May 22, 2017

Open Thread – January 26, 2012

Please use this open thread to post your ideas, comments and information about issues not directly related to content of articles published on this website. Thank you.

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Lots of Gators Creates Traffic Jam

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Yellowstone Wolves: How They Get A Head

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My Study Suggests Republicans Cause Decreased Amounts of Snowfall

The title above suggests that perhaps the author has lost his mind, or to some they might think he is starting to get it back. Regardless, even I’ll admit that perhaps making the conclusion that republicans cause less snow is ridiculous.

In my “study”, I’m “suggesting” that my observations are that republicans in Maine took over the Blaine House and Congress. In the first full year of this political reshuffling, I also witnessed the fact that the Pine Tree State has seen very little snow. Therefore, I’m “suggesting” from my “study” that it must be republicans that cause decreased amounts of snowfall.

Utterly ridiculous isn’t it……..well, unless of course you are a global warming cultist. (It’s a given that GW cultists hate republicans too.)

Such should be the case in a recent “study” that “suggests” that increased levels of mercury in the Northeast caused a handful of songbirds to stop reproducing. According to JunkScience, the study is junk science.

All the researchers did in this first-of-its-kind study was to correlate mercury levels with claimed reproductive failure in a small number of wrens — without taking any other measurements or observations of any other substances and/or conditions. They set out to blame mercury and, lo and behold, they succeeded (sic).

So, the next time you are gazing at your bird feeder and see a wren or two, know that there would have been more wrens in your feeder if republicans hadn’t taken the political advantage in Maine.

Tom Remington

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Some Like Wild Turkey With Their Coke

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Open Thread – January 25, 2012

Please use this open thread to post your ideas, comments and information about issues not directly related to the content of articles published on this web site. Thank you.

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The Emperor’s New Clothes: Maine’s Non Resident Hunter Task Force

In Hans Christian Andersen’s tale “The Emperor’s New Clothes”, a vain, and yes stupid, emperor hires two tailors to make him clothes. The tailors present the emperor with “new clothes” telling him that only stupid people or those unfit to be king could not see the clothes and think him naked. Of course the emperor can’t see the cloth and fearing someone will discover his stupidity, wears his “new clothes” in public. One has to wonder if the Task Force, appointed by the Maine Legislature to discover why non resident hunters don’t want to come to Maine anymore, is presenting the Joint Committee on Inland Fisheries and Wildlife new and invisible clothes.

Through the course of this discussion on what the Task Force will research and make for recommendations, I have reported on the contents of the very belated minutes of those meetings – here, here and here. In addition, readers can go to the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife website and find information unearthed and presented by the Task Force.

Alas, the Task Force has made its recommendations to the Maine Legislature. The Final Report includes the following recommendations:

• MDIFW must work collaboratively with the Office of Tourism to develop a marketing plan promoting Maine as a destination for Nonresident hunters; and in all areas of outdoor recreation.

• Funding should be allocated to survey current and recently lapsed Nonresident hunters, using a qualified market research firm specializing in natural resource and outdoor recreation issues; to find out what these customers want, why they have lapsed, and what barriers there are for travel to Maine as a hunting destination.

• Based on the data generated from this market research, marketing tools, strategies and training must be provided to Maine’s hunting industry partners, including guides, outfitters, sporting camps, B & Bs, and other state agencies such as Office of Tourism and Department of Conservation; to multiply the effect of the marketing plan.

• New hunting licenses, ‘repackaged’ licenses, or licenses that feature new privileges or opportunities appear to be one of the greatest factors with the potential to positively affect any kind of license sales. The Legislature and MDIFW must take a closer look at ways to accomplish and implement this initiative in a timely manner.

• Maine must do more to promote its lands open to hunting statewide, and the ease of access to them. Paper collateral such as maps and brochures, and online information that can be shared by state agency and hunting partners’ websites, must be developed, distributed and kept current.

The Task Force is naked! The Task Force is naked! But don’t look now, but the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife (MDIFW) and the Maine Legislature are also naked! Naked I tell you!

The Legislature and the MDIFW all made recommendations prior to this Task Force’s work and the Task Force has made their final recommendations and none of them once addressed the topic in a serious fashion that perhaps, just perhaps, the reason non resident hunters won’t come to Maine to hunt is because there are NO DEER to hunt.

While it was briefly discussed during Task Force meetings, it was quickly dispelled as something they were not interested in including in their discussions. Forget that it is the only element of things that were blamed that directly correlates to the decline in non resident hunters. In other words, as the state’s deer population began to shrink, and yes I must say it here, because of poor management, so also did the number of non resident hunting license sales.

However, the Task Force, the Legislature and MDIFW have all chosen to think people can really see their new clothes. Instead of facing reality, the recommendations are to market a product that does not exist and is of little or no interest to big game hunters who pay the big dollars. The idea is to “repackage” hunting license options. As the old saying goes, you can put lipstick on a pig but it’s still a pig.

