December 12, 2017

Maine IFW Website Now Has Game Harvest Data Published

I have written in recent past of the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife’s (MDIFW) appearing to have scrubbed of a lot of hunting, fishing and trapping information from their website. At the time of the first writing, I wrote: “Perhaps MDIFW has released their new website a bit prematurely in hopes of tying in all their previous pages of information in time.”

Evidently, that has been part of the scenario taking place. Just today, I returned to the MDIFW website and found links to harvest data for game animals. This is good news. I doubt that the revamping of the website will be a reason to think harvest data will be published in a more timely manner.

However, and there are a few, finding that data isn’t an easy task due to poor navigation. Landing on the “Home Page,” one can see a typical menu bar near the top of the page. One of those menu titles is “Hunting and Trapping,” where one might expect to find harvest data.

If you hover your cursor over the drop-down menu, the options include, Hunting Rules & Laws, Trapping Rules & Laws, Licenses & Permits, Safety Course, Accessing Private Land, Wildlife Management Areas, Opportunities for People With Disabilities, Commercial Shooting Area, and Safety Tips. There is no headline to find “Harvest Information” and there should be.

If you click on the menu icon in that menu bar and scroll down the landing page, eventually you will find a link to game harvest information.

The good news is, there is now some of the information that was on the old website available once again on the new site. However, there are still some pages that I have links to that the links are no good and I can’t find the data.

Maybe in time.

 

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The Secret Society of MDIFW

Today I was reading a blog in the Bangor Daily News, and it mentioned a report published by the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife (MDIFW). That report, according to the author of the blog, is called, “Wildlife Division Research & Management Report.”

I’ve been doing this writing for many years now, with a focus at times on MDIFW. I’ve never heard of or seen such a report. The author of the blog provides his readers with a link to the Maine Government website where such a report exists. Hmmmm! (And thank you.)

Of course, I clicked the link and began looking around. Then I went back and opened the MDIFW website to see if I could find this report linked from anywhere on this brand new, environmentalist-laden website.

Yes, we have no bananas… The only way I was able to find it, I had to know the title of the report and enter it into the “Search” box. Of course, all Mainers have memorized this report title and know how to use the “Search” box to retrieve it.

There was something also quite laughable that I read on the blog: “What caught my attention in this year’s report was the effort made to educate the general public about how the department is funded and the costs associated with MDIFW’s mission.”

How can one imagine that there is an “effort to educate” when nobody in the public even knows this report exists or how to find it? No wonder three-quarters of Maine residents don’t know how the department is funded. Are they supposed to guess?

MDIFW is more and more coming off like a secret society where only the select few are granted permission to receive information. I have previously asked exactly what it was that the staff of the Division of Information and Education does. It would seem that if the Wildlife Division Director states: “…the majority (74%) of Maine residents do not understand how the Department is funded,” then keeping this information a secret by hiding somewhere deep in the bowels of web pages is not conducive to educating the public.

How difficult is it to at least put out a press release saying the report is available for the public to read along with an easy way to locate it? MDIFW quickly notifies the mainstream press when bats, plovers or loons are being counted. Is there something in this Research and Management Report that needs to be kept under wraps?

Now that I have downloaded a copy, I will be reading through it to see what kind of real “gems” I can find.

Reports to follow.

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In Washington, Some Mourn The Arrival Of New Fish and Game Director

UnsworthMore than forty years have passed since the real growth of environmentalism in this country began and as a result, we are now witness to the second and third generations of post-normal, conservation wildlife scientists, presenting little hope for sound or consumptive wild game use.

To rousing ovations of many in Idaho, their deputy director of the Fish and Game Department (IDFG), Dr. Jim Unsworth, departed the Gem State to take over the head seat at the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW). To many in Washington, who have been following the wolf introduction disaster, seeing Unsworth as their new director is worse than a Tippecanoe curse. But obviously to the committee that selected Unsworth, he was their match made in heaven.

Should Washington residents fear Unsworth’s selection by committee, “a citizen panel appointed by the governor to set policy for WDFW”, because it was a terrible choice? There were eight candidates and that field was narrowed to four, ultimately opting for Unsworth. For some this makes their skin crawl.

