November 14, 2018

And Speaking of Animal Crackers…

In a recent column of tripe and gobble-de-goop published in the Kennebec Journal, the whining and perpetual bitching of the author about the need to protect and grow all wildlife at the demise of the hunting and fishing industry which is a time-proven tool to more easily manage and control animal growth and public safety, the author makes the following complaint:

“The vast majority of us who are not consumptive users, but who still pay taxes, are at best disregarded and ignored.”

Evidently, the author hasn’t figured out after all these years that the biggest reason he and others of his breed are “disregarded and ignored” is because they are totally nuts – animal crackers!

 

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Maine’s New Big Game Management Plan Stained With Environmentalism

*Editor’s Note* – When I ended my work on this article last evening, unfinished and unedited, I didn’t realize that I unintentionally hit the “publish” button instead of the “save draft” button. For some readers, you may have gotten a look at the unfinished work with lots of errors in it. I apologize for this mistake.

Maine wildlife authorities have concluded the Draft copy of a new 15-year big game management plan. The Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife (MDIFW) likes to call the plan the 10-plan – that’s because it’s about 5 years late in coming.

Regardless, for those willing for some honest examination of the Draft Plan, can see that it is smeared with acts of Environmentalism, Romance Biology, Voodoo Science, and Scientism.

Pharmacies and doctors have seen windfall profits from the fear-mongering over Lyme disease. We’re all gonna die, ya know! And along with this preprogrammed effort to scare the hell out of anyone thinking about going outdoors, we see the call from “society” (social, socialism, communism) to reduce the deer population to save the planet. Never lose sight of the fact WE’RE ALL GONNA DIE from Lyme disease or some other manufactured “weapon of mass mental destruction.” Doing so would really upset the Global Power Structure’s plans.

Because MDIFW has taken up the cross to manage big game for healthy populations, spending less effort on anything that might reveal or expose lack of accountability, we now have to even further reduce the deer population below the dismal levels that already exist. (Note: Once again we see another firm case of the overwhelming need to KNOW deer populations in order to manage them responsibly.)

Must Lyme disease be a new disease? Oh, wait! According to some (wink-wink) Lyme disease was “discovered” (deserves another wink-wink) about 40-years ago. Others (get ready for it) say “new discoveries” (quadruple wink-winks until at least the cows have all come home) indicate that Lyme disease has been around for “15-million years.”

During a period of time of nearly 20-25 years ago, Maine wildlife biologists were estimating the deer population in excess of 300,000 and the deer management plan in place at that time stated the statewide goal was to maintain an “over-wintering” population of about 310,000.

In MDIFW’s wildest dreams, they estimate today deer population of around 200,000 animals. However, it appears that harvest rates of modern times don’t match with those of 15 years ago or longer. In other words, the number of deer harvested of late does not necessarily equate to 200,000 deer. Something less than that.

Regardless, 40 years ago, when Lyme disease was “discovered,” where was Lyme disease? Where was Lyme disease when Maine’s deer population spiked to well over 300,000? I know, I know. You’re all going to say that better diagnoses today detect the disease. Is that really an honest answer?

So why is the deer being blamed? It’s not the source of Lyme disease. It only is a blood host for the Lyme/deer tick. Why aren’t we expending necessary effort to go to the source of the disease and instead, picking on deer and determining to kill off whatever number of deer it takes to reduce Lyme disease (oh, why not! Wink-Wink) (Note: It is the aim of Environmentalism and/or animal rights perverts to end hunting. Going after the source of Lyme disease is not conducive to ending hunting, but if they can successfully reduce the deer populations to levels below the need for surplus harvest, they will have achieved their goal. You should also know that these groups couldn’t care less about your risk of contracting Lyme or any other disease.)

Ironically, or something, those Environmentalists who say we’re all gonna die because deer spread Lyme disease, will be the first in front of the microphones and television cameras demanding that all hunting must stop in order to protect a man-caused fragile deer population…while the cases of Lyme disease continue to flourish…because of better diagnostic techniques? (yes, yes! Wink-Wink)

Environmentalism = Scientism, Romance Biology, Voodoo Science, man sucks, and we’re all gonna die!

