October 17, 2021

Fake Eastern Gray Wolves and Destruction of a Perfectly Good Wolf Species

In an article published on the Maine Wolf Coalition’s website over a year ago, it states that in 2006 a trapper killed a 107-lb “eastern/gray” wolf. The Maine Wolf Coalition (MWC), whose stated goal is the “recovery” of wolves in Maine (evidently they have no preference as to what species or hybridized mix of canine is “recovered”), improperly tells its readers that the animal, whose information they attribute to, was a male eastern and gray wolf mixture.

An honest assessment of the piece of “scholarship” (study) “suggests” that the animal in question, killed south of the St. Lawrence River, was some kind of, at least, partly domesticated hybrid of some canine that fed mostly on livestock and pets.

But here’s the real crime in all of this dog perversion and demands to “recover” wolves, not just in Maine, but anywhere. Those supporting “wolf recovery” are willing, either through ignorance of animal obsession, or both, especially dogs, to totally destroy the actual gray wolf species to get some kind of wild dog roaming about the woods. This makes no sense and presents a good case to support the claim of insanity.

It has already been proven, many times, that the wild canines that inhabit anywhere in the Lower United States, is not a pure wolf but some add-mixture of wild and domestic dogs/canines. Dog lovers then want these hybrid canines to be labeled some kind of wolf, i.e. red, Mexican, etc. So long as the criminals in Government continue to protect these disease-riddled hybrid dogs, they are contributing to the destruction of the actual species. Aren’t there laws that are supposed to prohibit such actions and behaviors?

According to an article found in Deer and Deer Hunting (online), wolves in certain counties of Wisconsin now are responsible for killing more deer than gun hunters do.

In Maine, the deer herd in most of the state, geographically speaking, is in terrible condition. Northern Maine is lucky to find deer numbers that approach 2 or 3 animals per square mile. Poor management of moose has caused North America’s largest ungulate to suffer from winter ticks due to uncontrolled growth in the population. Government officials will claim that moose and deer do not compete with each other but there is little explanation as to why, when there are lots of moose there are few deer.

Maine’s black bear population is out of control and the Legislature, in their incompetence and ignorance, refuse to do anything sensible about the problem. In the meantime, an overgrown population of bears is destroying the deer herd, along with packs of hybrid wild canines, deer have little chance. And, with all this, a group wants “wolves” recovered. NUTS!!!!

The insanity in all this is that groups like the Maine Wolf Coalition want what they call wolves “recovered” clearly at the expense of all else. If these groups cared about the real wolf, they would be looking at destroying and preventing the spread of these hybrid canines. But they are not. They just want some kind of dog they can call a wolf.

Among this insanity, people work feverishly to protect large predators, most of which are direct competitors with humans in the food chain. These predator protectors wrongfully make claim that people don’t need to hunt to eat. They obviously have never lived under conditions where people still need to hunt for food. Besides, even if people didn’t NEED to hunt for food, it is insanity to suggest protecting disease-spreading animals that directly remove food from the mouths of people. It’s as insane as supplementing gasoline by destroying a perfectly good food source.

Wolves have their place in wilderness settings. They do not belong in human-settled landscapes because of public safety, health, food competition, and the actual destruction of the wolf species.

In America there are so many domestic dogs…I mean we are talking millions and millions of them, with millions running unleashed and cross breeding with any other wild or semi-wild canine (dog). The result is a mongrel dog worth little to a society, a direct threat to wild canines – wolves and coyotes. To claim this hybrid mixture as worthy of protection, is insane; it is a knife to our own throats.

If Americans want wolves and coyotes, real ones, on their landscape, then domestic dogs need to be drastically reduced or serious penalties levied against anyone who allows their pet dogs to run free.

What do you think will happen?

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Hypocritical Ignorance and Public Lands

Lands supposedly bought and paid for with the money extorted from the public taxpayer, offering tribute in order to avoid imprisonment from the king and his men, we have been led to believe that when such actions happen, the lands should be widely left open and accessible to all those wishing to enjoy it. That is, after all, how socialism works?

Recently, the executive director of the Sportsman’s Alliance of Maine (SAM), wrote a column in a Maine newspaper explaining, in his opinion, that should the Maine Legislature, being strong-armed by environmentalists and animal rights groups to limit use and access to public lands by hunting, fishing, and trapping, could result in a reduction in support for the Land for Maine’s Future program designed to protect lands for everyone to enjoy.

