March 25, 2019

Advice and Suggestions to the Maine Department of Fish and Wildlife

A reader sent me a copy of the Maine Sportsman, specifically George Smith’s article about his “advise” to the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife (MDIFW). After reading it, I thought perhaps I would offer something similar. Sometimes I am accused of being only critical of the MDIFW seldom offering constructive criticism or even suggestions on better or different ways in which to do things.

Smith writes of the need to “unlock that door” that prohibits visitors access to the commissioner of the MDFIW. I understand the concept and how convenient it would be to just “drop in” someday and chat with the commissioner. I would like to think that the real situation playing at the offices of the MDIFW has more to do with security than a want to lock themselves up and separate them from the public. I might be wrong. We do live in a strange time in which most people are always aware and subjected to enhanced security measures.

TURKEYS

George writes about what he would do about turkey management and the role that hunting plays in that management. For the most part I think he brings up some good points, i.e. too many turkeys, too few hunters, and the barrier of license fees that prohibit more people from trying or getting involved in turkey hunting and harvesting a turkey that would aide the MDIFW with their management goals.

Originally, I had thought that Smith’s idea of including turkey hunting as part of a Big Game Hunting License wouldn’t fly because the MDIFW would not be willing to give up that revenue from turkey license fees. Is there a trade-off here? Will somehow opening up the turkey season to reduced cost (and loss of fees to MDIFW) be made up in other ways? Perhaps.

I think that consensus must be reached as to whether there are too many turkeys and how critical it is that turkey populations be reduced. If, more people gained interest in turkey hunting, perhaps down the road, as populations came more in line with management goals, turkey license fees could be levied again. If a reduction in the number of turkeys is urgently needed, and I think if we haven’t gotten there yet we soon will, then the MDIFW must do what is expedient to make the reductions in numbers necessary to be responsible for the healthy management of these game birds.

FISHERIES

Fisheries is far from my strong point and knowledge base. I am not at all that qualified to offer the MDIFW advice on how to specifically manage the fisheries in the State of Maine. How fortunate for some.

MOOSE

Odd isn’t it, in many ways, that some are opposed to the reduction of moose populations to mitigate the winter ticks’ destruction of the moose herd but think nothing about advocating the complete destruction of a herd of deer to get rid of Lyme disease. Perhaps if more evidence pointed a finger at the health risk to humans from the winter tick, mindsets might change.

I have written extensively on Maine’s moose and what I believe to be the need to bring the moose population in Maine to levels that seriously reduce the presence and perpetuation of winter ticks that are inhumanely and unnecessarily causing moose to suffer and die during long and cold winters.

Smith laments about the loss of businesses associated with moose watching now that Mother Nature took over where wildlife management failed. During the heyday of the overgrown moose populations, some scrambled and took advantage, as any good entrepreneur might do, looking for ways to exploit the abundant moose for profit. It might have been fun while it lasted but the lesson that should be learned here might be at what price do we exploit any wildlife animal for lucre? As grown adults we should see that having enough moose around that many got into the business of moose watching tours was but a flash in that pan. Time to move on. We have learned that attempting to grow moose in numbers for capitalistic enterprises is a terrible thing to do to the animal – part of the downside of attempting to manage any species while being driven by social demands.

More recent studies are suggesting what some of us knew a long time ago – that too many moose was the cause of the aggressive expanse of winter ticks resulting in high mortality rates on the large beast.

The MDIFW should move quickly to determine at what population Maine’s moose will be most healthy while still providing opportunities for Maine residents to harvest a moose and fill their freezers.

I suggest that the MDIFW, once establishing moose populations, based on sound science and not social demands, issue enough permits or a long enough season to bring the population under a control that reduces the tick infestation. Once that is accomplished, permit for the future can be issued accordingly. Letting Mother Nature do the job is not only irresponsible but is a waste of a terrific natural resource.

DEER

Smith tells readers that the MDIFW stopped managing deer in northern Maine and only “manages” moose. I don’t know if this is actually an official position taken by the MDIFW, but it appears there is at least quite a bit of evidence to support that statement.

