As was written to me in a comment, “Ya gotta do it for the joy not the money.”
Sometimes there are records no state wants to be associated with. First, however, Petersen’s Hunting ranks the top 10 states for meat eating.
Second, Petersen’s Hunting rates the top 8 Biggest Poaching Cases. Perhaps it says something(?) that one of the biggest poaching cases involved a group of men from Maine. The problem is, the Maine poachers traveled all the way to Pennsylvania to undertake one of the biggest poaching cases in history. Couldn’t they find enough deer to poach in Maine?
Not everyone is stupid and gullible. Unfortunately, radical, dirty-money-fed, environmentalists and their filthy organizations have no scruples when it comes to presenting some form of credibility in the bile fomented as letters to the editor and/or opinion pieces. Also unfortunate, is that some people seem eager to believe what is written because, well, it’s in print somewhere.
Maine, more than likely, will be facing another anti-hunting referendum next fall and as I precisely predicted, the nonsensical drivel has been oozing with stench for some time. Let’s look at one fine example of such.
The Portland Press Herald (Maine) carries an opinion piece for John Glowa, a man seemingly more in love with animals than humans and his obsession clouds his thinking. In addition it also seems to force him to state untruths (lies in case you need to know) about bears and what people say and do. In short, his entire piece is nothing short of emotional drivel, spiced up a bit with a dash or two of psychobabble.
The opening paragraph, not only sets the stage for the remainder of the regurgitation bought and paid for by the environmentalist, but pretty much defines the foundation by which the environmentalists want to force their way of life and their perverted values onto others.
The LePage administration and bear-baiting proponents would have us believe that the cessation of bear baiting would be a public safety catastrophe of epic proportions.
Rational speaking and thinking humans are quick to realize how ridiculous such a statement is. I have never once, in the many years I have been writing about wildlife management and outdoor issues nationwide, heard anybody speak of a “catastrophe of epic proportions” should bear baiting be halted. I would challenge this person to please provide the facts to back up this claim……but don’t hold your breath.
As I said, this sets the stage for the rest of the opinion piece, which means it is worthless balderdash saturated in emotion.
In addition, Mr. Glowa states that Maine needs a paradigm shift in order to convince (lie to, brainwash, indoctrinate, propagandize) people that bears will be dangerous if hunters are allowed to continue baiting them. And herein lies the rub. Wildlife management should not be based on paradigms and emotional poppycock.
Before assuming the crap sandwich that’s on special in your local newspaper, do some honest research and you’ll discover the unsubstantiated, emotional clap-trap found in this opinion piece, is worthless.
If baiting bears, as Glowa and others have falsely claimed, makes for more and bigger bears, then those states that do not allow bear baiting should not have very big bears, and fewer of them. According to Boone and Crockett (found on Peterson’s), the keepers of game animal trophy records, 11 of the top 20 all-time biggest black bears harvested came from Pennsylvania. Last time I checked, the Keystone State didn’t allow baiting, nor was there a shortage of bear to hunt. Do we need a paradigm shift there as well? And, by the way, none were from Maine.
Dang! Facts seem to be getting in the way of a good attempt at propaganda!
IFW Hunting Report for December 6, 2013
Compiled By Mark Latti with IFW Wildlife Biologists
Region A – Southern Lakes Region
Region A wildlife staff has been busy throughout York, Cumberland and Oxford counties collecting scientific samples from harvested deer.
“The number of deer harvested is certainly higher than it has been in recent years,” says IFW Wildlife Biologist Scott Lindsay, “We are seeing good representation of multiple age classes throughout. Our staff has seen more deer this season than we have seen in a while.”
Lindsay noted that overall the health of the deer he has seen is excellent.
“I have seen fawns that are near 70 pounds, and a good percentage of bucks in the 230 pound class,” said Lindsay, who noted that deer winter survival has been good, remarking about several does who were so old, their teeth were practically worn down.
The two-week muzzleloading season has started and Lindsay said that he hasn’t seen a great number of muzzleloaders, but with the two-week season, there is still plenty of time to get out there.
Pheasant season is ongoing, and one club in Wells has one more release of 100 birds planned at the Bragdon Pit site. For more information on the release, please visit http://www.maine.gov/ifw/hunting_trapping/hunting/pheasant.htm.
Grouse season is still ongoing, and Lindsay noted that harvested grouse have a lot of winterberry in their gizzard. Look for those bright red berries on an otherwise drab background and you should have some luck finding grouse.
Region B – Central and Midcoast Area
After a hectic first three weeks of the deer season, unsettled weather calmed things down in Region B.
“The last week of the season, the numbers just seemed to fall off the table,” said IFW Wildlife Biologist Keel Kemper. “We got all that rain, the wind, and then it froze. It was like walking on potato chips in the wood.”
