September 18, 2019

Maine Spring Bear Hunt: “Sensible Wildlife Methodology”

It is a rare thing these days to read articles published by outdoor writers who do not necessarily shy aware from approaching wildlife management from a position of sense and sensibility, while at the same time promoting a proven scientific method of doing so, discarding fear and trembling from Environmentalism’s threats of lawsuits and their totalitarian desires to force all others to their perverted lifestyles.

V. Paul Reynolds, former information officer for the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife (MDIFW), editor of the Northwoods Sporting Journal, and radio host of “Maine Outdoors,” discusses a possible spring bear hunt for the State of Maine.

In his last paragraph he writes: “Maine bear biologists are advocating for a spring bear hunt as a way to better manage our state bear population. To shy away from this sensible wildlife methodology simply out of political concerns would be demonstrating a lack of moral courage and represent a compromising rebuke of state wildlife biologists, the professionals we depend upon to scientifically manage our wildlife.” (emboldening added)

Operating from a position of fear from lawsuits and social demands is a sure formula for the destruction of any fish and game management department. Wildlife management is and should be a methodology of proven scientific approach with consideration given to public safety; never making decisions based on politics.

The only hope left for the salvation of our once valued fish and game heritage is a return to the same proven methods.

The MDIFW and the Maine Legislature have shied away from making any bear management decisions based on the need to better control the bear population more out of concern for lawsuits from the animal rights groups and environmentalists than a scientific approach. As they dither and doddle a public safety issue grows more intense and there should be concern for the health of the animal as well.

I implore the MDIFW and the Maine Legislature to cast aside the social demands and threats from lawsuits and do what is right…for a change. It’s time to get serious about responsible wildlife management before such negligence casts a dark shadow over innocents.

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Contracting With Incompetents For Bear Management

I was reading testimony provided by the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife (MDIFW) on proposed legislation LD 1118, a bill that would give the commissioner authority to manipulate bear hunting/trapping rules in order to better manage the growth of black bears in certain areas.

In that testimony, MDIFW wrote: “…are contracting with Cornell University to develop a new population model for bears…”

This all sounds innocent enough and perhaps even a good thing that MDIFW would reach out to higher institutes of “learning” (cough, cough) until you consider just who it is they are reaching out to (contracting) and their track record of doing some really damned stupid things when it comes to biological manipulations to control the growth of deer in certain places.

First consider their demise when Cornell University attempted to control the deer population on the campus and adjacent university property. This all began when the university, or at least the mental midgets in charge of whatever it was they thought they were going to do, promoted the belief that deer are possessed with “reproductive health is a cervine right.”

Yeah, I know. Where once anyone would and should be the laughing stock of the world to suggest that animals should have the same rights as people. What’s even more bizarre is that while delusional people are bestowing human rights on animals, they are working feverishly to take away human rights. Does that make sense to you?

So, Cornell, in their infinite wisdom (add a chuckle or two here), bestowing reproductive rights on deer, decided to gather up all the female deer on the campus and give them all a “tubal ligation,” i.e. get their tubes tied.

Evidently, to the brainless wonders of higher environmental indoctrination, they didn’t realize that a tubal ligation would do little to stop the female deer from entering estrus (a condition that indicates to every male deer within smelling distance a deer is ready to be bred). A female deer will essentially remain in heat until conception is completed. As a result, the attempt to reduce the deer population ended up increasing due to the mass migration of bucks to the campus, in much the same way as men show up in masses at a all women college.

Having learned absolutely nothing (or any misguided individual might think more reproductive rights need to be administered), Cornell decided to try a different approach on Staten Island. Here, the University coughed up $3.3 million dollars to give all the male deer (their turn this time around) a vasectomy.

With all the male deer having been denied their real reproductive rights, as were the female deer from the previous malpractice, they could never complete conception of the hundreds of does in heat. In a previous report on this event, I considered the fact that the male deer on Staten Island might all drop dead from….uh…well, you might get the picture? I hope.

So, these are the trials and tribulations of attempts at wildlife management from one of this country’s more prestigious learning institutions and now the MDIFW has contracted with them in developing a “new population model for bears.” If things go according to historic disasters, perhaps Maine can look forward to ten times the number of bears they have now. Or, perhaps within this “model” Cornell can devise a way so that bears won’t hibernate.

