August 21, 2019

Maine Bear Basics

*Editor’s Note* – This came to me by a longtime and loyal reader and supporter. Thank you!

TOM: SAM has put together a series of articles with the intent of educating folks on Black Bear in Maine. Superlative. I sent this to several of my family members and hunting buddies this morning. The new website is linked on the SAM website.

Need to learn a lot more or just refresh your memory about Black Bears in Maine here’s your chance. The Sportsman’s Alliance of Maine has put together the best thing I have seen for help in voting on the Bear Referendum . Click the snip below and it will take you online to read 13 essays (at the top of the page) from Bear Groceries to a Maine Bear Attack. Set the greater part of an hour apart and read some well-written essays. It will likely do you good. It did me.

MaineBearFacts

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Maine Bear Facts You Need to Know

BearFacts

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Does Bringing Garbage Cans Inside Really Deter a Hungry Bear?

Those that insist that bear encounters, i.e. those that raid garbage cans, bird feeders, bar-b-cue grills and even bust down garage doors, are “rare” and that people should bring their garbage cans, etc. inside so bears won’t get into them. But does this really prevent a hungry bear from following the scent of the food source? I don’t think so. It may deter a not-so-determined bear from breaking down your door but I don’t think locking up your smelly goods does much to prevent a bear from detecting odors.

In a recent article found in NorthJersey.com, bears can leap tall buildings in a single bound, have x-ray vision and……well, let’s just say bears can detect odors from 18 miles away and polar bears can whiff a seal through 3-feet of solid ice.

Bears are even better smellers than dogs. Black bears have been known to walk a straight line for 18 miles to a food source they’ve sniffed out and silver tip grizzlies can detect an elk carcass at the same distance. A three-foot thick ice floe is not enough to shield the scent of a submerged seal from a hungry polar bear’s nose.

So, lock up your garbage and put it behind 3 feet of concrete – that’s just so the bear can break through it.

And, if you really want to ward off those “rare” bear encounters, by all means “look big.”

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The Problem With Wildlife Commentary

BearsLotsA recent study showed that a recent study isn’t really a recent study at all. A scientific study, one that happens to be recent, showed that recent studies aren’t really recent studies at all but instead are non scientific, romance editorials designed to provide the public with recent study information so that they can write letters to the editor. Make any sense? I didn’t think so.

But don’t get me wrong. First amendment right to free speech is cherished and as much as I dislike reading fiction I wouldn’t ask that it be changed.

Everyone wishing, according to newspaper submission guidelines, can submit their opinions about issues that concern them. Take the spring bear hunting issue in Ontario, Canada. At least two sides exist and according to one side, the other side is wrong, blah, blah, blah.

If you are writing to a credible audience then I would suggest being credible. Accusing the other side of not relying on “scientific studies” and playing on people’s emotions, while you fail to use “scientific studies,” or name your resources and play on people’s emotions, just isn’t going to get the job done.

To explain about “science,” “recent studies,” and “data suggests,” one has to understand what those talking points mean. Science, unfortunately is not science any more. It’s what I call new science that is part of what a friend of mine calls “scientism.” Part of the process to promote agendas is to convince the public that you have the right “science” and everyone else is wrong. After all, there’s a lot of money in being able to do that successfully.

For the very clever person, they utilize the term “peer-reviewed” science or a “peer-reviewed” recent study. Peer reviewed today means some person with abbreviations after their name lied and another person with abbreviations after their name swore to it. This has become a very bad situation for the real and respected science community.

My favorite term is “recent data suggests.” I remember once, several years ago, a man suggested I take a long walk on a short pier. His suggestion meant nothing and more times than not neither does “recent data suggest.”

But getting back to Ontario’s spring bear hunt – which by the way a court tossed out the lawsuit to stop the hunt – in an opinion letter, a person states that a spring bear hunt will do nothing for public safety issues and suggests it might make it worse. The author accuses one side of failing to use science in making its decisions about the spring bear hunt while failing to use any science to argue against a bear hunt……well other than “recent studies,” and “science suggests.”

