December 18, 2017

Maine’s Hill Gould Record Buck

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Is Maine’s Muzzleloader Deer Season in the Best Interest of the Deer?

I was sent a link to a short article written by Maine’s Bill Green about Maine’s muzzleloader deer hunting season that runs until this coming Saturday. Green quotes muzzleloader advocates: “It just gives you that two weeks to get out there in the woods with less people out there.” And, “You have to take your time and I think while you’re hunting you get flashbacks of the way that it was a couple hundred years ago and that’s kind of neat.

I often get a lot of flack back from readers when, to them, I don’t support increased opportunities to hunt, fish and trap. In reality, I do always support increased opportunities, but only when that increase is equitable and is not detrimental to the sustainability of any game species.

If muzzleloaders are looking for some extra time in the woods “with less people out there,” certainly there must be a period of time except during the first two weeks of December (explanation to follow). But consider that this allowance, even though anyone who chooses can buy a Muzzleloader License and buy a muzzleloader gun…..or can they? Is this a form of elitism, exclusive to those who can afford a license and another gun and a deterrent to those who can’t? Perhaps. I doubt that is considered. I doubt anyone actually cares.

Who can argue the enjoyment one gets being in the woods, even when carrying a gun, rifle, muzzleloader, or even a camera. Having “flashbacks” of maybe what it was like “a couple hundred years ago?” Two hundred years ago, did deer hunters have inline muzzleloaders that can be cleaned and reloaded in 30 seconds? Maybe some have “thoughts” about what it was like, but I don’t think there are any hunters who hunted 200 years ago so that they could have a “flashback.”

Aside from any discussion about primitive versus modern muzzleloader equipment, if a guy wants those thoughts, can’t he have them during the regular firearm deer hunting season? Or other times and places?

Here are some questions. Is the muzzleloader season just another money-making pet project for the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife (MDIFW)? How about a pistol season? What of a muzzleloader pistol season? Can we get a season for atlatl hunting? Let’s make a season for only shotguns. One for only senior citizens. And one for veterans. A separate one for senior citizens who are also veterans. Where does this end?

But let’s get to the most important issue – the deer. Hunting rules for muzzleloader season are the same as during the firearms season. If you don’t have an “Any-Deer Permit” you have to hunt bucks only. Traditionally, the deer’s annual rut (mating season) falls around the third week of November. That doesn’t mean that that is the only week that deer mate. As soon as any female deer comes into “heat” (estrus) a male deer, with the opportunity, will mate with it. If during the month of November, a doe deer is not successfully bred, that doe will continuously remain in estrus until it gets bred. Science has shown that sometimes that breeding will not happen until late in November or into early December.

With that understanding and knowledge of how bucks run themselves ragged during rutting season, an honest question might be is it in the best interest of those deer, coming off or still in the rutting process, to continue allowing hunters to harass them? We know that bucks will lose most of their valuable, stored fats, needed for winter survival, during the rut. Because of this, buck mortality can be high during the long winter months. That time between the end of the rut and when deer are forced to “yard up” can determine whether a buck can survive the winter. Do we really want hunters, harassing those bucks even further during this period of time?

If the deer population is strong enough to support a two-week muzzleloader season, perhaps a more equitable increase in hunter opportunity might be to extend the firearm season for deer another day or two. At least let’s find a better time to give those muzzleloader hunters a chance to be alone in the woods and dishonestly have “flashbacks” about what it was like 200 years ago. Oh, please!

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Maine: Contradictory Deer Management Goals vs. Reality – Shameful

Here are some interesting, to say the least, deer management graphics the property of which are from the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife (MDIFW), with the exception of the deer harvest graph which is private property. These graphs and tables should show hunters that what MDIFW puts out in their deer management plans and long-range goals, is a far cry from the practices that are being carried out and the results that those practices give. One has to wonder if anyone holds the department accountable for this farce?

The first table here shows the Wintering Deer Population goals, per each Wildlife Management District (WMD), by the year 2030. Note that the total deer population goal for 2030 is 383,550. Yeah, I know. I’m still spaying coffee on my computer screen.

According to information that I’ve been able to get my hands on, the largest estimated deer population, after the deer hunting season, came in 1999 – 331,000 (found on second chart below).

