December 18, 2017

Is Maine’s Muzzleloader Deer Season in the Best Interest of the Deer?

I was sent a link to a short article written by Maine’s Bill Green about Maine’s muzzleloader deer hunting season that runs until this coming Saturday. Green quotes muzzleloader advocates: “It just gives you that two weeks to get out there in the woods with less people out there.” And, “You have to take your time and I think while you’re hunting you get flashbacks of the way that it was a couple hundred years ago and that’s kind of neat.

I often get a lot of flack back from readers when, to them, I don’t support increased opportunities to hunt, fish and trap. In reality, I do always support increased opportunities, but only when that increase is equitable and is not detrimental to the sustainability of any game species.

If muzzleloaders are looking for some extra time in the woods “with less people out there,” certainly there must be a period of time except during the first two weeks of December (explanation to follow). But consider that this allowance, even though anyone who chooses can buy a Muzzleloader License and buy a muzzleloader gun…..or can they? Is this a form of elitism, exclusive to those who can afford a license and another gun and a deterrent to those who can’t? Perhaps. I doubt that is considered. I doubt anyone actually cares.

Who can argue the enjoyment one gets being in the woods, even when carrying a gun, rifle, muzzleloader, or even a camera. Having “flashbacks” of maybe what it was like “a couple hundred years ago?” Two hundred years ago, did deer hunters have inline muzzleloaders that can be cleaned and reloaded in 30 seconds? Maybe some have “thoughts” about what it was like, but I don’t think there are any hunters who hunted 200 years ago so that they could have a “flashback.”

Aside from any discussion about primitive versus modern muzzleloader equipment, if a guy wants those thoughts, can’t he have them during the regular firearm deer hunting season? Or other times and places?

Here are some questions. Is the muzzleloader season just another money-making pet project for the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife (MDIFW)? How about a pistol season? What of a muzzleloader pistol season? Can we get a season for atlatl hunting? Let’s make a season for only shotguns. One for only senior citizens. And one for veterans. A separate one for senior citizens who are also veterans. Where does this end?

But let’s get to the most important issue – the deer. Hunting rules for muzzleloader season are the same as during the firearms season. If you don’t have an “Any-Deer Permit” you have to hunt bucks only. Traditionally, the deer’s annual rut (mating season) falls around the third week of November. That doesn’t mean that that is the only week that deer mate. As soon as any female deer comes into “heat” (estrus) a male deer, with the opportunity, will mate with it. If during the month of November, a doe deer is not successfully bred, that doe will continuously remain in estrus until it gets bred. Science has shown that sometimes that breeding will not happen until late in November or into early December.

With that understanding and knowledge of how bucks run themselves ragged during rutting season, an honest question might be is it in the best interest of those deer, coming off or still in the rutting process, to continue allowing hunters to harass them? We know that bucks will lose most of their valuable, stored fats, needed for winter survival, during the rut. Because of this, buck mortality can be high during the long winter months. That time between the end of the rut and when deer are forced to “yard up” can determine whether a buck can survive the winter. Do we really want hunters, harassing those bucks even further during this period of time?

If the deer population is strong enough to support a two-week muzzleloader season, perhaps a more equitable increase in hunter opportunity might be to extend the firearm season for deer another day or two. At least let’s find a better time to give those muzzleloader hunters a chance to be alone in the woods and dishonestly have “flashbacks” about what it was like 200 years ago. Oh, please!

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Maine’s Most Quiet Deer Hunting Season

Is there really a deer hunting season going on in Maine? As the old Maine saying goes, “Hahd tellin not knowin!”

I finished up my week at Hunting Camp in the usual fashion of seeing nothing. In addition, of the six of us spending the week in the woods, a couple of does were spotted…a couple more than in past years and so by today’s standards of ignorant bliss there’s reason to be excited that perhaps one day deer hunting will be worth the effort again.

