October 23, 2014

A Discussion on Maine Antler Point Restrictions for Buck Deer

Here we go again! Another debate about antler point restrictions for the perverts who only want to kill “trophy” deer. While this discussion builds, once again, most Mainers are not filling their freezers with the deer meat they want because of a diminished herd. And the talk involves trophy deer hunting?

In an article in the Lewiston Sun Journal by V. Paul Reynolds, he writes of antler point restrictions (APR). I guess I cannot classify myself as either for or against APR. In the case of Maine, I would be all for it if there actually existed sound science that shows it would grow a deer herd in numbers and not just in size (perhaps?).

Reynolds states that “what we know” about APR from what appears to be information he has gathered from Pennsylvania.

Here is what we do know: After six years of APRs in Pennsylvania, state biologists are calling antler restrictions there an unqualified success.

(Question: How can we “know” this if it’s “unqualified?”)

The “what we know” is listed as such:

1. Increased buck survival – (My note: How is this measured? #4 states there there is no change in hunter success rates. It seems the only way to have increased buck survival AND unchanged success rate is to have a pretty healthy herd growth, with good recruitment, each year. Then again, can there be “increased buck survival” simply because the younger bucks, which generally make up the larger percentage of buck harvest, are not being killed? Unsubstantiated, this claim could be misleading.)

2. No change in breeding timing (My note: This could be important but deer managers have continued to extend the deer hunting season well into and beyond the breeding season. I don’t see how APR could change this.)

3. Avoided negative genetic impacts – (My note: Assuming that means that APRs will not “destroy” the gene pool, a lack of understanding of genetics might lead someone to think such. Newsweek ran an article a few years ago on how trophy hunting (whatever that was as it was never defined) was destroying the gene pool, i.e. killing off all the big animals, would result in a weaker, smaller species. If you kill off all the big animals, the overall size of the herd may be smaller in size because that is what’s left, but this has nothing to do with genetics. (Please see this article for information about genetics and gene pools from Dr. Valerius Geist, Wayne Heimer, Michael and Margaret Firisna, Eric Rominger and Raymond Lee.)

In addition to this, Lee Kantar, former head deer biologist at the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife (MDIFW) and now head moose biologist, explained to me a few years ago about his thoughts on genetics and trophy hunting.

In the big game management world researchers have been looking more at potential consequences of trophy hunting and how it affects social hierarchies as well as the genetic structure of a particular herd. In order for real effects to take place, a significant number of older age class animals would need to be removed from the herd consistently over a number of years to start to have effects. In isolated herds with low total population numbers this could certainly be of concern…

In essence, the only way genetics, much like buck to doe ratios can be seriously altered is due to extremely poor management or none at all and unrestricted hunting, and/or a deliberate attempt to change genetics.)

4. Maintained hunter success rates – (My note: In the same article in reference here, Kyle Ravanna, MDIFW’s new deer biologist says, “if Maine imposed antler point restrictions, our hunter success rate on bucks, based on current statistics, would decline nearly 50 percent.” Note Ravanna didn’t say COULD decline 50% but WOULD. I’m not sure how he can make that determination. He may have preconceived notions based on information he has and what he would intend to do should Maine implement APR. I would concur that in Maine, with the present state of the deer herd, employing some kind of antler restriction that further restricts a hunter from being able to harvest a deer, would certainly lower the success rate AND anger a lot of hunters. Ravanna also stated that if an APR program wasn’t used “properly” it could actually harm the herd. And that I agree with.

For Pennsylvania to claim that APRs did not change the success rate, then they must have an abundant deer herd that reproduces well enough to not diminish the hunters’ chances at bagging a deer. Maine does not have an abundant deer herd in most areas and therefore, all I can envision by implementing APR is even more of a loss of opportunity to put meat in my freezer.

I strongly believe that the majority of deer hunters, do so for meat. A few are strictly “trophy” hunters, but most will be as picky as conditions permit but in the end they want meat – a trophy becomes a bonus. And probably most would like to have an increased chance at bagging a trophy but not at the expense of losing opportunity and/or reducing success rates.)

5. Increased number of adult bucks – (My notes: The only way this can happen is if the deer herd is healthy enough to consistently recruit enough fawns and yearling deer each season in order that with a consistent success rate, the number of “adult bucks” would remain the same or increase.)

6. Increased age structure of bucks – (My note: This would only stand to reason, provided of course recruitment remained basically unchanged. Age structure is a good indicator of the health and condition of a deer herd. This needs to be monitored carefully and management practices employed in order to meet the goals of a sound deer management plan. Simply increasing the age structure of a deer herd in not necessarily a good thing.)

