April 27, 2017

“When enough have seen and fondled, there is no wilderness left to cherish.”

Those words are from Aldo Leopold. The entire quote goes like this: “All conservation of wildness is self-defeating, for to cherish we must see and fondle, and when enough have seen and fondled, there is no wilderness left to cherish.”

I am not very much of an Aldo Leopold fan, nor am I much of an idealist as are most fans of Leopold, Muir, Roosevelt and others.

When hunting in the woods, as I did this past November, early on, even though much of the terrain I cover is the same terrain I and others like me and those before have tread, I sometimes desire to escape to a fool’s paradise, imagining I am some place no man has ever been.

One day I reached a place. It was ever quiet. The sky was deep blue, a light breeze and seasonably warm was the air. Nature’s breath smelled earthen, full of rot at times blended with brief whiffs of sweet fern. In the distance I distinguished the bubbling and crackling of a brook. Dead leaves would drift lazily to the ground as the gentle and yet invisible zephyrs took control, seemingly to steer the leaves where God could best make use of them.

I must be there. I must have reached that happiness that exudes when a man believes he has stood where no man has mounted before.

Okay! This is all made up stuff. None of this really happened but I was surprised when I reached a place where I knew few, if any, hunters probably made their way only to discover perched on a small rock just to my side was an apple core. Judging from the picture, it hadn’t been there too long as some of the apple still appeared white and the elements hadn’t taken the fruit from its lofty perch.

Sometimes we can be just as surprised with what we see as what we don’t.


Photo by Tom Remington

Iowa Speech to the North American Elk Breeders Association Annual Convention

*Author’s Note:* As requested by many readers, below is a copy of my speech I delivered to the North American Elk Breeders Association Annual Convention in Waterloo, Iowa on August 6, 2011 at the Ramada Hotel and Convention Center.
Please note that when I give speeches I generally work from an outline and notes. I do not “read” my speeches. So the content of what is below is similar to the remarks delivered during the speech but is not an exact replication of what was said.
For readers of this blog, I also took the time to add hyperlinks to references whenever possible and also at the end included notes, comments and quotes that I may not have used during the speech due to time constraints.

Keynote Address to the North American Elk Breeders Association Annual Convention
Ramada Hotel and Convention Center, Waterloo, Iowa
August 6, 2011

I would like to take a moment to thank all the members of the North American Elk Breeders Association for providing me with the opportunity to come to Waterloo, Iowa, to the annual North American Elk Breeders Association Convention to speak to you today. In particular, I want to thank Brenda Hartkopf for working with me and figuring out all the logistics to get here and exactly what I was going to do when I did. Thank you!

I thought I would begin this evening with an old humor story that is quite fitting with the theme for which I am going to speak. It’s the story of my Uncle Virgil and Aunt Florena. They were country folks. As a matter of fact they lived very far out in the country and ran a small farm raising a few cattle, some pigs, chickens and the like. Where they lived wasn’t the end of the world but you certainly could see it from there.

One day, it was midday when most farmers were inside, out of the hot summer sun, a knock came on the front door, an indication it must not be someone of familiarity because nobody they knew used the front door. Florena answered the door. She opened the fairly large inside door and through the screen door observed a weasily-looking man with thick glasses and messy hair.

“I am from the Department of Agriculture. Here’s my card. I am inspector 356124987920475443. I am here to inspect your farm,” he said.

“We ain’t buying nothin you’re selling so git out!” exclaimed Florena and as she was shutting the door in his face he yelled, “My card says I can inspect your farm!”

Florena yelled to Virgil and told him he had a visitor. Virgil went to the front door and opened it and still standing there was the same man.

Before Virgil could speak, the man says, “I am from the Department of Agriculture. Here’s my card. I am inspector 356124987920475443 and I am here to inspect your farm!”

Virgil examined the card and then told the man to get off his property. The inspector, not taking no for an answer says, “You can see on my card that I have a right to come on your property anytime I want to perform random inspections.”

Virgil once again examined the card and said, “You go do what it is you have a right to do and then get the hell off my property!” and with that slammed the door ever so deliberately in his face.

Virgil returned to the living room where he was trying to watch a little television and catch an afternoon nap. After about an hour, Florena woke up Virgil asking him if he could hear something peculiar. Both heard noises coming from what appeared the side of the house. Virgil went to the back door, opened it and listened. He could hear hollering.

“Hello! You, up at the house! Come and get your bull!” cried the inspector.

Virgil assessed the situation to discover his prized bull had the inspector pinned up a tree with no intention of letting him down anytime soon.

The inspector yells again, “Come and get your bull!”

Virgil called back, “Why don’t you show him your card?”

I grew up in the country poor. Poor meaning I had little in the way of material things. We had electricity, no indoor plumbing and not until later as a kid growing up did we enjoy the convenience of running water in the house. But I had it all. I thank God everyday for parents who instilled in me the importance of being fiercely independent. One cannot fully enjoy the God-given, unalienable right to liberty unless they have been taught to live independently. As a boy I was taught that you work to solve your own problems and the last thing ever mentioned was a need to ask government for something.

From the moment we are born we are free. We are individuals gifted from God with rights, none of which are bestowed upon us by man. It is only man, since our birth that has striven to deny us of our rights. Why is that?

It’s all about control. For any individual or group of individuals to force their will upon the rest they must first gain control over the people they wish to control. This is being done in many ways. I will talk about a few of them tonight.

The biggest threat against those who desire dictatorial powers over you, is an independent person. They hate us because they can’t control us. We must become independent in both our actions and our thoughts.

(*Demonstration* – At this juncture, I will do a demonstration using a rope and a jackknife. I present the rope. It’s about 6 feet long. I will ask the audience to picture this rope as big and as long as they wish and to imagine how many important and powerful uses such a rope could have.

I then will take the jackknife and cut the rope in half and then ask the audience if the rope still has the same powerful possibilities and uses.

I keep repeating the cutting of each piece of rope in half until I am left with a tiny piece. At some point I will ask the audience if there are any issues going on in our country today that are dividing us as citizens (the long piece of rope) that will eventually render us useless.)

I would like to read a quote to you tonight from Thomas Jefferson:

“Rightful liberty is unobstructed action according to our will within limits drawn around us by the equal rights of others. I do not add, ‘with the limits of the law’ because law is often but the tyrant’s will, and always so when it violates the rights of the individual.”

I was asked to come to Iowa tonight to speak to you about H.R. 2210, the “Sportsmanship in Hunting Act of 2011”. H.R. 2011 has had several identities over the years. Among them, H.R. 1688, H.R. 3829, H.R. 2308 and several Senate versions of a very despicable and useless piece of legislation geared at one more step toward the annihilation of our property rights.

