October 17, 2017

The Ethics of Baiting Deer….or Any Other Game Animal

Maine has recently passed a law prohibiting the “feeding” of deer from August 15th to December 15. This Act was supported by the Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife (MDIFW), which should be no surprise as we know MDIFW has tried for years to ban the act of feeding deer at anytime.

However, the real issue, I think, is the prevention of “baiting” deer for the purpose of improving your chances of taking a deer during the archery, rifle or muzzleloader seasons.

In V. Paul Reynolds article this week, he says that in this debate about baiting deer, ethics should be part of the discussion. But ethics of any kind, can be a very sticky wicket.

Who decides what is ethical? For years I have written about ethics as it may apply to hunting and still believe, within the written laws, ethics is a personal perspective.

I support the baiting of bear for harvest purposes because there is a need to limit or reduce the growth of the black bear populations in Maine. It is my understanding that the MDIFW mostly sees the bear baiting issue much the same way. In short, it is a necessary management tool, even if it perceived by some as ugly. Without this tool, the alternative may be even uglier.

Because most of Maine has few deer and historically the state has never really been overrun with deer, the need to call for the implementation of baiting as a management tool to reduce numbers, has never been necessary and is definitely not needed today.

But this really has little to do with ethics. I’m not a bear hunter but I can clearly say that if I was, I would NOT bait – unless, of course, I was very, very hungry. I am a deer hunter and I would NOT bait deer for much the same reasons. I don’t necessarily object to those who choose to bait their game, where legal, but I personally would not care to implement baiting regardless of how, if any, doing so effects the odds of bagging game.

I have often read those who define ethics as, “what you do when nobody’s watching.” While this may be partially true, personal ethics goes beyond whether or not someone chooses to stay within the bounds of regulations. Short of legitimate regulations to guide the scientific management of game animals, it should NEVER be left up to Government to attempt legislating ethics. When you consider the corrupt and unethical existence of Government at all levels, surely one cannot seriously ask such an entity to make the decisions as to what is ethical and not ethical.

We have been brainwashed and manipulated into a totalitarian form of existence in which one of the greatest problems in today’s society is that “useful idiots,” i.e. the totalitarian sheep, believe it is their right and their duty of conquest to tell others how to live.

To what degree ethics should be discussed in this debate about baiting deer, would be a crap shoot and more than likely would only serve to create more problems. Within the laws of man, whether or not we agree with them, my personal ethics should remain as such…personal. If I strongly believe in my own ethical practices, perhaps, and I mean perhaps, I might share that philosophy with friends…if they care to know. Besides that, I mind my own business and expect that same respect in return.

Here is a link to the story of how Maine’s record Boone and Crockett buck was shot over a pile of “bait” – culled potatoes.

Share

Big Game Managers Inventory Fraud And Lousy Hunters

Basic inventory fraud for a state big game management agency would be incredibly easy in comparison to department store managers who do it all the time by padding the sales and inventory data.. The big game agency has the capacity to manipulate inventory data, and they can manipulate harvest data.. This accomplishes convincing the hunting public that hunting’s exceptional in the agencies big game store, so they sellout the tags. Then the agency pads the success rate because they have the harvest reports..I suspect IDFG is not selling out on non resident elk tags.. And I know why. Because they aren’t fooling us all.. I’m a resident.

IMG_1726

Thats me about five days ago, the lousy hunter..Up around 8,200′ elevation..Thats rattler back in the trees..And the lab is Ranger.

There is no way to audit them because they are a governmental agency.. No other governmental agency is going to expose them because they are a brotherhood of masons.. If there was an audit the IDFG would be cleared of cooking the numbers because the investigation team would clear them. Same as when a dirty cop is protected by the State Attorney Generals office.  basically IDFG gets away with it.  A private study of this problem gets no recognition.. Its the same old line of BS they throw at anyone trying to expose governmental corruption, they scream, taunt and mock with conspiracy theorist.. Its impossible to check IDFGs inventory..

Nobody is going to track down every hunter and validate whether they harvested that elk or not..  All of the harvest report data is either done on line or mailed in.. A lot of guys don’t even bother with it.. Its mandatory but is not enforced.. So someone could easily fill out the reports how they want them to reflect the harvest data and it looks great for IDFG if it is a high success rate.. Thats what they’re showing. Elk hunting is better than it has ever been in Idaho according to IDFG..  And unfortunately when this is what a lot of gullible people want to see they won’t consider anything else. I can’t prove it, but they’re lying about elk herd populations numbers and harvest numbers..

