September 22, 2018

Unanswered Questions About “Bat Gates?

A few days ago I was reading a press release put out by the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife (MDIFW) about how the department just built the first steel and concrete “Bat Gate” designed to keep people out of caves where bats hibernate.

Why keep people out? The release says, “Scientists have discovered that white-nose syndrome is primarily passed from bat to bat or from hibernacula surfaces to bats, but can be spread by people because spores of the fungus may cling to clothing, backpacks, and shoes. When people visit caves and mines during any time of year, they could transport the fungus to uninfected areas…” (emboldening added)

Looking at the photos in the press release, it appears that there is an awful lot of habitat destruction taking place during the construction. Did these workers “unknowingly” get fungus on them and transport it to uninfected areas? What did they do to make sure this didn’t happen?

Whose land is this being built on? If not public land, did MDIFW obtain permission to do this?

This seems a bit of a drastic measure to undertake considering the “can be,” “may,” and “could” descriptions of the possible human role of spreading a disease that is natural and perhaps is doing the job it is intended to do – keep the population of bats in check. We sometimes think we are so smart but are we failing to realize that in our personal desire to protect any and all species of wildlife, maybe we are not doing the wildlife any favors.

It should be in the forefront of the minds of biologists at MDIFW considering what they have discovered or at least pretend to have discovered, about moose and winter ticks. Growing and protecting moose populations creates a situation where winter ticks thrive. Perhaps the risk of human transport of this fungus is insignificant compared to the bats themselves. If numbers aren’t kept at healthy levels, Biology 101 teaches us or used to anyway, that disease occurs which in turn reduces the population.

In addition to what should be obvious questions, placing this gate over the entrance to a cave, has anyone asked the question as to what other species of wildlife that may use this habitat is being denied and what threats this imposes on them?

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SAM Grades, Endorses Some Candidates

*Editor’s Note* – It appears to this editor that these grades and endorsements are based solely on the support of the Second Amendment and voting records on outdoor issues – a very general term. Not that this is necessarily wrong, but readers should understand this concept in making decisions on who to vote for.

In addition, a statement made by SAM I find troubling. “It is our policy to always endorse incumbents with a strong voting record and a good questionnaire even when their challengers receive perfect scores.” Why it is troubling for me is that I am a supporter of term limits. Career politicians are corrupt politicians. Lying, cheating, and stealing are employed in a manner of the ends always are justified by the means – i.e. get reelected. “Always endors[ing] incumbents” is playing into the hands of the corrupt two-party false paradigm system. SAM should endorse candidates based on the lies they are given if that’s the game they want to play.

Press Release from the Sportsman’s Alliance of Maine:

To Whom It May Concern:

The Sportsman’s Alliance of Maine, ILA is happy to announce our Governor, Congressional, Senate and Legislative endorsements and grades for the important upcoming November election. In the governor’s race we are endorsing Shawn Moody and giving his opponent, Janet Mills a grade of A-. Each candidate gave a strong interview and did extremely well on the SAM ILA questionnaire.

Shawn Moody’s honesty, sincerity and genuine answers were refreshing. He was steadfast in his support of the Second Amendment and his advocacy for our natural resources and sportsmen and women was obvious and we believe he would make a great governor.

Janet Mills gave a terrific interview and the SAM Board appreciated her past support and strong voting record on outdoor issues, particularly firearm rights. She received a grade of A-.

In the Second District Congressional race, the SAM ILA endorsement went to Congressmen Bruce Poliquin. He has been a strong advocate for the Second Amendment, a tireless worker for the Second District, as well as a great congressman. We will work hard for his re-election.

