November 13, 2018

My Eyes: Maybe They Do Look So Good Anymore

There’s an old Maine story sometimes told. I first heard it when being entertained by Maine humorist Joe Perham many years ago. Maine has always had a strong French Canadian influence. The transition from the Canadian French to Maine English sometimes leaves one amused or confused. The French tend, in their interpretations and implementation of the English language, to get the order or use of certain words mixed up. The old Maine story goes something like this.

Two farmers who lived on opposite ends of town seldom had the pleasure of meeting and visiting each other. But when they did, it often began a series of bartering and sometimes bickering and undoubtedly confusion, leading to anger.

One day the two men met near the center of town. They briefly exchanged pleasantries. One farmer, Les,  said to the farmer of French descent, “Say, Pierre. I’m looking for a mule to work my farm.”

Pierre replied, “Well, I got one but his eyes they no look so good anymore.”

Farmer Les said, “I don’t care what he looks like. What you gut to git for that mule?”

“I’ll trade you my mule for your mule,” offered Pierre.

So in a couple of days, they met and swapped mules. Les had a reputation for a bit of dishonest bartering. He knew his mule was old and tired and figured an even swap was a good deal, getting the better of the trade. However, after a couple of days, Les went looking for Pierre.

Say, Pierre, “That mule you swapped me for…the dang thing’s blind!”

“Yeah, I know,” replied Pierre. “I told you his eyes they no look so good anymore.”

During my hunting trip to Hunting Camp, I came away with a bit of reassurance that my eyesight wasn’t failing worse than I thought in my advancing years. Three events took place that reassured me that for 66 years in age, my eyes they do look so good anymore.

The first event happened the day we arrived at Hunting Camp. As is tradition, we target shoot. From the sitting rest that somebody once built, to the target is approximately 30 yards or about 90 to 100 feet. I don’t know that any of us have ever measured exactly.

I stood behind the shooters and I could most often tell the shooter where his bullet hit the target – even the .223 caliber rounds. Most shooters doubted my ability to see that well at that distance, but upon examination of the target, more than not I was right.

As a side note, just before I got out of the U.S. Navy in 1976, I decided to have my teeth fixed and my eyes checked to at least get me taken care of for a while. I’ll spare the details but the eye doctor became fascinated with my seeing ability and gave me a thorough examination, determining that my eyesight was 20/8. Normal vision is 20/20. 20/8 vision means that what “normal” eyes can see at 8 feet, I could see at 20. The doctor told me Ted Williams, the all-time great baseball slugger, had 20/10 vision and that’s why he could hit the baseball so well.

I know I no longer have 20/8 vision. I need glasses to read by. Needless to say, I am a typical far-sighted person.

The following day, which was opening day of the regular firearms season for deer, at precisely 2 minutes after legal hunting, a fellow hunter and I were getting ready to drive out of the woods on our ATV. At a distance of approximately 300 yards, I made out two does’ silhouette at the top of a hill on the power line. I pointed them out to my buddy who took a while to pick them up…through his binoculars I might add.

The third event was a couple days later when I was still hunting in some small beeches that still had not shed their leaves. Scanning the landscape, I spotted a “brown” spot that seemed a bit out of place. I guessed what I was seeing was about 75 yards away. I continued to study the object until I focused in on a deer’s face staring directly at me. I swear the deer had a look on her face that said what the heck is that?

She continued to stare as I slowly raised my gun to see what she looked like in my scope. I wanted desparately to place a set of antlers on her head. Seeing none at 3x power, I brought the gun down and turned the power up to 7x. Still no antlers. I knew the chances were pretty good that if I was seeing a nice buck…well, I wouldn’t be seeing a nice buck hanging around wondering what I was up to.

She turned her head 90 degrees away from me and straight ahead as she was facing. I knew what was next. She bounded away, but lazily. I did spy her again watching me as I continued to still hunt.

In the past few years, mostly because I haven’t been able to even see deer in the woods, I have resorted to sitting in places in the woods or in a ground blind. I don’t like getting into tree stands anymore. I wondered if not seeing deer was solely attributed to lack of deer to spot or if it was my failing eyesight.