If there was any controversy to the Task Force’s discussions it was the idea that Sunday hunting should be recommended along with allowing non residents to hunt on the resident only day. In the end, even those were bypassed.

The best thing the Legislature can do with these recommendations is to file them away somewhere until such time, if ever, the day comes when there are deer to hunt. Maybe if the Legislature was truly committed to Maine’s deer problem, which is directly related to the no non resident hunters problem, they would get to work to actually fix it. It’s simple really. First, sit down and determine whether the number of jobs and businesses that would be saved and/or created by investing in dealing with real issues, is worth the investment. If the Legislature and the rest of the state determine they are committed to the investment and the MDIFW should recommend that $500,000 is needed to kill coyotes as a viable means to begin a herd rebuilding, then the Legislature should commit to that investment. Yes, it really is that simple.

They have not and more than likely will not because the Governor, MDIFW and the Legislature are NOT fully committed to saving the hunting industry. Interesting in that the industry provides a very handsome tax revenue to the state and the hunters necessary to keep the industry going, pay their own way, while the state reaps the benefits. Now, their commitment is non existent. If the Maine Government is not interested in helping out when help is needed, then perhaps the government should butt out of fish and game business.

I suppose therefore, the hunting industry is the goose that lays golden eggs.

Tom Remington

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Dealing With Deer Herd Rebuilding: Maine Sportsmen Groups vs. Utah Sportsmen Groups

Two states that face similar problems with dwindling deer herds are Maine and Utah. In Utah, efforts are underway to improve habitat but the sportsmen there recognize that those efforts are limited. What they do recognize is that the number one problem and one that they CAN do something about is reducing coyote populations that have driven the fawn survival rate to near zero.

In Maine much of the effort is talk and complaining that loss of habitat, loss of quality wintering habitat and severe winters are killing the deer and there are no serious plans to address an overblown coyote population; again something that CAN be done while implementing programs to deal with habitat.

Recently sportsman’s groups in both states have launched efforts to address withering deer herds. In Maine it was announced that a conglomeration of “outdoor partners”, mostly coordinated by the Sportsman’s Alliance of Maine, were going to work with the Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife (MDIFW) to address the deer herd issue.

In Utah, efforts are already underway by similar “outdoor partners”, mostly coordinated by the Sportsmen for Fish and Wildlife, to address the deer herd issue.

Below is a comparison of ideas and plans by each of the two groups. Please compare and then decide which one stands the best chance of actually accomplishing the goals of rebuilding a deer herd.

Maine: (According to the statement made by the “outdoor partnership”)

1.) Create a “network” of sportsman’s clubs.
2.) Provide access to information Online.
3.) Host meetings, conferences, and training seminars dealing with habitat management, trapping and predator hunting, and a variety of other topics related to deer restoration and management.
4.) Produce DVDs and other educational materials.
5.) Provide a place where hunters and landowners can share tips, tactics and ideas that may help others succeed at protecting and managing deer.
6.) Support the Maine Deer Management Network at the Legislature and in other political venues.
7.) Provide outreach.
8.) Provide information in the print media by providing feature articles on deer management and outdoor recreation topics.
9.) Coordinate closely with MDIFW to assure mutual progress in restoring and then maintaining healthy deer populations again.
10.) Manage habitat.
11.) Manage predators.
12.) Manage hunting.
13.) Eager to support Dept. efforts to reduce predation losses near deer wintering areas.
14.) Develop coyote hunting into the next big hunting activity in Maine by transitioning the coyote from varmint status, to the valuable, huntable furbearer resource.
15.) Envisioning a volunteer “Adopt a Deer Yard” program targeting coyote hunting near deer wintering areas by individual hunters, or clubs.
16.) Intending to be a resource that individuals can turn to for information on coyote biology, hunting tactics, available equipment, bait sources, etc.
17.) Find opportunities to strengthen the connection between hunters and the non-hunting public and be a resource where hunters can find information on the latest hunting regulations, including legislative changes as they occur.
18.) Stress the importance of ethical hunting behavior, encourage active participation in game law compliance, and help define the importance of hunting and trapping as a means of keeping wildlife populations at compatible levels.

Utah: (According to the most recent email on future plans)

1.) Continue the aerial gunning of coyote pairs in the spring with $470,000. Better efforts will be made to target paired coyotes.

2.) Hire 5 Full time – NON Biologist – Regional coyote trappers/trapping coordinators. Job requirements: proven track record of knowing how to kill coyotes, and teach and motivate thousands of sportsmen to join the effort. Every day, the job is to wake up and kill coyotes, and additionally teach other sportsmen how to trap, snare, and otherwise kill coyotes. These full time people would also coordinate county bounty programs, and help target and measure – hopefully – increased fawn survival. These coordinators will also come up with some new and creative efforts to get sportsmen out killing coyotes.