His opponent, Jared Golden, after several requests and follow-ups, did not send in his SAM ILA questionnaire. We have concerns with his D grade from the NRA and his reluctance to inform our members and supporters about his positions on issues ranging from land conservation to hunting and fishing. If he had engaged in a dialogue with our ILA Board of Directors we would have explored his links to a Massachusetts PAC, (https://www.bostonglobe.com/…/QcP9SYTmWVswtPSW51…/story.html) partially funded by gun control advocate, and ex-New York Michael Bloomberg. In addition, he would have had an opportunity to explain why he hired Mr. Bloomberg’s campaign manager, Bobby Reynolds, from the recently defeated Maine referendum campaign to expand background checks to private sales and temporary firearm transfers.

Although we respect his service in the military, we are disappointed he chose not to inform our members on so many important issues effecting the outdoor community.
In the First Congressional District race our organization chose not to endorse a candidate; instead, Mark Holbrook and Marty Grohman each received a grade of A+. Both gentlemen would make great advocates for our outdoor community and hope one of them succeeds in the election. Incumbent, Rep. Chellie Pingree did not send in her ILA questionnaire.

In the U.S. Senate race between U.S. Senator Angus King and Sen. Eric Brakey, the ILA Board decided not to endorse either candidate, but gave Sen. Brakey a perfect grade of A+. Senator King, who has had a long history of supporting sportsmen and women, but recently indicated he was open to further gun control measures like magazine capacity limits, received a B grade.

Attached is a partial list of legislative endorsements as well as A and B grades for the upcoming state races. In the coming weeks we will communicate all the legislative grades and highlight several races around the state where we have two friends and supporters running from both parties.

*It is our policy to always endorse incumbents with a strong voting record and a good questionnaire even when their challengers receive perfect scores. There are times, in certain races, like House District, 106, between Rep. Strom and Stanley Short, where both are great supporters and deserve special recognition.

In our later communications, we will highlight several of these evenly balanced races around the state to give our members and supporters a fair understanding of each legislative race.

David Trahan
SAM ILA, Executive Director
205 Church Hill Road, Suite 3
Augusta, ME 04330
207-623-4589
David.trahan@sportsmansallianceofmaine.org

 

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Bears: Looking Big and Making Noise Not Always a Working Solution

I’ve always ridiculed the advice given by people, mostly from those who have never encountered a threatening bear, that when you are encountering a bear, even an outright attack, “look big” and “make loud noises” to frighten a bear away.

Over the past weekend, I was part of a discussion that included a woman that I went to high school with. I had known for several years that she was once treed by a bear near her home while she was out for a walk. It seems that in the past 25 or 30 years, she and her husband have had several encounters with bears at and near their home.

The woman told us that the area around their home has historically been ideal habitat for bears and seeing the animals around their home is a common occurrence.

The day she was treed by a bear, it happened quickly, as one might suspect. She tried the “slowly backing away” approach which only afforded her time to reach a small tree a few feet away. The tree was small enough that she could shimmy up the tree just far enough out of the reach of the bear and also small enough that the bear could not climb it.

The bear persisted to a point where the woman was slipping and losing her grip but she hung on.

She didn’t realize at the time that the bear, once realizing it couldn’t get her from the tree, tried a different tactic – it retreated but only far enough to hide behind a tree. The woman emphasized that in many of her encounters with bears, this seems to be a common method of attack – to hide and wait in ambush.

When she got back down on the ground, she spotted the bear attempting to hide behind a big tree. She quietly snuck away and when she thought she was far enough away from the bear, she ran like hell for home.

What is most interesting is that in telling of the several other bear encounters, most of them right around the house, she was emphatic in saying that the advice to “look big” and “make a lot of noise” is quite ineffective. On multiple occasions, particularly once when a bear forced both the husband and wife into their garden shed, they did their best to “look big,” yelled and made as much noise as they could only to witness the bear basically ignoring their actions.

It is important to note that both of these people, who are not your typical “scaredy-cats” felt threatened by this and all other attacks. They find the advice always given worthless from their own experiences.

I would suppose the takeaway from all of this is that one probably should not completely abandon the advice given but to realize that it is ALWAYS under the circumstances of the moment that determine the actions and reactions of a bear. Perhaps it is for that reason, if someone is regularly hiking in bear country and/or seem to have regular bear visitors to their home, they should consider having at their disposal some other tool to deter a bear other than remembering to “look big” and “make noise.”

