November 25, 2017

Venison 101

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People in Eastport, Maine Complain of Nuisance Deer and Complain About How It’s Done

Nearly a year ago I shared a report that in far eastern Maine, the town of Eastport wanted the state to do something about the slew of deer that had moved into town. Of course there are reasons the deer have moved into town but, as usual, that issue is never addressed. Instead, according to George Smith, columnist at the Bangor Daily News, a mere 30 permits were issued to kill up to 30 deer. With those permits, 11 deer were taken.

It appears as though the town and its people are complaining about the deer and yet don’t seem willing to remove all or some of their restrictions in order that the job can be done. Perhaps it is time to tell Eastport that if they aren’t willing to give a little, they are on their own to figure the problem out.

Eastport has a ban on the discharging of a firearm, and so only archery can be employed to kill the deer. As Smith points out, “This is not hunting. This is killing.”

The Town of Eastport is not entirely to blame. Because of new zoning, it became unlawful to hunt does in the Eastport region. The allotment of “Any-Deer Permits” by the Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife (MDIFW) is to control the growth or decline of deer populations. This is why the state stepped up and issued 30 permits for just one year. Realizing this effort did nothing to mitigate the deer problem, the MDIFW has issued another 30 permits and when 30 deer have been killed, they will issue another 60 permits.

With continued restrictions on the use of firearms, that hunters are restricted to using designated tree stands and the outlawing of baiting, the stage remains set for the killing of perhaps as many as 11 deer.

Evidently the deer problem isn’t THAT bad.

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Maine “Any-Deer Permit” Lottery Results for 2017

You can find the results of the lottery drawing by visiting the MDIFW web page. Click on the letter of the first letter of your last name and then scan the list.

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Maine Fish and Wildlife Sets New Record

A record for losers!

Before the 2018 bear season begins, the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife (MDIFW) finally releases the bear harvest report for 2016, setting a new record for being the latest it has ever been reported.

The top five slowest years have all occurred in the past 10 years. At this rate, the report will be done away with completely in a few years leaving interested sportsmen further guessing as to just what is going on.

Lousy business as usual.

Total Bear Kills By Year

For some, I guess they would congratulate the MDIFW for publishing the bear, deer and moose harvest reports for 2016. However, it seems a deliberate attempt to withhold information from the public by waiting until after or just before the start of the next year’s hunting seasons before publishing the data.

 

 

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Two Lynx Share Brief Conversation on Road Near Kokadjo

Read More here, but I think the statements that indicate there aren’t enough Canada lynx around is just typical propaganda.

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Fish and Wildlife Management is a Laughing Stock, Unless You Are an Environmentalist

While the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife (MDIFW) pat themselves on the back for all the outstanding work they have done (every child gets a trophy), some of us are wishing that a little of that effort would be focused on better deer and moose management.

To justify an increase of 60% in Any-Deer Permits (ADP), MDIFW says Maine has had two “mild” winters in a row and thus there are now too many deer in some places and we got to get rid of them. What’s confusing is that some of those places that got increases in ADPs, last winter saw record-breaking amounts of snow and continue to see extremely poor deer hunting. Evidently snow no longer is a factor is calculating severe and mild winters. Little did I know.

But if you take a moment and read through the “everybody gets a trophy” recognition is given to looking out for piping plovers, arctic char, bats, updating the website, selling licenses, shuffling papers and creating more regulations, with not one award listed for deer management, moose management or even bear management.

To make sure we understand this, license fees from hunters, fishermen, trappers, etc. pays for the operation of MDIFW and yet all the awards and recognition goes to the list above. This, of course, is the result of the direction that Maine and every other state in the Union has taken, turning their fish and game departments into carrying out the goals of environmentalism – totalitarian socialists doing the bidding for the fascists and liking every minute of it. They never learned that this, historically, is always followed by communism. Today the brainwashed would labeled this “fake news.”

