May 25, 2019

Denial of Bear Behavior

In an article in the Bangor Daily News, a writer tells of how one area of Maine has become a hot spot for Spring bear encounters as the bears search for food after a long winter of prolonged diet.

Unfortunately, ignorance of bear behavior places people in danger of more serious encounters or attacks by hungry bears. The article states: “I don’t feel threatened by him, but I would not go out and try to pet him, no. We both respect him. You have to respect them and keep your distance. I have had so many people tell me that he will come through your door, he will come through your windows, but we use common sense, too. We don’t treat them like pets.”

The first thing to understand is that a hungry bear doesn’t much care about how you feel about them. Becoming acclimated to a source of food outside your house, means the next step will be to get a taste of some of that savory smelling foods from inside. Bears will easily go through screen windows and break doors and bust up glass if they are intent on the food inside. When they decide to do that, I hope the bears only go after the good smelling food and not the humans in the house.

I guess it’s some sort of human gesture to say you “respect” the bears, use “common sense” and “don’t treat them like pets.” But seriously, do you think a bear has the reasoning powers to understand that you respect them and are using common sense? It might sound like a good explanation for bad behavior but a hungry bear isn’t interested in your feelings toward them.

And on another note, when will writers stop insisting that bear attacks are rare? Rare as compared to what? Feeding bears out your back door causes the risk of a bear attack to go up exponentially and therefore the event is far from rare.

Every time a writer or a wildlife biologist suggests that bear attacks are rare, the signal is sent out that there is little to be concerned with. What should be of concern is someone feeding bears in their backyard, believing the chances of something happening as “rare” while having “respect,” “using common sense,” and “not treating them like pets.” Rare is gone out the window.

To feed bears, as pets, and then state that they don’t treat them as pets, shows the ignorance that will, eventually, land them in trouble. I hope it is not serious when it happens.

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Maine Spring Bear Hunt: “Sensible Wildlife Methodology”

It is a rare thing these days to read articles published by outdoor writers who do not necessarily shy aware from approaching wildlife management from a position of sense and sensibility, while at the same time promoting a proven scientific method of doing so, discarding fear and trembling from Environmentalism’s threats of lawsuits and their totalitarian desires to force all others to their perverted lifestyles.

V. Paul Reynolds, former information officer for the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife (MDIFW), editor of the Northwoods Sporting Journal, and radio host of “Maine Outdoors,” discusses a possible spring bear hunt for the State of Maine.

In his last paragraph he writes: “Maine bear biologists are advocating for a spring bear hunt as a way to better manage our state bear population. To shy away from this sensible wildlife methodology simply out of political concerns would be demonstrating a lack of moral courage and represent a compromising rebuke of state wildlife biologists, the professionals we depend upon to scientifically manage our wildlife.” (emboldening added)

Operating from a position of fear from lawsuits and social demands is a sure formula for the destruction of any fish and game management department. Wildlife management is and should be a methodology of proven scientific approach with consideration given to public safety; never making decisions based on politics.

The only hope left for the salvation of our once valued fish and game heritage is a return to the same proven methods.

The MDIFW and the Maine Legislature have shied away from making any bear management decisions based on the need to better control the bear population more out of concern for lawsuits from the animal rights groups and environmentalists than a scientific approach. As they dither and doddle a public safety issue grows more intense and there should be concern for the health of the animal as well.

I implore the MDIFW and the Maine Legislature to cast aside the social demands and threats from lawsuits and do what is right…for a change. It’s time to get serious about responsible wildlife management before such negligence casts a dark shadow over innocents.

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Too Many Bears, Too Little Effort, Too Much Fear

Rome may be burning to the ground and those charged with the authority to stop it dither and doddle. Maine is swimming in bears and even though the Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife (MDIFW) expresses their “concerns” over a bear population that needs to be reduced, one effort that would have given the commission of the MDIFW authority to make adjustments to bear hunting, trapping seasons, and bag limits, was set aside until next year’s legislative session. I wonder if these clowns on the left and clowns on the right will feel any guilt when someone gets killed by a hungry bear?