Fortunately none of the versions of this bill have ever made it to the House floor but we cannot rest on any comforting feeling that this bill is dead. We know for a fact that Congress adds bills such as this to other pieces of legislation in order to get them passed. It isn’t until later that we discover what had happened. We must fight this legislation.

Jefferson understood that true liberty cannot be recognized and appreciated without the respect of others’ rights and he blamed the law or laws as often a projection of the will of tyrants. It is the tyrant that seeks to destroy you and me. They hate our independence.

The most pitiful and hypocritical part of H.R. 2210 is that it is worded in such a way as to promote good ethics and sportsmanship. Imagine if you will our Congress imposing on us its will of something moral or ethical. Talk about hypocrisy! Talk about tyrannical!

Our Congress is probably the most corrupt organization in this country. They consider themselves above the law. They talk down to “we the people”. They are out of touch. It seems everyday we hear of another scandal coming out of Congress, enough to make a grown man vomit. We hear of congressmen taking photos of their private parts and plastering them on the Internet and these idiots want to legislate to us something concerning ethics, fair chase and sportsmanship? They wouldn’t know decency if it bit them.

And for you holier-than-thou “hunters” who subscribe to such nonsense, get down off your high and unethical horses and let he that is without sin cast the first stone.

What is “fair chase”? Who decides? And why do you think it should be you? Can you realistically sit in your well-equipped tree stand, in which you have driven to in your lavishly expensive ATV, over land you paid thousands of dollars for a lease to hunt, park near to the food plot you planted in order to “bait” deer or other game to come to, so that you may take your pick of the litter and then call high-fence hunting unethical, lacking in fair chase?

Another important quote that I would like to share comes from Abraham Lincoln.

“We the people are the rightful masters of both Congress and the courts, not to overthrow the Constitution but to overthrow the men who pervert the Constitution.”

And here we find ourselves in this convention better than 150 years later wondering why the people have been subdued. The people have been overthrown! And thus we are sitting here looking at legislation that is clearly an overthrowing of the U.S. Constitution if not our God-given rights to freedom, property and the use of it. We must overthrow the men who are perverting our laws.

I’ll remind you again, H.R. 2210 has nothing whatsoever to do with sportsmanship, ethical hunting, fair chase or any of the rhetorical garbage we are having forced into our brains. It’s about control – pure and simple.

Those wishing to control us have several agendas and many tools in which to accomplish their goals. We must learn them. It’s the only chance we have to fight back. H.R. 2210 is only a small tool. There are wolves, Canada lynx, tiny little fish, global warming, etc., the lists are endless. Learn what they are.

How many people sitting here tonight are aware of President Obama’s Executive Order #13575? If you are not, you MUST learn about it. I do not have time this evening to give you details. President Obama understands that the last stronghold or frontier in America that generates independent thinkers and those aimed at living independently (the biggest threat remember?) is rural America. EO#13575 aims to destroy rural America as we know it today.

Read about it. It’s vitally important that you know. I will however ask you this: If President Obama’s goal of EO # 13575 is to “help” rural America, then why did he appoint members from his cabinet, such as Defense Secretary, Homeland Security, Federal Communications Commission, etc., to his board of directors? Think about it.

It’s about control ladies and gentlemen!

Gary Allen, in a book he wrote called, “None Dare Call it Conspiracy”, wrote:

“Control necessitates a static society……So, legislation is promoted to restrict entrepreneurial effort”.

Everyone sitting in this audience tonight exemplifies “entrepreneurial effort”, otherwise you wouldn’t be here. You are independent thinkers. You want to live independently. You want government to butt out of your life and your ranches. People cannot control you if you are not static. Attending this convention is one means of being in action, working to improve what you do. This is all contrary to what government wants in you. Therefore, the attempt once again at an H.R. 2210-type of legislation – promoted legislation to “restrict entrepreneurial effort”.

There have been many attempts over the years to ban high-fence hunting. The most recent resulted in a victory for the citizens when a citizen’s initiative was voted down that would have ended high-fence hunting in North Dakota. Idaho had a similar outcome and Montana did not. There are others. We must fight these together.

Efforts like this will never end. There are enough useful idiots in this country eager and willing to carry out the agendas of those entities wishing to subdue the independent and freedom loving people.

What kind of people knowingly work to destroy their country or their constitutions? If I had the answer to that question, I wouldn’t be here tonight now would I? But let me try to explain using examples from people who have asked the same questions.

Most people are not even aware of the fact that during and shortly after the Revolution, the United States rounded up no fewer than three esteemed gentlemen and sent them to Europe for the purpose of making treaties and finding trade partners. The U.S., after all, had lost all of their business dealings and partners with England when it declared its independence.

The three me were John Adams, Benjamin Franklin and Thomas Jefferson. Quite the trio.

Thomas Jefferson visited many towns about Europe and he had a bit of a ritual he would undertake as a way to gain a sense of what kind of people he might be dealing with before actually sitting down to talk business.

His first action was to find the tallest building in the village – often this was a church steeple. He would climb it and gaze about the landscape hoping for a sense of the surroundings.

This was soon followed by walks about the village simply meeting people and talking to them. Yet, this was another attempt at gaining a better understanding of the people before expending time and energy hoping to find good character people he wished for his new country to do business with.

This action was described in a book titled, “The Young Jefferson” by Claude G. Bowers. Bowers wrote that in Jefferson’s travels, anytime he arrived at a village were he witnessed that people placed the importance of dogs or other animals above that of man, he packed up his belongings and left town immediately. Jefferson understood that people who think like this are untrustworthy and certainly someone he would not consider a viable trade partner. This is a difficult concept in America today. Just look around you.

Eric Hoffer, in his book, “The True Believer” spends a great deal of time giving us clues as to what makes people eager and willing to follow “mass movements” tick. Hoffer’s book, although written in the mid 1940s and dealt with a subject he called mass movements, really can apply to any large or small group. We today, tend to call them special interest groups.

It must be pointed out here that some of us don’t understand that there are a lot of people in this country today who want to live in a communist or socialistic country, where government decides everything for us. This begins very early on in the “education” process, so that today, regardless of the truth of historic outcomes of all attempts at socialism/communism, still we are able to lead people to believe this time will be different.

Hoffer says that those who are willing to work to destroy their own way of life, are obviously very unhappy with the life they have. For that I am saddened. I had nothing and yet I had everything, among the most important a strong foundation in God as my creator and a firm belief that I am, like the Bible says, created in God’s image. I do not see God as a weak person and someone who has to depend on government to survive or to even enjoy life. No, I am of His image, therefore, I am independent, free, respectful, caring of others and not wishing to impose my values on those of other people because I respect their rights as mine. If what I have to offer is good, people will be drawn to it.

