July 20, 2017

Maine: Deer Baiting, Feeding, Crop Damage

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

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

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

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

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

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

One proposed bill in Maine concerning deer hunting is LD 62, an act that would legalize hunting deer over bait. Most already know I oppose this as it is not a necessary tool to keep deer populations in check, among other things, and I also find it ridiculous that it is legal to plant a “food crop” specifically for deer and hunt over that, as somehow being that much different than hunting over a pile of bait. Instead of increasing the ability to bait, it’s time MDIFW enacted a law making it illegal to hunt over food crops – those specifically planted at deer bait.

However…..

In George Smith’s article about discussion at the committee level on LD 62, there are two distinct comments/testimony made by those in attendance that readers should pay attention to.

One is a man named Guy Randlett, described as a Maine Guide who, among other things, said this: “Sitting in a nice dry ground blind in a comfortable chair from dawn till dusk only enhances it all for me.”

The second testimony is that of Dave Kelso, who favored passage of the bill. Among many issues he presented, he stated: “By allowing baiting for deer, landowners would be in a position to charge a lease fee for bait sites.” In addition, this: “The way that we hunt in Maine is changing and is going to change even more just in my lifetime. Leases and hunt clubs are going to come to Maine. You are going to be hearing about antler restrictions. With limited land and the possibility of having to judge a deer before pulling the trigger, baiting only makes sense to allow everyone an equal opportunity.”

If this is the direction that Maine wants to take its deer hunting, count me out. I realize that each hunter has his own preferences for hunting within the laws that regulate it. I would not suggest denying anybody of those choices. However, what is being described here, as though it is something good, in no way resembles the traditional deer hunting I grew up with. Not unlike catch and release fishing, I find lounging in a recliner waiting for a buck with big enough antlers to satisfy one’s qualifications of “trophy” as being quite perverse.

Because hunting deer while sitting in a blind with all the modern conveniences, staring at a bait pile, is an indication of how deer hunting is changing, I would suggest that, unless I’m the only one left alive who likes traditional deer hunting, we do everything in our power to stop this “progressive” change that will bastardize a once precious tradition.

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Deer Take Caution: Baiting is Illegal

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Maine Researchers Trap “Chocolate” Bear

The Bangor Daily News has a story of Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife (MDIFW) capturing of a “brown-phase” black bear, something that is a rare treat in the Eastern United States.

This should be a good opportunity for the idiots who obsess on stopping man from utilization of the resources and to end bear hunting and trapping, and basically all forms of hunting and fishing. If we were to employ their twisted logic then they are going to be saying that this unusual “chocolate” brown black bear became this way from eating junk food used for bait by the bear hunters – probably chocolate bars.

Also, the MDIFW says there has been quite a few more bears trapped this spring during the bear trapping phase of the MDIFW study. Biologists say it’s because of a lack of natural food due to drought. Those who walk on their brains will say this is because bears have been trained to find their food resource at bait sites put out by bear hunters. What else?

And lastly, researchers say they have trapped more female bears this year than usual. Mental midgets that have no life will say this also is the result of baiting and trapping bears. How that can be could be a bit of a mystery but let me take a stab at it. They might say that bear baiting causes a spike in the number of female bears vs. male bears. They might say that because we now have an imbalance of female bears over male bears due to baiting, and that bears are too stupid to remember how to forage away from bait sites, because male bears are even dumber than female bears, all that’s left are female bears, some of which have turned brown by eating chocolate left behind by bear baiting.

Or something.

Or, these brainless clowns, if they were to see a “brown-phase” black bear, perhaps this is what they see:

BrownPhasedObama

And because they are too stupid to get it, I am now a racist in their eyes.

Happy Bear Hunting!

