March 25, 2019

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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Advice and Suggestions to the Maine Department of Fish and Wildlife

A reader sent me a copy of the Maine Sportsman, specifically George Smith’s article about his “advise” to the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife (MDIFW). After reading it, I thought perhaps I would offer something similar. Sometimes I am accused of being only critical of the MDIFW seldom offering constructive criticism or even suggestions on better or different ways in which to do things.

Smith writes of the need to “unlock that door” that prohibits visitors access to the commissioner of the MDFIW. I understand the concept and how convenient it would be to just “drop in” someday and chat with the commissioner. I would like to think that the real situation playing at the offices of the MDIFW has more to do with security than a want to lock themselves up and separate them from the public. I might be wrong. We do live in a strange time in which most people are always aware and subjected to enhanced security measures.

TURKEYS

George writes about what he would do about turkey management and the role that hunting plays in that management. For the most part I think he brings up some good points, i.e. too many turkeys, too few hunters, and the barrier of license fees that prohibit more people from trying or getting involved in turkey hunting and harvesting a turkey that would aide the MDIFW with their management goals.

Originally, I had thought that Smith’s idea of including turkey hunting as part of a Big Game Hunting License wouldn’t fly because the MDIFW would not be willing to give up that revenue from turkey license fees. Is there a trade-off here? Will somehow opening up the turkey season to reduced cost (and loss of fees to MDIFW) be made up in other ways? Perhaps.

I think that consensus must be reached as to whether there are too many turkeys and how critical it is that turkey populations be reduced. If, more people gained interest in turkey hunting, perhaps down the road, as populations came more in line with management goals, turkey license fees could be levied again. If a reduction in the number of turkeys is urgently needed, and I think if we haven’t gotten there yet we soon will, then the MDIFW must do what is expedient to make the reductions in numbers necessary to be responsible for the healthy management of these game birds.

FISHERIES

Fisheries is far from my strong point and knowledge base. I am not at all that qualified to offer the MDIFW advice on how to specifically manage the fisheries in the State of Maine. How fortunate for some.

MOOSE

Odd isn’t it, in many ways, that some are opposed to the reduction of moose populations to mitigate the winter ticks’ destruction of the moose herd but think nothing about advocating the complete destruction of a herd of deer to get rid of Lyme disease. Perhaps if more evidence pointed a finger at the health risk to humans from the winter tick, mindsets might change.

I have written extensively on Maine’s moose and what I believe to be the need to bring the moose population in Maine to levels that seriously reduce the presence and perpetuation of winter ticks that are inhumanely and unnecessarily causing moose to suffer and die during long and cold winters.

Smith laments about the loss of businesses associated with moose watching now that Mother Nature took over where wildlife management failed. During the heyday of the overgrown moose populations, some scrambled and took advantage, as any good entrepreneur might do, looking for ways to exploit the abundant moose for profit. It might have been fun while it lasted but the lesson that should be learned here might be at what price do we exploit any wildlife animal for lucre? As grown adults we should see that having enough moose around that many got into the business of moose watching tours was but a flash in that pan. Time to move on. We have learned that attempting to grow moose in numbers for capitalistic enterprises is a terrible thing to do to the animal – part of the downside of attempting to manage any species while being driven by social demands.

More recent studies are suggesting what some of us knew a long time ago – that too many moose was the cause of the aggressive expanse of winter ticks resulting in high mortality rates on the large beast.

The MDIFW should move quickly to determine at what population Maine’s moose will be most healthy while still providing opportunities for Maine residents to harvest a moose and fill their freezers.

I suggest that the MDIFW, once establishing moose populations, based on sound science and not social demands, issue enough permits or a long enough season to bring the population under a control that reduces the tick infestation. Once that is accomplished, permit for the future can be issued accordingly. Letting Mother Nature do the job is not only irresponsible but is a waste of a terrific natural resource.