It was comforting and reassuring to know that my eyes “look good enough” to still be able to pick out a deer perhaps a little better than the average hunter.

 

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Animals Are NOT People

Recently, an animal protectionist voiced concern about the spread of Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) in Maine. We all should be concerned about the spread of this deadly to animal disease (it has of yet not proven that it can jump over and infect humans). But, animals, as much as we care about their welfare, even those animals given to us by our Creator as a natural resource to enjoy from viewing to table fare, are not people and should not be treated as such. In doing so, lines of priority in the life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness of all get blurred even to a point of perversion.

The article begins by making an association of equality or even preference of the animal over that of man by stating: “If we had a chance to help a human or an animal, why wouldn’t we do it? If we knew that the situation could easily get worse — in some cases, far worse — why wouldn’t we do what we could now instead of waiting?”

The first priority, in a natural setting of existence understanding, should always be that of man. Because Man was granted “dominion” over all the plants and animals by our Creator, the first concern is with people. Animals become secondary and of concern in this case because man’s existence is directly affected.

The perversion shows when the author uses the relative pronoun “who” in reference to a deer or deer collectively: “I would have thought that the DIFW biologist’s primary concern would have been the suffering and death of the animals who might contract CWD.” and, “…the feeding of deer who might have been exposed to CWD…”

The importance of this misuse of pronouns isn’t so much that the writing is grammatically incorrect, something a “published author from Bristol” should know, it is the exposure of the indoctrination that has perverted the minds of millions who insist on categorizing animals at the same existence level as that of man. How sick is that….really?

It is impossible to rightly attack any problem or establish any kind of rule or regulation in the management of any animal when the animal is not placed in the correct hierarchy according to relative importance based on the existence of Man. Because our animal-perverse society has muddied the differences between man and animal, such distinctions of utmost importance are lost and decisions rendered ended up being acts of perversion in their own right.

This misguided perversion shows when the author takes issue with comments made by the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife (MDIFW) about the concerns of the hunting industry should CWD have a devasting effect on the deer and moose. The author chooses to disregard the common sense association that their concerns over the health and welfare of the animals exist in unspoken words from the quotes that were handpicked.

Perhaps the upside of this is that the MDIFW sees the potential risks of the spread of disease as being first and foremost a concern for that of the people and their welfare and secondly to the animals and their health…or maybe not.

But, make no mistake about it, CWD is extremely problematic and the author does bring up some good points to consider.

It is impossible to stop the spread of the disease but steps can be taken to slow it down. The MDIFW already has mandatory regulations in place to help in that regard. Some of those steps may need to be strengthened if the disease shows signs of actually making its way into Maine.

Because CWD prions can find their way into the commercial marketing of urine-based scents and lures, I agree with the author that they should be banned.

I think the jury is still out on feeding of deer as to whether or not congregated feeding actually causes the spread of disease any more than in a natural setting due to the make-up of the disease itself. There are some trade-off issues that need to be considered when it comes to feeding deer, but the bottom line is that CWD will destroy the deer and moose herds and thus destroy the hunting industry as well as wildlife viewing.

As might be spoken by any avid totalitarian, animal rights activist, the following statement should be of concern to all: “It needs nothing less than the force of law.” 

As our collectivist society works harder and harder at destroying their own free existence, avidly calling on a fascist government (force of law) to rule with an iron fist should be of concern for all…but isn’t.

As with any of this talk, based on utter ignorance of facts, media echo chambers will continue to repeat misguided claims and false information without actually doing any real research to understand the creation and history of CWD. It’s a shame really but nothing more than a reflection of the automatonic existence that has been created for all of us.

As a brilliant man recently shared, with Collectivism comes collective ignorance and stupidity. Collectivism ensures like existence. How frightfully boring!

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Maine Deer Hunting Season: Not Much Has Changed

Saturday afternoon I returned from my annual deer hunting trip to a remote hunting camp in Western Maine. The verdict, from my perspective, is that very little has changed to improve the deer hunting there. Maybe even global warming – with two days of snow (snicker, snicker) – hasn’t made many improvements.