We find ourselves near the conclusion of the 2017 deer hunting season and it appears as though the estimated deer population in Maine must be about, or less than, 200,000. That’s a bit shy of the hoped-for 383,550 set for 2030…a mere 13 years from now. Maybe the hope is global warming will do the trick?

From available data, between the years 1999 and 2008, the average deer population (after harvest), estimated by the MDIFW, was 214,600. Using data from the deer harvest chart below (the harvest total is information provided by MDIFW, the chart was made by an individual and his calculations), during that same time frame, an average of 30,353 deer were harvested each year…or about 14% of the estimated state deer herd.

Using that data, and knowing that Maine harvested about 22,000 deer last year (and as low as 18,000 in 2009), at 14% harvest rate, the population might be as low as 150,000 deer at present and has dipped to below 125,000 in 2009/2010.

And yet, when we examine chart two below, we see that as the estimated deer population shrank, the number of “Any-Deer Permits” (doe permits) increased significantly. Why? We are told by MDIFW that the “Any-Deer Permit” allotment is the management tool they use to manipulate the deer population by WMD. We are told that if MDIFW wants to lower a deer population within a WMD, they increase the allotment of “Any-Deer Permits,” and vice-versa. So this action makes very little sense, as far as deer management goals. Perhaps it makes more sense concerning meeting budget income requirements to pay inflated salaries and retirement.

I would surmise that if I were presenting a deer management goal of 383,550, when in reality there may be only 150,000 deer left roaming the state, increasing the sales of “Any-Deer Permits,” and at the same time telling the public that Maine has lots of deer due to a bunch of “mild” winters in recent years, while Maine set records last year for total snowfall, I’d scrub my website of any data that showed me to be a poor, and perhaps dishonest, wildlife manager too.

So what’s really going on and why? We will never know because finding out makes people uncomfortable. Evidently, it’s better to be on the ins with the MDIFW, with no deer to hunt, than on the outside…with still no deer to hunt. One has to ask themselves if this is the nonsense we are seeing when it comes to deer management, what else is going on in Augusta?

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Maine’s Most Quiet Deer Hunting Season

Is there really a deer hunting season going on in Maine? As the old Maine saying goes, “Hahd tellin not knowin!”

I finished up my week at Hunting Camp in the usual fashion of seeing nothing. In addition, of the six of us spending the week in the woods, a couple of does were spotted…a couple more than in past years and so by today’s standards of ignorant bliss there’s reason to be excited that perhaps one day deer hunting will be worth the effort again.

But for those who live and hunt in areas where deer are protected (posted land, few predators, etc.), I’m a jerk for even suggesting deer hunting in Maine still mostly sucks. And, it’s going to get worse and never get better. But we’ll never know will we?

What the Environmentalists want, and will get, are protected deer, bear, moose, turkeys…any animal. Along with it they will get what every unmanaged ecosystem gets – death, disease and destruction, which is heavily denied by nearly everyone these days.

The Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife (MDIFW), in their quest to turn their department into one that more resembles all the other Environmentalists propaganda sites, leaving one to wonder if the department even bothers to pay any mind to “FISH AND GAME” anymore, has not only scrubbed their website of any information about deer hunting, bear hunting, moose hunting and turkey hunting harvest stats, but evidently has given up on publishing any Hunting Reports. In addition they evidently will not offer any information on the current deer hunting season. You might be one of the fortunate mouth pieces for the department, that if you call, you can speak to someone who will provide you with the latest line of propaganda, designed to cause media automatons to believe everything is great and all hunters are happy and have already bagged their deer.

If this trend continues, Mainers will soon not even realize the state has a deer hunting season. Maybe that’s why it seems there have been more hunting “accidents” this year where the victims seemed unprepared to be in or near the woods because there was a hunting season. That supposition does not excuse the reality that a hunter must always be 100% certain of his or her target BEFORE pulling the trigger. I don’t recall the MDIFW making any public announcements to remind residence of the deer season, or the bear season, or the moose season, or the turkey season. They do let you know when it’s time to buy a license or apply for a permit. Do they realize this cash cow is going to dry up and go away? NOPE!