I’ll remind you yet again, you become a threat to those wanting to control you when you are independent and seek to protect liberty, not just for yourself but for everyone.

Recall what Gary Allen said, “Control necessitates a static society…..So, legislation is promoted to restrict entrepreneurial effort.” H.R. 2210 is but another tool in which it’s design is to render you elk ranchers static and ineffective. They want you to go away. They know they can’t convince you to give it up all at once, but they sure know one small step at a time will surely get the job done.

Elk are your property. You have rights to your property, none of which came from man or our and any other government. Ending high-fence hunting is a destruction of your property and your property rights. You, the person sitting next to you, your neighbor or the U.S. Government does not have the right to take your property away simply because they don’t like what you do with it.

Ayn Rand, a Russian immigrant, who some believe possessed idealistic views on rights while other find her writings spot on, once wrote about property rights this way:

“The right to life is the source of all rights – and the right to property is their only implementation. Without property rights, no other rights are possible. Since man has to sustain his life by his own effort, the man who has no right to the product of his effort has no means to sustain his life. The man who produces while others dispose of his product is a slave.” Ayn Rand from “The Virtue of Selfishness”.

Is it then for this reason that countries that are run by dictators ensure that the people never own property? What say you then of those in this country who openly admit that man should never own property, that all things are owned collectively for the good of all?

Once again, Thomas Jefferson wrote:

“Property is the foundation of all civilized society.”

As people in this country work vehemently to give our country away, they want to give your property away as well. According to Jefferson, such a move would lead to an uncivilized society. Is that the goal here?

One step at a time, those wishing to control the masses will take what is yours if we do nothing about it.

A few months ago, I wrote a multi-part piece called, “The Crippling and Destructive Power of the Endangered Species Act”. I want to invite everyone here tonight to go to my blog and read it. It will begin to give you insight into how complex and deep reaching the efforts are to end your independence and entrepreneurial effort. It’s not a simple H.R. 2210 bill. It’s about control and the powers seeking that control are much bigger than you might imagine but that shouldn’t discourage us from fighting.

As I close tonight, I want to leave all of you with a challenge. I want you to leave here tonight not taking what I told you as necessarily the truth. I challenge you to go find out for yourself. This will further strengthen you as an independent thinker, someone who is not going to be controlled so easily.

Please take what I have shared tonight and consider if anything I have said makes sense. Hopefully, enough of what I said will at least get you thinking and finding hope that with a stronger you, we can become a stronger nation.

I’ll leave you tonight with a quote. This is actually something my brother sent me a short while ago. With his permission, I added a word or two for effect.

“The dog, the owl, the whale, the seal, the elk, the wolf, the smelt, are all tools, lies and deceit used against property rights, to include what is yours in your mind and to see who is still paying attention in America. Those paying attention threaten the tyrannical dictators of the planet.” – Al Remington

Thank you!

Included below are names with links that didn’t get mentioned due to time constraints. Please feel free to take the time to read these and go to the sites linked to and learn more about the powers seeking your destruction.

The United States Constitution reads in Article II, Section 2, Line 2; “2: He [president] shall have Power, by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate, to make Treaties, provided two thirds of the Senators present concur;

United Nations Education, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO)

World Heritage Convention

United Nations Agenda 21

Quotes:

The United States Constitution has proved itself the most marvelously elastic compilation of rules of government ever written. – Franklin Roosevelt

Wolves in Maine – Part VI – (Did Wolves Leave Maine and Why?)

Part I
Part II
Part III
Part IV
Part V
Part VI

In the book “Early Maine Wildlife” – Historical Accounts of Canada lynx, Moose, Mountain Lion, White-Tailed Deer, Wolverine, Wolves, and Woodland Caribou, 1603 – 1930 – by William B. Krohn and Christopher L. Hoving, as the reader progresses through the chronological order in which the book was laid out, a few things become clear in the debate about game animals and predators during this time frame.

For instance, in recent times I have heard information being passed about by biologists within the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife, and others, that whitetail deer never were abundant in the northern part of the state and that moose and deer did not and could not survive together. In this claim some have said that when the deer moved north, the moose disappeared and/or when the moose were plentiful through the state, the deer were not. Accounts recorded in this book do not show that to be the case at all in my opinion when considering all written accounts. In actuality all three species of moose, deer and woodland caribou existed throughout the state together, at times very plentiful and other times not.

What does become apparent is that the proclivity of more or less game animals, i.e. caribou, moose and deer, was all dependent on the presence of wolves. What remains unsettled is when, if ever, did wolves leave the state of Maine and what was the reason for their exodus?

Most accounts in this book seem to agree that widespread and numerous packs of wolves in Maine had disappeared by the 1860s – 1870s, even though there are accounts of wolf encounters by people into the early 1900s. As is typical even to this day, hunters and trappers reported seeing wolf tracks many times and yet the continuing presence of wolves would not be acknowledged unless someone killed one and brought it out of the woods.

As an example, appearing in the Maine Sportsman, of an account in 1899, an anonymous writer says, “Thaddeus Coffron of Grand Lake Stream, claims to have seen two large gray wolves not long since on Big Lake near the mouth of Little Musquash stream. He walked up within a few yards of them, being armed only with an axe. Their tracks had been frequently seen in the vicinity previously.”

But as appears in “Forest and Stream”, we read this, “Again there are reports of wolves in Maine with their tracks followed by old wolf hunters, who ‘could not be mistaken.’ They do not bring out the trophies, however, and until they do the ordinary individual is inclined to regard their stories in the same light as that of the well-read fable.”

According to the editor of Shooting and Fishing in 1920 the last officially recorded wolf kill happened in Andover. “The report of the State Treasurer of Maine for 1895 shows that there was one wolf killed in the state during that year, for which a bounty was paid. This single specimen was killed in Andover, and is said to be the only wolf killed in Maine for many years.”

The editor further accounts that even though there may be a stray wolf killed sometime into the future, his “trustworthy sources” believe the wolf is “practically extinct” in New England.

What we don’t know for certain is why the wolf became “extinct” or “practically extinct” in Maine and New England. We have been led for decades to believe that the wolves were all shot, trapped or poisoned by man. Accounts in the book don’t seem to readily agree with this hypothesis nor does it that the caribou were killed off due to uncontrolled hunting.

As was recorded in the Maine Sportsman for the year 1900, a man who worked as a log scaler in the Penobscot region and traveled by foot as far away as 60 miles between lumber camps tells of his observations. “During the whole winter we saw no deer and but few moose, the entire absence of deer being due to the wolves with which the woods were overrun. Caribou we saw everywhere and I plainly remember that one day, coming out upon them trailing along in single file was a herd of 17 caribou.”