If you believe the hype the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife (MDIFW) is putting out about how Maine has so many deer now you’ll be tripping over them, then I have a bridge in New York City I would like to sell you at a fair price. How does one keep a straight face to be able to, in one breath, speak of how the new deer management scheme will consist of reducing the deer population in Maine to around 230,000 deer (down from around 350,000) and then send out press releases stating more deer than you can shake a stick at?

And speaking of press releases…One full week into the regular deer firearms season and the MDIFW armed with their hi-tech digital deer tagging system, and all we hear from the department is about a fish netting project. IMPRESSIVE!!!!

But back to my week at deer camp.

The weather was horrible for the week but I hunted faithfully every day. I thought that perhaps things had improved when on Monday, two minutes past legal hunting, two does emerge from the deep woods onto the powerline where I had been sitting in my blind for two hours.

On Wednesday, I was still hunting a section of heavy beech, where the leaves still have a death grip on the trees, when I spotted a nice doe, about thirty yards away staring me down. We exchanged stares and I tried my best to grow a set of antlers on her head. For the next hour, she stayed just ahead of me trying to figure out what I was doing.

And that was it!

There were six hunters covering the woods every day from sun up until sun down and those three deer were the only deer sighted. The general consensus was that there seemed to be more indications of more deer but sighting them was impossible.

Maybe there are spots in the state where deer numbers are up but not everywhere. It was my 32nd year at Hunting Camp and there have been many, many, changes to the habitat in that time. In that time, there has been nothing that an honest assessment would uncover that might lead one to think the climate is changing. Some think the climate is warming causing all sorts of weird things in the woods and yet at the same time of year every year, we seldom have snow to hunt on. However, in the past 5 years, we have had snow to hunt on the first week of deer season twice. Global warming? No more than it is global cooling.

When MDIFW decided to lower the deer population management goals by more than 100,000, it wasn’t due to anything scientific. It is political and a form of outcome-based Scientism. In other words, the department is mostly incapable of growing the population of anything unless it happens by chance. Similar to lowering the standards of education in order to improve graduation rates, to lower the deer population goal this drastically is a means of dishonest deception.

Why do we tolerate this?

I still have three weeks to hunt deer. I am in hopes that during part of that time I will move to areas where there seems to be more success at tagging deer and hopefully my odds improve.

I sure would like some venison to munch on this winter

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MDIFW News — Deer Season Set To Start Saturday

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

Deer Season Continues With Opening Of Firearm Season

AUGUSTA, Maine – This Monday, October 29, marks the beginning of the regular firearm season for deer, an eagerly anticipated event for tens of thousands of hunters across the state. Saturday, October 27 is opening day for residents and qualifying non-residents.

“With a growing deer population in central and southern Maine, we expect to see even more successful hunters this year,” said Nathan Bieber, the Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife deer biologist. “Last year was the most successful year in ten years, but this year has the potential to be even better for deer hunters.”

The regular firearm season for deer opens on Monday, October 29 for nonresidents, Saturday, October 27 for residents, and the regular firearms season for deer concludes on Saturday, November 24. “With cool weather for the start of season, and even fresh snow up north for the big woods trackers, we expect to see many successful hunters this weekend,” said Bieber. “Even if the rain materializes in the southern part of the state, it will remain cool and leave the woods quiet for hunting.”

Maine has over 215,000 licensed hunters, and hunting continues to be an economic catalyst in much of Maine, supporting over 3,400 jobs with an economic output of over $338 million.

Deer hunting in Maine provides many 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. Last year’s deer kill provided over 1.5 million pounds of meat to hunters and their families.

This year’s deer season has the potential to be even better than 2017, when 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.

For this coming deer season, a total 84,745 any-deer permits are proposed for 22 of the state’s 29 wildlife management districts, 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).

Permit numbers increased in nine southern and central wildlife management districts, decreased in 11 WMDs and stayed the same in nine WMDS. You can find the complete numbers at https://www.maine.gov/ifw/hunting-trapping/any-deer-permit.html. One reason for the permit increase is 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 manages white-tailed deer through regulated hunting, and manages the deer population in parts of the state to limit vehicle crashes, reduce incidence of lyme disease and reduce property damage complaints. In other areas of the state, the department manages the deer population to increase opportunities for hunting and viewing.

