sutton Callaway, Maricopa, Calif.
2. Kailee Brimmer, Keno, Ore.
3. Jessi Jacobsen, Boise, Ida.

The event helps raise awareness of RMEF elk, habitat and conservation initiatives.

In the competition, callers have 30-45 seconds to mimic cow elk sounds, followed by bull sounds. Most callers blow across a latex reed placed inside the mouth. In the natural-voice division, however, no calling devices are allowed. A variety of plastic tubes are used like megaphones, giving the sounds realistic resonance. A panel of judges scores each competitor anonymously.

Winners received prizes and cash ranging from $500 to $2,500.

Open Thread – Tuesday, December 16, 2014

WobbleWagGiggle

Give One of These to Your Representative for Christmas!

The advertisements say this toy, intended for dogs, will prevent them from being destructive and getting into trouble while owners are not around to watch out for them. Wondering if this would work on politicians. They have all the same traits as destructive dogs.

Please use this open thread to post your ideas, information and comments about issues not covered in articles published on this website. Thank you.