Also in this latest charade of big game management mockery (as demanded by the Legislature), once again we hear the woes of the failure of deer management.

A few years ago, a group of “stakeholders” and interested “volunteers” comprised a quasi-vigilante-style onslaught defined as an effort to address deer management issues in Maine. I wonder what they would have done through all those meetings if “Climate Change” didn’t exist or their bred-in instincts at totalitarian authority to steal away landowner rights didn’t give them subject matter?

During those meetings, the discussion eventually came around to suggesting that deer management in northern, western, and eastern Maine be essentially abandoned because the MDIFW cannot find ways to grow deer. That’s called GIVING UP! There are just too many excuses why it can’t be done. However, a great deal of actual deer management has been abandoned due to the utter nonsense being taught to wildlife biologists in factories of higher brainwashing, and increased pressure from Environmentalism to “change the way we talk about wildlife management.” And, let’s not forget the fear of lawsuits.

It is imperative that those who care about deer management in Maine understand that part of this Draft Plan calls for a “reevaluation” of deer management in northern, western, and eastern Maine to determine whether any effort to manage the deer in those regions is worthwhile. DAMN THAT CLIMATE CHANGE!! (Note: We must consider that should MDIFW abandon deer management in these regions, would the deer population then grow?)

We can blame whomever we want, however, according to the outcome-based “surveys” MDIFW conducted, the majority of Maine people think all is well on the homefront and that MDIFW is doing a marvelous job. That’s mostly because not unlike the brainwashed college students, society is just as brainwashed and they don’t even suspect anything.

It’s easy to target the wildlife biologists, but how much they are to blame is difficult to tell. Many are just simply doing what they are told. If we look at wildlife management as what it has become, none of what I write about matters because we will NEVER return an honest science-based system of wildlife biology. Instead, we will see a rise in Scientism, Romance Biology, Voodoo Science, Outcome-based management plans, etc.

There is one more issue in the Draft Deer Management Plan that needs to be looked at. The Plan calls for a reduction in deer populations in most all of southern and central Maine. These reductions, because of pressure from Environmentalists to stem Lyme disease, would put the population densities down to 15 – 20 deer per square mile, which is ample deer. Essentially, areas of central and southern Maine are what is keeping deer hunting in Maine alive. This is because there is a viable deer population there. In the north, west, and east, deer densities run as low as 2 – 5 deer per square mile and hunting activity is dropping like a rock.

If we slash the deer herd in central and southern Maine, what’s left? How will hunters react?

The Draft Plan for all Wildlife Management Districts calls for increased hunting and, “Continue to provide a diversity of opportunities for hunters to pursue deer by allowing multiple hunting techniques over a long season framework.”

This is a great example of wordsmithing. The Plan wants to “provide a diversity of opportunities.” What precisely does that mean? I suppose it means that I could buy a 10,000-acre spread in Central Maine, put nothing on it, manage the nothingness that is there and sell “opportunities” for those interested to go there and pursue rhinoceros. That would be diverse and provides an “opportunity.”

You might recall in my opposition to the wording of any proposed constitutional amendment to protect hunting, fishing, and trapping to Maine’s Constitution, each proposal used the same kind of wording – wording that would guarantee a right to an opportunity not a right to hunt, fish, and trap game. There is a difference.

However, the bottom line is that if hunting in Maine is to be a part of our future, there must be game to hunt, fish, and trap. It’s that simple.

Surveys, for what they are worth, conducted by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, have indicated that the biggest deterrent to hunting is finding or taking the time. If hunters and potential hunters now struggle to find the time, or to justify taking the time, to hunt, how much more disinterested will people be when the only parts of the state where there are ample deer to hunt are gone?

For some of us, there is a great challenge to pursue the monster buck in areas where deer densities run around 2 -5 per square mile. Most, however, want meat and don’t have the resources to spend hours and hours to get it.

And all of this discussion about the Management Plan is actually a wasted effort. This legislatively mandated management plan is nothing more than typical government bureaucratic nonsense that, once written, is set aside and little attention paid to it. If it was required that game managers followed this plan and their production was as dismal as it is, compared to the plan, many should lose their jobs.