Maine’s framework of deer seasons begin the Saturday after Labor Day and continues into mid-December. These structured seasons, along with controlling the harvest of female deer in the 29 wildlife management districts across the state through the Any Deer permit system, allows biologists to manage population trends.

If you plan on hunting this year, experienced hunters are encouraged to introduce someone new to the sport. An apprentice license is available to both residents and non-residents, and sales of the license have increased by nearly 50% since they were first introduced in 2008. An apprentice license allows someone to hunt in the presence of an experienced hunter. For more information, please visit https://www.maine.gov/ifw/hunting-trapping/licenses-permits/hunting-license.html#apprenticeship.

And remember; please seek landowner permission on the land you want to hunt. Asking for permission only takes a minute, and the time that it takes benefits both you and the future of hunting. Over 90% of Maine is privately owned, and the overwhelming majority of Maine’s outdoor recreational activities take place on private land, so please treat the land as if it were your own.

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When Deer Hunting Season Was a Much Welcomed Event

Once upon a time, deer hunting season was the ultimate in getting away from the everyday hustles and bustles, finding some solitude in the woods, and stalking a whitetail deer in my favorite hunting grounds.

I suppose that with age the excitement of the event has been tempered but there’s something more to it than what it once was. Maybe I can point out some obvious differences.

Deer hunting in Maine was once an all or nothing, statewide event. Even if your neighbor didn’t pick up a rifle and head into the woods, he was with you in spirit. It seemed everyone wanted to know “Did ya git ya deeyah yet?” Today there are more and more people who feel compelled to end that long-time heritage mostly due to the wants of protecting the animals that are pursued. Surely participating in an activity that fewer people approve of takes some of the wind out of your sail.

A second issue is fewer places to hunt. A growing epidemic in this country is the escape of many from the urban jungles of which they have come to despise, moving to the smaller communities in more rural settings and immediately setting their sites on making their new home just exactly like where they escaped from. Along with this senseless action, and a dislike of the traditions of rural Mainers, these selfish, greedy people immediately post their land. Surely knowing there are fewer places to hunt now and the attitudes that go along with the reasons for posting lands, takes some of the wind out of your sail to get out in the woods at daybreak to meet that buck attempting to sneak back to his hiding place.

Another truth that takes the wind further from my sail is the fact that there are fewer and fewer deer. Where once the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife (MDIFW) openly and proudly attempted to manage deer in numbers that would give as many hunters as possible a respectable chance at harvesting a deer, today the deliberate action is to manage for as few deer as possible, while using the excuse that a few “healthy” deer are better than higher numbers to keep the hunters happy. Yeah, I know. Doesn’t make a lick of sense to me either.

Instead of “Did ya git ya deeyah yet?”, the more common comment of today might be, “Have ya seen one yet?” You can’t argue that fewer deer to hunt on less land makes you question the need to even raise your sails.

So, here we are but just two days away from the first day of deer hunting season in Maine (for residents only). The weather has been cold and snowy for the past few days – an uncommon event even for Maine (must be the global warming).

Add to all of this the fact that last Saturday morning I awoke to the sound of my water pump running only to discover that due to a prolonged drought that began in this portion of Maine in the Spring, my well had gone dry. Now I’m carrying containers of water from the town’s public water hose, flushing the toilet with a bucket of water and taking sponge baths instead of a nice hot shower. The idea of leaving for hunting camp for a week and leaving my wife here to take care of the water issue, makes me even wonder if I ought to go.

What’s going on? Things certainly are not the way they used to be and with age, those changes come harder and harder. Where once NOTHING could keep me from hunting camp, now I’m searching for reasons to go.

DANG!

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Wisconsin Considers Paying Hunters $1,000 to Kill CWD Infected Deer

According to Outdoor Hub, Wisconsin is toying with the idea to pay hunters up to $1,000.00 to take CWD infected deer with the idea of using this tactic to rid the state of Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD). Some like the idea and others not so much. Of course, there are issues and many unanswered questions.

Some obvious concerns are pointed out in the article. One is that you cannot necessarily tell if a deer is infected when you look at it. Some studies have shown that deer can be infected with CWD and in the early stages cannot be observed with the naked eye.