While an honest and not necessarily bright person can understand that any leader of a special interest group would go to bat to protect the interests of those they might represent, in this case members of SAM, nowhere in the executive director’s article did I read that SAM intended to fight against environmentalists and animal rights groups who want to limit hunters, trappers, and fishermen, in order to limit use and access to any and all others.

As Maine has come to expect, such actions are typically followed by ignorant and hypocritical screeds by members of the environmental and animal rights groups.

In one such invective, we read how it is the hunters, trappers, and fishermen who are putting the Land for Maine’s Future in jeopardy because SAM wants to protect access and use to the same degree as all other extorted taxpayers. This isn’t the case in this rebuttal.

The author, who most of Maine realizes hates hunters, trappers, and fishermen and devotes much of his time to destroy any and all of that strong and important heritage, all in the name of promoting his agendas at the cost of limiting any and all others. This it totalitarian in nature and exemplifies the foundation of Environmentalism and Animal Rights.

The author writes: “Why should the people of Maine be forced to subsidize and accept life-endangering private activities that many do not approve of in order to preserve the land for the public?”

Perhaps this should be answered with another question. Why should the people of Maine be forced to subsidize and accept the agenda’s of those who want to limit use and access to public lands for the sole purpose of protecting and promoting their special interest agendas?

Taxpayers need to decide which approach is better: to leave public land open for all, or allow the richest, big-mouthed special interest groups to demand and get exclusive and/or limited access?

In general, most who participate in hunting, fishing, and trapping, particularly on public lands, do not have hidden or open agendas geared at stopping or limiting the activities of others and/or their special interest groups. Quite the contrary. Simply seeking to protect sportsman’s access to public land, fails the straight-face test of honesty when attempting to make SAM out to be exclusive users of public lands.

The author also asks: “Why should those who want to sell their land to the state for wildlife protection purposes be prohibited from doing so?” They shouldn’t and aren’t. If any landowners are considering gifting or selling land to The Land for Maine’s Future program, they should have understanding as to how the program works, as has been designed and amended by the voters of the state. If the land owner finds these designs unacceptable, there are other options available to any land owner that would like to lock up their land and exclude any and all special interest groups…including environmental and animal rights groups or hunting, trapping, and fishing.

In their own ignorance, many want to extol the benefits of living in what they believe is a democratic society, until such time as such democracy flies up their face. The system, as crooked as it is, is available for anyone to exploit and convince the voters to support their special interest. When that system won’t work for the totalitarian, their only other recourse is to turn to the media seeking publication of their hypocritical ignorance.

Proverbs 17:28 KJV – “Even a fool, when he holdeth his peace, is counted wise: and he that shutteth his lips is esteemed a man of understanding.”

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Is Muzzleloader Hunting Good or Bad?

What a terrible title for a post. Let me funnel the broadness of this topic down to a focused and relevant area of discussion.

Once again, someone in Maine has asked the question as to whether or not the two weeks of muzzleloader hunting for deer, after the end of the regular rifle season, is “good or bad.” From all accounts that I have read, where someone is attempting to place a “good or bad” perspective on this late-season event, pros and cons have surrounded topics such as whether the odds are better or worse, the so-perceived added challenge of having a single shot weapon to bring down a deer, weather conditions, a chance to hunt with fewer hunters, and occasionally whether or not it was worth hunting for bucks because of the weight they have lost due to the annual fall rut or mating season.

I think I am the only one who has ever brought up the subject of whether or not muzzleloader deer hunting the first two weeks of December is good or bad based on the condition of the deer herd and in particular that of the male species of the whitetail deer.

In Maine, human-caused harassment of deer begins in early September, with Expanded Archery Season, and winds down in mid-December at the conclusion of Muzzleloader Season. That’s three months worth of harassment. How does this contribute to the overall mortality of deer?

In regions where there are ample deer – Maine is not one of those regions – sometimes the struggle becomes how to get rid of too many deer. Where there are too many deer, topics like predator mortality and hunting pressure are almost never discussed. But, in a state, like Maine, where many regions are virtually void of deer, responsible management MUST include consideration for every factor that contributes to the mortality of deer regardless of how small such negative influences may be.

During the month of November in Maine, the whitetail deer undergoes the annual mating season. Not totally unlike that of the human animal, the male species goes bonkers chasing female deer that are in heat. Until a female deer conceives, it will remain in heat. Bucks will chase any deer that is in need of being bred.