I guess it’s just take the money and run….for now.

So what do those paid to run the Division of Information and Education do? Certainly it isn’t to inform hunters, trappers and fishermen of how their money is being spent. Crickets is all we are getting. Now that MDIFW has no intention of releasing to the public any harvest data, I would assume, by the looks of how things have gone so far, they also have no intention of talking about the deer season at all. Perhaps all the indoctrinated biologists, thoroughly saturated with Environmentalist garbage they brought with them from the brainwashing factories, are finally getting the department they want where they can concentrate on diminishing hunting, fishing and trapping opportunities while promoting a non consumptive approach to wildlife management. Along with this, they can take the money from license fees and excise tax dollars and focus all their attention on Climate Change – it is a great excuse for doing a piss-poor job. Perhaps the department will soon offer a new page to replace the game species data information pages, showing all the bad things that they want to believe has happened due to Climate Change. There must be more money in that.

Soon, some of the environmentalist outdoor sportsmen will get their wish and funding for MDIFW will come from general taxation. Along with it, they can complete their partnership with the Environmental Establishment. Please hurry and get the name changed from Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife, to Department of Natural Resources and Non Consumption Protection – MDNRNCP.

As I ponder over another bowl of track soup, once again I will have to ask myself why I bother to hunt in Maine and spend the money for a license. But then I think; isn’t that exactly what they want me to do?

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Where is Tom?

Err….It is deer hunting season!

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Information Regarding Whitetail Deer Dispersal

Although I’m not a huge fan of Quality Deer Management, they have provided some interesting graphics on deer dispersal, ages of dispersal, timing, distance and what effects all of that.

Please visit this link to view.

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Why Is Baiting a Difficult Term to Define?

It was a simple question…or so I thought, but it turns out that the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife (MDIFW) Communication Director opted not to define baiting of deer but to only refer to the Legislator’s creation of a law and/or suggested asking a Game Warden. Nice!

According to George Smith, outdoor writer and activist, he directed his question about what is bait to MDIFW because a reader wanted to know if a mineral block was considered bait.

It seems that Maine, under Governor Paul LePage, has channeled itself down the road more toward fascism creating such draconian laws with punishments not seemingly commensurate with the act and certainly not equitably administered to the masses. One example of such is the new law that punishes hunters for trespassing violations greater than any other labeled citizen.

The latest in the Maine Legislation’s attack on hunters, is another draconian law dealing with baiting deer. It is unlawful, and always has been to “bait” deer, i.e. to feed deer at a particular place for the purpose of lying in wait to ambush an unsuspecting deer…unless of course you are doing that over an “agricultural” crop.

The new law, shown below, prohibits placing “bait” someplace in order “to entice deer to that place.”

So what is bait?

Merriam Webster is all over the place in its definition of bait. Check these out as they seem to be dealing with the act of luring or enticing an animal.

2a :to harass (a chained animal, such as a bear) with dogs usually for sport

3a :to furnish with bait (see 2bait

  • bait a fishing line

 

  • bait a trap
b :enticelure 
4:to give food and drink to (an animal) especially on the road [Somebody help me out with this “especially on the road”]
And so I looked at “bait” as directed above and this is how Webster defines what bait is:
1a :something (such as food) used in luring especially to a hook or trap 

  • using worms for bait
b :a poisonous material placed where it will be eaten by harmful or objectionable animals
So much for that and does it really matter? Law makers don’t pay much attention to Webster’s definitions, or anybody else’s. They just do what they intend to do. And, as is usually the case, laws are either purposely written to confuse to keep lawyers wealthy or are poorly written and worded because the lawmakers are really ignorant. I’ll let you decide which applies here.
The Maine law now reads:
  • 11452. Baiting deer
  1. Prohibitions. A person may not, during an open hunting season on deer:
  2. Place salt or any other bait or food in a place to entice deer to that place; or [2003, c. 414, Pt. A, §2 (NEW); 2003, c. 614, §9 (AFF).]
  3. Hunt from an observation stand or blind overlooking salt, grain, fruit, nuts or other foods known to be attractive to deer. This prohibition does not apply to hunting from an observation stand or blind overlooking:

(1) Standing crops;

(2) Foods that are left as a result of normal agricultural operations or as a result of a natural occurrence; or

(3) Bear bait that is placed at a bear hunting stand or blind in accordance with section 11301, subsection 1.

