April 24, 2017

Maine Forest Rangers Want to Burn Ticks Out of the Woods

It appears that the Maine Forest Rangers are considering implementing controlled burns in order to mitigate the problems with ticks. There are many ticks and kinds of ticks and those ticks carry and/or perpetuate several diseases that are zoonotic – can be transferred from animal to human. The controlled burns, it is suggested, will kill many of the ticks. However, such action would not be an ongoing remedy.

I would suppose, as is most often the case, that while suggesting a prescribed burn to control ticks is something to consider, still missing, it seems, is any discussion as to why it has become necessary to do this. Are there more ticks than ever before? And if so, why? Are there less, more or the same number of ticks as ever but now they are laced with disease? If so, why?

Is it a planned event that the majority of the people population, at least in those regions susceptible to tick-borne diseases, are scared enough that they would be willing to do “anything” to mitigate the tick problem?

Odd, isn’t it? I wonder how many of the people who are scared to death of ticks and wouldn’t hesitate to set our forests on fire to kill the ticks, are the same ones who would give their own lives to save any animal that is perpetuating the tick problem?

Reading the comments from people that go along with this article, linked to above, it appears that prescribed burns, being a tool instituted by man to manage and manipulate the ecosystems, as well as mitigate public safety concerns, is an acceptable tool to use. I ask again, how many of these same people are willing to do “anything” to stop man from managing and manipulating ecosystems to save, protect, perpetuate flora and fauna because they believe “Nature” does it best. Last time I checked “Nature” was also in charge of ticks and the diseases they carry.

Are these people suggesting that Mother Nature works best when it’s convenient for them and not so much when it’s not?

Collaring Wild Animals: Scientific Research or Playing With Technology?

The manufacture, sale and use of radio telemetry collars for animal research is a racket and perhaps a serious waste of dollars. Depending upon the model of telemetry collar selected for each use, the cost of one such collar can run into the thousands of dollars. One must ask then if the cost of the collars is worth the return on investment? Well, that depends.

What we do know is that using tracking collars for wildlife is big business and a very popular thing to do. The tax payers like it because of their perverse love, adoration and all out worship of any kind of animal…well, until such animals become a real threat to them. The average tax payer doesn’t know how the collar is used and seldom is any “scientific research” information/data shared with the public. When it is, a trained eye recognizes very little scientific process and whole lot of speculation and theory swapping.

When it is a most difficult task to receive information from state fish and wildlife agencies about their “ongoing studies,” some of us are left to only guess what it is they are using collars on animals for and what actual data is being collected. So, let’s take a look at what is, might and could be done with a tracking collar.

What got me thinking about this popular event of tracking animals with radio telemetry, was an exchange of emails among a handful of wildlife scientists about this very subject. The foundation of discussion was centered around an article written about a collared wolf in British Columbia, Canada that was tracked along a route covering over 300 miles (not unusual). The journey for the wolf came to an end when it was legally shot and killed by a hunter. Of course this prompted outrage from the above described group of perverse, adoring wolf worshipers. But that’s not the topic of this immediate discussion.

In the email exchange, questions arose about what, if any, data and information was being collected on this wolf other than to know where the male wolf was at any point in time when a “data point” was sent (telemetry) and recorded on a computer. One scientist commented: “Reading the story makes me suspect that the wolves are collared and then left alone, while “researchers” are watching wiggly lines on the computer screen – and start guessing what is going on.”

Which brings us back to one of my original comments that because of the stinginess of researchers to share information, minus their speculations, the rest of us are left to guess (our own speculation) as to just what it is they are doing or not doing.

It seems about the only place we can get any information about studies is through the “Echo Chambers” of the Press. The vast majority of news media personnel are nothing more than “copy and paste” writers who wouldn’t understand what a true scientific process was if it was spelled out for them. As such, what is reverberated in the echo chambers is the Environmentalist’s nonsense, most often including speculation and theorizing about each collared animal based on placing human values on the animals – i.e. a guess as to what animals might be thinking, doing, etc. based more than likely on human projection of human values.

The State of Maine claims to be in the middle of a moose study. I have written extensively on this project and moose management in general. You can search this website, mostly under the Maine Hunting column.

What has been doled out to the public, which we have no idea if this is an actual reflection of the study, is that biologists placed collars on a hundred or so calf moose and some cows. It has been passed on that the purpose of the “study” is to find out the effects of winter ticks (moose ticks – Dermacentor albipictus) on moose mortality. All that we have been told is that when one of the collars stops moving, the collar sends a signal notifying researchers of the non movement. Somebody will go find the stationary collar (as quickly as possible – wink, wink) and attempt to determine what killed the moose.