People cheat in everything they do in this world.. Big game management is not immune to this problem..Big game management like everything else around us involves big money, big salaries, and career advancement into bigger better higher paying positions in government.. It is corporate just like everything else is.. Failure of any kind is unacceptable. Its interesting that while IDFG claims the same high elk numbers of the past they have cut the elk hunting opportunities by a large percentage as shown by comparing for example a 1995 hunting regulations manual to a 2015-16 manual. And any clients grumbling about the lousy hunting, well they’re just lousy hunters..
IMG_1602

They’re lousy as hell at inventory fraud and I’m damned sick of them. Just sick of it. I get around out there in some deep back country and while the deer are impressing me those elk aren’t any where close to what they once were.

Share

Is There Outrage? Man Kills Bear With a Spear

I realize the risk I am taking by even attempting to point out the obvious, emotional clap-trap and hypocrisy showing its ugly side from both “hunters” and “animal rights” people.

I found on Drudge, a link to an article about how both hunters and environmentalists are “outraged” over a person, whom they call a “hunter” who filmed his act of hunting a bear over a pile of bait, manipulating himself to get close enough to throw a spear (labeled “home made” in the article) at and kill a black bear. The hunt took place in Canada; legally I am presuming.

What of that so-called outrage?

First, let me write from a position of transparency. I have hunted for close to 55 years. I’ve never shot a bear. Never wanted to shoot a bear. Never hunted specifically for bear. I’ve never hunted over bait, but I understand when game management makes adjustments to hunting techniques in order to achieve game management goals. I’ve never hunted on a hunting ranch, behind fences, nor do I have any desire to do so. I hunt for the enjoyment and I kill to eat.

If we take a closer look at the nonsense of the article, with an open mind, perhaps rationality can make a bit more sense of what took place. The article epitomizes the emotional nonsense often associated with acts of hunting or killing animals. This is only understood when we examine that those who emote the so-called outrage, do so from the perspective that animals are like men in all senses of the definition, i.e. that it has feelings, understands and experiences human traits such as suffering, agony, pain, diminution of pride, experiences humiliation, understands respect, etc.

If this is a person’s mindset about animals, there is little hope that any sense of understanding can be gained or taught. And this is what the news article does. In addition, Drudge, obviously more interested in getting his website traffic higher, publishes this clap-trap nonsense hoping to embellish the event regardless of any truth.

It would only be right to take a look at the “hunter” in this case. From the article, we discover he was a former athlete – a javelin thrower in college. Presently he evidently owns a “fitness company” and is described in the article as a “bodybuilder” and “fitness fanatic.” Does this fact alone give understanding as to how a person of this background, an obvious narcissist, as I believe all bodybuilders must be, would go out of his way to film the event (mostly of himself) and then react the way he did. Perhaps his biggest wrong in this entire event was that he filmed it and put it up on YouTube before giving it much thought to his self-centered reactions, etc.

Upon examination of the article, obviously a one-sided diatribe of emotional, value-laced idiocy, it’s clear to see that no rational thought was put into it. Here’s a grocery list of the terms and adjectives used in this article to describe the hunt, the hunted, and the hunter:

Bloodthirsty; disturbing; sick; slaughtering; slow and painful; poor animal; intestines pour out of its stomach; fitness fanatic; cruel; cheap act; colossal beast; disgusting; mindless jackass; shameless stunt; demean the animal; shameful spectacle of pseudo bravado; pure selfish bloodlust; heartlessly slaughtered for fun; desire for a thrill; expense of innocent life.

Of course all descriptions of the event are value-weighted, which really means nothing to anyone except those offering their perspective of their ideology and theories about animals. Not that it matters to anyone else, but the first time I clicked on the news article, I had to sit through about 20 seconds of an advertisement about MTV. From my perspective, what goes on regularly on MTV is as disgusting, perhaps more so, than the killing of this bear and filming it. MTV, one of the great promoters of social decadence, immorality, violence, homosexuality, racism, bigotry, sexism, hatred, drug and alcohol use and abuse, introduces the article in which we are left to understand that what MTV promotes is acceptable behavior, at least by the newspaper, and what happens in a video of a bear hunt is not. It seems to me this society has things quite mixed up.

