September 22, 2018

Unanswered Questions About “Bat Gates?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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THE Wolf Syllabus

By James Beers:

The following talk was given at a Wolf Symposium by Dr. Geist, a retired Canadian environment professor.  Dr Geist is an internationally recognized scholar and consultant in the subject of predators, predation and changing ecosystems; particularly as this involves wolves. 

I am proud to say that Dr. Geist, a man for whom I have the greatest respect and highest regard, has been both an acquaintance and colleague for many years. 

This “Banquet and Wolf Symposium” was, in my opinion, a smoke screen in the latest subterfuge by uber-rich Americans, non-government organizations and federal bureaucrats to introduce and protect wolves In Colorado to complicate wolf control in Wyoming, circumvent wolf opposition in New Mexico and place wolves ever-closer to The Great Plains where they will duplicate their impacts seen to date throughout much of the West.  

Utah, reportedly, has no established wolf packs and through adept political wrangling has prevented federal bureaucrats from asserting their legal intention to introduce or protect wolves in Utah. This political maneuvering is largely due to Big Game Forever, a Utah-founded and based hunters organization that for about a decade has steered a somewhat maverick role between Washington politicians and bureaucrats, and national non-government organizations of all stripes.  

A former Ted Turner employee and Montana legislator recently kicked off a campaign to introduce wolves into Colorado.  The “usual suspects” came forth (Denver/Colorado Springs/Fort Collins” “wolves only improve the world” crowd to a hodgepodge of ranchers, hunters, rural dog owners, and shepherds that saw what lay ahead but appeared powerless to stop it.  The next step was this “Banquet and Wolf Symposium” sponsored by the Utah-based Big Game Forever to bring together “experts, scientists and decision-makers”.  Fortunately, Dr. Geist was asked to speak, and speak he did. 

I believe Dr. Geist’s talk is the best comprehensive information presentation on wolves that I have read.  It is for this reason that I am forwarding this presentation.  If you or anyone you know is involved in the wolf issue or may be involved in the future with the wolf issue, or has noticed their kids being propagandized about wolves, or that simply likes wildlife and is concerned about America’s future rural environment – Please Share This with Them. 

As to the future of wolves in Colorado, a colleague recently told me that after cutting through all the “science” and smoke: if the Democrat wins the Governor’s race in November (a likely outcome in the heavily urban population and increasingly Magnet-State for liberals fleeing high-tax western states and even high-tax Eastern states) Wolves Will Be Introduced into and Protected in Colorado. 

Luckily, Dr. Geist is Canadian and one of those all-but-extinct endangered species candidates – a professor with Integrity.  He ignores the politics and does a masterful job of saying what I am sure the majority of banqueters neither expected nor wanted to hear. 

Thank you Dr.Geist. 

Jim Beers

4 September 2018

If you found this worthwhile, please share it with others.  Thanks.

Jim Beers is a retired US Fish & Wildlife Service Wildlife Biologist, Special Agent, Refuge Manager, Wetlands Biologist, and Congressional Fellow. He was stationed in North Dakota, Minnesota, Nebraska, New York City, and Washington DC.  He also served as a US Navy Line Officer in the western Pacific and on Adak, Alaska in the Aleutian Islands.  He has worked for the Utah Fish & Game, Minneapolis Police Department, and as a Security Supervisor in Washington, DC.  He testified three times before Congress; twice regarding the theft by the US Fish & Wildlife Service of $45 to 60 Million from State fish and wildlife funds and once in opposition to expanding Federal Invasive Species authority.  He resides in Eagan, Minnesota with his wife of many decades.

You can receive future articles by sending a request with your e-mail address to:   jimbeers7@comcast.net

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Futility

I am here to tell you why the wolf does not belong into settled landscapes. Wolves do unbelievable damage to wildlife, they do great damage to agriculture, they pose a real threat to public health and safety, and they kill humans under now well-known circumstances. Moreover, after all the pain, suffering and deprivations that wolves inflict on people in settled landscapes, after the enormous public expenditures to maintain wolves, all the effort and costs are for naught, because in settled landscapes wolves degrade via hybridization with dogs and coyotes into worthless hybrids, that is into coydogs and feral dogs. Settled landscapers remorselessly destroy the real wolf. Wolves cannot be conserved as a species in settled landscapes. What is being done with wolves here and in Europe has nothing to do with nature conservation. What the US and the EU are doing with legislation is a very expensive, brutal and mindless way to destroy real wolves. We can do better!

Wildlife destruction

When wolves are introduced, they first destroy wildlife. When I worked in Banff National Park in the 1960’s there were present about 2,500 elk. After wolves returned in the 1970’s elk dropped to less than 300. Moreover, elk became invisible as they were not only hiding, but the bulls quit bugling during the rutting season. We have the same silent bull elk on Vancouver Island where I now live, courtesy of wolves, cougars and big black bears. After 1970 I was no longer able too observe the behaviour of elk in Banff. Also, the moose, which were readily observable in the 1960’s went extinct or invisible.