But for those who live and hunt in areas where deer are protected (posted land, few predators, etc.), I’m a jerk for even suggesting deer hunting in Maine still mostly sucks. And, it’s going to get worse and never get better. But we’ll never know will we?

What the Environmentalists want, and will get, are protected deer, bear, moose, turkeys…any animal. Along with it they will get what every unmanaged ecosystem gets – death, disease and destruction, which is heavily denied by nearly everyone these days.

The Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife (MDIFW), in their quest to turn their department into one that more resembles all the other Environmentalists propaganda sites, leaving one to wonder if the department even bothers to pay any mind to “FISH AND GAME” anymore, has not only scrubbed their website of any information about deer hunting, bear hunting, moose hunting and turkey hunting harvest stats, but evidently has given up on publishing any Hunting Reports. In addition they evidently will not offer any information on the current deer hunting season. You might be one of the fortunate mouth pieces for the department, that if you call, you can speak to someone who will provide you with the latest line of propaganda, designed to cause media automatons to believe everything is great and all hunters are happy and have already bagged their deer.

If this trend continues, Mainers will soon not even realize the state has a deer hunting season. Maybe that’s why it seems there have been more hunting “accidents” this year where the victims seemed unprepared to be in or near the woods because there was a hunting season. That supposition does not excuse the reality that a hunter must always be 100% certain of his or her target BEFORE pulling the trigger. I don’t recall the MDIFW making any public announcements to remind residence of the deer season, or the bear season, or the moose season, or the turkey season. They do let you know when it’s time to buy a license or apply for a permit. Do they realize this cash cow is going to dry up and go away? NOPE!

I guess it’s just take the money and run….for now.

So what do those paid to run the Division of Information and Education do? Certainly it isn’t to inform hunters, trappers and fishermen of how their money is being spent. Crickets is all we are getting. Now that MDIFW has no intention of releasing to the public any harvest data, I would assume, by the looks of how things have gone so far, they also have no intention of talking about the deer season at all. Perhaps all the indoctrinated biologists, thoroughly saturated with Environmentalist garbage they brought with them from the brainwashing factories, are finally getting the department they want where they can concentrate on diminishing hunting, fishing and trapping opportunities while promoting a non consumptive approach to wildlife management. Along with this, they can take the money from license fees and excise tax dollars and focus all their attention on Climate Change – it is a great excuse for doing a piss-poor job. Perhaps the department will soon offer a new page to replace the game species data information pages, showing all the bad things that they want to believe has happened due to Climate Change. There must be more money in that.

Soon, some of the environmentalist outdoor sportsmen will get their wish and funding for MDIFW will come from general taxation. Along with it, they can complete their partnership with the Environmental Establishment. Please hurry and get the name changed from Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife, to Department of Natural Resources and Non Consumption Protection – MDNRNCP.

As I ponder over another bowl of track soup, once again I will have to ask myself why I bother to hunt in Maine and spend the money for a license. But then I think; isn’t that exactly what they want me to do?

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Venison 101

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Maine Legislature Axes Many Deer Hunting Bills

George Smith’s website lists all the deer hunting proposed pieces of legislation that got shot down. Thanks to the Legislature for addressing this list of useless bills in the fashion they did. It appears that many think “Any-Deer” permits are something to be used for special interest groups only.

In the meantime, those of us who care, are still waiting for the Department of Inland Fisheries and wildlife to release the harvest data for the 2016 deer hunt. So far, this is the third slowest in getting the report out.

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Playing With Maine’s Big Bucks…Numbers That Is

I recently wrote an article for a local newspaper in Maine, The Bethel Citizen, about how “Statistics Prove that Statistics Can Prove Anything.” That article didn’t have room for all, or even any, of the graphs and charts I’ve been collecting about Maine’s “Big Bucks,” i.e. those bucks weighing in excess of 200 lbs and those registered with the magazine Maine Sportsman.

