December 18, 2018

Please Name The Benefits

When the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife announced earlier this year that their migration to a new digital tagging system, they told in their press release that this move was going to be very beneficial to hunters. I wondered.

The other day I read another outdoor writer make the statement that this new tagging system, if done properly, would “…allow for even more opportunities that benefit recreational hunters, as well.”

Inquiring minds want to know just how this is going to benefit hunters and provide more “opportunities?”

I think I can guess that if this new system was “done properly,” in other words allowed for the growth and sustainability of all game species for ample surplus harvest, it could be a benefit. But really?

Any help would be appreciated. You can add comments below.

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Maine’s Forgotten “Game Plan for Deer”

Does anybody remember? Maine had/has a deer problem. What was/is the problem? There are not enough deer statewide, and when combined with predator devastation, harsh winters (global warming isn’t helping) and grumbling began the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife (MDIFW) figured they best do something to appease the grumblers. Thus was born Maine’s Game Plan for Deer.

The farce was devised and published in March of 2011. *Note* I would highly recommend (if you give a rat’s patootie) that you go to this link quickly and download it into your computer files for safekeeping and future reference before it disappears…again.

I wrote extensively during that time about the plan, and in those writings provided readers with a link to the Plan. Unfortunately, like with hundreds of other documents, when MDIFW rebuilt their website, which is difficult at best to navigate and impossible at times to find anything, all of the previous links became void – perhaps by design.

This morning I began to think again about this document and plan and wondered why so much time, money, and effort was put into devising this piece of propaganda. At the time I called the work a worthless document and asked if MDIFW practiced deer management as a hobby. I wrote: “The Maine Game Plan for Deer is a worthless document until a strong and united effort is undertaken. It has to be more than task force creations, meetings, talk, and rhetoric, while fractured small groups or individuals practice futility. It appears Maine has to learn how to build a coalition that brings everybody onto the same page. Until that happens the only rebuilding of any deer herds will be happenstance.”

Game management history in Maine should have taught us that the mandated 15-year management plans are nothing more than typical political bureaucratic nonsense. This is proven out because nothing ever written in these plans is followed and when game managers remove themselves and their work from those plans, their excuses are that “best available science” changes and managers have to change with those changes. Yeah, OK!

Now, we have learned that Maine’s Game Plan for Deer was another political appeasement, a worthless document designed to get the complaining idiot hunters (their perceptions) off their back. Essentially, the Plan was tossed in the garbage and disregarded. Didn’t this become evident when the pretty document was scrubbed from the MDIFW website?

And then we have the surveys that MDIFW paid ridiculous amounts of money for saying they wanted to make their management plans based on what “stakeholders” (including anti-hunters, environmentalists, and animal rights radicals) wanted and their perceptions of existing game management.

We can easily assume that all previous game management plans, including Maine’s Game Plan for Deer, became null and void after Responsive Management devised the outcome based, scientismic, Delphi Technique enhanced answers to rigged questions.

We also can only assume that the new 15-year deer management plan that calls for reducing the deer population, stopping counting game animals, and strive for hocus-pocus “healthy” deer is the result of the SURVEY! Wink-wink and Kumbaya!

What’s odd though is that spending a considerable amount of time read searching the published results of that Survey, I don’t recall any questions, concerns, or comments about “stakeholders” wanting to stop counting game, reducing game populations, and/or putting a focus on healthy deer rather than focusing on growing a deer herd that would provide better opportunities to hunt and to boost the success rate, which in turn would continue to keep interest in deer hunting stable or growing.

Or maybe the new 15-year plan is newly devised to create just the opposite because that’s what Environmentalism and animal rights perverts, saturating the department, want.

So, why do we have a department of fish and wildlife? It’s all part of the rigged system. They waste money by devising wicked and worthless documents, convincing people they have our interest at heart, and evidently, we fail miserably in not seeing the scam.

