July 30, 2014

Trapping: Effective Management Action


Many populations of wildlife, including large- and medium-sized predators are increasing in Europe. Trapping can be one way to reduce negative impacts of predators on human interests, such as game species and threatened species, but there is little knowledge of trap usage and motivation behind it. We used a mail survey in Sweden (n?=?3,886 respondents) to compare predator trappers with hunters who used other methods to kill predators, and with other hunters who did not kill predators, in regard to sociodemographics, beliefs, behaviors, and constraints. During 12 months prior to the survey 19 % of respondents had trapped any small- or medium-sized predator, while 15 % of respondents had trapped and 55 % had hunted (without using traps) red fox (Vulpes vulpes), European badger (Meles meles), or corvid birds. Reducing predator numbers was an important reason for hunting predators with traps. Of predator trappers, 97 % had hunted species that were potentially prey of the targeted predators (e.g., roe deer [Capreolus capreolus], hare [Lepus spp.], and grouse), 94 % believed that there were too many red foxes, badgers, or corvids on their main hunting ground, and 64 % believed it to be very important to reduce predator numbers to benefit other game species. We conclude that the use of traps is widespread among Swedish hunters, and that increasing wildlife populations, increased presence of wildlife in urban areas, and management of invasive species calls for effective management actions, of which trapping can be one. (Note: This Abstract is part of the overall study results posted online. For those interested the entire study can be purchased online as well. Learn more about this by following this link.)

Ted Nugent Speaks Out Against Maine Bear Referendum

“It may not come as a surprise that rockstar and avid hunter Ted Nugent is against the referendum to ban bear baiting, hounding and trapping in Maine, and Tuesday, the famous musician made his views on the referendum clear in a email interview with the BDN.”<<<Read More>>>

The Problem With Arguing Hunting Ethics, Name Calling and Ignorance

This nonsense is endless. Even the Bangor Daily News allows anybody to publish a bunch of rude nonsense about bears and bear hunting in order, I suppose, to promote their anti-hunting agenda. If not anti-hunting, certainly to support radical, corrupt organizations such as the Humane Society of the United States.

In an opinion piece in the Bangor Daily News, a mortgage broker, presenting himself as some authority on hunting and, being an “ethical” one at that, because he lived in Alaska for a handful of years, calls those who legally choose to use baiting as a means of harvesting a bear, lazy. To him they are lazy because all they have to do is carry a bucket of bait to a site, climb into a tree and wait for a bear to appear. Obviously the man knows nothing about baiting. However, he presents “his way” of hunting as ethical and the right way. Oh really?

Josh Phillips is a lazy hunter, if one at all. He is lazy because he hunts with a gun, maybe even a bow and arrow. He probably uses scent block or some kind of lure or a masking scent. Does he use a gps so he doesn’t get lost? How about a radio? Carry a cell phone? What a lazy hunter. Perhaps a real “ethical” hunter would venture into the woods with nothing but a loin cloth and bare hands. Who died and left Josh Phillips in charge of hunting ethics?

The rest of his story is old, worn out, unsubstantiated, nonsense about how other states have magically done this and done that while at the same time increased the number of bear hunters, blah, blah, blah. Probably Mr. Phillips is a lazy writer because he didn’t “ethically” do his research to vet that misinformation being used to promote his cause. If he had he would know this repeated information is false.

Some might think that calling Mr. Phillips lazy is an insult. I say it’s calling a duck(quack) a duck(quack).

Now that we know that Mr. Phillips is better than other hunters, well, you know, those that are ” finding a bear to kill and stuff or turn into a rug,” it still doesn’t solve the problem of how the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife is going to control bear populations.

It is nonsense to think that Maine’s bear population has increased in the amounts indicated by Phillips because of baiting bears. His analogy of relationships between bears and humans and bait stations is wrong on every account. He knows little, if anything, about baiting bears, nor the differences between “feeding” bears in back yards and carefully and strategically placing “bait” in remote areas.

