June 19, 2018

The “…devolution of environmentalism into political gaming…”

Those who have followed the devolution of environmentalism into political gaming know that pseudo-environmentalism, as it should be called, is a cult.  Its doctrines have more to do with a suppressive “new world order” than with a world order that is free and humane.  The followers of this cult must believe that it is smart to restrict human activity instead of encouraging it.  Given the vast possibilities inherent in the natural forces, I’d say that the one thing pseudo-­environmentalists got right is calling themselves green.

Green cultists follow the old tradition of peddling whatever one can get away with as solutions to problems.  In the past, those who peddled elixirs and quack remedies were responding to actual needs.  Today’s green peddlers respond to “needs” that are as phony as the remedies.  Yesterday’s charlatans had to make a living on their own.  Today’s hustlers earn a living with corporate, state, and federal money.  In time, the scientific facts that blew the game of the earlier quacks will blow theirs, too.<<<Read More>>>

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Old Hunter: Maine IFW Asleep at the Wheel

Old Hunter says:

Press Release from the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife:

MDIFW News — Deer Kill Largest In Last Ten Years

For Immediate Release: June 12, 2018

AUGUSTA, Maine – Deer hunters in Maine harvested 27,233 deer in 2017, the highest total in the last ten years and an increase of 15% from 2016.

“An increasing deer herd in southern and central Maine, and favorable hunting conditions contributed to the best deer hunting season in ten years,” said Nathan Bieber, MDIFW Deer Biologist.

Maine’s deer hunt is broken down into several seasons for firearm hunters, muzzleloaders and bow hunters. This year the season framework stretched from September 9 to December 9. Most deer are harvested during the general firearms season (23,288), which started on October 28th and continued until November 25. Bowhunters took 2,099 deer, and hunters took 970 deer during the muzzleloading season. Maine’s junior hunters were also very successful on youth day, with 876 youth hunters taking a deer this year.

“Deer hunting is large part of Maine’s cultural heritage. Each year, over 200,000 hunters head into the woods of Maine,” said Bieber. “Hunting also provides many in Maine with a sustainable source of high quality, organic, free-range protein.”

The deer hunting season allows the department to manage the deer herd and provide wildlife watching and hunting opportunity in much of the state while decreasing the deer population in other areas in order to reduce deer/car collisions and property damage, and prevalence of lyme disease.

Adult bucks by far comprised the vast majority of the harvest, with hunters taking 18,255 antlered bucks. With 66,050 anterless permits issued, hunters harvested 8,978 antlerless deer.

According to Maine’s deer hunter surveys, on average deer hunters spent 37 hours hunting deer during the season, averaging 4.3 hours afield each trip.

For this coming deer season, a total 84,745 any-deer permits are proposed for 22 of the state’s 29 wildlife management districts across the state, an increase of 28% Last year, there were 66,050 permits available to hunters. Hunters who do not receive an Any Deer permit are only allowed to shoot an antlered deer (with some exceptions during archery season and on youth day). The proposed permit numbers await approval by the IFW advisory council. There will be a public hearing on the proposed permit numbers on Tuesday, June 26 at 6:00 p.m. at room 209A in the Augusta Armory.

“Last year’s winter was more moderate in central and southern Maine, while up north, winter was a little more severe on average than years past. The change in the number of any deer permits reflect that,” said Bieber.

Permit numbers are increasing in nine southern and central wildlife management districts, are decreasing in 11 WMDs and staying the same in nine WMDS. You can find the complete numbers at https://www.maine.gov/ifw/news-events/rulemaking-proposals.html.

The department uses the any-deer permit system to manage the white-tailed deer population in the state. The ability to adjust the state’s deer populations derives from the ability to increase, or decrease, the number of breeding does on the landscape. White-tailed deer are at the northern edge of their range in Maine, and winter severity is a limiting factor concerning population growth. By controlling the harvest of female deer in the 29 regional wildlife management districts throughout the state, biologists can manage population trends.

Last year, MDIFW wildlife biologists examined over 20% of the state’s deer harvest, collecting biological data to monitor deer health throughout the state. In addition to examining registered deer and gathering biological data, lymph nodes were collected in ongoing efforts to monitor for Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) in Maine.

CWD sampling efforts were targeted around towns with active captive cervid facilities, winter feeding operations, and/or high cervid densities. We collected samples from 476 deer, which were sent to the Colorado State University- Veterinary Diagnostics Laboratory for testing. All samples tested negative for CWD prion.

