October 20, 2019

Feedback Beginning to Come in on Maine’s New Game Tagging System

It was announced a few days ago that Maine was entering the techno-zombie world of electronic game registration. This new system went into effect with the onset of the black bear hunting season. We are also in one of those “Expanded” seasons for deer with archery hunting.

I saw a first comment about the new system of registration from a person who shot and registered a deer taken in the Expanded season.

Essentially, he said the new program was easy to use and mostly begged that the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife (MDIFW) would begin to allow field registration so tagging could be done in the field with a smartphone.

I hope not.

Field tagging, while appearing convenient to some, presents a myriad of problems as I see it. I’ll present one.

Registering of game serves more than one purpose. It provides game managers a location where they can go and physically inspect the game, take samples, and collect all kinds of data. It is this data that should make Maine wildlife managers better at doing their jobs. Consider what might happen if this data was no longer collected.

Maine is one of those states that is not overrun with deer for example. Because of this, more importance is put on responsible and effective deer management. Data is vital to accomplishing this.

Let’s not be greedy. I’m still in a bit of shock over this announcement of MDIFW moving to a more modern form of game registration. We should be thankful for that. We should also be eager to be a part of game management by understanding the need to visit a registration center to tag our haul.

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Crossbow Not a Firearm, Not a “True” Bow

I got snickering a bit yesterday as I read V. Paul Reynolds article about crossbows and how certain rules regulating the use of crossbows for hunting have changed. In his article, he states: “The Maine Warden Service considers the crossbow not to be a firearm. The Maine Bowhunters Association (MBA) could never warm up to the medieval contraption, deeming it not a true bow.”

I’m not here to try to convince anybody about whether or not a crossbow should or shouldn’t be used as a weapon to kill certain game at certain times and in certain places. Instead, I’d rather talk about why some don’t like the idea because it ruffles their feathers in some odd fashion…I guess.

The Maine Warden Service, according to Reynolds, believes the crossbow “not to be a firearm.” This one is easy, provided this is the meaning of the comment that it isn’t a firearm and not that it isn’t a weapon that could be used for killing/hunting.

According to the dictionary, a firearm is a pistol, rifle, shotgun, etc. According to the BAFTE, a firearm is any weapon that uses an explosive to propel a projectile. So, technically a crossbow is not a firearm.

I’ve known for some time that the Maine Bowhunters Association has resisted allowing crossbows for hunting. I’ve read some members as saying it isn’t in the same category as “bow hunting” and that even the image of the crossbow somehow dirties the image of bow hunting in general. Oh, come on! Are we playing with the same notion that somehow the looks of a weapon determines its killing capacity?

It should always be remembered that opportunities to hunt are usually a good thing but that those opportunities are always going to be restricted by the desired and actual harvest of the game we are in pursuit of. Whether we hunt with a pistol, rifle, bow, crossbow, or a handful of rocks, biologists and hunting regulators are not going to allow us to kill too many animals.

Some have a problem with the so-called muzzleloader season for deer, believing the muzzleloader, a “primitive” weapon, is not a “true” gun of the modern era. It can and has been repeated that the modern muzzleloader is far from a primitive weapon.

Do muzzleloaders deserve their own special hunting season? Do crossbows deserve their own special hunting season? Do longbows deserve their own special hunting season? Does any weapon deserve its own special hunting season?

I would guess the crossbow is as much a true bow as a muzzleloader is a true rifle.

The longbow – is this the “true” bow? – has been around longer than the crossbow dating back to around 3,000 BC…maybe. Not long after this, the crossbow of a fashion was designed for warfare. Both weapons were designed for and used in warfare killing millions of people over the years.

A crossbow is not a firearm because it doesn’t fire. Why isn’t the crossbow a “true” bow? Probably for the same reason, that to some a muzzleloader is not a true rifle. In other words, they just plain don’t like the damned things.

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My Wolfed Down And Burned Down Wilderness Experience

I noticed something yesterday as I did a 14 mile hike on single track, off trail, then back to single track in the Frank Church Wilderness.. I’ve wandered around in this particular spot since the 1970s.. This section is along elk creek going towards Porter creek and beyond to Sulpher creek.. The place has mile wide and miles long seemingly endless meadows surrounded by once pristine lush forests and under story now all burned to the ground and is a maze of dead fall.. The single track paths are clogged shut for miles now..