However, the scaler’s recall of what was once is soon become reality as he wonders where the caribou went. According to several writings in this book, deer, moose and caribou had once been reduced drastically, probably from a combination of predators and uncontrolled hunting. When the wolves disappeared, the deer and moose recovered and caribou for a time before it is believed, for whatever reasons, they just migrated out of the state. Perhaps they were simply tired of being harassed by predators, including man.

F. E. Keay writes in 1901 that wolves were the “most dreaded” of wild animals and that by their nature were found to be “ferocious and cunning” and did “incalculable” damage to livestock. In dealing with these large predators, Keay describes the effort this way: “They traveled in companies, sometimes of ten or twenty, and were caught or killed only with great difficulty.”

As I have pointed out in other parts of this review of wolves in Maine, the majority of reports all seem to agree that wolves were quite prevalent in Maine until around the year 1860, in which most also agree the wolf simply left the state with the exception of pockets of areas where some packs remained. While it is inarguable that the efforts of hunters and trappers, in conjunction with bounties being paid over 130 years and more, a sizable dent was put in Maine’s wolf population but evidence from these accounts can support the notion that this was not the cause of the final “extinction” of wolves in Maine.

While some accounts in this book of “Early Maine Wildlife” say that wolves for the most part left on their own, coinciding with a time in which many accounts tell of very little game, i.e. moose, deer and caribou, this would support the theory that large predators, like the wolf, will move into an area and essentially devoid it of prey and then move on. We seem to see that here, although several wolves and packs remained behind until the late 1800s when “trustworthy sources” declared the wolf “practically extinct”.

In having a better grasp of more recent coyote/wolf history in Maine, we discovered that it was not long after the wolf had become “practically extinct” that what was called the eastern coyote began populating the region. I recall in the 1960s seeing a stuffed eastern coyote that had been killed in Maine. This version of coyote was approximately 30 pounds in weight. This is a far cry from the more abundant sizes of coyotes now present in Maine, commonly reaching 50 -70 pounds in size.

It has been determined that what roams today’s forests in Maine and are commonly referred to as coyotes, are actually some concocted conglomeration of mixed breeds of wolf, coyotes, and domestic dog. It became common knowledge after the influx of eastern coyote into Maine that this varmint, perhaps because of a very small migrating population, interbred with “wild” dogs or domesticated dogs left to run unrestrained. No one is sure of how the wolf mix got into these animals.

It has been theorized that what was once called the gray wolf in Eastern Quebec, Canada, began migrating or random scatterings of these wolves, entered northern Maine and as such resulted in the inbreeding of the already inbred coyote/dog.

Considering the evidence provided in “Early Maine Wildlife” one has to honestly consider that given the relatively short period of time from when “trustworthy sources” declared the wolf in Maine “practically extinct”, that some of those earlier wolves remained behind and began breeding with the migrating coyotes.

It would be intellectually dishonest not to consider all the facts in educating ourselves to the changes of wildlife, including predators and large game animals and use them to better be able to effectively manage these species. It is reasonable to consider that man’s efforts to eradicate, – and make no bones about it, that was their intent – was not wholly what drove wolves out of Maine. If this is the case, then it would be beneficial to gain facts and knowledge to understand what events total caused this to happen.

Wolves in Maine in the 1800s – Part V (Attacks on Humans and Extermination or Migration?)

Part I
Part II
Part III
Part IV
Part V
Part VI

When studying and reading through, “Early Maine Wildlife” – Historical Accounts of Canada lynx, Moose, Mountain Lion, White-Tailed Deer, Wolverine, Wolves, and Woodland Caribou, 1603 – 1930 – by William B. Krohn and Christopher L. Hoving, it becomes clear that there was not always agreements about wildlife. This particular book chronicles the “observations” of hunters, trappers, outdoor writers and historians. Not always do the observations of one person agree with the observations of another. This is the same thing we see today in that people jump to conclusions based on brief and not necessarily scientific observations or at least those based upon sound and thorough data. And at times, the observations of the very seasoned hunter or trapper were scoffed at. More on this in a moment.

In previous parts I have shared information I had found about human encounters with wolves. For decades in this country we have had it drummed into our heads that it were hunters and trappers mainly responsible for the extermination of wolves and also that there has never been any wolf attacks on humans in the Lower 48 States. Those who read their history, know both of these claims are not entirely true.

In 1884, in a February issue of “Forest and Stream”, a writer tells of what it was like living in Maine and dealing with wolves. He writes: “Some fifty years ago these animals [wolves] were numerous and terribly ravenous in the many sparsely settled districts of New England, and the farmers found it impossible to raise sheep, and even calves and pigs were frequently destroyed. Instances were numerous where strong men were attacked and overpowered by packs of wolves.”

This is yet another report and confirmation of regular and frequent attacks on humans by wolves.

But disagreements began to mount as to the validity of two events concerning wolves – when they when “extinct” in Maine and what caused that “extinction”. (I put the word “extinction” in quotes because it has never been determined if the wolf in Maine was effectually exterminated or even what exactly defines extermination.)

Some writers believed that by around the 1880s the wolf that roamed the Maine landscape had disappeared and there seems to have been just as many who disagreed with that assessment.

In another article that appeared in “Forest and Stream” in 1883, a writer recounts the encounter with wolves on the Mattawamkeag River. The author tells of the “blood-curdling” howl of the wolf that frightens all but the very experienced of outdoorsmen. He also tells that on only three occasions in his life did he witness a wolf bark and he says that in each of those events the bark was directed at a human. He describes the bark this way, “The tone is very deep, delivered slowly and deliberately, and each time in exactly the same key, and is in a strange contrast to the rapid, rasping yelp of the coyote.”

On the Mattawamkeag River, a member of the lumber camp had spotted a deer laying dead on the ice of the river. On the opposite shore, was a wolf and it was “barking” at this man, evidently in the fashion described above. The man returned to camp and it was decided to use a bottle of strychnine and poison the meat of the deer in hopes to kill the wolves.

When the man returned to the bait site the next morning, he was quite surprised in what he discovered: “On returning alone to the post, early the next morning, I found that the two wolves had called to the feast the largest pack known in that vicinity. Not a vestige of the deer remained but the hair, and that was so scattered and trampled upon as to be almost indistinguishable………They had gone up the river, and an old hunter who camped about five miles above told me afterward that he counted the tracks of forty-two where they had spread out on a big meadow, that they ate all the poisoned bait that he had out….”

Reports at this time were contrary and confusing. As I said, some were stating the wolves were all dead and yet we find accounts as those described above.

By 1884 there was a “Commission of Fisheries and Game” in Maine. It appears from the accounts in this book that even the commissioners believed the wolves were all gone as a report by the Commissioner of Fisheries and Game scoffingly wrote, “To the poachers’ cry of wolf, the Commissioners have responded by the offer of a double bounty for every wolf scalp. No claims have been presented.”