This is one function that we are allowed to know about, evidently. But what kind of science is this? Or is it any kind of scientific research that will provide data and observation in order to find out more useful information in order to create better management plans? Who knows. It would seem that if any fish and game department was going to go through the expense and time to trap and collar moose, a full spectrum of scientific observation, collection of data, and analysis would be implemented into the effort. Is it? Who knows.

If the only thing these researchers are doing is sitting in front of a computer screen, in their comfortable offices, “watching wiggly lines” so somebody can go to the site where they think a moose died in hopes of determining cause of death, what is the real value of placing the collars on the moose?

It appears the collars work pretty good for “tracking.” Watching wiggly lines on a computer screen can tell biologists where a moose has gone over any prescribed length of time. They receive a signal when a collar becomes motionless for a period of time. Suggesting the collared animal might be dead, researchers journey into the woods to see what they can find…we are told.

Then what?

How well trained are the biologists in determining cause of death? So, they get to the scene and see a dead moose. It’s covered with winter ticks. The moose looks emaciated and missing hair/fur. No cuts, scratches, etc. are noticed on the moose and is it assumed that the moose died from the effects of the winter ticks? Other than tracking this moose on a computer screen, did researchers enter the woods on a regular basis in order to know, not speculate, what this dead moose had been up to over the weeks and months prior to it’s death? Where was the moose when it died, and in relation to where it normally “hung out?” How is this fact relevant to making a determination of its cause of death? Did the moose actually die of exhaustion, due to a combination of a low blood supply from the ticks, poor nutrition (it is winter you know) and being harassed by predators, including harassment by humans – both scientists and the general public? If it appears the moose was partially eaten, are the biologists adequately trained in making determinations of the kill tactics of predator suspects? How many of such kills has each scientist seen and been a part of? Are they trained to know when the dead animal became a meal for scavengers or when it became a meal by the kill of a predator?

What other data is collected on this moose? Is a full necropsy (animal autopsy) done, along with checking for all diseases and health issues? Moose calves are probably too young to have contracted what Maine biologists like to call “lung worm,” also known as Hydatid cysts caused by the existence of Echinococcus granulosus parasites carried and spread by wild canines (coyotes, foxes, raccoons). It has been shown that this disease exists in moose in the state of Maine. An infected moose, having cysts in the lungs, heart or liver, can seriously hamper a moose’s ability to escape danger from predators. Is this aspect of a moose’s death even considered, or is it just passed off as death by winter ticks? It is important to know the differences if ever there was hope to do anything about the problem.

Tracking a moose, or any other animal, with a radio telemetry collar can tell biologists where a moose is at pretty much any given point in time. One could argue that is science, but if you call that science it isn’t very good science.

Another scientist in our email discussion referred to this action this way: “…just data points that merely define where they [collared animals] are at a given time. What they are doing, which really matters, is left to interpretation, [and] conjecture. Until an effort is made to “follow” as closely as possible the movements of radio-collared animals, we can expect more “Research Lite.”

It is not a simple task to net a moose and snap a collar around it’s neck, wait to see if it’s going to die and then go find it to see if you can tell what killed it. However, is that effort alone worth the time and expense? Before this “study” began, I really don’t think it took a highly educated wildlife biologist to figure out winter ticks were knocking the hell out of the state’s moose herd.

What other information is being gathered and will any of the rest of us get to see it and not be relegated to the end of the line waiting for another copy and paste edition of our favorite echo chamber? I’m guessing the latter.

Who knows!

SAM’s Testimony on Right To Hunt Amendment, Makes Claims Not Entirely True

Recently I wrote about a proposed constitutional amendment in Maine that is being presented as an amendment to protect the “right” to hunt, trap and fish – LD 11. I also wrote that this proposal was one that I could support and I was wrong to have made the statement using the words that I did because I failed to succinctly express the full truth in my statement. Please let me explain.

Yesterday, I was reading David Trahan’s (Executive Director of the Sportman’s Alliance of Maine) testimony before the Legislative Committee in support of the proposed amendment.

To many, his words ring true, much because most of us have been taught certain things about our federal and state constitutions and the rights we have been granted under those constitution. Men don’t grant rights to anyone. They simply claim ownership of them and hand them back to us in some kind of limited form or fully deny us of such rights.

Trahan states that when this nation was founded, wildlife was “placed in the public trust” and as such we had the right to take it for sustenance. Therefore, Americans have always possessed the right to hunt, fish and trap. I will have to save for another day any debate on this so-called public trust and our inherent right to hunt, fish and trap. I will proceed from the perspective of most that they do have either a right or a privilege.

As Mr. Trahan also pointed out, man decided that in order to sustain game and other wildlife, they must construct laws to limit that activity. What happened to our inherent “right” to hunt, trap and fish when the limitations by law became enforced? Is anything really a “right” when it is controlled by man? We evidently believe so. When men, because they couldn’t maintain viable game populations through their own disciplines, called upon man-governments to do it for them, it began the process of destroying any semblance of a right to hunt. I ask once again, what happened to a so-called “right” to hunt wildlife “placed in the public trust” when at least some of that right was ceded over to government and restricted?

