August 20, 2018

Maine County Employees Running Into Too Many Deer, Moose, Bear

While running into these large animals can cause property damage and serious bodily injury, how many incidents are too many? In an article found online, it is stated that “In Aroostook County, encountering animals such as a moose and deer on the roadway is a fact of life.”

If it’s a fact of life, then isn’t it also a no-brainer that if there are too many accidents involving these large animals, it would appear the drivers need some behavior modification. But then again, as is stated in the article “We had 13 [insurance] claims [filed] for Aroostook County over the past three years, and more than half of them were because the employee hit an animal on the roadway.”

So then are we to assume that in three years time there were 7 accidents or 2.3 per year? How does that compare with miles driven etc.? Too many accidents? What’s that mean?

It all kind of reminds me of the somewhat aged country music song, “Too Much Fun.”

Too much fun, what’s that mean?
It’s like too much money, there’s no such thing
It’s like a girl too pretty with too much class
Being too lucky, a car too fast
No matter what they say, I’ve done
But I ain’t never had too much fun

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In Maine, Too Many Game Animals or Not Enough Game Animals? And None of It Matters

And the beat goes on! Drums keep pounding rhythm to my brain!

Ah, yes! The committee in Maine is at work attempting to put onto paper all the management plans for deer, moose, bear and turkey. Members on the committee seem to be saying there are too many of certain kinds of game animals, while others are saying there isn’t enough. Perhaps the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife (MDIFW) and the committee should go on Facebook and ask followers what they think…and don’t forget the environmentalists and animal rights perverts. Oh, wait. That’s right. They already have some of them on the committee helping to “steer” efforts in the right way. Perhaps asking for input from Black Lives Matter?

The other day I wrote about how I thought the entire effort was a waste of time – jumping through bureaucratic hoops for the sole purpose of getting money. These plans are seldom followed or even referred to during their 15-year life expectancy…well, except when it’s convenient. I wonder if all the committee members will win a trophy when the task is complete? At least a certificate of participation?

Just as a reminder, some of us have been doing a lot of hollering that something ought to be done about growing a deer herd. The result? Increased doe permits because Maine had one relatively mild winter. I guess this is now the major driving force toward deer management.

Some of us have suggested efforts to reduce the bear populations that have been determined to be a major factor in reduced deer existence. The result? Crickets, except listening to what the guides have to say and doing as they are told. Now I understand that in the proposed bear management plan, MDIFW is going to spend time and money to “educate” people how to “coexist” with bears. No, seriously. I’m not the only person out there over the age of 60. When was the last time, in your life span, that we had to teach people how to “coexist” with bears? I thought so.

I’ve banged my head against cement walls attempting to get somebody to listen to the idea that Maine simply has too many moose and that’s why winter ticks have taken over the job of managing the moose herd. The result? Reduced numbers of moose permits and discussion about stopping any kind of deer management in Northern Maine and focus only on moose. Let’s continue breeding and growing ticks shall we? Hmmm. This must have been the suggestion of the guides and camp owners. It’s probably easier as well. Instead of having to listen to questions about why the deer hunting sucks, MDIFW biologists can just say, “We don’t manage deer there anymore. But the moose hunting is good. You just need to hire a guide, pay a few thousand dollars, and if you’re lucky enough to draw a permit, oh boy!” Maybe the change would make for better reality TV programming. Let’s get drunk and go catch somebody illegally looking at a moose….or something.

I really should stop all this talk!

But, for some reason, and meaning no offense to the members of the committee, members seem to think this time will be different. If we can just get into these game management plans all those things that make us feel good, this time it will be different. This time MDIFW will follow the plan. This time.

Last time the plan didn’t get followed very good and so MDIFW had to stop mid-plan and devise a crock of bologna called Maine’s Game Plan for Deer.  We can expect MDIFW to follow these new game management plans as closely as they did the Maine’s Game Plan for Deer. I wonder what followers of Facebook thought about that. Did MDIFW get any “likes” for that? Did MDIFW go and ask members of the Humane Society of the United States if it was alright to go through the motions so as to get the sportsmen off their backs? Go ask Katie!