MDIFW, like all government bureaucracies, is going to do just as they damn well please. First up on that agenda is to do what is necessary to keep fake biologists and game managers employed, at least long enough to collect a pension. The art is making the people think they are doing worthwhile, commendable work is a must.

Your government at work! Nice…real nice.

Maybe we need to develop a task force to look into this.

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Too Many Deer? Not Enough Forest? Who Gets to Decide?

I was sent a link to an article about the woes of Wisconsin in places where someone gets to say there are too many deer and that having “too many” deer is not good for the forest and may even promote disease in animals and people. Whose perspective is right? Who gets to decide how it should be?

Perhaps the work written of in this article is all, mostly, or some or not true. Who is to say really. We read it as working class stiffs and either agree with it because it fits into our own narratives conveniently, or dispel it because it doesn’t. So what’s the problem?

If there are too many deer, who gets to make that determination and on what basis do they use to decide? The researcher in focus says that where there are “too many” deer, it’s not good for the forests. Who says?

In reality, one has to wonder how much of any of all this discussion would even be happening if our society hadn’t turned into one of hatred of man and preferred affection of animals? There was a day, really not that long ago, when it was never questioned about why game managers were manipulating herds to the benefit of consumers/hunters. Yes, people needed and wanted deer meat to eat. It was not questioned. It was actually encouraged…if today’s young, progressives can believe that.

Today, it’s a different story. Hatred, greed, anger, radical animal protection has turned the table. When you combine all of this with money available to carry out the scientism of outcome-based studies that will be used to prop up environmentalists’ groups, used to sustain their onslaught of money-making lawsuits, is there anything left that at all resembles true scientific processes?

To somebody, Wisconsin has too many deer. To others, there’s not enough. To somebody, the number of deer that exist are damaging the forest. To others, what exists is normal. But the real question should be looked at from whose perspective these statements are being created? And who gets to decide?

What I see, mixed in with all the greed and corruption, are entities like the forest industry buying whatever “research” they can afford to protect their working forests. This is not unlike hunting organizations wishing to protect the very game they desire to chase which happens to be a very lucrative industry in its own right. Toss in the billions of dollars spent by well-funded environmental groups and it’s a war.

Was it always this way? It seems that before Environmentalism reared its extremely ugly, hate-filled head in the 1970s, the forest industry and the hunting industry go along quite well. This union was also readily accepted by society as part of American Heritage.

As has become the norm, money talks and $#!% walks. Money and greed can get you anything you want because there’s enough greed to go around. Perhaps the researchers are doing their work rooted in their own brainwashed and propagandized perspectives and don’t see the corruption behind it all. We either accept it or reject it and whoever gets the most support in numbers and money, wins.

What a life!

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Management Design of Scarcity

In Jim Beers’ article I posted yesterday, he spoke of what he called an “ecological theory.” This ecological theory is the transformation of the role of man in this existence. He writes: “We must restore the “primacy of man” in the cosmos and recognize that man has a transcendent purpose.  Today we see how treating man as just another animal in the cosmos and rejecting the understanding of an afterlife with an all-powerful Creator leads us to far more than “astray”.  I do not see how we can reject this ecological theory or heresy by simply rejecting it and those that propound it.  If we do not accept and value the traditional mores, cultures and beliefs that have underpinned millenniums of civilizing societies how can we defend them from avid proponents of this “ecological theory” or convince others to do so?”

Contained in this ecological theory, the role of man is changed from one of dominance among species to one of equality. This is achieved through an abandonment of the Scriptures where we are specifically told that Yehwah, our Creator, gave us dominion over all the plants and animals. This new theory, one that is vehemently perpetuated by Environmentalism and in particular the animal rights movement, places man as nothing more than an equality, or less, to animals and plants and that we have no right to wield any kind of control through management and ultimately any right to consume those wild animals as a natural resource.