In a report filed by M. Chamberlain, he writes, “[Wolf] Was common from about 1840 until about 1860; since then, it has entirely disappeared.”

Perhaps the clearest indication of the disagreements between those living in the area about the existence of wolves, comes from an “anonymous” writer, I assume an editorial, in 1884 in the “Forest and Stream”. In this, the writer, again in a scoffing manner, speaks of how the Commission called on what they believed to be false claims that wolves were still killing game and livestock. This is when the Commission doubled the bounty. This editorial is rebutted which I’ll get to in a moment.

Of interest in this piece is that the author speaks of what he believes to be the facts that wolves are now all gone in Maine. But why are they gone? He writes, “Curiously enough there are old settlers in Maine who retain the theory that wolves follow deer. They claim that there were no deer at the time of the wolves – ‘the wolves killed them all off’ – but that since the extermination of the wolves the deer have gone on increasing.”

In this editorial the writer clearly blames the hunters for killing off all the deer and not the wolves.

In the rebuttal I spoke about earlier, the author, an experienced hunter and trapper, says he can prove his facts that the deer are all gone and it was the wolf that killed them and that it was not the hunters that made the wolves disappear. He writes, “In 1853 wolves were very plenty, and for the next five years were not scarce, plenty could be found within sixteen miles of Bangor in 1857 and 1858. They seemed to leave quite suddenly, the last I know of positively being taken was killed by Frank Fairbanks in 1860 in Munsengun. I know the wolves were not exterminated, as from the time they were quite plenty till the time they disappeared, very few skins were brought in. They left of their own accord, just as the caribou left us.”

Little has changed over the years, I would guess, when it comes to dealing with wolves. 130 years ago the wolf was vehemently hated and yet there existed those who wanted to blame man for everything wrong with wildlife.

Wolves in Maine in the 1800s – Part IV (Community Efforts to Exterminate)

Part I
Part II
Part III
Part IV
Part V
Part VI

“Early Maine Wildlife” – Historical Accounts of Canada lynx, Moose, Mountain Lion, White-Tailed Deer, Wolverine, Wolves, and Woodland Caribou, 1603 – 1930 – by William B. Krohn and Christopher L. Hoving can tell us many things about how wildlife was perceived, treated, abused and misunderstood. From the early 1600s, it should really come as no surprise that settlers and commercial trappers and game harvesters thought of wildlife as an endless resource. We learned that was not true and it resulted in the formulation of a wildlife management scheme that has proven immensely successful over the past century.

Wolves in Maine, much the same as in many spots across the U.S., were seen as a useless animal, one that competed directly with the hunters and gatherers and as we learned in Part III, when available prey for the wolf diminished, attacks on humans and livestock became more common. As a result, demands from people grew to get rid of the wolf.

In most all of the previous parts of this serial examination, seldom was anything good about the wolf reported, other than perhaps their pelts made for good decoration and available cover to go on the back of the seat in a sleigh.

Our repeated history and education in this country has mostly been centered on the notion that it were hunters and trappers that bore the responsibility for the extirpation of the wolf countrywide. History has shown us this is not true. In addition, those whose interests lie in the over-protection of the wolf are unrelenting in their talking points that humans were unjustifiably frightened of the wolf, embellished through made-up scary tales, and that people simply misunderstood the animal.

I don’t believe any of that to be true at all. World history clearly shows that in those regions of the world were wolves were allowed to flourish, hundreds and even thousands of people were killed by wolves. I don’t know about you but if I lost a family member to a large animal predator, it would only seem normal to develop a fear, or at least a healthy level of respect for the beast, and would more than likely promote the idea to get rid of the darn things. This isn’t fairy tale stuff as some might believe.

People saw little or no real value in wolves and why should they have. They competed directly for the very same resources man wanted and needed to survive, they threatened livestock, which for many was their life line, carried and spread disease and became a real threat to the health and safety of humans. As such, efforts to rid the landscape of the varmints became entire community efforts.

In “Early Maine Wildlife”, the authors reference the writings of E.E. Bourne, in 1875. Bourne’s work is the telling of the history of the Wells and Kennebunk area of Maine. Bourne recalls this area as early as the early 1600s, when the people were obviously still under the rule of England. In 1640, wolves appeared to be most everywhere along the seacoast of Maine and settlers were anxious for the King to offer some financial assistance to the communities to rid the countryside of wolves. Here’s what Bourne wrote:

“The new Government, Gorges’ general court, being legislative as well as judicial in its action, did not confine itself to the moral improvement of the people only, but at the same time looked carefully to their physical economy. It may seem a small matter to have made any enactments in regard to wolves. But to settlers it was much more important that they should be extirpated than it has been at any time since that of salmon, shad, and alewives should be preserved from destruction, or that the agriculture of the country should be protected from the ravages of the crow. Wolves then [~1640] abounded along the coast…….Every settler was interested in their extermination, and at this court it was “ordered that every family between Piscataqua and Kennebunk River should pay twelve pence for every wolf that should be killed.” This, it will be seen, was in the whole a large bounty.

“In 1730, five pounds were paid; a few years afterward, eight pounds. In 1747, it was voted that eight pounds should be paid to every person who should kill one; if he killed two, he should have twelve pounds each; if three, sixteen pounds each….. The action of the town for the destruction of wolves continued till about 1770, after which the municipal war against them was abandoned.”

It’s important to note here that it appears from what is written that the people were a bit frustrated because efforts had been made to preserve the salmon, shad and alewives population, along with efforts to protect crops from crows, while nothing was being done to get rid of the wolf, a problem that obviously the communities saw as large enough to demand something be done to help.

So from what appears to be around 1640 until 1770, bounties were put together as an incentive for more people to kill wolves. Those bounties grew to be quite handsome. But mind you this was an entire community that was taxed in order that bounties be paid to rid the area of wolves. It must have been important to them in every way.

During that 130-year period of time, read what happens to the deer population.

Bourne writes: “Until about the commencement of the Revolutionary war, deer were very abundant in Wells. Herds of them, from ten to twenty, were very frequently seen. They were in the habit of visiting the marshes in great numbers……

“As late as the year 1770, a deer was started by a dog, and in chase he ran into the parlor of Joseph Storer in Kennebunk, and went out through the window.”

Does any of this relate to modern times?

But I don’t believe it was simply the efforts of communities and governments to pay bounties and put out poison that led to the extirpation of the wolf. Even utilizing all of those and other tools to achieve that goal, it is still a daunting task to actually completely rid a state or country of a species. I would also suppose that disease, along with changes in the prey base for the wolves and changes in climate, population growth and destruction of habitat all played a factor.