3.) Have some current DWR Employees participate in coyote control efforts while doing spring and fall counts, etc.

4.) See coyote $1 Million coyote bounty below

Since it is not in the current Governors budget submitted on December 8, the bounty money will have to come from Legislative leaders like Senator Hinkins and Okerlund, who take the Governors budget and tweak it. I also think the Governor, after the meeting in Cache, and having aides see the turnout at other meetings, and realizing the need, will be supportive. So, the new piece of the puzzle? see Number five below:

5.) With the help of Sportsmen, obtain $1 Million in additional funds to pay $50 coyote bounty. This would lead to 20,000 dead coyotes, a DRAMATIC increase in coyote kill.

Let me give you some numbers.

1.) Last year, after seeing the dismal fawn survival on 4 central Utah deer units – Pavant, boulder, beaver – the Director spent an additional $100,000 on coyote control

a.) Fawn Survival from 2010 to 2011 went from approximately 43 fawns per 100 to 62 per 100

It is estimated that there are 80,000 coyotes in Utah.

Last year it is estimated that the government professional trappers took 4,000 coyotes. This program would stay the same, but it would be better targeted in fawning areas.

$1 Million for a $50 bounty would result in 20,000 dead coyotes, plus all the coyotes taken by 5 full time coyote killers from the UDWR, plus all the coyotes taken by aerial gunning $470,000 in the spring on deer winter ranges.

I would like to point out some important differences between these two state’s ideas on how to rebuild a deer population. First, the proposals written about from Utah are actually those made by the fish and game director Jim Karpowitz. From most of the accounts I have read about Utah’s efforts, it appears that for the most part the fish and game department, Legislature, Governor and members of the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives, sportsmen and citizens, understand the importance of hunting to their state and are committed at all levels to do what is necessary.

Second, I do not believe that Maine has the same commitment from the fish and wildlife department, the Governor or the Legislature and definitely not the U.S. Congressional Delegation. Sportsmen are split and citizens need to be educated. For this reason, I believe it is the major steering factor in the proposals that I’ve outlined above from Maine.

Governor Paul LePage campaigned on the promise that he was committed to rebuilding Maine’s deer herd. And what has transpired to date that has resulted in any effort to that end? I am not an advocate to fund the MDIFW with general fund taxpayer money. If Maine and the governor honestly are committed to the rebuilding of the deer herd to keep a vibrant industry providing jobs and upholding traditions and heritage, the value of investment would be realized and the Governor and Legislature would find the money to kill a lot of coyotes, reduce bear populations, protect wintering habitat, etc.

I’m not suggesting throwing money at a problem. The Governor must demand change and accountability for any state investment in rebuilding the deer herd. One can argue and spin the information anyway they so choose but the fact is the current management plans for deer failed miserably. Blame it on winter, blame it on habitat or predators, the realization is there are no deer left in many of Maine’s locations. Therefore, the plan fails simply because it doesn’t deal with these issues in a realistic manner. Winters have been around in Maine for longer than MDIFW and loggers have cut trees for centuries, and we still can’t deal with those two issues?

Whether you are from Maine or Utah or points in between, you decide from the information that I’ve provided which state has the biggest commitment to herd rebuilding and which plans have a better chance at seeing real results.

Tom Remington
 

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“It’s The Time of the Season for Loving”

For those of us who grew up in the 60s and 70s, we well remember the “Zombies”. They made a hit out of the song, “Time of the Season”, and the lyrics state, “It’s the time of the season for loving”.

I’m either blessed or cursed to have a mind that operates like mine, but a friend sent the below picture to me with a brief caption that read, “It’s the season”. With my mind being ripped and pulled in several directions between humor and disgust and several stops in between, I soon began to see comparisons in which I formed a bit of a parody if you will; only for those most deserving.

First consider the name of the band who plays the song – Zombies. From Wikipedia, a description of a zombie: “The term is often figuratively applied to describe a hypnotized person bereft of consciousness and self-awareness, yet ambulant and able to respond to surrounding stimuli.”

I believe Zombie would be an apt label to place on our fish and game departments who refuse to acknowledge and deal with fast breeding predators like coyotes and wolves that are not “balancing our ecosystems” as the myth goes, but instead destroying it and other species along with it.

In addition, the photo depicts, not only the “natural” act of wild canine predators, but is also an accurate analogy of what is happening to the outdoor sportsmen.

Therefore, it is only fitting that the “Zombies”, both the singing group and the wildlife managers be honored with the photograph and the video, while the sportsmen get screwed. Note: For better effect, while viewing and listening to the music video, keep a close eye on the actions of those two coyotes. Makes for great entertainment.


If perverted, Click image to Enlarge

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Maine’s New Hunting Future




Photo Editorial by Richard Paradis

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