May 19, 2019

Open Thread – February 4, 2012

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Will He Fish?

Will he fish? If he feels like fishing, he’ll fish.


Photo by Al Remington

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Random Thoughts/Comments: Lewis & Clark, Dog Wagging, Pond Scum, Unemployment, Global Cooling

I was rereading through the journals and history of the Lewis and Clark Expeditions. When Lewis and Clark had essentially traveled upstream of the Missouri River to a point they could no longer go by boats, they had yet to meet up with the Shoshoni Indians. While the bulk of the expedition troop camped at “the forks”, I believe it was Lewis, with a small contingency of men, set out to meet up with the natives.

Of course they did find them and an interesting part I was reading was about how the Shoshonis devoured meat from deer and elk that the hunters of the L&C expedition provided for them. They devoured most everything in rapid fashion, including entrails, and didn’t bother to take the time to cook it. Yum!

What I discovered as I read on was that where the Shoshonis had decided to spend their summers was buried deep in the mountains in areas where there was little to eat, i.e. deer, elk, moose or any kind of wild animal to speak of. They mostly tried to subsist on fish and salmon from streams that were mostly part of the Columbia River watershed – obviously they had crossed the Continental Divide by this time.

Essentially, when Lewis and Clark found them, while not starving to death, they certainly were far from being well nourished. But there was a reason they hid out in the mountains. They feared the Minnetaree Indians. They had warred with them over the years and suffered greatly as a tribe. It was only during winter when the Shoshonis moved down out of the mountains nearer where the buffalo roamed.

The Lewis and Clark Expedition spent a fair amount of time around where the Shoshonis hung out and day after day, L&C sent their hunters out for food and came back empty handed. At times they had to dig into their “emergency” supplies of dried foods. They finally had to move out of this area and at the same time send the hunters far away from camp to find food. Interesting. Later events recall serious issues with finding food.

One has to wonder if perhaps there is a bit of tail wagging the dog going on in the world or at least a lot of posturing that has people in a stir. My brother readily uses the analogy of “watching the hand”. He illustrates by overtly waving one of his hands in my face while hiding the other behind his back. The intent is to get you to pay attention to the waving hand in front of your face while the other hand does something deceptive that he doesn’t want you to know about.

Well, there’s an awful lot of hand waving with attempts at getting people to have a look at all the commotion, but what is really going on? Is this clamor a diversion away from events at home while in the middle of a republican presidential primary? Or perhaps it’s deflecting attention toward Iran and Israel in order to be drawn away from some other sinister event.

Everything happens for a reason and the other day when Defense Secretary Leon Panetta announced troop withdrawal from Afghanistan one year early, there had to be a reason other than “gee I thought it would be cool”.

Today, the chatter is about Israel may attack Iran in the spring. Some reports seem to not be discussing if but when.

Keep an eye on the hand but don’t take your eye off the other hand either. Something is working out of our sight.

Professional sports has sunk to such a disgusting level that even so-called sports reporters can find nothing more to talk about for the upcoming Super Bowl than to call Tom Brady childish names while picking on his wife and revealing an email she sent to close friends and family. What a slime ball this reporter is. And I think Mrs. Brady better reexamine here “close” friends and “family” and see who was dumb enough to share the email.

I forget who the genius political pundit was who warned us all that leading up to the election the Obama Administration would play games with the unemployment rate so things wouldn’t look so bad. While it is a good thing that supposedly 243,000 people got jobs last month, it’s not a good thing that over 2 million people have just disappeared off the jobless radar – they’ve either given up trying to find a job, or perhaps went to work on their own, etc. Regardless, they are off the unemployment rolls and therefore no longer counted. At this rate by November unemployment numbers should be down to 7% and still the same millions of Americans not working.

Now that only a handful of brainwashed global warming cultist still cling to the lies that the earth is warming, I was hopeful. I was actually look forward to some global warming. Less severe winters, better crop production, lower heating costs, etc. However, now we are being told we are heading into a global cooling trend. I think it’s deja vu all over again.

Tom Remington

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Open Thread – February 3, 2012

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

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Maine Hunters Funding Efforts to Provide Moose Watching For Tourists

George Smith, former executive director for the Sportsman’s Alliance of Maine, and current free-lance writer who covers many of Maine’s outdoor issues, filed a report on his blog yesterday about activities that took place at the meeting of the Joint Committee on Inland Fisheries and Wildlife.

