August 2, 2015

Reminder: Deadline to Apply for the Any-Deer Permit Lottery is Approaching

Press Release from the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife:

Hello-
Just a quick reminder that the deadline to apply for the 2015 Any-Deer Permit Lottery is quickly approaching!

Paper applications must be submitted in person or by mail no later than 5 P.M. on July 27, 2015. Applications will be accepted online until 11:59 p.m. on August 17, 2015. To apply online, visit www.mefishwildlife.com

It is free to apply for the any-deer permit lottery. The drawing will be held on September 9, 2015 and results will be posted on the Department’s website.

The department uses the any-deer permit system to manage the white-tailed deer population in the state. By controlling the harvest of female deer in the 29 regional wildlife management districts throughout the state, biologists can manage population trends.

A total of 28,770 any-deer permits will be issued in 15 of the state’s 29 wildlife management districts. This is a decrease from last year when there were 37,185 permits available to hunters. The permit allocation is: 7,196 for landowners; 7,196 for juniors; and 398 for Superpack holders and 13,980 for all other hunters.

This past winter was of above-average severity in some parts of the state, which may have resulted in increased winter mortality rates for our over-wintering deer. Therefore, IFW wildlife biologists have recommended decreasing the number of any-deer permits in much of the state.

The 15 wildlife management districts where any-deer (antlerless) permits will be issued are 3, 6, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26 and 29. This year, permits have been allocated to districts 3, 6, 14, and 18 as biological data collected and field observations by staff suggest that these WMD’s have experienced population growth.

Deer hunting season (firearms) begins with Youth Deer Hunting Day on Saturday, Oct. 24, 2015. Youth may take a buck statewide or an antlerless deer only in the wildlife management districts where any-deer permits will be issued this fall.

This year, Maine Residents Only Day is on Saturday, October 31, 2015, and regular firearms season for deer runs November 2 through November 28, 2015.

For more information, visit www.mefishwildlife.com

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State to issue 23 percent fewer any-deer permits this year

*Editor’s Note* – It is no secret that one of the biggest reasons wildlife management is failing nationwide is because of what is explained below. “Social Carrying Capacity” is a non scientific, totalitarian means of creating scarcity while hiding behind the fake paradigm of meeting social tolerances. Such a fake world in which we live.

“[And] although WMD 14 does not appear to be at or near biological carry capacity, regional biologists related that current deer abundance may be approaching social carrying capacity,” Ravana wrote.

Car-deer accidents and nuisance deer eating homeowners’ plants and gardens are two examples of situations that can contribute to a lowering of “social carrying capacity.”

“As such, the department provided a limited doe harvest to [WMD 14] in an attempt to bring the population down to a more acceptable abundance level,” Ravana wrote. “This will be the first hunting season since 2007 that WMD 14 has received an [any-deer permit] allocation.”

Source: State to issue 23 percent fewer any-deer permits this year | Out There

Pennsylvania hunters still thinking about coyotes in the summer

*Editor’s Note* – Here is an example of how deeply ingrained the brainwashing about predators has consumed this country – even outdoor writers. I will not take the time to address the suggestions about what we should do to help the whitetail deer herd but only to say that the author, like all good environmentalists who know nothing about predator control and especially history, echos the claim that coyotes have this uncanny ability to produce more offspring when numbers are reduced, claiming studies prove this. In fact, studies don’t prove this. If you sort out the repeated nonsense within outcome-based studies, we can find one report that suggests it might be a possibility. But that is a minor point in the grand scheme of things.

Like with ongoing game management programs, so too must predator control be ongoing and integrated into individual game management programs. This has become a necessary tool due to the ongoing efforts of environmentalists’ protection of predators. Effective predator control works and is proven to be very effective when implemented as a continuous program.

Factual instances have shown that spending a lot of time and money improving habitat does nothing to improve the sustainability of whitetail deer when predators are the leading cause of mortality. This would be akin to building new homes in areas where there are no people, without first addressing the issue of why people do not want to move to that area.