More than likely there probably wasn’t anybody any better or with different values to choose from. A true “Manchurian Candidate” would have been trained specifically for one purpose. In this case and cases all across this nation, the “Manchurians” are products of a “Manchurian” education system. The rigged system was created to pump out candidates just like Unsworth. It’s nearly impossible to escape the result. The same rigged system was designed to produce members of committees that will select candidates from the rigged system. And finally, the rigged system forms the masses to follow blindly along. In truth, most people just don’t know what’s going on.

From the years that I have covered wolf and other wildlife issues in the state of Idaho, I’m not sure I recall a statement made in a government document that upset outdoor sportsmen any more than one that Jim Unsworth was a part of. In a 1993 document, Elk Management in the Northern Region: Considerations in Forest Plan Updates or Revisions, a report completed by Unsworth and two other colleagues, it reads:

We recognize now that elk are part of a bigger picture and that elk habitat management must be placed within the context of ecosystem management, biodiversity, State management strategies and goals, and shifting public demand and interest that now embrace nonconsumptive and consumptive interests.

Sportsmen often pay lip service to such issues as fish and game departments catering to environmentalists and their desire to end hunting, trapping and fishing, but when we see it put to writing that the paradigm is and has shifted toward non consumptive wildlife management, it’s enough to make maggots climb a small, thin rope. Dr. Valerius Geist calls “ecosystem management” with the goal of “utopian philosophy of ecosystem perfection absent of all human activity”, as “intellectual rubbish.”

The reality is that Dr. Jim Unsworth is perhaps a second generation product of post-normal wildlife management taught to him by such conservation romance biologists as Dr. James Peek. Yes, America is witness to the fruits of its labor. While outdoor sportsmen enjoyed time in the wild, away from the hustle and bustle of the nasty world now comprised of “changing the way we talk about wildlife”, the nasty world made the change that took place and it appears it has taken the introduction of wolves, forced onto the landscape of human settlement to give some pause to ask how that all happened. Isn’t it just a bit too late?

In my newest book, Wolf: What’s to Misunderstand?, I spend a great deal of time explaining how American citizens were sold the biggest con job until Obamacare was thrust upon us much in the same manner. I’ll talk more of that in a moment.

Jim Unsworth was a student of Dr. James Peek. If you want a greater understanding of what Unsworth was subjected to as a student of wildlife management, try reading this and this.

However, the likes of the new-science, wildlife scientist shouldn’t come as a surprise. We were warned about the coming destruction. In The Outdoorsman, Bulletin Number 47, Jan.-Mar. 2012 edition, editor George Dovel subtitled his central article as: “Review What Has Happened Since 1990 When the IAFWA Hired Bird-Watchers and Other Predator Preservationists to Replace Public Hunting in North America.

Dovel writes:

The Washington, D.C. – based international group that once represented the interests of state Fish and Game agencies by lobbying Congress and the President for them, is now their master. Although it chose to drop the word “International” from its name in order to sound “more friendly” to the North American hunters and fishermen it once supported, the “Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies” even added the State Forestry Administration of the People’s Republic of China to the long list of federal agency members it represents.

In 1990, IAFWA hired non-hunting bird watcher Naomi Edelson to establish non-consumptive wildlife
recreation as all state F&G agencies’ number one priority. This shocking violation of the law in many states was ignored by commissioners and biologists.

In July of 1990, IDFG Research Biologist (now Deputy Director) Jim Unsworth wrote a 1991-95 elk plan based on the IAFWA directive which blatantly violated Idaho Wildlife Policy in Idaho Code Sec 36-103. That 74-year-old law clearly states that wild animals, wild birds and fish within the state of Idaho shall be preserved, protected, perpetuated and managed to provide continued supplies for hunting, fishing and trapping.

Yet the introduction to Unsworth’s Elk Plan said:

“Although this document is called an Elk Management Plan, it is really the plan of the Idaho Department of Fish and Game (hereafter called the Department) for managing the many and varied impacts of people upon wildlife and wildlife habitat.

“…The Department believes the greatest return to society from the wildlife resource occurs when the
maximum variety of products is provided and that maximizing a single product (e.g., harvest) is not
necessarily desirable. We will encourage and promote nonconsumptive use of elk.”

We also get a glimpse into a few things upon examination of an interview Unsworth did in 2009 for Idaho Public Television.

