May 23, 2019

At What Point Will Maine Hunters Simply Hang up Their Deer Rifles?

In Bob Humphreys’ article this week, he does a very respectable job of explaining to his readers about the politics of deer management. His basic premise is that as the deer management goals are changing, opportunities to hunt deer will continue to diminish, a result of attempting to sustain a deer herd at “social carrying capacity” rather than biological carrying capacity.

In his article, he writes: “In other words, some areas (central and southern Maine) could support between 40 to 60 deer per square mile with no deleterious effects on the natural habitat, and would be well within the limits biologists strive for under the precepts of sound deer management. But then current management objectives for those areas were 15 to 20 deer per square mile.”

Environmentalism’s powerful lobby has extended to a point where not only have their objectives become an integral part of our basic education curriculum, but the continued effects have successfully bred environmentalist-minded young wildlife biologists/managers who now are the majority with our fish and wildlife agencies.

A major problem exists as we attempt to look into the future of deer hunting in Maine and elsewhere. Brainwashed by Environmentalism, it is impossible to understand or acknowledge the vital importance that hunting plays in managing and sustaining a deer herd. Without hunting, there is no way to control growth…period. It doesn’t take a Ph. D. to understand that in places where hunting is not permitted, there are eventually problems with too many deer and with too many deer there are problems with disease and the spread of it – diseases harmful to humans.

I repeatedly have heard the claim from animal rights people and environmentalists that they are not trying to stop hunting. Well, perhaps not directly. The ending of hunting is one of their major goals. Through propaganda and lobbying efforts if environmentalists can convince enough people that there is a need to reduce the deer population to levels that will limit automobile collisions, reduce Lyme disease, and stop them hungry critters eating their expensive shrubbery, bringing the herd to numbers low enough to achieve that might effectively put an end to deer hunting, at least as we know it and certainly as it used to be.

There exists a line of effective interest, where if that line is moved further and further to the point where the effort at deer hunting yields few or little results, interest in the activity will evaporate. At what point will it have to reach in order that so few will want to hunt deer anymore that hunting as a management tool can no longer be usable?

According to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service surveys, the number one reason fewer people hunt is that they don’t have the time. This may be true but doesn’t it become harder to justify taking the time to hunt if the hunting is poor?

I can only speak for myself. I have always loved to deer hunt. In my prime, I hunted in any weather for the majority of days that deer hunting season was open. I most often took home a deer by end of the season. Today, the effort is no longer there. I believe the biggest contributing factor is that in the past 10 years of deer hunting, I can count on one hand how many deer I have SEEN in the woods. Granted, some of that lack of success is due to aging and reduced effort, but a lot of that reduced effort has become perpetuating. In other words, it becomes harder and harder to yard this tired aging body out of bed at 4 a.m. to be in the woods before it gets daylight because the motivation to see deer and have an opportunity to bag one is gone. As a matter of fact, it seems I look for excuses not to go out, especially if the weather is threatening.

Where once Maine set herd management goals for deer to approach 400,000 animals, their latest management goals call for 210,000 deer by the year 2033. Simple mathematical logic might tell us that in theory if there were the same number of hunters 20 years ago as there are today, the odds of bagging a deer have been cut in half. It takes a person completely in love with the act of hunting to pursue an animal that gives a hunter a less than 20% chance at filling his freezer. Some say the challenge increases which is some kind of a draw, but that is not the interest of the majority of those looking for meat. As chances shrink so does interest.

What kind of a conundrum will the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries (MDIFW) be in when, due to environmentalist-spurned deer management, they have successfully driven away enough hunters so that they cannot depend on hunters and their long-standing “Any-Deer Permit” system to deplete the herd to “social carrying capacity?”

Regardless of whether deer management is paid for with license purchases or through general taxation, if the deer hunting sucks, nobody will want to hunt anymore and then what?

Share

The Maybe, I Think, Could be, Possibly, Might be, I Hope Method of Wildlife Scientism

A bald eagle, a loon and a spotted owl walked into a bar…..

That story might be just as good as the vast majority of nonsensical, Scientism reports we read about in our “Fake News” Mainstream Media – the information readily supplied these echo chambers by fish and game departments, environmentalists, animal rights perverts, as well as our own U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service representatives.