Not likely, you might say. And last evening I glimpsed a video someone took while riding up the chair lift at Sunday River Ski Resort in Newry, Maine. On the ski trail that ran under their lift, a mother bear and her two cubs meandered about the packed trail, I suppose fresh out of hibernation and looking for a quick meal. Anyone interested in testing that hypothesis? I didn’t think so.

Perhaps it’s time for education courses on how to “Look Big” in case you are attacked by a hungry bear. And now we must add to that instruction now to “Look Big” while schussing down the ski trails. What next?

According to George Smith, Maine outdoor writer, discussion on the proposed bill that would have given the commissioner authority to manipulate seasons and bag limits, was lengthy but ended in tabling any decisions until next year.

MDIFW’s new commissioner said, “…the agency is concerned about the growing population of bears, and their goal would be to stabilize that population.” We can only assume that means it’s time to do something besides talk about it…or maybe not. If there is “concern” does that mean the bear population hasn’t risen to levels that threaten public safety…like bears running around the middle of a ski resort?

And here’s the chicken, environmentalist answer to the problem when Maine Rep. John Martin said, “…if the committee gave the department this authority, including the possibility that bear trapping would be expanded, it would provoke another ballot measure to ban bear trapping.”

With comments such as this one, I have to ask myself a few questions and I hope you do too. I want to know if members of the Committee on Inland Fisheries and Wildlife are there to do the bidding for the environmentalists and their cohort animal rights activists? I also want to know if there is more value put on the threatening of lawsuits than on the welfare of a human life? There is no intelligent thought that remains anymore.

By now any politician, voter, or commissioner of the MDIFW should know and understand that because they exist is reason enough for radical animal rights groups and environmentalists to bring a lawsuit in order to force the rest of us to cave in and follow their perverse lifestyle. Here we see members of the Committee giving them what they want and it’s cheaper than a lawsuit or another referendum vote. It is for reasons of comments such as this one that the MDIFW has resorted to making wildlife management decisions based on social demands…which include the threat of lawsuits.

In the meantime, what are we to tell the families of those who get injured or killed from marauding bears, driven by hunger and emboldened by loss of fear of humans? Sorry, but we were afraid of a lawsuit from environmentalists. It’s not my fault.

Now the Maine Legislature must concern themselves with lawsuits from families of injured and dead members due to malpractice and negligence. I suppose that’s better than pissing off an environmentalist who wants to stop the world from doing most things the rest of us enjoy doing. It’s no wonder interest in hunting, fishing, and trapping is dwindling away to nothing.

Maybe it’s time that these mostly useless politicians made decisions based on science (not scientism), or social demands and threats of lawsuits, and did what was RIGHT for a change. And while they are at it, how about making those RIGHT decisions based upon something other than the demands of guides and outfitters.

There is little hope.

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Contracting With Incompetents For Bear Management

I was reading testimony provided by the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife (MDIFW) on proposed legislation LD 1118, a bill that would give the commissioner authority to manipulate bear hunting/trapping rules in order to better manage the growth of black bears in certain areas.

In that testimony, MDIFW wrote: “…are contracting with Cornell University to develop a new population model for bears…”

This all sounds innocent enough and perhaps even a good thing that MDIFW would reach out to higher institutes of “learning” (cough, cough) until you consider just who it is they are reaching out to (contracting) and their track record of doing some really damned stupid things when it comes to biological manipulations to control the growth of deer in certain places.

First consider their demise when Cornell University attempted to control the deer population on the campus and adjacent university property. This all began when the university, or at least the mental midgets in charge of whatever it was they thought they were going to do, promoted the belief that deer are possessed with “reproductive health is a cervine right.”