I see the issue as one of the Humane Society of the United States wishing to steal the necessary tools away from the Maine wildlife management department in order to promote their bigger agenda of ending hunting. I wonder if Mr. Phillips has considered that his support of the Humane Society to end bear baiting, trapping and hounding, drives one more nail in the coffin of his beloved hunting experiences? For this reason, I doubt that he is much of a hunter at all. He appears as the typical person who condemns other choices of sport believing his own choice is THE ONLY one.

To compare bears and bear hunting in Maine to that of Colorado, Oregon or any other state further exemplifies the ignorance of the subject matter being discussed. Do your homework. Know your subject matter.

If Mr. Phillips really is a hunter and if Mr. Phillips chooses, because he is allowed legally to have a choice, to be nothing more than a stocker of game in the woods, that is his choice and I certainly respect that. His wish to steal choices from others is no different than should I campaign to make hunter an matter of loin cloths and bare hands. I doubt Phillips would like that much.

Ethics while hunting, as guided by hunting regulations devised for game management and public safety, is a subjective matter driven by personal choice. I don’t want to take away Mr. Phillips choices why does he want to take away mine?

The real issue here is the ability to be able to manage bears to provide a healthy bear population. How can that be done with the wildlife manager’s hands bound behind their backs?

Old Hunter says:


Who’s Brainwashing Who?

A recent opinion piece found in the Portland Press Herald (Maine) says that the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife’s claim that stopping bear baiting, bear trapping and bear hounding will cause an increase in bear population, perhaps threatening public safety, is “baloney” and “brainwashing the public.” How about one of these brainwashed individuals, like who wrote this letter to the editor, provide some scientific research about the “millions of pounds” of food they claim hunters are dumping in the woods each year? Or that baiting bears is the same as feeding them in your backyard, and that baiting bears is what is causing the continued increase in bear population throughout Maine. That’s because there isn’t any. In case the writer isn’t aware, the use of propaganda (false information) repeated over and over again, results in brainwashing.


Opinions Are Like……….Well, Never Mind

Readers should ALWAYS be reminded that letters to the editor of newspapers are only opinions no matter how inaccurate a writers claims might be. It is quite astounding that some people can present seemingly continuous claims about Maine bear hunting while providing absolutely nothing of value to substantiate those claims. As a reader you are left with total disregard for what is contained in the opinion piece. It should be also noted that providing links to other’s opinions does not make for credible information to back claims.

This happened recently in the Bangor Daily News when a woman, passing herself off as someone who, “hunted as hard as any man for 30 years when I was younger,” states that people should support the upcoming bear hunting referendum to ban hunting bears with bait, hounds and trapping with snares.

I’ve addressed most all of these issues in the past. However, there is one issue that this author brought up that needs some attention as well; that of sportsmanship and hunting ethics.

The author says that Maine has a “time-honored principle of fair chase” and that game should have a “reasonable” chance to escape a hunter. I wonder if the 30-years of hunting “as hard as any man” can remember some of those “time-honored” principles when bears were slaughtered due to unregulated hunting? That the bear population had diminished to near unsustainable levels due to that “time-honored” tradition of fair chase? That heritage of “fair chase” might be more myth than reality.

The problem with discussing ethics in hunting is complex and too much of what is considered sportsmanlike and ethical is left to the individual beliefs and governed by laws crafted by fish and game authorities to provide a degree of public safety along with what becomes necessary to control populations of game species. The author makes the claim the Maine doesn’t “bait” for other species like moose and deer because “it’s not fair chase.” Maine has a very limited deer and moose population and so that while providing opportunities for all hunters to fill their freezers there must be limits on tools used in the “fair chase” to also limit harvest. If Maine was overrun with deer, it can be expected that laws would be changed to find ways to increase the harvest of deer and moose. If it then is an individual’s choice and belief system of what is and is not “fair chase” and decides to opt out of baiting, then more power to the individual. Perhaps to resort back to hunting with an atlatl would be ethical and fair chase enough. Then again there are those extremists who think any form of hunting at all is unethical. Who gets to decide what you believe? Legislating ethics and fair chase is something that should never happen.