Don’t bears have the right to be awake year round? Sleeping through added reproduction periods might be considered a denial of rights.

I hope the MDIFW knows what they are doing…er…uh…or something.

And who is paying these clowns and at what expense?

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The Mythical Bear Study Extremists Seem to Adore

The other day I wrote about how the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife (MDIFW) announced that it was seeking bids from private enterprise to assist them with devising a “model” to better control the black bear population in Maine.

*Important Note*(I find that the MDIFW’s credibility on wildlife management issues dwindles the more they talk. Maybe that’s why they are so close-lipped about many things. I say this because here we have a situation in which the MDIFW is coming off announcements of the release of their future big game management plans which calls for less focus on counting the numbers of deer, bear, moose, turkeys, etc. and placing more focus on a “healthy” population. Evidently, MDIFW is discovering how difficult it must be for them to manage these game species without spending time counting. As such, it now appears the MDIFW has reached out to private enterprise to help them COUNT.)

As a result of the latest announcement of seeking outside help, the Media has erupted with information from every Tom (LOL), Dick, and Harry either for or against this idea, which seems to be going hand in hand with the announcement that newly elected governor Janet Mills has selected the current head of the Division of Wildlife at MDIFW, Judy Camuso, to be the next commissioner of the department.

In the fray, it seems members of the media and heads of animal rights groups have crawled out of the woodwork claiming that Mills’ appointment of Camuso is a big mistake because she did her job under Commissioner Woodcock and was his mouthpiece during the last bear referendum.

It should be noted that these groups and much of the echo-chamber Press, will not give up this fight until they get what they want. Eventually, they will.

In many a previous discussion about bear hunting, more specifically using bait as a hunting method, those who opposed baiting bear (realistically they oppose all hunting regardless of method.) have never had any “scientific” studies to support their claims, until 4 people from the University of Southern Maine created a study of their own – a “model” I might add, and most of us should know by now what modeling does when it comes to science. Which brings me to the point of this article.

The so-called “study” can be found at this link.

I’m not going to spend a great deal of time going through the entire study to point out the flaws. However, in order that people can make intelligent decisions, especially when it comes to voter referendums, somebody ought to tell the truth and point out the realities, especially when it comes to such things as “models” used as a “scientific” foundation to build a political argument.

First, I should say that it is my opinion that much of what was published in this study is credible, however falsely based on Natural Regulation. What is missing is information that would seriously manipulate the results that were concluded from the modeling done. Unless, you are intelligent enough to read and understand the entire study, cherry picking quotes and statements here and there to promote one’s agenda is dishonest at best.

Throughout the study, the authors repeatedly state that they “made assumptions” and purposely did not include data that would have altered the results of the study, but stated they “were satisfied with the outcomes.” *Note* – If the outcome is what is desired, what’s not to be satisfied about it?

When anyone models information to arrive at some kind of conclusion, it is far too easy to manipulate the input in order to obtain a desired outcome. This outcome, it is realized, becomes a powerful tool for the very same reason that animal rights groups are cherry-picking information to substantiate their agendas. This is precisely the definition of “Scientism.”

I doubt that the authors of this study are any more qualified to create it than I am. I will note that references and resources, of course were hand-picked. In addition, I will give very little credibility to any information used as a reference in a so-called scientific study that uses Wikipedia. If you don’t understand this statement then you will not understand the basis of my entire article.

Modeling, as I said, is far too easy to manipulate input to get the output desired. I’m not definitively saying the authors deliberately went out of their way to devise the outcome they desired. Only you can make that assessment yourselves.

Therefore, guess work and estimates are useless in deriving any conclusions that are anything but guess work and estimates – garbage in and garbage out.

Data used by the study writers, included data that comes from the MDIFW website. Ironic isn’t it that those animal rights advocates will jump all over hand-selected data from this study (much of which comes from MDIFW) to aid and abet their passions but in the same breath curse the department for being ignorant of bear management. How is that?

The MDIFW will be the first to admit their data on species populations are estimates – estimate in, estimate out. Studies and Modeling supports estimates and guesses.

Even though as I stated, much of what is written is reasonable if only it was more honestly stated that their results are only estimates of the inexact data they had to work with. The truth is there are so many variables in the life cycles, ecosystem changes, and management plans, attempting to claim that baiting bears causing the population to grow is really quite dishonest.