Based on information provided in this interview, Jim Unsworth must have been with the Idaho Department of Fish and Game around 15 years, when he told in his 2009 interview that:

The day they brought them [wolves] in, I was in the Middle Fork with some other Fish and Game folks. We were counting elk and deer, and we had just finished up for the day, and we were on the Thomas Creek airstrip, and getting ready to head back to the cabin and have dinner. All of a sudden a bunch of fixed wings started landing, and here they were, dropping wolves off. None of us that were there counting elk even knew that this was going to happen.

Seriously? As much national attention as was given the introduction of wolves into this region and a 15-year biologist, who eventually became deputy director, didn’t know this was going to happen? While champagne was being uncorked, employees of the IDFG knew nothing? There must have been some very big secret being kept under wraps. I wonder what that could have been? (wink – wink)

And there was this:

And so, I remember sitting there on the airstrip with some of the guys I was working with, and we’d just spent a week counting –- looking at one of the most remarkable elk herds in the world, and looking at these wolves that they had dropped off.

And as a biologist, I was thinking, Whoa, this will be interesting! I mean, we have an incredibly abundant food source here, and a new top predator, and I wonder what’s going to happen.

I’m guessing that as little as Unsworth claimed he was aware of wolf introduction and what was going to happen to the elk populations, those behind the introduction were lying like well-worn rugs in a house of ill repute, claiming they knew wolves wouldn’t have any impact on elk herds.

In this interview, Unsworth sounds as though he is pretty balanced in his outlook and perspective on wolves and wolf management and maybe even wildlife management in general. However, if you pay attention, you will read indications of his personal perspective of non consumptive wildlife management. It appears as though, even as he might be passing himself off as a hunter, he doesn’t really care if those hunting opportunities are taken away from hunters. He prefers to address the issue by stating that the elk moved and it’s up to the hunters to change their habits.

You will also read this:

Elk is such an important part of the fabric of our life, for lots of people. That’s where they get their winter’s food. A lot of people don’t understand that, that are back east watching. They like the idea of wolves, and how everything’s happening out here, but I think they miss the people part of this whole equation. They miss the impact that these wolves are having just on local guys wanting to go out, recreate and feed their family for the winter. People miss that.

Which brings us back to the remarkable con job of wolf introduction. I’m sorry Mr. Unsworth but it wasn’t just those people “back east watching” that didn’t care one iota that, “Elk is such an important part of the fabric of our life,” not one little bit. Again, in reference to my book, Wolf” What’s to Misunderstand? I point out that every human element in the discussion of the impact of wolves in the Environmental Impact Statement was deliberately left out. That was in 1994 and this interview was in 2009 and evidently in that 15-year period, he and others like him still haven’t caught on.

The only real important issue about wolf introduction and present wolf management IS the human element. As Unsworth even points out, why did officials in 1993 deliberately avoid having to seriously address those elements?

But that is the power of new-science, post normal, wildlife management, brainwashing. It matters not whether there exists any scientific evidence, all based upon the scientific model that once worked pretty darn good. No, it’s now all about outcome-based science, developed and passed on by “change agents” whose minds were filled with idealistic nonsense and they believe it. This is the rigged system. What we are seeing is nothing more than a product of that rigged system.

Perhaps Unsworth was the best choice for Washington; a clone with all the right talking points. Those who sit on the governor’s hand-selected committee to vet a new director, I’m sure were all selected with the same principles that George Dovel told us were underway; that wildlife management would be done by bird watchers and environmentalists who are more concerned about kicking us off our lands and “their” lands, while managing for scarcity, than they are about real wildlife conservation with abundance for all.

It will not be until we, as a society, figure out how the progression of these “propaganda fantasies” started and how to stop it, that we can once again find fish and game directors, and a staff full of real biologists, that understand the difference between truth and fantasy.

If you figure out how to stop it then the challenge will become how do you re manufacture the clogged mands?

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Fish & Game is Decimating Our Natural Resources!

By George Dovel

*Editor’s Note* – The below article appears in the Outdoorsman, Bulletin Number 54, Oct.-Dec. 2013. It is republished here with express permission from the author. Please honor the protection of intellectual property and copyright. The Outdoorsman is the leading publication of truth concerning outdoor issues. To the right on this webpage is a link to follow in which readers are encouraged to subscribe to the print publication. Money is necessary for the continued publication of this important work. Thank you.