If you examine the chart below, you will see in the left column the years 1999 through 2016. Please note that the total deer kill for 2016 is an estimate because the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife (MDIFW) has not released data as of this writing.

For Big Buck comparisons, focus your attention on the column that shows the % of Big Bucks as to the total deer harvest. This chart might tell us that not only has the number of Big Bucks killed over the past 16 or so years decreased but something worth paying attention to is that the % of Big Bucks to the total harvest has not remained steady. Logic should force us to conclude that if all things are relative and in line with management goals for deer, regardless of the number of deer harvested, the % of Big Bucks should remain virtually the same. It doesn’t.

This next graph, which I found on the Face Book page for Maine Deer Hunters, posted by Troy Frye, gives us a great glimpse at the number of bucks harvested versus the number of “Antlerless” deer for each season, 2000 – 2015. I see an interesting graphic. After the severe winters of 2007/2008, MDIFW cut “Any-Deer Permits” allocation drastically. By doing such, hunters were not able to take the first deer they saw, providing they had a permit that allows harvest of either sex. In other words, an “Any-Deer Permit” does not limit the bearer to shooting only an “antlerless” deer. While during those years, the total deer harvest did drop, the buck harvest didn’t drop by the same percentage as the total harvest.

The percentage of bucks to “antlerless” harvest was considerably higher from the years 2008 through 2015. How does this affect the percentage of Big Buck harvest in comparison with total deer harvest, as shown in the chart above?

That may be a difficult task to answer, however we can see from the above chart that the number of Big Bucks and the percentage of total harvest dropped and essentially has remained low since at least 2008 – none of these numbers remaining consistent.

To provide us with an easier comparison, my techno guru put this graph together for me. I must give credit where credit is due. The basic graph that shows the total number of Big Bucks harvested, from 2000 – 2016 was also posted on the Maine Deer Hunter Face Book page. My techno guru overlaid (in red) the percentage of Big Bucks as compared to total deer harvest. Note: There are some slight differences in numbers used from one source to another. Those differences should not have any measurable influences in determining, or attempting to determine, trends.

The last two charts attempt to make comparisons of the average weights of the top ten heaviest harvested Big Bucks for the years 2006 – 2016. Does anything here jump out at you?

Deer management is a very complex science. While it might be interesting to play around with statistics, with what is presented essentially anyone could make an argument for or against most anything related to deer management. While I, or anyone else, might recognize a possible trend, it is most difficult to make any real firm statements without having at one’s disposal all the data for the years in question due to the many influences that can alter any data from one year to the next.

Having said all that, here’s something that I think should provide information the Maine Legislature, or the MDIFW Committee, or anyone else should consider BEFORE proposing another Sunday Hunting Bill.

The chart, found on Maine Deer Hunter Facebook page, posted by Troy Frye, shows the 2016 Big Buck Harvest and what percentage of that harvest occurred on what day of the week. For example, 31% of the total Big Buck harvest took place on Saturday. That’s because more hunters have that day of the week off from work and take it to hunt.

When you consider that Maine can only sustain a deer herd with a limited total deer harvest, adding Sundays to the hunting season would not necessarily add 3 or 4 weekend days a season to hunt. In short, to maintain a desired and limited deer harvest, the total season would need to be shortened to offset the increased hunter effort.

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What Kind of Lazy-Ass Hunting is This?

One proposed bill in Maine concerning deer hunting is LD 62, an act that would legalize hunting deer over bait. Most already know I oppose this as it is not a necessary tool to keep deer populations in check, among other things, and I also find it ridiculous that it is legal to plant a “food crop” specifically for deer and hunt over that, as somehow being that much different than hunting over a pile of bait. Instead of increasing the ability to bait, it’s time MDIFW enacted a law making it illegal to hunt over food crops – those specifically planted at deer bait.

However…..

In George Smith’s article about discussion at the committee level on LD 62, there are two distinct comments/testimony made by those in attendance that readers should pay attention to.

