July 16, 2019

Maine Fish and Game Fixes Poorly Crafted 2011 Bear Harvest Report

A few days ago I posted an article about the 2011 Maine black bear harvest report from the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife (MDIFW). In that report I said, “In addition, the quality of the blurry post on the MDIFW website appears to be that of a second grader. Is it possible that someone’s dog ate their homework? Maybe MDIFW has spent so much money on non game programs and watching bears sleep in winter dens, they can no longer afford to post quality reports on their website? Should we expect the website to be taken down soon also?”

And yes, I was chastised, once again, by some who thought I was being too hard on the folks at MDIFW. Whether I was or wasn’t, it appears MDIFW agreed that the report lacked the quality typical of what you would find on the website. The blurry, gray and black report was removed and replaced with clear and sharp text and a dash of subtle coloring to assist in distinguishing between numbers, etc.

Thank you MDIFW for doing this and keep that dog away from your homework!

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Open Thread – August 15, 2012

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

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Maine Bear Biologist: Bears Kill As Many Deer Fawns as Coyotes; Not Opposed to Spring Hunt

V. Paul Reynolds interviewed Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife (MIDFW) biologist Randy Cross on his radio program on the Voice of Maine radio which airs Sunday nights at 7 p.m. (101.3 and 103.9 FM). Reynolds shares some of that interview in his weekly column.

There are two things in that interview that I would like to discuss just a bit. The first is Cross’ comment about whether black bears kill as many deer fawns as coyotes.

We are really not sure how much bear predation there is on deer. A Pennsylvania study suggested that there is a lot, but that state is not a valid comparison to Maine for a number of reasons. A New Brunswick study suggests that bear kill quite a few fawns, and it’s hard to deny that bears kill young deer. They are good at finding the most calories for the least effort. I’d say it is possible that bears in Maine take as many fawns as coyotes.

Cross seems willing to admit that it is “possible” that bears take as many fawns as coyotes. Perhaps they would actually know this if they used their management dollars for this purpose. This all may sound good to those of us hunters screaming for something serious to be done about predator protection that is resulting in the destruction of the deer herd in many places. However, it is difficult to understand the actual meaning of this comment as MDIFW has been reluctant to admit that coyotes have any substantial effect on the deer herd. If biologist Cross maintains the common notion, as MDIFW as a whole, that coyotes don’t really present a problem for the deer herd then one can just as easily assume his thoughts are that bears or any other predator doesn’t either.

The second issue concerns a spring bear hunting season.

I would not oppose a spring bear hunt. For a bear manager, a spring hunt can be a precise and powerful tool. Success rates are high ( in a spring hunt) and very predictable, unlike the fall bear harvest.

Anyone who is somebody knows there are way too many bears in Maine. Hunters have been asking nicely for a spring bear hunt for some time and seemingly falling on deaf ears. The numbers are there, Cross doesn’t oppose a hunt, therefore we should be able to conclude that it would be justified scientifically, or wouldn’t he have said so? Then the only stumbling block would be sociopolitical reasons. We know a certain amount of fear of being sued exists and the power that Maine guides have over MDIFW when it comes to seasons and bag limits is overwhelming.

It is time for Commissioner Woodcock to now take the lead and get Maine a spring bear hunt. It is scientifically necessary, particularly at a time when these large predators are preventing the rebuilding of a seriously diminished deer herd.

And while he’s at it, let’s increase the number of moose permits and get those numbers down to a better manageable number…..at least until the deer herd has recovered.

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Milt’s Corner – My Friendly (and hungry) Goose


Milt Inman Photo

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MDIFW: This Year’s Turkey Brood Survey in Full Swing

It’s that time of the year when turkeys are in the air and on fields and roads, exploring and looking for nuts, seeds and berries.

That makes this month the best time for the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife to conduct its annual Turkey Brood Survey, which can impact the hunting season.

“These counts are very important because it gives us an idea of how many poults, or baby turkeys, we have entering the population,” said Information and Education Biologist Ashley Malinowski. “We can use that information combined with harvest counts from the previous fall to monitor the population and aid in determining season dates and bag limits in the future.”

The count has been conducted annually in August by a band of loyal Department biologists, National Wild Turkey Federation members and citizens interested in assisting in the effort.

The count helps the Department track the hatch and builds an index into the annual productivity of Maine’s turkey population. Monitoring the population allows the Department to fine-tune wild turkey management, both in areas that already have a healthy, harvestable population and ones that have the potential for initial or additional hunting opportunities.

When considering whether to open an area to spring or fall turkey hunting, wildlife managers look closely at the August brood survey to determine the productivity of turkeys in that specific area.

From the count, biologists can determine how many turkey poults have survived to an age where they can be considered as contributing to the population.

Members of the public who are interested in participating in the count only need the ability to recognize a turkey and distinguish males from females and adults from poults.

When participants see a brood, they need to count all of the birds in a flock, determine how large the poults are in comparison with an adult, only count turkeys in the month of August and make sure not to count the same flock twice.

Participants can record their findings on a survey form available online. It’s also a great time to count for female deer and fawns too, which are both included on the same form.