Wolves in Maine in the 1800s – Part III (First Recorded Attacks on Humans)

Part I
Part II
Part III
Part IV
Part V
Part VI

The book, Early Maine Wildlife – Historical Accounts of Canada lynx, Moose, Mountain Lion, White-Tailed Deer, Wolverine, Wolves, and Woodland Caribou, 1603 – 1930 – by William B. Krohn and Christopher L. Hoving, is proving to be an interesting addition to my library. I think the authors did a decent job of putting this information together; one, to make it readable, and, two, to give a reader a sense of the changes taking place across the lands over extended periods of time. I am glad they chose to list the entries in chronological order. Of course these changes come with no real explanations from the observers, often just recalling what it used to be like.

In 1860, J.G. Rich writes in the Bethel Courier about his hunts for caribou. He also explains that he has shot and killed two caribou in the previous 6 years and then states, “many hunters from different parts of the State have told me that the species [caribou] are almost extinct in Maine”. Obviously Rich wasn’t into conservation of wildlife, which most of us know came a bit later on after it was decided something needed to be done.

Henry David Thoreau relates the reports he got from lumbermen and hunters in the mid-1800s through the late-1800s. In 1858 he writes, “The lumberers told me that there were many moose thereabouts, but no caribou or deer.”

It was in 1860 when M.R. Keep told the tale of when the French first settled in the Madawaska area in Northern Maine, along the St. John River, the Indians got angry because the French were killing their moose and caribou. The story goes that the Indians, out of spite, slaughtered all the moose, and, “For twenty years or more, not a moose was seen or heard from in all Northern Maine or the adjoining borders of New Brunswick[.]”

However, wolves were still an often talked about species. Thoreau often spent time “listening” throughout his travels in Maine to hear the wolves howl. While people howled about the threats and utter destruction the animal caused.

It was in 1855 that C. Hardy wrote about what he knew of the grey wolf.

“The gray wolf (Canis lupus) has but lately made its appearance in Nova Scotia, not as in other provinces, however, in company with his prey, the Canadian deer (Cervus virginianus). The gray wolf is a large, fierce, and powerful animal. In Maine and New Brunswick, several instances have been known of his attacking singly and destroying a human being. This animal sometimes grows to the length of six feet. The hair is long, fine, and of a silver grey. A broad band of black, here and there, showing shiny silvery hairs, extend from the head down the back. The tail is long and bushy, as the brush of a fox. A wolf skin forms a frequent decoration for the back of a sleigh.”

This is the first I have read in this book (although I am barely past page 100 of 500) of reports of wolves attacking and killing people. I should point out that in reading accounts of wolves beginning in the very early 1600s, most descriptions of wolves up to this point related that they were wary of humans and for the most part steered clear. While there were also reports of some savagery of wolves on livestock, the number of those reports paled in comparison to the accounts of how the wolves feed on available wild prey, such as deer, moose, rodents, etc.

At this juncture, it appears that we may be actually seeing a pattern take place. As the reports from observers seem to be passing on the reduction of game animals and in some cases the lack thereof, i.e. the extinction of the caribou, incidents of livestock kill and now reports of attacks on humans are on the increase.

In 1842, Z. Thompson, in his “History of Vermont”, writes about “The Common Wolf”.

“For some years after the settlement of this state was commenced, wolves were so numerous and made such havoc of the flocks of the sheep, that the keeping of sheep was a very precarious business. At some seasons particularly in the winter they would prowl through the settlements at night and large companies, destroying whole flocks in their way, and, after drinking their blood and perhaps eating a small portion of the choicest and tenderest parts, would leave the carcasses scattered about the enclosure and go in quest of new victims. Slaughter and instruction seemed their chief delight; and while marauding the country they kept up such horrid and prolonged howlings as were calculated, not only to thrill terror through their timorous victims, but to appall the hearts of the inhabitants of the neighborhood. Though sheep seems to be their favorite victim, wolves sometimes destroyed calves, dogs, and other domestic animals; and in the forest they prey upon deer, foxes, hares and other such animals as they can take. Impelled by hunger they have been known in this state to attack persons.”

Here is another account of attacks on people. And also notice that the indicator in the statement about attacks on people is, “Impelled by hunger”. If the accounts being recorded have much accuracy at all, we see that for what may be multiple reasons, the prey base for wolves is diminishing. This increases the incidents of livestock depredation and attacks on humans. I believe it only correct to make that assumption, knowing what we do about wolf behavior.

In addition, this account of Thompson’s, gives us our first glimpse into surplus killing or sport killing that protectors of predators such as the wolf and coyote so readily deny. Thompson describes the wolves’ actions as being anything but savage and pointless. Why has it been 150 years before these kinds of reports are showing up?

I am curious as to whether readers are surprised to learn of these incidences by wolves in Maine – their savagery of livestock and attacks on humans? I would guess they are, as they have been indoctrinated to believe that there has never been an attack on a human by wolves in the lower 48 states. These early observers and recorders of wildlife from the early 1600s, seem to have a differing set of facts.

Wolves in Maine in the 1600s – Part II

Part I
Part II
Part III
Part IV
Part V
Part VI

As I wend my way through the book, Early Maine Wildlife – Historical Accounts of Canada lynx, Moose, Mountain Lion, White-Tailed Deer, Wolverine, Wolves, and Woodland Caribou, 1603 – 1930 – by William B. Krohn and Christopher L. Hoving, I found some rather bizarre, yet fascinating writings that I would sooner categorize as tall tales and damned lies, than I would give much credence to actual historic events. However, I am willing to keep an open mind.

The original recordings were done in 1674 by a John Josselyn, found in Colonial Traveler: A Critical Edition of Two Voyages to New England. The authors of this book, Early Maine Wildlife, point out that Josselyn may have been confused by his use of terminology of the creatures he witnessed. For example, in the very first paragraph, Josselyn describes what he believes to be a “Jaccal” (jackal), which according to earlier European accounts and those of the American Indian, a jackal was commonly referred to as a coyote. So, this “Creature much like a Fox, but smaller”, we might only guess – wolverine?, muskrat?, bobcat?

The authors also warn their readers that Josselyn’s “terminology sometimes is misleading and his descriptions frequently fantastic”; or a kind way of saying the guy was mostly a damned liar and wild storyteller, as you will see in the below account.

Which brings us to his accounting of wolves he dealt with in his travels throughout Maine and probably parts of New England. As you will see, as you begin to read, the spelling is atrocious, the sentence structure abysmal and it all makes it difficult to comprehend and follow, but enough to realize how outlandish his story is. I did the best I could to present it exactly as it was presented in the book.