When anyone inserts the word “reasonable” as a means of describing fair chase, then any definition is completely lost, as it should be. So, then, what is fair chase? Is hunting with a GPS fair chase? Using a rifle scope? Scent locked clothing? Buck lures and doe scents? Calling by mouth, with a hand-held device or electronic call? Every individual can draw their own line of ethics. Claiming bear hunting by hounds or baiting for hunting or trapping is not fair chase obviously in not to this writer but to many others, within the law, it is fair chase and they should have that right. I shouldn’t dictate to this writer what she should maintain for fair chase ethics and I expect the same in return.

Massing words together in a rant about other people’s perceptions of fair chase and ethics involving hunting does nothing to convince anyone that ending the current means of available hunting and trapping methods for black bears is a worthy goal.

Old Hunter says:


PA Bear Population Has Quadrupled…….Without Baiting

“Pennsylvania’s black bear population has nearly quadrupled since the 1970s, and black bears have reestablished themselves in upper Bucks County. Officials say this leads to more frequent sightings in suburban areas, particularly as young male bears forage for food and free land in early summer.”<<<Read More>>>

Those in Maine fighting to rid the landscape of their perceived inhumane bear hunting, argue that the implementation of bait to lure a bear to a shooting area, causes bears to get fatter and thus increases the number of offspring causing the bear population to rise which results in increased encounters between humans and the beast. If that is true, which it’s not, then how do you explain Pennsylvania’s claim that their bear population has grown by a multiple of 4 and they don’t utilize bear baiting as a management tool?

An Editorial On Bears That Should Be Deemed Criminal

The Times Record of Maine, carried an editorial (behind a pay wall) about bears. There was no name attached to the writing so I am to assume it was written by the editorial staff. If so, the Times Record should consider firing the person or persons responsible for such inaccurate, misleading and idealistic nonsense. The credibility of this media source has been seriously compromised.

What I decided to do was to simply make a list of the inaccurate statements this editorial contains and I’ve taken the time to not include opinions.

1. Black bears are Maine’s largest predators — at least until the polar bears arrive, owing to global warming. Does the editorial staff not understand that polar bears live in the arctic ice regions and that global warming will NOT force the polar bears to migrate south to Maine where it’s even warmer? If it were April 1st, I would consider this an April Fool’s joke.

2. Black bears are more docile than their bigger cousins, grizzly bears and polar bears Studies have proven otherwise. Grizzles and polar bears are generally bigger in size but the black bear tends to be the more aggressive.

3. When a bear is baited, if it doesn’t step into the trap the humans set, the bear becomes habituated to human food. WHAT?????? I would comment on this if I knew what it meant.

4. …terrified by packs of dogs, some of whom may not survive the “hunt” themselves, chased down until the dogs tear it apart. This writer obviously knows nothing about hounding for bear. Dogs do not “Tear it [bear] apart.” They send it up a tree. While it sometimes happens, hounds do not often get killed hounding bears.

5. …lured by those donuts, the bear stumbles into a trap, where it may remain in pain and suffering for days. Trappers are required by law to check on traps every 24 hours. Bears are caught in a snare that is NOT painful in anyway to a bear and the trapper has the option of harvesting the bear or releasing it from the snare, unharmed. At times trappers come upon their traps to find the caught bear sleeping.

6. Bears are too intelligent, and too important to the health of the ecosystem. This is unproven “romance” biology. It is only idealistic theology that bears are important to any ecosystem. Nature does not “balance itself.”