DEER

Smith tells readers that the MDIFW stopped managing deer in northern Maine and only “manages” moose. I don’t know if this is actually an official position taken by the MDIFW, but it appears there is at least quite a bit of evidence to support that statement.

Smith claims that because Maine failed to protect winter habitat in Northern and Western Maine, the deer herd “was lost.” I concur the deer herd was lost but I think it had other influences than just a loss of habitat. A lot of things have changed over the years, one thing being the behavior of the deer. While deer are learning how to adapt to that loss of winter habitat, we humans remain locked in our unadaptable behavior of insisting on things being the way they were when our fathers hunted the whitetails.

Each time I have listened to the worn out excuse that deer have disappeared because of loss of winter habitat, I have always asked why, if that is true, thousands of acres of old winter habitat, still in winter habitat condition, is void of deer? Never an answer.

Loss of winter habitat in the classical sense, can and does have an effect on the deer population. Attempting to somehow “manage” deer to return to unwanted winter habitat, is an example of managers failing to learn and adjust to changes of the deer population and their habits. When we see this failure, one can’t help but wonder how much we can rely on the deer managers “estimate” of deer populations and other management shortcomings.

We failed to learn quickly enough that attempting to manage moose populations at high enough levels that tourism benefitted, the moose herd suffered terribly due to exposure and anemia from blood sucking winter ticks. Deer populations are suffering but perhaps in different ways because the ecosystem in which they have traditionally comfortably inhabited have and are changing. The deer are adapting as best they can but our management tactics are not. Evidently the preference is to give up.

Too many moose compete with deer. Too many large predators kill deer and fawns and this is challenging the stability of the deer population and in some places we are witnessing the unsustainability of a deer herd. Are we to just blame it on loss of winter habitat and Climate Change or should we be responsible stewards of our wild game animals?

If we are to mitigate the cause for the lack of deer in portions of Northern and Western Maine, isn’t the responsible thing to do is to reduce the bear and coyote populations to give the deer a chance? If we simply stop deer management because loss of habitat and Climate Change is the excuse, what then can we expect of all of our game and wildlife species going forward?

Managers have a responsibility to care for all of these game species. Giving up on one species in certain areas, tells me that there is lack of knowledge and poor management skills involved. The epitome of wildlife management failures is giving in to some man’s fictitious notion that the globe is warming and the northern border of the whitetail deer’s habitat is moving south, while our neighbors to the north continue to work at managing their deer. If Climate Change is causing such chaos that is forcing the destruction of habitat for deer, then it makes sense that other more northern species are migrating south according to the changes. Is this happening? No. A warming climate, as claimed, should be reducing the affects of severe winters. Is that happening? No.

There’s little more that managers can do to stop the perceived reduction of winter habit and deer habitat in general short of demanding more totalitarian tactics to take property and property rights away from people and corporations. It’s easy, from afar, to stand in judgement over landowners, demanding they relinquish their rights as property owners in order to enhance the habitat of any wild animal. The tough part to deer management is maximizing what is left and working in earnest to make the best of what we have. Even if deer densities in Northern and Western Maine aren’t at ideal levels, is that reason enough to simply walk away and say, we tried?

There is no need to kill off all the coyotes/wolves in Maine or reduce bear populations to levels that give us more deer than are needed to balance a very valuable resource. All that is stopping this effort is the MDIFW’s insistence on caving to social demands. I suppose to them in the short term it is easier to cave in than to stand up to those demands supported by strong scientific evidence. And that may be the actual problem. Does the MDIFW have or want the strong scientific evidence?

BEAR

The MDIFW has a very good bear study program. Some claim that program is the envy of all other fish and wildlife departments. Only radical animal rights groups or individuals would argue that there are too many bear. The MDIFW publicly admits they need to reduce the bear population, but so far, have done little to solve that problem. Perhaps they are moving at a speed that only politics and social demands allow them. Time for change.