Oldhistorical

F&G is Decimating Our Natural Resources!
By George Dovel

The photo at right[above] was taken about 1895 by A. G. Wallahan of his wife Augusta (“Gusty”) posing with one of the numerous large buck mule deer she reportedly killed over the years. The single shot Remington-Hepburn rifle she is posing with is a far cry from the scope-sighted bolt action repeaters in use today but this didn’t seem to deter her from getting her share of bucks.

I downloaded the photo titled: ‘Augusta Wallahan Grocery Shopping’ from the Jan. 5, 2014 issue of Crittter News, but was unable to trace it back to its original source for further details.
About five years after this photo was taken, Idaho shortened antelope, deer, mountain goat and bighorn sheep seasons and set each bag limit at four animals per year. The elk season was three months long with a two elk bag limit.

By 1945, almost all Idaho big game seasons ran 37 days from Oct. 5 – Nov. 10, with Chamberlain Basin opening 10 days earlier. A bag limit of one elk, where allowed, and one deer existed, except on the Middle Fork of the Salmon where taking two deer was legal.

IDFG Hired First Biologists in 1938

In 1938 when Idaho Wildlife Policy was adopted and five Commissioners were appointed to assure that the policy was followed, the Idaho Dept. of Fish and Game had 73 employees. There were 11 headquarters personnel, 38 game wardens, 20 fish hatchery personnel, and four “technicians” who were hired to think of ways to take advantage of the new Pittman-Robertson excise taxes paid by hunters.
Hunters in every state were enthusiastic about taking control of their state fish and game agency from some local politicians who wanted to use license funds for their own pet projects. The chance to receive an additional $3 in excise taxes for every dollar they spent for restoration of wildlife sounded almost too good to be true.

But state game wardens who had spent 40 years rebuilding game populations using tools like controlling excessive ratios of predators to prey, soon realized there were strings attached to the extra “federal” dollars. The Wildlife Management Institute, funded partly by arms and ammunition manufacturers, conducted a “study” of wildlife management in our Western states and insisted they invite non residents to harvest their “excessive” game herds.

The arms and outdoor equipment manufacturers and related industries conducted a massive ad campaign, inducing sportsmen to travel to the remote areas in the western states and take trophy bull elk and buck mule deer, and catch monster trout from “pristine” streams.

Empire Building by Fish and Game

In 1938 IDFG employees trapped and sold pelts of predators and other furbearers and found other ways to support their nearly $300,000 annual budget. Although elk populations in some of the rural areas had not reached capacity, they were abundant in back country areas and mule deer populations had already reached record highs in locations like the South Fork of the Payette River.

If IDFG operations had remained the same fifty years later in 1988, the rate of inflation based on the consumer price index would have increased the budget to $2,517,021. Instead, biologists had taken control of the agency and the 1988 actual expenditures increased to $24,674,500 – 9.8 times the 1938 cost and total inflation!

And eight years later when F&G Director Conley was finally forced to resign, actual IDFG expenditures were $45,258,200 – 13.6 times the base plus $3,333,298 inflation since 1938! For the second time since the late 1940s, biologists had oversold hunter harvest of healthy game herds that had taken many years to rebuild.

In addition to large payments received from both federal and private dam builders to compensate IDFG for flooding big game winter range with their reservoirs, biologists had learned they could also get more money from hunters by making them enter a lottery to draw limited chances to hunt once game became scarce.

Not only were new fisheries created in the reservoirs, but the mitigation money was not used to improve the remaining winter range for big game and other wildlife. The 1990 change in priorities from sustaining annual game harvests to emphasizing non-consumptive use of wildlife was a major reason for this, and also made it even easier to convince hunters to enter a lottery for a better chance to kill scarce game.

Limiting Hunters Is Not Managing Wildlife

It is almost impossible to find a hunter now who has not accepted thousands of hunters drawing for a limited number of controlled hunt permits as a valid tool for managing wildlife. But with the exception of protected wild game that has never been hunted, or where there is not a huntable population, selling chances to draw a limited number of permits is simply a greedy scheme used to increase F&G income from thousands of hunters, while only a handful get to hunt the scarce game.

When game was managed properly, most resident hunters hunted year after year in the same area fairly close to home. But because unguided nonresidents generally head for spots with the highest reported harvests, successful states, including Wyoming, generally limited the number of nonresidents hunting elk in each region to prevent hunter overcrowding.