 

Sec. 1. 12 MRSA §10659  is enacted to read:

  • 10659.  Feeding or baiting of deer
  1. Prohibition. A person may not place salt or any other bait or food in a place to entice deer to that place from June 1st to the start of an open hunting season on deer and, if all open hunting seasons on deer are closed before December 15th for that year, from the close of the last open hunting season on deer to December 15th.
  2. Penalty. A person who violates subsection 1 commits a Class E crime.

What I find most confusing is the wording: “A person may not place salt or any other bait or food in a place to entice deer to that place.”

The real kicker is “OR ANY OTHER BAIT.” So what is “bait?” Salt is clearly appointed and “to entice deer to a place” is mostly clear, although lawyers could have a lot of fun (make lots of money) with that.

The Communications Director refused to answer Smith’s question as to whether or not a mineral block was bait, instead referring him to the written law and instructing the person to talk to his local Game Warden. Huh? Maybe the director knows the law is vague and took the easy way out or he was doing what politicians do best – avoiding giving a direct and concise answer.

Is bait something edible?

I recall the story of traveling down the road one day during deer hunting season and spotting a deer (a doe) in the middle of a hay field seemingly eating something. I stopped my car (I didn’t have an “Any-Deer Permit”) and eventually discovered the deer was having quite an episode with the remains of a balsam-scented plastic container designed as an air freshener to be used in the home.

Was this “Glade” scent box bait? One has to wonder if this deer was attracted to it and a hunter intentionally put one out in the field to “entice deer to” it, would he be guilty of baiting deer?

Which brings us to the tens of thousands of hunters who regularly use scents for masking and luring. Are these now illegal? Will hunters be entrapped by wardens? And what of the scent making industry? Do they see this law as a serious threat to their economic well being?

What is most stupid of this entire stupid law, is that it makes no sense and is inconsistent with other restrictions and inconsistent with sanity. It is unlawful to “entice deer to a place” by “baiting” and yet it is not unlawful to hunt deer over standing agricultural crops or in fields where an agricultural crop has been harvested, such as a corn field, etc. Evidently it is okay to hunt deer over a bear baiting station. Huh? But to place a squirt of “Doe-in-Heat” in the middle of a buck pawing and climbing into your tree stand or ground blind, is “enticing a deer to a place” and is therefore illegal.

Let’s be reasonable here. Like with baiting bears, the need is driven, we are told, as a means of increasing the odds of successfully harvesting a bear for management purposes, i.e. population control. MDIFW doesn’t need to reduce deer populations, in most locales, and so baiting is not needed and evidently MDIFW believes baiting will cause an increase in harvest numbers….or do they?

MDIFW has always been opposed to winter feeding of deer for some good reasons and mostly for poor reasons…or no reason at all. So, when we see stupid laws like this, we ask ourselves is this just another incremental fascist step toward banning all forms of feeding?

Because hunters use a wide array of scent covers and lures, the law should be better defined. Obviously the lawmakers are probably not hunters and/or, if they are, never use scent covers or lures. Surely, the new law, placed in the hands of lawyers, will be ruled as prohibiting anything that might lure or entice a deer to a place. Beware your aftershave or deodorant.

It is common sense, when game managers don’t want hunters hunting over bait piles, to state the fact. In my travels, I have come across piles of apples in the middle of a pine grove (I call them pine apples) and I’ve also seen apples, cut up or smashed, placed in netted onion bags and hanging from a tree limb about chest high. This is baiting. Clear and simple.

Creating words that say it is unlawful to use any kind of “bait” to entice deer to a place, without providing a clear definition of the word bait, is arbitrary and seemingly capricious – capricious enough that if one didn’t think the legislators were so ignorant but knew exactly what they were doing, would be bordering on criminal. This sets the stage for hunter entrapment, which may be the intent of the law. I don’t know.

We live in a police state and Maine and many other states seem eager to create laws to bolster the police state. Ben Franklin once said that when the people fear the government, there is tyranny. When legislators pass stupid laws like this one, and the one that doles out greater punishment to hunters, it casts fear into the hearts of many and thus the result is a form of tyranny.