Too many simplistic assumptions are made in order for the authors to reach the conclusions that they did. One that just kept jumping out at me was the bulk of their modeling and the results they obtained were based on the belief that in the late Summer and early Fall, when bear hunting and baiting is being done, bears naturally eat only beechnuts. Really? In off years and in areas where there are no beech trees, the poor bears must starve to death.

As the study states, most biologist agree that bears prefer natural food over the slop baiters put out to entice them, and yet, so many conclusions are made based on this notion that bears eat only beechnuts in the Fall.

Another issue I find incomplete, or dishonest if that’s what you choose to believe, is the study doesn’t even mention where baiting takes place and how the food used in baiting can contribute to a false “carry capacity” as a percentage of the total statewide bear population. If it is true that baiting bears contributes millions of calories and 7 million pounds of “unnatural” food for bears, what is the percentage of bears that are actually getting bait food versus those that never see it, or at least what comes in a barrel in the middle of the woods? This study is void of such discussion.

I will repeat, there are just too many variables to be able to make the claims these authors did that baiting bears causes the population statewide to increase every year, evidently with no end in sight.

I will also point out that much of the information contained in this study is based on the myth of natural regulation. Figures and formulas are presented based on the theory of natural regulation. There is no such thing in the context of which it was presented in this study. Natural Regulation, perhaps more accurately described as Natural Irregularity, everything is a constant changing of positive and negative feedback loops. These loops provide large swings up and down of species population. Odd that these authors even used their own devised positive and negative feedback loops and yet somehow those loops only contribute to a growing bear population when baiting is being done.

But we shouldn’t throw out the baby with the bathwater. Although many choose to only hand-select information that benefits them and their political agendas, the authors offer conclusions and remedies to what they perceive as a management problem. Let’s look.

The authors conclude that bear baiting increases the bears’ “ecosystem carrying capacity,” and based on their findings the current bear management plan will not reduce the bear population. *Note*If baiting of bears increases the bears’ “ecosystem carrying capacity,” then in theory, and using the same logic used in this modeling, unless there is a constant increase in the number of bear hunters and the amount of bait being spread throughout the bears’ ecosystem, then why doesn’t the “false” carrying capacity created by baiting, level off and thus the population of bears level off as part of their false natural regulation?

I think I would have to agree with at least the part that says that unless the MDIFW changes something the bear population is going to continue to grow provided all other variables remain relatively constant.

The authors make recommendations as to what MDIFW can do. It might appear to me that all of those opposed to bear hunting deliberately avoid mentioning these recommendations. Who can blame them? I might add that these animal rights people want only hunting, trapping, and fishing to be banned and let “Natural Regulation” take over. Part of me wishes this would happen just so I can say I told you so.

The recommendations given in a nutshell are these:

First, ban baiting. Their model “suggests” if baiting was banned only about 700 fewer bears would be killed. (Note – I wonder if that number includes any of the bears they chose to not include in the model that shows baiting grows the population?)

Second, encourage the hunting of female bears and cubs. GASP!!! How dare anyone whose data I used to promote anti-hunting agendas suggest killing momma and baby bears!! GASP!! (again)

Third – and this is the one that floors me – continue the use of bait but switch the bait from junk food to “natural beechnuts.” Say what? If the argument is that baiting artificially grows the carrying capacity and thus artificially grows the population, how then is switching the bait going to change much. Is it that we have now become more and more conscious of the bears’ diet? Yes, I have also read that as well.

So where do the beechnuts come from? Doing a quick Google search I couldn’t find any stores that market and sell beechnuts. So……? Are hunters and guides supposed to start collecting bushel baskets and hiring people to go out and pick beechnuts to bait deer with? Maybe there’s an after-school job for some young boys and girls harvesting beechnuts to provide bear guides with bait.

If the bait used for bear hunting is supposed to be changed from junk food to natural beechnuts, the ONLY way I know of to do this without altering the natural ecosystem carrying capacity, is to pick the beechnuts from the trees within that ecosystem and make feeding by the bears easier. Remember in the “regulated” world of Natural Regulation, beechnuts cannot be brought into an area where they did not naturally appear, otherwise what’s the difference in what you use for bait unless the concern is to provide a healthy diet and cut down on tooth decay in bears?