The place used to be an incredibly amazing wildlife observation hike and even a early fall excellent hunting experience.. Along with incredible fishing in lakes and streams.. I was attempting a 16 mile in and out into one of those lakes and within about a mile I decided to give up on the lake.. I was tired of the down timber maze after fighting four miles of that maze of waist and chest high obstructions.. I knew I needed to turn back.. I made a loop out of the hike..

I noticed not one single bear scat, wolf scat, Wolverines were not in there usual hang outs making tracks and scat either, No elk scat, with two coyote scats and one deer scat on this walk.. A place where it was normal to see herds of elk, various deer sightings, bears, fish in the streams.. Even the bird and squirrel life in there was boring.. I did see a dead bull elk.. While bushwhacking four miles I nearly tripped over a bloated, by my estimation dead for 24-36 hours bull elk.. Nothing had fed on it, I could not determine a cause.. I suspect arrow though and to far back from the lungs and heart into the liver area..I did not have time to put a knife to work to validate my suspicion..

Kinda strange I thought, after reading about the grizzly man fight over a dead elk in Wyoming upon first stumbling onto this prize dead elk in this ruined dead place in these deep dead sterile woods.. I immediately started looking for a charging black bear.. What are the odds of in all of that devastated by wolves and fires area do I stumble over this dead bull.. As i walked around in this once paradise I thought of Val Geist’s predictions of the aftermath of over populated wolves.. I thought to my self, the damned wolves came in here and eventually delisted themselves..

They had to leave here or die, and they did.. They cleaned the place out.. In 2006 through 2009 on various excursions into this area I observed them doing exactly that.. Running the trails like police dogs, inspecting every camp, devouring everything not fast enough to out run them.. I did bump into a pair of wildlife photographer about a mile in from the trailhead.. Out of Oregon.. He asked me what happened to this place.. I say’s to him, wolves and fires, and fires and wolves.. So I noticed something yesterday, wolves eventually delist themselves.. The place was sterile, wolfed down and burned down… I’m going back in there to salvage the horns and ivories in late spring..

And to cut the trail open for my horses so I can once again fish the best fishing hole I’ve ever known.. It’s ironic what Wilderness was and became here in this place and how we as people have varying definitions of what it is, was, could have been, should be and currently is.. I prefer a wilderness of abundant green forests with teeming wildlife myself.. While others are determined that a Predator pit and burned out wilderness is preferable.. Real Wilderness then by the UNEP and UNEP clones definition is a dead place, a place of ruin.. That then was my wolfed down and burned down wilderness experience yesterday September 20th 2018.. I will add that the photographers I passed admitted they did not like what they had come to see.. Shameful were their final words…

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WOHOOO! Maine IFW Enters Modern World of Tagging Game

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Wohooo!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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THE Wolf Syllabus

By James Beers:

The following talk was given at a Wolf Symposium by Dr. Geist, a retired Canadian environment professor.  Dr Geist is an internationally recognized scholar and consultant in the subject of predators, predation and changing ecosystems; particularly as this involves wolves. 

I am proud to say that Dr. Geist, a man for whom I have the greatest respect and highest regard, has been both an acquaintance and colleague for many years. 

This “Banquet and Wolf Symposium” was, in my opinion, a smoke screen in the latest subterfuge by uber-rich Americans, non-government organizations and federal bureaucrats to introduce and protect wolves In Colorado to complicate wolf control in Wyoming, circumvent wolf opposition in New Mexico and place wolves ever-closer to The Great Plains where they will duplicate their impacts seen to date throughout much of the West.  

Utah, reportedly, has no established wolf packs and through adept political wrangling has prevented federal bureaucrats from asserting their legal intention to introduce or protect wolves in Utah. This political maneuvering is largely due to Big Game Forever, a Utah-founded and based hunters organization that for about a decade has steered a somewhat maverick role between Washington politicians and bureaucrats, and national non-government organizations of all stripes.  

A former Ted Turner employee and Montana legislator recently kicked off a campaign to introduce wolves into Colorado.  The “usual suspects” came forth (Denver/Colorado Springs/Fort Collins” “wolves only improve the world” crowd to a hodgepodge of ranchers, hunters, rural dog owners, and shepherds that saw what lay ahead but appeared powerless to stop it.  The next step was this “Banquet and Wolf Symposium” sponsored by the Utah-based Big Game Forever to bring together “experts, scientists and decision-makers”.  Fortunately, Dr. Geist was asked to speak, and speak he did. 