It is an act to appease the morons in the Capital building and to placate the unsuspecting public. In some ways, perhaps a lot of ways, consider it a good thing that game managers don’t follow their own plans.

Now, if we could just do something about the spread of Environmentalism throughout society and in our school systems.

RIGHT!!

 

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Maine: Recommended Record Number of “Any-Deer Permits”, Moose Permits Not So Much

It was announced recently that the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife (MDIFW) has decided to issue an all-time record number of doe permits (Any-Deer Permits). The reason they give for this unprecedented increase is: “…that in all but six of the state’s Wildlife Management Districts the projected doe harvest was not reached last fall.”

There could a number of reasons the doe harvest fell short statewide – the number of hunters, weather conditions, available food supply (for the deer, not the hunters), more hunters with doe permits taking bucks instead – to name a few.

So the question becomes, will increasing doe permits to a record number achieve the desired harvest? Another question might be, does MDIFW have a clue as to the reason the harvest wasn’t achieved? Was it simply not enough permits issued? What the rate of does harvested comparable to the rate in other years? Or, is MDIFW just issuing more permits and hoping for the best? We’ll never know.

It appears that the issuance of permits and the bulk of the increase is focused on much of Central and Southern Maine where deer survival has been good. This increase in those areas makes sense.

Key to this decision might be what MDIFW reportedly said about what was behind this increase other than achieving harvest goals: “The proposed increase in permits is a result of the goals and objectives set by the public in the state’s big-game management plan, which was recently revised.” (Note: I find it interesting that at least certain members of the MDIFW seem to be going out of their way to tell us that the “public” has made all these decisions about the ins and outs of game management. It wasn’t until recently when the Draft Management Plans for deer, bear, moose, and turkey were made available to the public for their comments. It is quite dishonest, therefore, to label those members who gave of their time to assist in formulating new management plans, the “Public.” In addition, MDIFW likes to give lots of weight to the fake “surveys” they paid a lot of money to get. I have written on this topic before and it is quite unfortunate that MDIFW decided to, not only conduct this biased, outcome-based survey but to put so much emphasis on it and then call it the “Public” and thus the “Public” devised these game management plans. Isn’t this a convenient scapegoat when and if management goals fail?)

So, from the perspective of deer management, according to MDIFW the public wants a lot fewer deer in Central and Southern Maine. And where’s the science in this decision or is it all society demands? Giving the benefit of any doubt to MDIFW biologists in meeting harvest goals is understandable. What is not is a move to issue a record number of doe permits because the public demands such.

If MDIFW is saying these decisions are based on the new management plans, then are we to assume also that this is being partly justified as part of achieving a “healthy” deer herd rather than a focus on the population?

It will be interesting to see if making this decision to liberally increase doe permits results in MDIFW reaching their harvest goals.

As far as the moose hunt and management goes, issuing a meager 2,500 permits, to be taken by lottery, doesn’t seem to be fitting the explanations we have been given for moose management and the new healthy moose agenda.

When you consider that at a time when the Maine moose population was estimated at anywhere between 70,000 and 90,000, permit issuance reached a high of over 4,000 permits, 2,500 is out of proportion. According to CentralMaine.com, that estimated “healthy?” moose population is estimated at 50,000 – 70,000. Information gathered from an ongoing moose study indicates that the density of moose is directly proportionate to the number of deadly winter ticks, and yet, if MDIFW is gearing toward a healthy moose population, the increase in permits appears a bit meager to me.

And, the majority of the increase in moose permits, from 2,080 to 2,500 are for those areas where MDIFW has been studying moose. Is this increase really about achieving a healthy moose population or a move to manipulate study results? Hmmm.

From this study area, we were told that winter tick presence had dropped around 68% and that moose calf survival rates were at near 100% – for collared moose.

In some ways, I can understand the “conservative” approach to moose permit issuance, but indications are MDIFW doesn’t really want to accept the fact that too many moose results in too many ticks and that it can’t be blamed on global warming.