 

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Hunt Harder and Smarter: 5 Keys to Successful Black Bear Baiting

It’s my experience that consistently killing big black bears over bait takes just as much, and often more work than spot-and-stalk hunting. The belief that baiting black bears is simple and easy is a misconception common to those who have never done it. And, no, I’m not talking about the sort of hunting where you are dropped into a bait site once bears are hitting it. I’m talking about picking a baiting site, developing the baits, and fine-tuning your presentation to attract the biggest bears in a certain area. In many areas, baiting is the only effective way to hunt black bears, and setting yourself up for success is where the work is. Here are five tips to get you pointed in the right direction.
Source: Hunt Harder and Smarter: 5 Keys to Successful Black Bear Baiting | Outdoor Life

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If You Can’t Destroy Hunting at the Ballot Box, Try it This Way

New Hampshire’s proposal to ban all chocolate as hunting bait after four bears died last year has stirred intense debate between hunters who say the ban is an overreaction and those who say the risk of chocolate poisoning is too great.<<<Read More>>>

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Eeyore’s Distant Bear Relative – Brer Bear

EeyoreBear

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Death By Chocolate

It appears as though wildlife officials are discovering that bear baiting sites that use mostly chocolate and chocolate candy bars as bait, may cause the death of bears due to an overdose of theobromine, a naturally occurring toxin found in cocoa.

The Bangor Daily News has a story of four bears found dead in New Hampshire and that changes would probably be forthcoming to mitigate this problem.

DeathbyChocolate

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If It’s So Easy to See and Hunt Bears Why Do Poachers Bait Them?

As a rule I do not cover game poaching stories. I’ll let you figure out why. Unless of course the poaching involves some extreme or extenuating circumstances of interest other than a bunch of brain dead morons killing game for money or perhaps other perverse reasons.

There’s an opinion piece published in the Montana Standard about the need for harsher penalties for poaching but in that article, as was brought to my attention, is an interesting bit of unintended(?) commentary.

Three men are being charged with poaching at least nine black bears. However, all the killing took place as the men allegedly used “bait” to lure the bears in and make the kill. In Maine, as we have seen in many other places in the United States, perverted animal rights mental midgets claim that it is just as easy to hunt bears without bait as with bait. Understanding that poachers are a breed just slightly above that of any politician and of anyone who thinks animals have rights, and who probably couldn’t care less about whether they had their hunting licenses taken away or not (like making a law believed to stop criminals from having a gun), are more or less inclined to be lazy, good for nothings. Therefore, the bait?

But then again, if a poacher actually had a brain (remember, poachers are a cut just above politicians and animal rights scum but certainly does not qualify them to be smart) they would understand that leaving bait scattered all over the landscape might be more apt to direct somebody to their crime of poaching. But that all assumes a poacher has a brain.

The point to all this nonsense is that if it’s so easy to shoot a damned bear in the woods, as the perverts of animal rights claim, then why would poachers go to the effort, and there would be a lot of it, to bait bears?

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Baiting Bears Does Not Produce Large Bears or Welfare Bears

I have said before and will state again, one can only hope that when voters go to the polls to vote on any issue, they are at least afforded the opportunity to get the truth as it pertains to the issue. Maine will face a referendum next November on whether or not to ban bear baiting, trapping and hunting bears with hound dogs. And as one might expect, the rhetoric is already running a bit rampant.

In an opinion piece found in the Bangor Daily News, one citizen wrote about bear baiting and was misleading the people by referring to it as a, “massive bear feeding program.” In addition, this person states that baiting bears is done, “to produce more and larger bears in order that they may be killed for sport and trophies.”

Let’s look at these two issues a bit closer. Baiting bear in Maine for the purpose of harvesting a bear has been around for awhile but never really became a popular method of hunting until the mid to late 1980s. Fish and game experts manipulated the bear hunt for many years. Bounties on bear were available from as early as 1770 but statewide bounties were implemented on a regular basis between 1880 and 1957. The first official “bear hunting season” occurred in 1931.

The Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife(MDIFW) completed a reassessment of bear management goals in 1999 to ensure proper management techniques, seasons and science were being used to maintain a healthy population of bears. After all, that is their legislatively mandated job. By 2010 the bear population was estimated at between 24,000 and 36,000 and thus, it is my guess, that the rounded off figure of 30,000 bears is rightly used.

To describe the tactic of baiting bears as a “massive bear feeding program” is a bit of a stretch, is misleading and rooted in emotionally charge rhetoric in hopes of influencing public opinion. So, what else is new?

It is clear, from information about bear harvests provided by MDIFW, that in 2012, of the 3,207 bears harvested, the majority were taken over bait. MDIFW states that for the first time bears were taken in 28 of 29 Wildlife Management Districts(WMD), however the majority of bears registered happened in the northern half of the state. From that demographic alone, a “massive bear feeding program” becomes a silly overstatement.

According to MDIFW information, of the 3,207 bears killed by all legal methods in 2012, 2,613 were taken over bait. If we utilize the population estimate of 30,000 bears and less than 10% were taken over bait, no matter how liberal one might determine how many bait sites there were, baiting in areas where MDIFW says the highest harvest percentages were 21 bears per 100 square miles and the state average 11 bears per square 100 miles (.21 and .11 bears per square mile), you simply could not come up with supportable data that shows a “massive bear feeding program.” It’s just not that wide spread and effects far too few bears.

The author of this referenced opinion piece says that this “massive bear feeding program”, which we’ve determined does not exist, is, “to produce more and larger bears in order that they may be killed for sport and trophies.” There are two distinct issues brought up here. First the claim is that baiting bears produces more bears. The author argues that higher production rates exist because females now have higher fat reserves and thus produce more offspring. By a stretch this might apply to one specific area where regular feeding of bears, not just baiting, has taken place but I don’t buy it. Bears are intelligent, fear humans and can smell something 7 times better than a blood hound. I doubt that momma bears are teaching her cubs to become dependent on human food.

By such emotional, nonsensical rhetoric being spread like the plague, I think people have come to believe that this baiting thing is easy to do, brings bears in to the feeding trough like hogs at feeding time, at which time a hunter sits in a recliner chair and slaughters defenseless animals. In talking with experienced bear baiting hunters, if a hunter doesn’t take every precaution to ensure his scent is not left behind, bears just won’t come into a site.

In addition, this claim of producing more bears is based on the false premise that Maine is implementing a “massive bear feeding program.” It’s time to get real over this crap sandwich, regurgitation being printed in our newspapers.

The second part of this claim states that this “massive bear feeding program” is to produce, “larger bears in order that they may be killed for sport and trophies.” If that were actually the case, then records should indicate that in more recent years, harvested bears should be bigger and bigger and more “trophy” bears harvested and registered with the Maine Antler and Skull Trophy Club.

An examination of data provided shows that the 10 largest (trophy) bears, taken by gun, occurred between 1962 and 2000. What happened to the production of larger bears due to a “massive bear feeding program?”

The truth is the bear baiting period of about 7 weeks is but a drop in the bucket of time bears spend feeding and affects a very small percentage of the statewide bear population and most often in very remote locations. What makes bear baiting effective, as a tool of MDIFW to control bear populations, is that it comes during a time of year when bears are foraging heavily in order to build up fat reserves. Biologists at MDIFW tell us regularly that the success rate of bear hunting over bait will be determined by the availability of natural food. This tells us that bears are not addicted to human food as the anti bear hunters suggest and much more prefer their own natural sources.

Contrary to what some in Maine might be reading, there are not “Millions of Pounds of Doughnuts to Bait Bear.” Nor is there a “massive bear feeding program” that is causing bears to become addicted to junk food, produce more offspring and/or grow bigger and become trophies. Using bait as a tool is determined by bear scientists to be necessary in order to control bear populations. This control and management produces a healthy bear population along with trickle down effects of other wildlife.

addictedtodonuts

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