Yeah, I know. Where once anyone would and should be the laughing stock of the world to suggest that animals should have the same rights as people. What’s even more bizarre is that while delusional people are bestowing human rights on animals, they are working feverishly to take away human rights. Does that make sense to you?

So, Cornell, in their infinite wisdom (add a chuckle or two here), bestowing reproductive rights on deer, decided to gather up all the female deer on the campus and give them all a “tubal ligation,” i.e. get their tubes tied.

Evidently, to the brainless wonders of higher environmental indoctrination, they didn’t realize that a tubal ligation would do little to stop the female deer from entering estrus (a condition that indicates to every male deer within smelling distance a deer is ready to be bred). A female deer will essentially remain in heat until conception is completed. As a result, the attempt to reduce the deer population ended up increasing due to the mass migration of bucks to the campus, in much the same way as men show up in masses at a all women college.

Having learned absolutely nothing (or any misguided individual might think more reproductive rights need to be administered), Cornell decided to try a different approach on Staten Island. Here, the University coughed up $3.3 million dollars to give all the male deer (their turn this time around) a vasectomy.

With all the male deer having been denied their real reproductive rights, as were the female deer from the previous malpractice, they could never complete conception of the hundreds of does in heat. In a previous report on this event, I considered the fact that the male deer on Staten Island might all drop dead from….uh…well, you might get the picture? I hope.

So, these are the trials and tribulations of attempts at wildlife management from one of this country’s more prestigious learning institutions and now the MDIFW has contracted with them in developing a “new population model for bears.” If things go according to historic disasters, perhaps Maine can look forward to ten times the number of bears they have now. Or, perhaps within this “model” Cornell can devise a way so that bears won’t hibernate.

Don’t bears have the right to be awake year round? Sleeping through added reproduction periods might be considered a denial of rights.

I hope the MDIFW knows what they are doing…er…uh…or something.

And who is paying these clowns and at what expense?

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Progress On Maine Bear Bill LD1118

WildWatchMaine (WWM), an obviously dishonest “animal advocate” organization that opposes any hunting, trapping, and fishing legislation, is once again appealing for your MONEY to fight LD1118, a proposed bill that would give the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife (MDIFW) commissioner authority to manipulate bear hunting/trapping seasons as those adjustments become necessary (in the opinion of the commissioner) to meet management goals.

This is how WWM worded their appeal for money: “This is the bill we OPPOSE for many reasons, not the least of which is that it would EXTEND THE BEAR TRAPPING SEASON…to nearly 20 weeks.”

This is NOT what LD1118 would do if it should pass the Maine Legislature. LD1118 says, “The commissioner shall by rule establish a bear trapping season beginning no earlier than August 1st and ending no later than December 15th annually.”

Conveniently, and dishonestly in my opinion, left out of the WWM’s appeal for MONEY is the Part A and Part B of the bill proposal: “A. The commissioner may shorten the open season on bear trapping in any part of the State as long as: (1) The demarcation of the areas with a shortened season follows recognizable physical boundaries such as rivers and railroad rights-of-way; and
(2) The decision is made and published prior to February 1st of any year.
B. The commissioner may terminate the open season on bear trapping at any time in any part of the State if, in the commissioner’s opinion, an immediate emergency action is necessary due to adverse weather conditions or severe hunting or trapping pressure.”

Don’t be fooled by dishonest anti-hunting groups who are, first and foremost, after your MONEY, and secondly, whose only intention is to stop hunting and trapping. This bill DOES NOT lengthen the season on bear for hunting or trapping. What it does do is give authority to the MDIFW Commissioner to adjust the length of those seasons pursuant to the needs of established management goals.

Also don’t be fooled by this bill proposal in that this bill gives the authority to the commissioner to shut down all bear hunting, baiting, trapping, etc. at the discretion of that commissioner. Hmmmm!

It is vitally important to understand who and how we are being screwed over by Environmental groups and government. Support or oppose this bill as you wish but understand the truth before you do.