With that type of weather, it was no wonder the numbers went down.
“Effort was way down last week. Effort drives success, so when effort is down, so is success. Still, numbers for this season will be up. I thought it was going to be way up, but the last week slowed things down.”
With the wild weather the last week of the firearm season, many hunters who were waiting to “cash in” their Any Deer permits were unsuccessful, but now look towards the muzzleloading season as one last chance.
“There appears to be a fairly strong muzzleloading contingent as we are seeing a larger muzzleloading harvest,” said Kemper, who added that he as seen some really big bucks at the meat cutters since the muzzleloading season began.
Region C — Downeast
Unsettled weather last week impacted deer hunters Downeast.
“The good hunting conditions we had didn’t hold through the last week, and that tempered effort and success,” said IFW Wildlife Biologist Tom Schaeffer. “Last week presented its challenges, but overall, things look encouraging.”
However, Schaeffer noted that the deer harvest is certainly up in the coastal part of Washington County.
Attention now turns to muzzleloading, and other game pursuits. Much of the Downeast region has one week of muzzleloading season, but grouse season continues through December and the coastal and southern waterfowl zones are still open for duck hunting.
“Typically, the trend is that hunters turn to waterfowl. Ponds are skimming over and there is some good late season duck hunting in Washington and Hancock County,” said Schaeffer. “If you like grouse hunting, many woods roads remain open, and typically there’s not a lot of snow this time of year so there is pretty good access.”
Region D – Rangeley Lakes and Western Mountains
In Region D, the early numbers point to a successful deer season.
“The Rumford tagging station, our biggest tagging station, keeps meticulous records, and they are up a lot from last year, probably a 25% increase,” said IFW wildlife biologist Chuck Hulsey.
“Hunting conditions for the season were pretty good for not having snow,” said Hulsey, “and throughout the season, I never got a complaint about the deer season, which is unusual.”
It’s now muzzleloading season in Region D. The season in the northern part of the region is for one week, but muzzleloaders get two weeks in 12, 13, 16 and 17.
Waterfowl season is now over as well in Region D. One hunter had an interesting observation on the season, which was not as productive as it usually is for him. This hunter walks into different areas, hunting small waterholes. He had a “terrible” year, because a lot of the areas that he hiked into were completely dry due to the lack of rain.
Grouse hunting continues through the end of the month, and hunters might get a shot at some well-educated grouse by driving the many logging roads in the area.
Region E – Moosehead Region
“Deer season in the Moosehead region ended up about where we expected,” said IFW wildlife biologist Doug Kane. “Most of the stations were at or above where they were last year.”
In fact, Kane said that most of the stations were up about 25%, and only one tagging station in the area was the same as last year.
“The yearling and two and a half year olds showed up very strong in the harvest,” said Kane, which showed both good winter survival and reproductive rates. “That bodes very well for the future.”
Kane noted that there were a number of bucks that were taken over 200 pounds, but maybe a little less than what may expect since those age classes were hit hard by the bad winters in 2008 and 2009. Still, things look good for the years ahead.
“There are a lot of happy hunters this year,” said Kane. “There was a lot of deer activity and a lot of deer sightings. All those signs point to a very good future.”
Kane did note that he expected to see more bear harvested during the deer firearm season, but that did not materialize.
“There was a very strong beech nut crop this season, and I thought that we would see more bears taken,” said Kane, “but even with the strong food year, it looks as though most bears denned up early.”
Region F – Penobscot Region
“We had some great tracking snow on Monday, and we are already seeing some muzzleloaders getting deer,” said IFW wildlife biologist Mark Caron. In the Enfield area and parts of Washington County, there was five inches of snow. “That was the day to go muzzleloading.”
Throughout the region, every deer tagging station showed an increase in numbers.
“Everybody was up. In Shin Pond, they registered a little over a hundred deer, and there were similar stories elsewhere. They even ran out of tagging books in some regions,” said Caron.
“It was a good year, people were seeing deer and taking deer, and the good weather carried through the season,” said Caron.
Caron said there were a lot of nice deer in the 180-200 pound range, although he didn’t see many over 250 pounds. He did note a lot of yearlings and two and a half year olds in the harvest.
“Most hunters weren’t waiting. They were shooting if they saw a deer,” said Caron. “Over the past few years, I think many hunters have gotten into the habit of shooting when they see one.”
Grouse hunters are still out. While some of the roads may not be great, bird hunters can still be seen walking the woods roads.
“Some hunters who tagged out early on deer still go out and hunt. While the roads are starting to get a little worse, hunters are still getting out and walking,” said Caron.
Region G – The County
Up in the County, it’s been a good deer season.