Smith claims that because Maine failed to protect winter habitat in Northern and Western Maine, the deer herd “was lost.” I concur the deer herd was lost but I think it had other influences than just a loss of habitat. A lot of things have changed over the years, one thing being the behavior of the deer. While deer are learning how to adapt to that loss of winter habitat, we humans remain locked in our unadaptable behavior of insisting on things being the way they were when our fathers hunted the whitetails.

Each time I have listened to the worn out excuse that deer have disappeared because of loss of winter habitat, I have always asked why, if that is true, thousands of acres of old winter habitat, still in winter habitat condition, is void of deer? Never an answer.

Loss of winter habitat in the classical sense, can and does have an effect on the deer population. Attempting to somehow “manage” deer to return to unwanted winter habitat, is an example of managers failing to learn and adjust to changes of the deer population and their habits. When we see this failure, one can’t help but wonder how much we can rely on the deer managers “estimate” of deer populations and other management shortcomings.

We failed to learn quickly enough that attempting to manage moose populations at high enough levels that tourism benefitted, the moose herd suffered terribly due to exposure and anemia from blood sucking winter ticks. Deer populations are suffering but perhaps in different ways because the ecosystem in which they have traditionally comfortably inhabited have and are changing. The deer are adapting as best they can but our management tactics are not. Evidently the preference is to give up.

Too many moose compete with deer. Too many large predators kill deer and fawns and this is challenging the stability of the deer population and in some places we are witnessing the unsustainability of a deer herd. Are we to just blame it on loss of winter habitat and Climate Change or should we be responsible stewards of our wild game animals?

If we are to mitigate the cause for the lack of deer in portions of Northern and Western Maine, isn’t the responsible thing to do is to reduce the bear and coyote populations to give the deer a chance? If we simply stop deer management because loss of habitat and Climate Change is the excuse, what then can we expect of all of our game and wildlife species going forward?

Managers have a responsibility to care for all of these game species. Giving up on one species in certain areas, tells me that there is lack of knowledge and poor management skills involved. The epitome of wildlife management failures is giving in to some man’s fictitious notion that the globe is warming and the northern border of the whitetail deer’s habitat is moving south, while our neighbors to the north continue to work at managing their deer. If Climate Change is causing such chaos that is forcing the destruction of habitat for deer, then it makes sense that other more northern species are migrating south according to the changes. Is this happening? No. A warming climate, as claimed, should be reducing the affects of severe winters. Is that happening? No.

There’s little more that managers can do to stop the perceived reduction of winter habit and deer habitat in general short of demanding more totalitarian tactics to take property and property rights away from people and corporations. It’s easy, from afar, to stand in judgement over landowners, demanding they relinquish their rights as property owners in order to enhance the habitat of any wild animal. The tough part to deer management is maximizing what is left and working in earnest to make the best of what we have. Even if deer densities in Northern and Western Maine aren’t at ideal levels, is that reason enough to simply walk away and say, we tried?

There is no need to kill off all the coyotes/wolves in Maine or reduce bear populations to levels that give us more deer than are needed to balance a very valuable resource. All that is stopping this effort is the MDIFW’s insistence on caving to social demands. I suppose to them in the short term it is easier to cave in than to stand up to those demands supported by strong scientific evidence. And that may be the actual problem. Does the MDIFW have or want the strong scientific evidence?

BEAR

The MDIFW has a very good bear study program. Some claim that program is the envy of all other fish and wildlife departments. Only radical animal rights groups or individuals would argue that there are too many bear. The MDIFW publicly admits they need to reduce the bear population, but so far, have done little to solve that problem. Perhaps they are moving at a speed that only politics and social demands allow them. Time for change.

Having too many bears presents several problems – public safety and a disruption of population goals of other species such as deer and moose. Fortunately, bear hibernate, otherwise God only knows what kind of destruction they would wreak on weakened deer in deer wintering areas.

Some studies suggest that the presence of bear has more negative impact on deer than do coyotes/wolves. Maybe the current studies that the MDIFW are conducting on moose and deer will help us gain better understanding on this concept.