The deer harvest for the past ten years is as follows: 2007 — 28,885; 2008 — 21,062; 2009 –18,092; 2010 — 20,063; 2011 — 18,839; 2012 — 21,365; 2013 — 24,217; 2014 — 22,490; 2015 — 20,325; 2016 — 23,512; 2017 — 27,233.

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Maine’s Disturbing Deer Harvest Trends

Although still not published on the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife (MDIFW) website, some news outlets are reporting that Maine hunters surprisingly harvested a total of 27,233 deer in 2017, an increase over the previous season of about 15% but far from the near 37,000 in 2000.

The increase is being given to a growing deer herd…well, at least in southern and central Maine, while the rest of the state evidently is just devastated by global warming (severe winters). MDIFW intends to issue more “Any-Deer Permits” hoping that even though last year’s ADPs never got filled in the majority of Wildlife Management Districts. Without more hunters, I’m not sure how more ADPs will cause more deer to be killed. But we’ll see.

Below is a completed graphic by my graphs guru which includes the 27,233 harvest figure. But I am more and more clearly beginning to see a disturbing pattern that needs some answers.

From the graph we see that while the number of deer harvested in 2017 increased 3,721, the number of 200 lb. bucks harvested actually dropped by one, instead of a logical near 15% increase if all things were remaining relative. The graph also shows that the percentage of big bucks harvested in relation to the overall kill continues to shrink and that we are approaching half the number of big bucks that were taken in the year 2,000.

There could be several contributing factors to this event but the trend appears to be putting Maine in the same league with a lot of other small deer states further reducing the appeal to hunt deer and/or come to Maine and hunt big bucks.

I’ll take a closer look at this if we EVER get to see the harvest reports for 2017.

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Black Bears, Mange, Climate Change Nonsense, Emotional Ignorance

In a report filed in the Washington Post and reprinted in the Bangor Daily News, bears in Pennsylvania, along with neighboring states of New York, West Virginia, Virginia, and Maryland, are suffering from mange.

The article states that Pennsylvania, “seems to be the epicenter of an outbreak that scientists don’t fully understand.” Mange has been a problem since the 1990s.

And because biologists “don’t fully understand” the reason for the outbreak, they make sure they insert their favorite “go to” excuse of Climate Change.

When these clowns blame climate change, we know that what they are referring to is a warming of the climate that brings events that scientists “don’t fully understand.” If this was true, then it seems feasible that black bears living in the southern states would be suffering from mange on a regular basis, but that evidently is not the case. But it’s easier to blame Climate Change.

While it might not be explained how the bears contracted this kind of unusual for bears mange, might it be possible that it is spreading from the “epicenter” at quite an alarming rate, or so it appears, because of a large population of bears (20,000) and one that is “a record number for the state.” Mange is spread through contact and with increased populations of bears the chances of contact with other bears increases. Makes sense.

If 20,000 bears is a record number, and Pennsylvania has a bear hunting season, then it certainly appears that despite the hunting the population continues to grow. Either Pennsylvania is deliberately attempting to grow the bear population or bear hunting alone doesn’t seem to be able to keep the population in check or to reduce the population. Many other states are suffering the same dilemma – too many bears and no way of controlling the populations. What waits on the horizon for all these states with black bears?

Most people don’t have knowledge of real wildlife science and depend on their favorite form of Scientism to give them the fabricated talking points that make them feel like good pals with animals such as bears. They don’t want to believe that bears, or any other animal, suffers when populations get too large. Instead, they want to just blame the existence of men and of course all forms of hunting.

In a recent Letter to the Editor of a Maine newspaper, one such person blames the continued growth in Maine’s black bear population on hunters being allowed to hunt over bait. Pennsylvania does NOT allow hunting bears over bait and yet their bear population continues to grow at about the same rate as Maine.

It can be argued forever whether or not artificially feeding bears effects the rate of reproduction. But there are some facts that should be looked at but seldom are when emotional clap-trap Scientism is the driving force behind the obvious hatred toward hunting and hunters.

The Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife (MDIFW) has stated repeatedly that when natural food is readily available, hunters have a very difficult time to successfully lure a bear to a bait station. Bears much prefer their natural food over man-made bait.

Those opposed to hunting, and more specifically bear baiting, claim that baiting bears causes the increase in reproductivity of black bears. There are far too many influencers on bears that any study can definitively say more food, or baiting bears causes an increase in population.