“The deer harvest looks to be up about 20% in our area. Individual tagging stations are up between 10 and 50% for the season,” said IFW wildlife biologist Amanda DeMusz, who noted that the Gateway in Ashland had registered over 230 deer for the season.
Deer weights have been strong, with several over 200 pounds, but many in the 150 pound range and above. “Everyone seems to be talking about the deer being bigger and heavier,” said Demusz. The Gateway had 40 deer registered over 200 pounds.
Bird hunters are still seeing birds, but grouse hunters may want to look up when they are looking for birds.
“The grouse are spending a lot of time in trees with the cold weather,” said DeMusz. “Particularly in spruce and fir trees.”
Coverts that were productive in the early fall might not be as productive now, as the conifers provide some degree of shelter for the birds. Once the snow gets deeper, they will be on the ground more often.
Snowshoe hare are also become more visible, or invisible, depending on the amount of snow. Hare are losing their summer colors and are turning white, but most right now have a mottled look to them. Snowshoe hare season runs through the end of March.
According to the Lewiston Sun Journal, Farmington, Maine police sergeant, Edward Hastings, while legally hunting with a shooting partner for moose during the annual moose hunt in Maine, “unintentionally” killed a cow moose and a bull moose. I believe that the intent was to kill only the bull.
Hastings immediately notified authorities, including his boss at the Farmington Police. The Maine Warden Service is charging Hastings with “a rule violation.”
What wasn’t exactly pointed out in the news article is that Hastings, by lottery, had drawn a permit for a bull moose. You can find the results of the moose lottery on the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife (MDIFW) website. A screen shot is included below.
By rule, the winner of a moose lottery can name a shooting partner. That partner can legally shoot a moose for the permit holder. The news article is not completely clear as to whether or not the shooting partner fired any shots at the moose, only to state that the investigation revealed it supposedly was Hasting’s bullet that killed the cow. It appears the shooting partner was not charged. And, of course, by rule if your permit is for a bull moose, you cannot legally shoot a cow moose.
I’m sure that Mr. Hastings had no “intention” to shoot two moose and one ended up being a cow. From the news report it states:
Hastings and his moose-hunting permit partner shot at a bull moose during the legal season on Oct. 16 in Freeman Township, but when they got to the site where the moose fell, two moose were down — a bull and a cow, Lt. Tim Place of the Maine Warden Service said Thursday.
It is also, by rule, the responsibility of the hunter to be 100% sure of his or her target. Apparently, Hastings and his shooting partner were not 100% sure. The news article also stated:
Hastings’ case was treated the same as those of other violators, Place said.
Failure to identify a target is pretty cut and dry, with no room left for error, when it involves the shooting of a human. Not that a moose and a human are equal in value of life (maybe to some it is) but it will be interesting to see to what extent, if any, failing to identify target will play in this court hearing.
And let’s hope that preferential treatment isn’t extended to Hastings because he is a member of the law enforcement fraternity.
Sometimes when people read, they quickly skim and miss things. The other night I was talking with friends and one said, “When I read, I go so fast I miss a lot of the content.” I was surprised and followed that comment with my own, “Must be why I read so slow.”
A friend sent me a link today of a Maine television station report on the status of moose in state. The report featured a Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife (MDIFW) biologist explaining the differences between why Maine’s moose population is said to be healthy, numerous and growing, while New Hampshire claims there’s is continuing to drop.
In reading, slowly, through the news account, I discovered this statement from the MDIFW biologist:
“We see in Maine again a very large area, 10 million acres of contiguous forest land,” said Lindsey. “So we have a large area of very good habitat with a lot of feed in it and we also have a place of a fairly low deer population so deer not bringing in meningeal worm which can affect moose and the other thing is we don’t have wolves right now.”(Emboldening Added)
As individuals, we can do anything we want with that statement. We can not see it, see it but not think about it, see it and disregard any kind of meaning or message, see it and wonder if this person has some kind of inside track on information about wolves the rest of us don’t. Or, it may mean nothing at all.
The real point I’m attempting to make here is that when reading things, I am a firm believer that regardless of who wrote it, there probably are truths in there somewhere. You have to find them, do a bit of research and then decide for yourself and not blindly follow what some has told you. We should all perhaps slow down just a bit and take in the content and what’s being said or implied.
Questioning statements, along with motives, sometimes can render interesting results. It certainly makes you a smarter person.
I read with interest an article in the Portland (Maine) Press Herald about how the most southern county in Maine, York County, has been quite consistent over the years with its deer harvest – even despite the death and destruction after the two famed, back-to-back “severe” winters of 2008 and 2009.