This is not that much different than the argument of sovereignty, in which most people do not understand sovereignty of an individual or a government agency. How are you a sovereign individual? Oh, you might say, “Nobody tells me what to do! I’m my own man!” But you are not. You might be a legend in your own mind, but you are not a sovereign individual. Once a man agrees to become part of a community, whether it is a small as a neighborhood or as large as a nation, they have agreed to relinquish that sovereignty and place it under the control of the government. Your act of relinquishment places decisions about your life into the hands of the controlling government agencies.

In Maine, at some point in time, the full right to hunt, trap and fish, was ceded to the State Government to control and make the decisions for us as to what, when and how we might harvest game. Trahan points this out in his testimony. In reality, the sportsmen have very little control over their perceived right to hunt. What has evolved since the creation of game and wildlife laws, is that the government agency formulated to oversee hunting, trapping and fishing, call the shots. Yup, proposals for new laws can be presented. Sometimes they get through a committee and most times not. You are heard before a committee but if you can’t get by the committee then what has become of your “right” to hunt, trap and fish. If you do get through committee you are at the mercy of the Legislature. Where then is your protected right?

Many believe that an amendment to the Constitution will guarantee, protect or create a “right” to hunt, trap and fish. They are wrong. I have written many times on this subject and stated that unless an amendment mandated or forced the government to do something, it is nothing more than words on a piece of paper.

The proposed LD 11 states, in reference to the right of the people of Maine to hunt, fish and trap, that this right: “may not be infringed.” (emboldening added) This is not a mandate. It does not force the Legislature, the Governor, Law Enforcement, or anybody else to stop any infringement of a person’s right to hunt, trap and fish. Go ask a lawyer – or at least an intelligent and honest one (yeah I know). Or go research it yourself. “May” is not a mandate – only a suggestion.

Further, the amendment says that this non infringement of the right to hunt, trap and fish is subject to “reasonable” laws enacted by the Legislature and “reasonable” rules adopted by the department in charge of management of game, fish and other wildlife. Is a “reasonable” law or rule an infringement? We’ve already established that the protection against infringement is non binding because the lawyers chose “may” instead of “must.”

So, who decides what “reasonable” means? I hope you are beginning to understand.

The amendment establishes that the department in reference is supposed to “promote wildlife conservation and management” and “maintain natural resources in trust for public use” (emboldening added) and this evidently will “preserve the future of hunting and fishing.” Nothing here is a mandate that forces anybody to do anything. What is wildlife conservation? As it is in operation today, wildlife conservation becomes a matter of which social entity has the most dollars and the loudest mouth to force their idealistic perceptions and conceptions of wildlife conservation.

The Department, according to this amendment will “maintain” natural resources. Maintain them how and to what levels of population that will guarantee, protect or create the “right” to hunt, trap and fish? This, of course, is left up to the Department, which is what takes places now. There is no mandate. There is no protection of any right.

The amendment further states that “public hunting and fishing are the preferred means…” (emboldening added) Where is the mandate here that will guarantee, protect or create a “right” to hunt, trap and fish? The Department might “prefer” to use hunting and fishing but what if they decide to import wolves to control populations of deer and moose? Where is the mandate? Where is the protection of any “right” to hunt, trap and fish? And would such a decision be “reasonable?”

The truth is, that while this is better language than previously proposed in other amendments, voters in Maine should not be misled to believe that this amendment, as written, will guarantee, protect or create for Maine citizens, the “right” to hunt, trap and fish.

And on the reverse of this, as I have already read in a few spreads of clap trap nonsense, such an amendment, as written will not destroy the process to petition the state. This should be obvious once you understand this proposal has nothing in it that is a mandate, forcing anybody to do anything.

When I said this amendment was something I could support, that statement was not accurate and I apologize for misleading people, if I did. First, I could not “support” such and amendment in the literal sense because I am not a legal resident of Maine and therefore could not vote for it if I wanted.

My thinking at the time was that while there still were no mandates in the proposal, perhaps the language was such that it might deter the onslaught of lawsuits and referendums that have been piled onto the Pine Tree State. It may, in fact, increase them. It is difficult to assess.

I will work harder to choose my words and the statements I make more carefully.

A Case of the Pot Calling the Kettle Black

Void of sensible argument, let’s just say for the purposes of this discussion, that the corporate “citizens” of this corporation, the United States of America, live in a democracy. Might as well say it because most think we do and vehemently support it. A democracy sucks…especially when you are the sheep in a three-way discussion with two wolves deciding what’s for lunch. When you combine the ills of the so-called democratic process, with the ignorance of taking the high ground on all things democratic, scientific and wildlife management, spelled out for us in bold letters is HYPOCRISY.