But even if it was an accepted fact, at what real impact does a bear baiting season have on population growth?

Maine has an estimated 30,000 to 35,000 black bears. According to MDIFW’s bear harvest report for 2016, 2,859 bears were taken during the entire hunting and trapping seasons. Of those 2,859 harvested bears, 1,936 were taken over bait. It can be safely stated that all of Maine’s 35,000 bears don’t live adjacent to the handful of bait stations hunters employ.

The overall success rate of harvesting a bear in Maine runs about 25%. We could play around with some math here but the bottom line appears to be that even with the baiting, bears being affected, if at all, by bait is but a drop in the bucket compared to the overall population of bears in the state of Maine. Consequently, any change in reproductive rates would certainly appear to be insignificant.

For Maine residents, including the ones making claims that baiting is the driving force behind an ever-growing bear population, the question of concern should be, will Maine bears begin suffering from mange? And if so, what is the plan of attack should it strike?

The trend in this country today is disturbing from a wildlife management perspective. More and more people are perversely in love with all animals and want them all protected. To go along with this unnatural love affair with animals and the brainwashing of our children in schools and in the media, there are fewer and fewer hunters every year. This combination spells disaster in wildlife management. With little or no tools available for wildlife population control and management, our forests and fields will become chaotic “natural balance” as the Environmentalists scream for. With that chaotic approach, we can expect continued “unusual” outbreaks of life-destroying diseases which is how Mother Nature deals with it.

It appears the only way we can learn the truth is to let it happen and clean up the mess later.

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Proposed Allotment of Maine “Any-Deer Permits” per WMD

George Smith, through the Bangor Daily News, provides readers with a list of the number of “Any-Deer Permits” proposed to be distributed to the Wildlife Management Districts for the upcoming 2018 deer hunting season.

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Maine Moose Lottery Drawing Results

Click the link below and click on the letter that begins the last name of the applicant.

Maine Moose Lottery Results

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Squashed Caterpillars Causes Slippery Road Hazard

I’m not aware that I’ve ever seen or heard of anything quite like this before. The Maine Department of Transportation was forced to put up road hazard warning signs and issue alerts because massive numbers of caterpillars crossing roadways in certain areas of Maine are causing slippery roads.

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Maine: Moose Lottery is June 9, 2018 at the Skowhegan Fairgrounds

Press Release from the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife:

The annual lottery event attracts hundreds of hopeful hunters, anxious to see if they will be one of 2,500 selected from a pool of over 54,000 people who will get the chance at the hunt of a lifetime.

AUGUSTA, Maine – The Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife is pleased to announce that the drawing for Maine’s moose permit lottery will be held on Saturday, June 9, 2018 at 2:00 p.m. hosted by Main Street Skowhegan at the historic Skowhegan Fairgrounds in Skowhegan, Maine as part of their weekend-long Moose Festival.

Since 1999, the Department has rotated the lottery location throughout the state. Prior to 1999, it was always held in Augusta. In more recent years, lotteries have been held in Greenville, Presque Isle, Bethel, Kittery and Caribou.

“We hold the drawing in different areas of the state so that people can have the opportunity to be part of it first hand,” stated Commissioner Woodcock. “Nothing pleases us more than to have members in the audience react to being selected,” he said.

The Skowhegan Moose Festival kicks off on Friday, June 8 with an exciting schedule of events for the entire weekend, including a moose calling contest, a wild game and craft brew pairing and a country music concert featuring Phil Vassar and Bryan White (ticket required). Additionally, there will be several vendors, food trucks and fun activities for the whole family throughout the entire weekend. A full schedule can be viewed by visiting skowheganmoosefest.com/schedule/

In addition to the many events planned for the weekend-long Skowhegan Moose Festival, the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife Commissioner’s Advisory Board for the Licensing of Guides will host a roundtable discussion on June 9 from 11:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. in the Lyndall Smith Building at the Skowhegan Fairgrounds. The public, particularly registered Maine guides and industry stakeholders, are invited to attend.

At 2:00 p.m. on Saturday, June 9, the moose permit lottery drawing will commence. There is no charge to attend the lottery event at the Skowhegan Moose Festival and the reading of names is expected to last 3 hours.

This year, 2,500 names will be drawn in the random chance lottery from a pool of over 54,000 applicants.

Maine’s moose hunt is designed to manage the moose population. By modifying the number and type of moose permits available to hunters, the department can manage the moose population in order to provide for hunting and viewing opportunities, maintain a healthy moose population, and limit the number of moose/vehicle accidents.

