November 18, 2019

It’s Hard To Believe But The Eyes See True

I did ten miles in the Frank Church a few days ago.. Where the trails I walked since the 70-80s-90s were elk and deer highways. Later on in the late 90s- to 2007-08 those same trails became wolf highways.

Now, the last few years, 2010-2019 those trails are nothing walks them highways. It’s puzzling. I met a couple from Oregon in there and they asked me, where are the elk? I said wolf. And walked on..

Now my thought is this.. IDFG has been lying about elk and deer populations. And not only that, they are lying about wolf population as well.

I think they’re lying about the harvest report data for those three species.. I don’t think IDFG nor the Federal government, USFWS, wants us to know the truth.. Those agencies combined wildlife management has become a tragedy here in Idaho.

Another tragedy is taking place as of yesterday, 10-15-19. IDFG let out 5,000 elk tags for the combined units of 43-44-48-49-50.. They will likely claim 500 elk harvested.

Fortunately, as I was in hunt unit 43-44 yesterday for the day.. The empty camp grounds and THs might possibly mean that IDFGs lies are catching up to them.. The back country has been sterile of wildlife for years. The rural areas private lands are holding some elk..

I did not hear a single shot fired in unit 43. I have not seen magpies nor crows back there in years.. No bear scat, no wolf tracks, coyotes, wolverines, cougars..

It’s hard to believe the obvious mismanagement of wildlife..

I expect the trespassing citations are about to boom.. Because the land holders don’t want elk hunters on their land..

Things have seriously devolved here in Idaho concerning wildlife since 1995.. It’s a tragedy..

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Combined “Brilliance” at North American Moose Conference

It is most difficult to get reliable and accurate information from just about ANY media source. Here is but one example.

I did not attend this conference on moose. All that I have had a chance to read about it I found in this Bangor Daily News article. As readers, we must understand that information contained in this article is from the perspective of the author…period. If the author is a Climate Change zealot, naturally the article will only provide support for their religious beliefs, perhaps overlooking contrary data or information provided. It matters not the complete outcome of the conference and all thoughts and determinations, the readers are subjected to personal perspectives of the author regardless of the writer’s intentions.

Having said this, this remains an attempt at sharing some thoughts and my own perspective on what I know about the North American Moose Conference, combined with years of knowledge and research about moose and in particular moose ticks and large predator mortality.

According to the article in question, Maine appears to be the only state (region) where the winter tick is killing off the moose herd. (Makes one wonder if that is true and Climate Change is the cause, aren’t these other areas being subjected to the same Climate Change?) I will make a note right now that compared to the other regions where biologists in attendance at the conference said ticks aren’t the problem, Maine has gobs more moose than any of the other regions. Is there a correlation? And why does Maine have gobs more moose? Does the spruce budworm after effects have anything to do with it? Does growing an artificially high number of moose related?

Keeping in line with the unreliability of good and accurate news information, we also read that in Minnesota, one attendee said, “We had a very high neo-nate mortality. And two-thirds of that was wolf predation.”

I will most certainly guarantee that if you were to contact the Minnesota authorities about wolf predation and moose survival, the “official” line would state nothing about wolves killing off the moose herd. Regardless of long-time historical accounts from Minnesota that wolves have always had devastating effects on moose herds, officials there will tell you the problem is…you guessed it – Climate Change. Who let this person out?

The article in question states that the problems with moose herd management throughout North America varies from ticks, to predation by wolves, to disease, to unregulated hunting, etc. but it just seems an irresistible result of brainwashing that Climate Change is the problem. I can’t help but wonder how much good scientific study has been destroyed or wasted due to catechized indoctrination of the false impacts of a man-created religion (politics) of global warming – now generically referred to as Climate Change?

Perhaps there is some hope. It has taken many years for Maine, with a few years of moose study under their belt, to admit that winter ticks might be destroying the moose herd. There has also been some hints that perhaps an artificially inflated herd is responsible for an intensification of the the winter tick.