The article says, but provides no links to substantiate, that a “hunter” from a “popular” US hunting website finds the video “disgusting.” Supposedly, the hunter claims this act of spearing a bear “demeans” the bear and then he chastises the hunter demanding he “show some respect for the animal.” Seriously, with a straight face, can you “demean” a bear? And can a bear recognize the actions of this hunter as being disrespectful? This supposed same hunter is quoted as saying, “If you want to take an animal humanely (which you obviously could care less about) then shoot it with a rifle.” What I would like to know is how, specifically taking an animal with a rifle, is more humane than with a spear? But, first, define “humane.” Humane is of or pertaining to human traits. Humans have a brain that offers them the ability to place values on certain actions and reactions of persons. Animals do not. Sorry if I’ve startled anyone here.

This hunter, said to have left a comment on the hunting website, and other environmentalists, think it’s wrong that the hunter, shows happy and excitable emotions after killing the bear. If hunters want to think of this act, whether it’s the method of kill or the reactions of the hunter, as something we have trouble with, then is it because for so many years we have come to accept the televised hunting shows of killing wild game, and hunters showing excitement and happiness over their kill, and this is somehow different? Oh, yes. Lest I forget. Film editing has managed to remove the “disgusting” and “inhumane” events that go on during the filming of an “ethical” and “humane” hunt for enjoyment and a “trophy.”

We are left with making up our minds as to who is lying and who is not in the article. The author of the article says the guides went back the next day to locate the bear. The environmentalists say the bear “MIGHT” have suffered for 20 hours or more. The hunter said it was a clean, ethical kill, that the bear went 60 yards and dropped dead. Well, which was it and does it really matter?

Assuming the entire hunt was legal, then what’s the big deal. All animal worshipers react emotionally to hunting and trapping. It’s what they do! This is nothing new. I don’t understand the need to film every act that people do and plaster it all over the Internet; in this case a bear hunt. But, then again, I don’t understand the need of people who react the way they do to films of hunting, to watch the videos and agonize over them. Making the videos and watching them in agony – there is something quite perverse in both events.

Let he who is without sin cast the first stone.

 

Share

A Wolf Is A Wolf Is A Wolf Just A Good Wolf Just Because They Say So

All things positive about wolves have been evolving over the years while all things negative about wolves has been suppressed and swept under the rug.. Thus any balance sharing the positives and negatives which justifies management of wolves for various purposes such as positive elk herd growth for the preservation of consumptive use multiple use which benefits ranching at the same time has been non existent because of the dishonesty of the IWC and the various anti grazing anti ranching, anti hunting pseudo environmentalist groups who are willing to get in bed with animal rights anti hunting fruitcakes who chatter endlessly about nothing relevant..

Enough nonsense has been repeatedly repeated about the good wolf that does no harm.. Now laugh After Me…

HoHoHoHoHoHawHawHawHawHeeHeeHeeHeeHee…. Wolf Pimps, you can shit yourselves but not Me…

Gawblesmurka!!!

Share

Three Questions About the Ethics of Wildlife Management

*Editor’s Note* – The below opinion piece is a classic example of ignorance as it pertains to wildlife management. That ignorance is driven by emotional nonsense of “ethics,” and “values.”

The author claims that the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife (MDIFW) manages wildlife from the perspective of “the end justifies the means.” He bases this incomplete thought process on what appears to be a belief that the MDIFW manages game animals strictly for the purpose of harvest. Harvest is only one part of the North American Wildlife Management Model. This is reflected in the agency’s efforts in controlling and limiting harvest numbers in all game species when necessary. It is dishonest to lead people to believe MDIFW’s call for harvest of game is to appease the hunters because they buy licenses. I know of no hunters or trappers who would promote any fish and game agency to recklessly allow unrestricted harvest simply to pay the bills.

The author’s revelation of how he enjoys “hearing” coyotes and that hunting and trapping of coyotes is strictly for the purpose of protecting deer for hunters, is ignorant and dishonest.

It would appear that the author espouses to a “natural balance” – a false theory that if man would simply butt out of wildlife management all things would be in perfect balance. That simply is not true. I guarantee that if that practice was employed, it wouldn’t be long before people would realize the results are extremely undesirable.

Too many coyotes destroy far more than deer and they also carry and spread many diseases – many of them harmful and some deadly to humans.

The third complaint this author has is that managing wildlife makes wildlife less wild. I would concur that idea carries some merit depending upon the level to which such wildlife/habitat manipulation is taking place. However, if anyone is going to get on that wagon, then they must also stay on that wagon to argue against the introduction or reintroduction of all wildlife, in all locations, for all reasons.

