September 22, 2018

WOHOOO! Maine IFW Enters Modern World of Tagging Game

Congratulations are definitely in order to the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife (MDIFW) for going above and beyond anything I thought ever possible. They have entered the technology era and devised a system of an instant electronic game registration.

Even though MDIFW seems to be mired in their bad habit of silence in what they do with not one word made available that they were even working on this project, I am delighted to read the news.

The headline reads that hunters, agents, and MDIFW will benefit from this new-age system. And to flex their muscles, a press release (below) tells readers ALREADY how many bears have been registered in the first two weeks of the bear season.

In comparison, last year’s bear hunting season harvest had not been published on the website at the start of this year’s season.

And speaking of websites, it appears that MDIFW has rushed forward to remove the link on their website that takes users to the game harvest page, but I cannot see any link yet(?) to where I can get the harvest data that MDIFW is getting. Is that something that is going to be included in the hunter’s benefit of this new system? According to the press release, I have serious doubts that MDIFW will go that far. They may talk a big talk about working with “customers,” but seldom show it in the final run.

An examination of the Press Release may hold the answer that MDIFW does not intend to make this data readily available to the public on their website: “The new web based system is simpler and faster, and provides the department with real-time data concerning the harvest of animals. This allows the department to provide customers with information about deer or moose harvest numbers more quickly…” (emboldening added)

As lousy as MDIFW is in getting reports out to the public in any sense of responsibility, one has to wonder just how often they intend to notify the public as to harvest data. Hopefully, they can beat their average harvest reporting time schedule of about 6 months.

MDIFW is required by law to make this information available to the public. Can MDIFW skirt that requirement by occasionally publishing a few numbers? We will have to wait and see.

A real benefit for everyone would be that MDIFW creates a landing page on their website if for nothing else than to publish real-time registered game animals. That is not a difficult task to do.

It appears that my days of relentless bitching and moaning about MDIFW’s never publishing game harvest data are over. I sure hope this new system doesn’t give me other reasons to bitch and complain.

In the meantime, congratulations to Chandler Woodcock and MDIFW for finally undertaking this event and getting it operational at the start of the bear season. We will all look forward to its progress through the remainder of the bear season as well as moose and deer. We are also told next season this new system will be used for trapping season.

Wohooo!

Hunters, Agents, and MDIFW Benefit From New, Web-Based Registration System

AUGUSTA, Maine — A new, web based game registration system is up and running at tagging stations statewide, providing hunters, stations and the department with an efficient, easy to use system that benefits all.

“This new system will quickly allow tagging stations and hunters to register their animal, and also provide our biologists and game wardens with real-time harvest data,” said Chandler Woodcock, Commissioner of the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife.

The new web-based system became operational the opening day of bear season, August 27, and has been providing instant data to department personnel about the progress of bear season.

Opening week of bear season, hunters registered 1,141 bears. Hunters have now registered a total of 2,826 bears for the season.

The system replaces the old game registration booklets, where agents used to fill in the data by hand. The books would be in possession of the agents until the end of the hunting seasons in December, and then shipped to Augusta where all data was entered by hand.

The new web based system is simpler and faster, and provides the department with real-time data concerning the harvest of animals. This allows the department to provide customers with information about deer or moose harvest numbers more quickly, as well as provide its biologists the information they need to make decisions on seasons and permit numbers in a much more timely manner.

The new system is a result of an intensive effort by the department’s Bureau of Resource Management, the Division of Licensing and Registration and the Bureau of the Warden Service collaborating with InforME to develop an online application that ensures reliable data while remaining easy to use for registration agents. MDIFW staff has been training the more than 300 stations on how to use the new system. For a complete list of tagging stations, please visit: https://www.maine.gov/ifw/hunting-trapping/tagging-stations.html.

“With any new system, there’s always a few bumps, but we’ve had staff available to assist with this transition to the new system as well as a help line for agents provided by InforME,” said Woodcock. “We are also looking for feedback from our customers on how to improve the system.

The electronic registration program is the latest step in automating more of the services that MDIFW provides, which includes online applications for deer and moose permits, online licensing, electronic lawbooks and the electronic game registration program. These are designed to be provide customers with the information and services they need via simple and efficient access from almost anywhere.