I have stated in the past that if scientists want to blame the problems of moose management on the winter tick, maybe it’s time to do some studying of the winter tick. There is danger in that these days, as there is danger in any, so-called, scientific research. Scientism rules and most “scientific” research is nothing but useless garbage that mostly better represents a good dose of propaganda – outcome based research – it’s where the money is.

However, there are signs that there needs to be better studies (not influenced by the false demons of Climate Change) about the tick.

In a separate article, also found in the Bangor Daily News, about how this winter tick “quests” and finds a winter home on board a warm, blood-filled moose, we read some comments from attendees at this conference about that winter tick that remains mostly misunderstood and wrongly said to thrive on “Climate Change.” (Whatever conveniently fits the narrative of the day.)

They got it right about how ticks climb vegetation in the Fall and lie in wait for a moose to walk by at such time they jump on the moose for a long winter’s ride participating in the blood letting…if you will.

They also get it partly right when they state that “early snow” will “…knocks that vegetation down and knocks the ticks down on the ground.”

This is a bit misleading though. At the time that the winter tick is questing (late Summer or early Fall – around the same time that the moose is rutting which adds to the enhanced possibility of getting ticks due to increased travel) what are the chances of “early snow?” And what are the chances that this “early snow” is substantial enough to “knocks that vegetation down and knocks the ticks down on the ground?”

Just about never. In regions throughout Maine, rutting and questing happen most often long before “early snow.”

While it may be fun to talk about and wish for “early snow,” none of us have any control over that weather and leaving it to chance (Mother Nature) wishing and wanting will do absolutely nothing to responsibly manage a moose herd.

Also mentioned as a deterrent to the tick population is drought. Once again, this may be an accurate claim, but perhaps the chances of a drought in the Fall being an effective killer of ticks are about as good as “early snow.”

Most often discussed in tick gabbing circles is the need for a lot of snow and cold to “kill the ticks.” This is really what I’ve come to call Romance Biology or Voodoo Science (coined by former USFWS biologist Jim Beers). For winters to be cold enough, long enough you have to approach the Arctic Circle. That’s why ticks aren’t a problem on Alaska moose.

As a side note, a biologist from Alaska made this statement: “Winter ticks aren’t a problem there. They don’t exist.”

Not to lose the point of his perspective of winter ticks in Alaska, but it is not totally accurate to say winter ticks “don’t exist” there. They may exist but negligibly. And the reason they might exist is because irresponsible researchers took winter ticks into that region just to see if they would survive. They did and that’s how you have “some” ticks in that region.

If one spends all their time focusing on how “early snow” and “drought” can have an effect on moose, sensible things are overlooked in exchange for blaming the lack of “early snow” or lack of a drought on Climate Change – a hopeless and irresponsible excuse for doing nothing. You can’t get rid of the winter tick. They are a viable species that can survive in extreme heat and drought as well as moisture and extreme cold temperatures. And we have no control over that. We do have control over the number of moose (food supply) we manage.

What studies that do exist on the winter tick, can tell us that a better deterrent in tick questing is wind. Ticks can’t hang on to vegetation forever and strong winds, which odds are probably better to have than early snow or drought, knock the ticks off vegetation forcing them to begin their quest back up the plants. Persistent winds could be quite effective. Maybe someone needs to make a claim that winds, or lack thereof, is a product of Climate Change.

Completely missing from this one news article is any discussion about reducing the moose population in order to reduce the tick population. Among sensible biologists (mostly those not overwhelmed by Climate Change) the ONLY way to mitigate winter ticks is to mitigate the number of moose….period.

Most of us don’t really know all that was discussed at this moose conference. All we have here is a little bit of information about Maine’s problem in dealing with winter ticks and the toll it is taking on the state’s moose herd.

Perhaps someday, if the Scientismists don’t completely win out, somebody will figure this all out. We could do as some suggest and let Nature do the job of management but I assure all readers, that’s not the ugly, rotten mess we really want to be subjected too.

Seriously, it’s time to can the false claims associated with the politics and religion of global warming and get down to some real, honest scientific research of value.

In case you might not have figured it out yet, I’m not holding my breath waiting.