The same patter has been observed in the Yellowstone area after wolves proliferated following their introduction.  The famous northern elk herd went from 19,000 to about 4,000. Why not less? Because the park elk left the park and went onto private land where there were safe from wolves. I was informed that only some 600 or so now winter in the park. Elk not only went onto private ranches, but also into hamlets or small cities such as Gardiner, where they were also safe from wolves. And that’s exactly what elk have been doing in Canadian national parks for ages: go into towns to escape predation. Deer do that also. Currently in western Canada they are doing it on a grand scale and flee into suburbs, farms, hamlets and even into the very core of cities. Deer on Vancouver island are concentrated in human settlements and virtually missing in the vast back-country. They are not welcome in cities, but tenaciously, they hang on. In Alberta elk have left the forestry reserve, the home of wolves, and moved onto private ranches. Moose have gone even farther and moved far, far out into the prairie where they now live along watercourses and in coulees. They did not do so that when I was still living in Alberta a quarter century ago. In Yellowstone park, however, moose went extinct. Which was, of course blamed on global warming. In early fall 2006 I rode for a week from dawn to dusk through some of the finest moose habitat I have ever seen. And I have see a lot of moose habitat in Canada between the Montana/Idaho/ Washington and the Alaska boundaries. I never saw a moose or a track or a feeding sign. And that was during the moose rutting season when bulls are maximally active.

The very landscape I was riding through was also excellent mule deer habitat. During my week on horseback I saw two does and fawns and found one antler rub by a buck. I suppose they were also victims of global warming!

On Vancouver Island the annual deer kill dropped from about 25,000 a year to some 3,000 per year. Vast forest areas are now virtually without deer. My wife and I observed directly how deer vacated the landscape and rushed into suburbs and farms when a wolf pack showed up.  At night deer lined up body to body along the walls of our neighbour’s cattle barns, oblivious of the farm dogs. For the first time in four years they entered my garden and demolished the fruit trees I had planted. Some 80 trumpeter swans left with the wolf packs arrival, but only some 40 returned after the pack was extirpated; when the second wolf pack arrived the swans left and never returned. Nor did the geese, the large flocks of American widgeons, the green-winged teals, the pheasants and ruffed grouse. Note: it’s not only big game that vanishes!

Alaska colleagues experimentally released wolves on a coastal island. The wolves exterminated the deer, tried catching seals, and starved to death. Similarly, Tom Bergerud, the premier caribou biologist on this continent, documented caribou extinctions on islands occupied in the current spread of wolves.

Research in Yellowstone has shown that wolves kill about 22 elk per wolf per year, and that wolves begin leaving the country once the kill declines to 16 elk per wolf per year. That’s about the same amount of moose wolves kill in Scandinavia per year.

But where do the wolves go when they deplete the prey?

Outside the park, of course, in search of more prey. Here they may be trapped or shot. This has led to vociferous protests that the evil hunters are killing park wolves. A book has been written about it.  No mention of park management which allowed wolves to exceed their carrying capacity of the land. A classical failure of “protectionism.” However, more on that later.

You asked what will happen to your moose, elk and mule deer when wolves are introduced into Colorado and are free to multiply. The moose will be exterminated, the elk and deer decimated, except in so far as they can find shelter from wolves on private ranch-lands, as well as in hamlets and suburbs. However, protected wolves learn to hunt big game even in towns, as now witnessed in Germany. Game population will decline as well as your hunting opportunities. Wolf control can reverse that, but wolf control, as we shall see, will also accelerate hybridization and the genetic destruction of real wolves.

Hydatid disease

Wolves come with a number of diseases of which historically the worst have been rabies and hydatid disease.  Modern medicine had reduced the dangers of dying from rabies if bitten by a rabid wolf, but in the past it was cause for real anxiety, as the bite of a rabid wolf was fatal. As to hydatid disease, all technical matters I mention are to be found in descriptions on the internet – except for context! There had been a presentation given by myself together with Dr. Helen Schwantje, Wildlife Veterinarian for the Province of British Columbia, to the Montana Legislature’s Environmental Quality Council about Echinococcus granulosus and E. multilocularis, on April 27th 2010. Everything we said then applies to all western states. Nobody can claim they were not warned on the basis of very extensive research carried out  by the late Professor James Adams of the University of British Columbia. My late wife was a student of his, and I have seen his extensive collection of images taken in the Vancouver regional hospital of this disease. A horror show beyond description! We also were privy to  the shop talk of surgeons emanating from the operating rooms, that does not find its way into learned journals. It appears that hydatid disease was prevalent then in British Columbia as trappers still used dog sleds for transportation and were feeding to the dogs the viscera of moose, caribou etc including hydatid cyst infected viscera. This practice came to an end with the rise of snowmobiles for transportation which replaced dog-sleds by the 1960’s. Soiled dog sled harnesses were one source of infection.