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And Just What is the “Cure” for Protecting Deer Wintering Areas?

A couple of weeks ago I made my own comments about a recent “study” done by the University of Maine about “zoning” of deer wintering areas. Their useless study, which proved nothing and only caused the authors to formulate nonsensical theories, suggested that saving a small piece of land or forest for deer wintering wasn’t working.

George Smith weighs in on the study, which evidently he finds a valid argument worthy of a Pulitzer Prize. “I’m wondering if DIFW will change its approach to protecting critical deer winter habitat…”

And what exactly should that approach be? Do we take up the role in an, even more, strong-armed and fascist-like determination and simply take land from people in which environmentally-educated people have determined needs to be “protected” in order to “protect” deer?

When people fail in an ability to think for themselves, they can only see man’s destructive ways – real or imagined as drummed into them by Environmentalism. This narrative of man-hating and private property ownership dislike, along with the consumptive use of resources sets the stage for totalitarians to fulfill the wishes of the fascists.

Solving the problem, if it is really all that serious, of protecting deer wintering areas, is not an easy one. What hinders the finding of a solution is the fact that environmental fascism prohibits consideration of other factors.

These people believe deer are stupid and unadaptable. They need to get out of their offices. Do they actually think just because in their tiny minds trees were cut down and ruined what they determined were part of a deer wintering area the deer that go to for the winter months are just going to lay down and die? Evidently.

And all of this while at the same time promoting Climate Change. Why once the oceans stop rising and killing all the coastal deer, there will no longer be a need for deer wintering areas.

KUMBAYA!

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Maine: Landowner Appreciation Day Is Sunday, September 9th, 2018!

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

It’s that time of year again! The Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife & the Maine Forest Service will be hosting a statewide clean-up event Sunday, September 9th 2018.  This event will be the day when you can show the private landowners of Maine just how much you really appreciate them. We want to thank Kittery Trading Post, Waste Management and BDS Waste Disposal, our generous sponsors for this year’s Landowner Appreciation Day!

Your club or organization can still enter the event by calling 287-5240 speak with Virginia Vincent, or e-mail her at Virginia.Vincent@maine.gov.

Please provide the following info:

  • Club /organization name, (amount in group that will be participating)
  • Area of the state where you will be willing to help
  • Contact person & phone number, e-mail address
  • Clean up sites that you will be working on such as towns, locations, landowners, etc.

Kittery Trading Post has graciously agreed to sponsor the following prizes again this year!

  • 1st place prize $1000.00 gift card to KTP
  • 2nd place prize $750.00 gift card to KTP
  • 3rd place prize $500.00 gift card to KTP
  • 4th place prized $250.00 gift card to KTP

Maine Warden Service and Maine Forest Service staff will have sites available as well (via e-mail).

For contest purposes: All loads of trash will be measured by pick-up truck load, at one of the designated drop off spots by Warden Service or Forest Service personnel.

We will be sending more info periodically. Become an Outdoor Partner today and visit our website under Landowner Relations. For more information about the Outdoor Partners Program, please contact Landowner Relations Specialist Corporal Rick LaFlamme at rick.laflamme@maine.gov .

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West Nile Virus: We’re All Gonna Die…Ruffed Grouse Too

The Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention says a mosquito pool tested positive for West Nile virus in York County.

Maine’s Health and Environmental Testing Laboratory confirmed the presence of West Nile virus in a single mosquito pool, which is a collection that contains between 1-50 mosquitoes, last Tuesday in Kittery.<<<Read More>>>

The Ruffed grouse is in trouble all across the nation as a result of the spread of the West Nile Virus. It has infected birds from Wyoming to Maine to such a degree that many states have or are considering drastically reducing hunting seasons. <<<Read More>>>

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New Study? “Zoning” Ineffective Way to Protect Deer Wintering Habitat

Personally, I think these so-called studies should be either banned or categorized for what they are – modeling fiction.