I believe Dr. Geist’s talk is the best comprehensive information presentation on wolves that I have read.  It is for this reason that I am forwarding this presentation.  If you or anyone you know is involved in the wolf issue or may be involved in the future with the wolf issue, or has noticed their kids being propagandized about wolves, or that simply likes wildlife and is concerned about America’s future rural environment – Please Share This with Them. 

As to the future of wolves in Colorado, a colleague recently told me that after cutting through all the “science” and smoke: if the Democrat wins the Governor’s race in November (a likely outcome in the heavily urban population and increasingly Magnet-State for liberals fleeing high-tax western states and even high-tax Eastern states) Wolves Will Be Introduced into and Protected in Colorado. 

Luckily, Dr. Geist is Canadian and one of those all-but-extinct endangered species candidates – a professor with Integrity.  He ignores the politics and does a masterful job of saying what I am sure the majority of banqueters neither expected nor wanted to hear. 

Thank you Dr.Geist. 

Jim Beers

4 September 2018

If you found this worthwhile, please share it with others.  Thanks.

Jim Beers is a retired US Fish & Wildlife Service Wildlife Biologist, Special Agent, Refuge Manager, Wetlands Biologist, and Congressional Fellow. He was stationed in North Dakota, Minnesota, Nebraska, New York City, and Washington DC.  He also served as a US Navy Line Officer in the western Pacific and on Adak, Alaska in the Aleutian Islands.  He has worked for the Utah Fish & Game, Minneapolis Police Department, and as a Security Supervisor in Washington, DC.  He testified three times before Congress; twice regarding the theft by the US Fish & Wildlife Service of $45 to 60 Million from State fish and wildlife funds and once in opposition to expanding Federal Invasive Species authority.  He resides in Eagan, Minnesota with his wife of many decades.

You can receive future articles by sending a request with your e-mail address to:   jimbeers7@comcast.net

If you no longer wish to receive these articles notify:  jimbeers7@comcast.net

Futility

I am here to tell you why the wolf does not belong into settled landscapes. Wolves do unbelievable damage to wildlife, they do great damage to agriculture, they pose a real threat to public health and safety, and they kill humans under now well-known circumstances. Moreover, after all the pain, suffering and deprivations that wolves inflict on people in settled landscapes, after the enormous public expenditures to maintain wolves, all the effort and costs are for naught, because in settled landscapes wolves degrade via hybridization with dogs and coyotes into worthless hybrids, that is into coydogs and feral dogs. Settled landscapers remorselessly destroy the real wolf. Wolves cannot be conserved as a species in settled landscapes. What is being done with wolves here and in Europe has nothing to do with nature conservation. What the US and the EU are doing with legislation is a very expensive, brutal and mindless way to destroy real wolves. We can do better!

Wildlife destruction

When wolves are introduced, they first destroy wildlife. When I worked in Banff National Park in the 1960’s there were present about 2,500 elk. After wolves returned in the 1970’s elk dropped to less than 300. Moreover, elk became invisible as they were not only hiding, but the bulls quit bugling during the rutting season. We have the same silent bull elk on Vancouver Island where I now live, courtesy of wolves, cougars and big black bears. After 1970 I was no longer able too observe the behaviour of elk in Banff. Also, the moose, which were readily observable in the 1960’s went extinct or invisible.

The same patter has been observed in the Yellowstone area after wolves proliferated following their introduction.  The famous northern elk herd went from 19,000 to about 4,000. Why not less? Because the park elk left the park and went onto private land where there were safe from wolves. I was informed that only some 600 or so now winter in the park. Elk not only went onto private ranches, but also into hamlets or small cities such as Gardiner, where they were also safe from wolves. And that’s exactly what elk have been doing in Canadian national parks for ages: go into towns to escape predation. Deer do that also. Currently in western Canada they are doing it on a grand scale and flee into suburbs, farms, hamlets and even into the very core of cities. Deer on Vancouver island are concentrated in human settlements and virtually missing in the vast back-country. They are not welcome in cities, but tenaciously, they hang on. In Alberta elk have left the forestry reserve, the home of wolves, and moved onto private ranches. Moose have gone even farther and moved far, far out into the prairie where they now live along watercourses and in coulees. They did not do so that when I was still living in Alberta a quarter century ago. In Yellowstone park, however, moose went extinct. Which was, of course blamed on global warming. In early fall 2006 I rode for a week from dawn to dusk through some of the finest moose habitat I have ever seen. And I have see a lot of moose habitat in Canada between the Montana/Idaho/ Washington and the Alaska boundaries. I never saw a moose or a track or a feeding sign. And that was during the moose rutting season when bulls are maximally active.