Or maybe cough up another few hundred thousand dollars to hire a “research” company to come up with what you want to hear – like sportsmen are so much in love with MDIFW.

I’ll repeat it one more time, just for the insanity of it: Insanity is doing the same thing over and over and each time expecting a different result. Isn’t this really bureaucratic insanity at its finest?

And yes, I do understand that by my repeated writing, asking the same questions, pointing out the same nonsense, etc. and expecting that something will change, is complete insanity.

I guess I really do fit in!

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Maine’s Mangled Moose Management

Most every morning I get up and somewhere along the line I end up asking myself why I see things differently than others. I don’t know half the time if it’s a curse or a blessing.

Once I had confidence that when Maine finished their moose study program, they would be able to come up with sensible, scientific conclusions that would help in making decisions about how to responsibly and scientifically take care of the state’s moose herd. The confidence has ebbed to something just short of doubtfulness, but there is still a lot of time left to get things right. Let’s hope.

Yesterday, the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife (MIDFW), in their Twitter Updates, provided a link to “Searching for Maine’s Moose Calves.” In that report, the author wrote: “In late April, wildlife biologists begin to closely examine the daily locations of each adult cow to determine whether or not they have localized into one small area.  A cow that localizes into a small area at this point of the spring usually means that she has given birth to a calf or calves.  Once this determination has been made, biologists use tracking (or telemetry) equipment to visit this site when she is present to obtain a visual on her, and hopefully a calf or two at her side.”

It is also written that “it is important to understand the productivity of the population to guide management decisions.”

What is not written is an explanation as to how long it takes from when biologists think they have discovered that moose have “localized into one small area,” and when calving occurs. We also are not told how long it takes after the so-called localization of the moose before biologists get to an area to “obtain a visual” on the cow moose, in which they “hopefully” will find a calf or two. (Note – Vaginal implants are now available that will signal researchers the exact moment a birth has occurred.)

It appears that Maine’s focus, also heavily trumped up by the Media and their directive to promote “climate change,” i.e. global warming, is on death of moose by ticks – and of course the growth of ticks, they repeat, is caused by global warming. This focus deflects attention away from other causes of death and/or the cause of a dwindling moose population.

We know that predators attack and kill newly born moose calves, from within minutes to hours of birth. Predators such as bear, coyote/wolf, bobcat and lynx, learn where moose “localize.” They have also learned where deer go to fawn. These same predators can smell the birth of moose and deer and beeline for a fresh, hot meal.

Which brings me to my question of concern. Biologists may or may not assume an adult cow moose is pregnant. The cow moose that they have collared should give them that information. Moose without collars, it’s a guess. Can a biologist, under these techniques actually obtain accurate data to know the moose calf survival rate within the first week, or before biologists have made their way into the woods in hopes to find the collared moose with a calf or two?

Recently we learned that in studies of coyote behavior and predation on deer, that data being collected was not necessarily giving accurate conclusions because there was no way to determine how many fawns were preyed upon and killed immediately after birth, up until the time biologists could fit the small deer with collars. Once a collar is attached, tracking the animal is certainly easier. Without a collar, not so much. Are we possibly seeing the same thing with Maine and New Hampshire’s moose study? And their deer study? If so, will this give them inaccurate and/or misleading information causing bad decisions to be made?

According to information provided by George Smith in the Bangor Daily News, “In the winters of 2014 and 2015, 73% and 60% of Maine’s collared moose calves, respectively, died from ticks.” Do we know how many of the newly born moose calves died from other causes between birth and getting collared?