On the Maine Deer Hunters Facebook page (I will not recognize FB with a link), Troy Frye writes of the troubles in Maine within deer management when the Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife (MDIFW) decided to allow a record number of Any-Deer Permits (a system used for more than 20 years to control and manipulate deer populations) at a time when deer populations are far below carrying capacity and when hunter harvest remains at dismal levels.

Frye points out some statistics he has put together of the recent history of Any-Deer Permit allocation. He writes: “Wildlife Management Districts (WMD) 16, 17, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, and 25 accounted for 41,065 permits in 2016, this is 90% of the state’s (45,625) antlerless deer permits.”

(Note – For those who might be wondering, the issuance of Any-Deer Permits for 2018 reflect the same percentages. Of the record number of permits issued, 84,745, those handed out to WMDs 16. 17, 20 – 25 total 76,975 or 90.8% of the total.)

(Back to the 2016 data) We know of the 29 WMDs, 7 of those districts receive no Any-Deer Permits. That is because deer populations in those areas are so terribly low, MDIFW believes simply issuing no permits will somehow cause the population of deer to grow. It isn’t happening.

Five other WMDs received less than 100 permits each, again signifying low deer densities.

So Maine’s deer seem to be all congregated in one geographically small area.

To help understand why some are disgruntled by MDIFW’s decision to issue a record number of Any-Deer Permits in certain WMDs, we should examine the stupid logic that is used through the Environmentalist’s influence on wildlife management nationwide.

Environmentalists and animal rights organizations believe that if you protect animals (no hunting, trapping, etc.), such as wolves, grizzly bears, Canada lynx, mountain lions, bobcats, etc. somehow the population of these animals will spread to all those regions that do not currently have populations of these species. And yet, in the reverse, in Maine’s WMD’s that show signs of good deer populations, management intends to issue so many permits to kill off enough of the female deer to reduce the population overall. Evidently, the reverse logic doesn’t work in the minds of environmentalists? Or, maybe the logic of protecting to cause the spread is incorrect.

In those areas where MDIFW believes the deer population needs reducing, are the deer starving to death because of competition for habitat? I’ve not heard of such a thing.

We know that the MDIFW is heavily influenced in their deer management decisions by pressure placed on them from social interest groups. MDIFW uses what they call “social carrying capacity” meaning whatever the numbers are that people will tolerate regardless of best available science in making those management decisions. Is this what is prompting MDIFW to slash deer numbers in WMDs throughout the state that are the only havens where people can find deer to hunt and eat?

We just don’t know what MDIFW is thinking or if they even are. It makes little sense. MDIFW wants to base their decision on the fact that deer harvest has been increasing at a trickle pace since the really bad winters of 2008 and 2009, but yet the overall harvest is still far below what should be expected.

MDIFW has given up attempting to manage deer that includes using counting and numbers, probably because of their repeated failures at deer management.

It appears to me that there is really only one explanation in MDIFW’s decision to kill as many doe deer in the WMDs listed above that make up 90% of the total allotment of Any-Deer Permits – management for scarcity.

If Maine’s WMDs 16, 17 and 20 – 25 become the only areas where there are any deer, is there any concern that hunters will begin filling up the woods in those areas searching for meat for their freezers? If so, maybe that’s the goal; to make the deer population in those zones look like the rest of the state.

In this condition of modern “ecological theory,” what has been lost is the fact that hunting, fishing, trapping, and a basic consumption of resources given to us by our Creator is the only thing in existence that is natural. To promote this modern ecological theory, as has been pointed out by Jim Beers, is uncivilized.

Environmentalists control wildlife management. We can tap dance around the truth and deny it all we want but when wildlife management is being so strongly influenced that scientific/biologic decisions are given a back seat to social demands, where society has become completely brainwashed by Environmentalism, then there is no denying who is pulling the puppet strings.

Succumbing to this neo ecological theory, i.e. changing the way we approach wildlife management, is a loss of about the only remaining stronghold on the natural behavior of man. All else is uncivilized in reality – a reflection of the society of which we live where up is down, wrong is right, hate is love, etc.