The very landscape I was riding through was also excellent mule deer habitat. During my week on horseback I saw two does and fawns and found one antler rub by a buck. I suppose they were also victims of global warming!

On Vancouver Island the annual deer kill dropped from about 25,000 a year to some 3,000 per year. Vast forest areas are now virtually without deer. My wife and I observed directly how deer vacated the landscape and rushed into suburbs and farms when a wolf pack showed up.  At night deer lined up body to body along the walls of our neighbour’s cattle barns, oblivious of the farm dogs. For the first time in four years they entered my garden and demolished the fruit trees I had planted. Some 80 trumpeter swans left with the wolf packs arrival, but only some 40 returned after the pack was extirpated; when the second wolf pack arrived the swans left and never returned. Nor did the geese, the large flocks of American widgeons, the green-winged teals, the pheasants and ruffed grouse. Note: it’s not only big game that vanishes!

Alaska colleagues experimentally released wolves on a coastal island. The wolves exterminated the deer, tried catching seals, and starved to death. Similarly, Tom Bergerud, the premier caribou biologist on this continent, documented caribou extinctions on islands occupied in the current spread of wolves.

Research in Yellowstone has shown that wolves kill about 22 elk per wolf per year, and that wolves begin leaving the country once the kill declines to 16 elk per wolf per year. That’s about the same amount of moose wolves kill in Scandinavia per year.

But where do the wolves go when they deplete the prey?

Outside the park, of course, in search of more prey. Here they may be trapped or shot. This has led to vociferous protests that the evil hunters are killing park wolves. A book has been written about it.  No mention of park management which allowed wolves to exceed their carrying capacity of the land. A classical failure of “protectionism.” However, more on that later.

You asked what will happen to your moose, elk and mule deer when wolves are introduced into Colorado and are free to multiply. The moose will be exterminated, the elk and deer decimated, except in so far as they can find shelter from wolves on private ranch-lands, as well as in hamlets and suburbs. However, protected wolves learn to hunt big game even in towns, as now witnessed in Germany. Game population will decline as well as your hunting opportunities. Wolf control can reverse that, but wolf control, as we shall see, will also accelerate hybridization and the genetic destruction of real wolves.

Hydatid disease

Wolves come with a number of diseases of which historically the worst have been rabies and hydatid disease.  Modern medicine had reduced the dangers of dying from rabies if bitten by a rabid wolf, but in the past it was cause for real anxiety, as the bite of a rabid wolf was fatal. As to hydatid disease, all technical matters I mention are to be found in descriptions on the internet – except for context! There had been a presentation given by myself together with Dr. Helen Schwantje, Wildlife Veterinarian for the Province of British Columbia, to the Montana Legislature’s Environmental Quality Council about Echinococcus granulosus and E. multilocularis, on April 27th 2010. Everything we said then applies to all western states. Nobody can claim they were not warned on the basis of very extensive research carried out  by the late Professor James Adams of the University of British Columbia. My late wife was a student of his, and I have seen his extensive collection of images taken in the Vancouver regional hospital of this disease. A horror show beyond description! We also were privy to  the shop talk of surgeons emanating from the operating rooms, that does not find its way into learned journals. It appears that hydatid disease was prevalent then in British Columbia as trappers still used dog sleds for transportation and were feeding to the dogs the viscera of moose, caribou etc including hydatid cyst infected viscera. This practice came to an end with the rise of snowmobiles for transportation which replaced dog-sleds by the 1960’s. Soiled dog sled harnesses were one source of infection.

Hydatid disease is a nasty parasitic disease, caused by us ingesting the eggs of the dog-tape worm Echinococcus granulosus. It can be deadly! The danger resides primarily in the family dog getting infected, and then spreading infective tape worm eggs on lawns, drive ways, veranda and in the house. However, one can also catch the disease from handling the bodies and furs of infected wolves, or from berries and mushrooms contaminated with hydatid eggs from nearby wolf scats, or by running a lawn mover or hay-baler over some dry wolf scats, or drinking water that has percolated over wolf scat.  The people in real danger are ranch families on whose lands infected elk and deer gather to spend the winter and who crowd in about buildings to escape the marauding wolves. Infected elk, moose or deer carry large cysts filled with tiny tape worm heads primarily in lungs and liver. Normally they become debilitated by these cysts and readily fall prey to wolves. These, upon ingesting the viscera, also ingest the cysts. The little tape worm heads are then freed and attach themselves by the thousands to the gut of the wolf. Here they produce masses of tiny eggs that go out with the feces of the wolf. When such dries, the eggs are blown about on the surrounding vegetation. That vegetation is fed on by elk and deer. The tiny eggs turn in the gut of elk and deer into tiny larvae that drill into the intestines and are carried by the blood to the liver, lungs and more rarely the brain of the elk, where they then grow in time into the large cysts, debilitating the elk, making it prey for wolves.