Little in this report about a “new study” at the University of Maine makes sense and determines nothing except a suggestion that the only way we can protect those deer wintering areas that researchers seem to think deer can only survive in is to lock up the land with regulations that prohibit the use of any kind. How wonderful.

The report shares such brilliance as this: “The researchers found that zoning was effective at protecting winter habitat within zoned areas, but that ‘the zoning protections, which have exclusively targeted core use areas, have contributed little to reducing fragmentation or maintaining habitat connectivity region-wide in northern Maine.'”

And that means…?

And when it is all said and done, we are left with information few will read and even fewer will understand: “The study emphasized that monitoring is needed to understand the long-term benefits of zoning in wildlife habitat conservation, and that remote sensing can be a way to overcome the difficulty of monitoring protected forest areas.” (emphasis added) (sounds like more money is needed…wink, wink)

But we were just told there are no benefits to zoning…no, no, wait a minute we were told that there is a benefit in zoning but there isn’t a benefit in zoning. Zoning within zones zoned for zoning might do the trick. Got that?

And while their study SUGGESTS many things, it determines nothing and this is further substantiated by their emphasis that “monitoring” is needed in order to understand something about what it is they just spent time “studying.”

I wonder who paid for this and why it qualifies for publication?

 

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And Speaking of Animal Crackers…

In a recent column of tripe and gobble-de-goop published in the Kennebec Journal, the whining and perpetual bitching of the author about the need to protect and grow all wildlife at the demise of the hunting and fishing industry which is a time-proven tool to more easily manage and control animal growth and public safety, the author makes the following complaint:

“The vast majority of us who are not consumptive users, but who still pay taxes, are at best disregarded and ignored.”

Evidently, the author hasn’t figured out after all these years that the biggest reason he and others of his breed are “disregarded and ignored” is because they are totally nuts – animal crackers!

 

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An Epiphany Outside of Environmentalism’s “New Approach” to Wildlife Management

With very little effort and a clear, open mind, it is obvious that when it comes to wildlife management things aren’t looked at in the same way as the tried and proven ways which created the foundation for the North American Model of Wildlife Management. It may, however, come as a surprise to many readers that this new environmentalist’s way of talking about wildlife management is a planned event and not something that just evolved over time – certainly not the result of real scientific research.

What is amazing, to me anyway, is when groups and individuals mired in the muck of environmentalism’s new approach to wildlife management, are forced to see what isn’t intended to be seen in this new approach. It shows itself as some kind of epiphany, as though because of lack of knowledge due mostly to a prohibition of access to historical documentation constructed from the actual scientific process, tested over decades and centuries of time, a moment of brilliance comes bursting through the muddled mess of what today we call modern wildlife management.

We catch a glimpse of this at the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife (MDIFW) where when it was discovered that winter ticks (Dermacentor albipictus) were numerous and killing off the state’s moose herd, modern wildlife management’s “new approach” declared the cause was global warming. Every echo chamber around the world wanted to reverberate the woes of man-caused global warming and yes, “we’re all gonna die!” Their emotional claims for cures demanded that the only way to mitigate this winter tick problem that is killing moose populations everywhere was to somehow find a “cure” for global warming – a condition that does not exist in the context of how it is being sold.

Maine began a moose study – determined, it was said, to get at the root causes of what was really reducing the moose population. I have been most pleasantly surprised to discover that Maine’s moose biologists dared break with the mold of “Climate Change ate my homework” and suggested what has been known for a long, long time what was stated by an Alaskan moose biologist in recent years, that the ONLY way to mitigate the winter tick problem is to reduce the population of moose.

In George Smith’s recent column he writes of a book, recommended to him by Maine’s Wildlife Division Director (White as a Ghost by Dr. Bill Samual) who is quoted as saying in his book, “As moose and tick numbers build, moose harvest by hunters is far more appropriate and humane than invasive harvest by winter ticks. We should be able to moderate some of the damage caused by winter ticks for moose by managing moose at below die-off levels.”