Before any serious thought can be given to any kind of APR program, Maine has to get it’s deer herd back to a more consistently populated herd, with good age structure and recruitment.

Maine Radio Hosts Feature Discussion of Maine Bear Referendum Consequences

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On Amazon: “The Real Wolf”

RealWolfCoverThe Real Wolf: The Science, Politics, and Economics of Co-Existing with Wolves in Modern Times – Paperback
by Ted B. Lyon and Will N. Graves

How have thriving elk populations of thousands dwindled to mere hundreds in just a matter of years? Author Ted B. Lyon asserts the wolf is at fault. He also blames the wolf for the rampant spread of infectious diseases among livestock populations and the decimation of wild deer, moose, sheep, and domestic animals alike. A trial lawyer with over 37 years of litigation experience, Lyon proves his case in The Real Wolf: The Science, Politics, and Economics of Co-Existing with Wolves in Modern Times. In this detailed yet easy-to-read essay collection, authors Ted B. Lyon and Will N. Graves investigate the majesty and myths surrounding wolves in the United States and offer a new, true picture of the wolf in contemporary America. The Real Wolf is an in-depth study of the impact wolves as a federally protected species have had on big game and livestock populations. Each chapter in the book is meticulously researched and written by authors and scientists who have spent years studying wolves and wolf behavior. Contributing authors Rob Arnaud, Dr. Arthur Bergerud, Karen Budd-Falen, Jess Carey, Dr. Matthew A. Cronin, Dr. Valerius Geist, Don Peay, Laura Schneberger, Heather Smith-Thomas, and Cat Urbigkit each describe a unique aspect of the wolf in the United States. The Real Wolf does not call for the eradication of wolves from the United States, but rather advocates a new system of species management that would allow wolves, game animals, and farmers to live in harmony.

*Note* I was privileged to be asked to write a book review of “The Real Wolf”. Subsequently it became the foreword for this book. If you would like, you can read a copy of that below: (this review has been slightly edited from this original submission.)

Book Review: The Real Wolf
The Science, Politics, and Economics of Co-Existing with Wolves in Modern Times
Ted B. Lyons and Will N. Graves and other contributions

It has been nearly 30 years since United States Government employees undertook steps to import Canadian wolves into Yellowstone and Central Idaho; much of that event done illegally. To pull it off, the greatest sales pitch, or con job, in U.S. History had to take place. Wolves were sold as something they were not. Wolf advocates deliberately lied[this has been changed to something more politically correct], brainwashing masses of people with images of the gray wolf as a “keystone predator”, an “indicator species”, a “flagship species”, and all wrapped up in descriptions of wolves “balancing nature” and “sanitarians” of the forests. This was all done for one purpose: to sell the people about introducing wolves into the Lower 48 States. After all, if people were reminded of the truthful history of wolves globally, they would not have fallen for the idea.

It has taken nearly 30 years to compile between two book covers all the facts to explain to the American people that they were lied[also changed] to about the wolf. Everything you need to learn about the truth concerning wolves, can be found in “The Real Wolf.” The Real Wolf is destined to become the encyclopedia of wolf facts, loaded with resources from some of the most renowned scientists, researchers, investigators and historians the world has to offer.

The Real Wolf presents hundreds of pages of documents, facts and real life stories about gray wolves, including over 450 references, footnotes and links to sources and facts.

What began in this country at least 100 years ago, a deliberate effort to change the minds of American children, cannot be reversed in one book publication, but as far as the repulsive fairy tales that have been told about gray wolves around the world, The Real Wolf is a strong first step. It should be the foundation of understanding the wolf and required reading for all wildlife managers and biologists.

For those always wishing they had at their disposal a comprehensive publication in which to share with others and increase their own knowledge of “real wolves”, The Real Wolf is certainly something to add to your library.

Some of my favorite researchers and scientists have contributed to this book: Will N. Graves, author of Wolves in Russia: Anxiety Through the Ages; Dr. Valerius Geist, a leading ethologist and professor emeritus University of Calgary; Dr. Tom Bergerud, the world’s leading authority on caribou; and Dr. Matthew Cronin, a research professor of Animal Genetics at the University of Alaska in Fairbanks.

The Real Wolf will teach readers of wolf history across the globe, wolf introduction in the United States, the more than 50 diseases wolves carry, how U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service alters science to fit agendas, how mongrel mutts are being introduced as pure wolves, the devastation wolves have had on other wild animals and private property depredating livestock and the unbelievable affect it has had on people, plus a whole lot more.