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Maine Bill Proposal Would Provide Authority to Commissioner to Manipulate Bear Hunting/Trapping Seasons and Bag Limits

Maine bill proposal LD 1118 is a provision that grants authority to the commissioner of the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife power to set and manipulate bear hunting and trapping seasons according to the management needs Wildlife Management Districts (WMD). Contrary to the misleading information being spread around by some anti-hunting groups, LD 1118 is NOT a bill that necessarily lengthens a bear season nor does it necessarily increase the seasonal bag limit.

According to the WildWatch Maine FARCEbook page, they are misleading their readers by presenting information contained in this bill proposal that simply is not necessarily true. The information is being presented as though this bill establishes a bear hunting season that begins August 1st and ends December 31st. The actual bill proposal amendment reads: “The commissioner shall by rule establish a bear hunting season beginning no earlier than August 1st and ending no later than December 15th annually.” Nothing more…nothing less. This simply authorizes the MDIFW commissioner flexibility to be able to adjust seasons according to management needs established under the reigning commissioner’s administration – whatever those needs might be perceived as.

Absent from the hunting haters’ misrepresentation is that this new authority given the commissioner also hands over the power to control how, if, and when bait can be used for bear hunting. This authority provides the commissioner the means to end bear baiting. Think about that for a moment.

About the only thing the group relayed that was completely accurate is that the license fees for bear hunting would be reduced.

Some might automatically assume that hunters would be eager to support this bill proposal. Not necessarily. I personally think that the MDIFW should make changes to all hunting, trapping, and fishing rules and regulations as they become necessary for the proper scientific management and control of all game species. I am not keen on handing over a blank, signed check of authority to any commissioner. This may be giving this unelected official too much power and control over the legislative mandate to provide a harvestable resource.

It has always been my bone of contention that use of the term “opportunity” when it comes to hunting, trapping, and fishing is not much for giving anyone any sort of real assurance that there will ever be sufficient game to hunt or fish. It merely provides “opportunity.”

With power given to the MDIFW commissioner, in the wrong hands harvest may become a thing of the past with emphasis put more on opportunity.

Before you support or reject LD 1118, please take 10 minutes out of your life to read the proposal and try to think beyond the moment and consider possibilities and potential abuses that might happen. Remember also, you and I did NOT vote for the commissioner. Do you want that position to have that much power?

Maybe, or maybe not!

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Maine’s New Commissioner Intends to Recruit New Hunters, Anglers

In a Sun Journal article about Maine’s new commissioner of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife (sorry, at this time the link in Google search is no good. Perhaps at a later time if you search “Meet the New Wildlife Boss: Judy Camuso” you will have better luck.), it is stated about Camuso that, “Her top goals are to recruit new people into the agency with the “Citizen Science Program,” recruit more hunters and anglers, and improve communication with the public about how they can participate in outdoor programs.” (emboldening added)

According to the latest report from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the number of hunters and fishermen has seriously declined. From a high of 14.1 million hunters nationwide, that number is now down to 11.1 million.

According to this latest survey and previous ones, some of the major factors that have caused a drop in participation are, land access reductions, available time to hunt and fish, and opposition from environmentalists who oppose hunting and fishing.

I should like to take a moment and point out that although the same survey shows an increase in “wildlife watching” the numbers are misleading if not downright dishonest. Let me simply state that any hunter or fisherman is automatically labeled as a wildlife watcher whether that was their intent or not. So the numbers presented are not an exact representation of the number of people who purposely set out to “wildlife watch.”

If it is a top priority of Commissioner Camuso to recruit more hunters and fishermen, she has a monumental task before her. It has often been stated that although there may be somewhere around 10% of the nationwide population who hunt and fish, an overwhelming majority of people support hunting and fishing as part of a viable wildlife management program. Sadly, that support is dwindling.

One has to wonder what, exactly, can Camuso do to recruit sportsmen, when so many things are now stacked against such an attempt.