Part of Smith’s article included a report on moose by Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife’s (MDIFW), Lee Kantar, head deer and moose biologist.

Kantar claimed that Maine would be leading the nation in moose research and management and described new research initiatives, including surveys using Maine Forest Service helicopters and pilots………………..

“We’ve gone a long way… but it’s limited,” acknowledged Kantar. When asked by Rep. Jane Eberle how many moose we have, Kantar said he couldn’t answer that question definitively. But he did provide an estimate of 75,000 moose, a very high number that will embolden those calling for more hunting permits. Kantar warned against that, noting the importance of balancing all demands for moose from tourism to hunting.

There are a couple things to note in this information. If Kantar says he “estimates” 75,000, historically all wildlife biologists low ball estimates. So how many moose does Maine really have? 100,000? Regardless, at the rate the state is going the moose herd will soon outnumber the deer herd.

Which brings me to another point to be made. Yesterday I reported on efforts by the State of Maine to make the Moose Lottery more fair. In that article I suggested the idea of a mocked down version of the current “Any-Deer Permit” system, the only deer management policy the state employs. The question now becomes one of asking if a continued deer hunt in a shrinking deer herd is good enough for deer management, shouldn’t a short moose hunting season be good enough for moose management?

But the issue I wanted to point out is what is wrong with wildlife management today. Mr. Kantar states that Maine needs to be careful about killing more moose because it might mess with the “balancing all demands for moose from tourism to…..” Where is the science in that? Why are my license fees being used to provide moose watching opportunities while limiting my opportunities to hunt the game species I’m investing in? Maine is trying to generate tax revenue through tourism out of the wallets of the outdoor sportsmen. Where will it all end? It all makes me very ill!

Also consider how Maine’s game management, if you want to call it that, has changed over the years. What once was a deer hunting mecca, the Great North Woods of Maine, has now become a paradise for providing moose for tourists to look at and putting video cameras in bear dens, how cute, which no doubt will result in more demands by environmentalists and animal rights advocates to stop hunting and killing black bears and moose.

Below is a “Metamorphosis Part I and Part II” of a Maine Deer Biologist as compiled by contributor Richard Paradis of Maine. Maybe, just maybe, this closer resembles reality than tongue in cheek and also consider the prophetic claims, laced with environmental truths of today.

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Alaska Bald Eagle Bookends


Photo by Al Remington

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Open Thread – February 2, 2012

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

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Bill Whittle: The Vote Pump

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Alert: Gangs “Tagging” Gun Owners

I haven’t verified this but thought it should be posted anyway as a precaution.

Warning: Tagging Gun Owners

Posted on January 4, 2012 by Georgetown PD
Gun lovers public service announcement:

While I was in a Texas gun store today, my car was tagged on the wheel in the parking lot. The gangs do this on wheels or bumpers at gun stores, shooting ranges, gun shows etc. Later when you are parked at a restaurant, hotel, or other location that’s less well guarded or not under video surveillance, other gang members spot the marker and break into the car for a quick gun grab.

This is so RAMPANT in San Antonio where we were for a National shoot this summer. The Sheriff of Bexar County came out to brief the 400 participants of our competition; too bad three teams had already been victimized the first day.

Daily, check you car, truck or motor home for unusual painted dots, marks, checkmarks or other strange looking symbols that are not normal to your vehicle; it could prevent you from being a victim of robbery, or even save your life if you catch the thief in the act.

This next comment from a gun site instructor:

I don’t know how widespread this is becoming, but the info regarding the NSCA Nationals in San Antonio is correct, as all of us who compete in sporting clays know. Competitors there were having their vehicles marked with a small adhesive dot on the rear license plate or rear bumper, then followed for miles and having their vehicles quickly and efficiently broken into when parked for lunch etc.

Some gang-crews were working the parking lot at the Nationals itself resulting in 27 high-end shotguns being taken there recently; they know when 1400 shooters, with high $$ competition guns are in town.

A young man, who was trying out a new gun at the Nationals, and his father lost all their guns and equipment while making a quick stop for lunch at a BBQ place in Corpus Christi the month before.

If this is happening in Texas then it is a pretty safe bet it’s happening all over the U.S.

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Maine’s 30-Year Moose Lottery Should No Longer Be Called a Lottery

Maine has made changes again this year to its moose lottery system that some are claiming will level the playing field so everyone wins, while others are calling the changes a short term gain resulting in a long time loss. However you look at it, the bitching will continue. It’s the nature of a lottery.