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Advice and Suggestions to the Maine Department of Fish and Wildlife

A reader sent me a copy of the Maine Sportsman, specifically George Smith’s article about his “advise” to the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife (MDIFW). After reading it, I thought perhaps I would offer something similar. Sometimes I am accused of being only critical of the MDIFW seldom offering constructive criticism or even suggestions on better or different ways in which to do things.

Smith writes of the need to “unlock that door” that prohibits visitors access to the commissioner of the MDFIW. I understand the concept and how convenient it would be to just “drop in” someday and chat with the commissioner. I would like to think that the real situation playing at the offices of the MDIFW has more to do with security than a want to lock themselves up and separate them from the public. I might be wrong. We do live in a strange time in which most people are always aware and subjected to enhanced security measures.

TURKEYS

George writes about what he would do about turkey management and the role that hunting plays in that management. For the most part I think he brings up some good points, i.e. too many turkeys, too few hunters, and the barrier of license fees that prohibit more people from trying or getting involved in turkey hunting and harvesting a turkey that would aide the MDIFW with their management goals.

Originally, I had thought that Smith’s idea of including turkey hunting as part of a Big Game Hunting License wouldn’t fly because the MDIFW would not be willing to give up that revenue from turkey license fees. Is there a trade-off here? Will somehow opening up the turkey season to reduced cost (and loss of fees to MDIFW) be made up in other ways? Perhaps.

I think that consensus must be reached as to whether there are too many turkeys and how critical it is that turkey populations be reduced. If, more people gained interest in turkey hunting, perhaps down the road, as populations came more in line with management goals, turkey license fees could be levied again. If a reduction in the number of turkeys is urgently needed, and I think if we haven’t gotten there yet we soon will, then the MDIFW must do what is expedient to make the reductions in numbers necessary to be responsible for the healthy management of these game birds.

FISHERIES

Fisheries is far from my strong point and knowledge base. I am not at all that qualified to offer the MDIFW advice on how to specifically manage the fisheries in the State of Maine. How fortunate for some.

MOOSE

Odd isn’t it, in many ways, that some are opposed to the reduction of moose populations to mitigate the winter ticks’ destruction of the moose herd but think nothing about advocating the complete destruction of a herd of deer to get rid of Lyme disease. Perhaps if more evidence pointed a finger at the health risk to humans from the winter tick, mindsets might change.

I have written extensively on Maine’s moose and what I believe to be the need to bring the moose population in Maine to levels that seriously reduce the presence and perpetuation of winter ticks that are inhumanely and unnecessarily causing moose to suffer and die during long and cold winters.

Smith laments about the loss of businesses associated with moose watching now that Mother Nature took over where wildlife management failed. During the heyday of the overgrown moose populations, some scrambled and took advantage, as any good entrepreneur might do, looking for ways to exploit the abundant moose for profit. It might have been fun while it lasted but the lesson that should be learned here might be at what price do we exploit any wildlife animal for lucre? As grown adults we should see that having enough moose around that many got into the business of moose watching tours was but a flash in that pan. Time to move on. We have learned that attempting to grow moose in numbers for capitalistic enterprises is a terrible thing to do to the animal – part of the downside of attempting to manage any species while being driven by social demands.

More recent studies are suggesting what some of us knew a long time ago – that too many moose was the cause of the aggressive expanse of winter ticks resulting in high mortality rates on the large beast.

The MDIFW should move quickly to determine at what population Maine’s moose will be most healthy while still providing opportunities for Maine residents to harvest a moose and fill their freezers.

I suggest that the MDIFW, once establishing moose populations, based on sound science and not social demands, issue enough permits or a long enough season to bring the population under a control that reduces the tick infestation. Once that is accomplished, permit for the future can be issued accordingly. Letting Mother Nature do the job is not only irresponsible but is a waste of a terrific natural resource.

DEER

Smith tells readers that the MDIFW stopped managing deer in northern Maine and only “manages” moose. I don’t know if this is actually an official position taken by the MDIFW, but it appears there is at least quite a bit of evidence to support that statement.