If, for example, stocking Atlantic salmon fry in attempts to restore a robust salmon population, makes one believe the fish are no longer wild but farmed, then the Federal Government has no business introducing/reintroducing wolves or any other species or subspecies. It also should not be allowed to protect one species at the detriment of others, including the species of man.

Realism often gets in the way of idealism. While the author in question here certainly has the right to his opinions about wildlife management, that right doesn’t carry over in order to force another’s lifestyle and supposed “ethics” onto the others.

I see much of wildlife management within the MDIFW as a win/win trade-off. The author seems to take issue with the idea that hunters harvest game. I believe it’s a small price to pay for an idealist in order that the overwhelming costs of being good stewards of our wildlife, is taken up by those willing to cough up the money in exchange for some meat in the freezer or some extra cash to help pay the bills.

MDIFW is not infallible. As a matter of fact, I could present a real good argument that much of what MDIFW does is more in line with the desires of this opinion-piece author.

Bears and coyotes do destroy a lot of deer over the course of time and is partly responsible for a deer herd that is sparse and struggling to recover in some areas. If MDIFW’s only concern was providing deer for hunters, they would have killed a lot more bear and coyotes than is the case.

Game species (deer) trump non-game species (coyotes) because the sale of licenses is the agency’s primary source of income.  If the agency were funded out of the general fund and license fees were not dedicated revenues, the agency would obviously need to be responsive to a broader constituency than just consumptive users.  For economists, this is a phenomenon we see in the public sector termed regulatory capture.  An interest group (consumptive wildlife users in this case) employs some technique to “captur

Source: Three Questions About the Ethics of Wildlife Management | Stirring the Pot

Share

Should the McKittrick rule be thrown out?

 

I don’t believe so here’s why.

In my experience of observing wolves and coyotes I know the difference. Yet at times because of sagebrush,  bitter brush, tall grass and trees of various sizes mixed with rocks and other types of natural cover identification can be quite difficult. Still not a very good excuse but mistakes happen. Then we have the coyote hunter who makes the mistake and rather than walking away end of story its just another dead wolf which may never be noticed, the hunter calls the state agency in charge of this type of activity and turns over the wolf, tells his story and for being honest and acting responsible the agency doing the investigation does not charge the hunter for poaching. Which is a good thing because it helps determine wolf movement in the area. And that agency is likely privy to various natural circumstances which is involved in mistakes like this taking place  It also is fair because nailing these hunters to the wall so to speak over this error and act of honesty would only further inflame the angst against wolves and probably even coyotes, as well as insuring nobody talks to the state game agencies anymore. Just walk away from the mistake and forget it because you’ll be branded a poacher from then on. And lastly the infrequency of this mistake taking place. I’m on the wolf cults oxymoron label of “anti wolf” of this side of the wolf program for huge profits issue and I’ve yet to shoot one wolf out of seeing several wolves in Idaho in the last 30 years. Everyone is not out to shoot wolves and and use the McKittrick rule as their out. Of course the other side of this issue lacking all of the evidence of these investigations into a coyote hunters honesty are arm chair legislating this issue from their front porches and is usual from them they  unreasonable and completely unforgiving, intolerant when the life of a wolf is involved.. They have the old ages hang em all mentality. Whatever you do don’t call them environmental fascists because they hate the truth. Oh never mind, call em what they are.

So no, keep the legal precedent in place.

Share

Just Say No to Welfare Bears

BearDreamingofDonutsConfucius once said, “Real knowledge is to know the extent of one’s ignorance.” And yet again George Bernard Shaw once said, “Beware of false knowledge; it is more dangerous than ignorance.” What’s even worse is being ignorant and having the confidence to show it. Mark Twain said that you only need two things in life to be a success; “ignorance and confidence.” That is why for many who will read anything that I write will claim I am the one who is ignorant and their truth is the truth that will lead them to successes beyond their wildest dreams….with confidence. Wildest, yes, but never anything that they dreamed of.

I don’t believe it takes a political expert, whatever the hell that is, to come to the conclusion that the majority of people who would sell their souls to Satan for animal welfare, are members of the same group that like to call themselves liberal and progressive. And thus would support and defend the welfare state; “From each according to his ability, to each according to his need.”