In this article and others, is often repeated the reasons why there are more deer in Southern and Central Maine than in other places. For one, the climate is consistently a bit milder and some people claim that there is less hunting going on in some of these regions because more land is posted to hunting and trespass.
Always missing in these articles is any mention of why, other than climate and land postings, deer are more prevalent here than there. When we examine the causes of deer mortality, we learn that climate/weather/severe winters, habitat (feed and cover), human-caused mortality (hunting and auto accidents, etc.), disease, and predation are the main causes. So, logically speaking one should be able to conclude that York County must have less of some or all of these causes of deer death, if it is maintaining a constant deer population resulting in a consistent harvest.
I touched briefly on climate. Let’s look a bit at human population. One might assume that the higher and more dense the human population, the higher rate of auto collision deaths of deer. York County is the second most populated county in Maine and third highest in people per square mile. But it doesn’t appear auto collisions have much factor in deer mortality, in relationship to harvest data.
Last year’s hunt saw a harvest of 175 deer; this from a county with nearly 200,000 people or, 1,271 square miles of area = 155 people per square mile. We don’t know the deer population over the past 5 or so years but claims are the harvest has remained consistent or risen. Can we conclude deer population has risen? No, because we have to know number of licensed hunters over the years and participation rates. Probably they are at least somewhat consistent over the years.
Let’s combine habitat and predation together. Deer require the basics of food supply and protective cover – from predation and harsh winter weather, as well as normal activity. In York County, the winters are less severe and therefore the deer don’t require dense, high-canopied deer wintering areas. Deer also are not stupid and they will seek out the best places to live as it may pertain to food supply, protection from the elements and protection from predation.
It is no secret that wild animals, like deer, moose, elk, have migrated into the backyards of people living in higher human populated areas for a few reasons: better and more available food, protection from elements and to escape the constant threat of predation in all seasons, not just winter.
This is not a new phenomenon, although there might be more of it going on due to the over protection of large predators, loss of habitat, etc.
I’ve even provided photographs on this website of adult female moose, with their new-born calves taking up refuge in downtown areas, away from large predators, like wolves, coyotes, bears and mountain lions. The same can be said for elk.
If one were to read the book, “Early Maine Wildlife” by William B. Krohn and Christopher L. Hoving, you would soon discover that in journals and diaries, as well as newspapers, dating back as early as the 1600s, deer migrated from the northern climes of the state of Maine, many of them taking up residence on the many islands off the coast of Maine. This migration, even back then, was attributed to the harassment of wolves and other large predators, in combination with harsh winters and an eroding of habitat.
So, when people read articles like the one linked to above, it would be helpful to all concerned if a bit more explanation went into the complexities of understanding deer populations and causes of mortality, which greatly affects the habits of deer.
I doubt few would argue that in Maine, during the November deer hunting season, Maine Game Wardens are busiest running down poachers and protecting the hunting resources licensed hunters pay them to do. So, why then, are wardens visiting classrooms in the public schools teaching kids about how to reconstruct an off-road accident during this time?
I think it is a great thing that the Warden Service provides such terrific public relations activities. For example, this summer, the Warden Service worked with young students at the Maine Conservation School in Bryant Pond to learn all about the things the Warden Service does. It was a very popular class and enthusiasm was high. But should such public service outreach programs be scheduled in the heart of deer hunting season?
In discussions about whether of not the Maine Warden Service is capable of doing a good job, or maybe an adequate job, inevitably I will hear of how lack of money and not enough wardens, due to lack of money, prohibits this law enforcement agency from doing a better job.
Let’s use some logic here. If licensed hunters pay much of the Warden Service’s salaries, if you want to keep up and/or increase the number of licenses sold, is it not logical to conclude that the resources, i.e. deer, bear, turkey, etc. need protecting to ensure hunters are satisfied enough with the product to come back and buy another license, which, in turn, funds wardens?
Which brings me back to the question as to whether or not visiting classrooms in the middle of deer hunting season is in everyone’s best interest? Was this particular school’s schedule so chuck-a-block full, it couldn’t schedule the warden to attend, say just before or right after Christmas break?
To most this may seem nitpicking and perhaps it is. But it is these kinds of little things that do very little to help build a better relationship between outdoor sportsmen and the Warden Service. When sportsmen hear, that at a time when warden services are most needed, they are out teaching kids classes about recreating crime scenes, the department will garner little sympathy when the cries go up that the Service doesn’t have enough money.
I think a little more thought and a bit better planning would do wonders to avoid the critical eye of people like me, who will not look the other way and let it pass. I’ve been in business most of my adult life and I have learned to watch everything that effects money in and money out. That’s my money and it makes me question whether the public servants, paid buy sportsmen, are as protective of citizen’s tax dollars and ensuring they are best spent.
Let’s work harder to get it right. Think!