If hunters shoot an infected elk on a ranch and leave the viscera behind, there is the possibility that the ranch dogs will find it, feed on it, become infected by the dog tape worm and begin shedding eggs around farm buildings, barns, and lawns within about seven weeks. People will step into the infected dog feces and, inadvertently, carry it into veranda and house. Here the eggs spread over the floors, but may also drift onto tables and furniture. The dog, licking its anus and fur, transfers tape worm eggs into its fur. The eggs are most likely to infect babies crawling about on the floor, veranda or lawn. They child will lick its hands, or eat contaminated food, and the eggs will develop into cysts. Since re-infection is likely, numerous cysts begin to grow in the liver and lungs. Cysts in the brain are normally fatal. The cysts develop initially slowly, so that not much may be notices till the child is a teen. Then, while playing sports, a cysts in the abdomen may burst. Some children die right then and there of anaphylactic shock. Those that survive need to undergo extensive operations. Should even a tiny bit of parasitic tissue lining the cysts survive surgery, it will grow into another cyst. A terrible, debilitating lifelong condition.

The primary danger comes from dogs which have fed on infected gut piles of elk, moose and deer. Also from farm and ranch dogs that have found an infected dead elk in a coulee and fed on its innards. Since in winter elk will seek refuge also in suburbs and hamlets, any resident dog finding dead elk is likely to get infected, and infect its owners in turn. In short any dog, hunting dog or companion dog that finds a dead deer or elk or an infected gut-pile will bring the disease into the home and to the neighbourhood of its owner. And that will include school yards.

So, where elk winter on ranches, de-worming dogs regularly is a necessary precaution. So is the removal of all dead elk. It is essential to insure that during hunting season hunters bring in the infected viscera for destruction. The real problem will be teaching hunters to dispose in the field infected viscera.

And be weary of people belittling this disease! The claim of a benign parasite is flatly contradicted by Delane C. Kritsky; Professor Emeritus, Idaho State University, who was Associate Dean and Professor (35 years) within Department of Health and Nutrition. “We should be asking who (the U.S. government, the Fish and Wildlife service, the wolf advocates) will be paying the health bills and funeral expenses for those who will ultimately become infected as a result of wolf introduction into Idaho, Montana and Wyoming?

Wolves are also known carriers of bovine tuberculosis, brucellosis, Neospora caninum (causes abortion in cattle) and, of course, rabies. In Yellowstone, by dispersing elk far beyond the park, the park elk met elk infected with brucellosis, and became infected themselves. In Wood Buffalo National Park wolves have not eliminated tuberculosis and brucellosius in bison. Wolves may not even bother taking down old diseases bison bulls, but looks to young bison instead,

Chronic Wasting Disese CWD

Chronic wasting disease is a juggernaut descending onto American wildlife. Because of its prevalence it has been suggested that predation would wipe out this pernicious disease. In short, introducing and spreading wolves within areas where this disease is endemic among deer and elk, would eliminate the disease. Not so. It would spread the disease.  Wolves generate panic among deer and prey leading to desperate long distance flight as well as desperate searches for locations free of wolves, primarily due to human presence. I have personally witnessed this wolf-induced panic among deer. And I have observed it personally also among livestock. Secondly, because wolves in dispersing go great distances, they would spread ingested CWD prions via feces and urine over very great distances. And they would disperse it in concentrated form. More ranches would wind up CWD infected, let alone public lands. And who in his right mind would buy a ranch infected with CWD, or even a ranch adjacent to an infected ranch? And the trouble is that, generally, we have been trying to contain CWD locally instead of eliminating the root cause of its spread: the commercial trade in wildlife.