During this rutting season, lasting as long as 2 or more weeks, depending on conditions, the male deer essentially stop eating while in pursuit. Much of the winter fat that was being stored leading up to the rut, is burned up. In states like Maine, where winters can be long and severe, all deer need as much stored fat in order to survive. Some are under the misconception that the male deer, being stronger and bigger, can easily survive these kinds of winters and the dangers lie with the fawns born that preceding Spring. A completely spent buck may not have the strength left to survive a long, hard winter.

The Maine regular rifle season generally ends the last Saturday in November. By this time, the rut has mostly concluded – there may be some stragglers – and, depending upon weather conditions, in some locations deer are heading into their wintering habitats, where eating is limited and activities reduced in order to conserve fat, energy, etc. for survival. Should we be harassing them?

Maine is one state that opts for a muzzleloader season for an additional two weeks after the regular rifle season. While the number of hunters who muzzleloader hunt is small in comparison to the rifle season, one should consider how much this added two weeks of harassment is compounding the overall mortality of the deer herd.

In areas where deer are running 2 – 5 deer per square mile, the loss of one or two deer due to this added harassment could be detrimental to the herd. Keep adding to this small mortality year after year and what becomes of the sustainability of a threatened deer herd?

I realize that the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife (MDIFW) biologists limit the Muzzleloader Season in some zones to one week, but even that one week can be costly. Isn’t there a better way?

It’s always an unpopular position to take among hunters to suggest limiting hunting opportunity, but one should ask why it is necessary to have a special interest hunt at this time of the season? I hunt with friends who use muzzleloaders throughout the rifle season. Is a special interest hunt really necessary?

I know the archery hunters will get angry if anyone suggests muzzleloading before the rifle season as it might interrupt their special interest seasons, but shouldn’t we, in Maine, be considering the condition and growth/preservation of the herd during a time when many parts of the state are struggling in attempts to grow a bigger herd?

If Maine had more deer than it knew what to do with, I doubt anyone would be having this kind of discussion, instead, talking about what to do with all the deer.

The impacts of the two-week Muzzleloader Season are probably minimal. However, the impact becomes greater within a diminished herd.

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Maine’s Deer Harvest Comparison Chart – 2019

Below is the annual chart that compares yearly deer harvest data. Among other things, readers can compare deer harvest numbers for the past 20 years.

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Maine Big Game Harvests: One Excuse is as Good as Another

The opening line in a Portland Press Herald news article says that Maine’s bear, turkey, and deer harvests were all down from last year, “but on par with wildlife biologist’s expectations.” This was followed by all the “usual suspect” excuses, including Climate Change, however, referred to as “extreme weather.”

This prompts me, one more time, to retell the story of the man who wanted to borrow his neighbor’s ax. The neighbor said, “No, you can’t. It’s Tuesday.” The man asked what Tuesday had to do with borrowing his ax and the neighbor answered, “Nothing. But if I don’t want you to borrow my ax, one excuse is as good as another.”

Excuses! Excuses!. And how about a little bit of honesty in reporting? The article states that Maine’s biologists expected deer harvest numbers to be down because, “…the state issued fewer “Any-Deer Permits.” What’s not reported is what the comparative “Any-Deer Permit” harvest was with last year. The reality is that regardless of the number of “Any-Deer Permits” issued it may not have had much influence on the overall deer harvest. One of the last reports we received from MDIFW was that they were not achieving the desired doe harvest rates from the issuance of “Any-Deer Permits.”

While the article mentions that more “bonus deer permits were handed out,” we haven’t a clue as to how this offset the reduction in “Any-Deer Permits” or the resulting harvest. Hocus-pocus – smoke and mirrors.

I have a stinking suspicion that once all data is collected and an honest assessment of that data is examined, we’ll find out what some of us already know – the deer herd, with the exception of a couple of Wildlife Management Districts in the central part of the state, is poor with little effort being taken to do anything about it.

With the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife (MDIFW) announcing their intentions to manage deer for “health” rather than spend time counting (somehow the two are not related?), I would suspect the herd population to continue to shrink, along with interest in deer hunting. After all, who wants to spend money and effort beating the forest for deer, when the odds of success at bagging a deer continue to shrink? And we wonder why license sales continue to drop?

Turkey and bear harvest numbers were abysmal and still MDIFW and the Maine Legislature continue to tread water doing nothing about what has become a nuisance flock of wild turkeys and a potentially dangerous swarm of black bears. With all these bears, we should be thankful it was a bountiful mast crop. Tens of thousands of hungry bears can spell disaster.