Part of the circular, confusing reasoning used in this study, the conclusions derived, and suggestions made shows up when the authors suggest that introducing bears to human food will, “teach bears to associate humans with food.” Smart critters aren’t they. I’ve always asked the question and never given an honest answer, if bears are so damned smart that they learn to associate human food with humans, are they equally as smart to learn that human food might mean a bullet in the butt?

There will always be disagreements with wildlife management. In recent years, as the culture of this nation morphs into something I perceive as perverted, things have gone far beyond disagreements in wildlife management practices. They have gone to a point where people are demanding an end to long-held traditions of hunting, trapping, and fishing. Their beliefs cause them to take whatever direction they need to in order to get their way.

Ironic it is, that some who advocate for animals rights and protection, even wishing to deny a person’s inalienable right to eat the foods that LORD GOD ALMIGHTY provided us, take offense to anyone who counters their idealistic Romance Biology, as though we are supposed to just shut up and do as we are told…by them.

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Odd Way of Selling Bear Hunting

It seems that the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife (MDIFW) is on a bit of a promotion kick attempting to convince more Mainer’s to take up bear hunting.

Maine has too many bears – or at least anyone with any sense at all realizes that – and not enough hunters to control the growth. Or, it could be that the MDIFW is too tightly controlled by the guides and outfitters who dictate to them when, where, how often, how long and what bag limits will be on black bear. Then again, maybe two seasons for bear would work but you still need hunters.

Several articles have appeared in newspapers of late encouraging people to take up bear hunting with the MDIFW expressing thoughts of how the population of bears keeps growing while the population of bear hunters keeps shrinking.

Perhaps an actual change in attitude and presentation of propaganda at the department might help in that way. MDIFW is pretty quick to relate stories of their great bear management activities, cuddling up with bear cubs during the winter surveys and sharing stories of “named” bears as though they were a member of the neighborhood instead of potential table fare.

Some people (potential bear hunters) would prefer to see statistics from bear harvests to determine whether making the effort to take up bear hunting or come to Maine for a visit and do some bear hunting is worthwhile. To a bear hunter, cute and cuddly bear cubs all snuggly-wuggly into the jacket of a bear biologist isn’t what excites a bear hunter.

So here’s a suggestion. To help generate a bit more interest in bear hunting, MDIFW could at least pretend they give two rat’s patooties about bear hunting and see if they could publish the bear harvest results for the previous bear hunting season before the next one begins. Maybe they could even run a few more bear hunting reports in those same newspapers they like to publish cute bear pictures in.

But now that MDIFW has announced that they are no longer all that concerned about game populations and will focus more on health, counting and producing data is a thing of the past. It’s also a convenient way of ensuring there is no accountability.

Well, here’s a thought. If MDIFW is pretending to be recruiting bear hunters (more precisely they are recruiting revenue to pay the retirement pensions) but at the same time changing their focus to the health of game herds instead of population numbers, then history tells us that soon MDIFW will have their hands full of taking up the chore of dealing with all the diseases that come from overpopulations of any animal.

Health focus they want? Health focus they will get!

BUT DON’T GO LOOK!

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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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Is It Possible MDIFW Will Actually Do Something About Reducing Bear Population?

This just might be so! According to George Smith, the group that is working on devising game management plans for bear, deer, moose and turkeys, voted, in a split vote, to consider implementation of a Spring bear hunt.

As the old Maine saying goes, “Hahd tellin not knowin,” the Smith article mentions no other options than a Spring bear hunt for the purpose of reducing bear numbers. I have been calling for real action for some time now to reduce the bear populations, especially in areas were the deer herd is suffering, in order to give the herd a kick start.

Crickets! But excuses.

In this article, in discussing the ups and downs of a Spring hunt, head of the Maine Guides said, “…guides and sporting camps felt they would not get more hunters, but their expenses would increase in order to offer both spring and fall hunts.”

I don’t like that the Maine Guides wield so much power and control over the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife (MDFIW) but I do want them to be able to take full advantage of the cards they are dealt…just like the rest of us. Therefore, I’ll repeat what I have said before. There has been so much negative press on a Spring bear hunt, and if it is true that the Maine Guides wouldn’t benefit the most from a Spring hunt, then why not double up the bear bag limit, for a season or two, for the late Summer, early Fall hunt? Aren’t there things MDIFW can do within the scope of a Fall bear hunt that will both reduce the bear population AND accommodate the guides and camp owners? – lengthen the season, increase the bag limit, gag some environmentalists, etc.