Attack on humans the escalation model. While real wolves do indeed attack humans rarely and are very shy, they kill humans none the less under predictable circumstances. Historically wolves have killed in Eurasia tens of thousands of people, and are know as belonging to the “beasts of battle”,  who occupied battle fields and devoured the dead.  Medics noted on battle fields in modern times that wolves vastly preferred human flesh to that of horses and other domestic animals. Fortunately, when wolves begin targeting people, they do so in very diagnostic fashion. They sit or stand and begin watching humans at a distance. They close the observation distance gradually. They continue their exploration by pulling on clothing, licking exposed skin before trying an initially clumsy attack. Not only food shortages trigger exploratory behaviour, so do well fed wolves frequenting garbage dumps. The key factor to watch for is the steady, consistent observations by wolves of humans. Wolves, unlike dogs, are sight-learners, very intelligent sight-learners, I might add. And steady observation of humans by wolves signals an intent on behalf of the wolf to attack people as potential prey.

Why American wolves – were – “harmless”

A prevailing myth is that wolves are so shy as not to attack people, especially North American wolves, which had for the longest time no recorded attack on a person by healthy wolves. When the student Kenton Carnegie was killed by wolves, it was blamed on black bears by a scientist ignorant of tracking, but widely accepted by environmental interests. Totally ignored was the investigation by two educated native people that had exceptional qualification in tracking. That follows a pattern of ignoring the experiences of native Americans. The myth itself can be traced back to a number of North American wolf specialists in the 1950’s who then lacked the understanding of wolves we have now, and who dismissed historical accounts as “tall tales”, precisely because of the scarcity of attacks by wolves on people in north America. It remained a puzzle for a long time even to great specialists in wolf behaviour, such as the late professor Erich Kinghammer of Wolf Park, Battle Ground, Indiana, with whom I discussed this puzzle many times in the decades past. However, I now know the answer: In the 19th Century, the wild spaces of Canada and Alaska were not only occupied by hamlets of rural and native people, and the wilderness widely exploited seasonally by an influx of hunters, while vast private lands were secured from predators by government predator control officers. Moreover, wolf control included the areal dispersal of poisoned horse meat. However and most important of all: vast areas were divided into trapping territories and trapped over by – in the case of Canada – by about 60,000 trappers. These desperately poor, hard working men depended on wildlife for survival and on dog sleds for transportation. Since wolves disperse wildlife, follow trap-lines destroying fur and kill dogs, trappers were usually not well disposed towards wolves. The wolf population of Canad is currently estimated at 60,000 and was probably less than half that in the 19th century. Note: for every wolf alive there were one or two trappers, and that does not include the armed no-trappers occupying that land. Granted the huge territories wolf packs roam over, all wolves in 19th century Canadian wilderness were thus in constant contact with very hostile human beings. That is, all wolves were being continually educated to shun humans. Moreover, because of wolf control there was a super abundance of wildlife – which I still personally experienced. That is, wolves surrounded by a a super abundant food supply grew into shy giants of almost unbelievable body size. I still experienced that personally. Because of reduced density, hydatid disease was relatively rare, attacks on livestock very limited and attacks on humans unheard of. Moreover, by keeping wolves out of settled landscapes it retained the integrity of packs as well as the genetic identity of wolves. Giant wolves living in functional packs will not hybridize with coyotes or dogs, but annihilate such. The wolf kill by trappers, however, was limited. It amounted only to about one wolf per five trappers per year, judging from bounty records.  

Replacing the little wolf with the big wolf.

North America has two species of wolves, a little native wolf who survived the incredible predation hell-hole that characterized North America during the ice ages, and a big wolf who came from Siberia, repeatedly, who did poorly in the native North America fauna, and who spread and multiplied only after human had exterminated most of the native megafauna some 12,000 years ago. The little wolf is a very smart, adaptable little fellow, who does poorly in the presence of the big wolf, but explodes in numbers in settled landscapes and follows humans closely. With human aid it spread into Alaska as well as central America and is still expanding. And it is obnoxious enough to have triggered large scale control measures. In the US coyotes are killed at roughly1000 per day.

You have also legislated via your endangers species legislation and endorsed by the courts that the big wolf will be placed where the little wolf is now.

Has anybody considered what this replacement will mean?

Do you think you will be happy having replaced the unprotected little wolf with the highly protected big wolf?

Do your legislators talk to one another?

Does the right hand know what the left hand is doing?

The real wolf versus the dog, destructive hybridization.

