November 23, 2014

Deer Swims 12 Miles in Gulf of Maine to Tiny Island?

“Diamond said he has no idea how a deer would swim that far and make it on the island.

“It is either an extremely Olympic-class swimming deer or somebody’s idea of a practical joke,” he said.

“It is just surprising to me that it didn’t stay on the island longer, just to take a rest and get some food,” he said.”<<<Read More>>>

8-Point Doe Taken Near Sebec, Maine

“With a state deer herd of 200,000 animals, and a ratio of 1.7 does per buck, Ravana said he’d estimate there are about 117 antlered does in Maine.”<<<Read More>>>

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Monster Whitetail Taken in Prentiss, Maine

More Pictures and Information HERE:

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Antler-Locked Deer: Together to the End

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I am told that these two deer will be mounted and displayed at Cabela’s in Scarborough, Maine.

Maine’s Deer Herd Not Improving in Some Locations

According to this article, Maine’s deer herd is “doing better than expected.”

However, in the region where I have hunted whitetail deer for the past 40 years, the deer hunting is horrible at best. Personally, I spent a minimum of 30-40 hours in this 1,000-acre hunting area, that contains some very fine deer habitat, and I did not see any deer. As has been the case in the past several years, the presence of all wildlife is limited – even few songbirds. (Note: I am a “still” hunter. I rarely sit and never go up and into deer stands. While I cannot cover the amount of territory I once did, I still cover a fair amount.)

Collectively, of all hunters at camp, totaling an approximation of over 200 hours, 6 deer were seen – all does.

Many nights, while lying in bed, I could here the coyote/wolf hybrids yapping and howling.

Hunters Do NOT Cause Lyme Disease

In articles posted in some Maine newspapers, as well as on George Smith’s blog, the opening paragraph may very well cause readers to think that hunters are the cause of Lyme disease. His statement says, “For more than a century, Maine deer have been managed for maximum populations that benefit deer hunters. But Lyme disease is changing the discussion, and is likely to force Maine’s Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife to reduce deer populations in coastal, southern, and central Maine – even while they struggle to rebuild deer populations in western and northern Maine.”

I have no reason to believe that Smith is attempting to blame the prevalence of Lyme disease on hunters. It is, however, important to choose our words carefully. There is a distinct separation between the management of deer in Maine, or any other state, for surplus harvest(hunter benefit) and intentionally managing deer herds at too high a number in order that disease occurs and/or is spread. The Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife(MDIFW) does not manage deer populations at high population numbers, regardless of public health and safety issues, simply to benefit hunters.

While the remainder of Smith’s article deals with the facts of how towns and communities are trying to deal with Lyme disease, it is not the fault of hunters. On the contrary. Hunting is one of the proven elements of deer management in which population numbers can be controlled. When wildlife managers are limited through restricted land access, stealing from them the ability to reduce and maintain healthy deer populations, then the results are what some Maine residents are seeing now. If hunters were allowed into these regions and MDIFW were free to “manage” these deer herds as they would like, the issues of Lyme disease would probably be reduced significantly.

Readers need to understand the functions and purposes of wildlife management and in this case the tying of the hands behind the backs of MDIFW deer managers prohibiting them the necessary tools to control deer populations.

IT IS NOT THE FAULT OF HUNTERS!

You Can’t Borrow My Axe Because It’s Tuesday

I have, on occasion – okay, well maybe a bit more than occasionally – told the ancient story of how a neighbor came to ask if he could borrow an axe. The man said, “No, it’s Tuesday.” In puzzlement the neighbor asks, “What’s Tuesday have to do with it?” The man replied, “Nothing! But if I don’t want you to borrow my axe, one excuse is as good as another.”

And so we have it. From an article found in the Jamestown Press, the island located in Narragansett Bay in Rhode Island, is overrun with deer and people are fretting about contracting Lyme disease. The Town Council have approved a plan to allow volunteer hunters to kill the deer with a goal to reduce the deer population on the island down to about 10 deer per square mile. The current density stands at around 50 deer per square mile.

While it is hoped that reducing the deer population, down to something manageable, it will also decrease the incidence of Lyme disease occurring in humans. However, there are those opposed to killing deer to solve the problem.