Hydatid disease is a nasty parasitic disease, caused by us ingesting the eggs of the dog-tape worm Echinococcus granulosus. It can be deadly! The danger resides primarily in the family dog getting infected, and then spreading infective tape worm eggs on lawns, drive ways, veranda and in the house. However, one can also catch the disease from handling the bodies and furs of infected wolves, or from berries and mushrooms contaminated with hydatid eggs from nearby wolf scats, or by running a lawn mover or hay-baler over some dry wolf scats, or drinking water that has percolated over wolf scat.  The people in real danger are ranch families on whose lands infected elk and deer gather to spend the winter and who crowd in about buildings to escape the marauding wolves. Infected elk, moose or deer carry large cysts filled with tiny tape worm heads primarily in lungs and liver. Normally they become debilitated by these cysts and readily fall prey to wolves. These, upon ingesting the viscera, also ingest the cysts. The little tape worm heads are then freed and attach themselves by the thousands to the gut of the wolf. Here they produce masses of tiny eggs that go out with the feces of the wolf. When such dries, the eggs are blown about on the surrounding vegetation. That vegetation is fed on by elk and deer. The tiny eggs turn in the gut of elk and deer into tiny larvae that drill into the intestines and are carried by the blood to the liver, lungs and more rarely the brain of the elk, where they then grow in time into the large cysts, debilitating the elk, making it prey for wolves.

If hunters shoot an infected elk on a ranch and leave the viscera behind, there is the possibility that the ranch dogs will find it, feed on it, become infected by the dog tape worm and begin shedding eggs around farm buildings, barns, and lawns within about seven weeks. People will step into the infected dog feces and, inadvertently, carry it into veranda and house. Here the eggs spread over the floors, but may also drift onto tables and furniture. The dog, licking its anus and fur, transfers tape worm eggs into its fur. The eggs are most likely to infect babies crawling about on the floor, veranda or lawn. They child will lick its hands, or eat contaminated food, and the eggs will develop into cysts. Since re-infection is likely, numerous cysts begin to grow in the liver and lungs. Cysts in the brain are normally fatal. The cysts develop initially slowly, so that not much may be notices till the child is a teen. Then, while playing sports, a cysts in the abdomen may burst. Some children die right then and there of anaphylactic shock. Those that survive need to undergo extensive operations. Should even a tiny bit of parasitic tissue lining the cysts survive surgery, it will grow into another cyst. A terrible, debilitating lifelong condition.

The primary danger comes from dogs which have fed on infected gut piles of elk, moose and deer. Also from farm and ranch dogs that have found an infected dead elk in a coulee and fed on its innards. Since in winter elk will seek refuge also in suburbs and hamlets, any resident dog finding dead elk is likely to get infected, and infect its owners in turn. In short any dog, hunting dog or companion dog that finds a dead deer or elk or an infected gut-pile will bring the disease into the home and to the neighbourhood of its owner. And that will include school yards.

So, where elk winter on ranches, de-worming dogs regularly is a necessary precaution. So is the removal of all dead elk. It is essential to insure that during hunting season hunters bring in the infected viscera for destruction. The real problem will be teaching hunters to dispose in the field infected viscera.

And be weary of people belittling this disease! The claim of a benign parasite is flatly contradicted by Delane C. Kritsky; Professor Emeritus, Idaho State University, who was Associate Dean and Professor (35 years) within Department of Health and Nutrition. “We should be asking who (the U.S. government, the Fish and Wildlife service, the wolf advocates) will be paying the health bills and funeral expenses for those who will ultimately become infected as a result of wolf introduction into Idaho, Montana and Wyoming?

Wolves are also known carriers of bovine tuberculosis, brucellosis, Neospora caninum (causes abortion in cattle) and, of course, rabies. In Yellowstone, by dispersing elk far beyond the park, the park elk met elk infected with brucellosis, and became infected themselves. In Wood Buffalo National Park wolves have not eliminated tuberculosis and brucellosius in bison. Wolves may not even bother taking down old diseases bison bulls, but looks to young bison instead,

Chronic Wasting Disese CWD

Chronic wasting disease is a juggernaut descending onto American wildlife. Because of its prevalence it has been suggested that predation would wipe out this pernicious disease. In short, introducing and spreading wolves within areas where this disease is endemic among deer and elk, would eliminate the disease. Not so. It would spread the disease.  Wolves generate panic among deer and prey leading to desperate long distance flight as well as desperate searches for locations free of wolves, primarily due to human presence. I have personally witnessed this wolf-induced panic among deer. And I have observed it personally also among livestock. Secondly, because wolves in dispersing go great distances, they would spread ingested CWD prions via feces and urine over very great distances. And they would disperse it in concentrated form. More ranches would wind up CWD infected, let alone public lands. And who in his right mind would buy a ranch infected with CWD, or even a ranch adjacent to an infected ranch? And the trouble is that, generally, we have been trying to contain CWD locally instead of eliminating the root cause of its spread: the commercial trade in wildlife.

Attack on humans the escalation model. While real wolves do indeed attack humans rarely and are very shy, they kill humans none the less under predictable circumstances. Historically wolves have killed in Eurasia tens of thousands of people, and are know as belonging to the “beasts of battle”,  who occupied battle fields and devoured the dead.  Medics noted on battle fields in modern times that wolves vastly preferred human flesh to that of horses and other domestic animals. Fortunately, when wolves begin targeting people, they do so in very diagnostic fashion. They sit or stand and begin watching humans at a distance. They close the observation distance gradually. They continue their exploration by pulling on clothing, licking exposed skin before trying an initially clumsy attack. Not only food shortages trigger exploratory behaviour, so do well fed wolves frequenting garbage dumps. The key factor to watch for is the steady, consistent observations by wolves of humans. Wolves, unlike dogs, are sight-learners, very intelligent sight-learners, I might add. And steady observation of humans by wolves signals an intent on behalf of the wolf to attack people as potential prey.