Protecting grey wolves in settled landscapes and letting them multiply freely leads in the long run to wolves hybridizing with other canids in the settled landscapes, with coyotes in north America and Golden Jackals in Europe, and with domestic dogs in both. That is, or will be, the fate of real wolves to be genetically degraded into extinction as a species. The end product of current American and European “wolf conservation” – so called – is to loose the real wolf as as species and produce a human-caused artifact, a worthless hybrid.

The real wolf is s a species. The dog is not. A species it is the product of Nature sculptured by such for millions of years.  By contrast the dog is NOT a species, but an artifact of human creation using the genetics of the wild wolf and other canids. The dog is a very great, highly useful, but also artistic creation, one which I would not want to live without. And I thank providence that the dogs I have are not wolves! Dogs have been created by humans to fit with human needs, our habitations and professional activities. They are a great treasure, as dog owners can attest to.

But so is the real wolf. And there is no question that we must insure the perpetuation in modern times of the real wolf. However, it cannot be done the way it is practised now in the USA and the European Union. For trying to maintain wolves leads remorselessly to slow, but certain, hybridization with dogs and coyotes and thus the loss of the real wolf. Hybridizing wolves with dogs and coyotes is a way to exterminate the real wolf by destroying its genetics. Of course wolves and dog are closely related genetically. However, very nearly the same basic genetics generates totally different animals. The dog is not a wolf, no matter what.  Similarly, humans and chimpanzees are also very closely related genetically, but are very different organisms.  Pigs and whales are closely reflated genetically, but you do nothing for whale conservation by protecting pigs. Placing dogs into the same species as wolves is a profound confusion of categories.

Consequently, after all the trials and tribulations of introducing wolves into settled landscapes, after all the cost to the public and private purses, after all the destruction caused by these wolves, after all the pain and suffering that befalls humans, livestock, pets and wildlife, after the loss of a grate public treasures such as wildlife, at the end, the wolf is exterminated genetically and replaces by a worthless artifact of hybridization.

Some achievement, some nature conservation, something to be really proud of!

Ecological management for native biodiversity and productivity: The fiasco of “protectionism” advanced by good, but mindless nature lovers.

Right now the national park service is bemoaning the fact that in US national parks the bio-diversity is plummeting (species are going extinct) while at the same time the parks have now over 6,500 invasive plant and animal species in the parks. Management in national parks is primarily protection – that is, doing nothing! (after all, “nature knows best”, it will restore ecological ” balance”  and etc. etc.). However, in reality, doing nothing allows the extinction of sensitive native species, while the hoodlums of the plant and animal world, the invasive species, thrive and prosper under total protection. Is this nature conservation? Is the national park service intellectually capable of differentiating between degeneration and evolution? To make my point another way: In one project in California, Wildergarten, one gentleman, Mark Vande Pol, in fierce opposition to national parks and their ruinous do-nothing policy, bought 14 acres of ground on which there were only 60 species of plants total, currently visible and reproducing. After 28 years of hard, intelligent, insightful work the count  today is some 245native species, while he controls completely another 125 exotics that were once in the seed bank.  Uniquely, the project has a special emphasis upon small annuals.  In fact, he is actively replacing an exotic seed bank with natives!  Have you ever even heard of such a public, foundation, or university project?

Do you see what I am getting at?

The publicity making lament of the National Wildlife Federation about the state of affairs on “protected” areas, is in good part due to the self-infliction of dogmatic, uncritical protectionism, in which even monitoring would be shunned as it smacks of intervention. Ergo, no science, no scholarship disturbs the fundamentalist religious view that “protection” is the salvation of nature. In reality, its exactly the opposite! Protectionist policies lead to the unwitting degeneration of nature, the longer and more effective the protection, the greater the degeneration.

Has the Wildlife Federation, let alone the Sierra Club or humane societies ever learned any lessons from the great and – when it is allowed to work – wonderful North American Model of Wildlife Conservation?

Turkeys were virtually extinct. How about their numbers today? And turkeys cannot exist without a diverse, productive habitat!

Wood ducks were virtually extinct, but no more. How come?

In 1974 bighorn sheep across the US were in decline, despite all attempts at “protecting” them, and that for over a century in California. All to no avail.  Well, the cause of the decline was identified publicly in 1974, a society to implement the rescue was called into life by 1976, and within 25 year the population of bighorns increased by almost 50%.

How come?

How come we have today so many more elk than three decades ago? Though of course not in Yellowstone National Park! There, the “within-park do nothing policy” has driven the park elk almost entirely onto private ranch land. What a success!

