January 26, 2020

Trickle-Down Nonsense of Moose Tick Infestations

This morning I was rereading a Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife (MDIFW) blog post about the department’s ongoing moose survival study. There is little hope that ever in my lifetime we will rid ourselves of the ignorant brainwashing that has caused a new religion of Climate Change Worship. I am left with the firm understanding that, beyond politics, the science of climate change, has been replaced with the Scientism of utter nonsense. There is no hope. Regardless of whatever reality is, whether natural or man-made, the inability to understand simple concepts has been bred out of this post-normal society. Such is the case within our wildlife management departments worldwide. All that is known is we’re all gonna die from Climate Change.

There’s nothing I can say or do that is going to have any influence on the epidemic that has overtaken this dystopian totalitarian existence.

But maybe there is hope to some degree…or not. The blog post of which I linked to above reads: “This increase in winter tick is a consequence of the changing climate, resulting in milder winters and creating a greater opportunity for tick survival.”

One of the problems with making this statement is that there are not enough studies done on winter ticks to be able to fully understand the survival rates and conditions. While fish and wildlife biologists, along with millions of climate change religious fanatics, are nothing more than echo chambers of what he said-she said, hand selected information, most of which is based on scientism (outcome based) and void of real science (truth), is used to prop up narratives and is rooted in unprovable propaganda.

Currently, there are just as many, perhaps even more, pieces of scholarship that tell us that “climate” really is not a strong enough factor to consider in tick survival. (But, as I say, Don’t go look!)

The echo chambers constantly repeat the tale that harsh winters (this from the standpoint of we don’t have harsh winters anymore, which is bunkum) will kill off ticks that cause mortality in moose. Harsh winters have come and gone and returned again, the same way they always have. Those who choose to believe false data about temperature changes, wrongly believe that normal cold winters (if we still had them, wink-wink) would take care of the tick problem. They fail to understand tick mortality and the relationship to temperatures and climate, even suggesting they don’t really understand the life cycle of the moose tick.

Consider the following…if at all possible. If Climate Change is a real factor (There is natural climate change. There is NOT man-caused climate change…at least not in the way it is being sold to the public.) and if Maine is indicative of the rest of the world, it has seen a minuscule increase in average year round temperature (perhaps a half a degree) in the past few decades, then which scenario do you think would have the most influence on tick proliferation and mortality – a temperature change of half a degree over several decades, or an increase in moose populations, directly proportional to the increase in ticks, of say 50% or more over the same period of time?

Because the political persuasion of Climate Change Religion has so poisoned the minds of good men, perhaps then the only hope will be some changes made to moose management that is secondary, or worse, to counter the invasion of Scientism.

If we read further on at the MDIFW blog, we can read the following: “With parasites and disease, higher moose population leads to greater chance of transfer, ultimately causing more death. Since calves have two critical periods in their lives to ensure survival, it is of high priority for MDIFW to find ways to help improve moose health. For this reason, the agency is considering methods of selectively lowering the moose population in certain parts of the state to decrease the chance for parasite and disease transfer, eventually leading to a healthier and higher quality population.”

What is extremely interesting in this approach is that this is something I have been harping at for years now, i.e. that we should recognize those factors that influence wildlife that we have no ability to control and focus on those things that we can. DUH!

As much as anyone wants to harp on Climate Change, there’s nothing we can do about it, short of an all out war on the worlds’ human population. Some believe a tax on carbon will do the job. I might suggest that first we take a look at the historic raping of the public of taxes for such things as the War on Drugs, the War on Poverty, the War on Education, etc. and do an honest assessment as to the status of those billion dollar (in taxes) programs and the yield on investment. Yeah, I thought so.

So, we can’t change the climate…no, really, we CANNOT change the climate. We don’t even understand it or what influences it. How are we ever going to change it? Or do we want to?

A warming climate has historically always been followed by periods of prosperity, growth, ample food supplies, etc. Carbon dioxide is an important and necessary component to our own health and prosperity.

If the climate in Maine is changing so much, as we are led to believe, that moose ticks are growing by the trillions as a result, then it only makes sense, as we are also told, that the southern fringe of natural moose habitat would be migrating north, and along with it the northern fringe of the whitetail deer population would be expanding north along with the retreating moose.

We know that the opposite is true. Maine’s deer population is struggling to survive north of say the East and West highway of U.S. Route 2. We also know that moose are expanding into southern regions of Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont and Massachusetts. This is all opposing the theories of Climate Change and the false claim that moose ticks are increasing due to Climate Change.

It is of some relief to see that at least in Maine, moose biologists are willing to attempt something beyond crying over Climate Change to improve the health of the moose herd. With open minds and a return to real wildlife science, biologists will soon learn, as others have before them, that the ONLY way to mitigate moose ticks is to reduce the population.