Let’s gander for a moment into animal welfare as it may pertain to black bears. In reality, it matters not the species of plant or animal. Environmentalists preach the “natural” and “balanced” way of doing things. These leftist, animal welfare, non thinkers harp to anyone who will listen that if man would just butt out of the equation of ecosystem (whatever that is) health and well-being, all would be Kumbaya.

Even after those who fabricated the theory of “natural balance” have since withdrew that claim, based of course on “best available science” (snickering here), the animal welfare activist and promoter of “let nature take its course and everything will be alright,” will cling confidently to their old-found supposition in order to show their own ignorance, confidently, but only to those intelligent enough to know the difference. For the majority, it has no meaning and that’s why it continues.

The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) and their grand followers of confident ignoramuses, are proudly showing the world that they want the citizens of Maine, and other states, to stop treating bears inhumanely – hunters shoot them and eat them. GASP! The same flock of parrots preach ethics. I’m reminded of the words of Jesus (that would be the real, one and only, Son of God, the Creator of all things) when He said to the mass of confident, ignoramuses, eager to throw stones at and kill a woman because she was a prostitute, “He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her.”(John 8:7) My thoughts here are that Jesus didn’t think the stone-throwing sinners were exercising good ethics.

Obviously, and it is a shame I have to explain this, I have my doubts that anyone mixed up with HSUS, is much interested in “stoning” a bear hunter, but then again……

Somewhere lost in this progressive paradigm of animal protection to extremes, people have determined to make humans second class citizens. Animals come first. And yet, out of one corner of their mouths they confidently believe themselves to be compassionate humans toward other humans by offering somebody’s money (tax dollars), not their own, to go to support humans who say they can’t take care of themselves. Can’t take care of themselves? Later.

A reader sent me the following statement found on the Mainers For Fair Bear Hunting Facebook page. By the way there is nothing to do with Mainers in this group of Totalitarians as the entire group is funded by out-of-state interests and the HSUS.

The update pertains to a gathering of confident, ignorant, hypocrites to bring attention to the onset of Maine’s bear hunting season. In the update it says, “For 30 days, bears are trained to visit these sites for free food, seemingly with no strings attached.” There are confident outcries among the masses. I’m sure the gatherers will be chanting, “No more welfare for bears!”

Perhaps I should take that statement and just change three words. I’ll delete “30 days” and replace it with “years” and change “bears” to “people.” The statement would read, “For years, people are trained to visit these sites for free food, seemingly with no strings attached.”

On the one hand, God created man and gave him the brains and ability to take care of himself, i.e. work, grow and find food, shelter, etc. On the other hand, God created the beasts of field in order that man could have dominion over those beast, to care for and perpetuate growth for people to eat and use all the resources the animals can offer.

The confident cloud dwellers of the HSUS and other environmentalist movement groups demand that animals should be left alone, in their “natural” state (although their own ignorance don’t know what that means). Doing so will bring justice to the animal kingdom.

However, a man, a human, should have more ability to take care of himself than a damned bear and yet HSUS and others believe bears should be left to their own devices, without man’s interference (of course only when that interference involves hunting, fishing and trapping). Where is the outcry from those confident protestors toward those who spend years training others to “visit these sites for free food (health care, education, money and shelter), seemingly with no strings attached.”? What the hell is “natural” about that?

Isn’t there something seriously wrong with this?

Share

The Problem With Arguing Hunting Ethics, Name Calling and Ignorance

This nonsense is endless. Even the Bangor Daily News allows anybody to publish a bunch of rude nonsense about bears and bear hunting in order, I suppose, to promote their anti-hunting agenda. If not anti-hunting, certainly to support radical, corrupt organizations such as the Humane Society of the United States.

In an opinion piece in the Bangor Daily News, a mortgage broker, presenting himself as some authority on hunting and, being an “ethical” one at that, because he lived in Alaska for a handful of years, calls those who legally choose to use baiting as a means of harvesting a bear, lazy. To him they are lazy because all they have to do is carry a bucket of bait to a site, climb into a tree and wait for a bear to appear. Obviously the man knows nothing about baiting. However, he presents “his way” of hunting as ethical and the right way. Oh really?

Josh Phillips is a lazy hunter, if one at all. He is lazy because he hunts with a gun, maybe even a bow and arrow. He probably uses scent block or some kind of lure or a masking scent. Does he use a gps so he doesn’t get lost? How about a radio? Carry a cell phone? What a lazy hunter. Perhaps a real “ethical” hunter would venture into the woods with nothing but a loin cloth and bare hands. Who died and left Josh Phillips in charge of hunting ethics?