Having too many bears presents several problems – public safety and a disruption of population goals of other species such as deer and moose. Fortunately, bear hibernate, otherwise God only knows what kind of destruction they would wreak on weakened deer in deer wintering areas.

Some studies suggest that the presence of bear has more negative impact on deer than do coyotes/wolves. Maybe the current studies that the MDIFW are conducting on moose and deer will help us gain better understanding on this concept.

Regardless, it appears Maine must reduce bear populations. But how? One problem that jumps out immediately is the power of the guides and outfitters placing demands on the MDIFW to manage bears according to their wishes that would best maximize their business profits. While it is understandable that this is important to the private enterprises, should the MDIFW continue to allow increased public safety concerns and actual reductions in deer populations, and perhaps even moose, simply to appease these groups? Of course not, but when will the MDIFW move to do anything about it? Perhaps the time is now.

Like with turkey hunting, Maine needs to find easier and less expensive ways to encourage more hunters to take up the challenge. Hunters that have little interest in bear hunting might change their mind if hunting bear were part of a Big Game License all the time during open season on bear.

Bag limits should be raised. The late summer bear hunt should have a minimum of a two-bear limit – perhaps three in some areas. If that doesn’t do the trick, then a Spring bear hunt may be necessary. Regulations can be employed to mitigate the killing of cubs as has been proven in other places that have Spring bear hunts.

The MIDFW has done a respectable job of working to ward off the radical animal rights groups bent on closing down bear hunting. They should increase and improve this effort to include everything they do with wildlife management. Two bear referendums have proven that maintaining a passive posture and making management decisions based on social demands is not only irresponsible, but ridiculous, almost childish. If wildlife managers and their administration don’t have or believe the science necessary to responsibly managed their wildlife, they should be out of a job. There should be little room given to social demands when it comes to scientifically managing game.

OPERATIONS

There are certain aspects of running a fish and game department that should be within the control of the commissioner, who, of course, answers to the governor. Open and closed seasons should be within the control of the commissioner. That person, along with the managers and biologists in the department, are the ones who should know what is going on and what is needed, not the Humane Society of the United States, other animal rights groups, or even the Legislature. Such social and political powers spoil any scientific approach at wildlife management. It may take an act of the Legislature to effect such changes.

We live in a time where these powerful animal rights and environmentalists have gained control over our factories of higher indoctrination. The result of this is now showing up in our fish and game departments where the concerns are more about the “rights” of animals and away from a consumptive, use of a natural resources approach to wildlife management.

Scientifically, it has been proven that the North American Model of Wildlife Management works. Those opposed to this form of wildlife management know this and have been working tireless to “change the way wildlife management is discussed.” Along with this has come the social demands to place equal rights and protections on animals as are given to humans.

Outdoor advocates, hunters, trappers, fishermen, as well as all those who understand and believe in the necessity of consumptive use to best manage and control wildlife, should demand that the commissioner be more selective and demanding of those that are hired as biologists and wildlife managers. Candidates should be screened as to their idealism and positions on animal rights and hunting, fishing, and trapping. To responsibly utilize hunting and fishing as part of the overall plans for wildlife management, cannot have room for animal rights advocates or those opposed to this system.

Some have called for money from general taxation to support the MDIFW. It is my opinion this would be a very big mistake. First of all, before any MORE money is dumped in the lap of this department, a complete audit should be undertaken so that all will know exactly what every penny is spent on and where every penny comes from to run the department. If more money is needed, then that has to come from fee increases and not from general taxation. Here’s why.

With money sent to the MDIFW from general taxation, along with it will be demands from the general taxpayer for bigger representation. This opens the door even further for more infiltration by environmentalists who want to “change the way we discuss wildlife management.”

We have seen this already. Where once the MDIFW used to be the department of fish and game, other states have gotten rid of their fish and game names completely, replaced with departments of natural resources.