At least it appears suggestions are being made and seriously considered for doing something about getting the bear population under better control, while at the same time maybe helping out the deer herd.

Way to go! Don’t stop now!

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I Hope, Want, Encourage, and Prefer More Bear Hunters Will Take More Bears

I couldn’t help myself and keep from laughing as a read an Online article about bear hunting in Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont for this fall bear hunting season. The person sending me the link to the article pointed out the use of such terms as “hoping, encourage, prefer, want” when discussing game manager’s goals for harvest to bring it in line with population targets.

According to the article linked-to, the Maine bear biologist said she “was hoping” for more bear hunters this year, “prefer[ring]” to reach bear harvest numbers at around 4,000 instead of 3,000. She also said, “We’re trying to encourage deer hunters that when they are scouting for deer, they have the opportunity to take a bear.”(emboldening added)

Reading all this, and hearing it all before, one must ask what it is that the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife (MDIFW) is doing besides hoping, preferring, and encouraging to bring bear harvest numbers in line with goals. This is especially true since the article starts out by stating that this year’s bear hunt is “especially critical” in controlling the bears. Especially critical? Then biologists and game managers must have made some serious changes to get bear numbers under control.

Over the past few years, it appears to me that what the MDIFW has done to “encourage” more bear hunters is to find a way to charge them more money to bear hunt. Where once a hunter could buy a “Big Game Hunting License” and hunt deer and bear, now, if you want to hunt bear outside of deer hunting season, you have to buy another license. That move is sure to “encourage” more hunters and cause managers to wish, want and hope even more.

In the meantime, the Maine camp owners and guides, control all aspects of the bear hunt because they believe that it belongs to them because they make money from it. I wouldn’t think to prevent any guide from making a buck (no pun intended) or two, but when it is described as “especially critical” in controlling bear populations, needed for public safety and reducing depredations of livestock, one has to wonder if the MDIFW is being responsible stewards to the game populations or to the Maine guides?

A Spring hunt, one would think, would help in reducing bear populations…combined with getting rid of the extra bear hunting license and fee. But, we are told, that the Maine Guides do not want a Spring hunt. I guess then, that the Guides get what they want.

Reducing bear numbers certainly would help in trying to boost some deer numbers. Question: Is it that Maine guides don’t make as much money from deer hunting as bear hunting? Even though managers mouth that bears may be more critical toward deer fawn survival than coyotes/wolves, they have strange way of showing it. I don’t even know if MDIFW has even considered that an “especially critical” bear population might be having a negative effect on the dwindling moose supply. And yes, I get it! It’s the damned global warming causing too many ticks. What else could it possibly be?

I’m sorry but I’m not jumping on the band wagon that flies the banners for wishing, hoping, preferring and encouraging, when nothing constructive is being done to alleviate that “especially critical” bear population problem. Maybe the terms wishing, hoping, preferring and encouraging are acceptable, non threatening terms the environmentalists can plug into the social tolerance algorithms, and then feed the results back to MDIFW so they will know how to manage bears.

Bear managers at MDIFW are quite adept at studying bears and collecting data. Perhaps their “understanding” of bears is greater than any place on earth. But that does not translate into being excellent bear managers. They know what needs to be done, scientifically, but they don’t know how to accomplish it – from what I can gather, due to social demands and tolerances.

I’m sure hoping that bear managers will be encouraged to prefer that something other than global warming and magic, will be suggested to reduce bear populations.

WantsHopes

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Nuisance Bear Hot Spots in Maine

The Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife (MDIFW) provided followers on Facebook with a map that shows locations around the state that they deem to be “Nuisance Bears Hot Spots.” The comments left by followers range from ignorant to showing side effects of total lobotomized brains.

According to the majority of those who left comments, the solution to “nuisance bears” is to kill humans. But that’s nothing new. Animal perverts are animal perverts because they hate humans and prefer animals for all their pleasures in life.

But there was one comment that was so completely ridiculous, someone would have to actually think about what would be the biggest lie they could tell….Nah, I change my mind. That would actually require a brain. This person has none. It’s nothing but nonsensical, emotional drivel – the result of romance biology and Voodoo environmentalism. Here’s what they said: “…there use to be 100 times more bears only half a century ago and now they are actually at a low population because mankind built cities, harvested forests, and hunted them down. This is the truth and not an illusion of public safety, if at all they should be fearing us for being the cruelest living beings on earth.”