Let’s get on with it and put an end to this needless suffering.

Photo by Albert Ladd

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Buy Em Guns, Send Them to Hunt, and Then What?

I was reading Bob Humphrey’s recent article about making this year “The Year of the Hunter.” As I have come to expect, Bob Humphrey, one of Maine’s better outdoor writers, is always full of words that are constructive and positive, something perhaps I should take a lesson in. However, I am too strong a realist to be drawn so far away that I would find myself showing up to a birthday party that has no balloons, ice cream, and a cake.

Mr. Humphrey laments of the continuing decline in hunter participation. We tend to superficially putter along with suggestions of how to increase hunter participation, with perhaps not putting enough focus on the balloons and the birthday cake.

All of the writer’s suggestions make a lot of sense: recruitment, mentorship, apprenticeship licenses, involvement in “R3 Program” (recruit, retain, reactivate), controlling social media, improved landowner relationships, joining deer conservation and advocacy groups, and basically speaking out about the positive aspects of hunting.

While Humphrey sort of casually mentions, “Since 1988, the Quality Deer Management Association has promoted “sustainable, high-quality deer populations, wildlife habitats and ethical hunting experiences through research, education, advocacy and hunter recruitment.”

There are many groups of all variety of make-up that “promote sustainable, high-quality deer populations,” but what does promote mean? Are these groups forming because state-funded government fish and game departments are incapable of sustaining high-quality deer populations? Don’t we need our fish and game departments to go beyond marketing a not-so-good product…with a straight face no doubt? Fish and game departments should be the leaders not the followers of advocacy groups.

All dressed up for the party, with invitation in hand, and all the supporting propaganda telling me what a great party this is going to be, arriving at the party and finding no cake and ice cream means I won’t be hanging around for long, and will become gun shy (sorry) to return again.

All states’ deer hunting problems are different. All states are suffering some degree of hunter loss. With a dwindling population of hunters (I would bet with continued hunter loss those retaining an interest are more serious about what they do and thus will seek out those places where they have the best chance a bagging a “trophy.”), competition becomes real and it is a no-brainer that if the party has no cake and ice cream, the interest will continue to decline and Maine is removed from consideration as a destination hunting ground and interest within the state continues to shrink.

Yes, there are other problems too that contribute to the lack of interest, but an unsustainable, poor-quality deer population makes all other “recruitment, retentions, reactivation” efforts a bit of a futile effort.

People in Maine are a bit dishonestly led to believe that the deer population is “healthy” and that while numbers may not be at peak levels, there are plenty of deer to go around. It is when we honestly examine where the deer are concentrated we realize the majority of geographic and huntable areas, have deer densities that make it, let’s say, a poor product that is very difficult to promote “retention, recruitment, and reactivation.”

Back in October, I commented on the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife’s (MDIFW) efforts at promoting “R3” by recruiting some greenhorns and sticking them in a ground blind in the middle of a game preserve. Oddly enough, from a state that is not exactly all in with “canned hunting” they use canned hunting in an attempt to recruit new hunters. The question I asked is why didn’t the MDIFW put them in places where the rest of us are forced to hunt? The answer is simple. Sitting in a blind for hours on end seeing nothing, is like going to a birthday party with no cake and ice cream. Are you getting my point here?

Not that we should give up all the efforts that Mr. Humphrey and others have suggested to recruit more hunters, but retention and reactivation is going to be a very big task to accomplish unless those huntable regions of Maine grow more deer.

So, the big and obvious question is how do we grow more deer in Maine’s huntable and deerless regions? Let’s first begin with what we shouldn’t do. We shouldn’t use terrible excuses, like Climate Change and claiming there’s just as many deer now as there used to be – there may be but they aren’t where they can be hunted. If a warming climate, the most favorite of all excuses, was real, then Maine deer regions to the north would be seeing deer growth as the winters become less severe and the forests change. The news is they are not.

We need to work even harder with landowners, even the big ones, to protect deer wintering areas. But large predators growing at unchecked rates is a real problem. While some efforts have been undertaken to reduce coyote/wolf populations, more effort needs to be done. We eat deer. We don’t eat coyotes…at least not yet.

At the same time, serious efforts need to be taken to cut the black bear population down to “healthy” levels – healthy for the bears and healthy for deer. Bears are killing fawns soon after the fawning season, seriously cutting into fawn recruitment, making sustainable deer populations impossible.

The Maine Legislature needs to stop dawdling and caving to special interest groups, like guides and outfitters, and do what is best for all game populations, not necessarily bank accounts.

Consider what has changed since deer populations in many parts of the state have dwindled. In those same regions, black bear populations are growing out of control, coyote/wolf numbers are at all time highs, and moose numbers remain strong. Why is it that all that can be seen is finding fault with the Climate?

