October 20, 2019

The Only Way To Control Moose Ticks Is……

This Alaska state veterinary must be as stupid as I am…..She says, “Once (winter ticks are) introduced in a moose population in an area, the only known way to control it is to reduce the moose density, especially calves, so that there are no hosts available,” she said. “It would require an antler-less hunt or even a cull of calves and yearlings, which would not be something that would be easy to sell to the public.”<<<Read More>>>

And this is a classic example of why I end many of my articles by saying:

BUT DON’T GO LOOK!

Old Hunter says:

 

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Moose Did Okay This Winter – Must Be The Global Warming

“Despite struggles in recent years, Maine’s state animal had a high survival rate over the winter. State moose biologist Lee Kantar says state data show about half of moose calves studied in western Maine have survived this year.”<<<Read More>>>

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OPINION: MNRF takes the road of junk science to forward their agenda

In my younger years growing up in Sundridge, the moose season fell on every even year and lasted a week. You bought your moose license and shot a MOOSE. There were plenty of moose and trappers harvested wolves and hunters harvested spring bears and laws were based on science and time-proven management practices. During this time the powers that be were the Ontario Lands and Forests, later changed to Ministry of Natural Resources (MNR). Recently renamed Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry.  Much has changed over the past two decades within what I once considered Ontario`s flagship ministry, for without our rich resources what does Ontario have to offer?

I have been deeply concerned about the direction this ministry has been travelling for some years now as laws are now being based on emotion and driven by special interest and protectionist lobby groups.<<<Read More>>>

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Apply now for the 2017 Maine Moose Permit Lottery

The deadline to apply for the 2017 Maine Moose Permit Lottery is fast approaching!

The online application process is fast and simple and you receive instant confirmation that you have successfully entered the lottery.  To apply, please visit www.mefishwildlife.com. The deadline to apply is 11:59 p.m. on May 15, 2017.

Applicants are awarded bonus points for each consecutive year that they have applied for the lottery since 1998 without being selected and each bonus point gives the applicant an additional chance in the drawing.

Bonus points are earned at the rate of one per year for years one to five, two per year for years six to 10, three per year for years 11 to 15 and 10 per year for years 16 and beyond.

Since 2011, applicants can skip a year and not lose their bonus points. So if they applied in 2015 but not in 2016, they still have their points available if they apply in 2017.


The moose permit drawing will take place on June 17, 2017 at Caribou Parks and Recreation.


For more information about moose hunting in Maine and the moose permit lottery, please visit: http://www.maine.gov/ifw/licenses_permits/lotteries/moose/index.htm

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Logging, intentional fires planned in Superior National Forest to improve moose habitat

*Editor’s Note* – Well, I’m confused but that probably doesn’t surprise many of you. Last time I checked Minnesota officials said there was little to be done about saving the state’s moose herd because “global warming” was causing everything imaginable that might work against the moose herd…including the defeat of Hillary Clinton last November.

Using the circular reasoning of unreasoned circular nonsensical clap-trap, isn’t cutting down forests contributing to global warming which in turn kills off the moose herd?

“Twenty years ago the Superior National Forest was criticized for allowing loggers to cut too many trees, especially too many large swaths of forest.

Environmental groups and others contended that so-called clear-cuts were more than just an aesthetic eyesore, but that they contributed to monocultures of small aspen trees and disrupted wildlife that depended on thick, mature forests of big, old trees.

The Forest Service responded by cutting back on cutting.

Flash-forward a couple decades, however, and plans to cut more and larger swaths of trees are getting high praise. Wildlife biologists and others say more logging and more fire are the only hope for Minnesota’s dwindling moose herd.”<<<Read More>>>

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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!

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Maine Cuts Moose Hunting Permits by “Just” 3%

Opportunity! That’s the adjunct word that is readily used today in describing hunting, fishing, and trapping. Once everyone is brainwashed into accepting the word “opportunity” as a privilege granted by the state, what else is left?

Why should I, or anyone, get riled up over a measly little 3% reduction in “opportunity” to hunt moose? Maybe I shouldn’t but that’s not the whole and truthful story in the matter.

According to what the Portland Press Herald just reported,  in 2013 the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife (MDIFW) issued 4,085 moose hunting permits. Those permits are handed out through a lottery process. Just announced by MDIFW is that this year’s permit allocation will stand at just 2,080. However, let’s make sure that Maine sportsmen understand that there is still “opportunity.” We can’t fault MDIFW’s management plans and execution of those plans because, well, we still have “opportunity.” That’s how many sportsmen see things. As I said, “opportunity” is the word.

If MDIFW keeps cutting permits, the moose numbers may recover to where 4,000 or more permits are allotted. By then the tick problem will resurface and MDIFW can find some Federal funds and/or grant money and conduct another study on the affects of winter ticks on moose, all the while never bothering to study the tick itself. It’s easier just to take what the environmentalists have perpetuated that global warming causes ticks. Science and common sense are no longer a part of the equations. Always be ruled by the demands of the social groups.