Jim Beers puts it this way, “If we do not accept and value the traditional mores, cultures and beliefs that have underpinned millenniums of civilizing societies how can we defend them from avid proponents of this “ecological theory” or convince others to do so?”

If we cannot rip this ecological theory apart and convince our game managers to do the job that provides man a chance to utilize the resources God has given us, hunting, fishing, trapping and any and all consumption of resources will become a thing of the past. This is happening at breakneck speed. What can be done?

The problem is I don’t think there are enough people left who care.

THE END!

 

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And Just What is the “Cure” for Protecting Deer Wintering Areas?

A couple of weeks ago I made my own comments about a recent “study” done by the University of Maine about “zoning” of deer wintering areas. Their useless study, which proved nothing and only caused the authors to formulate nonsensical theories, suggested that saving a small piece of land or forest for deer wintering wasn’t working.

George Smith weighs in on the study, which evidently he finds a valid argument worthy of a Pulitzer Prize. “I’m wondering if DIFW will change its approach to protecting critical deer winter habitat…”

And what exactly should that approach be? Do we take up the role in an, even more, strong-armed and fascist-like determination and simply take land from people in which environmentally-educated people have determined needs to be “protected” in order to “protect” deer?

When people fail in an ability to think for themselves, they can only see man’s destructive ways – real or imagined as drummed into them by Environmentalism. This narrative of man-hating and private property ownership dislike, along with the consumptive use of resources sets the stage for totalitarians to fulfill the wishes of the fascists.

Solving the problem, if it is really all that serious, of protecting deer wintering areas, is not an easy one. What hinders the finding of a solution is the fact that environmental fascism prohibits consideration of other factors.

These people believe deer are stupid and unadaptable. They need to get out of their offices. Do they actually think just because in their tiny minds trees were cut down and ruined what they determined were part of a deer wintering area the deer that go to for the winter months are just going to lay down and die? Evidently.

And all of this while at the same time promoting Climate Change. Why once the oceans stop rising and killing all the coastal deer, there will no longer be a need for deer wintering areas.

KUMBAYA!

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Is Maine’s “Any-Deer Permit” Allocation System Broken?

One has to ask if the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife’s (MDIFW) “Any-Deer Permit” system is broken and/or outdated. Consider this information.

For those who might not know, MDIFW uses a system in which deer managers determine how many antlerless deer permits should be issued in each of the state’s Wildlife Management Districts (WMD). This system is used to control the population of deer within that WMD. The theory is that when MDIFW needs to grow the number of deer in a WMD they reduce or eliminate Any-Deer Permits. On the reverse, if the MDIFW believes the number of deer need to be reduced in a WMD, they increase the number of permits issued. But does this still work and is it time for modifications?

For whatever the reasons, Maine has in much of the state a terrible accounting of a deer herd. In some places, deer have exceeded what MDIFW wrongly determines to be “social carrying capacity” i.e. the number of deer the public will tolerate.

Where once MDIFW set a goal of in excess of 300,000 deer statewide, they now have decided that somewhere around 200,000 is a good number. Perhaps by 2033, that number will be approaching 100,000. And with this information, we know that MDIFW decided to issue close to 85,000 Any-Deer Permits in hopes that with this record number of permits issued – EVAH! – they can come up with about 9,000 does harvested for the 2018 deer season.

DISMAL!

If we consider all of the excuses MDIFW gives for a poor showing for deer management, shouldn’t the department be asking themselves if this Any-Deer program is still viable?

Whether Climate Change is valid or not; whether loss of habitat is valid or not; whether increased access to land is valid or not; whether the destruction of deer wintering areas is valid or not; whether deer managers are brainwashed by Environmentalism is valid or not; whether MDIFW doesn’t have enough money to properly manage wildlife is valid or not; whether social demands are valid or not; whether consistent threats from animal rights groups and environmentalists is valid or not; there are still some things that aren’t really being talked about.