There is considerable arguments for and against whether culling deer herds in Lyme tick-infested regions reduces Lyme disease. We know that deer aren’t the cause of Lyme disease, they just become a good breeding source for the tick that carries the disease. The thought process is that reducing the number of deer will decrease the amount of tick reproduction. But opponents to killing deer (I guess they would rather kill humans) say reducing the deer population doesn’t do any good…..well, unless of course you lower it to say, 10 deer per square mile and keep it that way and that probably would involve an ongoing management plan that involves continuous harvesting of deer.

Odd that while not the Lyme tick, the winter “moose tick” in Maine is troublesome and biologists there believe that reducing the number of moose would result in a reduction of the ticks. But that’s moose ticks and nothing would be as absurd as concluding that reducing deer numbers would reduce Lyme ticks. Pffft!

But what’s this got to do with the neighbor and his axe? Well, nothing but it does have to do with excuses. Based on the article linked to above, it is loaded with whining, bitching and complaining about everything that won’t work and yet, nobody offers any ideas of what will. Is this a case of people just not wanting anybody to hunt deer and so one excuse is just as good as another?

Maine “Any-Deer Permit” Lottery Results

Published online through the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Website, hunters can find results of the recent lottery draw for “Any-Deer Permits.” An “Any-Deer Permit” allows a hunter to harvest a deer of either sex within the zone for which the applicant had applied.

Click on this link and then the matching first letter of an applicant’s last name. Scroll to search for your name.

But, But, But Nature is Always in Balance……..Right?

The Maine coastal town of Bar Harbor, adjacent to Acadia National Park, is proposing a one-time deer hunting season in order to reduce the deer population. According to the article, collisions with cars has increased two and a half times since 2000 and the incidence of Lyme disease has gone up four times what it was five years ago. But, with no hunting season, I thought, according to human haters like the Humane Society of the United States, nature is always in balance and man should butt out and let animals do what they are going to do. So why a seeming increase in deer population?

Without spending a great deal of time looking at all the possibilities, I wonder if any of the considerations have to do with an increase, and a continuing increase, in the black bear population and a very large and hungry coyotes/wolf hybrid population throughout the Pine Tree State?

In examining historic documents, such as Early Maine Wildlife by William B. Krohn and Christopher L. Hoving, we learn that when Maine once had a thriving wolf population, and no coyotes, the deer migrated to the coast of Maine and in particular inhabited the many islands near the coast. The reason being that vicious predators drove the deer in search of safe havens.

Now, with vicious predators growing at substantial rates each year, like bears and wolf/coyote hybrids, perhaps more and more deer are being squeezed from inland locations to coastal areas. However, I would be willing to wager a great sum of money that such a scenario is not even considered in any discussions that might involve the hows and whys of too many deer on Acadia.

So much for balance of nature……but don’t go look.

Deadline Approaching for Any-Deer Permit Lottery Paper Application

Press Release from Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife:

The Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife is reminding all hunters that the deadline to apply for the 2014 Any-Deer (Antlerless) Permit Lottery using a paper application is Friday, July 25. Online applicants have until 11:59 p.m. August 15th to apply at www.mefishwildlife.com.

Paper applications must be postmarked by July 25 or delivered in person to 284 State Street in Augusta before 5 p.m. on Friday, July 25. You can download the application at http://www.maine.gov/ifw/licenses_permits/lotteries/anydeer/pdfs/2014any-deerapplication.pdf.

Residents applying to hunt on their own land without a license and applicants with a legal residence outside the U.S. or Canada must use the paper application and may not apply for an any-deer permit online.

It is free to apply for the any-deer permit lottery. The lottery drawing will be held on September 9 and results will be posted on the Department’s web site that day after 2 p.m.

This year, there will be a total of 37,185 any deer permits available in 12 districts. These districts are primarily in southern and central Maine.

Deer hunting season (firearms) begins with Youth Deer Hunting Day on Oct. 25. Youth hunters may take a buck statewide or an antlerless deer only in the wildlife management districts where any-deer permits will be issued this fall.

Maine Resident Only Day will be held on Nov. 1 this year.

Deer hunting season (firearms) runs from Nov. 3 to Nov. 29.

For more information on deer hunting in Maine, visit www.mefishwildlife.com.