Unfortunately, this is only recognized by a handful of people who still have their heads mostly screwed on the right way. Otherwise, the majority of people, think that using my dollars I spend on a hunting license to make sure piping plovers get everything they need, while at the same time restricting access by taxpayers to beaches near nesting sites, is a good thing. Evidently they need to entice more people to buy hunting licenses, at the expense of the deer, in order to buy those “everybody gets a trophy.”

At the present rate of declension, only a short time remains before hunting and trapping are regulated and forced out of existence because of the influence of Sustainable Development’s Environmentalism.

I stand as a distinct minority in my judgement as to how I perceive fish and wildlife departments nationwide…But that doesn’t make my perspective wrong.

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IFW News — Bear Season Starts Monday, Youth Bear Hunting Day is Saturday

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

AUGUSTA, Maine — Maine’s bear season begins on Monday, August 28 throughout the state of Maine, and youth hunters get their own day on Saturday, August 26. Last year, 10,936 hunters purchased a permit to hunt bear, with 2,859 hunters harvesting a bear for a success rate of 26%.

“Conditions look promising for hunters to have a better year than last year, but just how successful hunters are depends on the abundance of natural foods and how long those natural foods remain available” said IFW Bear Biologist Jen Vashon.

Maine’s black bear population is closely monitored by Department biologists through one of the most extensive, longest-running biological studies in the U.S. The study began in 1975 and continues today. Over nearly 40 years, Department biologists have captured and tracked over 3,000 bears to determine the health and condition of Maine’s bears and estimate how many cubs are born each year.

“Over that time, our research has shown that when natural foods are in low supply, hunters have more success taking a bear since bears are more likely to seek out other food sources,” said Vashon.

Maine’s bear season is divided into three segments, as hunters can hunt with bait from August 28 to September 23, hunters can hunt with dogs from September 11 to October 27, and hunters can still hunt or stalk bear from August 28 to November 25. Maine has one of the longest bear seasons in the country since Maine has one of the largest bear population estimated at over 36,000 animals. In addition to a season that starts in August and ends after Thanksgiving, Maine allows hunters to take two bears, one by hunting and one by trapping.

In 2016, hunters harvested 2,859 bear and 68% were taken over bait, 21% with dogs, 2% by deer hunters, 1% by still-hunting or stalking prior to deer season, and 4% in traps. The remaining 4% was taken without the method of harvest being reported.

Even with the lengthy bear season, only about 25% of all bear hunters are successful. By contrast, 75% of moose hunters were successful last year, turkey hunters enjoy success rates between 30-35% and deer hunters in Maine are successful 14-18% of the time. Young hunters will once again get their own day on Saturday, August 26. Youth hunters who have a junior hunting license can hunt bear with a firearm, bow, or crossbow on this day. Youth hunters may hunt bear with the use of bait, or still hunt; however the use of dogs during youth hunting day is prohibited. Last year, 27 youth hunters were successful in taking a bear on youth day.

Youth hunters may hunt only in the presence of an adult supervisor who is at least 18 years of age. The adult supervisor may not possess a firearm, bow, or crossbow while the youth hunter is participating in the bear hunt. Any person who accompanies a junior hunter other than the parent or guardian, must either possess a valid adult hunting license or have successfully completed a hunter education course.

While the abundance of natural foods this year is likely to impact hunters, in-state research shows that it is also what drives nuisance bear complaints. In years when there is a good natural food crop, the numbers of complaints drop. In poor natural food years, nuisance complaints increase.

Over a span of 40 years, Maine’s bear study has shown that not only does the availability of natural foods drive bear cub survival and bear birth rates, but it also directly influences when bears den for the winter, as well as hunter success rates. In poor natural food years, hunter success is higher than in years when natural food is abundant.

Successful bear hunters are reminded that it is mandatory to submit a tooth from their bear when registering. Tagging agents will provide envelopes and instructions to hunters as to how to remove the tooth. Biologists age the tooth, and the biological data collected help biologists adjust season lengths and bag limits for bears.

In August, hunters can learn the age of the bear they harvested the previous season by visiting www.maine.gov/ifw/hunting_trapping/hunting/bear/index.htm.
Hunters and trappers must have a bear permit in addition to a big game hunting or trapping license to harvest a bear in Maine.