Scientism is really nothing to do with real science and everything to do with fabricated possibilities that conveniently fit agendas. When was the last time you read an article published in any media platform where facts are presented as derived from the real scientific process, that once made real science a viable source of information? Perhaps this Fake News Scientism has been around long enough now that you can’t recognize it.

We live is what is now readily called a “post-normal scientific era.” I say readily, because when the term is used, it is not questioned. Essentially that means that the real scientific process has been abandoned in exchange for emotional clap-trap and outright dishonesty used to promote agendas, fatten wallets, control people, etc.

Here’s how it might work.

Yesterday I was reading an article published by the Associated Press about how bald eagles are becoming so numerous they are now a detriment to other species, including some that are also listed as endangered, and becoming a nuisance to some livestock growers.

None of these negatives seem to matter because the bald eagle is the nation’s official bird and is an icon to those incapable of reasoning anything beyond cute. To better put the bald eagle in perspective, I was once told by a wildlife manager (no, no names or locations) that a bald eagle was nothing more than a lazy, white-headed crow that scavenges for food, just like all the rest. Ben Franklin wanted the turkey to be the national bird but somehow the eagle won out. I’m sure it had nothing to do with the historic use of the eagle in the banners and emblems for organizations that rule the world. Nah! But that’s neither here nor there is it?

The article is presented as some kind of retelling of what most people would see as a scientific event. If you keep science in the front of your brain, for a second, here’s a list of words used in the article and they are also used by the “scientists” who are quoted in the article.

Here’s that list in no particular order: efforts to preserve; leading to; sometimes; accused of; suspicious; it was possible; almost; will probably; about; only a few; also sometimes; subject of efforts; going to try; I think; can represent; service doesn’t consider; probably.

Surely these a true scientific terms? Of course not. They are never intended to be. These words and others are designed to remove the scientific process from our sources of information and replace it with vague terms, often sounding good, promising the best for the animals and trying not to present the demise of the property of people as anything to be concerned with – especially as it isn’t going to effect the vast majority of ignorant, autonomic readers directly.

This has become so effective that we commonly hear of efforts underway to destroy one species of animal in order to better “protect” another. The spotted owl comes to mind.

Here’s is part of a problem that contributes to the big picture. The last sentence in the linked-to article says: “At some point it [bald eagle] will reach carrying capacity,” he said. “But I think there’s plenty of room for more eagles.” As it turns out, the term “carrying capacity” is a misnomer. People are led to believe that so long as there is enough food and general habitat, the world can be filled to the maximum with any and every kind of animal species, while never once considering the consequences of those actions. This is fallout from the lie spread throughout everywhere of “natural regulation” – the false ideology that if man would just butt out, all these animals would magically limit their numbers, eventually bringing them to “carrying capacity.” Kumbaya!

What is the “carrying capacity” of bad eagles in your neighbor? Nobody knows. It’s a guesstimate. The above scientist was quoted as saying, “I think” there’s room for more eagles. He doesn’t know but he “thinks” and thus are we to accept that his value-weighted perspective is the scientific gospel? How does he get to decide? If we are to fill the forest and fields with the maximum number of eagles it can hold (carrying capacity) do we further risk all the other species of prey in order to embellish one scientist or group of scientists’ pet animal project?

Evidently this is the case.

 

Share

Habitat Blabber and Carrying Capacities

Environmentalists, used as a title to describe those more focused on an agenda of the hatred of man, combined with unnatural desires to steal away a person’s pursuit of life, liberty and happiness, which may actually involve human population destruction, beat the incessant drum of man’s destruction of habitat. If one would dare mention that a certain species of animal (let’s randomly select the whitetail deer and put it in the state of Maine.) was struggling to sustain itself, inevitably an environmentalist will exclaim, “It’s loss of habitat and it’s all man’s fault!”

According to Dictionary.com, habitat is defined thusly:

hab·i·tat
[hab-i-tat] Show IPA
noun
1.the natural environment of an organism; place that is natural for the life and growth of an organism: a tropical habitat.
2.the place where a person or thing is usually found: Paris is a major habitat of artists.
3.a special environment for living in over an extended period, as an underwater research vessel.
4.habitation ( def 1 ) .