It’s important when conducting studies to examine completely, and with open scientific minds, to understand all that is going on. Anything short of that is a waste of time and resources. Yes, it’s important to try to understand winter ticks and their effects on moose, but if that is what the entire focus is going to be on, then all that might be accomplished is to better understand the tick. However, other information in Smith’s report doesn’t offer much hope for a good result.

There was one encouraging thing I read in this report, that the AP quoted one New Hampshire biologist who said, “As our moose numbers decline, the ticks will decline.” I’ve harped on that subject for quite a long time now. Maybe some are beginning to listen?

But, don’t get too excited. Biologists, along with the help of the Media, continue to brow-beat people over the effects of a fake “global warming.” It also shows that, like parrots, it is ignorantly repeated that a warming climate exacerbates the winter tick population. Instead of doing some research to learn about the winter tick and how weather and climate effect it, it’s much easier to just “rinse and repeat” the same mouthful of garbage forced into it.

In the meantime, Maine has decided that it’s more important to keep growing more and more moose…well, at least until someone figures it out: “If we just took the (dead moose) results of last year, we would have concerns. And we do have concerns, but it’s going to take some time.” 

Even though it has finally been suggested that winter ticks will not go away, substantially, until the moose population is reduced enough to effect the necessary change. The way I see it, Maine can dither, pretending they can grow enough moose to make money from selling hunting permits and keep the moose gawkers happy, or they can decide to manage a healthy moose herd. One way or another, the moose herd will be reduced. Either disease and ticks will kill them or MDIFW could call for a drastic reduction in the moose herd, not by reducing moose hunting permits, but by increasing them – perhaps doubling and tripling – maybe set a goal to reduce the herd to one-half, then open a season for all Maine residents until the quota is obtained. Of course it would be helpful if Maine had a firm grip on what the population is now, along with the perpetuating tick epidemic, then they could more easily derive a target population, relatively tick free, while at the same time feeding the large predators, which in turns grows their numbers too high.

And, environmentalist keep repeating the lie that the North American Model of Wildlife Management doesn’t work anymore. The further away from the Model we get, the more serious problems arise.

BUT DON’T GO LOOK!

KnowMoose

 

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Bear Prank – Don’t Try This At Home

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Department Seeks Input On Maine’s Most Popular Wildlife And Fish Species At Public Meetings And Online Town Hall Forum

Press Release from the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife:

AUGUSTA, Maine — The Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife wants to hear your ideas and opinions about Maine’s most popular wildlife and fish species.

Over the next month, the department will hold a series of statewide public meetings that will focus on moose, deer and turkey; bear, and freshwater fisheries. The meetings are designed to gather ideas and information from the public that will help shape management of these species over the next fifteen years.

“We want to hear from the public concerning some of Maine’s most popular species,” said Jim Connolly, IFW Director of Resource Management. “We’ve already conducted extensive public surveys, but this is your chance to provide additional input on the management of these species for years to come.

In addition to public meetings, IFW is creating a dedicated “Town Hall forum”  at www.metownhall.org to provide a further opportunity for residents to voice their opinions on big game issues specifically (the forum will cover deer, moose, turkey, and bear issues).

Starting March 1, residents will be able to access the Town Hall forum website and leave comments and suggestions at www.metownhall.org.  The website will stay live until March 31, at which point comments will be reviewed.  Residents are encouraged to log onto the website during the month of March to submit responses to prepared questions as well as interact with one another in an exchange of opinions and ideas.

Throughout March and April, there will also be a series of public meetings around the state to hear people’s thoughts and ideas regarding species management.