To make my point, gander at the article written in the Kennebec Journal extolling the virtues of Maine’s Constitution and the democratic process in deciding who’s going to make the menu for lunch….er, well, kind of – until the promoter of the democratic process discovers she might be headlining the menu.

The article itself is garbage and so I will not waste my time with a step by step process refuting the endless claims of nonsense strewn through the blather of nonsensical words and hypocritical proclamations shouted from the position of the only one holding the high ground on all matters of what this person calls “rights,” science and the management of wildlife.

It would appear the letter writer assumes the position that rights are granted by governments and that those granted rights are how things should be, as in the rule of law, so long as they are the totalitarian rules of law she chooses to subscribe to that promote her ideology and choice of lifestyle.

The day we are born, our Creator gives us all our rights. It is only man in his sin that takes those rights away and/or doles them out as a means of controlling the population and presenting themselves as an “exceptional” government creating an “exceptional” nation. Sound familiar? Perhaps you don’t recognize it.

For each and every law that it enacted, one more aspect of our God-given rights is being chiseled away. We have reached a point in our uncivilized, greedy, nasty, hate-filled nation, where democracy, manipulated by money and power, is used to force the wills of only the most powerful and affluent among our society. There is a different name for this other than democracy…but, don’t go look.

In our own blind ignorance, created by the same powerful and affluent through essentially brainwashing (controlling all forms of education and media) once anyone assumes the high ground on any issue, of course the other side is wrong and need to be stopped, even to the point of wanting the oppositions rights removed. This IS but one of the nasty elements of democracy that you must like.

Aside from the blather of the letter writer, can anyone see the idiocy in the defense of what this person considers her choice in how democracy and the rule of law are applied? I see this most often but I wonder how many others do, especially those bent on forcing their idealism and totalitarian ways onto all others.

With but limited “rights” left, as most all “rights” are either taken away or have been limited to some degree, one can only employ the “democratic” process available in hopes of changing those laws.

In Maine there is but one more attempt at amending the constitution in order to establish what the promoters are calling a constitutional protection to hunt, fish and trap. Incidentally and most relevant to an honest discussion, since Maine became a state, there have been 172 approved amendments to its Constitution. Should it come as a shock to people that the process taken to adopt these amendments was the “democratic” process established within the original Constitution as defined in Article X, Section 4.? If you love this democracy so much, I hope you at least understand how it works.

How, then, is seeking approval from the Maine Legislature, to present to the voters of that state, a chance to consider, debate and vote on this or any other amendment, wrong as it applies to things a person doesn’t approve of?

The letter writer claims that a constitutional amendment to protect the right to hunt, fish and trap will destroy the rights of others and prohibit them from having any legal recourse in affairs concerning wildlife management. What nonsense. No constitutional amendment, unless so written, will supersede any and all other articles and amendments within a constitution.

Not that long ago, some in Maine were promoting a law that would remove a person’s right to petition the state in wildlife management issues of which I opposed. The proposed amendment, as written, would not do that.

It appears that in the letter writer’s enthusiasm and hatred toward all things hunting, trapping and fishing, she is skewing the lines between offering substantiated reasons to oppose an amendment for its content, and the actual democratic process established within the constitution.

I assure everyone that of the 172 amendments to Maine’s Constitution, not everyone liked and voted for them. However, as I have stated, democracy sucks, especially when you are on the short end of the stick.

The process is established and as much as some would like even to change that process, which can be done by implementation of the democratic and legal processes established within the Constitution, it is a process that shouldn’t be used to somehow demonize anyone’s or group of anyone’s right to petition the state and/or use the legal process to, in fact, let the voters decide. That is after all, what most American’s think is the best way to do things. It’s a classic Jeffersonian process.

The person who wrote this letter obviously does not understand the state’s legal processes, as well as the not so legal processes, that are presented as a right to assure a citizen the process to legally change the laws. It is not only ironic, buy of a double standard, that anyone would, while attempting to bless the Maine Constitution, out of the corner of their mouths, wish to limit those rights to anyone she does not agree with or that doesn’t agree with her.

The process is there, whether we like it or not. If you support this process and believe in it, then put your money where your mouth is and let the process work. In the meantime, if you oppose or support the proposed constitutional amendment then provide valid reasons for or against. Don’t pretend to understand the process while doing everything in your power to destroy the process.

Then again, all of this could be just a charade.

 

Maine: Deer Baiting, Feeding, Crop Damage

If it is important enough that laws in the State of Maine be made tougher to extend and grow the penalties for hunting deer over “bait,” perhaps it would behoove the lawmakers to take the time first to define “bait.”

A proposed new law, LD 1083, would, “…makes the penalty for hunting over bait during an open season on deer a mandatory fine of $500. It also provides for the one-year suspension of a hunting license of a person convicted of doing so.”