For those prospective moose hunters who can’t make it to the lottery drawing, the names of permit winners will be posted on the Department’s web site starting at 6:00 p.m. on the day of the event. Visit mefishwildlife.com to access the list once it has been posted.

For more information on moose hunting in Maine, visit mefishwildlife.com For more information about the Skowhegan Moose Festival and to see a full schedule of events, visit skowheganmoosefest.com

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Should “Any-Deer Permits” Be Changed to Doe Permits and…

Yesterday I was approached by a Maine deer hunter who asked me to ponder his question. He didn’t want an answer right then and there. I’m not sure when he expected the answer or that he assumed maybe I would write about his question. So, here’s his question: “Do you think that when somebody applies for and wins a doe permit [Any-Deer Permit], that is all they should be able to shoot – an antlerless deer?” My knee-jerk reaction was yes, I would like to see it that way. But then I had some time to think about it. Here are some thoughts for you to ponder and please feel free to offer comments below.

If we swallow the bait, hook, line, and sinker, that the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife (MDIFW) uses the allocation of “Any-Deer Permits” (ADP) as a scientific means of controlling and manipulating the state’s deer population, including age structure and buck-to-doe ratios, and that along with that belief you think the ADP system is successful, then it might be easy to say there is little need to discuss the what-ifs of changing the ADP to a strict doe-only permit.

But, let’s consider it anyway. Perhaps there is something to be discovered in this proposition.

I mostly understood the basis for this hunter’s question to ponder. Especially after he told me that in his hunting life-span, which extends far before the ADP system was put in place, he has never applied for an ADP. I smiled and said, “Neither have I.”

There is a belief that those hunters who apply for and get an ADP, are taking the antlered bucks that I guess somehow should be saved for….well, I dunno who – “trophy” hunters and not meat hunters?

According to an article that appeared in the Sun Journal, Maine deer biologists have recommended that MDIFW issue a record number of ADPs – up 28% from last year and to a level never before seen in the state. The recommended number of ADPs sits at 84,745. That must mean the state has the largest number of deer ever in the history of the existence of the ADP system.

Errr…hang on just one second. When the estimated deer population in Maine stood at 331,000 AND the ADP system was in place, there certainly were not that many ADPs issued. So what gives? Today’s deer population estimate statewide might be as high as 120,000, depending on who you want to listen to. Doesn’t it make some sense that ADPs would be half what they were when the population was at 331,000 – more or less depending on circumstances?

Issuing this many permits can only mean one other thing…maybe…? That the buck-to-doe ratio in Maine, especially in the southern Wildlife Management Districts (WMD), is out of whack and the state needs to kill more does to make that happen…Or, maybe not so much.

Maine’s former head deer biologist told me once that it was virtually impossible for buck-to-doe ratios to exceed 1-3 or 4 unless the ratio was deliberately skewed. So, is the management of deer so deliberately skewed it has created an out-of-whack buck-to-doe ratio?

It would seem that if that was a problem, MDIFW would have at least hinted that they needed to issue straight-up doe permits to get that back on track.

According to George Smith, MDIFW is actually hinting at the prospects that the ADP system in its current form, is not working: “Deirdre Fleming reported recently that DIFW Wildlife Division Director Judy Camuso told the department’s Advisory Council that in all but six of the state’s Wildlife Management Districts the projected doe harvest was not reached last fall. State biologists projected a doe harvest of 7,114 in 2017 but the actual reported doe harvest was only 5,950.”

Uh, oh!

My question is this: If the doe harvest in all but 6 WMDs fell short last year by 1,200 deer, how is adding an additional 18,695 permits going to achieve the desired goal? Is it because there are not enough hunters or is it because those who win an ADP aren’t using it for the purposes designed? Or, perhaps, the ADP system is beginning to more and more show that it is a flawed system…not that it should be abandoned, however, but perhaps some needed changes injected into it.

I am getting to the question at hand about whether the ADP should become strictly a doe permit – meaning the holder of the doe permit can harvest ONLY a doe and not “Any Deer.”

It was an interesting brief discussion I had with this hunter. He said to me, “There are only two reasons a hunter will apply for an ADP – he wants meat regardless, or he wants insurance in case he messes up (I assume meaning he mistakenly shoots a doe instead of a buck).

I have no preference one way or the other except that however ADPs or doe permits are issued, they are done specifically to scientifically (real science) manipulate deer populations, age structure, and buck-to-doe ratios.