With a weakening of the managerial understanding and knowledge of how wildlife management should run, further expedites the dreaded end to responsible wildlife management, replaced by VooDoo Science and Romance Biology.

The only way the MDIFW can survive as a bonafide fish and game department is if it remains out of the control of Environmentalism.

The MDIFW does many things well. Some things they have little control over. Certainly there is room for improvement and if others, like me, realize that if we don’t do something to change those things that are sending us in the wrong direction and away from the North American Model of Wildlife Management, the good that we enjoy now will soon be lost. Let’s not let that happen.

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Maine: All Aboard for the IFW Commissioner Cocoa-Puff Train?

Golly gee whiz! Seems everyone is all on board for the governor-elect’s nomination of Judy Camuso as the new commissioner of the Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife (MDIFW) – that is all except those who want to end bear hunting…and hunting, trapping, and fishing in general.

Up front let me say, I honestly do not know enough about the former head of the Division of Wildlife for MDIFW to make an intelligent decision for or against her nomination to head up that department. And if that statement doesn’t make any sense to some, let me just say I’m neither for nor against.

I am, however, a bit more of an independent thinker than some. Earlier I wrote about how I mostly believed that when the Wildlife Director Camuso became the quasi-mouthpiece for MDIFW in discussions involving the environmentalist’s second referendum to end bear hunting, she assumed that position more than likely because commissioner Chandler Woodcock asked her to. She may have also eagerly volunteered. I just don’t know and before her approval, I think all of us deserve to know.

So what does that mean? Who knows. It may mean nothing or it may mean everything. When the candidate for the commissioner’s chair says she won’t talk until after the nomination and selection process, how are any of us supposed to know whether the boot fits on the left or right foot?

What concerns me are those who point blank support Camuso’s nomination because she was that mouthpiece. Is it that people just don’t get it or are they so shallow-thinking they believe 100% that the items she appeared to support as the MDIFW’s mouthpiece are her own beliefs? Maybe they are maybe they are not. How many times in political history have people supported one person only later to find out they were wolves in sheep’s clothing? Too numerous to try to mention.

We may not find out for sure until it’s too late.

The Sportsman’s Alliance of Maine (SAM), head of the Maine Guides Association, and other outdoor writers have come out “all in” for Camuso’s selection. Probably some of these individuals and groups know a lot more about Camuso’s political ideology and how heavily engrained in Voodoo Science and Romance Biology she is than I am. If so, they seemed quite tight lipped about it.

One such outdoor writer who I am a strong supporter of, in his recent article stated that he thought supporting Camuso was a good idea. But perhaps the major reason he gave for that support isn’t the best one. He wrote: “Because Camuso was a strong and effective advocate for the game management value of recreational bear hunting during the controversial bear referendum, her appointment, however,will no doubt be opposed by the anti-bear hunting faction. For most of us in the sporting community, her role in that debate is reason alone to support her appointment with vigor.”

Is it reason enough, and “with vigor?”

Evidently.

Historically we see where voters cast a ballot for someone for similar reasons only to discover the error of their ways later on. As well, think of some of the recent nominations made by so-called “conservative” presidents to the Supreme Court, i.e. Souter and Kennedy (Bush and Reagan). (This is where I insert: BUT DON’T GO LOOK!)

Let me repeat, I am neither for nor against the nomination of Judy Camuso. As I said, I don’t know enough about her to know whether she will be a good commissioner. One thing is certain, I would want her in my employment because we do know that she was faithful in being Chandler Woodcock’s (Governor’s?) mouthpiece. If she is commissioner, will she exemplify the same management practices or will, as the appointment of a pretty left-wing democrat governor, go “all in” for Voodoo Science and Romance Biology?

For my dollar, I would rather base any decision about this appointment on a whole lot more than the fact that she is at least good at doing what her boss told her to do.

I wish others, instead of jumping in feet first and remaining submerged, would demand a lot more answers to certain questions rather than make assumptions…”with vigor.”