This new system will be in place for game registration, and beginning next year, will be available for fur tagging as well.

Currently Maine is in the midst of bear season, which continues through November 24, 2018. The first week of moose season begins September 24 and the archery season for deer begins September 29. Maine has 215,000 licensed hunters. To obtain a license online or to learn more about hunting in Maine, visit www.mefishwildlife.com.

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And Just What is the “Cure” for Protecting Deer Wintering Areas?

A couple of weeks ago I made my own comments about a recent “study” done by the University of Maine about “zoning” of deer wintering areas. Their useless study, which proved nothing and only caused the authors to formulate nonsensical theories, suggested that saving a small piece of land or forest for deer wintering wasn’t working.

George Smith weighs in on the study, which evidently he finds a valid argument worthy of a Pulitzer Prize. “I’m wondering if DIFW will change its approach to protecting critical deer winter habitat…”

And what exactly should that approach be? Do we take up the role in an, even more, strong-armed and fascist-like determination and simply take land from people in which environmentally-educated people have determined needs to be “protected” in order to “protect” deer?

When people fail in an ability to think for themselves, they can only see man’s destructive ways – real or imagined as drummed into them by Environmentalism. This narrative of man-hating and private property ownership dislike, along with the consumptive use of resources sets the stage for totalitarians to fulfill the wishes of the fascists.

Solving the problem, if it is really all that serious, of protecting deer wintering areas, is not an easy one. What hinders the finding of a solution is the fact that environmental fascism prohibits consideration of other factors.

These people believe deer are stupid and unadaptable. They need to get out of their offices. Do they actually think just because in their tiny minds trees were cut down and ruined what they determined were part of a deer wintering area the deer that go to for the winter months are just going to lay down and die? Evidently.

And all of this while at the same time promoting Climate Change. Why once the oceans stop rising and killing all the coastal deer, there will no longer be a need for deer wintering areas.

KUMBAYA!

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Is Maine’s “Any-Deer Permit” Allocation System Broken?

One has to ask if the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife’s (MDIFW) “Any-Deer Permit” system is broken and/or outdated. Consider this information.

For those who might not know, MDIFW uses a system in which deer managers determine how many antlerless deer permits should be issued in each of the state’s Wildlife Management Districts (WMD). This system is used to control the population of deer within that WMD. The theory is that when MDIFW needs to grow the number of deer in a WMD they reduce or eliminate Any-Deer Permits. On the reverse, if the MDIFW believes the number of deer need to be reduced in a WMD, they increase the number of permits issued. But does this still work and is it time for modifications?

For whatever the reasons, Maine has in much of the state a terrible accounting of a deer herd. In some places, deer have exceeded what MDIFW wrongly determines to be “social carrying capacity” i.e. the number of deer the public will tolerate.

Where once MDIFW set a goal of in excess of 300,000 deer statewide, they now have decided that somewhere around 200,000 is a good number. Perhaps by 2033, that number will be approaching 100,000. And with this information, we know that MDIFW decided to issue close to 85,000 Any-Deer Permits in hopes that with this record number of permits issued – EVAH! – they can come up with about 9,000 does harvested for the 2018 deer season.

DISMAL!

If we consider all of the excuses MDIFW gives for a poor showing for deer management, shouldn’t the department be asking themselves if this Any-Deer program is still viable?

Whether Climate Change is valid or not; whether loss of habitat is valid or not; whether increased access to land is valid or not; whether the destruction of deer wintering areas is valid or not; whether deer managers are brainwashed by Environmentalism is valid or not; whether MDIFW doesn’t have enough money to properly manage wildlife is valid or not; whether social demands are valid or not; whether consistent threats from animal rights groups and environmentalists is valid or not; there are still some things that aren’t really being talked about.

MDIFW said that last deer hunting season the quota for the number of does they wished to be harvested was not reached in all but 6 of the WMDs. However, MDIFW has never given a reason why this happened. It is vital to know. Without knowing this information, how does issuing 28% more Any-Deer Permits this year pass the straight-face test?