Another issue is that of the fact that the infectious prions that carry or cause CWD can remain active in the environment for over two years. To rid Wisconsin of CWD a program of this sort would have to be aggressive and last long enough to ensure that enough time has elapsed to rid the environment of the deadly prions as well as putting into place programs that would stop the spread of the disease from importation or dispersal. Good luck with the dispersal problem.

A professor at a state university says: “To just randomly shoot animals and hope to reduce prevalence, you have to shoot more than half the deer every year,” said Mike Samuel, a professor at Wisconsin-Madison added. “The deer population can’t sustain that. They can sustain about a third of it, is our potential.”

Is there much point in seeking to “sustain” a deer herd if that herd is seriously infected with CWD? Is it better to have a small herd that is healthy, that will, more than likely rebuild, with proper management, after the disease is gone, or to have a “sustainable” herd that is riddled with disease?

It would be an immense task to undertake with little, if any, guarantee that it would work. Even with increased knowledge of this disease, it is virtually impossible to stop the spread of the disease. To attempt to isolate one state from all others to rid that state of CWD while the disease persists across borders, makes one ask if such a plan is at all practical.

 

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At What Point Will Maine Hunters Simply Hang up Their Deer Rifles?

In Bob Humphreys’ article this week, he does a very respectable job of explaining to his readers about the politics of deer management. His basic premise is that as the deer management goals are changing, opportunities to hunt deer will continue to diminish, a result of attempting to sustain a deer herd at “social carrying capacity” rather than biological carrying capacity.

In his article, he writes: “In other words, some areas (central and southern Maine) could support between 40 to 60 deer per square mile with no deleterious effects on the natural habitat, and would be well within the limits biologists strive for under the precepts of sound deer management. But then current management objectives for those areas were 15 to 20 deer per square mile.”

Environmentalism’s powerful lobby has extended to a point where not only have their objectives become an integral part of our basic education curriculum, but the continued effects have successfully bred environmentalist-minded young wildlife biologists/managers who now are the majority with our fish and wildlife agencies.

A major problem exists as we attempt to look into the future of deer hunting in Maine and elsewhere. Brainwashed by Environmentalism, it is impossible to understand or acknowledge the vital importance that hunting plays in managing and sustaining a deer herd. Without hunting, there is no way to control growth…period. It doesn’t take a Ph. D. to understand that in places where hunting is not permitted, there are eventually problems with too many deer and with too many deer there are problems with disease and the spread of it – diseases harmful to humans.

I repeatedly have heard the claim from animal rights people and environmentalists that they are not trying to stop hunting. Well, perhaps not directly. The ending of hunting is one of their major goals. Through propaganda and lobbying efforts if environmentalists can convince enough people that there is a need to reduce the deer population to levels that will limit automobile collisions, reduce Lyme disease, and stop them hungry critters eating their expensive shrubbery, bringing the herd to numbers low enough to achieve that might effectively put an end to deer hunting, at least as we know it and certainly as it used to be.

There exists a line of effective interest, where if that line is moved further and further to the point where the effort at deer hunting yields few or little results, interest in the activity will evaporate. At what point will it have to reach in order that so few will want to hunt deer anymore that hunting as a management tool can no longer be usable?

According to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service surveys, the number one reason fewer people hunt is that they don’t have the time. This may be true but doesn’t it become harder to justify taking the time to hunt if the hunting is poor?

I can only speak for myself. I have always loved to deer hunt. In my prime, I hunted in any weather for the majority of days that deer hunting season was open. I most often took home a deer by end of the season. Today, the effort is no longer there. I believe the biggest contributing factor is that in the past 10 years of deer hunting, I can count on one hand how many deer I have SEEN in the woods. Granted, some of that lack of success is due to aging and reduced effort, but a lot of that reduced effort has become perpetuating. In other words, it becomes harder and harder to yard this tired aging body out of bed at 4 a.m. to be in the woods before it gets daylight because the motivation to see deer and have an opportunity to bag one is gone. As a matter of fact, it seems I look for excuses not to go out, especially if the weather is threatening.