Don’t regret your support. Do your homework. She could be in charge for 8 years…8 very long years, perhaps.

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Should Maine’s Newly Elected Governor Put Black Bear Management in Hands of Planned Parenthood?

I was reading just yesterday a comment left online by a reader about bear hunting practices. The comment, as a plea to newly elected governor, Janet Mills, said something like, no animal has a chance when up against humans and their man-made weapons. They also added that Maine has no laws to protect animals.

Think about that for a moment. The plea is for protection of animals, so that no animal can be killed by humans for any reason…it appears. If the plea goes out to Governor Janet Mills, perhaps Gov. Mills might consider placing the management and protection of black bears in the hands of Planned Parenthood…or maybe not.

Planned Parenthood gave Janet Mills a 100% rating for her support of abortion of human infants. What does this tell us? Many things I would suppose. The first being that she might just value the lives of bears over those of humans. Of course the argument would be that an unborn child is not a living being and thus I am comparing apples with oranges.

If that is the case, then perhaps Maine should consider taking up the practice of aborting unborn bear fetuses while in hibernation. After all, if human fetuses and not human lifeforms, certainly bear fetuses are not bear lifeforms. Maine has an extensive bear study and management program where bear dens are visited on a regular basis. Before any bear cubs are born, biologists could drag the female bear from the den and kill her unborn cubs. Surely that would reduce the bear population. We can’t have more and more bears living on the landscape that are becoming a burden on society and taking away other bear’s rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of junk food.

There is something seriously wrong with a society that would advocate for more laws to protect animals but at the same time support the evil practice of murdering unborn babies. Maine’s new governor supports that practice. By comparison, those who support abortion “rights” also support animal rights.

SICK!

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Maybe More Junk Food For Bears Is The Answer

I find reading in echo-chambers of the press nonsensical articles that make little or no sense. I think most of it is a reflection of ignorance and laziness.

I’ve been reading how there has been a spike in bear and human conflicts in the Northeast this year. It appears the major excuse given is that there was a scarcity of natural food, causing the bears to seek any food source anywhere they could. Along with this, more conflict bears had to be killed because of risks of public safety…or something.

If I was to use the same sort of warped, circular thinking of many who don’t want to see any animal killed for any reason, I would first have to ask the question as to whether or not baiting bears during bear hunting season is a method of reducing bear conflicts with humans.

The argument always seems to focus around food supply as to what mostly effects bears’ behavior. If the thinking is that there are more bear conflicts and more deaths of baby bears due to lack of natural food, then perhaps on those lean years we should systematically set up bear feeding stations to reduce cub mortality and public safety issues.

Not really, but I hope you get my point.

Circular and illogical thinking causes a person to believe, according to those opposed to baiting bear, that bears would stay in the forest where the junk food was rather than come out and bother or harm people.

Just practicing the kind of thinking as of others, hurts my brain.

Also, according to what we have always been told that in those years of lacking natural food, bears are more readily drawn to bait pile and thus the success of bear hunters goes up.

With the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife now using that instant tagging data, we already know, er, uh, hmmm….NOTHING. If anyone has seen any kind of public release of bear harvest numbers for the 2018 bear hunt, please let me know.

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The Results of Socialistic Romance Biology Wildlife Management and Scape-Goating

I just can’t seem to leave this subject alone. I get angry when I see governments doing what governments do. The time and money wasted on useless, post-normal, bureaucratic B.S. that ends in worthless and trivial nonsense that amounts to no more than a hill of ________. (You fill in the blank.)

Earlier I wrote about Maine’s plan to subcontract out a portion of their black bear management plan. In that article I made the comment: “…why is the MDIFW willing to compromise their track record for their work over the years with black bears? I can only see one or two scenarios playing out here. One, if MDIFW doesn’t have the tools to do the job, maybe it’s time to ask why we have a Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife? Why not privatize the whole mess of departments? Have social demands gotten so big (because MDIFW decided to make management decisions based on social demands rather than science.) real science is replaced by socialistic Romance Biology?