Older hunters, who remember Idaho’s fantastic general season deer and elk hunting lasting several decades, also remember that biologists expanded the 37-day either-sex elk or deer seasons to 3 months to include hunting during the rut and on winter range. By 1970, this had decimated both elk and mule deer populations.

They also remember the 1970s cure, which included reducing the number of predators, reducing season lengths, and eliminating hunting in the rut and female harvest until the herds had recovered. But even they do not realize that IDFG biologists added nearly 40,000 elk or deer permits on top of general and special weapons seasons in 1996 shortly before Conley resigned.

It is very difficult for most Idaho hunters to accept the reality that their Fish and Game Department biologists stopped managing Idaho’s wild game 20 years ago and have been misleading the hunters who pay their wages ever since. That is especially confusing because IDFG does sort of manage sterile “catchable” non-native trout hybrids and warm water species released in streams or artificial ponds, as well as “put-and-take” pheasants on WMAs.

In other words, they are competing unfairly with commercial shooting and fishing preserves, while making hunters and fishermen subsidize the expenses. But they are letting nature and predators decimate our native wild game.

Pretending that setting hunting seasons and bag limits is the only tool used to manage wild game is like trying to sit on a three-legged milk stool with two of the legs removed. Adding a second leg (habitat improvement) without the third leg (maintaining a healthy predator-to-prey ratio) is simply a waste of time and money.

Governors Deceived About Wildlife Corridors

In February 2007, The Western Governors Assn. (WGA) unanimously approved Policy Resolution 07-01, Protecting Wildlife Migration Corridors and Crucial Wildlife Habitat in the West.” It did this after being assured in written pamphlets that the system would protect the states’ annual income from hunters, fishermen campers and wildlife watchers, and that the “corridors” it referred to were migration corridors between summer and winter range – not the Wildlife Corridors promoted by the “Wildlands Initiative” and “Spine of the Continent.”

Yet six months later, Gregg Servheen sent a letter to NorthWestern Energy outlining 18 broad requirements for a proposed electrical transmission line. These included determining “effects on large carnivore (grizzly bear, wolf, wolverine) populations and habitats, including linkage corridors and genetic interchange, between Yellowstone Ecosystem and Central Idaho Wilderness areas.”

And absolutely nothing was done to protect the states’ annual income from hunters, fishermen, etc. Their assurances to the governors weren’t worth the paper they were written on.

In fact in their “Mirror, Mirror on the Wall” presentations to the Wildlife Management Institute on March 28, 2008 and to the Wildlife Society on March 12, 2009, Gregg Servheen and his co-presenter Michele Beucler insisted managing deer and elk for sustained yield is unhealthy. They encouraged wildlife managers to replace hunters with non-hunters and wrote: “Below we give several reasons why we think state wildlife agencies should modulate hunter recruitment and retention efforts.”

Do Western Governors Realize What They Did?

On June 29, 2008, during their annual conference held at Jackson, Wyoming, the Western Governors’ Association, with Idaho Gov. Butch Otter as President, voted to proceed with a 142-page plan to implement their 2007 Resolution to designate and survey critical core wildlife habitat and connecting corridors. The “Corridors Initiative” directed the Governors of all 19 states in the WGA to involve their state wildlife agencies in virtually every phase of the plan.

Meanwhile, Idaho’s largest elk populations are now decimated, existing in a predator pit, and IDFG has lost over $3 million per year just in license, tag and permit fees from non-resident elk hunters. Instead of reducing excessive populations of wolves and other predators to help restore elk and attract the nonresidents who hunt them, IDFG is promoting a 20% fee increase scheme from residents which will penalize those who can least afford it.

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Don’t Sensationalize Bear Behavior

I’ve beaten this dead horse about to death. While I am spending countless hours and writing countless articles attempting to properly educate people on black bear behavior, and other wild animal behavior, we then get letters to the editors showing how effective the brainwashing by environmentalist, animal worshipers has become.

What’s most amusing about the letter is that the author blames the state fish and game departments, along with the media, for spreading wrong information about bears.

This is groundless fearmongering, something the media uses instead of proper reporting. And, sadly, something that our wildlife agencies encourage.

We can agree on one thing; It’s the fault of fish and game and media, and they are not engaging in “proper” reporting, but for mostly complete opposite reasons.

