January 16, 2018

Eastport, Maine’s Continuing “Deer Problem”

Actually, I don’t think Eastport has a “deer problem.” I think they have a people problem who think they can cure a perceived problem with a “new way to look at wildlife management” – i.e. Romance Biology and Voodoo Scientism.

If you live in Eastport, Maine, you have the right to keep and bear arms. However, if you are attacked within the city limits and need to defend yourself, make sure the gun you have for self-defense is small enough to throw but big enough to cause some damage if it should strike a violent criminal. That’s because in Eastport, like many other towns and cities in America, there is a law about discharging a firearm in the city. Why are these laws not being challenged?

That’s part of the so-called deer problem.

Another issue is that a deer committee, formed to look at ways of resolving the “problem” admit they are anti-hunting and seek alternative ways of “learning to live with” the deer. A Bangor Daily News article states that a member of the town’s deer committee said, “…And Bartlett made it clear the committee wasn’t a deer hunting group but rather a deer deterrent group.”

The two biggest limiters of deer populations in Maine are severe winters and depredation by large predators, i.e. bears, coyotes, bobcats and mountain lions(?). What better place to mitigate these life-threatening problems than to take up residence in a town that only wishes to “deter” deer, where they probably get fed by residents and where, usually, these large predators are not interested in having much to do with…until they get really hungry. Then they can take a bunch of pets, livestock and an occasional child or two in their quest for a meal.

Here’s my prediction. According to this news article, “…each of the deer that has been taken during the special hunt has been checked for ticks, with Lyme disease being a concern. Over the past two seasons, none of the deer have had ticks. The deer deterrent committee seems mostly unconcerned about private property and public safety of Eastport residents – at least not enough to do anything serious to lessen the problem. When deer become numerous enough and predators hungry enough to come to town for dinner, along the way they will begin eating up citizen’s pets. People can be put at risk and have their property destroyed, but when something causes harm to their pets, attitudes will change. Add to that the likelihood of increased risk of contracting some kind of disease that hits close to home, and soon bullets will replace arrows.

There’s a reason why the North American Model of Wildlife Management is still the best way to manage wildlife.

It works!

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People in Eastport, Maine Complain of Nuisance Deer and Complain About How It’s Done

Nearly a year ago I shared a report that in far eastern Maine, the town of Eastport wanted the state to do something about the slew of deer that had moved into town. Of course there are reasons the deer have moved into town but, as usual, that issue is never addressed. Instead, according to George Smith, columnist at the Bangor Daily News, a mere 30 permits were issued to kill up to 30 deer. With those permits, 11 deer were taken.

It appears as though the town and its people are complaining about the deer and yet don’t seem willing to remove all or some of their restrictions in order that the job can be done. Perhaps it is time to tell Eastport that if they aren’t willing to give a little, they are on their own to figure the problem out.

Eastport has a ban on the discharging of a firearm, and so only archery can be employed to kill the deer. As Smith points out, “This is not hunting. This is killing.”

The Town of Eastport is not entirely to blame. Because of new zoning, it became unlawful to hunt does in the Eastport region. The allotment of “Any-Deer Permits” by the Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife (MDIFW) is to control the growth or decline of deer populations. This is why the state stepped up and issued 30 permits for just one year. Realizing this effort did nothing to mitigate the deer problem, the MDIFW has issued another 30 permits and when 30 deer have been killed, they will issue another 60 permits.

With continued restrictions on the use of firearms, that hunters are restricted to using designated tree stands and the outlawing of baiting, the stage remains set for the killing of perhaps as many as 11 deer.

Evidently the deer problem isn’t THAT bad.

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Wildlife Management Districts Aren’t Perfect

When zones were established for the purpose of a better means of managing wildlife, it certainly helped. It should be understood that, like many “systems,” it is only as good as its weakest link. Such is the case of managing wildlife within districts. It’s not a perfect system, although argument could be made that it is much better than without them.

I’m not exactly sure how boundaries were established in Maine’s creation of Wildlife Management Districts (WMD). More than likely some politics were involved but hopefully not as corrupt as establishing voting precincts in order to further rig the system.

Eastport, Maine has a problem with deer taking over the downtown area. According to the Portland Press Herald, part of the problem associated with trying to mitigate the deer problem, comes from the boundaries established for the WMD for Eastport: “In 2005, the department redrew Maine’s hunting district boundaries for the state’s 27 wildlife management districts and, as a result, Eastport lost its any-deer permits and went to a bucks-only hunt. The state uses the any-deer – or doe – permit system to adjust deer populations in various parts of the state.”

It appears Eastport will get a chance, for one year only, to reduce the downtown resident deer population with an archery cull.

One has to wonder how long it will take before managers get a handle on the fact that deer aren’t where they used to be and have moved into human-settled landscapes, much because it is safer for them. They are not completely stupid animals. Perhaps one way to ease the influx of deer into human-populated areas is the go outside those regions and reduce the number of large predators forcing the deer downtown.

But Don’t Go Look!

redneck

 

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