7. Bears are needed to keep the deer and wild boar population in check. While bears are a predator of white-tailed deer in Maine, bears are not “needed” to keep deer populations in check. Maine is on the northern fringe of the habitat range for white-tailed deer and the Pine Tree State has never had a problem with too many deer. As a matter of fact, too many black bears at this time are contributing to a very unhealthy and in some instances unsustainable deer population. And WILD BOAR POPULATIONS? There is help for people who see pink elephants and hear voices talking to them in their heads.

8. …bears will dispatch sick deer and excess feral pigs, keeping their herds healthy. Again this is romance biology crap. All predators are opportunistic hunters. Bear tend to target newly born deer fawns. Adult deer can be killed but usually is done in “ambush” but is difficult to do. Like all other misinformed romance biologists, predators do NOT selectively cull sick and lame prey species. To make such a claim is to suggest that a predator is intelligent enough to recognize a “sick” deer while disregarding that if they are that intelligent they are also intelligent enough to pick out the most desirable of the prey species, like pregnant animals. Fetuses are a delicacy you know. Note: Still not sure what part of Texas this writer came from but I suppose for this person’s benefit, I’ll say that so far the black bears in Maine have done a stellar job of keeping feral pig populations in check.

9. Bear populations are subject to the same pressures other animal species face, and their own young are often prey for bobcats, coyotes, and other male bears. Oh, my! Bears are NOT subject to the same pressures. All animals within a dynamic ecosystem are pressured by completely different variants. It is a known fact that some male bears will kill bear cubs, however, I would like to see this writer’s evidence that bobcats and coyotes regularly prey on bear cubs.

10. In other states that have restricted baiting and trapping, they have seen bear populations stabilize and fewer encounters in towns and cities. This simply is not the case. If you believe the media reports, spoon fed by the predator protectors, you are a fool. When you examine the actual data that is being collected, we discover that bear populations have NOT stabilized nor have human encounters gone down. Most often human/bear encounters happen more frequently for two reasons. One, there are too many bears competing for the same habitat, including food supply. Two, the amount of natural food available, due to environmental circumstances, is in short supply forcing bears to find food anywhere they can.

11. Bear baiting encourages bear forays into populated areas, This is another example of romance biology’s talking points and unfounded rhetoric. While it may be true that bears that frequent human settlements do so because they have discovered where the source is, bear baiters do not set up shop in town. The overwhelming majority of bear baiting takes place is remote and isolated areas. It is fact that during many years when natural food for bears is in abundance, bear hunters who use bait have a very difficult time in getting bears to come to bait. Perhaps the one item in the editorial that was correct was: “…bears are more likely to consume grubs, other insects, and vegetative matter, including berries and nuts, and fish.” Bears do NOT prefer stale, day-old donuts.

Old Hunter says:


Understanding Bear Trapping and The Humane Society of the United States

Another Predator Taking Control of People’s Lives

The fisher, Martes pennanti, now can be found just about everywhere in Connecticut; enough so that people are beginning to see them in their back yards…….really? Claimed to be nocturnal, one science teacher, captured one on video during the middle of the day.

And as one has become accustomed to hear, “Officials from DEEP also say it’s unlikely “fisher cats” will bother humans. Officials recommend removing any food sources such as garbage cans from your property.”

The bit of irony in this story is that wildlife officials in 1988 captured fisher cats in Vermont and New Hampshire and introduced them into the northwestern area of the state. Now, since 2005, licensed trappers can harvest the animals for often times valuable fur.

Connecticut awaits the Loup Garou!


Radical Groups Intend to Sue Idaho to Protect Canada Lynx

LynxintrapThe usual suspects, those lust-after wolf perverts at the Center for Biological Diversity, Western Watersheds Project and Friends of the Clearwater, plan to do what they do best and sue the State of Idaho believing they are protecting the Canada lynx. These three groups will get what they want and probably more. My advice to Idaho is to just sit down and work out a plan that will essentially stop just about all trapping in lynx habitat. Going to court is a winless battle and a waste of money.