The head of the Maine Warden Service supports this bill because, as he states, “the agency averages over 100 deer baiting cases per year.” 100 case per year, times $500, equals a nice little windfall, perhaps enough to pass out some raises. And, at a guaranteed $500 per case, doubling that to 200 is good profit.

The new proposal also states that, “A hunting license of a person convicted of placing or hunting over bait in violation of section 11452, subsection 1 must be revoked, and that person is ineligible to obtain a hunting license for a period of one year from the date of conviction.”

Taking a look at Title 12, 11452, subsection 1, we read,1. Prohibitions.  A person may not, during an open hunting season on deer: A. Place salt or any other bait or food in a place to entice deer to that place.”(emphasis added)

So, what is “bait?”
Part B of Subsection 1 describes the limits of hunting from a tree stand or an observation deck: It is prohibited to B. Hunt from an observation stand or blind overlooking salt, grain, fruit, nuts or other foods known to be attractive to deer.” (This is inconsistent with the above prohibition.)
What’s inconsistent in this regulation is that Part A prohibits anyone during deer season, to put out things that will “entice deer to that place.” In Part B, there are limitations as to what a hunter can observe from a tree stand, i.e. he can’t hunt over “salt, grain, fruit, nuts or other foods known to be attractive to deer.” This does not specify “bait.”
So, what is bait?
Can I climb my tree stand and hunt over “bait?”
So, what is “bait?”
It appears that the issue here, aside from the threat of the spread of disease, is that authorities don’t want hunters placing “bait” some place in the woods, which happens to be in front of their tree stand….or maybe not.
I know I sound like a fool, but, what is “bait?”
If the concern is over “baiting” a deer to the location in which a hunter awaits in ambush, then isn’t anything a hunter puts out, in, around his tree stand to “attract” deer, “bait?” The existing law states that you can’t use items that are known to be attractants for deer and lure them to a specific location. If so, then what is putting out scent attractants to draw deer to your stand?
Maine has to do a better job of making the work of law enforcement better but more importantly so that hunters fully understand what is legal and illegal and why. When we see exceptions to “baiting” it often times is a matter of a certain lobby fighting for their preferred methods of hunting at the expense of others. In case you aren’t keeping up, I might suggest that the manufacture of deer lures, scents, attractants and covers, is a giant money-making industry. Serious argument can be made as to whether those are “baits.”
It’s also very stupid that you can’t “bait” deer to a specific location, like a tree stand, but you can plant a “crop” and place your tree stand overlooking your “crop” – the result of a “standing crop” or “foods left as a result of normal agricultural operations…” (emphasis added)
So, what is “bait?” Your guess is as good as mine.
The other issue being discussed presently is what to do about deer and crop damage. I am a bit confused. Much of this debate takes place in Washington County, the eastern portion of the State of Maine, due to blueberry crops being destroyed by deer.
As anybody who has read much of my writings will know, I am as big a property rights supporter as there are. However, a scant few years ago, Washington County, along with many other parts of the state, had pretty much a non existent deer herd, much the result of too many coyotes and some tough winters. Efforts were put forth in the area to construct a systematic approach at reducing the coyote population in order to save the deer herd.
Killing coyotes helped the deer herd and now the blueberry farmers are complaining about crop damage. That’s understandable.
However, if one examines Maine’s history with blueberries and deer, both have existed since settlers first came here. I am willing to believe that at certain periods of time, deer were far more plentiful in blueberry country, and other areas of farmland where crops grow. What was done about that damage then?
I’m not opposed to doing what is reasonable to limit crop damage. I’m sure that same feeling has existed for decades. But, now the Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife (MDIFW) is suggesting a bill that would give the Commissioner authority to establish deer killing zones around crop lands, even the blueberry patches in Washington County, where deer numbers are only beginning to recover. Something tells me that either some people want too many deer, or some want crops that are never harmed and they don’t want the responsibility to deal with it. Or something. Is it just the tolerance level of people has dwindled so low that nothing is to be put up with? It seems we only bitch and complain and propose another law to stop somebody else from doing something somebody doesn’t like.
From testimony before the Committee, we are told that the Food Safety Modernization Act prohibits the harvesting of crops where animals have eaten or defecated. Obviously the Act is a Leftist nightmare creation, never intending to implement public health and safety but to destroy our food crops. But, that’s another book. How can we harvest any crops anywhere if any animal has excreted their waste there? What have we become?
Some want to kill deer to mitigate crop damage, complaining that deer defecate in the crops, while others want to protect the coyotes, to kill the deer, with no concern about the coyotes defecating in the fields. I’ll guarantee you that coyote scat is far more dangerous to our health than deer scat. This is a sure sign of animal perversion over human well being, including the protection of private property.
This morning I was listening to rubbish on television, when a news anchor asked a senator why they took so much time off. His answer was that some people would like it that Congress didn’t meet. I concur. We are so brainwashed to think that all legislation, at every level, must make laws and keep making laws. Why? The existing laws are incomprehensible, designed by lawyers for lawyers, and are either unenforceable or lacking the manpower to enforce them. And yet, we keep piling them on, as is the case here in Maine.
I believe that with increased levels of anger, hatred and intolerance, we can only expect that the number of totalitarian-type legislative proposals will inundate our politicians, who scramble to take care of only those that feed them money for reelection.