MDIFW said that last deer hunting season the quota for the number of does they wished to be harvested was not reached in all but 6 of the WMDs. However, MDIFW has never given a reason why this happened. It is vital to know. Without knowing this information, how does issuing 28% more Any-Deer Permits this year pass the straight-face test?

Combine this with information provided by George Smith the other day. His article was about a public hearing held by the Fish and Wildlife Advisory Council concerning the proposed issuance of 85,000 (an all-time record) Any-Deer Permits: “The department held a public hearing on June 26 and only two members of the public attended and no testimony was given.”

Maybe the reason MDIFW couldn’t fill their quota last year is that there are too few hunters to get the job done. Maybe the reason MDIFW couldn’t fill their quota is that there just aren’t enough deer to go around. Maybe the reason MDIFW couldn’t fill their quota is that nobody really cares, including MDIFW, any more about MDIFW’s deer management that produces fewer and fewer opportunities to bag a deer – horns or no horns.

So, are we to just assume that because quotas weren’t filled last year a simple issuing of 85,000 Any-Deer Permits will magically cause the quota to be met this year?

Maybe in those WMDs where quotas were not filled, there are so many trophy bucks it was easier to shoot one of those than an antlerless deer?

So, if the continued implementation of an Any-Deer Permit allocation system is failing to grow more deer in northern, western and eastern Maine, and the same system is failing to control the deer population in southern and central Maine, maybe the darn system is broken.

Insanity trudges on!

 

 

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Avoiding Accountability in Deer Management

In the recent past, I have written quite a bit about my concern for the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife’s (MDIFW) change of direction in their new deer management plans. Those plans seem to include a shift from bothering much about counting deer to a non-accountable waste of time concerning themselves with a general good health of game animals – and that Agenda 21 term of “sustainable” that everybody is in love with. (You can find some of my articles that cover this environmentalist-shift to game management here, here, here, here.)

V. Paul Reynolds says that MDIFW is “falling short of goals” when it comes to deer management and cites the previous 15-year plan that set as a goal a population of deer at 384,000 – cough, choke, spit, laugh. Reynolds sobering words remind us of the realities of the actual estimated deer population – “less than half that.”

Reynolds doesn’t think a management plan void of counting is worth much either. He asks, “in the end isn’t it the number of deer that we have or don’t have that is at the core of professional whitetail management?”

It has appeared to me right from the get-go that this new deer management plan is a better way to avoid responsibility and accountability when deer management goals call for 384,000 animals and the failure in that is so great less than half that number exist.

According to Reynolds, the new management plan targets a “healthy” deer population of around 210,000 by 2033. All MDIFW has to do is hope like hell their prized “Climate Change” allows them to somehow maintain the terrible number of deer now. At the rate things have gone, we can expect a deer population of around 105,000 by 2033.

In reality, I think what is reported that an assistant wildlife director said if more than a mouthful and an honest assessment tells the real story: “The goals for deer population management outlined in the updated 2017 Big Game plan are to maintain a healthy and sustainable deer population, rather than limiting a particular WMD to a hard target density objective — like in the past couple of plans. This allows for greater flexibility in management actions to adapt to changing landscapes, climate fluctuations, social issues, etc.”

Whenever any government leader/employee uses the term “flexibility” you should know by now that that means we’re all about the get taken to the cleaners with no accounting on their part. In other words, this new plan allows MDIFW to do just about anything or nothing at all, and because they have issued themselves “flexibility” they have not failed at their job – a well-defined recipe for FAILURE.

Along with this flexibility, they have ensured that there are scapegoats (the dog ate my homework) – “changing landscapes, climate fluctuations, social issues..” And the big one here is the last – “etc.” Evidently “etc” means they just fill in the blank.