“Is the MDIFW using this act of seeking outside help as some kind of diversionary tactic so they won’t have to answer to the socialists and will have a convenient scapegoat? Or will it be used to support the socialists?”

And then it donned on me. Recently the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife (MDIFW) took a similar tactic when they wasted (in my opinion) money hiring a scientismistic private entity to conduct a “survey” to help MDIFW decide how they should do their jobs. It has always puzzled me that MDIFW refuses to open their ears and communicate with the boots-on-the-ground outdoors people but are eager and willing to hire some environmentalist-trained, biased company to tell them how to manage wildlife and outdoor recreation when said company knows squat about Maine or the people in it.

We have seen results of this corrupt environmentalist, Human Interaction, “survey” in the recent big game management plans. I think MDIFW seeking “outside” assistance is just another nail in the coffin to go along with the fraudulent management plans that apparently the department is incapable of crafting or too scared to do without laying the blame and responsibility on the results of the survey, i.e. some outside private business for profit entity.

When you combine the actions of MDIFW leadership over the past 2 or 3 years, I am left with no other explanation as to why Maine, once thought of as the leader in wildlife management, also once a leader in big game hunting and world class fishing, is so eager to do a double-flush of the toilet making sure all that was once good is now gone.

When nothing changes with the bear management plans and reaching the goals crafted in the new plan is a failure, MDIFW can conveniently blame whoever or whatever it is that told them what they ought to do.

MDIFW has had multiple recommendations pushed in front of them concerning bear management. It’s laughable that MDIFW will buckle and cave to the demands of environmentalists and guides, refusing to do anything constructive to reduce the bear population out of fear of reprisals from guides, environmentalists, and animal rights groups, while shutting their ears and eyes to the real sportsmen. And then, we see this act of seeking an outside opinion. You can’t make this stuff up.

Because MDIFW refuses to do what’s right, they are slaves to guides, outfitters and the environmental movement. The result, they claim, is they can’t find (wink-wink) a solution to the supposed bear problem.

What will we hear next? MDIFW has decided to award their bear management subcontract to a subsidiary of the Humane Society of the United States based in China?

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The Mythical Bear Study Extremists Seem to Adore

The other day I wrote about how the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife (MDIFW) announced that it was seeking bids from private enterprise to assist them with devising a “model” to better control the black bear population in Maine.

*Important Note*(I find that the MDIFW’s credibility on wildlife management issues dwindles the more they talk. Maybe that’s why they are so close-lipped about many things. I say this because here we have a situation in which the MDIFW is coming off announcements of the release of their future big game management plans which calls for less focus on counting the numbers of deer, bear, moose, turkeys, etc. and placing more focus on a “healthy” population. Evidently, MDIFW is discovering how difficult it must be for them to manage these game species without spending time counting. As such, it now appears the MDIFW has reached out to private enterprise to help them COUNT.)

As a result of the latest announcement of seeking outside help, the Media has erupted with information from every Tom (LOL), Dick, and Harry either for or against this idea, which seems to be going hand in hand with the announcement that newly elected governor Janet Mills has selected the current head of the Division of Wildlife at MDIFW, Judy Camuso, to be the next commissioner of the department.

In the fray, it seems members of the media and heads of animal rights groups have crawled out of the woodwork claiming that Mills’ appointment of Camuso is a big mistake because she did her job under Commissioner Woodcock and was his mouthpiece during the last bear referendum.

It should be noted that these groups and much of the echo-chamber Press, will not give up this fight until they get what they want. Eventually, they will.