Why Would Anyone Protect and Perpetuate Mixed-Breed Wild Dogs in Our Forests?

Now that Roxanne Quimby got her land designated as a national monument, the push is now on to turn the rest of northwestern Maine into useless, inaccessible wasteland some like to call “wilderness.”

As part of this push for locking up land, comes the ignorant belief that wolves are a magic formula needed to carry out the false theory that “Nature” balances itself. Unfortunately we will never get rid of that lie because it became a very powerful tool when it was criminally used to introduce wolves into the Greater Yellowstone area, for personal and monetary gain. Even since the man who invented the false claim has rescinded his theory, the echo chambers of the media, along with environmental useful idiots, continue to perpetuate the fantasy because they want to and need to. It’s that simple.

However, aside from all of this banter about whether or not wolves walk on water and whether or not land should be locked up and called wilderness, there can be serious argument made that in the Lower 48 States, there does not exist a “pure” wolf or a coyote for that matter.

In an article found in the Bangor Daily News, it begins, “WSCH 6’s Bill Green reported this week that a new wolf-coyote hybrid “thrives” in Maine.”

If this is true, and there exists studies that tell us that the wild dogs found in most of the northeast section of country are of a mixed breed of wolf, coyote and domestic dog and any and all canine breeds and mixtures. One would imagine that that mixture is all over the place as, by now, cross-bred wild dogs have mated with other cross-bred wild dogs, and so it goes.

Do these wild dogs “thrive” in Maine, as Bill Green states? Reports vary, some stating that Maine has a “coyote” (hybrid) population in excess of 20,000. Thriving? It would seem that way to me, especially when you consider that it was only in my childhood days – 1960s – that rumors were spreading about “coyotes” showing up in places in the Pine Tree State. Maine never had a viable population of “coyotes” until it began to grow in the 1960s, due to expansion of populations – probably already some kind of add-mixture of wild dog.

Some claim this cross-breeding (media and others like to call the offspring a hybrid) is a natural phenomenon but is it?

Also found in this article is the following statement: “When Europeans began to colonize the United States, wolves were abundant throughout the country.” What does that mean precisely? What is the term “abundant” one’s weighted perception? It appears Bill Green and I “perceive” that a mixed-breed of wild dog “thrives” in Maine. Those who see any dog, wild or domestic, in vast quantities, as something that should be perpetuated, wouldn’t see 20,000 coyotes/cross-breeds as thriving or abundant. But, what about science….real science?

Most certain, the settlers who came before us, learned quickly that large predators in the woods were dangerous and competed with them for, not only their livestock, but for other wild game that was necessary for survival. And thus they killed these wild predators whenever they could. Shouldn’t they have?

But were these wolves “abundant” when the settlers arrived? Bearing in mind the term “abundant,” perhaps the best way to learn about this is to recall the historic accounts, often found in hunters’ and trappers’ journals, including such recordings as those of Lewis and Clark, and names such as Smith, Ogden, Sublette, Work, Meek, Freemont, Preuss, Simpson and Egan. After all, they were the ones on the land even before the settlers.

Most of their journals tell a quite different story of “abundance.” With the exception of some localized areas, west of the Mississippi, both game and wolves were scarce. Explorers, through what is now the Yellowstone Basin, comment that they never heard wolves or coyotes howl. There was little game to be found, and often these explorers, unable to find game to sustain themselves, resorted to killing and eating horse meat. Lewis and Clark experienced the same thing finding themselves trading with the Indians for their domestic dogs to eat in order to survive. From my perspective, that does not describe what I would call an abundance of anything, except perhaps hunger.

Science shows us that natural segregation, often achieved through natural landscape barriers, and population limits found in widespread outbreaks of disease, kept species like wild canines apart in order that cross-breeding was not a common thing. We have learned that the Native Americans knew about wolves and the trouble they caused. Not all Indians worshiped the wolf or found some kind of spiritual guidance or direction from them. The natives deliberately cross-bred certain domesticated dogs with wild dogs in hopes of creating a better hunting animal.

Teddy Roosevelt wrote extensively of his travels, often describing the different looks and sizes of wild dogs he encountered. Roosevelt was one of the first to write about the big “timber wolves” that seemed to exist only beyond the high mountains of what is now known as the Sasquatch Range. What coyotes there were, existed down on the plains.