There will be three public meetings that will focus specifically on bear management. The dates, time and location are:

Bear Management Public Meetings

  • Wednesday, March 16 from 6:00 to 9:00 p.m.; Embassy Suites, 1050 Westbrook Street,Portland, ME 04102, Katahdin Room
  • Wednesday, March 16 from 6:00 to 9:00 p.m.; Northeastland Hotel, 436 Maine Street,Presque Isle, ME 04769, Red Room
  • Wednesday, March 30 from 6:00 to 9:00 p.m.; Black Bear Inn, 4 Godfrey Drive, Orono, ME04473, Blue Room

There will also be three Moose, Deer and Turkey Management public meetings that will meet on the following dates and these locations:

Moose, Deer and Turkey Management Public Meetings

  • Saturday, March 19 from 1:00 to 4:00 p.m.; Embassy Suites, 1050 Westbrook Street,Portland, ME 04102, Katahdin Room
  • Saturday, March 19 from 1:00 to 4:00 p.m.; Northeastland Hotel, 436 Maine Street, Presque Isle, ME 04769, Red Room
  • Saturday, April 2 from 1:00 to 4:00 p.m.; Black Bear Inn, 4 Godfrey Drive, Orono, ME 04473, Blue Room

Maine’s freshwater fisheries will be the focus at these locations on the following dates and times:

Fisheries Management Public Meetings

  • Thursday, March 17 from 6:00 to 9:00 p.m.; Embassy Suites, 1050 Westbrook Street,Portland, ME 04102, Katahdin Room
  • Thursday, March 17 from 6:00 to 9:00 p.m.; Northeastland Hotel, 436 Maine Street, Presque Isle, ME 04769, Red Room
  • Thursday, March 31 from 6:00 to 9:00 p.m.; Black Bear Inn, 4 Godfrey Drive, Orono, ME04473, Blue Room
  • Tuesday, April 5 from 6:00 to 9:00 p.m.; University of Farmington, Lincoln Auditorium, 224 Main Street, Farmington, ME 04938

The meetings and online town hall are part of a larger study designed to assess priorities for bear, other big game, and fisheries management, including the issues residents see as important; their attitudes toward the current and desired population levels of various fish and game species; management techniques for these species; and any ideas for potential changes to the current management programs.  Input from the public will help MDIFW to create the best management plans possible.

MDIFW contracted with Responsive Management, an internationally recognized public opinion research firm, to conduct the research for the state.  Responsive Management is handling the facilitation of the public meetings as well as the administration of the Town Hall web forum.  The firm has also conducted focus groups and surveys with Maine residents, hunters, anglers, and landowners as part of the research.

Maine residents may have received a call, email, or letter in recent weeks inviting them to participate in one of the scientific surveys conducted for the project.  The next phase of the project calls for a wider opportunity for residents to submit comments and suggestions in an open-ended manner via the public meetings and web forum.

For more information about Responsive Management, please visit www.ResponsiveManagement.com.

For further information about the research study, please contact Nate Webb, Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife, at nathan.webb@maine.gov.

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Low Deer Numbers, But Plenty of Food in Northeast

*Editor’s Note* – The description given to what is being called a bobcat kill of a deer, is very similar to that of a mountain lion – just saying. There are certainly more bobcats in New England than mountain lions, however, so long as predators like bears and bobcats are allowed to proliferate – bears mostly due to limits on hunting and trapping seasons and bobcats due to limits on trapping – don’t expect to see any great increases in the number of deer in these areas along with further reductions in hunting opportunities. (I might also add here that Maine is overrun with Canada lynx, another predator of the whitetail deer. So long as protections continue on the lynx, we can rightly expect further destruction of the deer herd.)

And on another note, it will be interesting to see what happens this year when it comes to winter ticks and moose. The so-called authorities have blamed climate change on the growth of winter ticks calling for a colder, longer, snowier winter believing this will kill off the ticks.

According to the same so-called authorities, they got their snowy, cold and prolonged winter last year and they are using that as the excuse of why deer populations remain low.

Will the ticks return full force or be significantly reduced? Whatever the case, there will be an excuse. I might predict that if a lessening of winter ticks isn’t revealed this winter, it soon will be as moose numbers continue to plummet caused by the abundant tick. As was said to me one day, moose managers don’t know what they are doing, refusing to keep moose numbers at healthy sustainable numbers and so “mother nature” had to do the job.