Why American wolves – were – “harmless”

A prevailing myth is that wolves are so shy as not to attack people, especially North American wolves, which had for the longest time no recorded attack on a person by healthy wolves. When the student Kenton Carnegie was killed by wolves, it was blamed on black bears by a scientist ignorant of tracking, but widely accepted by environmental interests. Totally ignored was the investigation by two educated native people that had exceptional qualification in tracking. That follows a pattern of ignoring the experiences of native Americans. The myth itself can be traced back to a number of North American wolf specialists in the 1950’s who then lacked the understanding of wolves we have now, and who dismissed historical accounts as “tall tales”, precisely because of the scarcity of attacks by wolves on people in north America. It remained a puzzle for a long time even to great specialists in wolf behaviour, such as the late professor Erich Kinghammer of Wolf Park, Battle Ground, Indiana, with whom I discussed this puzzle many times in the decades past. However, I now know the answer: In the 19th Century, the wild spaces of Canada and Alaska were not only occupied by hamlets of rural and native people, and the wilderness widely exploited seasonally by an influx of hunters, while vast private lands were secured from predators by government predator control officers. Moreover, wolf control included the areal dispersal of poisoned horse meat. However and most important of all: vast areas were divided into trapping territories and trapped over by – in the case of Canada – by about 60,000 trappers. These desperately poor, hard working men depended on wildlife for survival and on dog sleds for transportation. Since wolves disperse wildlife, follow trap-lines destroying fur and kill dogs, trappers were usually not well disposed towards wolves. The wolf population of Canad is currently estimated at 60,000 and was probably less than half that in the 19th century. Note: for every wolf alive there were one or two trappers, and that does not include the armed no-trappers occupying that land. Granted the huge territories wolf packs roam over, all wolves in 19th century Canadian wilderness were thus in constant contact with very hostile human beings. That is, all wolves were being continually educated to shun humans. Moreover, because of wolf control there was a super abundance of wildlife – which I still personally experienced. That is, wolves surrounded by a a super abundant food supply grew into shy giants of almost unbelievable body size. I still experienced that personally. Because of reduced density, hydatid disease was relatively rare, attacks on livestock very limited and attacks on humans unheard of. Moreover, by keeping wolves out of settled landscapes it retained the integrity of packs as well as the genetic identity of wolves. Giant wolves living in functional packs will not hybridize with coyotes or dogs, but annihilate such. The wolf kill by trappers, however, was limited. It amounted only to about one wolf per five trappers per year, judging from bounty records.  

Replacing the little wolf with the big wolf.

North America has two species of wolves, a little native wolf who survived the incredible predation hell-hole that characterized North America during the ice ages, and a big wolf who came from Siberia, repeatedly, who did poorly in the native North America fauna, and who spread and multiplied only after human had exterminated most of the native megafauna some 12,000 years ago. The little wolf is a very smart, adaptable little fellow, who does poorly in the presence of the big wolf, but explodes in numbers in settled landscapes and follows humans closely. With human aid it spread into Alaska as well as central America and is still expanding. And it is obnoxious enough to have triggered large scale control measures. In the US coyotes are killed at roughly1000 per day.

You have also legislated via your endangers species legislation and endorsed by the courts that the big wolf will be placed where the little wolf is now.

Has anybody considered what this replacement will mean?

Do you think you will be happy having replaced the unprotected little wolf with the highly protected big wolf?

Do your legislators talk to one another?

Does the right hand know what the left hand is doing?

The real wolf versus the dog, destructive hybridization.

Protecting grey wolves in settled landscapes and letting them multiply freely leads in the long run to wolves hybridizing with other canids in the settled landscapes, with coyotes in north America and Golden Jackals in Europe, and with domestic dogs in both. That is, or will be, the fate of real wolves to be genetically degraded into extinction as a species. The end product of current American and European “wolf conservation” – so called – is to loose the real wolf as as species and produce a human-caused artifact, a worthless hybrid.

The real wolf is s a species. The dog is not. A species it is the product of Nature sculptured by such for millions of years.  By contrast the dog is NOT a species, but an artifact of human creation using the genetics of the wild wolf and other canids. The dog is a very great, highly useful, but also artistic creation, one which I would not want to live without. And I thank providence that the dogs I have are not wolves! Dogs have been created by humans to fit with human needs, our habitations and professional activities. They are a great treasure, as dog owners can attest to.

But so is the real wolf. And there is no question that we must insure the perpetuation in modern times of the real wolf. However, it cannot be done the way it is practised now in the USA and the European Union. For trying to maintain wolves leads remorselessly to slow, but certain, hybridization with dogs and coyotes and thus the loss of the real wolf. Hybridizing wolves with dogs and coyotes is a way to exterminate the real wolf by destroying its genetics. Of course wolves and dog are closely related genetically. However, very nearly the same basic genetics generates totally different animals. The dog is not a wolf, no matter what.  Similarly, humans and chimpanzees are also very closely related genetically, but are very different organisms.  Pigs and whales are closely reflated genetically, but you do nothing for whale conservation by protecting pigs. Placing dogs into the same species as wolves is a profound confusion of categories.