Common sense should tell us that if we are interested in protecting a wolf or a coyote, we should be doing our best to insure that the two species are not forced into the same habitats where cross-breeding would become even more common, thus mixing the species and destroying the wolf or coyote genes. People, often in their greed and animal perversions, insist on seeing these animals from their cars and out the back windows of their houses. This is a great formula for the destruction of, not only wolves and coyotes, but many other species due to predation and disease.

Granted this effort of segregation becomes a more difficult task with a growing population of man, but protecting the populations of wild wolves and coyotes to numbers that are historically higher than when the settlers first arrived, thinking we are doing great things for the animals, is all wrong.

Even many who would concur that there are “hybrid” wild dogs living throughout Maine and other areas of the country, seem to only care about protecting whatever the cross-bred creature is that exists for the moment. Our own U.S. Government seems to share that same belief.

In attempts to perpetuate wild dogs in the Desert Southwest and in the Southeast, government agents knowingly and illegally introduced real hybrid semi-wild dogs. This is not only illegal but a violation of the Endangered Species Act. What are we doing?

If Maine and other regions are now dealing with “thriving” populations of hybrid wild dogs, there’s a reason for that. The worst thing we can do is perpetuate this cross-breed. If we want to protect the wolf and the coyote, we should be doing all we can to rid the landscape of these hybrid, invasive species. Not only do the genes of wild canines become mixed up, but what also changes with the cross-mixture is behavior – behavior that is most often unpredictable. This adds to the issue of public safety.

To argue that Maine should have wolves is one thing. To make the claim that what the Government and others who are suggesting introduction is actually a pure wolf is foolishness. Perhaps the only wolf that resembles a pure wolf exists in the wilderness regions far to our north, where they belong. These are not indigenous to Maine. Introduction of such a beast, or any kind of add-mixture, semi-wild dogs, calling them wolves, is a violation of the law and should not be tolerated…that is if we actually care about protecting real wolves.

*Note* – I provided few links in this writing. I have written extensively on this subject, including a book. You can use the search function of this website to find more information about most everything I have written in this article.

Time Keeps on “TICK”ing

Anti-Foraging Bill Sponsor Doesn’t Want Bill to Pass

Yup! After all the hubbub about turning Mainer’s into hardened criminals for randomly picking a wild berry, the sponsor of a bill to ban foraging, while at the same time criminalizing anyone who might happen to be berry picking while carrying a weapon, has told the Department of Conservation Committee, he doesn’t want the bill to pass.

It’s nice to see that some can eventually see the stupidity of their ways. Thanks!

Two Wolves and a Coyote Walk Into a Bar…..

One wolf says to the others, “Hey, howl you doing these days? Did you read that piece the other day about how farmers clearing land extirpated us wolves and paved the way for you coyotes to go to Maine and live?”

I wonder who makes this stuff up? Perhaps it’s just people like me who like to fabricate stories. Of course, not that many years ago readers would be smart enough to know that animals can’t talk, nor do they frequent bars. But things have changed. And so, I suspect some might read this and think it’s true.

It’s a bit like the guy who took his extremely intelligent dog with him duck hunting. He picked up his friend early in the morning and they went into their blind just before daylight. He wanted to surprise his friend and show him how smart his dog was.

The first opportunity, one man shoots a duck and it lands in the water. The dog owner ordered his dog to retrieve the duck. The dog got to the water’s edge and carefully tip-toed on top of the water and retrieved the duck. The other hunter observed but didn’t say one word.

This same event took place several times until finally the dog’s owner, frustrated, speaks up, “Dang it all Fred! Don’t you notice anything peculiar about my dog?”

Fred says, “Yeah, but I didn’t want to say anything and hurt your feelings, but that dog can’t swim!”

It is highly likely that the wild canine animal that Mainers see in the woods, is not a wolf, nor is it a coyote. Supposedly, scientific experiments have shown that this wild canine is some sort of a mixed breed of various offspring of canines, both wild and domestic. People like to call them hybrids, as though doing so somehow places these nasty mutts in an elevated status among animal perverts. The truth is, it’s a canine that is roaming in the woods of Maine and it is a vehement spreader of disease – at least 30 different viruses, parasites and diseases.

To my knowledge, there is no real historic data that supports the claim that settlers clearing forests extirpated the “wolf” that was found once in the Maine woods. After all, we know for a fact that the creation of farmland, contributed to the growth of the deer herd, which was a great food source for the wolf.

Others want to blame hunting, trapping and the general dislike of the wolf, that caused people to kill them every chance they had. This is only partly true. Much of Maine remained as European settlers found it long after the wolf was thought to be extirpated.