If land access is a big wall of prevention, what can the commissioner do to convince land owners to “tear down that wall?” Are there incentives worth pursuing that would prompt a landowner to offer access to their land for hunting and fishing? Some have tried. Few have succeeded. Are there fresh, new approaches to this dilemma? Maybe she has ideas that will work. Let’s hope.

I’m not sure how a wildlife commissioner would approach the problem of sportsmen claiming they don’t have time to hunt and fish like they used to or would like to. Economics is the driver of many things and when a person has to work to make ends meet, how do you convince them that they need to take the time off work to hunt and/or fish?

Perhaps the lack of motivation to take some time off is prompted by lousy hunting and fishing as well as a tiring of the opposition Maine has faced often in recent years from environmentalists and animal rights activists willing to spend millions of dollars to put an end to hunting and fishing. This all tends to spell more doom than encourage more participation.

Which brings me to the third part in this discussion. It would seem to me that if Maine could do a better job at providing bountiful game populations, mainly deer, recruiting would be easier. Deer hunting is really the cash cow but you wouldn’t know if from past management practices and the politics behind them. However, try as they may, the deck is stacked against such an approach.

With the exception of deer, Maine has an abundant bear population that needs to be better controlled. The turkey population is near out of control, judging by the number of landowner complaints and the visual of seeing turkeys overrunning peoples’ property. Moose have always been a favorite of both hunters and wildlife watchers, but managers don’t seem to understand the balance between a healthy moose population, void of deadly winter ticks, and the cash cow that comes from a moose lottery and moose gawking.

So generally speaking, Maine has an abundance of bear, turkey, and moose and yet there is a need for hunters to take this game but few are willing. Why? I hope Camuso has some answers. History shows us that public support is lost when that public sees these valuable game species as nothing but nuisances.

It would seem plausible to me that with so much game (not considering the deer) that’s one deterrent not missing and that the Department should be doing more to get hunters in pursuit. So far nothing has worked. Does Camuso have something up her sleeves? Let’s hope so.

I believe the biggest obstacle is the opposition that exists in this modern culture that have their ideas about animals out of skew. This includes some of the employees at MDIFW. While this opposition may not be that large in numbers – but those numbers are growing – they are well-funded and very vocal. Ongoing threats of lawsuits dampens the courage of any new commissioner regardless of their intentions.

Note: Camuso mentions that several in her department will be retiring and she will have jobs to fill. If she is serious about recruiting, she should make sure those that are hired are not environmental activists anchored in animal rights; that they are believers in the North American Model of Wildlife Management and that hunting, fishing, and trapping are integral and necessary parts of the management policy. It’s time to weed out those more interested in the rights of animals and their protection against hunting and fishing.

How do you curb these threats of lawsuits and do what you know is the right and scientific thing in a wildlife management plan?

The Maine Legislature stopped a recent bill that would have provided hunters with a chance to hunt bear in the Spring. When will the MDIFW stop caving in to the demands (always, always, always) of the Maine Guides Association and do what is scientifically right instead of what is politically best? And while I’m on this discussion, when will MDIFW stop attempting to responsibly manage wildlife when all decisions are too heavily influenced by social demands void of sound science?

Judy Camuso probably has great intentions when she says she wants to recruit more hunters and fishermen. If she is sincere about this and determined enough, there has to first be management changes within the department. Is she prepared to do that? Can she? Maybe?

During the latest anti-bear referendum, we got to see Camuso in action, working for the MDIFW, convincing the Maine population that baiting bear was a necessary part of bear management. It was a great job done and perhaps the one act in many years that gave hunters hope that proper and necessary management took a front seat to the demands of environmentalism. That act probably did more to save, or perhaps recruit, more hunters than anything else the department has done in many years.