It is important as well, that is when writing to a credible audience, to be realistic. The writer says that he is, “saddened by the failure of residents in bear country to take responsibility for educating themselves on this issue and on the powerful tools we already have for achieving the goals the spring bear hunt cannot.”

Of course the writer has every right to be sad, but it doesn’t change reality. I might be sad that people who fail to obey traffic laws kill thousands of people a year, regardless of the education and laws that exist, but the reality is people break traffic laws. I may be saddened that criminals illegally own guns and use them to kill innocent people, regardless of how much education and laws are put on the books, but criminals exist and they keep getting guns and killing people. I may be saddened that politicians are crooks and are allowed to be, but the truth is stupid people keep electing stupid crooks.

Once intelligent people understand that concept then instead of practicing insanity and repeating the same process over and over and achieving the same results, perhaps something ought to change. The truth is people are not going to take responsibility about living with bears. The truth is, does anybody have to be forced to live in danger of wild animals because someone who studies Agenda 21 wants you to change your lifestyle for bears, wolves or rats? People today have been brainwashed against taking responsibility and thinking for themselves about anything. The programming of the minds has left us with reliability on government to do things for us. Government says kill the bears, we kill the bears.

And on the other hand, we have another writer who is on “the other side” evidently and presents his case:

Annual birthrate is extremely high. Given aproximately 30,000 sows of cub-bearing age with an average birthrate of 2.4 cubs annually – even with a 50% cub survival rate – this still suggests increased population annually is 36,000.

Recorded harvest mortality is merely 5,000. Despite the low harvest, the Ministry of Natural Resources claims the black bear population is not growing out-of-control in Ontario. Therefore, when you think about it, 31,000 bears must die annually as unrecorded mortality (road kills, rail kills, and those killed to protect livestock and humans).

This sounds a bit less whiny than the other writer who can’t seem to address reality but yet the failure of this editorial is that we have no idea where he got these numbers. People aren’t going to try to verify these numbers and maybe that’s the point of not providing a source. If they aren’t fabricated then wouldn’t a short note of resource have made the letter much more effective?

A quick Google search for “Ontario Black Bear Facts” produces quite the array of nothingness and I’m suggesting therein probably lies many of the problems people who care about truth face. Even the Ministry of Natural Resources provides nothing, that is that I can easily find, about facts on bears except how to learn to live with bears.

And so, it remains the same ole, same ole. Somebody with a platform spouts off and pretends to be presenting “facts,” “truth,” “recent studies,” “peer-viewed studies,” and “recent data,” and people are willing to accept what they read if it sounds good. Truth always seems to get in the way.In conclusion, I would like to say that a recent, peer-reviewed study showed that everything that Tom Remington writes is excellent writing and never wrong. Please tell everyone you know.

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With a Choice Between “Bait” and Acorns, Bears Will Choose Acorns

Part of the argument the promoters of the anti bearing hunting referendum that will be before Maine voters in November is that baiting bears, to lure them into a shooting area, habituates bears to human conditions and trains bears to become reliant on man-provided food sources. Neither condition holds any merit.

The majority of those who oppose hunting bears, and in particular the use of bait, probably have never bear hunted or been involved with any kind of bear baiting stations. Therefore, one has to wonder where they gathered their information about bears. Nothing is more reliable for information than what comes from hunters and trappers with the experience and knowledge to completely understand the effort, tactics and strategies behind baiting bears.

In December of 2007, Bear Hunting Magazine published an article written by Bernie Barringer. This is what he had to say about baiting bears in competition with natural foods:

Where I live in Minnesota, the annual numbers of bears harvested can be directly linked to the quality and availability of the mast crop. And when we talk mast crop in Minnesota, we are primarily talking acorns and to a lesser extent hazelnuts.

Since there is no way to truly overcome the power of the acorn, we must simply be patient and wait it out. The bears will be back, we must just work hard to be ready for them.

As much as some would like to project their human emotions, i.e. their own lust for Dunkin’Donuts, candy, pastries and all junk food, it just is not a bear’s first choice in cuisine. So long as there is the presence of the natural food supply, the power of the acorn will spare the life of many bears who choose not to fill up on bait food.

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