Historically, like all good environmentalists, they blame the hunters and trappers for killing off all the wolves and coyotes in this country and yet, when hunters and trappers take to the woods to kill unwanted predators, the same environmentalists claim that hunting and trapping coyotes only causes them to have more offspring.

It cannot be had both ways.

Source: Pennsylvania hunters still thinking about coyotes in the summer – Outdoor News – June 2015

Islesboro grapples over deer hunt — again

ISLESBORO, Maine — Along with flowers, warm breezes and visitors from other states, warm weather on Islesboro brings worries about ticks, Lyme disease and, by most accounts, an overabundance of deer on the picturesque Maine island community. Earlier this month, residents voted 45 to 27 at a special town meeting […]

Source: Islesboro grapples over deer hunt — again — Midcoast — Bangor Daily News — BDN Maine

Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife – Any-Deer Permits

During the regular firearms, and muzzle-loading seasons, only those hunters possessing a valid Maine Any-Deer permit may hunt antlerless deer and bucks with antlers less than three inches in length.

Source: Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife – Any-Deer Permits

Getting Paid for Getting Tail

What do you do when you really, really, need a hunter to kill some deer? Simple. You make it worth his while. When he registers a whitetail he’s killed, you give him $150 for his trouble—or, rather, for his deer tail. That’s what officials in Block Island, Rhode Island, did last fall. Like many suburban areas, Block Island—a 9,734-acre landmass off the state’s coast—struggles to control its whitetail population. “We’ve had estimates as high as 80 deer per square mile,” says Nancy Dodge, town manager in North Shoreham. “And the Department of Environmental Management (DEM) recommends about 10 deer per square mile. We have a high incidence of Lyme disease here, and people were getting really concerned.” Hunting is legal on Block Island, but not on weekends or during school holidays. “We have hiking trails and open spaces throughout the island that are used heavily by residents and tourists alike,” says Dodge. “Basically, our hunters were telling us that in order to and hunt, they’d need to take time off from work, and many couldn’t afford to do that.”

Source: Rhode Island Town Pays Bucks for Bucktail | Field & Stream

Deer management study raises eyebrows, plenty of questions

The following is the very last paragraph in an article written by V. Paul Reynolds and published in the Sun Journal. After reading what this paragraph says, is it any wonder why Maine’s deer herd is going to hell in a hand basket?

I would suppose it’s more important to spend money and staff flying around in helicopters counting deer to verify the fact that deer managers stink at the task of actual deer management in order to further hunting opportunities (after all, it’s what pays their salaries).

Maybe if wildlife managers took a closer look at piping plovers and did a better job of counting bats and butterflies, somehow from that maybe they can figure out how better to grow deer. It seems that’s the method in play, along with waiting on that global warming.

How’s that all working out for you anyway?

As you might guess, this report — which has not had much media scrutiny that I know of — raises as many questions as it answers. When I asked wildlife managers in Augusta to react to this somewhat controversial study, I was told that other priorities have been in play, and so far there has not been the staff or the time to assess the study, or weigh its findings against contemporary deer management goals.

Source: Deer management study raises eyebrows, plenty of questions | Sun Journal

“Deer Wintering Areas in the State of Maine” by Samuel Wasserman

*Editor’s Note* – The following contains a map of great value to anyone who is interested to know where the State of Maine recognizes “Deer Wintering Areas.” The map can be magnified to locate even the smallest of DWAs.

Wasserman, Samuel “Atlas of Maine: Deer Wintering Areas in the State of Maine,” Atlas of Maine: Vol. 2015: No. 1, Article 10.
Available at: http://digitalcommons.colby.edu/atlas_docs/vol2015/iss1/10

This map shows deer wintering areas throughout the state of Maine in relation to Wildlife Management District boundaries. Deer wintering areas are defined by a forested area that deer use when (a) snow gets deeper than 12 inches in the open, (b) when deer sink into snow deeper than 8 inches in the open, and (c) when mean daily temperature falls below 32 degrees Fahrenheit. Major highways and roads are also shown on the map to illustrate the proximity of DWA to many urban and developed areas.