“When members of the public tell us how many flocks they saw for the month and how many birds in each flock, that’s one less area our biologists have to spend resources to go out surveying,” Malinowski said. “It also allows us to get information from all over the state, including in places we may not travel regularly, but other people do. Citizen science, or studies in which the public’s information is called upon, is extremely important in a lot of biological surveys because any time you are counting things, the more eyes you have on the look-out, the better.”

To find a printable version of our August 2012 Turkey Sighting Report Form or to learn more about the Turkey Brood Count, go to http://www.maine.gov/ifw/hunting_trapping/hunting/turkey-broodsurvey_august.htm.

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Open Thread – August 14, 2012

Please use this open thread to post your ideas, comments and information about issues not relevant to the content of articles posted on this blog. Thank you.

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Where Once A Man’s Word Had Honor, Now Lies Have Become Truth

The dictionary defines a progressive as being someone who “favors progress or reform, especially in political matters”. Progress and reform are both gray issues; meaning there is no specific description of what each means. That in and of itself presents an array of troublesome quandaries that have led this fine nation into a spiraling abyss of immorality, or at least can be perceived by anyone maintaining some semblance of an honest and ethical lifestyle. One such example of “favors progress or reform”, in order to achieve a desired result, is lying. Where once a man’s word retained a wealth of value and was as good as good can get, now lying is not only prevalent but eagerly accepted among the masses of progressive, secular Americans. But why?

One of the things I managed to accomplish this summer while at my camp in the woods of Maine was to read. One particular book I read – one that I bought for .50 cents at the library book sale – was another in a growing collection of books I have about Abraham Lincoln, but in particular the conspiracy to assassinate him. The book is: “The True History of the Assassination of Abraham Lincoln and of the Conspiracy of 1865”. The content of the book is essentially the account as told by Louis J. Weichmann.

Weichmann was a friend of John H. Surratt and the Surratt family, including Mary Surratt. He also met and had relationships of varying degrees with many of the so-called conspirators, including John Wilkes Booth, in the killing of Abraham Lincoln and the attempted assassination of others. Because of this association, Weichmann was initially held by authorities as a possible conspirator but eventually much of his testimony was used to convict members of this group.

The book details the testimony and trial of the conspirators (all were charged and tried together). A few years after the initial trial, John H. Surratt was captured and tried and Weichmann details this as well.

Aside from the complicated mess of evidence, real and fabricated, it doesn’t take long to realize that the words and written testimony of those involved in the trial, are held in high esteem by both the author and the courts. Seldom was a person’s word brought into question unless it could be accurately proven to be a falsehood. Time was not wasted attempting to blur the evidence or present a person’s testimony as something it wasn’t in order to have influence over the jury. Words were either fact or fiction and if fiction you better have real proof. If it was proven a man lied, nothing that specific individual had to say or offer in the case had any value and was completely disregarded. Otherwise, a man’s word was seldom questioned as society still viewed a person’s word as something to honor and respect.

Can the same be said for today? We witness courtroom testimony and the words of witnesses, judges, lawyers, etc. and much of what they say, if not an outright lie, is misleading and meant to be so. Each side strives for a desired outcome and subjective morals and subjective truths are used in order to get there.

This is not relegated to just the courtrooms however. Take our media for example. Where once it was mostly taken as a “journalist’s” moral responsibility and obligation to tell only the facts as can be substantiated, now it’s more about ratings and who can be the first to tell a story about an event regardless of the accuracy of the content.

We Americans find ourselves once again mired in another presidential campaign, along with elections of certain member seats in the House and Senate. Honest and unbiased reasoning shows us there is little justification to trust a politician’s word about anything and yet as sure as flies are attracted to garbage, voters are drawn to the words, not perhaps because of the truths they may hold but for the want of what those recitations promise. We care not if anything uttered is truth, just that what they say images our desired subjective truths and morals. We are so fickle!

It is readily discussed these days, and surely who can argue, that what once was news is now entertainment. One coined word for this is “infotainment”. While it may be entertainment, and some members of this “news” entertainment might willingly agree to its description, it certainly is not presented to the masses of people as entertainment. Shouldn’t it be? Or has everything that involves truth and morality become subjective? Of course it has. American people take comedy and entertainment shows like The Daily Show with Jon Stewart or Colbert Nation with Stephen Colbert as legitimate news shows. We are so volatile!

At essentially every level of American society, progressiveness, i.e. the “development of an individual or society in a direction considered more beneficial than and superior to the previous level”, exists to some degree. We are all guilty. But what happens when one’s desires and idealism become the driving force in their life? To what lengths will they go and what conservative values are they willing to abandon in order to achieve that thought of as a, “superior level”?

None of this is new. This idea that morals and truth is subjective, meaning that one’s mind and thoughts can rightly justify the devaluing of objective truth, has been around in the minds of men for many centuries. Søren Aabye Kierkegaard, a Danish philosopher who died at age 42 and lived from 1813 – 1855, said: “…the thing is to find a truth which is true for me, to find the idea for which I can live and die.” He also was quoted as saying: “When he is nearest to being in two places at the same time he is in passion; but passion is momentary, and passion is also the highest expression of subjectivity.”