I don’t know of any hunters who seriously want to see the Big Woods of northern Maine teeming with deer. However, an increase from 1-3 deer per square mile, to 2-5 deer per square mile or even 3-6 might make a huge difference in accomplishing the 3 “Rs.”

If Maine is going to push this recruitment, retention, and reactivation thing, let’s lay the groundwork first to make sure we got the cake and ice cream. It sure would make all that work a lot easier. Who knows, if Maine had a terrific deer product to market…if you build it they will come?

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Deer Yards and Recreational Trails

Note: The below article has been submitted to the Bethel Citizen, a local newsprint publication and subsidiary of the Lewiston Sun Journal (Sun Media Group). It is intended as an open letter to the State of Maine, the Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife, the Legislature, and any and all groups that develop land and in particular recreational trails.

Maine’s Trails Need Consideration for Wildlife

Open Air with Tom Remington

The Bethel, Maine area has become one of the fastest growing areas when it comes to the use and development of recreational trails. With little or no guidelines to develop, expand, or limit use, perhaps now is a better time than later to closely examine the effects of increased use by people and pets on trails throughout the year.

Trails for recreation are a great thing. As cultural demands change, I have watched as old logging roads, railroad beds, footpaths, hiking trails, snowmobile and ATV trails, etc., have been upgraded and are maintained for increased traffic far beyond foot traffic alone. The Western Maine area, which includes Bethel, at present has the most recreational trails available than at any other time in history.

With the development of paths, capable of moving more and different forms of recreation to greater distances, in less time, with manual and motorized transportation devices, with this come direct threats to our wildlife. We don’t always think about how our presence and activities can negatively effect habitat.

If we take a look at the whitetail deer population and how their biological cycles go allowing them to survive long winters in Maine, then perhaps we can see a definite need for considerations in locating trails, size of trails, and intended uses.

During the winter months, the whitetail deer in Maine, move into what our biologists at the Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife (DIFW) call Deer Wintering Areas (DWA). Most don’t realize that the Bethel region is home to a few of these DWAs, with one that used to be one of the state’s largest located near the Bethel Airport and within land which is now part of the Bingham Forest Park.

When deer enter Deer Wintering Areas (typically at the end of November into mid-December depending on weather conditions), their metabolism begins to slow. This is a necessary and natural adaptation that allows deer to conserve energy needed to stay warm and survive. This approximate 100-day period, where deer eat very little and what they do consume is more to fill a void than provide nutrition, is an extremely critical time.

It is during these mid-winter days, that deer are at their most vulnerable stage of existence. Any disturbances within these DWAs can result in near immediate death.

I have written in the past about concerns that I have with DIFW offering late season deer hunting opportunities for concern that deer that have already begun to “yard up” will be unnecessarily stressed by the presence of hunters. I also have concerns about when and where people can “shed hunt” (search of antlers) because efforts can stress deer and other wildlife during critical times.

Biologists at DIFW repeatedly echo that the biggest obstacle in efforts to maintain and manage healthy levels of whitetail deer is destruction/loss of habitat.

With all of this in mind, it would seem but only reasonable and responsible that all efforts to seek advice and guidelines be sought from professionals BEFORE construction or expansion of recreational trails. This is far better than waiting for the strong arm of the “law” to come down on all of us.

It’s not just a trail. Consideration must be taken as to the location of a trail and just as important, what types of use are intended. For example, a small walking path through the middle of a DWA, while I would strongly urge that no trail be built going through any DWA, would seem less stressful on deer than motorized recreational devices that would frighten and cause deer to run away, using up valuable energy to stay alive. Any and all activity penetrating a DWA is undue deadly stress and can be easily prevented.

As trails are developed, upgraded, and advertised for use, with it comes increased use. This use always includes those who want to go outside on trails with their pets. A combination of people, noise, and ambitious dogs looking to bark at and chase (they are dogs after all) yarded up deer, can be catastrophic.

I would implore all who are looking to create and/or expand new or existing trails anywhere, first seek help from the Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife. The DIFW has biologists who can help locate DWAs and advise on the best possible ways of getting where you would like your trials to go with the least chance of wildlife and ecosystem disturbances.

This is in no way intended to speak negatively against recreational trails, only to request that all trails be done in the best possible way for ALL.

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Another Wolf Advocates Falsehood

This falsehood is not verifiable by anyone foolish enough to believe it. It is simply what people want to believe. Nothing more. It is beneficial for the agencies promoting this falsehood because they want to sell elk tags. Not only that, they including their pseudo environmental friends all UNEP clones want to cover up the real damage they did to the renewable resource we used to enjoy when these elk population numbers were the reality every year for many years before the wolf was brought back and mismanaged.