One is a man named Guy Randlett, described as a Maine Guide who, among other things, said this: “Sitting in a nice dry ground blind in a comfortable chair from dawn till dusk only enhances it all for me.”

The second testimony is that of Dave Kelso, who favored passage of the bill. Among many issues he presented, he stated: “By allowing baiting for deer, landowners would be in a position to charge a lease fee for bait sites.” In addition, this: “The way that we hunt in Maine is changing and is going to change even more just in my lifetime. Leases and hunt clubs are going to come to Maine. You are going to be hearing about antler restrictions. With limited land and the possibility of having to judge a deer before pulling the trigger, baiting only makes sense to allow everyone an equal opportunity.”

If this is the direction that Maine wants to take its deer hunting, count me out. I realize that each hunter has his own preferences for hunting within the laws that regulate it. I would not suggest denying anybody of those choices. However, what is being described here, as though it is something good, in no way resembles the traditional deer hunting I grew up with. Not unlike catch and release fishing, I find lounging in a recliner waiting for a buck with big enough antlers to satisfy one’s qualifications of “trophy” as being quite perverse.

Because hunting deer while sitting in a blind with all the modern conveniences, staring at a bait pile, is an indication of how deer hunting is changing, I would suggest that, unless I’m the only one left alive who likes traditional deer hunting, we do everything in our power to stop this “progressive” change that will bastardize a once precious tradition.

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SAM Opposes Deer Baiting, Sells Wildlife Seeds to Grow Crops for Deer Baiting

WINK-WINK!

I wrote earlier today about how the Joint Committee on Inland Fisheries and Wildlife disapproved a bill proposal that would have allowed baiting deer and shooting deer over bait. In that report I said there were differences between creating a bait station and hunting over that site and growing a crop of food for “wildlife,” and there are. For one, the crop growing site wouldn’t force so many deer, nose to nose, for those worrying about chronic wasting disease. Secondly, the sales pitch for growing the crops, whether beside or near “deer wintering areas,” would be because it provides nutrition for deer prior to and coming out of deer yards. From here you can conjure up any excuse you want for or against the action.

And there’s sort of a difference between hunting over a bait pile versus hunting over a crop grown to attract deer, but I can’t think of what it might be.

So, one has to wonder. According to the Portland Press Herald report, the Sportsman’s Alliance of Maine (SAM) opposed the bill that would allow hunting deer over a bait pile. “David Trahan, director of the Sportsman’s Alliance of Maine, and Don Kleiner, director of the Maine Professional Guides Association, opposed the bill because it could put more hunting pressure on herds in areas where deer are relatively sparse, and there’s “no real biological or management-based reason to support (the bill),”

But they more than support growing deer crops and hunting over the crops, even if those crops are planted in areas where “deer are relatively sparse,” as can be seen from the advertisement below. Maybe the fear is that deer bait piles are not nutritious and would be bad for deer…but not for bears?

I doubt there is enough crop growing statewide that is having much of any influence over manipulating nutrition for deer. However, I think for the state to allow hunting over those crops, especially when you consider the location of some of these crops, they need to provide a better more explanation.

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Deer Baiting Bill Shot Down in Committee

The proposed deer baiting bill for Maine deer hunting was shot down in committee, I am being told. One reason given was that, “this could really hurt the pride of hunting in Maine,” and explained that shooting deer over bait would incite groups like the Humane Society to “ripping these things apart,” and, “to see our hunting industry jeopardized.” Helloooooo!

The Humane Society of the United States and others, are already doing everything to “rip(ping) these things apart,” and to put the hunting industry in jeopardy. Although I don’t support hunting over bait, this is just the kind of reaction groups like the Humane Society of the United States hope to create – to live in fear of their shadow.

One guide at the hearing commented that it was legal to hunt over “crops” that deer like to feed on, so what was the difference? There are some obvious differences but it is my opinion that hunting over “crops” shouldn’t be allowed either. I like to see hunting as HUNTing not shooting.