(Author’s Note: To dispell the critics who will want to claim that my call, and that of MDIFW’s, to reduce the moose population is rooted in the desire to hunt and kill more moose. For the control of ticks, it must be realized that once a “die-off level” is reached through controlled harvest, that die-off level will need to be maintained even while it changes and fluctuates up and down. That’s what real, responsible wildlife management is.)

Perhaps we can see a bit of this “new approach” to wildlife management in the attitude shown in what Smith writes: “And while this book was published in 2004, it is still very informative and pertinent to our moose/tick problem.” I find it a near incurable disease that has infested academia and every institution that employs science – a refusal to research historic documents, accounts, scientific research, etc. as though it was worthless because it is so old. In this case, the author seems to indicate that observations and documentation of Dr. Samuel aren’t dangerous to the new approach narrative of wildlife management even though it is an ancient history of some 14 years.

In my own research about winter ticks, because of the lack of any modern studies on ticks, I spent the majority of my time reading and studying the ones that have existed for many years. These old documents proved then that global warming could not be the cause of increased tick populations. This is valuable knowledge that should never be discarded because of age even if new studies want to suggest something else.

Some honest effort, with a goal of seeking the truth rather than propping up the new scientismic pathway, can reveal many useful things. This must begin with an attitude that historical scholarship isn’t useless, outdated material – it is the foundation of the Scientific Process.

Instead, we see here where it appears that some miraculous epiphany has caused the resulting talking points to become one of a need to reduce the moose population to solve much of the tick problem rather than wasting time with the mythological Climate Change fantasy.

Maybe the scientific process ruled in this case of the Maine moose study. Perhaps the efforts made and what appears to be a daring and honest assessment of what’s going on has helped to restore my faith that there are still glimmers of hope in wildlife management – that it hasn’t completely gone to the environmental dogs…yet.

These epiphanies present themselves as though a discovery was made, and something is written as old as 2004 supports that discovery. It should be the other way around. That is the scientific process. But, if you don’t know and have not researched the scientific process, this is what we see. In this case, it appears as though a correct conclusion has been reached despite lack of historic scientific knowledge.

There should be a great takeaway from this. We will see.

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Maine’s Contortionist, Human-Reasoning Black Bears

Why? For years I just keep asking myself why it is that bear biologists, as a whole,  insist on protecting the image of a large predator that is capable of ripping you and me to shreds. It just never ends. It’s a giant echo chamber where all you hear is that bears are more scared of you and they rarely bother people. Today, here’s a new false adage to file into your list of inane conversation pieces.

“We have bears that will basically do anything they can, turn themselves inside out, to get away from a human.”

A hungry, angry or threatened bear will also run you down and rip you to shreds under the right conditions. Are we then supposed to approach every bear as though that bear will “turn themselves inside out” to run the other way not satisfying his hunger pains, or having a “time out” to cool his jets for a bit?

Making a statement that bears rarely attack people is not only a bit dishonest but is highly value rated by the individual making the statement or is politically charged by animal protection nuts who rationalize bear behavior to that of humans. It’s much the same as stating that plane crashes are rare. However, when they do happen the event itself (I’m guessing) is highly unpleasant – much the same as being mauled to pieces by a pissed off bear.

The truth is we never know the mindset of a bear when we see one. Yes, it’s “rare” that that bear will turn and eat you up, but, as with any animal, they are unpredictable. Driven by hunger, there is no telling what a bear or any large predator will do. An angry or threatened bear is much the same and we have little knowledge of what can piss off a bear.

A bear does not reason, contrary to what misguided animal perverts might choose to believe. They only act and react on instinct. When you enter bear country, it’s a pretty good idea to have a plan of what it is you are supposed to do when you encounter a bear that’s NOT “turning themselves inside out” to get away. Don’t assume anything.

To a bear, human flesh tastes “just like chicken.”

 

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