The massive reduction in elk hunting opportunity’s as can be verified via the previous of wolves hunting elk regulations data versus the current hunting elk regulations data.

“In 1995, the elk population in Wyoming was 103,448, the wapiti population in Montana was 109,500, and the number of elk in Idaho was 112,333. Recently, the elk population in Wyoming was 104,800, the population in Montana 138,470 and total elk in Idaho was 116,800. In each of those states, hunter harvests are high.”—Those States lying game departments

Belief is the idiom enemy of knowing. So let’s define what believe is, believe; it’s a transistor it is to lend credit upon the authority or testimony of another; to be persuaded. Persuaded means to be deceived of the truth of something upon the declaration of another or upon evidence furnished by reasons arguments and deductions of the mind or by any other circumstance other than personal knowledge. practical experience.. Belief is the enemy of knowing..

Belief v Knowledge
The unbridgeable divide between believe and know … the believers — simply would not consider or accept that believe and know are not synonymous, that there is a chasm between the two words …
Believe, although having some slim foundation in evidence, signifies something unprovable (or perhaps less provable), and thus less firmly based in evidence, than know, whose foundation is firmly based on the provable and demonstrable.

The wolf advocate who posts this false information along with various other aspects of falsehoods connected to their advocacy can believe this State Agency crap because they want to believe it. The truth is they don’t really know if those population numbers are the reality of elk in those States, or if there in fact is another reality about elk populations in those States..

But then we all know the old saying about a sucker being born every minute, which originated in the 1800s.. Well I’d say that has increased since that era to a sucker being born every second..

I live in Central Idaho.. I’ve witnessed the last 25 years of the wolf programme of Action in full living color.. Wolf Advocates are only bullshitting themselves..

Of course another myth these true believers are suckered by apparently is that public office holders in the game departments of the states and even the federal people such as the BLM, USFWS and USFS all live by a higher moral standard than the rest of this society thus cannot tell a lie, would not fabricate falsehoods for agency agenda that coincides with the UNEP Programme of REWILDING Action.. Which the UNEP tome that is being implemented itself in it’s entirety since 1995 to allegedly save the earth is also a lie..

Perhaps a sucker is born every half second…

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Fake Eastern Gray Wolves and Destruction of a Perfectly Good Wolf Species

In an article published on the Maine Wolf Coalition’s website over a year ago, it states that in 2006 a trapper killed a 107-lb “eastern/gray” wolf. The Maine Wolf Coalition (MWC), whose stated goal is the “recovery” of wolves in Maine (evidently they have no preference as to what species or hybridized mix of canine is “recovered”), improperly tells its readers that the animal, whose information they attribute to, was a male eastern and gray wolf mixture.

An honest assessment of the piece of “scholarship” (study) “suggests” that the animal in question, killed south of the St. Lawrence River, was some kind of, at least, partly domesticated hybrid of some canine that fed mostly on livestock and pets.

But here’s the real crime in all of this dog perversion and demands to “recover” wolves, not just in Maine, but anywhere. Those supporting “wolf recovery” are willing, either through ignorance of animal obsession, or both, especially dogs, to totally destroy the actual gray wolf species to get some kind of wild dog roaming about the woods. This makes no sense and presents a good case to support the claim of insanity.

It has already been proven, many times, that the wild canines that inhabit anywhere in the Lower United States, is not a pure wolf but some add-mixture of wild and domestic dogs/canines. Dog lovers then want these hybrid canines to be labeled some kind of wolf, i.e. red, Mexican, etc. So long as the criminals in Government continue to protect these disease-riddled hybrid dogs, they are contributing to the destruction of the actual species. Aren’t there laws that are supposed to prohibit such actions and behaviors?

According to an article found in Deer and Deer Hunting (online), wolves in certain counties of Wisconsin now are responsible for killing more deer than gun hunters do.

In Maine, the deer herd in most of the state, geographically speaking, is in terrible condition. Northern Maine is lucky to find deer numbers that approach 2 or 3 animals per square mile. Poor management of moose has caused North America’s largest ungulate to suffer from winter ticks due to uncontrolled growth in the population. Government officials will claim that moose and deer do not compete with each other but there is little explanation as to why, when there are lots of moose there are few deer.

Maine’s black bear population is out of control and the Legislature, in their incompetence and ignorance, refuse to do anything sensible about the problem. In the meantime, an overgrown population of bears is destroying the deer herd, along with packs of hybrid wild canines, deer have little chance. And, with all this, a group wants “wolves” recovered. NUTS!!!!

The insanity in all this is that groups like the Maine Wolf Coalition want what they call wolves “recovered” clearly at the expense of all else. If these groups cared about the real wolf, they would be looking at destroying and preventing the spread of these hybrid canines. But they are not. They just want some kind of dog they can call a wolf.