Is there more where that came from? Was Judy Camuso’s actions at that time driven by her own perspective of things or was she just following orders from then commissioner Chandler Woodcock? I think we are going to find out…or at least I hope so and the sooner the better.

The new commissioner should take immediate action to save the hunters and anglers Maine already has and then head down that road that will actually recruit more of them.

A monumental task and good luck.

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Maine Leg. Committee Up and Down of Bill Votes

I recently wrote of the Maine Legislative Joint Standing Committee on Inland Fisheries and Wildlife’s unanimous vote of “ought not to pass” on a bill that would have allowed for a Spring bear hunt. The JSC has been up to more tricks.

In a bill (LD27) that will allow the use of crossbows during the bowhunting season on deer was unanimously approved. The Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife’s (MDIFW) commissioner, Judy Camuso, argued in favor of the crossbow use and even supported its use for turkey hunting. The JSC did not vote on such a move.

LD 79 is a bill that would grandfather any shooting range that existed before a recent bill banning shooting ranges within 100 yards of any building. The JSC was unanimous in its recommendation to pass.

A bill (LD 490) to expand the trapping season up to 21 days also passed the committee, while a bill (LD 525) to raise the registration fee for snowmobiles failed.

Next week the committee will vote on a brand new proposal from the Humane Society of the United States that would require all female bears to report to MDIFW headquarters in Augusta to receive the yearly supply of birth control pills. Bears wishing to avoid ingestion of chemicals can option for an IUD. (This is a joke. Ha Ha)

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Maine Leg. Committee Nixes Bill for Spring Bear Hunt

The Maine Joint Standing Committee for Inland Fisheries and Wildlife voted 9-0 that a bill to allow for a Spring bear hunt “ought not to pass.” (Note: 4 members of the committee were absent. Were they out hunting piping plovers?)

Okay, so now we know that the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife (MDIFW) opposes a Spring bear hunt. Does MDIFW oppose that bear hunt because the Maine Guides Association is telling them to oppose it? Hmmmm.

So, what is the MDIFW going to do? Sounding like a broken record, they keep telling us that more bears need to be taken during bear hunting season to mitigate the growth of the animals that are presenting more and more public safety issues each year. And yet, there appears to be little MDIFW is willing to do to solve the problem. Maybe if they wait long enough, Global Warming will take care of the bears.

Who knows?

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Brainwashing the Cause of Loss of Youth Hunters

This morning I was reading an article in the Portland (Maine) Press Herald about the woes of the loss of youth to the activity of hunting, specifically the reduction of license sales.

Bills are being proposed to mitigate some of that loss including increasing the Youth Hunting Day from one to three days and one bill proposed to create a turkey hunting season for youth around Thanksgiving. Maybe more effort should be given to coordinate hunting seasons for youth that line up with school vacations and/teacher workshop days.

It seems that these proposed bills are coming from young people who already enjoy hunting and are looking for more opportunities designed exclusively for youth hunters under the age of 16. Not that these proposals and ideas are bad, but are such acts targeting the non hunters? I don’t think so.

To interest a new, let’s say Middle School-aged person, to hunt, shouldn’t we at least be attempting to devise ways of generating interest where there is none?

If you might agree that there is no interest and nothing being done to change that dilemma, then the question might become why can’t this be done?

I think the explanation is quite simple. It’s because our schools, media, etc. have successfully brainwashed the masses to view animals as creatures of intelligence, feelings, love, and should be bestowed the same rights, or more, as humans. When you combine this with a fish and wildlife department trained in the same indoctrination factories, what hope is there?

Yes, there is no doubting that the youth of today sometimes more resemble zombies with their noses pressed firmly to anything electronic. This is by design. What better way to control the future of our world than to completely manipulate the minds of the youth through music, cellphones, and all electronic gadgets that have been designed to target and control?

Efforts underway to recruit more youth hunters might collect a stray here and there but until such time as we put a stop to the ongoing indoctrination and brainwashing of our children, nothing will get better and much will get worse.

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