We see the hatred toward mankind along with delusional babbling from someone incapable of any sort of rational thinking. According to the MDIFW, bears range in numbers from 24,000 to 36,000. If 50 years ago there were, “100 times more bears,” then Maine had between 2,400,000 and 3,600,000 bears. Not only is that biologically an impossibility, it is an utterly ridiculous statement to make. According to another website, there’s barely over 500,000 black bears in the United States and that includes the estimated 200,000 in Alaska.

50 years ago, I was a teenager living in the rural countryside of Western Maine. I was in the woods as often as I could be and began hunting before the age of 10. I can honestly tell you that Maine did not have 3 million bears. As a matter of fact, also according to MDIFW (not human haters) the estimated bear population of Maine in 1955, 61 years ago, was between 5,000 and 7,000 bears. In 1975, 41 years ago, the estimated bear population was between 7,000 and 10,000 bears – a far cry from the “100 times” bears spoken of above.

Due to the lack of bear management, it is said that around 1,900 most of the bears in Southern Maine were gone, leaving bears to roam only in Northern Maine in limited numbers. Once a management plan was put into place, based upon the North American Wildlife Conservation Model, Maine now sees 24,000 – 36,000 bears statewide. With this kind of continued growth, I fail to see how man is doing anything else but responsibly managing the animals.

Instead of hating on man and call for his mass murder so animals can live without man’s influence, perhaps some of these fools should do a little bit of reading and research to discover some truth for a change. As much as these animal perverts don’t want to recognize it, both men and animals have always shared this planet and always will. Pretending that somehow man can be erased from the equation (which prompts me to ask just what species it is these people think they are) probably isn’t going to work.

For the most part, men have done a remarkable job of preserving animal species – in some cases perhaps too much so. Get over it and get on with life.

Geez! I can tell you for a fact (wink, wink) that there are 100 times more ignorant people today than a half-century ago!

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Maine Has Too Many Bears – Problems Forthcoming

A “cute” story is found in the Bangor Daily News of a “picturesque” and a “beautiful” bear’s den just 80 yards from a home and a residential neighborhood in the Bangor, Maine area. The “picturesque” and “beautiful” den had a mother bear and two yearling cubs living in it…BUT WHY?

We don’t often get wildlife managers even hinting at management issues, but in this article we read a very large hint as to why these bears decided to den-up in humans backyard. Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife (MDIFW) bear biologist, Randy Cross, told reporters, “…with the range expansion that we’ve seen over the past 20 or 30 years, there are not a lot of places that you could say, in the whole state of Maine, ‘I don’t have to worry about bears here.’ A lot of places are low-risk, but they still have risk.””

We are repeatedly told that bears are more scared of us than we are of them. Evidently there is little fear in bears that choose to crawl under a stump for the winter adjacent to a house and subdivision. Cross told readers that his investigation showed the bears had not been eating human-resourced food – their scat was full of remains of apples. So, the bears didn’t opt to camp out in the backyard because they knew food was in somebody’s garbage or bird feeder.

There is usually a good reason bears get this close to human-settled landscapes. Both reasons are mentioned in this article but presented in ways that don’t really drive home the importance. One reason is habituation to human-sourced foods and the other because there are too many bears with not enough room to roam. These conditions, coupled with a year with a shortage of natural food, and Maine residents will be in store for a record-breaking year of bear/human encounters. Let’s hope nobody gets injured.

MDIFW must find better ways to control the bear numbers. It would seem intelligent (yeah I know) to add another season, and/or up the bag limits. Bears prey on deer and moose fawns in the Spring and both of those species have growth and sustainability issues. Isn’t it about time?

Or, maybe MDIFW is scared that killing more bears will convince the perverts another lawsuit or referendum is in order. They haven’t figured out yet that lawsuits and referendums are in order no matter what MDIFW does in their management schemes. Get over it and get on with it!

HermonBears

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Maine Hunting Camp: Why Bother?

As each year passes, I continue to ask myself, why bother? Why bother to go? There are very few deer, as has been the case for going on two decades now and nothing is changing in the woods…nothing.

I just completed my 40th year at a Maine hunting camp – the same family hunting camp I have written about for many years. I saw nothing – Okay, I saw three partridge and a woodpecker on my camp bird feeder.