Why do we put up with this?

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Cornell University to Kill Deer by a Continual Rut

Some people are fed up with the utter nonsense that flows from every contaminated corner of our society, including universities of higher brain manipulation and indoctrination. Cornell University has to be among the leaders.

In 2014, due to the belief by Cornell and nearby Cayuga Heights, N.Y. that deer possess “reproductive health is a cervine right,” female deer were given tubal ligations believing this would stop the growth of the deer population. The result: does remained in estrous continually which attracted every male deer for miles causing the already dense population of deer to increase due to bucks seeking pleasure from the wafting essence of  “doe-in-heat.”

Well, the university is at it again. An article carried, willingly, by the New York Times, says that Cornell has undertaken a program on Staten Island to reduce the overgrown population of deer. This time, they are spending $3.3 million to give all the male deer a vasectomy. Yup, you read that right.

Now consider. When a doe deer (the female species) goes into “heat” or estrous, they essentially will remain in that state until conception is completed. I might be going out on a limb here to say that I have my doubts that the male deer (bucks) have cognitive abilities to realize they have had a vasectomy and thus they will run themselves ragged (to death) attempting to satisfy the estrous does.

Understanding the habits of male deer during the rut, one can only imagine the number of car collisions caused by bucks gone wild, a condition Cornell is contracted to help cure.

One also has to wonder to what extent a buck will go fulfilling his “duty” to mate with every “in heat” doe he whiffs. In Maine, where winters are far harsher than on Staten Island, at times the bucks will exhaust themselves and starve themselves as essentially 100% of their time is spent involved in “getting some.” With doe deer in continual estrous, will a buck deer kill himself in the attempt?

I would suppose, however, that if the community of Staten Island is also of the general impression that “reproductive health is a cervine right,” then they deserve the outcome of their perverse and utterly foolish and expensive program.

It will undoubtedly result in buck deer having an erection that lasts for more than 4 hours, and so, who are they going to call? If a man walking around with an erection for more than 4 hours is worthy of a phone call to the doctor, and if deer have a “cervine right” to reproductive health, is this not a clear case of animal abuse?

In addition, we know, but are not deterred, that multiple sex partners results in the spread of sexually transmitted diseases. With doe deer in a perpetual horny stage and buck deer, not unlike the male human species, eager to please, surely there will be an exponential explosion of multiple sex partners among the deer. Is there a risk of the spread of sexually transmitted diseases among the deer, or other health risks? With the deer, having no say in their “right” to reproductive health, isn’t this another clear example of animal abuse?

There is no end to this idiocy!

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Venison 101

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People in Eastport, Maine Complain of Nuisance Deer and Complain About How It’s Done

Nearly a year ago I shared a report that in far eastern Maine, the town of Eastport wanted the state to do something about the slew of deer that had moved into town. Of course there are reasons the deer have moved into town but, as usual, that issue is never addressed. Instead, according to George Smith, columnist at the Bangor Daily News, a mere 30 permits were issued to kill up to 30 deer. With those permits, 11 deer were taken.

It appears as though the town and its people are complaining about the deer and yet don’t seem willing to remove all or some of their restrictions in order that the job can be done. Perhaps it is time to tell Eastport that if they aren’t willing to give a little, they are on their own to figure the problem out.

Eastport has a ban on the discharging of a firearm, and so only archery can be employed to kill the deer. As Smith points out, “This is not hunting. This is killing.”

The Town of Eastport is not entirely to blame. Because of new zoning, it became unlawful to hunt does in the Eastport region. The allotment of “Any-Deer Permits” by the Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife (MDIFW) is to control the growth or decline of deer populations. This is why the state stepped up and issued 30 permits for just one year. Realizing this effort did nothing to mitigate the deer problem, the MDIFW has issued another 30 permits and when 30 deer have been killed, they will issue another 60 permits.

With continued restrictions on the use of firearms, that hunters are restricted to using designated tree stands and the outlawing of baiting, the stage remains set for the killing of perhaps as many as 11 deer.

Evidently the deer problem isn’t THAT bad.

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