The rest of his story is old, worn out, unsubstantiated, nonsense about how other states have magically done this and done that while at the same time increased the number of bear hunters, blah, blah, blah. Probably Mr. Phillips is a lazy writer because he didn’t “ethically” do his research to vet that misinformation being used to promote his cause. If he had he would know this repeated information is false.

Some might think that calling Mr. Phillips lazy is an insult. I say it’s calling a duck(quack) a duck(quack).

Now that we know that Mr. Phillips is better than other hunters, well, you know, those that are ” finding a bear to kill and stuff or turn into a rug,” it still doesn’t solve the problem of how the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife is going to control bear populations.

It is nonsense to think that Maine’s bear population has increased in the amounts indicated by Phillips because of baiting bears. His analogy of relationships between bears and humans and bait stations is wrong on every account. He knows little, if anything, about baiting bears, nor the differences between “feeding” bears in back yards and carefully and strategically placing “bait” in remote areas.

I see the issue as one of the Humane Society of the United States wishing to steal the necessary tools away from the Maine wildlife management department in order to promote their bigger agenda of ending hunting. I wonder if Mr. Phillips has considered that his support of the Humane Society to end bear baiting, trapping and hounding, drives one more nail in the coffin of his beloved hunting experiences? For this reason, I doubt that he is much of a hunter at all. He appears as the typical person who condemns other choices of sport believing his own choice is THE ONLY one.

To compare bears and bear hunting in Maine to that of Colorado, Oregon or any other state further exemplifies the ignorance of the subject matter being discussed. Do your homework. Know your subject matter.

If Mr. Phillips really is a hunter and if Mr. Phillips chooses, because he is allowed legally to have a choice, to be nothing more than a stocker of game in the woods, that is his choice and I certainly respect that. His wish to steal choices from others is no different than should I campaign to make hunter an matter of loin cloths and bare hands. I doubt Phillips would like that much.

Ethics while hunting, as guided by hunting regulations devised for game management and public safety, is a subjective matter driven by personal choice. I don’t want to take away Mr. Phillips choices why does he want to take away mine?

The real issue here is the ability to be able to manage bears to provide a healthy bear population. How can that be done with the wildlife manager’s hands bound behind their backs?

Old Hunter says:

ScarboroughHunter

Share

Opinions Are Like……….Well, Never Mind

Readers should ALWAYS be reminded that letters to the editor of newspapers are only opinions no matter how inaccurate a writers claims might be. It is quite astounding that some people can present seemingly continuous claims about Maine bear hunting while providing absolutely nothing of value to substantiate those claims. As a reader you are left with total disregard for what is contained in the opinion piece. It should be also noted that providing links to other’s opinions does not make for credible information to back claims.

This happened recently in the Bangor Daily News when a woman, passing herself off as someone who, “hunted as hard as any man for 30 years when I was younger,” states that people should support the upcoming bear hunting referendum to ban hunting bears with bait, hounds and trapping with snares.

I’ve addressed most all of these issues in the past. However, there is one issue that this author brought up that needs some attention as well; that of sportsmanship and hunting ethics.

The author says that Maine has a “time-honored principle of fair chase” and that game should have a “reasonable” chance to escape a hunter. I wonder if the 30-years of hunting “as hard as any man” can remember some of those “time-honored” principles when bears were slaughtered due to unregulated hunting? That the bear population had diminished to near unsustainable levels due to that “time-honored” tradition of fair chase? That heritage of “fair chase” might be more myth than reality.

The problem with discussing ethics in hunting is complex and too much of what is considered sportsmanlike and ethical is left to the individual beliefs and governed by laws crafted by fish and game authorities to provide a degree of public safety along with what becomes necessary to control populations of game species. The author makes the claim the Maine doesn’t “bait” for other species like moose and deer because “it’s not fair chase.” Maine has a very limited deer and moose population and so that while providing opportunities for all hunters to fill their freezers there must be limits on tools used in the “fair chase” to also limit harvest. If Maine was overrun with deer, it can be expected that laws would be changed to find ways to increase the harvest of deer and moose. If it then is an individual’s choice and belief system of what is and is not “fair chase” and decides to opt out of baiting, then more power to the individual. Perhaps to resort back to hunting with an atlatl would be ethical and fair chase enough. Then again there are those extremists who think any form of hunting at all is unethical. Who gets to decide what you believe? Legislating ethics and fair chase is something that should never happen.