Source: “Deer Wintering Areas in the State of Maine” by Samuel Wasserman

Maine Deer Harvest Trends

A reader took the time to do some sampling of data taken over several years to help Maine hunters better understand deer harvest trends. Below you will find a blow-up of one squared-out region of Central Maine, numbered and labeled with town name. Within each of those boxes is a number that shows the number of deer harvested for 2014. You can see the entire map of Maine and the deer harvest report by visiting the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife webpage.

The second graph requires a bit of study. It shows certain comparisons of deer harvest, beginning in 2005 and up until the latest – 2014. The number of deer kills is taken from the Maine map and recorded according to the matching town. These numbers are then compared with other years by straight numbers and percentages. I found it very interesting.

2014TownDataHarvest
TownHarvestData
ToughFallDeer

How Long Does it Take to Count 22,490 Dead, Registered Deer?

I’ll go out on a limb here, but mind you I’m quite conservative, unbrave and often resort to just laughter, and say that 99% of Maine deer hunters are pretty much only interested in how many deer get tagged each deer season. All deer that are shot and handled legally, are tagged at a volunteer (that gets paid a small fee) tagging station and reported to the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife (MDIFW). So how long can it take to count registered deer? (See the 2014 deer harvest report just posted.)

Evidently quite a long time (see chart below).

There’s very few people, other than a couple of biologists at MDIFW (maybe), who care about how many bucks, how many does, what the weather was like or whether or not Aunt Mabel wore her thermals this year when hunting. Aside from interest in “trophy” deer, hunters just want to know how many deer were taken so they can compare it to many things…the most of which MDIFW couldn’t give a dried up deer bladder for.

Why then, do Maine deer hunters have to wait for a report that includes the number of deer tagged in each town, etc.? Perhaps a few like to have that information and wouldn’t bother them too much to get it in June or July even, and I question why that would take so long. (Note: I like every piece of data that COULD be gotten from MDIFW but still is like a slippery eel trying to get it.)

We live in an age where information is available in just about real time. “Unofficial” deer harvest numbers should be available, at a minimum of once per day; once a week would be nice or even one or two days after the conclusion of all the deer hunting seasons around mid-December. (Another note: Many states have near-instant reporting of deer harvest now. Maine doesn’t need to invent this on their own.)

Over the years, I have heard probably all the excuses of why it takes so long to report. The two that seem to rise up to the surface the fastest are: 1. The tagging stations take so long to report, and 2. It takes deer biologists(?) a long time to process all the data in order to put the report together. Both excuses are BS.

You and I could have a discussion about the hows, whys and wherefores of devising a deer harvest report but at least consider this. If MDIFW is still living in the dark ages, i.e. they can’t get registered deer information to August in a timely manner and it takes months to draft a report, then by God it’s time for a change – a change that would save license fee payers lots of money. Aside from the initial outlay of a handful of computers and Internet modems, if service is not available in remote areas, a tagged and registered deer should be on MDIFW’s hard drive in a matter of hours from the time the deer is tagged. A simple computer program can accomplish all tasks assigned to it. This becomes electronically accomplished, instead of hours of man-hours paid – how much per hour?

Any business taking 3-7 months to take data and devise a report has inefficiency and unnecessary costs plastered all over it. It is also destined for failure.

I’ll leave this rant with another thought. I hear unending calls for more money for MDIFW. Some work tirelessly to get general tax dollars to prop up MDIFW. I’m not necessarily against responsible funding of MDIFW. However, I have called for a complete audit, made available to the public, BEFORE any more money is thrown at MDIFW. The above example might just be proof of one incident where money is being wasted and could easily be corrected through efficiency.

Who knows. Maybe combine this with some sound deer management and Maine could once again have deer to hunt. Cheer up. According to many of these managers, global warming is going to save the deer.

DeerHarvestReportDates