I’d call it tall tales and damned lies and laugh exceedingly over it as great entertainment.

~~~~~

Jaccals there be abundance, which is a Creature much like a Fox, but smaller, they are very frequent in Palestina, or the Holy-land.

The Wolf seeketh to his mate and goes clicketing at the same season with Foxes, and bring forth their whelps as they do, but their kennels are under thick bushes by great Trees in remote places by the swamps, he is to be hunted as the Fox from Holy-rood day till the Annunciation. But there they have a quicker way to destroy them. See New England’s rarities [footnote omitted]. They commonly go in routs, a rout of Wolves is 12 or more, sometimes by couples. In 1664, we found a Wolf asleep in a small dry swamp under an Oake, a great mastiff which we had with us seized upon him, and held him until we had a rope about his neck, by which we brought him home, and tying him to a stake we bated him with smaller Doggs, and had excellent sport; but his hinder legg being broken, they knockt out his brains. Sometime before this we had an excellent course after a single Wolf upon the hard sands of the Sea-side at low water for a mile or two, at last we lost our doggs, it being (as the Lancashire people phrase it) twilight, that is almost dark, and went beyond them, for the mastiff-bitch had seized upon the Wolf being gotten into the Sea, and there held him until one went in and led him out, the bitch keeping her hold until they had tied his leggs, and so carried him home like a Calf upon a staff between two men; being brought into the house they unbound him and set him upon his leggs, he not offering in the lease to bite, or so much as to shew his teeth, but clapping his stern betwixt his leggs, and leering towards the door would willingly have had his liberty, but they served him as they did the other, knockt his brains out, for our doggs were not then in the condition to bait him; their eyes shine by night as a Lanthorn: the Fangs of a Wolf hung about children’s necks keep them from frighting, and a very good to rub their gums with when they are breeding of Teeth, the gall of a Wolf is soveraign for swelling of the sinews; the fiants or dung of a Wolf drunk with white wine helpeth the Collick.

Wolves in Maine in the 1600s – Part I

Part I
Part II
Part III
Part IV
Part V
Part VI

I am just getting around to reading a book I bought a few weeks ago – Early Maine Wildlife – Historical Accounts of Canada lynx, Moose, Mountain Lion, White-Tailed Deer, Wolverine, Wolves, and Woodland Caribou, 1603 – 1930 – by William B. Krohn and Christopher L. Hoving.

The book appears to be a great research tool because the authors have done much of the legwork for those interested in research of the subjects listed, and the geographical region. The majority make up of the book contains excerpts from writings, logs, and journals that date back as early as 1603. These excerpts are provided the reader in chronological order.

Below are fragments of the whole entries given by the authors about wolves. Although the parts I have selected are only portions of the log provided by the authors, the pieces are not taken out of context. Also, bear in mind that the age of writings can present some challenges with spellings and use of words. I have presented them exactly as found in this book.

This particular presentation I have chosen, comes from work done by a W. Wood in 1977, New England Prospect. The writings were dated 1634. I believe the 1634 author was a Thomas Cotes of London.

~~~~~

They [deer] desire to be near the sea, so that they may swim to the island when they are chased by the wolves. It is not to be thought into what great multitudes they would increase were it not for the common devourer, the wolf.

The wolves be in some respect different from them in other countries. It was never known yet that a wolf set upon man or woman. Neither do they trouble horses or cows; but swine, goats and red calves, which they take for deer, be often destroyed by them, so that a red calf is cheaper than a black one in that regard in some places. In the time of autumn and in the beginning of spring, those ravenous rangers do most frequent our English habitations, following the deer which come down at that time to those parts. They be made much like a mongrel, being big boned, lank launched, deep breasted, having a thick neck and head, prick ears, and a long snout, with dangerous teeth, long-staring hair, and a great bush tale.