Combine this with information provided by George Smith the other day. His article was about a public hearing held by the Fish and Wildlife Advisory Council concerning the proposed issuance of 85,000 (an all-time record) Any-Deer Permits: “The department held a public hearing on June 26 and only two members of the public attended and no testimony was given.”

Maybe the reason MDIFW couldn’t fill their quota last year is that there are too few hunters to get the job done. Maybe the reason MDIFW couldn’t fill their quota is that there just aren’t enough deer to go around. Maybe the reason MDIFW couldn’t fill their quota is that nobody really cares, including MDIFW, any more about MDIFW’s deer management that produces fewer and fewer opportunities to bag a deer – horns or no horns.

So, are we to just assume that because quotas weren’t filled last year a simple issuing of 85,000 Any-Deer Permits will magically cause the quota to be met this year?

Maybe in those WMDs where quotas were not filled, there are so many trophy bucks it was easier to shoot one of those than an antlerless deer?

So, if the continued implementation of an Any-Deer Permit allocation system is failing to grow more deer in northern, western and eastern Maine, and the same system is failing to control the deer population in southern and central Maine, maybe the darn system is broken.

Insanity trudges on!

 

 

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Avoiding Accountability in Deer Management

In the recent past, I have written quite a bit about my concern for the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife’s (MDIFW) change of direction in their new deer management plans. Those plans seem to include a shift from bothering much about counting deer to a non-accountable waste of time concerning themselves with a general good health of game animals – and that Agenda 21 term of “sustainable” that everybody is in love with. (You can find some of my articles that cover this environmentalist-shift to game management here, here, here, here.)

V. Paul Reynolds says that MDIFW is “falling short of goals” when it comes to deer management and cites the previous 15-year plan that set as a goal a population of deer at 384,000 – cough, choke, spit, laugh. Reynolds sobering words remind us of the realities of the actual estimated deer population – “less than half that.”

Reynolds doesn’t think a management plan void of counting is worth much either. He asks, “in the end isn’t it the number of deer that we have or don’t have that is at the core of professional whitetail management?”

It has appeared to me right from the get-go that this new deer management plan is a better way to avoid responsibility and accountability when deer management goals call for 384,000 animals and the failure in that is so great less than half that number exist.

According to Reynolds, the new management plan targets a “healthy” deer population of around 210,000 by 2033. All MDIFW has to do is hope like hell their prized “Climate Change” allows them to somehow maintain the terrible number of deer now. At the rate things have gone, we can expect a deer population of around 105,000 by 2033.

In reality, I think what is reported that an assistant wildlife director said if more than a mouthful and an honest assessment tells the real story: “The goals for deer population management outlined in the updated 2017 Big Game plan are to maintain a healthy and sustainable deer population, rather than limiting a particular WMD to a hard target density objective — like in the past couple of plans. This allows for greater flexibility in management actions to adapt to changing landscapes, climate fluctuations, social issues, etc.”

Whenever any government leader/employee uses the term “flexibility” you should know by now that that means we’re all about the get taken to the cleaners with no accounting on their part. In other words, this new plan allows MDIFW to do just about anything or nothing at all, and because they have issued themselves “flexibility” they have not failed at their job – a well-defined recipe for FAILURE.

Along with this flexibility, they have ensured that there are scapegoats (the dog ate my homework) – “changing landscapes, climate fluctuations, social issues..” And the big one here is the last – “etc.” Evidently “etc” means they just fill in the blank.

Environmentalism sucks!! Its purpose and plan is to manage for scarcity so that nobody benefits in any way and the wage earner and retirement pension seeker is not held accountable in any way. Oh, America! Land of the free…loader.

The last nail is driven in the coffin and as the death of deer hunting and other game animals falls upon our society, the government agency in charge can say, we were just following the 15-year management plan.

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New Study? “Zoning” Ineffective Way to Protect Deer Wintering Habitat

Personally, I think these so-called studies should be either banned or categorized for what they are – modeling fiction.

Little in this report about a “new study” at the University of Maine makes sense and determines nothing except a suggestion that the only way we can protect those deer wintering areas that researchers seem to think deer can only survive in is to lock up the land with regulations that prohibit the use of any kind. How wonderful.