The hard winter in the northeast, and the heavy snow conditions well into spring, are the main causes of low numbers regionally. Does under stress produce lighter fawns, and weaker fawns are a boon to predators.

Connecticut is something of a field lab for predation studies. Just 15 years ago there were very few predators outside of deer hunters, now the state is crawling with record numbers of coyotes, black bears and bobcats. More than 80 fawns have been collared in the northwest Connecticut study, which let biologist determine the cause of morality.

“Everyone wants to point at coyotes, because they make such a ruckus, but in reality it’s the quiet killers, bears and bobcats. Especially bobcats,” LaBonte said. In January, state officials checked the spot where a GPS collar stopped moving and found a 70-pound fawn buried under snow and leaves. The cause of death? Telltale signs of a bobcat kill: slash and bite marks around the head and neck. “We uncovered the fawn and took pictures, then went back the next day and the cat had returned that night and re-covered the deer,” LaBonte said. “They’re amazing animals.”

Source: Low Deer Numbers, But Plenty of Food in Northeast | Field & Stream

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Virginia woman survives bear attack, receives 28 stitches

*Editor’s Note* – Check out the last statement in this article: “They emphasize incidents like this are very rare.” Keep protecting bears and attacks like this will become more commonplace.

Cooksey insists, “I’ve got some stitches and I’m really sore, but we’re all good. We packed up the tent and I’m not camping again. I’m not hiking in the mountains again.”

Source: Virginia woman survives bear attack, receives 28 stitches | wivb.com

MidlothianVA

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Bear Eats Decoy?

He must have been hungry!

BearEatingDecoy

NBrookfieldMA

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Do We Really Need More Collaring To Know Predators Kill?

CollaredDeerWhile I understand interviews with media outlets and the perpetual screwing up of a story, sometimes readers must be left wondering all sorts of things. And yes, during those interviews, sometimes we are asked really stupid and/or questions that the answer is so obvious it doesn’t deserve an answer.

Depending on what region of the country you are from, would depend upon whether or not and how many and different species of large predators exist that are ripping into the whitetail deer populations. In a report filed in North American Whitetail, Kyle Rivana, Maine’s head deer biologist, says that Maine doesn’t have enough information to know whether coyotes are causing damage to the deer herd.

“We really don’t have a good handle on the relationship between predator and prey in Maine,” he notes. “And partly because of that, we’re getting ready to begin a survival study in which we’ll collar 40 whitetails. One of [the] things we’ll try to measure is cause-specific mortality. Are the coyotes really having the impact we think they’re having?”

Here’s a suggestion. Depending upon who you might talk with, coyotes have been filling up the forests of Maine since the 1950s, give or take a decade. I can remember back to the late 1960s and early 1970s listening to outdoor sportsmen complain about the negative impact of coyotes then. It’s been 40, 50, 60 years and Maine “don’t have a good handle on the relationship between predator and prey”?

It should be embarrassing the state has wiled away its time and resources, poorly managing the whitetail deer, and claiming they don’t have any idea if coyotes are having an impact, when much of everybody and everywhere else understands the problem.

So what’s the solution? Rivana says, “…we’re ready to begin a survival study…” Save your money. You don’t need to put collars on deer in hopes you might find out what’s killing them. Predators are killing the deer. Not all of them but predators kill deer. That’s why they are called predators. And besides, if Maine collars 40 deer and finds out that coyotes, or bears, or bobcats, or lynx or mountain lions or wolves, or Big Foot, or all of them combined, are killing off the deer herd, what is the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife (MDIFW) going to do about it? NOTHING! Oh they might toss some money in the air and for a year or two pay $200-$300 a varmint to have them killed until such time as those making complaints are placated and forgotten. Then it’s back to business as usual.