Consequently, after all the trials and tribulations of introducing wolves into settled landscapes, after all the cost to the public and private purses, after all the destruction caused by these wolves, after all the pain and suffering that befalls humans, livestock, pets and wildlife, after the loss of a grate public treasures such as wildlife, at the end, the wolf is exterminated genetically and replaces by a worthless artifact of hybridization.

Some achievement, some nature conservation, something to be really proud of!

Ecological management for native biodiversity and productivity: The fiasco of “protectionism” advanced by good, but mindless nature lovers.

Right now the national park service is bemoaning the fact that in US national parks the bio-diversity is plummeting (species are going extinct) while at the same time the parks have now over 6,500 invasive plant and animal species in the parks. Management in national parks is primarily protection – that is, doing nothing! (after all, “nature knows best”, it will restore ecological ” balance”  and etc. etc.). However, in reality, doing nothing allows the extinction of sensitive native species, while the hoodlums of the plant and animal world, the invasive species, thrive and prosper under total protection. Is this nature conservation? Is the national park service intellectually capable of differentiating between degeneration and evolution? To make my point another way: In one project in California, Wildergarten, one gentleman, Mark Vande Pol, in fierce opposition to national parks and their ruinous do-nothing policy, bought 14 acres of ground on which there were only 60 species of plants total, currently visible and reproducing. After 28 years of hard, intelligent, insightful work the count  today is some 245native species, while he controls completely another 125 exotics that were once in the seed bank.  Uniquely, the project has a special emphasis upon small annuals.  In fact, he is actively replacing an exotic seed bank with natives!  Have you ever even heard of such a public, foundation, or university project?

Do you see what I am getting at?

The publicity making lament of the National Wildlife Federation about the state of affairs on “protected” areas, is in good part due to the self-infliction of dogmatic, uncritical protectionism, in which even monitoring would be shunned as it smacks of intervention. Ergo, no science, no scholarship disturbs the fundamentalist religious view that “protection” is the salvation of nature. In reality, its exactly the opposite! Protectionist policies lead to the unwitting degeneration of nature, the longer and more effective the protection, the greater the degeneration.

Has the Wildlife Federation, let alone the Sierra Club or humane societies ever learned any lessons from the great and – when it is allowed to work – wonderful North American Model of Wildlife Conservation?

Turkeys were virtually extinct. How about their numbers today? And turkeys cannot exist without a diverse, productive habitat!

Wood ducks were virtually extinct, but no more. How come?

In 1974 bighorn sheep across the US were in decline, despite all attempts at “protecting” them, and that for over a century in California. All to no avail.  Well, the cause of the decline was identified publicly in 1974, a society to implement the rescue was called into life by 1976, and within 25 year the population of bighorns increased by almost 50%.

How come?

How come we have today so many more elk than three decades ago? Though of course not in Yellowstone National Park! There, the “within-park do nothing policy” has driven the park elk almost entirely onto private ranch land. What a success!

Oh, I must also add this one: place wolves into Yellowstone park – where everything is “protected“. And the moose went extinct. How come? We area about to loose the woodland caribou in North America forever, courtesy protectionism of same and of “habitat”. How come?

The natural “regulation” paradigm of the nature protectors is an intellectual failure, as it has to be if one understands that ecosystems, unlike individuals, are subject to positive, not negative feed back. Trusting nature to do it “right”, whatever that may mean, leads often enough to impoverished landscapes of low productivity and biodiversity. Letting “nature” have its way does not always lead to the productive, the diverse and the beautiful. Quite the contrary. And we have missed the obvious right under out noses: The revolutionary North American System of Wildlife Conservation not only saved species from extinction, but its knowledgeable hands-on policies created a landscape full of life, full of productivity, full of awe and beauty, as well as to high benefits to society while proving that the public ownership of land and resources did not lead to the” Tragedy of the Commons”, but quite the contrary. It led to the triumph of the commons. Tragedy resulted from pecuniary interests undermining the public good.

Must we abandon policies that generated productivity, richness and beauty, but also a humane treatment of wildlife? The fate of wildlife is to be changed form being killed quickly and humanely by a hunter’s bullet, to being torn to pieces bite by bite, tortured sometimes for hours by wolves tearing and ripping their way towards their unfortunate victims slow death. Which hunter ever left wildlife torn savagely? Which hunter chokes his prey slowly to death? What inhumanities are the protectionists and their ilk imposing on our unfortunate wildlife?

We have to make it clear that we can vastly improve on Nature. In fact we are doing so every day in our daily lives and dealings. We have improved on bird flight, and can transport humans in masses to distant earthly destination or to the moon and beyond. We can see so much farther in the night sky than the natural eye can achieve, and we can conserve nature on the smallest pieces of land, where as national parks fail in part because they are too small. So their lament! And where a continued existence of predators and prey is achieved in the “do nothing model”, it is on sizes beyond comprehension. Like some 150 wolves and 2,500 bison in Wood Buffalo National Park, which exceeds Switzerland in size! And I am thrilled that we have such an area for comparison. See the wonderful books of Lu Carbyn on bison and wolves in said park. Read and learn!