We are at a point where serious changes need to be made with both turkey and bear hunting bag limits and/or lengths of season. Dithering continues to rule the day, I suppose operating in fear that “social demands” won’t tolerate more bears and turkeys being killed.

Here’s a suggestion. MDIFW should cease with the “social demands” pandering, along with letting the guides and outfitters tell them how to run their hunting seasons and bag limits, and do what is best for game management. But I realize those days are long gone, therefore we should expect more of the same, and “one excuse is as good as another” when it comes to explaining game harvest numbers.

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Climate Change Ruined Maine’s Deer Harvest?

Did the real-time deer tagging counter break down? What happened to the excitement that the media and the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife’s (MDIFW) head deer biologist were spouting about how Maine was on track to harvest 30,000+ deer?

I’m guessing it’s because global warming Climate Change turned things across the state to a state of unfavorable hunting conditions. Parts of Maine saw record low temperatures three different times. There was also snow….Wait, what? Snow? That’s a big plus for deer hunting. Harvest rates always increase when it snows. Doesn’t it?

I don’t know about the rest of the state but the hunting conditions the last week of the season were atrocious…at best. There was snow, but it was always loud, crunchy snow to walk in. It was also so cold, any time spent in a stand or blind were short-lived. Who could take it?

Dang that global warming Climate Change!

I was sent an old newspaper clipping the other day. The headline read: “UN Predicts Disaster if Global Warming Not Checked.” The newspaper was dated June 29, 1989. The opening paragraph said, “…entire nations could be wiped off the face of the Earth by rising sea levels if the global warming trend is not reversed by the year 2000.”

So that’s what happened.

I wasn’t the only one that got cold hunting. My hunting buddies regularly beat feet to warm camps, cars, and houses cutting short what would have normally been all day excursions in the woods looking for that elusive buck.

On Saturday morning past – last day of regular firearms season – I was standing in the middle of a small hardwood ridge hoping some really stupid deer would make a terrible mistake and disregard the overwhelming noise of crunching snow and ice under foot. I was with two other friends who were at least several hundred yards from me, and I could clearly hear their crunch, crunch, crunch echoing over hill and dale.

Certainly, this global warming Climate Change must have contributed to what looks to be another poor year for deer hunting.

And I thought that it would be poor management, a post normal society that’s all mixed up, and resulting lack of interest that would essentially put an end to hunting. Instead, we’ll all be under water because it will be so warm with a planet void of ice. Maine must have been one of those “nations” that was destroyed (while I slept). So where am I exactly???

Gee! I wished global warming would hurry up and happen. I for one would like a bit warmer weather to hunt in and I could save money by not needing to winter in Florida.

MDIFW, bailed out again due to (wink-wink) global warming Climate Change.

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Maine: Abundant Deer is a Relative Term…Isn’t It?

In Maine, we are being falsely told on a regular basis that the deer herd is healthy and growing. Is it? Isn’t that perception simply a relative term based upon recent history and not long-term history?

Today, I was grumbling as soon as I arose this morning, long before daylight, about the snow and the cold. And then after a cool start of 8 degrees, and a “feel like” well below zero with stiff, northwest winds, it warmed up to a balmy 17 degrees with winds backing off a bit. Gee, I thought. It’s not really that cold.

But then it dawned on me that simply observing today’s temps and winds, any warming seems relatively good compared to sub-zero temperatures and winds.

We are subjected to the same reality when it comes to our deer herd, the harvest, and the propaganda handed out by those seemingly interested mostly in protecting their retirement pensions.

Where once a deer harvest of 40,000 was the past normal, anything these days over 20,000 is presented as a big management success and if the harvest approaches 30,000 cigars are handed out, big slaps on the back and thank god for Global Warming…or something. Didn’t I do good?

With a couple of recent deer harvests below 20,000, like below zero temps, when the harvest ticks up, we simply convince ourselves (along with some prodding from propagandists) that it ain’t that bad.

I also got to thinking and shared some thoughts I had about how technology has influenced the modern deer harvest. My friend sent me some information showing that I’m not the only one with evil thoughts about such things.

