July 22, 2014

How The Humane Society of the United States Intends to Manage Black Bears

“The number of bears that have died on Maryland roads this year has risen to 22, according to an unofficial count maintained by the Cumberland Times-News.”<<<Read More>>>

Winning and Losing The War on Propaganda in Maine’s Anti Bear Referendum Battle

NugentThe battle over the upcoming bear hunting referendum in Maine will be won or lost depending on who can wage the biggest amount of effective lying and demonization of “the other side.” This is at its best in a recent editorial in the Bangor Daily News, where the paper attempts to make readers think the paper is not biased in this campaign against normal Maine living.

On the one hand, you have the Humane Society of the United States; perhaps one of the most corrupt and dishonest organizations in America pointing a finger at the Sportsman’s Alliance of Maine and Save Maine’s Bear Hunt and placing shame on them for employing Ted Nugent as their campaign spokesman, as if this makes them corrupt and dishonest. The Bangor Daily News, while trying to claim they aren’t party to the lies perpetuated on both sides, takes key quotes and uses them craftily against the Sportsman’s Alliance of Maine and Save Maine’s Bear Hunt.

The newspaper chooses to post at least part of a quote from James Cote, campaign manager for Save Maine’s Bear Hunt: [Ted Nugent] “has never been and will never be a spokesperson for our campaign. We, as the only organized opposition, have never announced that he has anything to do with our campaign.” Perhaps Mr. Cote missed the lesson that day when most were taught NEVER to use never and always in sentences that deal with people.

If this was the quote Cote made and in the context it was intended to be, then Cote erred in making it. While the intent may have been to put some distance between Save Maine’s Bear Hunt and the always controversial Ted Nugent, Cote’s choice of words to do that perhaps were not well selected. Nugent had just given one of his guitars to the Sportsman’s Alliance of Maine to use to help in raising funds to fight the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) wanting to ban bear hunting.

Without having the full text of all the words spoken by Cote, it’s difficult to know exactly how he attempted to correct HSUS’s lies about Nugent being a spokesman for Save Maine’s Bear Hunt. The Bangor Daily News, a professional at spinning words to sell copy and promoting their own, sometimes not-so-impartial, agendas, jumped all over Cote’s words in a double whammie, covering it’s own butt while at the same time being clever enough to continue to be biased against Maine’s bear hunting by manipulating words. In other words, while attempting to let readers know that the paper understands that Nugent isn’t a spokesman for Save Maine’s Bear Hunt, they took the opportunity to cease on Cote’s words to divide his camp, which in turn will lesson the power of Save Maine’s Bear Hunt in its battle with HSUS. Very clever. This is what happens when you have the media on your side.

Of course the lesson here is to choose your words carefully; always an extremely difficult task when dealing with greedy and biased news media.

On the other hand, the Sportsman’s Alliance of Maine and Save Maine’s Bear Hunt do not have the resources the criminals at HSUS have and need to be careful of the words they speak for and/or against those who choose to support them. We cannot always choose the ideal supporters for any campaign but words that would not cut off the hand that feeds you nor provide ammunition for a biased media sure would help. This is a classic example of David and Goliath.

Trapping: Effective Management Action

Abstract

Many populations of wildlife, including large- and medium-sized predators are increasing in Europe. Trapping can be one way to reduce negative impacts of predators on human interests, such as game species and threatened species, but there is little knowledge of trap usage and motivation behind it. We used a mail survey in Sweden (n?=?3,886 respondents) to compare predator trappers with hunters who used other methods to kill predators, and with other hunters who did not kill predators, in regard to sociodemographics, beliefs, behaviors, and constraints. During 12 months prior to the survey 19 % of respondents had trapped any small- or medium-sized predator, while 15 % of respondents had trapped and 55 % had hunted (without using traps) red fox (Vulpes vulpes), European badger (Meles meles), or corvid birds. Reducing predator numbers was an important reason for hunting predators with traps. Of predator trappers, 97 % had hunted species that were potentially prey of the targeted predators (e.g., roe deer [Capreolus capreolus], hare [Lepus spp.], and grouse), 94 % believed that there were too many red foxes, badgers, or corvids on their main hunting ground, and 64 % believed it to be very important to reduce predator numbers to benefit other game species. We conclude that the use of traps is widespread among Swedish hunters, and that increasing wildlife populations, increased presence of wildlife in urban areas, and management of invasive species calls for effective management actions, of which trapping can be one. (Note: This Abstract is part of the overall study results posted online. For those interested the entire study can be purchased online as well. Learn more about this by following this link.)