A “natural” environment? So do we now have to define “natural”? Let’s try something not created by man or uncultivated. Oh, darn! Isn’t the overwhelming majority of “habitat” “cultivated” by man, at least to some degree? Let’s not get off topic.

In Maine, where the whitetail deer lives, is called habitat. Environmentalists claim that the problem with the lack of deer in Maine is habitat. They also claim that the lack of Canada lynx is habitat. They claim the lack of the piping plover is habitat. They believe that the caribou up and beat feet out of the state because of lack of habitat. And of course with this all purpose, generic excuse, comes the claim it’s man’s fault; they have cut down all the trees and encroached on the animals. (let’s not forget a few plants too.)

If a person is determined to discuss habitat, or lack thereof, isn’t it imperative to also speak of “carrying capacity”? What is carrying capacity? The United States Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS), in their science-speak way defines carrying capacity as such:

In population ecology terms, it is “the density of organisms (i.e., the number per unit area) at which the net reproductive rate (R0) equals unity and the intrinsic rate of increase (r) is zero” (Pianka 1974:82). Pianka goes on to explain………blah, blah, blah. Read all about it by following this link.

I would prefer to shorten this up and use their own words and define carrying capacity in this fashion:

“Strictly speaking, carrying capacity is a population concept with underlying theme of number of animals supported by some unit of area. It is the quantity of the specified population for which a particular area will supply all energetic and physiological requirements for a long, but defined, period of time.”

In other words, carrying capacity, although complicated, is how many deer can live in a specified habitat.

In theory then, if, let’s say, the whitetail deer in Maine was at carrying capacity, aside from “chance events” – those things that cause the population to fluctuate “naturally” – the population of deer in Maine becomes a slave to habitat.

In theory again, the population of whitetail deer in Maine is directly proportional to the amount of habitat that can support it.

For clarification purposes, readers should understand that wildlife management isn’t carried out in large sections of land, i.e. habitat. Maine has Wildlife Management Districts (WMD) in order to better focus on regions, much for the reason that the amount of existing habitat is not necessarily continuous and is broken up by numerous natural and unnatural obstacles, i.e. rivers, mountains, cities, farmland, etc.

Is Maine’s deer herd, statewide or regionally, at carrying capacity? In other words, does there exist all the deer that our forest and fields can “supply all energetic and physiological requirements for a long, but defined, period of time?” Not even close. But let me be fair and say that the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife (MDIFW), whose job it is to “manage” the state’s deer herd, does not necessarily manage deer up to carrying capacity. They have population goals and objectives. I should also point out that there exists in Maine a few small pockets of habitat where deer are at or above population density goals; realizing that a population density goal does NOT mean carrying capacity.

If MDIFW is not interested in managing the state’s deer herd to carrying capacity and are attempting to advocate for the deer as prescribed in the state’s deer management plan and achieve population density goals, then how specifically does habitat even play a factor in the demise of Maine’s deer herd?

The excuse has and remains the frontrunner that no deer in large swaths of the state’s habitat is due to a loss or lack of habitat. While some wildlife planners will, albeit reluctantly at times, admit that there are other factors, at the top of the list remains loss of habitat; I suppose mostly because the great influence environmentalism has had on the fish and game departments nationwide. And with that comes the hatred of man and the foisting of all blame upon them.

While it would be difficult to factor in accurately the percentage that all those other “chance events”, that cause deer populations to fluctuate, at the same level, it becomes just as difficult to determine how much loss of habitat is affecting the herd, especially when the current population isn’t even approaching density goals, speak nothing of carrying capacity.

What transpires in deer management debate becomes excuses of convenience. If I point out that habitat cannot be as big a problem as some advocate, because the deer population remains drastically below density goals and far from carrying capacity, excuse du jour is implemented, i.e. it’s weather/climate, hunters (humans) are killing them all, loggers destroying deer yards, predators, fawn recruitment, lack of money, vehicle mortality, etc.

While we shouldn’t remove any focus and effort into finding ways of sensibly protecting the habitat for all creatures, blaming lack of habitat, disguised as dislike for humans, is disingenuous at best. It is my belief that when the deer herd in Maine is not at density goals (and I don’t recall that the state on average has ever been AT density goals) or even carrying capacity, blaming the problem on habitat, which includes deer wintering areas, has become a bad habit.

Share