Non Surgical Treatment for Echinococcosis

The YUDJINA Clinic specialises on the Echinococcosis Hydatid Cyst treatment (alveolar type also) – a very complex infectious disease caused by the helminthic invasion. The degree of insidiousness of this disease and its consequences can be compared, perhaps, only to cancer. The Echinococcosis infection and the development of the disease proceed imperceptibly for the person exposed to the larvated eggs. Echinococcosis is hard to diagnose.

Clearly expressed symptoms of the disease are absent during a long time, sometimes up to ten years. During this period, one or several Echinococcosis bubbles – cysts grow on various organs of the patient. More often the Echinococcosis affects liver, lungs, kidneys, and brain. Slowly expanding, the cyst reaches appreciable sizes – up to 20 cm in diameter, and its weight can reach 1 kg. Developed Echinococcosis cyst causes intense sufferings to the patient. In case of physical rupture of a cyst, a complex of various allergic reactions is possible, including the development of an anaphylactic shock.

…….The measures of the public preventive actions are to the following:
…….taking measures for the hygienic training of population, especially among the livestock breeders, the hunters, the dog breeders and the members of their families;(emphasis added)<<<Read the Rest>>>

It’s the Meat, Stupid!

New Research Shows Hunters Increasingly Motivated by the Meat

Reasons Include the Recession, the Locavore Movement, and More Women Hunting

HARRISONBURG, Va. – Recent national and state-level research conducted by Responsive Management reveals that obtaining meat is an increasingly important motivation among American hunters to go afield. “While there are several reasons for this growth in the segment of hunters who engage in hunting for utilitarian reasons, several of Responsive Management’s new studies make clear that the trend is widespread and unmistakable,” explains Mark Damian Duda, executive director of Responsive Management, who managed the research studies.<<<Read the Rest>>>

National Survey: Public Approval of Hunting at 18-Year High

MISSOULA, Mont.–A recent nationwide survey indicates 79 percent of Americans approve of hunting, marking a five percent increase from 2011 and the highest level since 1995. “Hunting is a way of life for many of us. Most Americans recognize and agree with that,” said David Allen, RMEF president and CEO.

“Hunting is conservation! It has a tremendous positive impact on wildlife and wildlife habitat.”

Responsive Management, a public opinion research organization focusing on natural resource and outdoor recreation issues, began to scientifically track nationwide hunting approval trends in 1995. The most recent finding of 79 percent is the highest percentage to date. Trends remain relatively steady over the years: 73 percent in 1995, 75 percent in 2003, 78 percent in 2006, 74 percent in 2011 and 79 percent in 2013.

The survey also found that more than half of Americans (52 percent) strongly approve of hunting (79 percent strongly or moderately approve) while 12 percent disapprove (strongly or moderately) of hunting. Another 9 percent gave a neutral answer.

The increase in acceptance may be linked to results from a U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service report (2011 National Survey of Fishing, Hunting and Wildlife-Associated Recreation, http://www.census.gov/prod/2012pubs/fhw11-nat.pdf) that shows hunting participation increased by 9 percent since 2006 while shooting participation increased 18 percent since 2009. Other Responsive Management studies on public opinion on hunting show the strongest correlation with the approval of hunting is knowing a hunter.

“Hunting has a tremendous and measureable link to conservation. Hunters deserve to be proud of their contributions to wildlife, habitat and resource management,” added Allen.

Hunting directly accounts for more than a million jobs in the US and creates an overall economy of $67 billion per year. Hunters provide the vast majority of funding that allows state wildlife agencies to successfully manage our wildlife resources through license sales and excise taxes on hunting equipment.

Conducted in February 2013, the Responsive Management survey randomly surveyed 1,306 Americans 18 years of age and older.

The Mythical Magic of the Much Maligned Mutt (Wolf)

Perhaps not since Franklin Roosevelt has so much credit been given a person or thing for accomplishing things they never did or did and messed them up. Once again people calling themselves scientific researchers are crediting the existence of grey wolves in Yellowstone for helping to increase the grizzly bear population. This supposedly is being accomplished because wolves keep the elk from eating the berry plants. Information on this “study” can be found at Science World Report.

It appears that not all scientists are impressed with the conclusions drawn by the researchers conducting the berry bear study. As a matter of fact, Dr. Charles Kay, Ph.D. Wildlife Ecology, Jon M. Huntsman School of Business, says that, “YNP [Yellowstone National Park] bear research/management has been and is a scientific FRAUD!”