Fear-mongering never works when attempting to educate people. The biggest obstacle is breaking down the years and years of brainwashing, and figuring out how to hack into the minds of people programmed to not think but only to follow authority……blindly……without question.

Beyond that insurmountable task, is then to properly teach people about animal behavior so that THINKING people can decide for themselves what risks they are willing to take.

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Joke: “develop opportunities to increase hunter and trapper effectiveness” to Restore Elk Populations

The joke gets bigger with each passing hunting and trapping season. While one could say that the Idaho Department of Fish and Game (IDFG) has made progress to acknowledge that the state’s missing elk herds are due in part to predation, the joke remains that loss and changing habitat is blamed as well and IDFG’s plan on limiting predation is to, “develop opportunities to increase hunter and trapper effectiveness”, that is according to the Idaho County Free Press.

Think about the brains that must have existed that would come up with a plan to make hunting and trapping of wolves more effective. To admit that predation by wolves is a part of the problem with shrinking elk herds and then present a plan that is akin to urinating over the side of an ocean liner thinking you might flood the coastline has to be considered an elitist attempt to placate what IDFG believes is an ignorant citizenry.

In 2009 I wrote that Idaho’s proposed plans on how to “manage” wolves, if they were ever taken off the Endangered Species List, would be ineffective. In addition, I crafted a multi-part series, “To Catch a Wolf”, highlighting the difficulties historically worldwide in “managing” wolves. I enclose in quotes “manage” because prolific predators like wolves aren’t managed, as in categorizing them as a game species, but need to be controlled.

You can find more information on Idaho’s lack of success in controlling wolves with links to the information I referenced above by following this link.

Should IDFG follow the same pattern of wolf management, and there is no reason to think they won’t, it will mirror what has taken place so far. It took over a decade for IDFG to admit that wolves might be having a negative impact on the Lolo elk herd. Now they acknowledge wolves play a role and propose an idiotic plan that will do nothing to limit wolves and increase elk populations. One can expect that 10 years from now, IDFG might declare that their idea of making more effective wolf hunters and trappers to better “manage” wolves, didn’t work. And yet again, there is always the excuse to fall back on that habitat is the real problem.

Expect no real changes. Let’s go pull some knapweed and plant some grass.

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In Idaho: McDermott Should Go, Summit a Waste of Tax Dollars

Let me make a few things clear for readers. I am an independent writer. I am owned by no one. I owe no one. My thoughts are my own. I am on nobody’s “side”, as use of such a definition may apply. I am neither republican nor democrat, libertarian, green, red, yellow or purple. I seek the truth and report news. In seeking the truth, it sometimes makes strange bedfellows. What I write on my blogs reflect my thoughts, exemplify the efforts of my research, educate and attempt to move issues forward. As readers have come to understand, under certain circumstances, I will publish guest columns and seek permission to republish information created by others.

Having cleared that issue up, let me also make sure readers understand the actions that took place that led up to the publication of a post regarding information in a letter written by Steve Alder of Idaho for Wildlife, to Scott Rockholm, founder of Save Western Wildlife.

I was made aware of this letter for the first time in a post on Facebook by Scott Rockholm at Wolf News Network. In that post Scott wrote: “Tom Remington you may want to see this.” I downloaded the letter read it and gave serious thought as to what I wanted to do about it.

Knowing if I decided to publish specific information in the letter, it would certainly result in demands for a response from those named in the letter, I felt that there was enough very serious information contained in the letter to bring it to public attention.

I did not contact anyone involved prior to the publication of that post. I also did not contact anyone about a rebuttal or a response. I was contacted by Steve Alder on the very same day the article was published. In our conversations (email and telephone), Mr. Alder asked if I would publish his response and I agreed. As I said before, I felt certain any mention of such a letter of this serious a nature would muster a response. I believe it to be the responsible and credible thing to do. As I have explained, I have no “side” in this issue but I do take issue with no fewer than two things that I wish to address.

What I will first address are the publications I have made about the Idaho Wildlife Summit. You can find all previous articles about the Wildlife Summit here.