Not everything “Natural” is good, not everything “Natural” is beautiful, not everything “Natural” is worth fighting for. Quite the contrary! Wildfires are natural, so is tuberculosis, Lyme disease and septicemia. We are asked to abandon landscapes rich in wildlife with a proven and humane treatment of wildlife, for one that is so thoroughly impoverishing vast landscapes, while subjecting wildlife to the horrid cruelties and inhumanity of death by predation.

Is that a goal worth celebrating? Is that a goal worth striving for?

I do not believe in reincarnation , but should I be wrong, all I can say is “Lord please do not let me come back on this earth as a BISON IN WOOD BUFFALO NATIONAL PARK’. Here is my story why.” Dr. Lu Carbyn, Canada’s primary wolf biologist.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Lyme Disease, Vaccinations, and Faith in Government

The New York Times has an article about Lyme disease. They claim that Lyme disease is “spreading fast” and asks why there is no vaccination against it. They also tell us that in 1998 a vaccine for Lyme was approved and released and subsequently removed from the shelves due to bad sales and numerous complaints and lawsuits about side effects, etc. Of course, the maker of the vaccine said there was no evidence that their vaccine was harmful in any way.

I was sent the link to the NYT article which came through a “teaser” posted on Instapundit. Reading the comments after the post is most telling.

First, the comments show us that the majority of people are ignorant about Lyme disease. Secondly, we can also see the results of many years of brainwashing and mind control in how people act and react to vaccines, disease, and trust or distrust in their government.

There have been many discussions about vaccinations. It is futile to attempt to have one of those discussions between two people – one who is a firm believer in the “progressive” advancement of health science and one who sees all vaccines as a form of chemical warfare.

This same attitude exists with many topics in our lives these days. It is a shame that people are incapable of making “informed” decisions due to the fact that our society is virtually void of truth and programmed to accept the “official” word and never question.

Money and greed drive the pharmaceutical industry. With their power, they can conjure up any “science” they want to prove or disprove anything. Couple that with a programmed society that loves to hate their government but demands “protection” against all boogie men, and we have a worse case scenario – in other words, we don’t know what government is doing. They could be deliberately killing us and we wouldn’t know nor would we care.

That’s but one side of the entire vaccine equation.

Personally, I don’t care if there are millions of vaccines created for everything from polio to hiccups. The real issue for me is when the government mandates the taking of vaccines or any chemicals for that matter.

It is one thing to ask where the vaccine is for Lyme disease. It is quite another when any government requires that anybody will have that vaccine regardless of possible severe side effects, including death. It should be my choice.

The system we live in is a system we all contributed to its existence. That system demands drugs and chemicals as part of our daily consumption. You should be free to consume all of everything if that is what you desire. Just don’t demand that I be forced to join your drug party.

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Vermont Wants Fewer Moose, Environmentalists Want to End Hunting

Vermont, which has been a part of an ongoing moose study in three states – Maine, New Hampshire, and Vermont – is now saying they also believe that the reason for an increase in winter ticks that are killing off their moose herd is because of too many moose. Maine was bold enough to make that claim a few months ago.

As with Maine, it appears not everyone in Vermont agrees with the assessment that the state needs to reduce is moose population in order to mitigate the deadly winter tick problem that continues to kill the herd.

At a public hearing earlier this year, attendees thought the logic behind reducing the moose herd absurd and instead called for an end to moose hunting “until the tick problem is better understood.”

The tick problem will never be better understood because there is no end to the terrible misinformation about what causes ticks to increase. So long as brainless automatons narrowly focus their attention on global warming as the culprit, nothing will change. This is insanity.

Even the editors of the linked-to article practice their echo-chambered response that “Mild winters have created a safe haven for ticks to thrive year-round.”

They know nothing about winter ticks and are too lazy to do any real investigating – much like the biologists who manage our game species. There’s little hope for a bright future so long as the ignorant continue to be led to the slaughter with false and ridiculous claims about “Climate Change.”

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In Search of Your “Dog Song?”

Cute and cuddly ain’t it? We should leave ’em alone. They don’t hurt anybody. They were here first.

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I Still Don’t Understand How You Can “Manage” Wildlife Without Counting

And evidently, I’m not the only one scratching their head just a bit in trying to figure this nonsense out. It sure appears on the surface as though claiming counting is no longer important as a vital tool to responsibly manage game populations, like bear, deer, moose, and turkeys is another convenient excuse to hide problems or simply provide alibis for where you were when the moose population dropped dead.

V. Paul Reynolds, in his article today, states the following: “When the moose aerial studies were commenced in 2010, getting a handle on the ever-elusive question of how many moose there actually are was an avowed purpose of the surveys, along with understanding moose mortality and productivity. Eight years later, it seems that, although we have gained useful data on moose sex ratios and causes of mortality, and other indices, we have fallen short in counting heads.”

And in and around 2010 (It wasn’t immediately made known to the public that the Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife (MDIFW) had undertaken a moose study.), I questioned whether MDIFW would ever get to the real, honest, explanation of life as a moose in Maine or would it be just another in a long line of “studies” backed and crafted by Environmentalism’s Scientismic hocus-pocus. So far, it appears it’s leaning toward the scientismic end result.

However, it was encouraging when MDIFW reported that their data “suggested” that ticks were the real culprit in taking control over moose populations, although there still exists fuzzy voodoo science and romance biology over whether it’s Global Warming or too many ticks that are causing moose mortality.