So what is a lottery by definition?

1. a gambling game or method of raising money, as for some public charitable purpose, in which a large number of tickets are sold and a drawing is held for certain prizes.
2. any scheme for the distribution of prizes by chance.
3. any happening or process that is or appears to be determined by chance: to look upon life as a lottery.

I think Maine’s Moose Lottery can fit into definition #1, as the lottery has been used by the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife (MDIFW) as a method of raising revenue for the department. However, I don’t think that “the distribution of prizes by chance” much applies any longer.

Since 1982, Maine has offered some form of a “lottery” in determining who gets to go on a moose hunt. For 2012 Maine will issue 3,840 permits to perhaps 40-50,000 applicants. At one point in time there were 95,000 applicants but that has since dropped to around 45,000.

That precipitous drop has puzzled MDIFW officials and Maine’s lawmakers as it appears they have no clear understanding of why. I’m sure it’s a combination of several things, i.e. wearing off of the newness, drop in interest due to many factors including many only want to try it once, dissatisfaction with the drawing process, cost, etc.

What is known about the lottery system is there’s a lot of complaining that goes on, especially from those who have never been drawn and/or see others having been selected by lottery several times and view the system as flawed or in some cases rigged. I have no reason to believe the system is intentionally rigged, but try telling that to the person who has applied for 30 years and not been drawn.

There is no solution to the perceived problems of the Moose Lottery. Most changes to the process usually only result in a slight shifting of where the complaints come from. Perhaps I can help to explain why there are difficulties.

The first and perhaps the biggest conundrum is that MDIFW tries to run the Moose Lottery as a revenue generator. We can’t blame them for that but doing so presents difficulties. One of those complications is that the moose population should be managed scientifically. Suppose management strategies are devised through processing collected data to determine information about the moose herd. Biologists then can recommend which Wildlife Management Districts (WMD) should harvest what sex and quantity of each. Thus, the issuance of permits by sex for each of the WMDs that allow a moose hunt.

Even though some of us might think using science to determine harvest requirements would be the difficult part of the equation, it isn’t. It’s the process of issuing the permits and keeping the masses happy.

In my mind, a true lottery would be an actual one chance, random draw, some win, some lose. I’m not a statistician but I’m wondering, in theory, if 40,000 people each bought one chance at a moose lottery and the same 40,000 people bought one chance for 30 consecutive years, how many of those 40,000 would never have been drawn a winner and conversely how many win more than once? Would the results be representative of what Maine’s Moose Lottery results look like now?

A straight up lottery wasn’t satisfactory and so changes began to unfurl and now the lottery more resembles a system of equitable redistribution than a “distribution of prizes by chance”.

Is it the responsibility of the MDIFW to generate revenue or provide hunting opportunities for all license buyers? Ask 50 hunters that question and you’ll get a divided response and 50 different explanations to support their claims.

If it is MFIDW’s job to make money, then we should just allow MDIFW to conduct a lottery for a moose hunt in the best way that will generate the most money. Perhaps auctioning off the 3,840 permits to the highest 3,840 bidders would pad the coffers nicely……..well, at least for awhile.

If it’s MDIFW’s job to ensure that Maine license hunters all get a chance to hunt a moose then the lottery system should be abandoned altogether. Either concoct some mocked down version of an “Any-Deer Permit” where all licensed hunters have a season, albeit a short one, or establish as simple as can be done a rotation method of selection. I’ll spare you the details.

The changes to the lottery are an attempt to approach equity in the system. In other words, to reduce the number (and I don’t know what that number is) of people who have never been drawn for a permit. This is what is being perceived as the driving force toward justice. The question I might ask is will the number of people who will be quieted by the resolve of their viewed unfairness be greater than those who will abandon the process altogether?

Which brings us to another problem with the Maine Moose Lottery – politics. Simply put, a grumbling and unhappy wannabe moose hunter is a potential new vote if some legislator somewhere can make them happy. Need I say more?

In a true lottery, where there will always be winners and losers and the losers, a percentage, will always complain, or a rotation device where everyone eventually gets a chance, will not stop the grieving. Griping is human nature but there might be less of it than what is being echoed now.

There are a lot of unanswered questions with the latest round of attempting to legislate fairness, most of which we won’t know the answers to until 5-10 years down the road, when the moaning and groaning begins to escalate once more.

Tom Remington

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