But it still comes down as a practice that is not needed in Maine for deer hunting. It only promotes more lazy hunting and could jeopardize the opportunities of others by forcing a shorter season, among other reasons. Should the management of deer in Maine become necessary to implement a baiting rule, then this is a tool that should be available to the department.

Congratulations to the Committee for defeating this measure.

“AUGUSTA — A legislative committee voted Tuesday against endorsing a bill that would have ended the state’s prohibition on using bait to hunt deer in Maine.”<<<Read More>>>

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Deer Management Dollars: Don’t Question Government. Take Their Word as Fact

*Editor’s Note* – The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources wants to increase hunting license fees from $30.00 to $34.00, and they say the increase is needed for “maintaining the level of deer management Minnesota has. Not increasing it.” In addition, the government says we’ll have to take their word for it when they say that most of the money from hunting license fees goes toward deer management even if a recent audit didn’t show that…or can’t show that. Officials say that employees of DNR don’t closely scrutinize how much work actually benefits deer….or something. Perhaps they consider Facebook time as deer management?

The Minnesota Deer Hunters Association (MDHA) have previously voiced concern the the DNR was doing a poor job at deer management and claim the proof is in the fact that hunting success has dropped off, along with deer populations.

First of all, name me another non governmental organization that gets a greater than 10% increase in their income upon request. I thought so. What’s difficult to understand is, if the MDHA is not happy with the DNR’s deer management, why then are they seemingly negotiating with the government on how much the increase will be for the hunting license and many other fees paid by sportsmen? It appears a simply rejection of this proposal is in order.

This is a classic example of insanity and the redundant belief that throwing money at something makes it better. Over the many years I’ve covered these topics, I often hear sportsmen comment that they think they get a lot for the amount of money they pay for a license. Is that the issue? It shouldn’t be but I assure you it’s part of the problem. The questioning should be as to whether or not YOUR license dollars are being spent in the way you want them spent…without blindly accepting the word of corrupt government that they are looking out for you.

If only $2.00 of a $30.00 hunting license fee goes to deer management, and the overwhelming majority goes toward the “general fund,” in which government bureaucrats say is used to benefit deer and deer management, then Minnesota hunters are being hosed and they should do something about it.

Another issue to consider, but seldom is, is the insanity of something being unacceptable and money is being requested to “maintain” the same level of insanity. Either deer management is good or it’s not. Either way all government fascists should be required to explain precisely where every penny goes. Dumping money into a general fund is the government’s favorite way of using that money for personal pet projects, etc. Perhaps cutting the budget, along with other IMPROVEMENTS, would be a better option. Governments get very comfortable with their lying, cheating and stealing and expect you and I will continue to support their bad habits.

Most sportsmen get quite angry when they find out that any fish and game department is using game license fees to support non game activities. It’s doubly angering when how such funds are being spent is unclear because there is no accounting for it, and triply angering when government says, “TRUST ME.”

“Here’s how the $30 from a deer license is currently set up,” Engwall said. “One dollar goes into a special deer-bear management account. Fifty cents goes into an emergency deer feeding/deer health [think CWD] account. Fifty cents goes into a wolf management account. Twenty-six dollars goes into the Game and Fish Fund. And only $2 goes into the dedicated deer management account.”<<<Read More>>>

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By Funding Trophy Wolf Hunts, We’re Destroying Real Game Hunts

wolfutah*Editor’s Note* – This post first appeared on this website on October 8, 2014. It was requested of me to republish it as a means of updating the importance of the article as a prediction of the future.

It seems just a short while ago that wolf (re)introduction happened – 1995 and 1996. A lot of water has passed under the bridge and as the water moved downstream, it has blended in with a lot of other water, not becoming lost but perhaps unrecognizable.