The report shares such brilliance as this: “The researchers found that zoning was effective at protecting winter habitat within zoned areas, but that ‘the zoning protections, which have exclusively targeted core use areas, have contributed little to reducing fragmentation or maintaining habitat connectivity region-wide in northern Maine.'”

And that means…?

And when it is all said and done, we are left with information few will read and even fewer will understand: “The study emphasized that monitoring is needed to understand the long-term benefits of zoning in wildlife habitat conservation, and that remote sensing can be a way to overcome the difficulty of monitoring protected forest areas.” (emphasis added) (sounds like more money is needed…wink, wink)

But we were just told there are no benefits to zoning…no, no, wait a minute we were told that there is a benefit in zoning but there isn’t a benefit in zoning. Zoning within zones zoned for zoning might do the trick. Got that?

And while their study SUGGESTS many things, it determines nothing and this is further substantiated by their emphasis that “monitoring” is needed in order to understand something about what it is they just spent time “studying.”

I wonder who paid for this and why it qualifies for publication?

 

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Record Number of Doe Permits Unanimously Approved by Maine Advisory Council

There were no objections from the Advisory Council to the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife’s (MDIFW) proposal to issue nearly 85,000 “Any-Deer” permits for this upcoming deer hunting season – an all-time record number.

Sensible people might have thought that with the state’s deer hunting still running at abysmal levels in some places of the state with harvest numbers continually far below what used to be normal, at least one member of the Advisory Council would have objected to this proposal.

It has been made clear that the majority of the increase comes in Wildlife Management Districts (WMD) where last year’s projected (or hoped-for) doe harvest was not reached. However, I find it most unscientific when the MDIFW repeatedly says, “The proposed increase in permits is a result of the goals and objectives set by the public in the state’s big-game management plan…”

Scape Goat?

Evidently, in this modern era in which Environmentalism rules game management plans are driven by social demands and not by science. MDIFW may become another laughing stock as they move toward a focus on “healthy” game species rather than paying much attention to numbers. History has proven that with overgrown numbers of any species, health becomes the number one issue. Wildlife over-protection is an agenda item of Environmentalists which is a “social” action in which MDIFW now makes their management decisions by. Along with that over-protection comes large swings in animal populations, especially when disease and predators, are “balancing” nature.

It will be interesting to see the results of this increase in “Any-Deer” permits. MDIFW claims that the quota for doe kills was not reached in all but six of the WMDs, but have failed to answer the question as to why – was it due to too few permits issued for those regions or lack of licensed hunters and/or enough time to hunt in order to reach those quotas? It does make a difference.

If there are simply not enough hunters and/or the season isn’t long enough to reach the desired harvest, certainly adding more permits, by 28%, will do little to reach those desired harvest levels.

And please don’t tell us that does aren’t being shot because there is an over-abundance of bucks.

Permit winners will be announced September 7.

 

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Oops! Computer Crashes on Maine’s Any-Deer Permit Application

Deadline extended until Monday.

MDIFW spokesman says they will email everyone who applied for a permit last year to let them know they have until Monday to apply.

With Maine’s deer population running at low numbers and MDIFW allotting a record number of “Any-Deer Permits” it would appear something has to give. Is it that Maine is looking for a one year boost in deer harvest to make things look better than they really are? And what will the deer harvest for 2019 look like?

Even with the increased number of permits going to Wildlife Management Districts where officials say deer numbers need to be reduced, it still makes little sense to me that a record number of permits are needed to balance the overall population.

Couple these thoughts with the new approach MDIFW has decided to take toward deer management where health is the number one issue and counting and tracking populations is not, it’s tough to justify a move to issue unprecedented numbers of anterless deer permits.

I don’t like…but in two years time, we will have a better idea.

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Applications for 2018 any-deer (antlerless) permit lottery are now available online from the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife.

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

 To apply online, visit www.mefishwildlife.com. Online applications are due by 11:59 P.M. on August 15, 2018.

It is free to apply for the any-deer permit lottery. The drawing will be held on September 7, 2018 and results will be posted on the Department’s website.