Among this insanity, people work feverishly to protect large predators, most of which are direct competitors with humans in the food chain. These predator protectors wrongfully make claim that people don’t need to hunt to eat. They obviously have never lived under conditions where people still need to hunt for food. Besides, even if people didn’t NEED to hunt for food, it is insanity to suggest protecting disease-spreading animals that directly remove food from the mouths of people. It’s as insane as supplementing gasoline by destroying a perfectly good food source.

Wolves have their place in wilderness settings. They do not belong in human-settled landscapes because of public safety, health, food competition, and the actual destruction of the wolf species.

In America there are so many domestic dogs…I mean we are talking millions and millions of them, with millions running unleashed and cross breeding with any other wild or semi-wild canine (dog). The result is a mongrel dog worth little to a society, a direct threat to wild canines – wolves and coyotes. To claim this hybrid mixture as worthy of protection, is insane; it is a knife to our own throats.

If Americans want wolves and coyotes, real ones, on their landscape, then domestic dogs need to be drastically reduced or serious penalties levied against anyone who allows their pet dogs to run free.

What do you think will happen?

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Is Muzzleloader Hunting Good or Bad?

What a terrible title for a post. Let me funnel the broadness of this topic down to a focused and relevant area of discussion.

Once again, someone in Maine has asked the question as to whether or not the two weeks of muzzleloader hunting for deer, after the end of the regular rifle season, is “good or bad.” From all accounts that I have read, where someone is attempting to place a “good or bad” perspective on this late-season event, pros and cons have surrounded topics such as whether the odds are better or worse, the so-perceived added challenge of having a single shot weapon to bring down a deer, weather conditions, a chance to hunt with fewer hunters, and occasionally whether or not it was worth hunting for bucks because of the weight they have lost due to the annual fall rut or mating season.

I think I am the only one who has ever brought up the subject of whether or not muzzleloader deer hunting the first two weeks of December is good or bad based on the condition of the deer herd and in particular that of the male species of the whitetail deer.

In Maine, human-caused harassment of deer begins in early September, with Expanded Archery Season, and winds down in mid-December at the conclusion of Muzzleloader Season. That’s three months worth of harassment. How does this contribute to the overall mortality of deer?

In regions where there are ample deer – Maine is not one of those regions – sometimes the struggle becomes how to get rid of too many deer. Where there are too many deer, topics like predator mortality and hunting pressure are almost never discussed. But, in a state, like Maine, where many regions are virtually void of deer, responsible management MUST include consideration for every factor that contributes to the mortality of deer regardless of how small such negative influences may be.

During the month of November in Maine, the whitetail deer undergoes the annual mating season. Not totally unlike that of the human animal, the male species goes bonkers chasing female deer that are in heat. Until a female deer conceives, it will remain in heat. Bucks will chase any deer that is in need of being bred.

During this rutting season, lasting as long as 2 or more weeks, depending on conditions, the male deer essentially stop eating while in pursuit. Much of the winter fat that was being stored leading up to the rut, is burned up. In states like Maine, where winters can be long and severe, all deer need as much stored fat in order to survive. Some are under the misconception that the male deer, being stronger and bigger, can easily survive these kinds of winters and the dangers lie with the fawns born that preceding Spring. A completely spent buck may not have the strength left to survive a long, hard winter.

The Maine regular rifle season generally ends the last Saturday in November. By this time, the rut has mostly concluded – there may be some stragglers – and, depending upon weather conditions, in some locations deer are heading into their wintering habitats, where eating is limited and activities reduced in order to conserve fat, energy, etc. for survival. Should we be harassing them?

Maine is one state that opts for a muzzleloader season for an additional two weeks after the regular rifle season. While the number of hunters who muzzleloader hunt is small in comparison to the rifle season, one should consider how much this added two weeks of harassment is compounding the overall mortality of the deer herd.

In areas where deer are running 2 – 5 deer per square mile, the loss of one or two deer due to this added harassment could be detrimental to the herd. Keep adding to this small mortality year after year and what becomes of the sustainability of a threatened deer herd?

I realize that the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife (MDIFW) biologists limit the Muzzleloader Season in some zones to one week, but even that one week can be costly. Isn’t there a better way?

It’s always an unpopular position to take among hunters to suggest limiting hunting opportunity, but one should ask why it is necessary to have a special interest hunt at this time of the season? I hunt with friends who use muzzleloaders throughout the rifle season. Is a special interest hunt really necessary?

I know the archery hunters will get angry if anyone suggests muzzleloading before the rifle season as it might interrupt their special interest seasons, but shouldn’t we, in Maine, be considering the condition and growth/preservation of the herd during a time when many parts of the state are struggling in attempts to grow a bigger herd?