So, we will have to wait two years to know whether the 2018 deer season will result in the Department’s doe harvest goal, and over one year to find out about the moose. God only knows how long it will take before MDIFW decides exactly what they plan to do with the moose.

It would be nice to have updates on study findings and to get game harvest results in some kind of reasonable fashion. Instead, I expect that with this announcement of paying less attention to game numbers, placing the focus on “health” (wink-wink) MDIFW will eventually stop counting harvested game. With it will disappear even more accountability.

Government as usual.

 

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Maine’s Big Game Management Plans

You can view this plan on the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife’s website.

*Note* – This is still the “DRAFT” of the Big Game Management proposal. The public can comment on it and make suggestions and CHANGES can be made (but I have serious doubts that they ever would).

 

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Piping Plovers Need Counting But Not Deer, Bear, Moose, and Turkeys

Maine says it wants to hire some scientists to monitor and manage piping plovers and least terns along the coast. Maine Public reports that: “The scientists will also conduct surveys of migratory shorebirds and map feeding and roosting areas.”

The only way that any scientists can “monitor and manage” these birds is to know how many there are. It is reported that “surveys” will be taken and maps will be drawn up to keep track of these birds. Why? Can’t we just have more “flexibility” in management if we know whether or not the flocks of piping plovers and least terns, regardless of their numbers, are “healthy?”

I say what is good enough for the deer, bear, moose, and turkeys is good enough for the piping plovers and least terns.

Maybe the object here is to focus the attention on the health of deer, bear, moose, and turkeys until they are extinct, like plovers and terns, and then hire “scientists” to “monitor and manage” them.

Job security!

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Intensive Management in Alaska

From the Alaska Department of Fish and Game:

Harvesting wild game is extremely important to many Alaskan families. Participating in the hunt and sharing the bounty of economical, wild-grown meat are long-standing traditions.

The Alaska Legislature recognized the importance of wild game meat to Alaskans when it passed the Intensive Management Law in 1994. This law requires the Alaska Board of Game to identify moose, caribou, and deer populations that are especially important food sources for Alaskans and to insure that these populations remain large enough to allow for adequate and sustained harvest.

If the selected moose, caribou, or deer populations drop below what the Board of Game (Board) determines is needed to meet people’s needs, the Board directs the Alaska Department of Fish and Game (ADF&G) to undertake intensive management of that population. Intensive management is a process that starts with investigating the causes of low moose, caribou, or deer numbers, and then involves steps to increase their numbers. This can include restricting hunting seasons and bag limits, improving habitat, and predation control.

ADF&G is committed to maintaining healthy populations of all our resources, including moose, caribou, deer, wolves, and bears. The department will continue to manage Alaska’s wildlife populations with the health of all wildlife, sustainable harvests, and conservation as our guiding principles.

Understanding Predator Management

Wolves and bears are very effective and efficient predators on caribou, moose, deer, and other wildlife. In most of Alaska, humans also rely on the same species for food. Predators often kill more than 80 percent of the moose and caribou that die during an average year, while humans take less than 10 percent. In much of the state, predation holds prey populations at levels far below what could be supported by the habitat in the area. Predation is an important part of the ecosystem, and all ADF&G management programs, including control programs, are designed to sustain predator populations in the future.

General Information

Press Releases

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To Grow Moose Burn Down the Forest

In a small corner of northeast Minnesota is where you’ll find what is left of a moose herd. A Minnesota newspaper is saying that the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (MDNR) blames the reduction in moose on deer and as an aside note that “some” attribute some of the loss to wolf densities. But there’s an answer to the problem. Burn down the forest!

According to some researchers and biologists, brainworm and ticks are killing moose. (Note – this is of course due to global warming, wink-wink.) If you burn down the forest, the fire kills off the ticks and snails that host the brainworm parasite.

You don’t have to be a Ph.D. to know that moose thrive in forests that are regenerating. Maine has seen the moose population explode where millions of acres of forest were cleared because of an infestation of spruce budworm. Coincidentally, this same act created prime habitat for the snowshoe hare which is the Canada lynx’s favorite food and thus the lynx has made a remarkable resurgence…for now. What happens when the hare habitat is gone? Along with the explosion of the population of the moose, so too did the moose tick or winter tick which is now killing off the too large moose population.