Where once Maine set herd management goals for deer to approach 400,000 animals, their latest management goals call for 210,000 deer by the year 2033. Simple mathematical logic might tell us that in theory if there were the same number of hunters 20 years ago as there are today, the odds of bagging a deer have been cut in half. It takes a person completely in love with the act of hunting to pursue an animal that gives a hunter a less than 20% chance at filling his freezer. Some say the challenge increases which is some kind of a draw, but that is not the interest of the majority of those looking for meat. As chances shrink so does interest.

What kind of a conundrum will the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries (MDIFW) be in when, due to environmentalist-spurned deer management, they have successfully driven away enough hunters so that they cannot depend on hunters and their long-standing “Any-Deer Permit” system to deplete the herd to “social carrying capacity?”

Regardless of whether deer management is paid for with license purchases or through general taxation, if the deer hunting sucks, nobody will want to hunt anymore and then what?

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Anti-Hunting Mental Drool

Along with the time of year when there is much activity with hunting and trapping, we all regularly are subjected to the mental drool of those who don’t like any of the activities. Maybe if they just said I don’t like hunting and trapping and left it at that, some of us wouldn’t bother to single them out to expose their limited mental capacities while disparaging a worthwhile, long-standing, cultural heritage that has unlimited benefits to both man and wildlife – hunting.

A letter scribbler in the Bangor Daily News called hunting and trapping “incivil” – evidently meaning that any reporting in the news about hunting and trapping is offensive, rude, or impolite. The writer also called hunting and trapping an unworthy event and unsportsmanlike and said hunting was no longer “fair chase.”

Here’s a couple of things to ponder. Most of these terms – fair chase, sportsmanlike, etc. – have been crafted by men over the years perhaps as a means of pulling the wool over someone’s eyes about hunting and trapping. They are man-made terms much the same as when some mental midget declares hunting is an act to “prove one’s manhood.”

Fair chase is really nothing but abiding by the laws crafted by men for men to hunt and trap animals for consumptive use. All rules and regulations for hunting and trapping are grounded in species management and public safety – nothing more. I never thought of hunting as a “sport” therefore sportsmanship had nothing to do with the act. I see hunting as something I enjoy doing that occasionally (emphasis on occasionally) rewards me with a few good meals of healthy meat.

So give it a rest already. Take your “fair chase” and “sportsmanship” to the athletic field, where these days everyone gets a “trophy.” Hunting and trapping are a well developed scientific necessity to responsibly manage and maintain a healthy and sustainable game population.

The other issue is one in which I’ve never quite understood. Obvious this whiner takes offense – finds incivility – in news reports about hunting and trapping, and yet in order to find offense, the person must be reading the reports.

As this writer mentions, they find politicians offensive and rude, as do I. I find the solution sensible. Stop reading the articles and looking at the pictures. Any moron should understand that basic concept, but evidently, that is above the capacity of some who would rather whine, bitch, and complain about something they know nothing about.

 

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For Maine, Regular Deer Hunting Season Creeping Up On Us

It is chilly this morning. A taste of what’s to come with each passing day. Daylight doesn’t arrive at my camp until 7 a.m. and it’s dark by 6 p.m. This morning’s check of the weather (about as accurate as flipping a coin) says snow showers for Wednesday night…YUK!

Got a call yesterday morning from one of the guys who go to hunting camp the first week of the deer season. He and another friend were heading to camp to clean and rake the front lawn. I went along to help.

Arriving at camp, it became obvious – once again – that the camp doesn’t belong to us. We are just allowed to take it over for one week out of the year. The rest of the time it belongs to the mice, snakes, and a family of porcupines.

We cranked up the generator, plugged in the shop vac and within a few minutes filled the tank with another year’s worth of dust, dirt, mice nests, snake skins, and whatever got tracked in on the floors from last season’s deer camp event.

Perhaps it was the first time this summer that I began to have any thoughts about the annual right of passage to hunting camp. I’ve been so busy and working so hard this summer that the last thing on my mind was the upcoming deer hunting season. But, it’s now only a few days away.

In yesterday’s Portland Press Herald, outdoor writer Bob Humphrey writes of the wide variety of deer hunting techniques employed throughout the country. Maine is no exception. Because Maine has a sparse deer population, restrictions on the length of the season and legal tactics to bag a deer limit hunters to what methods they might use to fill their tags. Hunter’s choices may only vary from sitting, standing, or walking.