If Maine had more deer than it knew what to do with, I doubt anyone would be having this kind of discussion, instead, talking about what to do with all the deer.

The impacts of the two-week Muzzleloader Season are probably minimal. However, the impact becomes greater within a diminished herd.

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Maine Big Game Harvests: One Excuse is as Good as Another

The opening line in a Portland Press Herald news article says that Maine’s bear, turkey, and deer harvests were all down from last year, “but on par with wildlife biologist’s expectations.” This was followed by all the “usual suspect” excuses, including Climate Change, however, referred to as “extreme weather.”

This prompts me, one more time, to retell the story of the man who wanted to borrow his neighbor’s ax. The neighbor said, “No, you can’t. It’s Tuesday.” The man asked what Tuesday had to do with borrowing his ax and the neighbor answered, “Nothing. But if I don’t want you to borrow my ax, one excuse is as good as another.”

Excuses! Excuses!. And how about a little bit of honesty in reporting? The article states that Maine’s biologists expected deer harvest numbers to be down because, “…the state issued fewer “Any-Deer Permits.” What’s not reported is what the comparative “Any-Deer Permit” harvest was with last year. The reality is that regardless of the number of “Any-Deer Permits” issued it may not have had much influence on the overall deer harvest. One of the last reports we received from MDIFW was that they were not achieving the desired doe harvest rates from the issuance of “Any-Deer Permits.”

While the article mentions that more “bonus deer permits were handed out,” we haven’t a clue as to how this offset the reduction in “Any-Deer Permits” or the resulting harvest. Hocus-pocus – smoke and mirrors.

I have a stinking suspicion that once all data is collected and an honest assessment of that data is examined, we’ll find out what some of us already know – the deer herd, with the exception of a couple of Wildlife Management Districts in the central part of the state, is poor with little effort being taken to do anything about it.

With the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife (MDIFW) announcing their intentions to manage deer for “health” rather than spend time counting (somehow the two are not related?), I would suspect the herd population to continue to shrink, along with interest in deer hunting. After all, who wants to spend money and effort beating the forest for deer, when the odds of success at bagging a deer continue to shrink? And we wonder why license sales continue to drop?

Turkey and bear harvest numbers were abysmal and still MDIFW and the Maine Legislature continue to tread water doing nothing about what has become a nuisance flock of wild turkeys and a potentially dangerous swarm of black bears. With all these bears, we should be thankful it was a bountiful mast crop. Tens of thousands of hungry bears can spell disaster.

We are at a point where serious changes need to be made with both turkey and bear hunting bag limits and/or lengths of season. Dithering continues to rule the day, I suppose operating in fear that “social demands” won’t tolerate more bears and turkeys being killed.

Here’s a suggestion. MDIFW should cease with the “social demands” pandering, along with letting the guides and outfitters tell them how to run their hunting seasons and bag limits, and do what is best for game management. But I realize those days are long gone, therefore we should expect more of the same, and “one excuse is as good as another” when it comes to explaining game harvest numbers.

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Maine: Abundant Deer is a Relative Term…Isn’t It?

In Maine, we are being falsely told on a regular basis that the deer herd is healthy and growing. Is it? Isn’t that perception simply a relative term based upon recent history and not long-term history?

Today, I was grumbling as soon as I arose this morning, long before daylight, about the snow and the cold. And then after a cool start of 8 degrees, and a “feel like” well below zero with stiff, northwest winds, it warmed up to a balmy 17 degrees with winds backing off a bit. Gee, I thought. It’s not really that cold.

But then it dawned on me that simply observing today’s temps and winds, any warming seems relatively good compared to sub-zero temperatures and winds.

We are subjected to the same reality when it comes to our deer herd, the harvest, and the propaganda handed out by those seemingly interested mostly in protecting their retirement pensions.

Where once a deer harvest of 40,000 was the past normal, anything these days over 20,000 is presented as a big management success and if the harvest approaches 30,000 cigars are handed out, big slaps on the back and thank god for Global Warming…or something. Didn’t I do good?

With a couple of recent deer harvests below 20,000, like below zero temps, when the harvest ticks up, we simply convince ourselves (along with some prodding from propagandists) that it ain’t that bad.

I also got to thinking and shared some thoughts I had about how technology has influenced the modern deer harvest. My friend sent me some information showing that I’m not the only one with evil thoughts about such things.

In response to an Internet posting about a 40,000-deer harvest in 1956, I saw where one reader posted a response about how many technological gadgets are used today to hunt with or assist us in our hunting. I was prompted, before even reading this, to ask what would the deer harvest be like if we hunted the “old fashioned” way by going into the woods and “hunting” for deer rather that baiting the deer to come to us and all the other gadgetry that makes killing a deer that much easier.