And as anyone who has come to know the work of Dr. Kay, he doesn’t spout off without providing the documentation to support his own claims. First, is a copy of a recent email Dr. Kay sent to a number of readers about the berry bear study and links to his own research and information on the subject. Please feel free to educate yourself.

Dr. Kay’s email:

… please see the attached pdf file[s] I doubt that Ripple et al. ever had an original idea in their lives – as explained in the attached article[s], I was the first researcher to measure berry production in YNP, as well as the first to note that YNP’s bears did NOT eat berries – unlike every other bear population that has been studied anywhere. This is because elk had destroyed all the berry producing shrubs in the park. All this, of course, has been completely ignored by IAGBST biologists for over 40 years – which is why YNP bear research/management has been and is a scientific FRAUD!

In 1491 you could count the number of grizzlies in North America on one or two hands, because grizzlies were simply large packages of fat meat that native hunters killed AT WILL. There are more grizzlies in NA today than there were in 1491 – a FACT I can prove.

Please see section 13 of the second pdf file, and Figure 8f in the third pdf file

Charles

Charles E. Kay, Ph.D. Wildlife Ecology
Jon M. Huntsman School of Business

Yellowstone: Ecological Malpractice by Charles E. Kay June 1997

Browsing by native ungulates effects on shrub and seed in greater Yellowstone By Charles E. Kay

Were Native People Keystone Predators?

A Continuous-Time Analysis of Wildlife Observations Made by Lewis and Clark in 1804-1806

by Charles E. Kay January–March 2007 Canadian Field-Naturalist 121

What Is This Bear Doing?

In the following video, what is the bear doing? I know I have many “bear experts” that regularly read this blog. I believe the story goes that the man who set up this game camera, knows nothing about bears but he manufactures game cameras. The comments are interesting. Some people believe the bear is relieving himself of itches, while other think he is “marking his territory” and a few things in between.

So, readers, what is the bear doing?

David Mech: Alpha Wolf? Whatchu Talkin Bout?

I believe I posted this video quite some time ago but being that the subject has come up again….and again…..and again, I thought maybe it would help to post this video again as Dr. David Mech explains the myth, he created, about alpha male and alpha female wolves.

Oh, and heck! While you are at it, that is discovering truths, why not read Dr. Mech’s explanation about how he was wrong about trophic cascades and self regulating ecosystems. Just click this link.

Wild Hogs Coming to Your Back Door Soon

It seems that little is or can be done about stopping the spread of feral swine throughout this country. I think part of the problem is that people don’t realize there exists a problem or that it will, more than likely, wind up in your back yard eventually if not all ready. I also think there’s a certain disconnect between the people and wild hogs mainly because too many people probably don’t understand where all the pork they eat comes from……other than the grocery store.

With an estimated population in the U.S. of anywhere between 4 and 8 million hogs, the question isn’t if but when will wild hogs come to my house and destroy my lawn and garden, tear down my fencing and kill my pets? Kill my pets? It would only be fitting for environmental groups to work to put a stop to the needless killing of wild pigs. No, I’m not kidding.

Frank Bruni of the New York Times, pens a lighthearted approach to the realities of the swine life. But he does ask where the environmentalists are on this topic due to the ecosystem destruction caused by these millions of wild hogs. Bruni does mention that these pigs are, “throwing the earth out of balance.” Being that he writes for the New York Times and is only repeating the garbage he was taught in school and from all his other environmentalists friends at the Times, is it really worth trying to educate him about the “balance of nature?”

Texas A&M University answers probably any question you might have about feral hogs.

One of the last places some might think of to find wild pigs is in a cold climate like Maine. Well, officially New York State has too many pigs already and according to Maine’s Downeast Magazine, there’s about a population of 500 wild piggies in New Hampshire. The magazine warns Maine residents that those pigs might cross the border. And then what?

But, isn’t it too late to worry about if, they come? Maine’s Kennebec Journal had a story four months ago about a “Eurasian wild boar” that was shot by a person trying to stop the wild pig from killing his domestic pig.

This article states that officials are “mystified by the presence of a wild boar.” Really? Maybe officials should visit the Texas A&M University web page that explains about where feral hogs came from.

The first pigs were brought into what is now the continental U.S. into Florida in 1539 by Hernando de Soto. Explorers used these pigs as a traveling food source. After wandering around the southeastern United States in search of gold, his exploration party brought 700 pigs into what would become Texas in 1542.

Oh, so that’s how it happened. I mean seriously. Mystified?