So now there’s an answer for those of you interested in exploiting further the moose population. Think of the money outfitters can make with moose gawking tours. WOW! All we have to do is simply burn down the forests according to how many moose people want to see or hunt.

But at what expense to the rest of the ecosystem?

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Fish and Wildlife Management is a Laughing Stock, Unless You Are an Environmentalist

While the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife (MDIFW) pat themselves on the back for all the outstanding work they have done (every child gets a trophy), some of us are wishing that a little of that effort would be focused on better deer and moose management.

To justify an increase of 60% in Any-Deer Permits (ADP), MDIFW says Maine has had two “mild” winters in a row and thus there are now too many deer in some places and we got to get rid of them. What’s confusing is that some of those places that got increases in ADPs, last winter saw record-breaking amounts of snow and continue to see extremely poor deer hunting. Evidently snow no longer is a factor is calculating severe and mild winters. Little did I know.

But if you take a moment and read through the “everybody gets a trophy” recognition is given to looking out for piping plovers, arctic char, bats, updating the website, selling licenses, shuffling papers and creating more regulations, with not one award listed for deer management, moose management or even bear management.

To make sure we understand this, license fees from hunters, fishermen, trappers, etc. pays for the operation of MDIFW and yet all the awards and recognition goes to the list above. This, of course, is the result of the direction that Maine and every other state in the Union has taken, turning their fish and game departments into carrying out the goals of environmentalism – totalitarian socialists doing the bidding for the fascists and liking every minute of it. They never learned that this, historically, is always followed by communism. Today the brainwashed would labeled this “fake news.”

Unfortunately, this is only recognized by a handful of people who still have their heads mostly screwed on the right way. Otherwise, the majority of people, think that using my dollars I spend on a hunting license to make sure piping plovers get everything they need, while at the same time restricting access by taxpayers to beaches near nesting sites, is a good thing. Evidently they need to entice more people to buy hunting licenses, at the expense of the deer, in order to buy those “everybody gets a trophy.”

At the present rate of declension, only a short time remains before hunting and trapping are regulated and forced out of existence because of the influence of Sustainable Development’s Environmentalism.

I stand as a distinct minority in my judgement as to how I perceive fish and wildlife departments nationwide…But that doesn’t make my perspective wrong.

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Ducks, Dodos* & Moose

By James Beers

*Dodos were flightless birds slightly larger than turkeys.  They were found only on the island of Mauritius, East of Madagascar in the Indian Ocean.  First recorded by Dutch sailors in 1598; by 1662 dodos were extinct due to hungry sailors stopping there for food and introduced species like Norway and Black rats that began preying upon their single egg nests and young.  It can honestly be observed that no one intentionally made dodos extinct.  Dodos became extinct due to human ignorance of and indifference to the dodos fate

Question: “What do ducks, dodos and moose have in common?”

Answer: “They have each been the victims of unregulated predation that reduces their numbers such that they either did or are steadily losing their many benefits to mankind.

The dodo no longer feeds island visitors or the residents of Mauritius thanks to Early European voyagers and the vermin they carried with them

The moose and particularly their calves and pregnant cows are very vulnerable to wolf predation as attested to by the suspension of moose hunting in Minnesota as wolves increased in numbers dramatically.  This phenomenon is repeated routinely in Alaska when wolf numbers are allowed to increase above minimal levels as well as in the Upper Rocky Mountain States as wolves have increased dramatically in recent years.

Ducks in North America, similarly, are preyed upon by duck hunters since the times of Asian immigration as glaciers receded to the advent of European arrivals and settlement.

What these three animals do not share is any human concern for their sustainable benefit to humans as their numbers dwindle and the effects of predation are ignored.

In the case of the dodo, ignorance and indifference are understandable, though regretted, as men were dramatically expanding their limited comprehension of the globe and the life forms it contained.