This morning I was reading The Gun Nut at Field and Stream. He had been in Wyoming on a whitetail deer hunt where he took a 12-point, 200-pound buck. He writes, “At the moment I pulled the trigger, there were six other bucks in the field.”

Then he wrote, “Then I went to Maine, and spent 5 ½ days in an elevated stand waiting for a whitetail. I was in the stand from 5:45 until 4:30, and the only thing I saw the whole time was a coyote, whose furtive existence I terminated. Our party was 15 people more or less, ten of whom are geezers like myself and have 50 years or so of whitetail battles in their past, so when they don’t see deer, it means there are no deer.”

For 40 years I’ve hunted the same lands and have seen it all. Excuses be damned…there just aren’t any deer and I hold out little hope that by doing nothing except wishing and hoping, anything is going to change.

The poor excuses are old to me and worthless. Putting it all together, we see that it appears deer managers don’t know what’s really going on and with each passing year, I am left wondering if they really care. Maybe they care about pensions and benefits, but the excuse making is so poor, some of us have discovered that the managers tell it both ways. Here’s a bold and ridiculous example of what I mean.

The moose population is shrinking. Even though the moose managers keep echoing the fact that the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife (MDIFW) is in the middle of a multi-year moose study, we know they recognize a dwindling moose herd because they keep cutting back the number of moose permits to be issued during the lottery.

The convenient cover for poor management is winter ticks, which they hide behind by saying the increase in winter ticks is caused by (and we don’t even have to wait for it anymore) climate change. To be specific, the climate change in question happens to be warming. Wildlife managers, evidently without so much as a courtesy glance at any existing science on Demacentor albipictus (winter tick), it’s easier to copy and paste, and/or repeat, what the last guy said.

So, now, we are all supposed to fall to our knees and self-flagellate as a show of mourning for the moose and eagerly swallow the explanation of what is happening to the moose. I believe! I believe! Are you going to pass the offering plate?

Even if we pretend that a warming climate is to blame for the winter tick-caused mortality of moose, what about the whitetail deer?

Of course, all of us must realize that habitat is always a safe bet when a deer or moose manager needs to cover their assets, even though no explanation can be given as to why, if loss of habitat accounts so dearly to deer loss, there’s acres and acres of prime deer habitat where there are no deer. One would think that as habitat supposedly disappears, more and more deer would be crowded into smaller and smaller places. Such is not the case. The woods are empty…PERIOD.

If you haven’t figured out yet where I’m going here, it’s time I told you. Deer managers tell us that there are no deer because of back to back severe winters. That was like 7 or 8 years ago. Without even discussing what constitute a “severe winter,” I don’t even need a brain to figure out that if severe winters are killing off all the deer, then how can, at the same time, on the same landscape, from the same officials, they tell us warmer than normal winters are what’s causing winter ticks that kill moose? Where did you say that bridge was you wanted to sell me?

I laugh until I nearly fall out of my chair, when I hear of some calling for the State of Maine to spend gobs of money they don’t have, in order to market Maine as a destination hunting mecca. This has to be someone’s idea of a bad joke. Because I grew up in Maine and lived there for 47 years, still have a camp there and have gone to the same deer hunting camp for 40 years, I go back each Fall. Each year it’s harder and harder to justify spending the $116.00 for a piece of paper that gives me the privilege of walking in the woods. Without the connections, I would not go. I would not spend $50.00 or $20.00 to travel the 1700 miles to deer hunt in Maine.

Deer hunting in Maine is the biggest draw the state has for hunters. When they lose that, a lot of people and animals will suffer. If MDIFW actually cares about saving the species and the sport, which equals a sizable income to them and the rest of the state, something must change. MDIFW cannot continue to be dictated to by the Maine Guides. Bear play a prominent roll in killing deer. There are too many bears and yet, because the guides don’t want anybody messing with their bear guiding business during the early Fall hunt, managers refuse to implement a spring bear hunt or even to double-up on bag limits.

When you combine this kind of approach to wildlife management with fear of lawsuits from animal rights perverts, there is little hope of anything changing. We see how MDIFW caves in to the public demands to have more moose to view from automobiles. When the day arrived that game managers put more emphasis on social demands than scientific fact, failure was eminent. We are now reaping that harvest.

Maine deer hunting? Why bother?

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