Regardless, it appears Maine must reduce bear populations. But how? One problem that jumps out immediately is the power of the guides and outfitters placing demands on the MDIFW to manage bears according to their wishes that would best maximize their business profits. While it is understandable that this is important to the private enterprises, should the MDIFW continue to allow increased public safety concerns and actual reductions in deer populations, and perhaps even moose, simply to appease these groups? Of course not, but when will the MDIFW move to do anything about it? Perhaps the time is now.

Like with turkey hunting, Maine needs to find easier and less expensive ways to encourage more hunters to take up the challenge. Hunters that have little interest in bear hunting might change their mind if hunting bear were part of a Big Game License all the time during open season on bear.

Bag limits should be raised. The late summer bear hunt should have a minimum of a two-bear limit – perhaps three in some areas. If that doesn’t do the trick, then a Spring bear hunt may be necessary. Regulations can be employed to mitigate the killing of cubs as has been proven in other places that have Spring bear hunts.

The MIDFW has done a respectable job of working to ward off the radical animal rights groups bent on closing down bear hunting. They should increase and improve this effort to include everything they do with wildlife management. Two bear referendums have proven that maintaining a passive posture and making management decisions based on social demands is not only irresponsible, but ridiculous, almost childish. If wildlife managers and their administration don’t have or believe the science necessary to responsibly managed their wildlife, they should be out of a job. There should be little room given to social demands when it comes to scientifically managing game.

OPERATIONS

There are certain aspects of running a fish and game department that should be within the control of the commissioner, who, of course, answers to the governor. Open and closed seasons should be within the control of the commissioner. That person, along with the managers and biologists in the department, are the ones who should know what is going on and what is needed, not the Humane Society of the United States, other animal rights groups, or even the Legislature. Such social and political powers spoil any scientific approach at wildlife management. It may take an act of the Legislature to effect such changes.

We live in a time where these powerful animal rights and environmentalists have gained control over our factories of higher indoctrination. The result of this is now showing up in our fish and game departments where the concerns are more about the “rights” of animals and away from a consumptive, use of a natural resources approach to wildlife management.

Scientifically, it has been proven that the North American Model of Wildlife Management works. Those opposed to this form of wildlife management know this and have been working tireless to “change the way wildlife management is discussed.” Along with this has come the social demands to place equal rights and protections on animals as are given to humans.

Outdoor advocates, hunters, trappers, fishermen, as well as all those who understand and believe in the necessity of consumptive use to best manage and control wildlife, should demand that the commissioner be more selective and demanding of those that are hired as biologists and wildlife managers. Candidates should be screened as to their idealism and positions on animal rights and hunting, fishing, and trapping. To responsibly utilize hunting and fishing as part of the overall plans for wildlife management, cannot have room for animal rights advocates or those opposed to this system.

Some have called for money from general taxation to support the MDIFW. It is my opinion this would be a very big mistake. First of all, before any MORE money is dumped in the lap of this department, a complete audit should be undertaken so that all will know exactly what every penny is spent on and where every penny comes from to run the department. If more money is needed, then that has to come from fee increases and not from general taxation. Here’s why.

With money sent to the MDIFW from general taxation, along with it will be demands from the general taxpayer for bigger representation. This opens the door even further for more infiltration by environmentalists who want to “change the way we discuss wildlife management.”

We have seen this already. Where once the MDIFW used to be the department of fish and game, other states have gotten rid of their fish and game names completely, replaced with departments of natural resources.

With a weakening of the managerial understanding and knowledge of how wildlife management should run, further expedites the dreaded end to responsible wildlife management, replaced by VooDoo Science and Romance Biology.

The only way the MDIFW can survive as a bonafide fish and game department is if it remains out of the control of Environmentalism.

The MDIFW does many things well. Some things they have little control over. Certainly there is room for improvement and if others, like me, realize that if we don’t do something to change those things that are sending us in the wrong direction and away from the North American Model of Wildlife Management, the good that we enjoy now will soon be lost. Let’s not let that happen.

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My Recommendations for the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife

George Smith, an outdoor writer, and environmentalist, provides his readers with a list of his recommendations for the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife (MDIFW). I can’t say I agree with everything he is suggesting. I’ll explain why.

Smith wants a better open door policy at the MDIFW main office. I agree although I don’t use it and probably never will. You can’t fix a rigged system by using the rigged system.