As most know by now, some of Idaho’s sportsmen became divided over the Wildlife Summit; in essence whether they should fight to stop it from happening and/or boycott the event, or attend the event and participate. On the issue, I expressed that the Wildlife Summit would be a dog and pony show. I’ve studied about these public forums and personally find them an absolute waste of taxpayers’ money, along with the fact they are corruptly formulated to achieve desired results. I still believe that and stick by the statements I have made about it.

Some readers made the assumption that because of my stance on this issue, that I was “on the side” of Save Western Wildlife, who were fighting to get the Summit shut down. I have explained my personal opinion on this topic and provided enough information to support my reasons. That should be enough.

The second issue that is most imperative in my opinion, addresses the problems that have riddled Idaho Department of Fish and Game commissioner Tony McDermott. I do not know Mr. McDermott personally, but like most Idaho sportsmen, have read about and heard about some of his actions as a member of that commission.

I think the first crazy thing I remember reading and writing about was back in August of 2010. In an email response by Mr. McDermott, at the time involving certain sportsmen seeking the ouster of Commissioner Budge, McDermott wrote some unprofessional comments. You can read those here but here is what I wrote about his actions:

This kind of childish response from a man holding down a public position is sure to set off a firestorm, one that nobody really needs at this time……or anytime for that matter. The wolf debate is full of passion and opinion and words become sharp, cutting into the souls of individuals. However, calling others “idiot”, “lost cause”, begging guys to “come out of your rabbit hole” and then seeking a meeting in a manner resembling calling a drunk outside for a brawl, isn’t going to get the job done. His reference to asking the guys if they would like a “dose of the truth” only confirms the arrogance Idaho sportsmen have perceived from this Commission. That comment shows us he believes only he is the one holding truth.

And now, Idahoans find out that their fish and game commissioner, Tony McDermott, threatened to “take a .45 pistol and shoot him [Scott Rockholm] right between the eyes.” In Steve Alder’s response to this letter that tells of Mr. McDermott’s actions, he says that he doesn’t think Tony McDermott would actually carry through with his treat. Probably he wouldn’t. I don’t know and I am going to say that I doubt very many people do.

I suppose that until the cows come home, all of us can discuss context, intent, capabilities, etc. However, what is just as important as determining whether a threat to another human being is valid or not, is whether the citizens of Idaho want a man of these actions and reactions representing them on the fish and game commission. The governor must also decide. His staff are a reflection of him.

I have heard from some sportsmen that Mr. McDermott has done a great job and fights hard for them. McDermott’s unprofessional and short-fused actions and reactions to issues can only leave citizens wondering about his ability to make the best of decisions; after all, the decisions I’ve spoke of are not the best in judgement making.

These are two of my positions on this issue and I land on nobody’s “side.” If I have caused inflammation between two people or two organizations because of my writings, so be it. My intentions are not to hurt people. Perhaps, through the grace of God, these two groups and the many good people associated with them, can recognize they each have differences, recognize them and move on together toward the search for truth, while granting each other the space and respect each deserves.

In that search for truth, I have expressed my opinions that Idaho taxpayers should stop wasting money they don’t have on outcome-based summits and seriously consider the constitutional make up of who should serve the governor on the fish and game commission.

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Witnesses Claim Idaho Game Commissioner Has Seriously Threatened to Murder Scott Rockholm

If there was ever a doubt in citizens’ minds that laws are for the lowly subjects and the ruling elite get to exist above such laws, then perhaps what is going on in Idaho will shake you out of your lethargic trance and incite you to ask what in the world is going on.

In a letter dated March 1, 2012, Steve Alder, a member of Idaho for Wildlife, informs Scott Rockholm, founder of Save Western Wildlife, that his life is being threatened by a member of the Idaho Department of Fish and Game Commission.

Steve Alder describes in his letter to Scott Rockholm a telephone conversation he had with Commissioner McDermott:

During my conversation with Tony McDermott he mentioned his hatred for Scott Rockholm. What shocked me was he claimed he wanted to kill him and he said he was serious. He said he’d like to take a .45 pistol and shoot him right between the eyes.

My upbringing would probably place me in the same situation as what Steve Alder describes he found himself in; “shocked” and saying, “I had never heard of anyone hating someone so badly and I hoped this was in jest.” And I, like Mr. Alder, would probably hope it was in jest and give Commissioner McDermott the benefit of the doubt that perhaps he was having a bad day or at least a bad moment, resulting a bad decision to express such anger and hatred.