In many a previous discussion about bear hunting, more specifically using bait as a hunting method, those who opposed baiting bear (realistically they oppose all hunting regardless of method.) have never had any “scientific” studies to support their claims, until 4 people from the University of Southern Maine created a study of their own – a “model” I might add, and most of us should know by now what modeling does when it comes to science. Which brings me to the point of this article.

The so-called “study” can be found at this link.

I’m not going to spend a great deal of time going through the entire study to point out the flaws. However, in order that people can make intelligent decisions, especially when it comes to voter referendums, somebody ought to tell the truth and point out the realities, especially when it comes to such things as “models” used as a “scientific” foundation to build a political argument.

First, I should say that it is my opinion that much of what was published in this study is credible, however falsely based on Natural Regulation. What is missing is information that would seriously manipulate the results that were concluded from the modeling done. Unless, you are intelligent enough to read and understand the entire study, cherry picking quotes and statements here and there to promote one’s agenda is dishonest at best.

Throughout the study, the authors repeatedly state that they “made assumptions” and purposely did not include data that would have altered the results of the study, but stated they “were satisfied with the outcomes.” *Note* – If the outcome is what is desired, what’s not to be satisfied about it?

When anyone models information to arrive at some kind of conclusion, it is far too easy to manipulate the input in order to obtain a desired outcome. This outcome, it is realized, becomes a powerful tool for the very same reason that animal rights groups are cherry-picking information to substantiate their agendas. This is precisely the definition of “Scientism.”

I doubt that the authors of this study are any more qualified to create it than I am. I will note that references and resources, of course were hand-picked. In addition, I will give very little credibility to any information used as a reference in a so-called scientific study that uses Wikipedia. If you don’t understand this statement then you will not understand the basis of my entire article.

Modeling, as I said, is far too easy to manipulate input to get the output desired. I’m not definitively saying the authors deliberately went out of their way to devise the outcome they desired. Only you can make that assessment yourselves.

Therefore, guess work and estimates are useless in deriving any conclusions that are anything but guess work and estimates – garbage in and garbage out.

Data used by the study writers, included data that comes from the MDIFW website. Ironic isn’t it that those animal rights advocates will jump all over hand-selected data from this study (much of which comes from MDIFW) to aid and abet their passions but in the same breath curse the department for being ignorant of bear management. How is that?

The MDIFW will be the first to admit their data on species populations are estimates – estimate in, estimate out. Studies and Modeling supports estimates and guesses.

Even though as I stated, much of what is written is reasonable if only it was more honestly stated that their results are only estimates of the inexact data they had to work with. The truth is there are so many variables in the life cycles, ecosystem changes, and management plans, attempting to claim that baiting bears causing the population to grow is really quite dishonest.

Too many simplistic assumptions are made in order for the authors to reach the conclusions that they did. One that just kept jumping out at me was the bulk of their modeling and the results they obtained were based on the belief that in the late Summer and early Fall, when bear hunting and baiting is being done, bears naturally eat only beechnuts. Really? In off years and in areas where there are no beech trees, the poor bears must starve to death.

As the study states, most biologist agree that bears prefer natural food over the slop baiters put out to entice them, and yet, so many conclusions are made based on this notion that bears eat only beechnuts in the Fall.

Another issue I find incomplete, or dishonest if that’s what you choose to believe, is the study doesn’t even mention where baiting takes place and how the food used in baiting can contribute to a false “carry capacity” as a percentage of the total statewide bear population. If it is true that baiting bears contributes millions of calories and 7 million pounds of “unnatural” food for bears, what is the percentage of bears that are actually getting bait food versus those that never see it, or at least what comes in a barrel in the middle of the woods? This study is void of such discussion.

I will repeat, there are just too many variables to be able to make the claims these authors did that baiting bears causes the population statewide to increase every year, evidently with no end in sight.