George says it’s time for MDIFW to do something about turkeys. He says there are too many, that the fees and permitting system needs to be changed, bag limits raised, in order to motivate more hunters to take up turkey hunting.

I’m not a turkey hunter. I’ve never tried it and doubt that I will for a number of reasons. I will, however, concur that there are too many turkeys. I’ve never seen as many wild turkeys as I have this late summer and fall.

It is a known fact that management and acceptance of any wild animal on the landscape are heavily influenced by acceptance and satisfaction from the general public. When such animals become a nuisance and a public health and safety issue, acceptance by the public disappears in a hurry. Maine is reaching that point where they are considering the turkey to be a nuisance. I agree something should be done to get those numbers under better control.

It is my strong opinion that Maine has too many moose. This has caused the overwhelming growth in winter ticks that are destroying the moose herd. Maine should have been keeping the moose population at lower, healthier levels than growing them to numbers great enough to appease the selfish desires of tourists and hunters.

Smith suggests a program of capturing and “spraying” moose to kill the ticks. This is about as feasible as trapping deer and planting birth control devices in them. It certainly appears to me that the biggest motivational factor in finding ways to kill the ticks other than reducing the population is completely selfish. Whining and carrying on because moose gawking businesses can’t make enough money unless they can see moose anytime and everywhere they want to is not only selfish but it’s irresponsible. MDIFW is irresponsible in their management goals of the moose to attempt to grow moose to numbers that satisfy the tourist industry.

Smith says that Lee Kantar, MDIFW’s moose biologist, said he, “…believes that eventually the population will be reduced to a level where ticks will not be such a problem.” Eventually? Is this going to happen when the ticks (Natural Regulation) have successfully brought the number of moose to levels it should be through years of suffering moose, or is MDIFW actively manipulating the moose hunt to bring numbers to tick-free desired levels?

Hypocrisy exists when Smith in one breath suggests that moose numbers should be protected by finding ways to “spray” moose to kill ticks, while in the next talks about how proud he was to help facilitate the slaughter of deer on one of Maine’s coastal islands. That doesn’t make a whole lot of sense. While killing the deer was in the name of putting a stop to Lyme disease, evidently, such a suggestion informs us that ignorance is abundant when it comes to winter ticks, moose, and disease.

Marketing Maine by the Maine government to draw in tourists, hunters, anglers, hikers, etc. is a waste of time and money. Many Maine residents, who aren’t the business owners trying to make a go of it, while calling upon the government to promote their businesses, don’t want more of these people coming to the state, all for the sake of collecting more money. Any business should be geared to do their own marketing and provide a product or service good enough that “if you build it they will come.” Why should I subsidize another’s business? Who is subsidizing me? This is nothing more than an exemplification of the socialist/totalitarian society we have become.

Once again, Smith extolls the need to fund MDIFW with general taxation dollars. He even says that MDIFW should be run by “groups representing hunters, anglers, conservationists, and environmentalists.” It doesn’t take much effort to see that in other states that have done this, their fish and game departments have gone to hell in a handbasket.

I don’t understand how anyone of sound mind can encourage the operation of the fish and game department by those “conservationists and environmentalists” who have cost us millions of dollars over the years attempting to put a stop to hunting and trapping. Isn’t this a form of insanity?

The MDIFW has become overrun with “conservationists and environmentalists” and that’s one of the biggest reasons large predators have grown out of control and deer populations are shrinking to a point they’ve decided not to even bother attempting to manage deer in those areas that have lost all their deer.

Environmentalism is a planned mental illness that operates on the false pretense that “Natural Regulation” (which is an oxymoron) works better than a hands-on approach. Turning the reins of MDIFW over to the environmentalists and animal rights radicals, which is what you’ll get once the leverage of how the MDIFW is funded, is the nail in the proverbial coffin.

It might be of great interest if some who promote general taxation monies to fund the MDIFW would expend a little effort and look into what has become of other state’s fish and game departments when they lost control, turned their work over to Environmentalism and renamed their departments, departments of conservation and environment.

Granted the MDIFW needs some changes, but not in the wrong direction. Moving it more toward the demands of Environmentalism isn’t a cure unless death is what you are seeking.

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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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