It is not entirely accurate to claim that when man extirpated the wolf, and farmers cleared the land, it ushered in the existence of “coyotes.” I doubt that Maine ever had a “coyote” but has always had some kind of mixed breed of wild canine. The coyote that most Mainers talk about in the Pine Tree State, are hybrid dogs that expanded its range from the Great Lakes region into eastern Canada and northern New England. Now there are so many of them that cross breeding of canines, wild and domestic is happening in rapid fashion. So what’s left? Some think it’s a dog species that deserves to be protected.

Ignorant people, thinking they are protecting wolves and coyotes by allowing them to proliferate unharnessed, don’t realize they are contributing to the animals’ demise. What roams Maine’s woods as a wild, or semi-wild canine, is a great example of that fact. Allowing and promoting the forced existence of wolves with other canines, wild and domestic, is destroying the wolf gene. Not only is the gene of the wolf being destroyed but with that genetic add-mixture, behavior of the offspring changes as well. That can open a can of worms in trying to predict the animal’s behavior.

It is important for people to understand the truth about any region’s history of wild animals, including wild canines. Filling people full of misleading information, often perpetuated by organizations with an agenda, is actually putting the existence and perpetuation of a real canine species in jeopardy.

But, animal perverts don’t care. All they are interested in doing is to save the life of any animal….er, uh, that is unless it’s a rat, tick or some other disease-carrying life form that is infecting or affecting them directly.

Stupid!

Stay Off My Land You SOB Part III

Part I and Part II

Silly debate continues in Maine over a proposed bill, LD 128, that would implement fascist/totalitarian tactics on anyone picking a wild berry, or such, on private land without permission from the landowner. The link to Part II above, will give readers a chance to read the proposed bill as it is currently written.

Okay! I get it! I’m a Maine landowner. I cherish my rights, what few I have left, as a landowner, but do I want to cut off my big nose despite my ugly face?

George Smith, a Maine outdoor writer and activist, continues to whine about the crap he’s taking from people because it is his own creation, i.e. LD 128. He writes in his column: “It is very irritating to find that someone has grabbed the fiddleheads or mushrooms off my woodlot before I got to them. And clearly, anyone who is on my land to commercially harvest something ought to be required to have my permission.

“Some critics have suggested any landowner who feels this way should post their land No Trespassing. But that is exactly what I don’t want to encourage, because it would hurt those of us who hunt, fish, and otherwise enjoy privately owned property.”

Obviously he and I look at a half-filled glass differently. I have two basic issues with his approach. The first issue is that there are already laws that exist about stealing private property. Would crafting another useless bill prohibiting anyone from foraging for wild edibles, actually stop anyone? Americans are notorious idiots, incapable of thinking rationally, as this has been programmed out of them. They therefore keep piling on laws, and more laws and even more laws, exemplifying the perfect conditions of insanity, thinking just one more law surely will stop the criminal. I might even argue that this same activist would argue that making laws prohibiting the ownership, by lawful citizens, of guns, will do nothing to stop a criminal. How is this different?

The second issue is one about landowner responsibility. Smith says he doesn’t want to post his land to keep trespassers off, because he wants to continue to have the privilege of accessing private land to hunt and fish. What does he expect? This might be a bit of having your cake and eating it too.

When any person owns something, if they intend to responsibly care for it, requires doing all things necessary to protect it according to your value system and hopefully not the values dictated by other people. If I should decide to buy a perfectly restored antique auto, and one of my top priorities is to make sure the body and paint remain unblemished, it would be irresponsible of me to drive it after a snow storm in the salt and sand. It might even require me to build a garage to store it in. Will these efforts stop somebody from stealing my car? Yes, there exists strict laws against auto theft. Do making more laws help?

If Mr. Smith values his wild edibles on his own land that much, it is then his responsibility to protect them. It is fools folly to think pushing another bill through the Legislature would actually protect his wild edibles, no more than posting his land would. Sometimes, with land ownership, depending on one’s values and priorities, that ownership demands the owner do things he might not like. In addition, many landowners are not concerned if someone is picking wild edibles. As a matter of fact some of the landowners are quite pleased that the tradition continues. Totalitarian tactics of forcing lifestyles and/or political ideals onto other people doesn’t seem a neighborly thing to do to those who don’t care and would just as soon not be bothered with every Tom, Dick or Harry knocking on their door seeking written permission to pick wild food.

I recall teaching my children when they were very young that they were the ones responsible for themselves and not to depend on others. I also taught them that sometimes life seems unfair but we have to learn to deal with it in the best and most reasonable manner. We cannot always have everything just the way we want it – and that door swings both ways.

If it is so upsetting that even after a bill and another bill, and yet another bill is crafted to bar private land access for any reason, as well, you’ve gone to the trouble of posting your land, and still people enter your land and take things, perhaps land ownership is too large a responsibility.

I think this is more of a case of a landowner taking responsibility for what they have and how they value that ownership, than wasting the Legislature’s time pushing for yet another law that will do absolutely nothing to protect a patch of berries, mushrooms or fiddleheads.