June 6, 2020

D.C. Lobby Group Bankrolls Maine Bear Hunting Initiative

Augusta, Maine- In their most recent campaign finance report, Mainers for Fair Bear Hunting, the committee proposing a ballot initiative that would ban Maine’s most effective methods of bear hunting, reports that they raised $705,844. Of that:<<<Read More>>>


To Gather Signatures to End Bear Hunting, Lying Is Okay

According to Matt Dunlap, Maine’s Secretary of State, for those around Maine seeking signatures to put a referendum on the November ballot, it’s okay to lie and mislead people as to what they are signing. He says they are protected by “Buyer beware and freedom of speech.”

The video below was taken at an undisclosed site where a person is attempting to gather signatures for the Humane Society of the United States, in order to place a referendum on Maine’s November ballot. This is 8 minutes of lies and yet, evidently, it’s legal to say these things in order to get a signature. According to Dunlap, the only stipulation is that a copy of the proposed law has to be attached to the petition. Therefore, it is up to the potential signer to read the proposed law. Make sure you know what you are signing.


Maine’s Bears: Pick Science Over Sensationalism

*Editor’s Note* – The link is to a well written opinion piece full of excellent facts about the management of black bears in Maine, including some of its history. Well, worth the read. Here’s a sample of some of what was written.

“It was not the Humane Society of the United States that stepped up to protect and elevate the public perception of bears from a pest to one that that should be conserved and protected. Indeed, this was the effort of sportsmen, the Legislature and conservationists through a new license fee that would be used to establish an ongoing revenue stream to guarantee trained, professional biologists and wardens would closely monitor and protect bear populations. Because of this commitment to sound science, Maine has two world-renowned bear biologists with a combined 54 years of experience.”

And also this:

“Enter the Humane Society of the United States, who, with their team of lawyers and millions of dollars slated for media manipulation, would hijack this success story and replace it with wildlife management based on 30-second emotional TV commercials.”<<<Read More>>>


Elitists Drive Me Nuts

Oh, this letter to the editor in a Maine newspaper is short, to the point, and worth the read. Really!

I’m especially fond of the comments about the difference between fly-fishing and bear baiting. I have to admit, I’ve seen a bear hunter wearing brown socks and Birkenstocks.


Ken Allen: Can The Resource Withstand Targeted Game or Fish Populations?

It takes an entire article in the Portland Press Herald but outdoor writer Ken Allen puts well this comment in the very last two paragraphs:

Rules and regulations for hunting and fishing should address one issue: Can the resource withstand a certain technique without permanently decreasing the targeted game or fish populations?

Bear baiting in Maine offers a perfect example. Hunters here have baited bear big time for decades, and the herd continues to increase, while rural hamlets reap economic benefits from bear hunting over man-placed baits — a win-win situation — but naysayers still complain about baiting.


Preventing Hunting Through Effective Messaging

A few days ago I was reading Online an article that appeared in The Maine Wire, written by M.D. Harmon, the title of which is, “Anti Gun Liberals Prefer Emotion Over Fact.”

The construct of the article entails the messaging that took place by the gun-hating crowds after the mess in Newtown, Connecticut. The article is good but I’m a bit surprised that the author almost comes across as seeing this messaging scheme as something new, when it is a tactic that has been around for decades and has effectively ruined the lives of many people, including the destruction of personal liberties, among other things.

The article states:

As reported by Paul Bedard of The Washington Examiner, the activists created an 80-page blueprint called “Preventing Gun Violence Through Effective Messaging” that was intended not to advance a rational argument but to “incite a moral panic” by the use of arguments deliberately designed to create an emotional climate hostile to Second Amendment rights.

Throughout the entire article, readers can substitute the subject of guns, gun violence, Second Amendment, etc., with whatever your favorite concern is.

As an example, in Maine, members of the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS), the Wildlife Alliance of Maine (WAM), and others, have formed the organization “Mainers for Fair Bear Hunting.” They want to ban bear hunting with bait, bear hunting with hounds and bear trapping. I assure you, nothing these people will write or verbalize will have anything to do with facts or advancing a rational argument based on facts or science. It will be an emotional climate hostile to hunting and trapping in general and bear hunting and trapping specifically.

It is important that Maine citizens understand the tactics of those undergoing the process to place a citizen’s referendum on the November 2014 ballot. The garbage they will be subjected to has no semblance of sanity, fact or rational discourse and will be laced with emotions all designed to create a climate hostile to hunting and to demonize anyone who would support it. These tactics are not new. If they appear new to you, perhaps you need to get out a bit more and get involved in the life around you.