Pennsylvania Considering Study of Predator Impact on Deer

*Editor’s Note* – The linked-to article below contains information about a coyote/deer study conducted in New York. It is my opinion that much of the information given about that study is bogus. It appears as though conclusions were drawn through the desires of a predator protector’s outcome based research with too many “possibles”, “maybes”, etc. The proposed Pennsylvania study might be of interest as it will deal with predator manipulation and the effects of that on deer.

From YDR.com:

“Under the proposed study, three 150-square-mile blocks would be used. One would be a control area, another where black bear populations are reduced by as much as 50 percent over two years and the same thing is done with coyotes in the third. Then, for the following two years, both predators would be reduced in each of the two study areas.

Then, the study may start generating some answers to three questions:

Does eliminating predators equate to an increase in deer numbers?

By lowering the population of one predator, will the other increase and kill more fawns than before?

Is there a way to control predators efficiently enough to increase deer numbers?”<<<Read More>>>

The Continuing Saga of “Rare” Bear Encounters

And always remember, if you encounter a bear (rare – snicker) make sure and “look big.” It’s a magic cure all.

The liars of the Humane Society of the United States and all supporters to end the Maine bear hunt say that bear encounters in places like Colorado have not increased since the state began protecting predators. Whoops! Someone forgot to tell this bear that broke into a Colorado home that happened to be the home of a competitive shooter; a teenage girl. Bang!

However, those “rare” bear encounters take us to Saskatchewan, Canada where a man, who was taking a walk IN TOWN, encountered a bear that chased him down the street. He should have looked that bear in the eye and then “looked big.”

In Vermont, phones are ringing off the hook with a constant barrage of calls from people reporting encounters and incidents with black bears. Rare I guess? Vermonters must be small people.

But, hey! Wait! Is Connecticut starting to learn from reality? In a state crowded with people, so far this year there have been over 4,000 bear encounters with humans reported. One wildlife official was quoted as saying that bear encounters with humans, “happen from time to time.” Gasp! We’ve graduated from “rare” to “from time to time.” However a bear that wandered onto Bradley Field was shot and killed because of public safety with airplanes. I’m surprised that airplanes don’t “look big” enough to scare off a bear. How big does one have to look to ward off a bear?

Now we travel out West. You know more places where the Humane Society of the United States says after ending bear hunting and perpetually protecting predators, there are really no problems with bears. But are those Westerners “looking big” enough? On a beach at Lake Tahoe, a black bear taking a stroll along the beach was eventually killed because it was not using sunblock (joke just in case you haven’t been following along). The people on the beach got together and “looked big” and so the bear wandered over to a remote area of the beach to have some privacy. Bears don’t have a right to sun bathe and so was killed for it.

Predator Management (Control) is Essential

Justin Field with Team Fate Outdoors brings you right to the scene of predator kills. Raising awareness of our wildlife’s rapid decrease in numbers. In the near future you will see a huge change in our hunting privileges! Hindering what I believe is our God given right. Predator management is essential in all aspects. If you agree with me please share this video and repost. Team Fate Outdoors leaving you wanting more!!
Sincerely Justin Field

Predator Management Is Essential With Team Fate Outdoors from Justin Field on Vimeo.

Idaho Gov. Otter Using Wolf Politics to Bolster His Political Power Struggle

Below is a press release (with a link) from Idaho Governor Otter’s office attempting to show his support for the need to control wolves in Idaho and appearing to show agreement with statements made about big money to be made in promoting and litigating wolf issues.

Steve Alder, head of Idaho for Wildlife and referenced in the press release quote, in a brief email notification stated that the governor “must be desperate.” That may be. However, I see Otter’s efforts at nothing more than political posturing to gain support for his own selfish needs. When Idahoans consider (whether they are or not I have my doubts) that the Governor supported the legislation that would force ranchers and hunters to pay for “management” of GI wolves forced down their throats, how does such action show any kind of real support for the people of Idaho and/or the “need” to control wolves? Politics is dirty, disgusting business. This nonsense by the governor is nothing more than some half-assed attempt at gaining a few more votes for personal gain.