In the case of moose; Minnesota and the Upper Rocky Mtn. States are forced by federal fiat; from feckless politicians and self-serving bureaucrats in thrall to radical environmentalists, animal rights fanatics and a host of reactionaries from gun controllers and anti-hunters to communists; to host and protect wolf densities not seen for over a century.  Alaskan moose are also threatened by the same characters using expensive court maneuvers to prevent any and all wolf control to maintain moose availability as desired by Alaskans. Thus, you could say the dodo was made extinct by human indifference while the moose numbers and availability are being reduced in moose habitat in the US by a government bureaucracy using force to implement a broad range of hidden agendas.

But; what of ducks?

The same federal bureaucrats that are forcing uncontrolled wolves into the Lower 48 States’ settled landscapes have had complete management authority over ducks and duck hunters for a century.  Up until the early 1990’s, these bureaucrats (USFWS) gave high priority to waterfowl management and waterfowl hunting.  Waterfowl hunting financed federal land acquisition for Refuges, state wildlife programs and Billions of dollars in the economy from art and rural employment to businesses and manufactories for everything from guns and boats to waders, decoys and rural hunting leases.  Waterfowl were important and managed carefully for a long list of good reasons by knowledgeable federal managers and cooperating state bureaucrats.  But, “Why did I say; ‘Up until the early 1990’s’?”

In the early 1990’s, USFWS began a steady shift away from hiring anyone trained in, concerned about or likely to advocate for waterfowl and waterfowl hunting.  The “new” USFWS was to consist of anti-wildlife management and anti-hunting “protectionists” and animal “rights zealots.  Just as with wolves federal (and complicit state) bureaucrats began “cooking” census numbers and counts.  They shifted migratory bird money to “education” about “saving” every living thing from guns, chainsaws and cows.  They shifted migratory bird enforcement from waterfowl and preventing importation of Injurious Wildlife like snakeheads, constrictors, pythons and Asian carp to prosecuting anyone harming a wolf or grizzly bear and “assisting” the “new” natural resource enforcers shooting a protestor in the snow, shooting privately owned cows on grazing allotments and getting life terms for ranchers standing up for their rights.

I could go here, like telling you how the waterfowl NGO’s like Ducks Unlimited are no more than Charlie McCarthies on the federal ventriloquist’s knee.  Before I retired to Minnesota (once a famous duck hunting state but no more) I was critical of DU’s reticence in opposing the USFWS shift from pro-ducks to anti-ducks.  When I moved here I renewed my DU membership that I had let lapse, with the intention of going to a few DU Banquets (where they raise lots of their money) and meeting some duck hunters and maybe finding a good place or two to hunt.  In two years I was never once invited to or informed of ANY banquet.  HHMMM!

Two other quick incidents tell you all you need to know about ducks, USFWS and DU.  My first year in MN as I was leaving church one Sunday a fellow came up and said he heard I was a duck hunter.  When I said yes, he said good and that he and I should go sometime and he would get back to me.  He never did and I still see him most Sundays.  When I asked if anyone knew him, I was told not his name but he works for the MN DNR. That was 8 years ago.

Then there was the time I wrote a scathing article about waterfowl management in Minnesota and (among other local addressees) sent it to everyone I thought might be able to do something.  At 6 AM the next morning I got a very happy and enthusiastic call from a Minnesota duck organization president who talked to me for about 15 minutes and said he was going to speak with his board and get back to me.  That was 7 years ago and still… crickets.

Certain refuges no longer plant waterfowl food or manage for hunting (primary stated reasons for funding and authorization for purchase to Congress).  Nasty anti-hunting bureaucrats get nastier and nastier as they go about more egregious policies without any opposition from cowed hunters and NGO’s like DU that trade jobs and grants with USFWS employees and retirees routinely, again because of no enforcement or pushback.

All of the foregoing is a lead-up to the following note by a former USFWS employee and duck hunter like yours truly.  He is a native of the Lower Mississippi Flyway and I grew up and live in the Upper Mississippi Flyway.  He has been a reader and correspondent for years and he just shared the following message he sent to a colleague at Louisiana State University regarding the current state of the continental waterfowl population and duck hunting.