There is, however, hope…well, not really. I just like to say that, I suppose in the same fashion that fish and game departments love to promote “opportunity.”

Okay! So, we are supposed to cut the managers some slack because they are still in the middle of a moose study. Probably ten years from now, we will still be saying Maine is in the middle of a moose study. Or maybe the sharing of the results and data of this moose study will happen as efficiently as when we get harvest reports for deer, bear and moose…never? We had to find out through the grapevine that MDIFW was conducting a deer study with the major land owners of northern Maine. Evidently this study is about how protecting deer yards is having no effect on the deer. Let’s go discuss it in the coffee shop. That has always worked.

We know winter ticks are being blamed for fewer moose which results in fewer hunting permits (opportunist). I don’t have a problem with that….well, mostly not. Of course increased winter ticks has always been blamed on global warming, even though Maine’s head moose biologist says, “With moose the hypothesis that is being talked about has to do with climate, but it’s complicated. It seems spring and fall affect the winter ticks, that and high moose densities.”

Notice he did call it a hypothesis. It appears this hypothesis, like all other hypotheses, still provides the escape to blame all things on climate change. Winter ticks have been around the world since the beginning of time. Who did the first moose biologists blame the ticks on?

I refuse to even hint that Kantar is suggesting anything will ever be done about “high moose densities” unless it is done by Nature the way it has in the past 3 years. There are too many moose, causing too many ticks and those ticks are killing off the moose. The reports are that this year’s winter tick mortality has been considerably less than the previous 3. What has happened to the moose population during this time? Who knows. They won’t tell us. Is a reduction in moose population directly proportional to the reduction in ticks. Nah, it’s the drought and the cold winter. Don’t you know?

Aside from all this, the state wouldn’t dream of reducing moose populations to mitigate ticks and other diseases, including public safety and private property issues, because they fear the lobby of the environmentalists and those looking to make a buck gawking at moose. I don’t blame those looking to make a buck…but at what expense.

But, never fear. Maine sportsmen will always have their “opportunities.” Opportunities may not exist for all or even most. If you’ve got the money, you can increase your chances, even while the chances continue to dwindle. If there remain but one lone moose permit, deer permit, bear permit, etc. Mainers couldn’t complain because MDIFW has protected their opportunities.

If LD 11, a constitutional amendment said to protect hunting, fishing and trapping in Maine, were to pass, how easy it will become to protect opportunity.

Fabulous!

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Are They the King’s Moose Or Are We Now Subsidizing Maine’s Sporting Camps

According to George Smith, he reports, “DIF&W, as it has on almost all the bills this session, testified in opposition to the change.” 

The change in question here is in regards to another elitist, socialism-type, subsidized effort to give an even larger percentage of moose hunting permits to sporting camps struggling to make a go of things. If things don’t stop, all hunting permits will go to special interest groups and preferred, elitist organizations. This often means those who most are in need of meat for food, can’t afford to play or don’t stack up to some good-ole-boy’s idea of who can hunt and who can’t.

Since when is Maine now responsible for subsidizing sporting camp owners? Free Enterprise dictates that you either got a good product that is in demand or you don’t. Only socialistic/communistic societies bilk the general tax payer to subsidize a business so that government can benefit. In this case, it’s not just a subsidization, it’s a case of being able to afford the King’s ransom.

We further read, “…two national hunting trip brokers, Worldwide Trophy Adventures (A Cabela’s Partner) and Huntin’ Fool, direct clients to send a couple hundred thousand dollars to the Department, in part based on the odds of getting a tag in Maine…” And this somehow is justification for the proposed bill?

So, according to this article, the odds of winning a lottery permit to hunt a moose has dropped by 50%. Yes, the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife (MDIFW) has seen fit, despite the hundreds, perhaps thousands, of moose suffering and dying each year due to winter ticks, to reduce the number of permits issued for hunting moose, evidently to perpetuate the winter tick problem. This reduction not only involves nonresident moose hunters. It has the same effect on Maine residents, and yet some in the legislature and those totalitarian/socialists think it’s equitable to subsidize the sporting camp owners and to hell with the rest of the hunting industry, as well as the many hundreds, or thousands, of Maine residents wishing for a chance to hunt a moose.

Maine Guides and Camp Owners already dictate to the MDIFW how to run game management and hunting seasons. Perhaps it’s time to end the good ole boy’s club of elitist participation and return to a science-based management plan and an even odds chance for every Maine hunter to obtain a permit to hunt.

Evidently, some are pushing to move hunting, and in particular moose hunting, into an elitist event of which only the wealthy can participate.

Thank you MDIFW for opposing such nonsense, and many of the other preferentially biased bill proposals aimed at benefiting special interest groups.

I have sympathy for people’s business’s that take a hit for any reason. That doesn’t make it right to force license holders and tax payers to foot the bill to keep them solvent. I doubt government would subsidize my business.

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Don’t You Just Love Math?

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It Happens Every Spring

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