Environmentalism sucks!! Its purpose and plan is to manage for scarcity so that nobody benefits in any way and the wage earner and retirement pension seeker is not held accountable in any way. Oh, America! Land of the free…loader.

The last nail is driven in the coffin and as the death of deer hunting and other game animals falls upon our society, the government agency in charge can say, we were just following the 15-year management plan.

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Should “Any-Deer Permits” Be Changed to Doe Permits and…

Yesterday I was approached by a Maine deer hunter who asked me to ponder his question. He didn’t want an answer right then and there. I’m not sure when he expected the answer or that he assumed maybe I would write about his question. So, here’s his question: “Do you think that when somebody applies for and wins a doe permit [Any-Deer Permit], that is all they should be able to shoot – an antlerless deer?” My knee-jerk reaction was yes, I would like to see it that way. But then I had some time to think about it. Here are some thoughts for you to ponder and please feel free to offer comments below.

If we swallow the bait, hook, line, and sinker, that the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife (MDIFW) uses the allocation of “Any-Deer Permits” (ADP) as a scientific means of controlling and manipulating the state’s deer population, including age structure and buck-to-doe ratios, and that along with that belief you think the ADP system is successful, then it might be easy to say there is little need to discuss the what-ifs of changing the ADP to a strict doe-only permit.

But, let’s consider it anyway. Perhaps there is something to be discovered in this proposition.

I mostly understood the basis for this hunter’s question to ponder. Especially after he told me that in his hunting life-span, which extends far before the ADP system was put in place, he has never applied for an ADP. I smiled and said, “Neither have I.”

There is a belief that those hunters who apply for and get an ADP, are taking the antlered bucks that I guess somehow should be saved for….well, I dunno who – “trophy” hunters and not meat hunters?

According to an article that appeared in the Sun Journal, Maine deer biologists have recommended that MDIFW issue a record number of ADPs – up 28% from last year and to a level never before seen in the state. The recommended number of ADPs sits at 84,745. That must mean the state has the largest number of deer ever in the history of the existence of the ADP system.

Errr…hang on just one second. When the estimated deer population in Maine stood at 331,000 AND the ADP system was in place, there certainly were not that many ADPs issued. So what gives? Today’s deer population estimate statewide might be as high as 120,000, depending on who you want to listen to. Doesn’t it make some sense that ADPs would be half what they were when the population was at 331,000 – more or less depending on circumstances?

Issuing this many permits can only mean one other thing…maybe…? That the buck-to-doe ratio in Maine, especially in the southern Wildlife Management Districts (WMD), is out of whack and the state needs to kill more does to make that happen…Or, maybe not so much.

Maine’s former head deer biologist told me once that it was virtually impossible for buck-to-doe ratios to exceed 1-3 or 4 unless the ratio was deliberately skewed. So, is the management of deer so deliberately skewed it has created an out-of-whack buck-to-doe ratio?

It would seem that if that was a problem, MDIFW would have at least hinted that they needed to issue straight-up doe permits to get that back on track.

According to George Smith, MDIFW is actually hinting at the prospects that the ADP system in its current form, is not working: “Deirdre Fleming reported recently that DIFW Wildlife Division Director Judy Camuso told the department’s Advisory Council that in all but six of the state’s Wildlife Management Districts the projected doe harvest was not reached last fall. State biologists projected a doe harvest of 7,114 in 2017 but the actual reported doe harvest was only 5,950.”

Uh, oh!

My question is this: If the doe harvest in all but 6 WMDs fell short last year by 1,200 deer, how is adding an additional 18,695 permits going to achieve the desired goal? Is it because there are not enough hunters or is it because those who win an ADP aren’t using it for the purposes designed? Or, perhaps, the ADP system is beginning to more and more show that it is a flawed system…not that it should be abandoned, however, but perhaps some needed changes injected into it.

I am getting to the question at hand about whether the ADP should become strictly a doe permit – meaning the holder of the doe permit can harvest ONLY a doe and not “Any Deer.”