Regardless of my personal feelings about this issue of wolves in Idaho, here is what came in a press release from Governor Otter’s office:

Governor Otter Reinforces Need for Controlling Wolves

(BOISE) – Governor C.L. “Butch” Otter released the following statement in response to the Twin Falls Times News article run on Monday, July 7, 2014 regarding wolves in Idaho.

“Nobody in Idaho or anywhere else has any doubts about where I stand on wolves. I fought to keep them out; I fought to limit their impact; and I fought successfully for Idaho’s right to manage them. I am committed to asserting whatever control we can by having Idaho people manage the federally imposed challenges we can’t avoid. Unfortunately, my Democrat opponent disagrees. He supported the wolves being brought to Idaho from Canada, and he thinks spending tax dollars to help control the damage they’re doing to Idaho’s big game and livestock is a waste of money. Once again, while I’m working for us and fighting to protect Idaho values, he’s supporting environmental absolutists and rolling over to the Obama White House.”

Below is an excerpt of the article titled Wolf War Renews as Big Money Flows, July 7, 2014.

“While wolves were busy killing a record number of sheep and cattle in Idaho last year, lawmakers and environmentalists were busy amassing money to renew their longstanding battles over the predator.

On July 1, the Idaho Wolf Depredation Control Board was established to kill wolves that attack livestock and eat elk through $400,000 in tax money, livestock levies and sportsmen’s fees.

In response, Defenders of Wildlife, a national organization, began a high-dollar media campaign in Idaho calling for Gov. C.L. Butch Otter to end his “War on Wolves.” The conservationists purchased online ads in Boise and Hailey-based newspapers and radio spots across the state. Clicking on some of them leads to an online petition, others have a “donate now” button.

That proves what Steve Alder, executive director of Idaho for Wildlife, said he has long suspected — conservationists are using Idaho’s wolf population to line their pockets. As one of the state’s leading anti-wolf contingents, Alder’s group has frequently locked horns with environmentalists, including a winter wolf derby and a spat over a dead colt in Hailey.”

To view the entire article, visit http://magicvalley.com/news/local/wolf-war-renews-as-big-money-flows/article_8384f9dc-0595-11e4-a828-001a4bcf887a.html.

Hunting Increases Numbers of Wildlife

This graphic is not vetted. I spent some time but not a lot attempting to verify the claimed statistic. I could not.

SouthAfrica

Maine IFW News — Bear Season Numbers, Black Bear Winter Den Summary

Press Release from Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife:

26% Of Bear Hunters Were Successful In 2013; Winter Bear Den Surveys By Biologists Reflect Abundant Natural Foods, With Year Old Bears Weighing Over 40% More Than Previous Year

AUGUSTA, Maine — Over 10,888 hunters purchased a permit to hunt bear in Maine in 2013—the most bear hunters since 2009—but they harvested 2,845 bears.

That means only 26% of bear hunters in Maine were successful this past year. Hunters can take a bear in Maine using bait, dogs, traps or still-hunting. Over 90% of the bears taken by hunters this past season were taken using bait, dogs or traps. An abundance of natural foods last year also kept bears out later in the season, as 81 bears were taken during the deer season in November.

The abundance of natural foods this past year was also reflected in the winter bear den survey work conducted by the Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife. This past winter, the average weight of year-old bears (yearlings) measured during the winter den surveys averaged 46.6 pounds. In contrast, in 2012, a poor natural food year, year-old bears only weighed 32.5 pounds on average.

Since 1975, IFW wildlife biologists have visited the dens of radio-collared female black bears in Maine to research and monitor the bear population. Over the course of the season, the bear research crew visited 88 dens this past winter, handling a total of 194 bears in three different study areas across the state. There are now 102 collared female bears throughout the state, including 17 yearlings.

Collaring female bears allows biologists to locate them in their dens during the winter. IFW biologists travel to the dens and gather biological data from the bears that they find, including size, weight, number of cubs and number of yearlings. These data give the department an in-depth view of Maine’s black bear population.

Baiting, the use of dogs and trapping continue to be the most effective methods for hunters. This past year, 2,048 bears were harvested over bait, 479 bears were taken by hound hunters, and 105 bears were taken in traps. Only 7% were taken by still-hunters: 81 bears were harvested by deer hunters, and 131 bears were registered by tagging stations but did not record the method used to take a bear.