But it didn’t end there according to Alder:

During our horseback trip in Salmon in July, Tony mentioned his hatred again for Scott but didn’t mention he wanted to kill him.

Maybe it was just a bad day and the commissioner just has an abject dislike for Scott Rockholm due to fish and game issues which can become passionate. However:

Then a couple of months ago, __________ phoned me after an hour and a half phone conversation with Tony McDermott and ___ said that Tony wants to kill Scott Rockholm. (I intentionally left off this person’s name.)

Two months later and he’s still in angst and expressing to another party that he wants to kill Scott Rockholm? So why isn’t Mr. McDermott behind bars? Is it because the ruling class is treated differently than the commoners? Do you think for one moment that had Mr. Rockholm or any other lowly subject threatened to kill Tony McDermott, they would still be up and functioning in a normal capacity? Of course not.

In following specific comments about this letter on Facebook, Scott Rockholm says he isn’t the only one that Mr. McDermott has threatened:

He also made the threats to three other people, but they did not want to come forward, due to repercussions from the department.

It should also be mentioned that Scott Rockholm and Steve Alder have not been seeing eye to eye in recent months; mostly stemming from positions taken on the recent farce known to Idaho sportsmen and environmental activists as a Wildlife Summit. How this sordid relationship will play out in this shocking disclosure, maybe time will only tell.

In another comment made on Facebook by Rockholm, he stated that the local Sheriff’s department will not do anything about this threat and is considering bringing in the State Police. Why won’t the sheriff’s office do anything about this threat?

Disgusting political hierarchy in action.

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It Took 251 Days to Count 2,400 Black Bear for the Maine Fish and Game Bear Harvest Report

I think “Johnnie” needs to go see the principal because of his conduct in not getting his homework done in a timely fashion and that the quality of his work is not up to expected standards.

It’s been 251 since the Saturday after Thanksgiving in 2011. That’s how long it took the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife (MDIFW) to prepare two pages of the annual black bear hunting season harvest report. In addition, the quality of the blurry post on the MDIFW website appears to be that of a second grader. Is it possible that someone’s dog ate their homework? Maybe MDIFW has spent so much money on non game programs and watching bears sleep in winter dens, they can no longer afford to post quality reports on their website? Should we expect the website to be taken down soon also? Maybe it’s just global warming?

The first thing to point out in this report, other than it took 251 days to prepare, is that the harvest of just 2,400 bears, statewide, is abysmal. Maine may have perhaps the largest black bear population it has ever seen, at least in modern times, and one has to wonder why hunters can only take 2,400 bears. At this rate, we should expect to hear about more bear and human encounters and likely a kill off of the creature by some disease because of too dense a population. I suspect global warming myself.

The second thing that should be pointed out is that the only mention of comparative harvest numbers of previous years is, “The 2011 harvest of 2,400 bears is the lowest harvest since 1997.” By the way, the 2010 harvest was 3,062 and 2009 resulted in the take of 3,486. Is there a pattern here? You can find bear harvest reports on the MDIFW website going back only to the year 2005. Perhaps the website doesn’t have enough disk space to contain more information. Or, now that the use of modern techniques for calculating harvest numbers (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, ……..etc. must not work anymore) it’s extremely complicated to copy and paste the bear harvest report from the previous year and then just plug in the new year (that requires changing one digit or perhaps two every ten years), with the continued development of best available counting methods, Mainers might expect to wait for several years for their reports…….or never. I can hear the excuse now: “Well, nobody seemed interested in these reports so we stopped making them available.”

I wonder how many hunters even know these reports are generated by MDIFW? By the time they come out, everyone has forgotten last year’s bear season. Most are out fishing and getting their firewood together for the coming winter. Or maybe that’s the way it’s intended to be.

With less and less effort and money being spent on managing game for hunting opportunity and hunting harvest surplus, one would logically conclude that with at least 1,000 fewer bears killed, any intelligent man can calculate that it has taken MDIFW, on average, 105 days to count a thousand bears, this report should have been out in May. If it took 105 fewer days to count bears, MDIFW should have saved money. Must be time for a new fleet of trucks. Or maybe they could use the money to better understand why no one appears to be interested in hunting Maine bears.

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Maine Fish and Game Will Train….Butterfly Surveyors?

I think the title speaks for itself but if you want a bit more detail, see the Bangor Daily News.

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