As most of you know, I’m writing a book about wolves. Actually it’s really not about wolves other than to point out the obvious behaviors of the animal. The book is more about the corruption. However, in working to put all this information together, I’ve come across some things that I had written about in which I had actually forgotten.

It really began in early 2009, when there was a glimmer of hope that wolves might come off the Endangered list and residents in Idaho, Montana and Wyoming could begin killing the animal to get it back down to 100 wolves as promised in the Final Environmental Impact Statement. What? Had you forgotten?

Around about that same time, I began reading about the plans Idaho was going to begin formulating in preparation for wolf hunts. I said then that utilizing a season for “trophy” wolf hunting would not work.

I wrote a five-part series that I know some of you have read, perhaps more than once, called “To Catch a Wolf” – an historical account of the extreme difficulty people had throughout history trying to control wolves to stop them from killing livestock and attacking people.

The real joke was when Idaho officials, in a fraudulent attempt to convince anyone who would blindly listen, that trophy hunting wolves, was going to protect the elk, deer and moose herds. This did not happen. As a matter of fact, it so much did not happen, that Idaho Fish and Game took to helicopters to gun down wolves in the Lolo Region because officials were willing to admit there was a wolf problem….or maybe they were just placating the sportsmen. They killed 5 wolves and yet somehow they want sportsmen to believe that a trophy hunting season will protect the game herds?

The myth here is that increasing or decreasing wolf tags will grow or shrink elk, deer and moose herds. Sorry, but controlling elk, deer and moose tags controls elk, deer and moose herds. Select-harvesting a handful of wolves does nothing to protect game herds.

Why, then, are Idaho sportsmen continuing to fund a fraudulent trophy wolf hunting season that may actually be causing the further destruction of the elk, deer and moose they so much wish to protect and grow?

On November 30, 2012, I wrote and published the following article. I took the liberty to embolden some statements I wish to now more fully draw your attention to.

Trophy Hunting Season on Wolves Destroying More Elk, Moose and Deer?

Recently I read a comment made by Bob Ream, chairman of the Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks (MFWP) Commission, state that:

We [MFWP] have implemented more and more aggressive wolf harvests. We also increased lion harvests considerably this year.

The word aggressive is certainly an overused adjective used much in the same fashion as say a male peacock when he displays his tail feathers. In the context used in the quote above, I’m assuming Mr. Ream intended his use of the word aggressive to mean something to be proud of, a feat of accomplishment or something related. But when talking about wolves, killing, attacks, predation, hunting, trapping, disease and every aspect associated with gray wolves, “implementing[ed] more and more aggressive wolf harvests” kind of rings a bit hollow.

In its simplest form, wolves, at least under the existing conditions in most of Montana, Idaho and Wildlife, grow and expand at a rate of anywhere between 20% and 30%, I am told and have read as well. Estimates of wolf populations mean little except in political and emotional battles because nobody knows how many there are and they are lying if they tell you otherwise. For the sake of argument, I have read that the tri-state region of Montana, Idaho and Wyoming have at least 6,000 wolves. On the top end I’ve heard 15,000 but I’m going to guess that might be high but then again I don’t live there and spend time in the woods.

If there were 6,000 wolves then math tells us that 1200 – 1800 wolves should be killed each year just to sustain the population at 6,000; and states like Montana, who according to Bob Ream, are aggressively killing more wolves.

But now the question has been brought up that perhaps states offering hunting and trapping seasons, based on the principle of “trophy” and “big game” hunting and trapping, might be causing even more game animals, like elk, moose and deer, to be killed. Is this possible?

It was nearly 4 years ago that I wrote a series, “To Catch a Wolf“. Much of the purpose of that series and other related articles, was to explain how difficult it is to kill a wolf; historically and globally. It’s one of the hardest things to do over a prolonged period of time and that’s why I chuckle at comments like Bob Ream’s when he describes the MFWP actions toward killing wolves as aggressive. There is NOTHING aggressive about trophy hunting wolves.