Does the new deer biologist understand anything about the relationship of predators and deer in Maine? Here’s what he said:

“In some areas of the United States, bears can have more of an impact (on whitetails) than coyotes or wolves,” says Kyle Ravana, who heads up Maine’s deer management program. “In other areas, it could be coyotes or bobcats that are having the biggest impact. It kind of depends on where you are.

“When you’re in a state like Maine, that has a full suite of predators — coyotes and bears and bobcats and wolves — you can’t point your finger at any one predator. It could be all of them combined, including hunters.”

And notice that he had to, just had to, because that’s how he was indoctrinated in his educational institution, that it could be HUNTERS that are causing the reduction of deer in Maine. Really? So Rivana, and anyone else at MDIFW or across the country that wants to say that it is hunters that are destroying game herds, then what that REALLY means is that the fish and game departments of each state aren’t doing the job that their state mandated them to do. If Maine has a problem with too many deer being killed by hunters, that is the responsibility of deer managers to reduce that impact. So, let’s quit with the blaming the hunter BS. But I understand it’s impossible to lose that brainwashing, and it might be just as likely that some environmental groups are funding the collared deer study, which means….well, you figure it out.

I’m done buying vowels and so, I’d like to solve the puzzle: Predators exist in Maine and many, many other places. They have for many, many years and those predators are growing in numbers for a variety of reasons. Predators kill prey. Deer are prey. When there are more than one prey species for predators to kill, when they’ve depleted one, they will switch to another. Predators, like coyotes and wolves, keep growing in numbers partly because there is ample food – they just switch from one prey species to another. If nothing is done about controlling the predators, there’s a possibility that the predators, in combination with other things, such as severe winters, disease, etc., will reduce their prey base so low and keep it there, they will either move on, starve or resort to cannibalism. It isn’t the responsible way of managing wildlife.

Therefore, because it’s been 50, 60, 70 years that coyotes have been around in Maine and bears have always been here and now in historic high populations, bobcats as well and Canada lynx, my solution to the puzzle would be to implement predator control into the deer management program. It has to be part of any game plan – that is game that is a food source for large predators. What’s to get a handle on. DO SOMETHING!

But no. The answer is always one of two things; form a study group or put a collar on an animal. The results? NOTHING! (global warming) Another year goes by and then another and another and the only thing that has been taken care of is someone’s pension fund.

Save your damned money. You don’t need collars to find out if coyotes are having an impact on deer. All of Maine’s large predators are having an impact on deer. It’s what they do. It’s time to do something about it other than forming another study group and putting on collars.

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Dana’s Bear Meat Loaf

V. Paul Reynolds, in his weekly article in the Sun Journal shared with readers one of his friend’s bear meat recipes for meat loaf. I hope he doesn’t mind as I have taken the liberty to share the recipe.

Reynolds points out how he got the recipe and as a result it does not have accurate amounts of certain things. He suggests experimenting.

Two pounds ground bear meat

½ pound sweet bear or conventional sweet sausage

Garlic powder

Ketchup

Lightly sauteed onions and mushrooms

Bread crumbs

Milk-soaked white bread (squeeze out the milk and break up the bread)

Pepper & salt

Worcestershire sauce

½ cup shredded cheese of choice

Two eggs

1/4 package of Lipton Onion Soup mix

Mix all of the ingredients, except the Lipton Onion soup mix, (estimated amounts) in a bowl and form into a large ball. Dust the outside of the ball with flour. In a large cast iron skillet, partially flatten the meat ball and brown on both sides in oil. Keeping the meat ball in the skillet, sprinkle with the 1/4 package of Lipton Onion soup mix. Add a quarter cup of water and a few carrots, potatoes and pieces of raw onions alongside the meat loaf in the skillet. Cover the skillet with aluminum foil and bake for an hour plus in a 350-degree oven. Remove the foil after an hour of cooking to check the doneness of the vegetables. If more cooking is required, remove the foil and put dish back in oven for desired amount of cooking time.

* Recipe is also ideal for bear meat balls. Eliminate the flouring.

RoastingBear

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