Oh, I must also add this one: place wolves into Yellowstone park – where everything is “protected“. And the moose went extinct. How come? We area about to loose the woodland caribou in North America forever, courtesy protectionism of same and of “habitat”. How come?

The natural “regulation” paradigm of the nature protectors is an intellectual failure, as it has to be if one understands that ecosystems, unlike individuals, are subject to positive, not negative feed back. Trusting nature to do it “right”, whatever that may mean, leads often enough to impoverished landscapes of low productivity and biodiversity. Letting “nature” have its way does not always lead to the productive, the diverse and the beautiful. Quite the contrary. And we have missed the obvious right under out noses: The revolutionary North American System of Wildlife Conservation not only saved species from extinction, but its knowledgeable hands-on policies created a landscape full of life, full of productivity, full of awe and beauty, as well as to high benefits to society while proving that the public ownership of land and resources did not lead to the” Tragedy of the Commons”, but quite the contrary. It led to the triumph of the commons. Tragedy resulted from pecuniary interests undermining the public good.

Must we abandon policies that generated productivity, richness and beauty, but also a humane treatment of wildlife? The fate of wildlife is to be changed form being killed quickly and humanely by a hunter’s bullet, to being torn to pieces bite by bite, tortured sometimes for hours by wolves tearing and ripping their way towards their unfortunate victims slow death. Which hunter ever left wildlife torn savagely? Which hunter chokes his prey slowly to death? What inhumanities are the protectionists and their ilk imposing on our unfortunate wildlife?

We have to make it clear that we can vastly improve on Nature. In fact we are doing so every day in our daily lives and dealings. We have improved on bird flight, and can transport humans in masses to distant earthly destination or to the moon and beyond. We can see so much farther in the night sky than the natural eye can achieve, and we can conserve nature on the smallest pieces of land, where as national parks fail in part because they are too small. So their lament! And where a continued existence of predators and prey is achieved in the “do nothing model”, it is on sizes beyond comprehension. Like some 150 wolves and 2,500 bison in Wood Buffalo National Park, which exceeds Switzerland in size! And I am thrilled that we have such an area for comparison. See the wonderful books of Lu Carbyn on bison and wolves in said park. Read and learn!

Not everything “Natural” is good, not everything “Natural” is beautiful, not everything “Natural” is worth fighting for. Quite the contrary! Wildfires are natural, so is tuberculosis, Lyme disease and septicemia. We are asked to abandon landscapes rich in wildlife with a proven and humane treatment of wildlife, for one that is so thoroughly impoverishing vast landscapes, while subjecting wildlife to the horrid cruelties and inhumanity of death by predation.

Is that a goal worth celebrating? Is that a goal worth striving for?

I do not believe in reincarnation , but should I be wrong, all I can say is “Lord please do not let me come back on this earth as a BISON IN WOOD BUFFALO NATIONAL PARK’. Here is my story why.” Dr. Lu Carbyn, Canada’s primary wolf biologist.

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Florida Wildlife Commission Doles Out Tax Dollars to Support Fascist Town Governments

Disguised as a program to promote the coexistence of over-protected black bears and humans, the Florida Wildlife Commission is doling out taxpayers’ dollars to communities that mandate people’s trash must be secured from bears.

According to The Outdoor Wire, one community with such a mandate, Apopka, and obviously no way to pay for their fascist mandate, is getting $85,000 from taxpayers who did not ask that the city force residents of their city to secure their garbage. In turn, all taxpayers are forced to pay for the fascist mandate. The money will be used to buy bear-proof garbage cans. I say if the town government, elected by the people of Apopka, want to mandate bear-proof garbage cans then those fascists should pay for the cans and not force the rest of us who had no say in the matter to pony-up money.

This is typical action by the governments in forcing the servitude to pay for their pet projects. Like with wolves, grizzlies, and all other “protected” wildlife species, governments mandate protection and then force the masses to pay for it. You just got to love this democratic fascism that ignorant progressives have brought us to.

Yeah, yeah, I know. All you progressives will say this is a small price to pay to protect bears…yada, yada, yada. But, clueless to most, this isn’t really about protecting the bears now is it?

LOVING YOUR SERVITUDE????

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

KUMBAYA!

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

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

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

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

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

DISMAL!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Insanity trudges on!

 

 

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Avoiding Accountability in Deer Management

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

And that means…?

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

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

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

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

 

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