When anyone inserts the word “reasonable” as a means of describing fair chase, then any definition is completely lost, as it should be. So, then, what is fair chase? Is hunting with a GPS fair chase? Using a rifle scope? Scent locked clothing? Buck lures and doe scents? Calling by mouth, with a hand-held device or electronic call? Every individual can draw their own line of ethics. Claiming bear hunting by hounds or baiting for hunting or trapping is not fair chase obviously in not to this writer but to many others, within the law, it is fair chase and they should have that right. I shouldn’t dictate to this writer what she should maintain for fair chase ethics and I expect the same in return.

Massing words together in a rant about other people’s perceptions of fair chase and ethics involving hunting does nothing to convince anyone that ending the current means of available hunting and trapping methods for black bears is a worthy goal.

Old Hunter says:

Language

Share

Is Maine’s Hunting Future About Leased Land?

landleasebearhunting

The State of Maine has a wonderful heritage of access to land, a heritage that operates well when there is mutual respect. Under state guidelines, private land is open to public access unless it is posted by the landowner. For those looking for hunting access and even recreational access in general, we discover signs reading that the land is closed to all trespassing, by permission only or perhaps even restricted use to specific activities such as hunting.

Maine is quite unique in this fashion of open access unless otherwise signed differently. But, is that changing? Is the purchase of leases from landowners going to become a thing of the future?

I have believed for many years that it was only a matter of time and now Maine may be seeing more and more signs of it coming to fruition. As a matter of fact, believe it or not, there are some in Maine pushing for hunting leases and they are not necessarily one of those landowners who can only see a profit. Other states require written permission and/or to pay the owner of that land a certain sum of money for a lease, complete with covenants, that may restrict activities and limit number of hunters in a lease, times of the day and days of the week.

Depending upon the size of the private property, more than one lease may be established and if this parcel of land is a very desirable hunting ground, the cost of a lease can be quite expensive; even unattainable if you don’t have any money. Which brings us to perhaps the absolute worst part of hunting leases: It disqualifies many hunters without the financial means to purchase a hunt. They are then restricted to public lands, if there are any open to hunting. Where in the public trust is opportunity limited to one’s financial status? And should then all hunters have to pay the same price for a license now that their opportunities are restricted?

There is more to the establishment of hunting leases than a landowner seeing dollar signs. The sportsmen themselves, including the guides and outfitters, encourage this action whether they fully realize it or not.

In the sign posted above, take note that the area has been leased for bear hunting and nobody else is allowed access to this land for hunting bear with bait or with hounds. I assume others may access the land to hunt bears via stalking method? And please define “bait.” Is it a food product or scented lures?

The photo was taken by a friend and was sent to me. I have no way of knowing who holds the lease for bear hunting on this land. There is an example of what might (emphasis on might) be going on here or is the result of what has gone on in the past.

At Robin’s Outdoors website, she writes of an incident involving her, her husband, and a very aggressive/angry guide.

He [the guide] asked Steve what he was doing (waiting for his wife who was sitting over a bait), demanded to see his AFM (American Forestry Management) permit, and gave Steve a hard time. I don’t have or need an AFM permit. I’m not hunting on AFM land. I was on Peter’s land. He told Steve that as a Registered Maine Guide he has the right to demand to see his permit and hunting license (He does not.) and is obligated to turn him into the Maine Warden Service for illegal hunting on his baits.

Guides, not all, want unfettered and sole access to land for bear hunting for their “sports” (a term used to describe a sportsman who hires and pays for guide services). I can understand, to a degree. I’ve been in business my entire life and certainly understand the need to run a business for profit. But at what expense?

If you read the entire article linked to above, you will also see that it is a fact that idiot hunters undertake illegal acts by sitting in tree stands and utilizing bait stations that don’t belong to them. This action further inflames the attitudes of others to seek a lease for exclusive access and rights for bear hunting. In other words, the pointing of the finger as to what causes signs like the one shown above to go up, can go in both and other directions.

So, now we hunters must ask, how long is it going to be before this sort of signage begins appearing over much of the Pine Tree State? In addition, how long before a word is changed in that signage from bear to deer or moose or for trapping, fishing, etc.?

It is a sad day indeed and perhaps a commentary on what’s become of a civil and respectful society.

Share