As Reynolds points out, one of the great selling points of this current moose study was the need to get a solid grasp on the moose population and what is controlling it. The Second Grade question remains how do you accomplish this task while at the same time removing from the new Game Management Plan the importance of population densities and replacing it with “healthy populations?”

At the drop of a hat, or perhaps if it fits the current moose management narrative for political purposes, moose biologists and MDIFW officials seemed almost boastful in stating Maine had 76,000 (or lot’s more) moose. After eight years of study and many dollars later, MDIFW is reluctant to utter a guess?

Perhaps what’s really going on is a matter of attempting to save face. Is it that MDIFW has discovered that Global Warming can’t be blamed for a decline in moose? Has MDIFW discovered that winter ticks really are killing off the moose (you know, some of that “natural balance”) and it is NOT Global Warming that has caused the epidemic? Has MDIFW discovered that trying to grow too many moose has caused the prevailing tick problem? Has MDIFW discovered that there isn’t even close to 76,000 moose and, as yet, has not come up with a workable lie as to why they were so far off in their estimations?

If so, perhaps now they don’t know what to do because taking action to scientifically correct the “unhealthy” moose population means bucking the Environmentalists and Animal Rights groups who not only want more moose they want uncontrolled numbers of every wild animal that exists…despite the consequences.

Being politically on the wrong side of Environmentalism is a place MDIFW does not want to be.

For now, better to act stupid and not reveal your hand, and then maybe it will just magically go away.

In the meantime, let’s practice…1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10… I knew you could.

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Black Bears, Mange, Climate Change Nonsense, Emotional Ignorance

In a report filed in the Washington Post and reprinted in the Bangor Daily News, bears in Pennsylvania, along with neighboring states of New York, West Virginia, Virginia, and Maryland, are suffering from mange.

The article states that Pennsylvania, “seems to be the epicenter of an outbreak that scientists don’t fully understand.” Mange has been a problem since the 1990s.

And because biologists “don’t fully understand” the reason for the outbreak, they make sure they insert their favorite “go to” excuse of Climate Change.

When these clowns blame climate change, we know that what they are referring to is a warming of the climate that brings events that scientists “don’t fully understand.” If this was true, then it seems feasible that black bears living in the southern states would be suffering from mange on a regular basis, but that evidently is not the case. But it’s easier to blame Climate Change.

While it might not be explained how the bears contracted this kind of unusual for bears mange, might it be possible that it is spreading from the “epicenter” at quite an alarming rate, or so it appears, because of a large population of bears (20,000) and one that is “a record number for the state.” Mange is spread through contact and with increased populations of bears the chances of contact with other bears increases. Makes sense.

If 20,000 bears is a record number, and Pennsylvania has a bear hunting season, then it certainly appears that despite the hunting the population continues to grow. Either Pennsylvania is deliberately attempting to grow the bear population or bear hunting alone doesn’t seem to be able to keep the population in check or to reduce the population. Many other states are suffering the same dilemma – too many bears and no way of controlling the populations. What waits on the horizon for all these states with black bears?

Most people don’t have knowledge of real wildlife science and depend on their favorite form of Scientism to give them the fabricated talking points that make them feel like good pals with animals such as bears. They don’t want to believe that bears, or any other animal, suffers when populations get too large. Instead, they want to just blame the existence of men and of course all forms of hunting.

In a recent Letter to the Editor of a Maine newspaper, one such person blames the continued growth in Maine’s black bear population on hunters being allowed to hunt over bait. Pennsylvania does NOT allow hunting bears over bait and yet their bear population continues to grow at about the same rate as Maine.

It can be argued forever whether or not artificially feeding bears effects the rate of reproduction. But there are some facts that should be looked at but seldom are when emotional clap-trap Scientism is the driving force behind the obvious hatred toward hunting and hunters.

The Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife (MDIFW) has stated repeatedly that when natural food is readily available, hunters have a very difficult time to successfully lure a bear to a bait station. Bears much prefer their natural food over man-made bait.

Those opposed to hunting, and more specifically bear baiting, claim that baiting bears causes the increase in reproductivity of black bears. There are far too many influencers on bears that any study can definitively say more food, or baiting bears causes an increase in population.

But even if it was an accepted fact, at what real impact does a bear baiting season have on population growth?

Maine has an estimated 30,000 to 35,000 black bears. According to MDIFW’s bear harvest report for 2016, 2,859 bears were taken during the entire hunting and trapping seasons. Of those 2,859 harvested bears, 1,936 were taken over bait. It can be safely stated that all of Maine’s 35,000 bears don’t live adjacent to the handful of bait stations hunters employ.

The overall success rate of harvesting a bear in Maine runs about 25%. We could play around with some math here but the bottom line appears to be that even with the baiting, bears being affected, if at all, by bait is but a drop in the bucket compared to the overall population of bears in the state of Maine. Consequently, any change in reproductive rates would certainly appear to be insignificant.

For Maine residents, including the ones making claims that baiting is the driving force behind an ever-growing bear population, the question of concern should be, will Maine bears begin suffering from mange? And if so, what is the plan of attack should it strike?