I have my preferred, and legal, methods of hunting deer as does every other deer hunter that enters the woods of Maine. With that in mind, I don’t pretend to have any authority to tell others how they should hunt. They shouldn’t pretend to have authority to tell me how to hunt either. But sometimes, the way people have been “educated” these days, they just can’t help themselves.

As I age, I find sitting gets done more than ever before but it is not my preferred tactic. I don’t like climbing into treestands, so I avoid them. I have a small pop-up ground blind that I usually set up in some strategic location and go there when the conditions are right – usually to get caught up on my reading. Not only have I never shot a deer from a blind, but I’ve also never even seen one.

Walking and “still hunting” are the methods I choose.

As we each get ready for opening day in our own preferred methods and lifestyles, remember that we are all different and have the right, within the laws that regulate hunting, to do it in the fashion that best suits our wishes. So, let it alone, let them alone, and just get out in the woods and have a great time.

Good luck!

 

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Maine: Emergency Rules Enacted To Protect Deer, Moose Herd; Prevent Spread Of Chronic Wasting Disease

*Editor’s Note* – This ruling probably should have been put into effect a long time ago. Maine should also consider the same rules for other game and animal species that spread disease – coyote/coywolves and foxes come to mind.

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

AUGUSTA, Maine — With Chronic Wasting Disease discovered in bordering Quebec, the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife implemented emergency rules designed to protect Maine’s deer and moose herds, and keep Maine CWD free.

“Chronic Wasting Disease is the most serious threat facing our deer and moose populations in modern times,” said Chandler Woodcock, Commissioner of the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife. “Unchecked, this disease could devastate Maine’s Deer and Moose populations, and ravage Maine’s hunting and wildlife watching economy.”

CWD is an always fatal neurological disease that affects white-tailed deer, moose and other cervids such as elk and caribou. CWD is caused by a mutant protein called a prion, which causes lesions in the brain. Research shows prions can be shed in saliva, blood, urine, feces, antler velvet, and body fat. Prions bind to soil where they can remain infectious for years. CWD is always fatal, there is no treatment, vaccine or resistance, and once present in the state, it is nearly impossible to eradicate.

In order to halt the spread of CWD and keep this devastating disease out of Maine, the Department has implemented the following rules regarding the importation of deer and other cervids into the state of Maine. It is now illegal to bring cervid carcasses or parts except in the following manner:

  • boned-out meat; properly identified and labeled. hardened antlers;
  • skull caps with or without antlers attached that have been cleaned free of brain and other tissues;
  • capes and hides with no skull attached;
  • teeth; and
  • finished taxidermy mounts.

In addition, the rule also prohibits the temporary importation of cervid carcasses and parts that are in-transit through Maine to another jurisdiction. These rules apply to all states and provinces with the exception of New Hampshire.

In addition, the Department urges all hunters to help halt the spread of CWD by following these guidelines:

  • Do not use urine-based deer lures or scents. CWD can be introduced into the soil with these scents and lures and lay dormant for years before infecting a deer herd. Many, if not all these products are derived from CAPTIVE deer, where the risk of CWD is greatest. While currently legal, avoid using these products in order to protect Maines moose and deer herd.
  • Please follow the laws and rules regarding the importation of harvested deer, moose, or elk from any state or provinces (other than New Hampshire). CWD carried in the brain and spinal cord of infected deer. It is vitally important that these parts are not transported across state and provincial boundaries.
  • Report deer that appear sick, weak, or starving to the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife so that the animal can be tested for CWD. Early detection is the key in stopping the spread of CWD.
  • Avoid feeding deer and encourage your friends and neighbors to do the same. Feeding artificially concentrates deer, creating conditions increase the risk of CWD transmission. Feeding also attracts deer from long distances, increasing the likelihood of the disease becoming established in Maine.

Following these guidelines will help prevent the spread of CWD as Deer shed prions in urine, feces, and saliva and Infected animals can start shedding prions nearly a year before showing clinical signs of the disease.

“We hope that all hunters take an active role in keeping CWD out of Maine by doing their part to prevent the spread of CWD,” said Woodcock.

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