It was an interesting brief discussion I had with this hunter. He said to me, “There are only two reasons a hunter will apply for an ADP – he wants meat regardless, or he wants insurance in case he messes up (I assume meaning he mistakenly shoots a doe instead of a buck).

I have no preference one way or the other except that however ADPs or doe permits are issued, they are done specifically to scientifically (real science) manipulate deer populations, age structure, and buck-to-doe ratios.

If the trend is that doe harvest isn’t coming close to being met with ADPs in the current format, for whatever the reasons (lack of hunters?), something has to change.

BTW, I shared the other day the real reason MDIFW wants to kill more does in the southern regions of the state and it has NOTHING to do with buck-to-doe ratios or age structure. It simply has to do with pressure from environmentalists to get rid of Lyme disease and they have chosen to pick on the deer as the culprit instead of going to the root source of the disease.

A brainwashed population of scared-by-design people are at a near panic level, fearful of even going outside. So let’s kill a whole bunch of deer.

Another fine example of non-scientific wildlife management driven by totalitarian socialism.

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Is Maine’s Big Game Management Plan Really Shifting Toward Focus on Animal Health Not Numbers?

If readers will recall, last week I commented on an article published in the Portland Press Herald that quoted a member of the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife (MDIFW) as saying, “There is no absolute density (number),” Cordes said. “There is more flexibility now in management.”

From this, the article indicated that MDIFW was shifting their focus to game animal health and away from population densities. Is this what’s really going to happen?

This all came about as a lead-in to announce that MDIFW was soon to release their Final Big Game Management Plan for the next 15 years. It should be understood that although these required management plans are written, they seldom are actually followed. I would imagine they go up on a shelf someplace and collect dust, perhaps being pulled down on occasion should the department have a need to placate the public with something like a mid-management plan rewrite to keep the masses of residents who care happy.

Consider what is written in this regard in the Draft plan: “It may not be necessary or feasible to implement all strategies in order to achieve the goals and objectives.”

So, for what it’s worth, I spent some time reading over the Draft Big Game Management Plan for 2017 – 2022 with a specific focus for this report on deer management goals and strategies. MDIFW has listed 3 specific goals of their plan. In addition, they have added “new” efforts to carry out the deer management plans. I’ll give you the 3 goals, in my own words, and list for you each of the “new” strategies to be employed along with MDIFW’s assessment of the level of priority they put with each new strategy followed by my own comments for some of them.

First, the 3 goals.

Goal #1 – Maintain a “healthy” deer herd for hunting and viewing.

Goal #2 – Keep the Public happy about the deer population.

Goal #3 – Increase “Public Understanding” (create new knowledge?) of biology, ecology, and management.

If the focus shift at MDIFW is going to be on deer health rather than population densities, isn’t the chore of keeping the Public happy about deer populations going to become just a bit more difficult?

Because we know that the management plans are written as part of the bureaucratic process and aren’t ironclad instructions on step by step procedures to manage deer, we also don’t know, and I can’t determine from reading the Draft Plan whether it is actually a written proposal to shift focus to animal health or whether the person from MDIFW in the PPH interview letting the Public know that his office intends to focus on animal health rather than population densities regardless of the Plan. This is government business as usual.

So here are some of the “new” additions to the deer management strategy that we are to presume will help to achieve the goal of a “healthy” deer population…along with how MDIFW prioritizes it.

Listed under Goal #1:

4. Explore options to identify habitat degradation due to over-abundance of white-tailed deer (New; Moderate Priority) Even though this is listed as of “Moderate Priority,” how much more difficult or effective will this proposal be with this new approach at deer health? To understand habitat degradation due to “over-abundance” of deer, doesn’t that require counting?