Because someone is passionate about what they might believe, say and do, this can justify subjective truth and the lack of adherence to a moral compass? Wasn’t it James Madison who said that the only way our founding Constitution and Bill of Rights would ever survive was if the nation maintained a moral backbone. It has not. As a matter of fact, the so-called progressives have managed to convince our American youth that the worship of God Almighty played no role in the construction of our constitution and thus the end result is a promotion of subjective morals and truth, leaving a nation lacking in leadership to seek Kierkegaard’s truth – that which is true to me.

When considering this kind of thought and the results of those thoughts, also acknowledge how this enters into the many debates that exist in this country that are “passionate” and often, if not always, embroiled in one’s subjective truth. In the work that I do, this is prevalent in the debates about wildlife management and the environment. Just pick a subject.

The Bible says in John 14:6, “I am the Way, the Truth and the Life. No man cometh unto the Father except through Me.” For those who still adhere to objective truth and morals, God told us in his Word, that He alone was the Truth. Man’s words therefore can only be held to account of the Word of God in seeking truth. When’s the last time that happened in this country?

For the secular minded, be it told that Nazi Germany based its “truth” to justify the murdering of innocent humans on Darwin’s principle of “survival of the fittest”, therefore discovering their Kierkegaard kind of truth in killing those they believed to be inferior human beings. They also relied on Friedrich Nietzsche’s belief that: “Since there is no God to will what is good, we must will our own good. And since there is no eternal value, we must will the eternal recurrence of the same state of affairs.”

Not that the United States has now become Nazi Germany but provided that this nation, including each of us as accountable individuals, as well as our governments, powerful media sources, non governmental agencies, etc., continues down this road of dissing the Truth of God’s word and seeking their own truth to fit their agendas and ideals, we can only expect to witness a more blatant and intended bunch of lies in order to accomplish our goals.

God’s word is Truth. Every moral compass of the world should point to the Truth. When it does not, the lies become commonplace and those creating and perpetuating those lies will have succeeded in convincing themselves that “their truth” is what works for them and therefore all others become the lies.

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Deer Infestation Problems? What the Heck is That?

An article in Bloomberg recently, lamented about the problems encountered by communities and individuals from having too many deer. Maine does not have that problem, with the exception of a few isolated areas in which hunting essentially is prohibited.

While the author bemoans the results of having too many deer around, even to the point of suggesting a resuscitation of “market hunting”, his blame that he puts on hunters, while partially accurate, needs a bit more of an explanation behind it.

The author claims that, “The hunters who are supposed to control the deer want to keep the numbers up so they have a better chance of shooting a buck. They support changes such as the New Jersey measure to allow bow hunting closer to houses, but they generally oppose efforts to reduce the deer population.”

First off, it’s not the responsibility of hunters solely to “control the deer”. Our money, in the implementation of the North American Model of Wildlife Management, is to be used for game and wildlife management utilizing proven and best scientific practices. The goal of which is a healthy forest. We don’t strictly “control” deer populations but that is just one part of a sought after deer management plan. The author fails to give credit where credit is due.

Secondly, a sweeping and broad statement that hunters only want to shoot bucks is a bit misleading. Studies still reveal that the majority of hunters would like to bring down that so-called “trophy” buck, they also realize the odds are seriously stacked against them and thus, as the season wears on, they are looking for meat to fill the freezer.

Third, to state that hunters, “generally oppose efforts to reduce the deer population”, cannot stand alone. Hunters are the first and best conservationists. This has been forgotten and intentionally so in recent years because of environmentalism and anti-hunting and animals rights activism. The problem that rears its head in deer population reduction comes from the influence of environmentalists, whose real goal is to end hunting and thus convince the masses that deer numbers need to be “about five [deer] per square mile”, as is stated in the article. This effort was attempted in Pennsylvania and created quite a stir. Hunters will protect their investment but most know when there are too many deer and are anxious to do something about it. The problems come because there are too many restrictions that prevent the killing of more deer during hunting seasons.

Therefore, most opposition that this author might be referring to coming from hunters that oppose the reduction of deer numbers, is in opposition to radical killing of deer disguised as an effort to save the forests and songbirds.

It’s also quite laughable that while some so-called environmentalists call for the radical reduction of deer numbers, the same ones oppose the reduction of any amount of large predators that are destroying other species, as is the case in Maine where coyotes, bears, bobcats, etc. are being protected while the deer herd disappears. Why is there a difference in species management?

What this all comes down to is wildlife and forest management based on agendas driven by huge sums of money as opposed to proven scientific methods.

When will we learn?

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Deer Crossing or Waiting for the Next Train Out of State?

Maine is struggling to revive a deer herd. One of many problems is that of overgrown populations of large predators, i.e. coyotes/wolves, bear, bobcat, lynx, etc. When I first saw this photo, sent to me by Gary Inman, I thought it funny for obvious reasons, but then I wondered if perhaps this deer was waiting for the next train in order to get out of state to a place she won’t be constantly tormented by large predators.


Gary Inman Photo

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Open Thread – August 13, 2012

Please use this open thread to post your ideas, information and comments about items not related to the content of articles posted on this blog. Thank you.

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