I will also point out that much of the information contained in this study is based on the myth of natural regulation. Figures and formulas are presented based on the theory of natural regulation. There is no such thing in the context of which it was presented in this study. Natural Regulation, perhaps more accurately described as Natural Irregularity, everything is a constant changing of positive and negative feedback loops. These loops provide large swings up and down of species population. Odd that these authors even used their own devised positive and negative feedback loops and yet somehow those loops only contribute to a growing bear population when baiting is being done.

But we shouldn’t throw out the baby with the bathwater. Although many choose to only hand-select information that benefits them and their political agendas, the authors offer conclusions and remedies to what they perceive as a management problem. Let’s look.

The authors conclude that bear baiting increases the bears’ “ecosystem carrying capacity,” and based on their findings the current bear management plan will not reduce the bear population. *Note*If baiting of bears increases the bears’ “ecosystem carrying capacity,” then in theory, and using the same logic used in this modeling, unless there is a constant increase in the number of bear hunters and the amount of bait being spread throughout the bears’ ecosystem, then why doesn’t the “false” carrying capacity created by baiting, level off and thus the population of bears level off as part of their false natural regulation?

I think I would have to agree with at least the part that says that unless the MDIFW changes something the bear population is going to continue to grow provided all other variables remain relatively constant.

The authors make recommendations as to what MDIFW can do. It might appear to me that all of those opposed to bear hunting deliberately avoid mentioning these recommendations. Who can blame them? I might add that these animal rights people want only hunting, trapping, and fishing to be banned and let “Natural Regulation” take over. Part of me wishes this would happen just so I can say I told you so.

The recommendations given in a nutshell are these:

First, ban baiting. Their model “suggests” if baiting was banned only about 700 fewer bears would be killed. (Note – I wonder if that number includes any of the bears they chose to not include in the model that shows baiting grows the population?)

Second, encourage the hunting of female bears and cubs. GASP!!! How dare anyone whose data I used to promote anti-hunting agendas suggest killing momma and baby bears!! GASP!! (again)

Third – and this is the one that floors me – continue the use of bait but switch the bait from junk food to “natural beechnuts.” Say what? If the argument is that baiting artificially grows the carrying capacity and thus artificially grows the population, how then is switching the bait going to change much. Is it that we have now become more and more conscious of the bears’ diet? Yes, I have also read that as well.

So where do the beechnuts come from? Doing a quick Google search I couldn’t find any stores that market and sell beechnuts. So……? Are hunters and guides supposed to start collecting bushel baskets and hiring people to go out and pick beechnuts to bait deer with? Maybe there’s an after-school job for some young boys and girls harvesting beechnuts to provide bear guides with bait.

If the bait used for bear hunting is supposed to be changed from junk food to natural beechnuts, the ONLY way I know of to do this without altering the natural ecosystem carrying capacity, is to pick the beechnuts from the trees within that ecosystem and make feeding by the bears easier. Remember in the “regulated” world of Natural Regulation, beechnuts cannot be brought into an area where they did not naturally appear, otherwise what’s the difference in what you use for bait unless the concern is to provide a healthy diet and cut down on tooth decay in bears?

Part of the circular, confusing reasoning used in this study, the conclusions derived, and suggestions made shows up when the authors suggest that introducing bears to human food will, “teach bears to associate humans with food.” Smart critters aren’t they. I’ve always asked the question and never given an honest answer, if bears are so damned smart that they learn to associate human food with humans, are they equally as smart to learn that human food might mean a bullet in the butt?

There will always be disagreements with wildlife management. In recent years, as the culture of this nation morphs into something I perceive as perverted, things have gone far beyond disagreements in wildlife management practices. They have gone to a point where people are demanding an end to long-held traditions of hunting, trapping, and fishing. Their beliefs cause them to take whatever direction they need to in order to get their way.

Ironic it is, that some who advocate for animals rights and protection, even wishing to deny a person’s inalienable right to eat the foods that LORD GOD ALMIGHTY provided us, take offense to anyone who counters their idealistic Romance Biology, as though we are supposed to just shut up and do as we are told…by them.

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