In 2004, a similar referendum, put on by the same anti hunting totalitarians, was defeated. It appears initially that the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife (MDIFW), Sportsman’s Alliance of Maine, Maine guides, Maine trappers, Maine hound hunters, and any and all other outdoor sportsmen, are going to struggle to defeat this effort.

It is my opinion that any hope to defeat this referendum should be based on effective messaging in defense of responsible bear management. While it is important to make sure that education, which includes actual facts and the science behind responsible bear management, supported by the long history Maine has in taking care of its bears, this alone will not stir the voters. Emotions will. If those in opposition to this bear referendum are not willing to fight fire with fire, i.e. create an emotional climate hostile to the efforts to ban effective black bear management, I fear a waste of effort and resources.

How strongly convinced are MDIFW and Maine sportsmen, that the present bear management plan and tactics are working that they are willing to do what it takes to defeat this utter nonsense from fringe groups hiding behind animal welfare in order to put a stop to hunting, trapping and eventually fishing. It is coming.

(Perhaps if sportsmen can defeat this new anti hunting effort, enough Maine citizens will better understand the importance of a constitutional amendment to protect hunting, trapping and fishing. If so, then also this time it can be presented to the legislature and citizenry the right way – protecting hunter/trapper/fisherman harvest and get it done.)

I and many other warned often after the 2004 bear referendum, in regards to the non authoritative and fearful approach being taken by MDIFW, guides and sportsmen in general, that being a nice guy wasn’t going to make these environmental zealots go away and leave Maine sportsmen alone. Environmentalists are all about take and nothing about giving. This historic fact must be learned.

Any coalition of Maine sportsmen to fight this initiative, needs a speed course in the tactics used to prevent hunting through effective messaging and then turn it around. The other side began long ago. Take notice of the continuous letters to the editors in many Maine newspapers, all repeating the same emotional talking points. This is being done by design. Many of those letter writers are paid members of these totalitarian groups and they will bombard the media with emotional clap trap for the next 14 or 15 months. And that’s only one small piece of the pie.

What do the Maine sportsmen have planned?


Report Maine Businesses That Support HSUS’ Anti Bear Campaign

The Humane Society of the United States and the Wildlife Alliance of Maine are asking all Maine businesses that provide free food to be used as bear baiting material to stop the practice. The goal of the Humane Society of the United States is to end all hunting, fishing and trapping and will do and say anything to accomplish this totalitarian agenda.

As administrator of this blog, I am asking all bear hunters who are refused any items that can and are used for baiting bears by a business that is complying with the demands of the fringe animal rights groups, to contact me and I will do all that I can to make public the names of those businesses.

Please understand, any business owner has the right to run their businesses as they see fit. However, if these businesses are caving in to the pressures of HSUS and others, it is only right that customers understand the businesses they often frequent and that these owners are willing to jeopardize their business in order to play politics and participate in a perverse, political scheme that, in the long run, will harm the very businesses they are asking to stop selling bear bait food.

Please spread the word. We cannot allow HSUS and others to dictate to businesses how they can and cannot run their businesses.


Maine Bear Facts

*Editor’s Note* The bear harvest information for 2012 was changed to correct an error. I had posted the harvest figure from the 2012 bear hunting season. I apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused.

Emotional and uninformed environmental activists, with an agenda that isn’t about wildlife conservation, responsible management and healthy wildlife populations, want to ban all methods of harvesting black bears, with the exception of “spot and stalk”, a method of attempting to sneak up on a bear (good luck with that).

On May 8, 2013, the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife (MDIFW) updated their “Bear Facts.” Please find a complete copy of this updated Bear Facts at this link.

Liars with the Humane Society of the United States and Wildlife Alliance of Maine have stated publicly, while playing on the emotions of Maine citizens, that there is no scientific evidence that shows that the use of baiting, hounding and trapping bears is a necessary part of controlling bear populations and maintaining a healthy crop of bears.

A key point in Bear Facts is the statement about how MDIFW formulated a “public working group” to obtain input as to what the public wants from living with bears. The working group, made up of landowners, forestry officials, sportsmen, and environmentalists, offered input that would achieve the following:

1. Stabilize the bear population with hunting and trapping.
2. Promote traditional hunting and trapping methods.
3. Promote public tolerance of bears in Maine.

The MDIFW states that, “Regulated Hunting is the Primary Tool to Achieve Publics’ Goals and Objectives.” The following is a synopsis of what MDIFW states as being a necessary part of achieving desired bear management goals.