However, during the deer firearm season, resident hunters can harvest a bear without a bear permit. Bear hunting is most popular and bear populations are the densest in the northern and downeast regions of the state.

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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.

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Why Constitutional Amendments to “Protect” Hunting Need The Correct Language

Many states have tried, some have succeeded, in getting a constitutional amendment to protect the right to hunt, fish and trap…or at least they think they have. Truth is, very few, and perhaps no state, has made a success out of actually protecting and guaranteeing the right to hunt, fish and trap. Essentially what they have done is end up with legalese, fit only for the law profession, that says the state recognizes that hunting, fishing and trapping are long held traditions and these activities have been used as part of a game management plan. The new laws then make people think this tradition is being protected, when it is not. And here’s why.

As an example of the wrong wording in a right to hunt, fish and trap constitutional amendment, the state of Maine, over the past few years, has bounced around half-efforts to get an amendment passed. However, I have opposed all wording of this effort because it’s fake wording that fails to provide the protection that I believe most sportsmen want.

Without the proper, tough and direct language, while there may be recognition of how hunting, fishing and trapping have been a part of game management and responsible use of natural resources, all attempts have failed to provide language that forces the state, along with their natural resources departments. or fish and game departments, to manage all game species specifically for surplus harvests. I might point out that this kind of tough language is generally opposed by legislators and in particular heads of fish and game departments. The biggest reason is because most fish and game departments have already morphed beyond sensible and scientific game management in favor of environmentalism’s “Romance Biology” and “Voodoo Science.”

Without this kind of tough and direct language, fish and game departments and/or state governments, can end hunting, fishing and trapping at anytime. With a growth and power of the progressive Left, a totalitarian social effort to end all hunting, fishing and trapping, mostly driven by an extremely perverse animal rights society, not only are fish and wildlife departments gradually, and sometimes not so gradual, are becoming more anti hunting, fishing and trapping, but the general electorate can end hunting, fishing or trapping with one effort at the ballot box with zero consideration for science.

An example of that is seen in British Columbia, Canada, where voters have decided to ban grizzly bear hunting because it doesn’t fit their ideological narrative. As was said by Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development Minister Doug Donaldson, “[It is]not a matter of numbers, it’s a matter of society has come to the point in B.C. where they are no longer in favour of the grizzly bear trophy hunt.”

Certainly this reflects the desires of the people, a product of a totalitarian democracy of sorts (two wolves and a sheep discussing what’s for lunch), where a simple vote can destroy long held traditions as well as making a mockery out of wildlife science.

While there never exists any true guarantee of a right to hunt, fish and trap, one does have to wonder if this same kind of referendum would have even been attempted if a true constitutional amendment existed with real power that said it is the mandated function of government to manage all game species for the purpose of surplus harvest and use of natural resources.

It is often argued about whether wildlife is part of the public trust. In my 65 years of life, I do not recall anyone suggesting that viewing wildlife, even out one’s back door, should be stopped or that managers should grow game species to levels that would be harmful to a healthy establishment of animal species. Why is it then, as seems to be the way of the “new” progressive society, that society has little interest in the aspects of the public trust when it comes to the public trust involvement of hunters, fishermen and trappers? In their pea brains, hunters, trappers and fishermen are excluded from any participation in a public trust.

A classic example of totalitarians at work.

Next time anyone begins talking about another proposed constitutional amendment to guarantee the right to hunt, trap and fish, please take a little extra time and honestly ask yourself if what is being proposed will do what it is being sold as doing and is worth any effort to get it passed. Contrary to what the politician will tell you. something is NOT better than nothing.

But, isn’t it now just too late? Does there even exist enough people who aren’t mentally destroyed and manipulated with animal rights and environmentalism, along with Romance Biology and Voodoo Science?

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One Bear, Two Bears, Three Bears, Four

The Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife has yet to publish black bear harvest data on their website. So far, this is the second longest it has taken the Department to count bears. How long does it take to count bears? Oh, yeah! It’s the teeth that slows them down. RIGHT!

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