Is there any real statistics on this phenomenon? Speak up please!

Consider a list of help aides: cell phones, radios, gps, scents, scent blockers, game cameras, ATVs, hi-tech clothing (stay dry and warm longer), food plots, quick-up tree stands, swivel seats, heated tree stands, pop-up ground blinds (also heated), game calls…can you add to this list? Speak up please!

Oh, wait! Here’s one I saw just the other day. A new gadget that you put on like earphone headsets. Technology lets you drown out unwanted noises and enhance things like deer walking in the leaves, etc. What next?

With the onset of every technological gadget, the fish and game department has to figure out whether to allow this advantage and to adjust seasons and sex of deer takes, to compensate for this advantage. All Maine has as tools to compensate is to adjust the length of season and the issuance of “Any-Deer Permits,” both of which appear to become more political with each passing season.

Has or does anybody consider that all these hi-tech gadgetries might leave the not so financially fortunate at a great disadvantage? I didn’t think so.

If you can afford an ATV, think of the places you can access to find deer. Game cameras can tell you where and when to sit in ambush. I can’t afford either. With a heated ground blind, you could sit and wait all day…and night.

What was once a “primitive” hunting season for deer, has turned into “inline” muzzle loaders, complete with speed loaders and all the stuff to make a primitive hunt not so primitive. Some of us still hunt with a single-shot rifle. What’s the difference? If we choose NOT to buy the extra muzzleloader license, is my rifle season being cut short to attend to the needs (political) of the not-so-primitive muzzleloader hunters? Or maybe I can’t afford all that is needed to be a modern, primitive hunter. Money rules…as always.

Everything becomes relative. Those who are prone to forget (the majority) are ignorantly willing to accept that a 20,000-deer harvest is good/normal, any number higher than that prompts kudos throughout the politically motivated, environmentally-trained, biologists and managers offices.

Media is compliant to echo the propaganda that originates in the department that must look good to keep their jobs. All will use any excuse to make things look better than they are…like issuing a record number of Any-Deer Permits to bump up the harvest…wink-wink.

Speaking of the media, recently I read a report that one deer processing facility in Sabbattus was overrun with deer to process such that they had to tell people to call before bringing in their deer for processing. Of course there was no honest explanation leaving readers to believe there are tons of deer and EVERYONE is taking one…or more…legally of course.

WOW! Modern, marvelous deer management. Look what their global warming has accomplished.

However, you don’t have to be a statistics guru to understand that there just aren’t very many places to go get your deer processed.

While I was at hunting camp last week, our discussion concluded that of the 6 of us at camp, nobody knew where the nearest place was.

I wonder if anyone ever thought that these places are going out of business because a 20,000 harvest isn’t as sustainable to a deer processing business as 40,000 used to be? My old math tells me that’s some where around twice…or half, depending on how you see it.

NAW!!! I didn’t think you’d think that way.

After all, it’s all relative. I’m happy. It’s not that cold out either.

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There’s More to Recruiting Hunters Than Sticking Them in a Blind and Parading Deer By Them to Shoot

When Judy Camuso was nominated to serve at the position of the head of the Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife (MDIFW), in her testimony before the Joint Standing Committee for fish and wildlife, she pointed out that as part of her plan to grow more hunters and fisherman, she intended to become involved in a nationwide recruitment program, R3. She stated that her plan, “…will include measurable goals for recruiting, retaining and reactivating hunters and anglers but it will build relationships with non-consumptive users as well.” 

In a critique of Commissioner Camuso’s ambitious programs as commissioner, I questioned her intent to bring together consumptive and non consumptive users, while at the same time believing the two can work productively toward the same goals that satisfy both sides AND recruit new hunters and fishermen.

Today I was reading a Press Herald story about the MDIFW’s efforts at “recruiting” new hunters by allowing 9 hunters to be guided (spoon fed) on a deer “hunt” on the state-owned Swan’s Island.

I commend the commissioner and the MDIFW at making a swipe at recruitment. However, I am left with lots of questions about the event, the methods and within the article some comments and information that was given that was perhaps incomplete, leaving readers with a misguided understanding of the whys and wherefores of hunting, retention, and recruitment (R3).

The article in reference referred to Swan Island as “the perfect classroom” stating, “The place has become a haven for deer, which congregate in fields in groups as large as 50.” It may be, by one reporter’s perspective, as the “perfect classroom” but it is representative of what deer hunting in Maine is like? Who gets to do that? What happens when these 9 people (who expressed an interest in trying again) go off on their own and perhaps can’t afford a blind or a swivel seat to go in it? (It used to be a pot and a window…but I digress.) Will they ever see that many deer again?