If the trend is that doe harvest isn’t coming close to being met with ADPs in the current format, for whatever the reasons (lack of hunters?), something has to change.

BTW, I shared the other day the real reason MDIFW wants to kill more does in the southern regions of the state and it has NOTHING to do with buck-to-doe ratios or age structure. It simply has to do with pressure from environmentalists to get rid of Lyme disease and they have chosen to pick on the deer as the culprit instead of going to the root source of the disease.

A brainwashed population of scared-by-design people are at a near panic level, fearful of even going outside. So let’s kill a whole bunch of deer.

Another fine example of non-scientific wildlife management driven by totalitarian socialism.

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Maine Deer Harvest Report: The Dog Ate My Homework

As of this writing, the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife (MDIFW) has not published the deer harvest results for the 2017 season. They are approaching a record:

According to V. Paul Reynolds, who used to work for this outfit, says MDIFW still blames the tagging stations for not filing their information with Augusta. Really? “During my three year-tenure with IF&W, it never changed. Blame was placed on the deer tagging stations.

Guess what? It’s no better today. In fact, it is worse. Much worse. As of the first of June, nobody in officialdom, including the state deer biologist Nathan Bieber, can tell you how many deer were taken in last fall’s hunt. Don Dudley, chairman of the IF&W advisory council, said that it is frustrating for policymakers who keep asking for the deer harvest summary and are told that the foot draggers in the tagging stations are the culprits.”

So, there are “foot-draggers” in the tagging stations that refuse to send their tagging data to MDIFW in a timely manner. Who is captain of this piece of a crap sinking ship? Why does a governmental agency, that thinks nothing of running roughshod over any private citizen who stands in the way, not have the balls to tell tagging stations “NO MORE! WE ARE TAKING AWAY YOUR TAGGING PRIVILEGES?”

Oh, what is it? MDIFW is so desperate for tagging stations they are at the mercy of owners of businesses that tag game that they have no say? Give me a break!

I recall one time when, as commissioner of the local Little League program, during a championship playoff game, two women stood behind the backstop and verbally accosted the home plate umpire to a point the umpire called a time-out and asked to speak to me. We asked them to leave the grounds, but they refused. What was was to do? What could we do? It had gotten out of hand and the players and the rest of the spectators were getting angry.

I gathered the coaches and umpires together and we decided that, short of calling the local sheriff to assist with evicting them, I turned on the microphone to the public address system and announced that due to difficulties with two parents the baseball game was suspended until such time as the two women left the property.

What worked was that the two felt isolated and embarrassed because those they thought were on their side, were not. The crowd began to become vocal themselves, insisting the two women leave the park in order that the children could finish their game and enjoy it.

Maybe it is time for MDIFW to use a similar tactic with these irresponsible clowns – if it is really them that are the problem. I have my doubts.

You know what I think it is? I think that MDIFW finds placing the blame for not doing their jobs on tagging stations because it is convenient to not have the data and not have to process it until they get damned good and ready – you know, like when everyone has already forgotten about how lousy the hunting was and have already forgotten they were thinking about never buying another license.

I contend there is only a handful of us who want the specific data – and much more than what is stingily provided. It is our way of sifting through information as a means of checks and balances of this government agency. The majority of those who have a little bit of concern would like for the MDIFW to issue a press statement within hours or a day or two after the close of the hunting seasons with an “ESTIMATE” of numbers of game animals harvested. Is that difficult? If a tagging station is not giving up their data, how about a quick phone call and ask them how many deer they have tagged so far? Crissakes Anyway!!!

Back before there were computers to do all the work, the fish and game department was sending out press releases each week during the season. Today, we are told MDIFW doesn’t want to release any information that isn’t 100% accurate and so conveniently blame tagging stations.

And, Reynolds wants to know how MDIFW can, with a straight face, formulate how many permits and Any-Deer Permits to issue if they claim to not have all the returned data from tagging stations.

Telling the teacher that the dog ate my homework has never worked. I guess what has changed in this modern era of governmental totalitarianism is that there just aren’t enough taxpayers who care enough anymore to hold MDIFW’s feet to the fire and MAKE them do a much better job.

And that’s why MDIFW doesn’t feel any sense of responsibility to do what should be expected of them.

I would be embarrassed, but then again, I’m a weird, son-of-a-bitch who expects a minimum of production out of those who work for me.

 

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