1. A harvest of between 3,500 and 4,500 bears is needed in order to “stabilize” bear populations. Maine’s 2012 black bear harvest information was just posted today at the MDIFW website. The bear harvest for Maine for 2012, including all methods of harvesting bears, i.e. hunting, baiting, trapping, hounding, etc., was 3,207 bears. That’s up to 1,500 bears short of objective just to stabilize the population. What is going to happen to this fact of reality if the environmentalists get their way and take MDIFW’s bear management tools away from them?

2. Bear harvest has been declining since 2005 and MDIFW reports bear numbers have continued to grow, now with an estimated 30,000 bears in Maine.

3. MDIFW states that “hunting bear over bait is the most effective way to hunt bears and meet population objectives” but that trapping and hounding are also needed as no one of these methods can achieve desired goals. Even with baiting being the “most effective” way to hunt bears, success rates are only around 30%. Compare that rate to the following: moose hunting = 79%, turkey hunters = 38%, deer hunters = 14%. (These numbers come from 2012 numbers when deer harvest numbers are at very low rates due to a heavily diminished deer herd.) “Spot and stalk” bear hunting doesn’t seem to achieve any percentage of the bear harvest.

4. MDIFW also states that in other states that have limited or have eliminated bear baiting and hounding, it makes management “unworkable” and further states that it would not work in Maine due to terrain and thick vegetation.

5. The only kind of “self regulation” bears can accomplish if MDIFW is unable to employ the necessary tools to do their jobs, is achieved through starvation and disease and with higher population numbers, conflicts with humans would also increase.

It is clear that at present MDIFW cannot accomplish management goals for black bears with a full complement of hunting methods available to keep numbers in check. If these extreme environmental organizations have their way in 2014 and ban the necessary harvest methods as laid out by the state, in conjunction with a working group comprised of a cross section of the citizenry, Maine may be witness to extremely high levels of bear malnourishment, starvation and disease, along with increased human bear conflicts, increasing the odds that someone is going to be attacked and killed by a bear.

Make no mistake about it. A hungry bear is a dangerous animal.


HSUS’ Anti Bear Referendum is Delusional



Record Bear Season? But What About the Deer?

The Seacoast Online is reporting that Maine will have a record-breaking bear hunting season. Wonderful! I hope they kill around 10,000 of them.

Maine hunting guides are telling state game officials that 2012 will go down in the record books as one of the best years ever to hunt bears in the state.

We know the cause for big bears being taken is because there is no natural food to eat. It has been explained to Maine citizens by wildlife officials, that when there is a shortage of natural food to eat, bears will eat early, get fat early and den up early. I’m not sure on what food source they eat early and fatten up early on if there isn’t any, other than a handful of bait sites. There appears to be no other explanation for a supposed record bear season other than lack of natural food.

Maine officials seem to confidently state that the state has a population of 31,000 black bears, all of which will apparently eat early, fatten up early and den early. I’ve yet to find this information in scientific studies but I’m still searching.

In the Seacoast article, it states that guides are seeing record numbers of bears as well as big fat bears. It is probably a waste of my time to argue about why the bears are fat right now, but there is little to dispute that there is a record number of bear in Maine at present. And there’s little to dispute that because of such, the bears are taking a toll on the deer population by targeting deer fawns soon after the bears come out of hibernation.

With little interest in reducing the bear herd, from officials and guides, the protection of one species at the expense of another is the order of business it would appear. This kind of thinking is akin to the predator protectors and animal rights perverts.

We are told that moose, of which the state officially boasts 76,000 of them (a record more than likely), compete with the whitetail deer for habitat and food resources and yet the state fails to offer more moose tags to keep the population in check and to give the deer a break at a time they need it most.

And bear kill deer fawns and adult deer if they can ambush them.

Again I repeat, Maine wildlife officials seem to have a firm grasp on the number of moose and bear that there are but can’t nail down anything better than a rough estimate on the deer population. Maybe that fact all by itself partly or mostly explains why the deer herd has gone to hell in a hand basket.

So long as Maine officials and guides fail to place the salvage of the deer population on a higher priority than it currently is, i.e. taking a back seat to bear and moose, the chances are slim and none that the deer will recover. If they do, it will be only by happenstance of weather and climate conditions.

Jokingly, I reported that the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife (MDIFW) was going to use “Black Bear Crows” to count deer as officials couldn’t seem to come up with any firm numbers from flying with helicopters and counting them. As one reader told me, “Using a mythological “black bear crow” to count deer isn’t any more far fetched than MDIFW coming up with an accurate deer count anytime soon.”