These be killed daily in some place or other, either by the English or Indian, who have a certain rate for every head. Yet is there little hope of their utter distruction, the country being so spacious and they so numerous, traveling in the swamps by kennels. Sometimes ten or twelve are of a company. Late at night and early in the morning they set up their howlings and call their companies together – at night to hunt, at morning to sleep. In a word they be the greatest inconveniency the country hath, both for the matter of damage to private men in particular, and the whole country in general.

~~~~~

If I may point out a few things that should help people to understand wolves, their habits and their ability to adjust their behavior to their surrounding circumstances.

The first paragraph should be analogous to accounts we are hearing on a daily basis in areas where wolves are prevalent in the U.S.. In this case, in 1634 Maine, the “deer” are being driven to the sea (Southern coast of Maine) and that these “deer” swim onto the islands to escape the wolves.

I have put “deer” in quotes in order to point out that in this writing, the author describes three kinds of deer – whitetail deer, moose and caribou, and these three species are generally referred to as “deer”. Therefore, in the context of the entry, the description of the “deer” moving to the sea and onto the islands, we can assume means all three species.

In the second paragraph, take notice that the author describes the wolves he finds in Maine to be different from those he’s familiar with in other countries. We know not specifically what “other countries” the author is speaking, but he notes that, to his knowledge, he knows of no incidences in Maine were any human has been attacked by wolves.

It may be reasonable to conclude that the author acknowledges there are wolf attacks on humans in other countries and probably numerous enough that it would give him reason to take notice of the differences.

Also described is the prey wolves seem to be more interested in at that time; swine, goats, calves, deer, etc., and yet points out they are not bothering the horses or cows. Again, can we conclude that the author assumes, from his own experiences that wolves regularly attack and kill horses and cows, “in other countries”?

What are the differences in the wolves that the author is noticing a distinct behavioral pattern from wolves of his past experiences? Size? Availability of prey? Availability of desired prey? From this entry we really can’t answer that question.

In the final paragraph, the author describes the wolves as being “killed daily” and having a bounty of some amount as well, but points out there is little danger of their “utter destruction”. Of interest to me was when the author tells that the wolves “be the greatest inconveniency the country hath, to private men in particular, and the whole country in general.” Also notice the author asks the question; “what great multitudes they [deer] would increase were it not for the common devourer, the wolf.”

In another portion of this book, a different writer describes Maine’s wolves as being timid and leery of humans. This should not come as a surprise, as history has taught us that any wild animal that is harassed by humans becomes more distrustful of them, making them quick to escape and more difficult for humans to spot. From that same history, we have learned that when people have no means of protection, i.e not allowed to have guns, and the animals are protected, large predators such as wolves soon learn there is little to fear from humans. This habituation can present serious problems for humans especially when wolf numbers continue to increase and the prey base vanishes. Hungry wolves need to eat.

As I continue through the book, over 500 pages, I hope to find other interesting pieces of discoveries to share.

The “Intellectual Rubbish” of “Ecosystems” and “Balance of Nature”

Today, we learned that Dr. Valerius Geist, a foremost wildlife scientist, “Denounced Ecosystem Management“. In his condemnation he described the belief in “Utopian philosophy of ecosystem perfection absent of all human activity” as “intellectual rubbish”. He also challenges, in a way, those not stricken with “intellectual laziness” to “Know the difference between positive and negative feed back, and you are on the way of understanding both homeostasis in individuals and stochastic non-determinism in ecosystems.”

I would like to take a layman’s stab at explaining about ecosystems and the myth of nature balancing itself. As with everything I write, I don’t ask readers to simply believe what I write but to do some research and make their own determinations.

Of late, I have composed a couple articles in reference to “natural regulation, here and here. The theory of “natural regulation” can just as easily be described in the same fashion as Dr. Geist used above; “utopian philosophy of ecosystem perfection absent of all human activity.” Or, in words we can all understand – just leave it alone and let things go as they will.

Part of the problem is that all people have been subjected to the use of the word, “ecosystem” to describe a landscape where flora and fauna live together in perfect harmony. “Eco” being a hip word these days (I assumed derived from ecology) and the “system” I am willing to wager is very much misunderstood. Many people, if engaged in some kind of biology discussion, might think of a system as their own body; a composition of organs and tissues all working together, the result of which is a living, breathing and walking specimen of human being.

Unfortunately the “system” in ecosystem is only used as a means of classification, or dare I say, should be used in that way. Regardless, the term in and of itself is quite misleading.

Dr. Geist spoke of “know[ing] the difference between positive and negative feed back”. This information can easily be obtained by doing searches Online but perhaps it’s much easier to find than understand. As individual humans (animals), our system (body) works to maintain “homeostasis” – “to maintain internal stability, owing to the coordinated response of its parts to any situation or stimulus tending to disturb its normal condition or function”. The responses to those disturbances are what are known as “negative feedback loops“, working to reverse or negate those disturbances. Dr. Geist says this is why “individuals are individuals”, i.e. “because they are controlled by negative feed back – negative!“.

In the contrast, as is pointed out by Geist, groups of organisms living together, in what is now too commonly referred to as that somewhat mythical “ecosystem”, are “never controlled but instead are subjected to “whims and randomness of positive feed back”.

Positive feedback loops, logically would be the counterpart to negative feedback loops. In the positive feedback loop, the body senses changes or disturbances and reacts to actually speed up the change. Some examples of this in humans might be a heart attack, clotting of blood, or even labor pains.

Dr. Geist tells us that if we can gain a solid understanding of the differences between positive feedback loops and negative feedback loops, then we might better understand “both homeostasis in individuals and stochastic non-determinism in ecosystems”.

Stochastic as it would apply to our “ecosystems” involves “a random variable or variables“.

Our ecosystems, so used, is a conglomeration of organisms all subjected to the influences of random variables that are forever changing. Geist describes those random variables as: “whims and randomness of positive feed back.”

If in our minds we can envision that our world is comprised of multiple pockets of habitat of varying sizes, each abutting and/or overlapping, or even standing apart, comprised of diverse species of plant and animals (including man) and all being subjected to random variables, it becomes much more difficult to seriously give credit to a “balance of nature”.

Dr. Valerius Geist: “…….Because the Coyote is Coming”

American Hunter magazine has an article they published back in November of 2010 called, “How Coyotes Affect Deer Herds”. The article tells that 16 years ago, in 1994, Dr. Valerius Geist, while attending the annual Southeast Deer Study Group meeting in Charlottesville, Virginia, said the following as it pertained to a perceived “problem” among wildlife managers in dealing with too large populations of whitetail deer.

“Enjoy your problem while it lasts, because the coyote is coming. Once he’s here, you’ll miss your deer problems.”

Dr. Geist’s crystal ball was pretty clear back then, as today many of these same wildlife managers now have coyote problems.

Today, there are new studies ongoing and some of the preliminary data is not only impressive but revealing things about the coyote that confirms what some biologists have suspected for a long time and that seasoned outdoor sportsmen have been seeing for a long time – coyotes are having a much bigger affect on whitetail deer herds than imagined.

One area of study is pointing researchers to conclude that coyotes don’t just randomly take out a deer fawn when the opportunity might present itself. As a matter of fact, data suggest the coyote is studying and learning the habits of the deer and are specifically targeting them for lunch and dinner.

This can further be supported by the research that shows that in one area where coyotes and deer intermingle, 75% of the deer fawns died before they reached the age of six months. Of those 75%, 85% were killed by coyotes.

Despite the new research information, skeptics continue to cry for more time and more studies to support this. Who can blame them? They’ve had so much bad information drilled into their heads for so long, I guess it’s going to take a long time, perhaps even a miracle to get them to change their way of thinking.

So, is this new study suggesting that where there are coyotes all the deer will eventually vanish? I don’t think so but it does now present another management issue of predator control. Not in all regions but in those where there is a problem, again facing a seemingly insurmountable task of convincing wildlife managers a shortage of deer might be the result of too many predators.

What will it take to reach that point? Perhaps first, we need to work on educating people that over-protection of a predator such as a wolf or a coyote is not a good thing. It was in Hank Fischer’s book, “Wolf Wars“, where he quoted Dr. L. David Mech. Mech is a Senior Scientist with the Biological Resources Division, U.S. Geological Survey and an Adjunct Professor in the Department of Fisheries, Wildlife and Conservation Biology, and Ecology, Evolution and Behavior at the University of Minnesota, and considered by many to be the foremost authority of wolf behavior.

“The wolf’s repopulation of the northern parts of the lower forty-eight states . . . will stand as one of the primary conservation achievements of the twentieth century. Society will have come full circle and corrected its grave overreaction to its main mammalian competitor. Maybe not quite full circle. If we have learned anything from this ordeal, it is that the best way to ensure continued wolf survival is, ironically enough, not to protect wolves completely. If we carefully regulate wolf populations instead of overprotecting them, we can prevent a second wave of wolf hysteria, a backlash that could lead once again to persecution.”

Even Dr. Mech understood the many facets of the over-protection of wolves, including the one that much of the Northern Rockies is experiencing of a backlash of citizens wanting the wolf killed off. This, of course, the consequence of over-protection.

It would seem to make sense that where over-protection of one species, such as the wolf or coyote, is bad, so it goes with all predators and species. For Mech to suggest that over-protection of predators will ultimately harm the species, it would seem he would then have to disagree with the notion that wildlife is self regulating.

There’s a huge divide here that needs to be crossed. We need predator control and to accomplish that, it seems one object in the way is protection of species beyond what is good socially and scientifically. None of this consequently matters if we cannot successfully dispel the myth that nature will balance itself out.

Nothing short of a miracle is needed here.

Tom Remington