Smith claims that because Maine failed to protect winter habitat in Northern and Western Maine, the deer herd “was lost.” I concur the deer herd was lost but I think it had other influences than just a loss of habitat. A lot of things have changed over the years, one thing being the behavior of the deer. While deer are learning how to adapt to that loss of winter habitat, we humans remain locked in our unadaptable behavior of insisting on things being the way they were when our fathers hunted the whitetails.

Each time I have listened to the worn out excuse that deer have disappeared because of loss of winter habitat, I have always asked why, if that is true, thousands of acres of old winter habitat, still in winter habitat condition, is void of deer? Never an answer.

Loss of winter habitat in the classical sense, can and does have an effect on the deer population. Attempting to somehow “manage” deer to return to unwanted winter habitat, is an example of managers failing to learn and adjust to changes of the deer population and their habits. When we see this failure, one can’t help but wonder how much we can rely on the deer managers “estimate” of deer populations and other management shortcomings.

We failed to learn quickly enough that attempting to manage moose populations at high enough levels that tourism benefitted, the moose herd suffered terribly due to exposure and anemia from blood sucking winter ticks. Deer populations are suffering but perhaps in different ways because the ecosystem in which they have traditionally comfortably inhabited have and are changing. The deer are adapting as best they can but our management tactics are not. Evidently the preference is to give up.

Too many moose compete with deer. Too many large predators kill deer and fawns and this is challenging the stability of the deer population and in some places we are witnessing the unsustainability of a deer herd. Are we to just blame it on loss of winter habitat and Climate Change or should we be responsible stewards of our wild game animals?

If we are to mitigate the cause for the lack of deer in portions of Northern and Western Maine, isn’t the responsible thing to do is to reduce the bear and coyote populations to give the deer a chance? If we simply stop deer management because loss of habitat and Climate Change is the excuse, what then can we expect of all of our game and wildlife species going forward?

Managers have a responsibility to care for all of these game species. Giving up on one species in certain areas, tells me that there is lack of knowledge and poor management skills involved. The epitome of wildlife management failures is giving in to some man’s fictitious notion that the globe is warming and the northern border of the whitetail deer’s habitat is moving south, while our neighbors to the north continue to work at managing their deer. If Climate Change is causing such chaos that is forcing the destruction of habitat for deer, then it makes sense that other more northern species are migrating south according to the changes. Is this happening? No. A warming climate, as claimed, should be reducing the affects of severe winters. Is that happening? No.

There’s little more that managers can do to stop the perceived reduction of winter habit and deer habitat in general short of demanding more totalitarian tactics to take property and property rights away from people and corporations. It’s easy, from afar, to stand in judgement over landowners, demanding they relinquish their rights as property owners in order to enhance the habitat of any wild animal. The tough part to deer management is maximizing what is left and working in earnest to make the best of what we have. Even if deer densities in Northern and Western Maine aren’t at ideal levels, is that reason enough to simply walk away and say, we tried?

There is no need to kill off all the coyotes/wolves in Maine or reduce bear populations to levels that give us more deer than are needed to balance a very valuable resource. All that is stopping this effort is the MDIFW’s insistence on caving to social demands. I suppose to them in the short term it is easier to cave in than to stand up to those demands supported by strong scientific evidence. And that may be the actual problem. Does the MDIFW have or want the strong scientific evidence?

BEAR

The MDIFW has a very good bear study program. Some claim that program is the envy of all other fish and wildlife departments. Only radical animal rights groups or individuals would argue that there are too many bear. The MDIFW publicly admits they need to reduce the bear population, but so far, have done little to solve that problem. Perhaps they are moving at a speed that only politics and social demands allow them. Time for change.

Having too many bears presents several problems – public safety and a disruption of population goals of other species such as deer and moose. Fortunately, bear hibernate, otherwise God only knows what kind of destruction they would wreak on weakened deer in deer wintering areas.

Some studies suggest that the presence of bear has more negative impact on deer than do coyotes/wolves. Maybe the current studies that the MDIFW are conducting on moose and deer will help us gain better understanding on this concept.