The trend in this country today is disturbing from a wildlife management perspective. More and more people are perversely in love with all animals and want them all protected. To go along with this unnatural love affair with animals and the brainwashing of our children in schools and in the media, there are fewer and fewer hunters every year. This combination spells disaster in wildlife management. With little or no tools available for wildlife population control and management, our forests and fields will become chaotic “natural balance” as the Environmentalists scream for. With that chaotic approach, we can expect continued “unusual” outbreaks of life-destroying diseases which is how Mother Nature deals with it.

It appears the only way we can learn the truth is to let it happen and clean up the mess later.

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Should “Any-Deer Permits” Be Changed to Doe Permits and…

Yesterday I was approached by a Maine deer hunter who asked me to ponder his question. He didn’t want an answer right then and there. I’m not sure when he expected the answer or that he assumed maybe I would write about his question. So, here’s his question: “Do you think that when somebody applies for and wins a doe permit [Any-Deer Permit], that is all they should be able to shoot – an antlerless deer?” My knee-jerk reaction was yes, I would like to see it that way. But then I had some time to think about it. Here are some thoughts for you to ponder and please feel free to offer comments below.

If we swallow the bait, hook, line, and sinker, that the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife (MDIFW) uses the allocation of “Any-Deer Permits” (ADP) as a scientific means of controlling and manipulating the state’s deer population, including age structure and buck-to-doe ratios, and that along with that belief you think the ADP system is successful, then it might be easy to say there is little need to discuss the what-ifs of changing the ADP to a strict doe-only permit.

But, let’s consider it anyway. Perhaps there is something to be discovered in this proposition.

I mostly understood the basis for this hunter’s question to ponder. Especially after he told me that in his hunting life-span, which extends far before the ADP system was put in place, he has never applied for an ADP. I smiled and said, “Neither have I.”

There is a belief that those hunters who apply for and get an ADP, are taking the antlered bucks that I guess somehow should be saved for….well, I dunno who – “trophy” hunters and not meat hunters?

According to an article that appeared in the Sun Journal, Maine deer biologists have recommended that MDIFW issue a record number of ADPs – up 28% from last year and to a level never before seen in the state. The recommended number of ADPs sits at 84,745. That must mean the state has the largest number of deer ever in the history of the existence of the ADP system.

Errr…hang on just one second. When the estimated deer population in Maine stood at 331,000 AND the ADP system was in place, there certainly were not that many ADPs issued. So what gives? Today’s deer population estimate statewide might be as high as 120,000, depending on who you want to listen to. Doesn’t it make some sense that ADPs would be half what they were when the population was at 331,000 – more or less depending on circumstances?

Issuing this many permits can only mean one other thing…maybe…? That the buck-to-doe ratio in Maine, especially in the southern Wildlife Management Districts (WMD), is out of whack and the state needs to kill more does to make that happen…Or, maybe not so much.

Maine’s former head deer biologist told me once that it was virtually impossible for buck-to-doe ratios to exceed 1-3 or 4 unless the ratio was deliberately skewed. So, is the management of deer so deliberately skewed it has created an out-of-whack buck-to-doe ratio?

It would seem that if that was a problem, MDIFW would have at least hinted that they needed to issue straight-up doe permits to get that back on track.

According to George Smith, MDIFW is actually hinting at the prospects that the ADP system in its current form, is not working: “Deirdre Fleming reported recently that DIFW Wildlife Division Director Judy Camuso told the department’s Advisory Council that in all but six of the state’s Wildlife Management Districts the projected doe harvest was not reached last fall. State biologists projected a doe harvest of 7,114 in 2017 but the actual reported doe harvest was only 5,950.”

Uh, oh!

My question is this: If the doe harvest in all but 6 WMDs fell short last year by 1,200 deer, how is adding an additional 18,695 permits going to achieve the desired goal? Is it because there are not enough hunters or is it because those who win an ADP aren’t using it for the purposes designed? Or, perhaps, the ADP system is beginning to more and more show that it is a flawed system…not that it should be abandoned, however, but perhaps some needed changes injected into it.

I am getting to the question at hand about whether the ADP should become strictly a doe permit – meaning the holder of the doe permit can harvest ONLY a doe and not “Any Deer.”

It was an interesting brief discussion I had with this hunter. He said to me, “There are only two reasons a hunter will apply for an ADP – he wants meat regardless, or he wants insurance in case he messes up (I assume meaning he mistakenly shoots a doe instead of a buck).

I have no preference one way or the other except that however ADPs or doe permits are issued, they are done specifically to scientifically (real science) manipulate deer populations, age structure, and buck-to-doe ratios.

If the trend is that doe harvest isn’t coming close to being met with ADPs in the current format, for whatever the reasons (lack of hunters?), something has to change.

BTW, I shared the other day the real reason MDIFW wants to kill more does in the southern regions of the state and it has NOTHING to do with buck-to-doe ratios or age structure. It simply has to do with pressure from environmentalists to get rid of Lyme disease and they have chosen to pick on the deer as the culprit instead of going to the root source of the disease.

A brainwashed population of scared-by-design people are at a near panic level, fearful of even going outside. So let’s kill a whole bunch of deer.

Another fine example of non-scientific wildlife management driven by totalitarian socialism.

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