Due to the quantity of natural foods available, bears entered their dens later, providing hunters with opportunity late into the season (12% taken in October and November), and fewer bears were taken by bait hunters (72%) than the past five year average (79%). As usual, most bears (87%) were harvested earlier in the season with 2,486 bears harvested before the end of September.

The 2013 bear hunting season was very different than in 2012, which was a very poor year for natural foods for Maine’s black bears. As a result, in 2012, more bears were taken by bait hunters (81%), and fewer bears (6%) were harvested in October and November since bears entered dens earlier. In years when natural foods are not readily available during the fall, a bear can actually burn more calories than it consumes while foraging for food. So in lean food years, bears will den early. The abundance of natural foods varies from year to year and is generally high one year and low the next.

Due to the thriving bear population that is estimated at over 30,000, Maine has a lengthy bear season with many opportunities for hunters. The general hunting season for black bears opened August 26 and closed November 30. Hunters were allowed to hunt bears near natural food sources or by still-hunting throughout the entire three-month season.

Hunting over bait was permitted from August 26 through September 21. The hound season overlapped the bait season, opening September 9 and closing November 1. The bear trapping season opened September 1 and closed October 31.

For the first time, bears were harvested throughout the state in all 29 Wildlife Management Districts (WMDs) in the state. The density of harvest expressed as the number of bears killed per 100 square miles of habitat (forested land) was greatest in WMD 3 (northeastern Aroostook County) and WMD 28 at 22 bears per 100 square miles (central Hancock and Washington counties) and lowest in WMDs 22-24 and 29 (southern and central Maine ) with only 1 or 2 bears harvested per 100 square miles. Males made up 56% (1,600 bears) of the 2013 harvest.

Despite a long fall hunting season for bears in Maine, the bear harvest has been below objectives since 2005. Bait, hounds and traps are the most effective for harvesting bears in Maine’s dense forest and accounts for 93% of the harvest. Even with these three methods, only about 1 in 4 hunters using bait, hounds and traps are successful. Still-hunters harvest less than 300 bears (7%), since it is very difficult to spot and stalk bears in Maine’s thick vegetation.

To stabilize the bear population estimated at more than 30,000, a harvest of 4,500 bears is needed. Without bait, hounds or traps, Maine’s bear harvest will be well below objectives.(emphasis added)

Time To Apply For Your Any Deer Permit

*Editor’s Note* – This editor would like to see the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife monitor other things besides snow and cold in making determinations on how to manage the deer herd. Or perhaps finding some other means of managing the deer herd other than guessing with numbers in the implementation of the allotment of “Any-Deer Permits.” I can wish can’t I?

AUGUSTA, Maine — The Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife is now accepting applications for the 2014 Any Deer (Antlerless) Permit Lottery. Online applicants have until 11:59 p.m. August 15 to apply at www.mefishwildlife.com, and those who want to apply with a paper application must do so by the end of the day on July 25.

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. This is a decrease from last year when there was 46, 710 permits available to hunters.

“In the fall of 2013, we saw an increase in the number of successful hunters for the third straight season, a sign that the deer herd is rebounding from the back-to-back severe winters in 2008 and 2009,” said Chandler Woodcock, Commissioner of the Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife. “While the deer population has made gains since 2009, this past year’s long, cold winter dictates that we move cautiously with the number of any deer permits we issue.”

The department monitors winter severity throughout the state in order to assess the impact on deer. White-tailed deer are at the northern edge of their range in Maine, and winter severity is a limiting factor concerning population growth.

This past winter marked the first in four years with above average winter severity throughout the state, the first since 2009. As a result of the winter, IFW wildlife biologists have recommended decreasing the number of Any Deer permits throughout the state. Earlier this year, the department decreased the number of moose permits available and suspended the turkey season in Northern Maine.

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.

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 after 2 p.m.

Hunters who do not receive an Any Deer permits are only allowed to shoot an antlered deer.

Paper applications must be postmarked by July 25 or delivered in person to 284 State Street in Augusta before 5 p.m. on that date.

Online applications are due by 11:59 p.m. on August 15 and can be found by visiting www.mefishwildlife.com.

Hunters during the 2013 deer season killed 24,795 deer, an increase of 15% over the 2012 harvest of 21,552 deer. The 2013 harvest is the third consecutive year the deer harvest has increased, reflective of a deer population that has grown since the back-to-back severe winters of 2008 and 2009.

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.

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.