Regardless, it appears Maine must reduce bear populations. But how? One problem that jumps out immediately is the power of the guides and outfitters placing demands on the MDIFW to manage bears according to their wishes that would best maximize their business profits. While it is understandable that this is important to the private enterprises, should the MDIFW continue to allow increased public safety concerns and actual reductions in deer populations, and perhaps even moose, simply to appease these groups? Of course not, but when will the MDIFW move to do anything about it? Perhaps the time is now.

Like with turkey hunting, Maine needs to find easier and less expensive ways to encourage more hunters to take up the challenge. Hunters that have little interest in bear hunting might change their mind if hunting bear were part of a Big Game License all the time during open season on bear.

Bag limits should be raised. The late summer bear hunt should have a minimum of a two-bear limit – perhaps three in some areas. If that doesn’t do the trick, then a Spring bear hunt may be necessary. Regulations can be employed to mitigate the killing of cubs as has been proven in other places that have Spring bear hunts.

The MIDFW has done a respectable job of working to ward off the radical animal rights groups bent on closing down bear hunting. They should increase and improve this effort to include everything they do with wildlife management. Two bear referendums have proven that maintaining a passive posture and making management decisions based on social demands is not only irresponsible, but ridiculous, almost childish. If wildlife managers and their administration don’t have or believe the science necessary to responsibly managed their wildlife, they should be out of a job. There should be little room given to social demands when it comes to scientifically managing game.

OPERATIONS

There are certain aspects of running a fish and game department that should be within the control of the commissioner, who, of course, answers to the governor. Open and closed seasons should be within the control of the commissioner. That person, along with the managers and biologists in the department, are the ones who should know what is going on and what is needed, not the Humane Society of the United States, other animal rights groups, or even the Legislature. Such social and political powers spoil any scientific approach at wildlife management. It may take an act of the Legislature to effect such changes.

We live in a time where these powerful animal rights and environmentalists have gained control over our factories of higher indoctrination. The result of this is now showing up in our fish and game departments where the concerns are more about the “rights” of animals and away from a consumptive, use of a natural resources approach to wildlife management.

Scientifically, it has been proven that the North American Model of Wildlife Management works. Those opposed to this form of wildlife management know this and have been working tireless to “change the way wildlife management is discussed.” Along with this has come the social demands to place equal rights and protections on animals as are given to humans.

Outdoor advocates, hunters, trappers, fishermen, as well as all those who understand and believe in the necessity of consumptive use to best manage and control wildlife, should demand that the commissioner be more selective and demanding of those that are hired as biologists and wildlife managers. Candidates should be screened as to their idealism and positions on animal rights and hunting, fishing, and trapping. To responsibly utilize hunting and fishing as part of the overall plans for wildlife management, cannot have room for animal rights advocates or those opposed to this system.

Some have called for money from general taxation to support the MDIFW. It is my opinion this would be a very big mistake. First of all, before any MORE money is dumped in the lap of this department, a complete audit should be undertaken so that all will know exactly what every penny is spent on and where every penny comes from to run the department. If more money is needed, then that has to come from fee increases and not from general taxation. Here’s why.

With money sent to the MDIFW from general taxation, along with it will be demands from the general taxpayer for bigger representation. This opens the door even further for more infiltration by environmentalists who want to “change the way we discuss wildlife management.”

We have seen this already. Where once the MDIFW used to be the department of fish and game, other states have gotten rid of their fish and game names completely, replaced with departments of natural resources.

With a weakening of the managerial understanding and knowledge of how wildlife management should run, further expedites the dreaded end to responsible wildlife management, replaced by VooDoo Science and Romance Biology.

The only way the MDIFW can survive as a bonafide fish and game department is if it remains out of the control of Environmentalism.

The MDIFW does many things well. Some things they have little control over. Certainly there is room for improvement and if others, like me, realize that if we don’t do something to change those things that are sending us in the wrong direction and away from the North American Model of Wildlife Management, the good that we enjoy now will soon be lost. Let’s not let that happen.

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The Land That Over Time Most Minds Forgot

Where the minds were made to believe they can believe anything they want…

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