In response to an Internet posting about a 40,000-deer harvest in 1956, I saw where one reader posted a response about how many technological gadgets are used today to hunt with or assist us in our hunting. I was prompted, before even reading this, to ask what would the deer harvest be like if we hunted the “old fashioned” way by going into the woods and “hunting” for deer rather that baiting the deer to come to us and all the other gadgetry that makes killing a deer that much easier.

Is there any real statistics on this phenomenon? Speak up please!

Consider a list of help aides: cell phones, radios, gps, scents, scent blockers, game cameras, ATVs, hi-tech clothing (stay dry and warm longer), food plots, quick-up tree stands, swivel seats, heated tree stands, pop-up ground blinds (also heated), game calls…can you add to this list? Speak up please!

Oh, wait! Here’s one I saw just the other day. A new gadget that you put on like earphone headsets. Technology lets you drown out unwanted noises and enhance things like deer walking in the leaves, etc. What next?

With the onset of every technological gadget, the fish and game department has to figure out whether to allow this advantage and to adjust seasons and sex of deer takes, to compensate for this advantage. All Maine has as tools to compensate is to adjust the length of season and the issuance of “Any-Deer Permits,” both of which appear to become more political with each passing season.

Has or does anybody consider that all these hi-tech gadgetries might leave the not so financially fortunate at a great disadvantage? I didn’t think so.

If you can afford an ATV, think of the places you can access to find deer. Game cameras can tell you where and when to sit in ambush. I can’t afford either. With a heated ground blind, you could sit and wait all day…and night.

What was once a “primitive” hunting season for deer, has turned into “inline” muzzle loaders, complete with speed loaders and all the stuff to make a primitive hunt not so primitive. Some of us still hunt with a single-shot rifle. What’s the difference? If we choose NOT to buy the extra muzzleloader license, is my rifle season being cut short to attend to the needs (political) of the not-so-primitive muzzleloader hunters? Or maybe I can’t afford all that is needed to be a modern, primitive hunter. Money rules…as always.

Everything becomes relative. Those who are prone to forget (the majority) are ignorantly willing to accept that a 20,000-deer harvest is good/normal, any number higher than that prompts kudos throughout the politically motivated, environmentally-trained, biologists and managers offices.

Media is compliant to echo the propaganda that originates in the department that must look good to keep their jobs. All will use any excuse to make things look better than they are…like issuing a record number of Any-Deer Permits to bump up the harvest…wink-wink.

Speaking of the media, recently I read a report that one deer processing facility in Sabbattus was overrun with deer to process such that they had to tell people to call before bringing in their deer for processing. Of course there was no honest explanation leaving readers to believe there are tons of deer and EVERYONE is taking one…or more…legally of course.

WOW! Modern, marvelous deer management. Look what their global warming has accomplished.

However, you don’t have to be a statistics guru to understand that there just aren’t very many places to go get your deer processed.

While I was at hunting camp last week, our discussion concluded that of the 6 of us at camp, nobody knew where the nearest place was.

I wonder if anyone ever thought that these places are going out of business because a 20,000 harvest isn’t as sustainable to a deer processing business as 40,000 used to be? My old math tells me that’s some where around twice…or half, depending on how you see it.

NAW!!! I didn’t think you’d think that way.

After all, it’s all relative. I’m happy. It’s not that cold out either.

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There’s More to Recruiting Hunters Than Sticking Them in a Blind and Parading Deer By Them to Shoot

When Judy Camuso was nominated to serve at the position of the head of the Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife (MDIFW), in her testimony before the Joint Standing Committee for fish and wildlife, she pointed out that as part of her plan to grow more hunters and fisherman, she intended to become involved in a nationwide recruitment program, R3. She stated that her plan, “…will include measurable goals for recruiting, retaining and reactivating hunters and anglers but it will build relationships with non-consumptive users as well.” 

In a critique of Commissioner Camuso’s ambitious programs as commissioner, I questioned her intent to bring together consumptive and non consumptive users, while at the same time believing the two can work productively toward the same goals that satisfy both sides AND recruit new hunters and fishermen.

Today I was reading a Press Herald story about the MDIFW’s efforts at “recruiting” new hunters by allowing 9 hunters to be guided (spoon fed) on a deer “hunt” on the state-owned Swan’s Island.

I commend the commissioner and the MDIFW at making a swipe at recruitment. However, I am left with lots of questions about the event, the methods and within the article some comments and information that was given that was perhaps incomplete, leaving readers with a misguided understanding of the whys and wherefores of hunting, retention, and recruitment (R3).