Gasp! I’m sure I will hear from the trappers and the haters of the environmentalist greedy pigs who lust more for money than saving any kind of wildlife, wanting to know why I am saying this. Just look at what happened in Maine. And where is Maine now in their trapping issues and how it pertains to protecting the Canada lynx? It is just surprising that Idaho has gotten away without making changes in their trapping regulations that are believed to help protect the lynx.

First, readers should understand that the Canada lynx, like the gray wolf, like the polar bear and God only knows how many other species romance, back-seat biologists cry out to protect, are not in any danger of being threatened, endangered, or extirpated. But in this day and age of new-science scientist and romance biologists, barking like underfed canines themselves, demanding “new understandings” and a “shift in paradigms” is there any wonder science and reality have absolutely nothing anymore to do with wildlife management. It’s about sick and often perverted dreams of “coexisting” with nasty animals. Best Available Science has become best romantic model.

So, then, what is it about? Mostly it’s about ignorance and what we see is the result of years of planned brainwashing. Is there any other explanation for human behavior that is……well, not human?

The real travesty in all of this is that either there is no real intent to protect the Canada lynx or the ignorance, the result of an inability to think beyond the next lawsuit, cannot fathom that while these environmentalist groups (and by God please let’s stop calling them “conservationists.” They just are not that at all.) wrongly believe that ecosystems would “balance” themselves if man would butt out, they themselves butt in like man does to change what is naturally happening. Does it make any sense? Of course not.

The cry is for wolves to be forced back into places they once lived a hundred and more years ago, with no consideration of the changes to the landscape in 100 years, while disregarding history. The perverse belief that wolves are magical and will create this fabricated “trophic cascade” of Nirvanic spender simply by existing will make everything a miracle or two, like the Candy Man can.

With the absence of critical thinking, it appears none of these shallow thinkers comprehends what competes with the Canada lynx and places it in greater danger of being run out of or killed off in Idaho. Because of the inbred hatred of the existence of the human species, they believe it is only humans that cause wildlife problems. Irrational thoughts of balanced wildlife proportions prevents them from existing in reality and therefore no thought is given to the fact that the wolves they long to protect and protect and protect some more, until everyone has 1 or 12 living in their back yard, kills far more Canada lynx than does a handful of trappers and yet the focus becomes the outrage that three lynx were incidentally captured in traps in the past two years. Two lynx were released unharmed and a third was shot by a trapper thinking the animal was a bobcat.

The “new understanding” and the “paradigm shifts” perpetuated by new-science scientism is this: Man is evil. Get rid of man and ecosystems will flourish and be in balance. However, the radicals can interfere in the management of all wildlife providing it is done their way.

There is no escape. Maine went to court over Canada lynx and the trappers lost; so did the lynx. The trappers always lose. But Maine had a way out. The Courts gave them a way out. Maine operates under a consent agreement, which is probably what Idaho will end up under. The judge in the Maine case said the terms of the consent agreement would remain in affect until such time that the state obtains an Incidental Take Permit from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS). That was over 5 years ago and Maine has failed miserably in not pushing the USFWS for a permit. Such a permit would stop these kinds of lawsuits but bear in mind that the USFWS, an agency riddled with new-science scientists and balance of nature perverts, is going to place such ridiculous restrictions on trapping in order to get a permit, that the restrictions essentially end trapping.

As a good friend recently stated, it’s impossible to fight against a rigged system. The entire wildlife management industry is simply one small part of a corrupt and rigged system, enabled by “True Believers” and useful idiots with zero knowledge or understanding that they fight for all those things that are against them. Does that make any sense?

If it was suggested that we protect all predators and all animals at all costs and begin killing off the only problem these sick people think exists – humans, that they would do it? Do they not see this is precisely what they are asking for? Do they not realize that they are humans too? Do these same people believe the lie of protecting a desert tortoise is so valuable it is worth the life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness of one man and his family? The potential exists here for something more costly.

It’s a rigged system and the system is so large, few can see it.