5. Evaluate early fawn mortality factors (New; Moderate Priority) My first question might be, why hasn’t MDIFW been doing this already? In a state where the majority of its land mass is quite significantly below management objectives, deer management 101 teaches us that fawn recruitment and/or fawn mortality is vital to sustaining/growing a deer herd. And, let’s not miss the point the point that it would seem that in order to understand fawn mortality factors, it should require COUNTING.

6. Evaluate the effectiveness of the coyote predation management program and identify options for improvement (New; High Priority) We know the MDIFW has been undertaking some form of predator control to help protect the deer herd particularly in winter. One might quickly think the idea to “evaluate” usually means the plan is to get rid of it. However, this new proposal speaks of discovering ways to improve it. That’s a good thing, and I’m glad it’s listed as a high priority.

Listed under Goal #2:

3. Evaluate the effectiveness of the Expanded Archery Program in managing deer-human conflicts (New; Moderate Priority) Looks to me like more counting. Geez, it’s just hard to get away from having to know how many animals there are. And, I always thought that knowledge of good deer management included the fact that managing deer at the “biological capacity” provided for a healthy herd. But I do understand that all important “flexibility” that gives managers another good excuse…kind of like global warming.

2. Develop a certification program for hunters (e.g. Marsh Island deer hunt) that would authorize participation in special urban deer hunts (New; Moderate Priority) This may prove more beneficial to a lot more people than just hiring sharpshooters.

Listed under Goal #3:

Develop a strategic outreach plan for deer and use the MDIFW Communication Program to disseminate key messages to the public (New; Moderate Priority) I’d like to see this. It wouldn’t take a lot to improve the communication of important information from MDIFW to the Public.

Work with partners to develop a mentoring program that encourages deer hunting. (New; Low Priority) Low Priority? Hmm

Conduct regular public meetings on deer management (New; High Priority) Never happen, and/or won’t last. Even if MDIFW had “regular” public meetings, nobody would show up and it would be a waste of time.

Expected Outcomes:

MDIFW lists what it thinks might happen IF they were to successfully carry out this 15-year management plan for deer. Here’s what they write:

5.6 Expected Outcomes for White-tailed Deer Management

Implementing the deer management strategies in this plan will require adequate staffing, funding, and public support. It may not be necessary or feasible to implement all strategies in order to achieve the goals and objectives. If MDIFW and its partners are successful managing deer over the next 10 years, the following outcomes are anticipated:

• The statewide over-wintering deer population averages 210,000 animals.

• The percentage of the public rating the management of deer as ‘excellent’ or ‘good’ increases to 75% by 2022.

• Public support for deer hunting to manage the population remains at or above 90%. • Annual hunter participation of ? 150,000 hunters.

• Statewide hunter satisfaction with Maine’s Deer Management Program increases to >85% by 2022.

• Northeast Maine hunter satisfaction ?80%

• Central Maine hunter satisfaction ?85%

• Southern Maine hunter satisfaction ?90%

• An average annual statewide buck harvest of at least 15,000 animals is maintained

• Seven year running average of the percentage of yearlings in the buck harvest remains below 50%

• Any-deer permits generally available in WMDs 15-17, 20-25, and 29, with permits issued in other WMDs during some years.

All of this sure looks like a lot of counting…that is if there is any serious attempt at implementing and working at this deer management plan. It is impossible to effectively manage any game herd without a minimum of reasonable, scientific methods of devising estimates of population densities – the more accurate that estimation becomes the more precise and effective management strategies become.

To announce a shift from this method of deer management to one of concentrating on the health of the herd, stating that it will give management more “flexibility” is utter environmental nonsense – Romance Biology and Voodoo Science. Like imposing the effects of Climate Change on every failure of wildlife management, as if they needed more “flexibility.” I can see the headlines now: Maine’s deer harvest this year was lower than expected. That’s because we now have a healthy herd despite Climate Change.

However, MDIFW is going to do what MDIFW is going to do and that’s the bottom line. After all, they are a government agency. Need I say more?

 

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If You Have No Intention to Count Live Deer, Why Bother to Count Dead Ones

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