The article in reference referred to Swan Island as “the perfect classroom” stating, “The place has become a haven for deer, which congregate in fields in groups as large as 50.” It may be, by one reporter’s perspective, as the “perfect classroom” but it is representative of what deer hunting in Maine is like? Who gets to do that? What happens when these 9 people (who expressed an interest in trying again) go off on their own and perhaps can’t afford a blind or a swivel seat to go in it? (It used to be a pot and a window…but I digress.) Will they ever see that many deer again?

“IFW set up pop-up camouflage tents to serve as blinds, equipping them with special swivel chairs that let the newbies quietly pivot as they watched the woods.” Even being “coached” by Game Wardens, staff, and biologists about “hunting techniques,” I wonder if it’s being all that honest with any possible recruit to place them in a ground blind where as many as 50 deer in a group might pass by because hunting has not been allowed on Swan Island for 50 years?

The article states that the 9 novice hunter program was a success because, “…seven of the nine bagged a deer,” and, “all the participants expressed an interest in hunting again.” Not knowing the reasons all 9 applicants were interested in this hunt to begin with, one has to wonder if sitting in a cold blind for hours on end and never seeing a deer, for years on end, a “novice” would express interest in trying it again? Maybe that has something to do with fewer licenses being sold?

In an attempt to place blame for loss of hunters and failure to recruit or retain more hunters, the author brings out the “numbers” and the talking point excuses of where the blame lies: “…technology;  overscheduled lives, especially for young families; and the aging of fish and game clubs that once formed the heart of the hunting community.”

HUH?

The last time I examined data from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service on why license sales for hunting were on the decline, the number one excuse given for not taking to the woods to hunt, was lack of time.

It’s easy to blame technology. Anyone with two eyes can see what so-called technology and social media is doing to American Society in general. Over-scheduled lives is a poor catchall excuse. Scheduling of our lives is driven by interest not by somebody’s “technology.” If hunting was part of the talk around the kitchen table, where that heritage is discussed before, during, and after the deer hunting season, people would find the time to hunt.

There are other reasons recruitment and interest to hunt are in decline…or in what might appear to be interest in hunting. One issue was discussed in the article in question. It began by discussing Apprentice Hunter Licenses. Bragging that the Apprentice Program has been around over a decade, listen to the hoops that need to be jumped through: “That license, which costs $26 for Mainers (and $115 for non-residents), allows someone 16 years or older who has never had a valid hunting license to hunt in the presence of a “supervisor.” The supervisor must be at least 18 and have had a hunting license for the previous three years.” Money, money, money and more “educational” programs that not just a perspective hunter has to go through in hopes they might become a longtime hunter.

You’ll always ruffle up the dander on the backs of some necks when you start discussing things like the potential obstacles any hunter or perspective hunter must go through to get their feet wet in hunting, or bringing a long-time hunter from Maine or away back when they have to take valuable time to attend classes for hunter “safety” and show “proficiency” in handling a gun and shooting it. While hunter safety has certainly made the woods during the deer hunt much safer, has anyone honestly assessed as to whether the decline in participation is directly proportional to the time constraints of hunter education, license costs, and…and…and…? Maybe, hunter education has stopped the total abandonment of hunting. Does anybody know? Does anybody care?

So, whenever we allow someone to feed us “data” that shows license sales and all the rigged demographics that go with them, nowhere is it ever discussed as to how hunter recruitment, retention, and re-interest is influenced by lousy hunting. Years spent afield with seldom, if ever, even spotting a deer probably plays as big a deterrent as anything, including technology and over-scheduled lives – time and money for what?

Just a quick glimpse into the past and it doesn’t take a statistics guru to figure out that as the deer harvest is trending down, down, and down (yes, with a couple false spikes upward) deer hunting license sales are also trending down, down, and down. Is it that we are not supposed to talk about such things? Is this why 9 novice hunters (out of 20 applicants) were placed in a blind on a small island that hasn’t been hunted for 50 years and deer sometimes will, literally, run you over? What’s wrong with bringing them to where my blind is? Where I haven’t seen a deer in years? I’m trying to remember when the last time I was able to sit in a blind – with a “special swivel seat” (wink-wink) where as many as 50 deer to a bunch passed by. Forget it. It NEVER happens in the real world. So, is MDIFW hoodwinking perspective hunters? How often will MDIFW continue to offer these free lunches to those who say they might be interested in deer hunting? Until the deer on Swan Island are all gone? Will potential recruits have to buy a license, and buy an “Any-Deer Permit,” like the rest of us do, when deer numbers on the island dwindle, like everywhere else in the state?