“IFW set up pop-up camouflage tents to serve as blinds, equipping them with special swivel chairs that let the newbies quietly pivot as they watched the woods.” Even being “coached” by Game Wardens, staff, and biologists about “hunting techniques,” I wonder if it’s being all that honest with any possible recruit to place them in a ground blind where as many as 50 deer in a group might pass by because hunting has not been allowed on Swan Island for 50 years?

The article states that the 9 novice hunter program was a success because, “…seven of the nine bagged a deer,” and, “all the participants expressed an interest in hunting again.” Not knowing the reasons all 9 applicants were interested in this hunt to begin with, one has to wonder if sitting in a cold blind for hours on end and never seeing a deer, for years on end, a “novice” would express interest in trying it again? Maybe that has something to do with fewer licenses being sold?

In an attempt to place blame for loss of hunters and failure to recruit or retain more hunters, the author brings out the “numbers” and the talking point excuses of where the blame lies: “…technology;  overscheduled lives, especially for young families; and the aging of fish and game clubs that once formed the heart of the hunting community.”

HUH?

The last time I examined data from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service on why license sales for hunting were on the decline, the number one excuse given for not taking to the woods to hunt, was lack of time.

It’s easy to blame technology. Anyone with two eyes can see what so-called technology and social media is doing to American Society in general. Over-scheduled lives is a poor catchall excuse. Scheduling of our lives is driven by interest not by somebody’s “technology.” If hunting was part of the talk around the kitchen table, where that heritage is discussed before, during, and after the deer hunting season, people would find the time to hunt.

There are other reasons recruitment and interest to hunt are in decline…or in what might appear to be interest in hunting. One issue was discussed in the article in question. It began by discussing Apprentice Hunter Licenses. Bragging that the Apprentice Program has been around over a decade, listen to the hoops that need to be jumped through: “That license, which costs $26 for Mainers (and $115 for non-residents), allows someone 16 years or older who has never had a valid hunting license to hunt in the presence of a “supervisor.” The supervisor must be at least 18 and have had a hunting license for the previous three years.” Money, money, money and more “educational” programs that not just a perspective hunter has to go through in hopes they might become a longtime hunter.

You’ll always ruffle up the dander on the backs of some necks when you start discussing things like the potential obstacles any hunter or perspective hunter must go through to get their feet wet in hunting, or bringing a long-time hunter from Maine or away back when they have to take valuable time to attend classes for hunter “safety” and show “proficiency” in handling a gun and shooting it. While hunter safety has certainly made the woods during the deer hunt much safer, has anyone honestly assessed as to whether the decline in participation is directly proportional to the time constraints of hunter education, license costs, and…and…and…? Maybe, hunter education has stopped the total abandonment of hunting. Does anybody know? Does anybody care?

So, whenever we allow someone to feed us “data” that shows license sales and all the rigged demographics that go with them, nowhere is it ever discussed as to how hunter recruitment, retention, and re-interest is influenced by lousy hunting. Years spent afield with seldom, if ever, even spotting a deer probably plays as big a deterrent as anything, including technology and over-scheduled lives – time and money for what?

Just a quick glimpse into the past and it doesn’t take a statistics guru to figure out that as the deer harvest is trending down, down, and down (yes, with a couple false spikes upward) deer hunting license sales are also trending down, down, and down. Is it that we are not supposed to talk about such things? Is this why 9 novice hunters (out of 20 applicants) were placed in a blind on a small island that hasn’t been hunted for 50 years and deer sometimes will, literally, run you over? What’s wrong with bringing them to where my blind is? Where I haven’t seen a deer in years? I’m trying to remember when the last time I was able to sit in a blind – with a “special swivel seat” (wink-wink) where as many as 50 deer to a bunch passed by. Forget it. It NEVER happens in the real world. So, is MDIFW hoodwinking perspective hunters? How often will MDIFW continue to offer these free lunches to those who say they might be interested in deer hunting? Until the deer on Swan Island are all gone? Will potential recruits have to buy a license, and buy an “Any-Deer Permit,” like the rest of us do, when deer numbers on the island dwindle, like everywhere else in the state?

I’m not sure I know any real Maine hunters who don’t think it would be a great idea to recruit more hunters. I don’t know of any real Maine hunters who don’t think that if there were more deer perhaps the three “Rs” would take care of themselves. But what do I know?

I’m just a grumpy Ole Maine Hunter.

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Lost The Connection

All I have to say is, read read read.. To understand the disconnect.. Double Speak.. World Wide Eugenics.. A strategy of depopulation. The design of which began as early as the late 1800s.. Brazenly released in this tome of 1995.. To many will never comprehend it.. Sustainable Development is in fact eugenics. A reorganized economic model designed to only support reset population objectives for the human species.. Cleverly implemented into all U.N. Nation States.. Intentional mismanagement of resources..

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