I agree with everything he says here and I ask you to remember as you read it that the same USFWS bureaucrats that are pushing wolves and grizzlies; turning state wildlife agencies into federal handmaidens; allowing all manner of deadly, destructive and dangerous wildlife into the USA despite the money, employees and laws they are given to prevent this – these same bureaucrats are purposely doing what he relates and unlike those European sailors, these wildlife-as-tools for rural destruction cannot plead ignorance or indifference.  They are doing this with full knowledge for their “foul” purposes.

Jim Beers

2 August 2017

If you found this worthwhile, please share it with others. Thanks.

Jim Beers is a retired US Fish & Wildlife Service Wildlife Biologist, Special Agent, Refuge Manager, Wetlands Biologist, and Congressional Fellow. He was stationed in North Dakota, Minnesota, Nebraska, New York City, and Washington DC.  He also served as a US Navy Line Officer in the western Pacific and on Adak, Alaska in the Aleutian Islands.  He has worked for the Utah Fish & Game, Minneapolis Police Department, and as a Security Supervisor in Washington, DC.  He testified three times before Congress; twice regarding the theft by the US Fish & Wildlife Service of $45 to 60 Million from State fish and wildlife funds and once in opposition to expanding Federal Invasive Species authority.  He resides in Eagan, Minnesota with his wife of many decades.

Jim Beers is available to speak or for consulting.

August 1, 2017

History of the Perfect Storm for the Demise of Ducks in North America

1-Agricultural practices have changed from spring plowing to fall plowing.  Fall plowing eliminates fall and spring duck foods

2- Adaptive Harvest Management (AHM) stabilized regulations by flyway at very liberal harvest levels

3-High harvest levels appear to have dramatically decreased breeding populations in “Production” States, particularly within the Mississippi Flyway.

4-  Senator Trent Lott of MS forced the regulatory framework to be extended roughly 10 days longer into January, while all previous research had indicated that hunting seasons past January 15 broke waterfowl pair bonds, and led to poorer body condition in breeding hens the following spring. However, the northern states opposed this and requested that the frame work be extended on the front end by the same number of days. Instead of the FWS denying the southern states the ability to add days at the end of their season, they allowed northern states to open a week earlier.  This makes successful adult females and HY young ducks extremely vulnerable to hunting.  This has likely led to the disastrous declines in breeding populations in many “Production States”

5- Climate changes made this a monumental mistake for southern states because most northern states were usually frozen solid by Dec 1st. Therefore, in northern states ducks were only hunted for 2/3 of the season length no matter how long the season was.  So if the flyway was granted a 50 day season southern states hunted 50 days and northern states only hunted 30 because the last 20 days all the water was frozen!! Now most the States in the Miss. Flyway hunt nearly 60 days.

6 – Since 2005, 25 MILLION + acres of CRP and other grasslands (DUCK NESTING HABITAT ELIMINATED) have been converted to agriculture to provide corn for the government imposed ethanol mandates.  Somehow starting at the exact same time (2005) the May Survey began to increase, and by spring 2015, minus 25 million acres of CRP, and millions of acres of drained temporary and seasonal wetlands, duck populations – according to the May Survey- had grown to the point that they were higher than they had EVER been.

7- Although the May Survey indicated that there were more breeding ducks in spring of 2015, the waterfowl hunting season in 2015-2016 was one of the worst in several decades with more than a million fewer ducks killed in the Mississippi Flyway alone than in the previous year.

8- Further, although May survey numbers have grown exponentially since 2005, to numbers greater than have ever been counted, mid-winter surveys indicate half the number of mallards than in the 1960’s and 1970’s.

9- Water is now artificially maintained throughout the US and crops are “legally” left unharvested, and FLOODED, for the purpose of killing ducks.

10– The Adaptive Harvest Management (AHM) Matrix was adopted to stabilize hunting regulations in the early 1990’s. The matrix is so biased to high harvest that the duck season in the Mississippi flyway has been 60 days and 6 ducks for over 20 years.