I’m not sure I know any real Maine hunters who don’t think it would be a great idea to recruit more hunters. I don’t know of any real Maine hunters who don’t think that if there were more deer perhaps the three “Rs” would take care of themselves. But what do I know?

I’m just a grumpy Ole Maine Hunter.

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Maine’s Bear Hunt Falls Short of Harvest “Hope and Change”

Understanding that the Maine black bear hunting season is not yet over and what is left generally produces very little increase in the the total harvest, it appears that the black bear harvest will fall far short of hoped-for numbers.

According to the live harvest data on the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife’s (MDIFW) web page, the current black bear harvest stands at 2,241, nearly 1,100 short of last years total bear harvest. Compared with the last 5 years, it appears this year’s take will come up well short of that average.

Yes, the blame will be placed on the reality that there was abundant natural food for the bears and history seems to have taught us that because baiting of bears is the most successful way to take them, when there is abundant natural food, bears aren’t so much interested in a bait pile.

Okay, so we get that. Isn’t this another thing that, as game managers, we have no control over? And because we have no control over certain things, isn’t it responsible to take better and different actions that would better guarantee that a bear harvest would meet harvest goals as part of a responsible management program?

One might think.

But, the MDIFW and the Maine Legislature have failed, once again, to take any meaningful and responsible action to make sure that the bear harvest meets goals necessary to keep the population in check so as not to continue to increase public safety issues as well as the impact bears are having on the dwindling deer population (even though managers are telling us there are plenty of deer) in parts of the state where the bear population is very healthy numbers wise. There is a correlation…isn’t there?

The Maine Legislature either would not pass or postponed any action to address the burgeoning bear population. As I asked earlier, is the Maine Legislature liable for damages, injuries, and death caused by an irresponsibly grown population of black bears? Is the MDIFW liable because they refuse to buck the outfitters and guides in the state who refuse to work with the state in reasonable ways and responsibleness to bring the bear population in check?

I walk down the street. I see a hole. I fall in it………..

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The Aging Population of Hunters

Early this morning I was reading V. Paul Reynolds article in the newspaper about the importance of mentoring young people toward an interest in the long-time tradition of hunting. I’m not sure I can any add anything to the cause and effect or offer any great solution to the problem. I can relate my own experience as an example of the changes in hunting heritage over the past 45 years.

It was nearly 45 years ago that I received an invitation to a Maine hunting camp along one set of the best rifle scopes, comprised mostly of extended family members who lived in Western Maine. I accepted the invitation but I was also informed that I might not be able to find room enough anywhere in the camp to spread a bedroll. You might be wondering just how small is this camp? Well, it isn’t “big” but at that time hunters taking up residence for the entire week at Hunting Camp numbered around 12, and I recall at least on one occasion a camper was hauled in to handle the overflow.

Of the better than one dozen hunters claiming a sleeping spot, just as many hunters came and hunted a day here and there and maybe hung around for the evening meal.

Those were the days.

Back in the hay day, those of us out of school and working for a living, always, somehow, found a way to take time off to go to Hunting Camp. It was tradition. It was fun, exciting, and it was an extremely important part of life in Maine. The meat and potatoes of Hunting Camp residents for the week was comprised of those of us in the late teens and early twenties. The “fathers” were the aging mentors of the group and when any school-age hunter could convince Mom to “play hooky” they came to camp, as well as on any holiday and Saturday.

Today, at this same family hunting camp, we struggle to find 6 hunters there to hunt the week. And of those six hunters, the youngest is now over 60. Nobody shows up to check the “Meat Pole” and never any hunters just for the day. I don’t remember the last time any school-aged children came to Hunting Camp to hunt. So what has happened?

Many, many things. A progressive society has been very successful in brainwashing our children with negative ideas about the “violence” of hunting and the “rights of animals.” This goes a very long way in making it difficult to get young people interested in hunting…even when Dad or Mom hunted growing up and still do.

I could make a grocery list of all the reasons hunting is a dying event and another list of things I think might help, but the bottom line is that it is a nearly insurmountable task until such time as society as a whole finds value in the hunting tradition.

I wouldn’t look for any big changes.

As a matter of fact, the way things are changing, I would begin looking for a real good place to hide my hunting rifle(s) because “THEY” are going to be coming to get those pretty soon.

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