For this coming deer season, a total 84,745 any-deer permits are proposed for 22 of the state’s 29 wildlife management districts across the state, an increase of 28%. Last year, there were 66,050 permits available to hunters.  Hunters who do not receive an Any Deer permit are only allowed to shoot an antlered deer (with some exceptions during archery season and on youth day).

This year, make sure you also apply for a bonus permit, as there are likely to be wildlife management districts where there are more any deer permits available than there are hunters who apply for them. In these districts, hunters can get a bonus antlerless permit for no charge if they apply and are selected. Last year, bonus permits were awarded in WMDS 20, 21, 22, 24, and 29 which are located in southern, central and coastal Maine.

Hunter success rates are much higher for those with an any deer permit. Generally, success rates for deer hunters in Maine hover around 15% but those with an any deer permit harvested a deer over 20% of the time.

Permit numbers are increasing in nine southern and central wildlife management districts, are decreasing in 11 WMDs and staying the same in nine WMDS. You can find the complete numbers at https://www.maine.gov/ifw/hunting-trapping/any-deer-permit.html#permitallocations. The permit numbers reflect that the 2017-18 winter was more moderate in central and southern Maine, while up north the winter was a little more severe than years past.

The department uses the any-deer permit system to manage the white-tailed deer population in the state. The ability to enact change in the state’s deer populations derives from the ability to increase, or decrease, the number of breeding female deer on the landscape. By controlling the harvest of female deer in the 29 regional wildlife management districts throughout the state, biologists can manage population trends.

Deer hunters in Maine harvested 27,233 deer in 2017, the highest total in the last ten years and an increase of 15% from 2016. Maine’s deer hunt is broken down into several seasons for firearm hunters, muzzleloaders and bow hunters. Most deer are harvested during the general firearms season (23,288), which started on October 28th and continued until November 25. Bowhunters took 2,099 deer, and hunters took 970 deer during the muzzleloading season. Maine’s junior hunters were also very successful on youth day, with 876 youth hunters taking a deer this year.

Deer hunting in Maine provides many Maine families with wild game meat that is high in nutrition, sustainable, free range, and organic. On average, a 150-pound field dressed deer will provide close to 70 pounds of meat.

Deer hunting season (firearms) begins with Youth Deer Hunting Day on Saturday, October 20, 2018. 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 27, 2017 and regular firearms season for deer runs October 29 through November 24, 2017. Once again this year, a nonresident who owns 25 or more acres of land in Maine and leaves land open to hunting, holds a valid hunting license, and is not otherwise prohibited by law, may hunt deer on the Resident only day.

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Maine IFW Posts Ancient 2017 Deer Harvest Report…Sort of

Yesterday I noticed that finally, the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife (MDIFW) posted the 2017 deer harvest report.

A couple things to note: First, the report is dated June 13, 2018. If that was the actual date this report was completed, why did it take at least 2 more weeks to make it public? Or did they post-date it so they wouldn’t be guilty of setting a new tardiness record?

Second, when examining the map MDIFW uses to show the number of deer tagged within each town when you enlarge the map hoping to be able to read the town listed in each town’s boundary, it is illegible. Older reports don’t seem to have that problem. This becomes worthless for those trying to make comparisons from one year to the next without being able to distinguish the towns.

Third, beginning in 2012 MDIFW published what they call an “Age Report.” This report simply lists the estimated age of each deer tagged for that season. I wish it contained more information. The Age Report for 2017 has not been made public yet.

Incidentally, the total deer harvest for 2017 stands at 27,233.

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Maine: Public Hearing Regarding Antlerless Deer Permits

A public hearing is scheduled for Tuesday, June 26, 2018 at 6:00pm at the Augusta Armory, Room 209, 179 Western Avenue in Augusta regarding the proposed antlerless deer permit numbers for the 2018 regular deer hunting season and special muzzle-loading season.

Members of the public are encouraged to attend the public hearing.

Comments may also be shared in writing by July 6, 2018 to Becky Orff, Inland Fisheries and Wildlife, 284 State Street 41 SHS, Augusta, ME 04333; phone: 207-287-5202; fax: 207-287-6395; e-mail: Becky.Orff@maine.gov

Click HERE for full proposal details and additional information.

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