11- The AHM regulations are largely based on the May Breeding Population Estimates conducted by the US FWS, CWS and the States. These estimates were in 2016 –13.9 million breeding mallards. The harvest on mallards has been down 40% in the flyway!!! The Adult to immature ratio is very low. Given these data it appears that near record numbers of Mallards are not producing adequately to sustain the population, or, and this is quite likely given every other source of data concerning duck numbers, the May Survey numbers are not portraying waterfowl population trends in a reliable way.  It seems highly illogical that duck populations can continue to increase with the amount of habitat destruction that has gone on the past 10 years.  There are very few waterfowl hunters, observers, or biologists that would concede that there are more ducks today than there were in the 1950’s, 1960’s or 1970’s.  If that is the case, and the May survey has not changed protocols, then it is hard to believe any of the numbers coming from this survey.

12- The FWS conceded to allow special teal seasons in several “Production” states in the past 10 years.  The “production” states within the Mississippi Flyway that took these seasons have all seen dramatic declines in blue-winged teal numbers within their states over the past 30 years.  Why would the FWS allow these states, and more importantly, why would these states take a blue-winged teal season, thus adding harvest to their already decimated local blue-winged teal populations?

13- With the above points in mind, there is major concern by knowledgeable biologists and hunters that there are major flaws in the management of Duck populations in North America.

14 – One significant problem in this equation is that duck scientists that question the current system are typically shunned, ignored and not professionally considered.  The purpose of this document is not to condemn current management but to open the eyes of the people that actually manage waterfowl in North America.  It may not be too late to reverse this perfect storm, but something must be done soon if we are to stem the tide of declining waterfowl hunters, and maintain waterfowl hunting traditions for our children and grandchildren.

Paul Yakupzack
Wildlife Consulting
244 St. Paul Street
Houma, LA 70364

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More Nonsensical Nonsense About Man’s “Impoverish”ing Wildlife

As nauseating as it is, we hear it all the time – how man is destroying everything and how man is disrupting the balance of nature… which doesn’t exist. Most often mixed in with the rant about how man treats animals we hear, although most often implied, that man should just go away. That, of course, can only be defined as man must die in order to save the animals and our ecosystems.

Last time I checked the Earth is inhabited with a variety of plant and animal life, and while many often want to see man disappear, none are willing to step forward and be the first to do what they have deemed in their tiny minds as the only right thing to do to “Save the Planet.”

In addition, we can also read really stupid things. Here’s an example. This author evidently believes that it is wrong to “manage” game species for surplus harvest. He writes, “A typical response of utilitarians to environmental harm is to call for better management.  So, for example, wildlife agencies manage game species and their habitat so that more of the desired species are available for “harvest.”  In Maine, we manage coyote (that is encourage hunting coyotes) because of the belief that coyotes reduce the number of deer for hunters.”

Simply stated, this is a reasonable approach to utilizing a valuable resource rather than letting it go to waste. Science does show us that within a robust population of, let’s say deer, a percentage of those animals will suffer and die simply because there are too many of them. Is this somehow better than harvesting a percentage to fulfill the wants and needs of people?

Although we could argue this point until the moon turns blue, a point I wanted to make is that while this author finds it wrong to manipulate animal and game populations for the benefit of all, including hunting, he evidently sees no problem with manipulating feral and domestic cat populations for the benefit of “saving” song birds. “As I pointed out in an early blog…, feral cats and cats whose owners let them roam outside kill hundreds of millions, maybe a billion, song birds each year.  Why is it that we get to choose that a species we domesticated is more important than wild birds?”

The fact is, people are never going to take it upon themselves to either leave their cats, and all their other pets indoors. Therefore, the only other course of action to “save song birds” is to kill cats. While the author questions whether manipulating the number of coyotes that kill deer, that are used as a food source, is an ethical thing to do, evidently the feral and domestic cats don’t share the same rights of existence as the coyote. In addition, I guess it just depends on one’s selfish desires of how they want to take advantage of wildlife.

No matter how you view the use of our God-given resources, I wonder, if ever, people will one day realize and admit that man is on this earth and that it belongs to them…even if for a short time? We simply cannot approach wildlife management with any formula that does not include the existence of man.

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