The process was long and mostly wrought with illegal actions and corruption, but eventually, Montana, Idaho and Wyoming got the infamous and controversial gray wolf removed from protections of the Endangered Species Act and trophy hunting seasons commenced; after all, wasn’t that the target goals of each of the states’ fish and game departments?

And so how’s that “aggressive” hunting and trapping going to reduce wolf populations?

If any of this isn’t complicated and wrought with emotion and irrational thinking enough already, in an email exchange I received today, the idea was presented that hunting a token number of wolves, in other words, managing them as a game species and classified as a trophy animal, might actually be only amounting to breeding a healthier, less stressful wolf that will eat more elk, deer and moose and become an even larger creature than it already is, further capable of killing more and bigger prey.

This idea is based in science, although those who don’t like the science disregard it. The science is the topic of wolf size. Most people are of the thought that a wolf’s size is determined by the species or subspecies the wolf comes from. I’m not going to pretend I have a full grasp of this science but will pass on that the essence of wolf size is determined mostly by food supply.

Consider then this premise to manage wolves as a big game species, which is what is being done in Montana and Idaho. The North American Model of Wildlife Conservation, which includes managing game for surplus harvest, has worked marvelously well over the years, producing in places too many of certain game species. We certainly don’t want that for wolves as the proportion of wolves to prey/game species will soon get all out of whack. Our only hope then, is that the fish and game departments will fail as miserably managing wolves as they have elk, moose and mule/whitetail deer.

There is a reason why honest wildlife managers classify bona fide game animals as such and coyotes (and it should be also wolves) varmints to be shot and killed on site. It’s the only way to keep them at bay. This would be considered an aggressive move toward wolf control. Anything, short of an all out organized program to extirpate the wolf, would work just dandy and would never danger the future existence of this animal.
End

In the years that I have written about wolves, wolf “management” and the political nonsense that goes hand in hand with it, it certainly appears to me that there has become quite an effort among sportsmen to protect THEIR “trophy” wolf hunts. Is that in the best interest of actually regaining a vibrant elk, deer and moose population, that is supposed to be managed for surplus harvest, according to Idaho code?

In its most basic form, at least ask yourself how that “aggressive” trophy wolf hunting is effecting the elk, deer and moose herds? At the same time, what has become and continues to become of those elk tags? There just aren’t enough “trophy” wolf hunters to be effective and supporting the farce perpetuated by Idaho Fish and Game isn’t helping. It’s the same as buying a fifth of gin for a gin-soaked homeless fool.

As was relayed to me today, it seems the, “participants are in a race for the final bull elk or big buck in various units.” That’s the direction it seems we are headed.

Here’s a mini refresher course in promised wolf management. When the Final Environmental Impact Statement was approved, leading to the Final Rule on Wolf Reintroduction, the citizens of the Northern Rocky Mountain Region, where wolves were to be (re)introduced, were promised several things. First, we were promised that wolves would be “recovered,” a viable, self-sustaining population, when 10 breeding pairs and 100 wolves existed in three separate wolf management zones for three consecutive years. Those numbers were achieved by 2003. What happened? Nothing but lawsuits and wolves didn’t finally get delisted until 2011 due to legislative action.

All promises made by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service were based on 30 breeding pairs and 300 wolves. They lied!

Second, citizens of Idaho, Montana and Wyoming were promised that wolves would have no measurable impact on wild game herds. The only thing that might possibly be needed was a slight 10% or less reduction in cow elk tags should the occasion arise for the need to boost elk production in exceptional cases.

So, I ask. How many elk tags have been lost since those promises were made? As a matter of fact, all promises made were reneged on. There is no reason to believe or support anything promised us by government. Stop giving government money to run their con game. At this rate game animals will all be gone soon enough and no hunting opportunities will prevail….except possibly trophy wolf tags.

What will it be. As the old saying goes, “Pay me now or pay me later.”

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