May 23, 2013
Maine has a lot of forest. Maine has a lot of bears. Too many bears presents too many problems, like killing too many deer and moose fawns in the Spring and bears banging down people’s back doors and yards looking for something to eat, either because of too many bears or not enough to eat or both.
But Maine is, once again, being threatened by a citizens’ referendum against bear hunting and trapping. The Humane Society of the United States, unsuccessfully tried passing legislation in the Pine Tree State, to severely limit bear hunting and to end trapping and hunting bears with dogs. They threatened that if they lost the fight to get the legislation passed, they would come back next year with a referendum and that would include a proposal to end baiting bear for hunting purposes.
Should such a referendum pass, it would, for all intent and purposes, end hunting and trapping of bears and remove the most essential management tool the Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife has to control bear populations. If that should happen, well, then Maine can expect some of what I have below for links about bears encountering people. More bears mean more encounters with people, which means……not so good.
In Wisconsin, a man is attacked by a bear and his wife, noticing the attack, grabbed the shotgun. She didn’t know how to load it so she commenced to beat the bear with it.
The above story takes place at a cabin in the woods of Wisconsin. The next story takes place in the suburbs of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
At Incline Village in Nevada, a 325-pound bear enters a condominium on Lake Tahoe and ultimately gets killed because of the threat posed to humans.
And of course the bear/predator lovers and protectors, who live in a different world than the rest of us, will cry that it’s the human’s fault and tell everyone we must learn to live with large predators – meaning we are to become prisoners in our houses.
People should do as much as they reasonably can to reduce the chances of having an encounter with bears. This is no guarantee that it still will not happen. Bears generally mind to themselves but circumstances dictate their behavior. When bears get hungry, whether because of a lack of natural food and/or too much competition, meaning too many bears or other animals competing for the same food source, they go ANYWHERE they can find food. Anywhere!
May 3, 2013
For trappers, hunters, outdoor enthusiasts, animal lovers and anyone with any interest in the process of gray wolf introduction in the Yellowstone National Park and Central Idaho, I believe this book is a must read. I enjoyed it immensely and gained a different perspective about the author.
To be completely transparent about this book review, I have never met Mr. Niemeyer, the author, nor have I ever communicated with him, at least that I am aware of. I believe once I received an email from his wife suggesting I read this book. That was some time ago and it has taken me a couple of years to get around to reading it, mostly because of the recommendation of a friend.
When I first began reading the book, which sets the stage of a young boy growing up in rural Iowa, it didn’t take long to see that there were many similarities between Carter Niemeyer’s upbringing and young past in rural Iowa and mine in rural Maine, including the early deaths of our fathers.
Carter falls in love with trapping. It begins at an early age and his love for and knowledge of trapping grows with each turn of the page. His circumstances while growing up caused Carter to use trapping, the killing of animals, to pay his way in life. He never seemed to take much issue with killing most any animal for their resource, with the exception of the wild canines, excluding foxes.
In the book, I read where in his teen years, I believe it was, that Niemeyer shows his first unexplained affection toward coyotes and even displays hesitation in having to kill one; something that never is shown throughout the book, with the exception of the wild wolves.
After losing his father, Carter Niemeyer comes in contact with people who encourage him to go to college and through it all is presented with opportunities to work outdoors and especially take advantage of his trapping abilities, most of which he learned from people he grew up around.
Much of the author’s story of his trapping life isn’t all that much unlike many diehard trappers. Those around him, in this case his wife and children, have to put up with the long hours, hard work and rancid smells that get embedded into just about everything a trapper comes in contact with.
Eventually Niemeyer takes a job with the Federal Government in Montana and works for animal damage control (now Wildlife Services) through the U.S. Department of Agriculture. There he trapped and mostly killed predators that were killing and harassing privately owned livestock.
Things seem to change and Carter Niemeyer begins to morph into either someone different or into the man he really was inside, when he becomes involved in the Federal Government’s gray wolf introduction program. He teams up with Ed Bangs and the two of them travel into Canada, trap gray wolves, then release them in Yellowstone and central Idaho.
Carter Niemeyer comes across as a ballsy, stubborn and often arrogant man. From the book I gathered he was not afraid to stand up to anyone. A large chip grows and sticks firmly onto his shoulder. At times he doesn’t seem to understand that he is a turncoat; a man who willingly, nay, eagerly killed any animal threatening ranchers’ livestock, including the handful of wolves naturally re-habituating northwestern Montana, to one now bringing the most savage of predators, the gray wolf, into the lands surrounding some of the best ranching lands in the nation.
Niemeyer’s attitude toward these ranchers changes and throughout this book we find little good he has to say about any of them. His attitude becomes that of an elitist, self-taught authority on trapping and wolves. Pity the man who dared to stand up to him. He develops enemies.
The book is mostly well written and interesting enough to keep a reader’s attention. It’s a fascinating revelation of how one man can be transformed into a completely different person because of an animal.
From what I gleaned from the book, Carter Niemeyer, a good man, a great trapper, loses his way and forgets his past. His enthusiasm and learned dedication to whatever he attempts, makes him a prime target for being taken advantage of because of his skills as a trapper. But he prevails, always determined.
Pick up a copy, as I’m sure you will enjoy it. I hesitated because, to be honest, I’m tiring of the same old wolf wars and there’s little new that can be added to the debate. However, information I found in this book helps to show that the actual event of going to Canada to trap wolves and bring them back to the U.S. was extremely poorly planned and wrought with problems. I think, had it not been for Niemeyer’s determination for accomplishment, the wolf introduction may never have taken place. We can either thank him or blame him.
Out of five stars, I would give this book 4 stars.
April 23, 2013
Republished with permission:
Why Johnny Won’t (Be Able To) Hunt
by John C. Street
(After working to qualify as a member of the prestigious state and national outdoor writers associations in the 1990s, the author said he began to notice the groups’ emphasis changing from supporting hunting to praising the “New World Order” being orchestrated by the United Nations. His final transition from compromising and recognizing “gray” areas, to realizing that everything in his world is either black or white, caused him to resign his membership in the seven clubs, associations and organizations to which an outdoor writer would be expected to belong. – ED)
In the December 2008/January 2009 edition of FIELD & STREAM, Conservation Editor Bob Marshall did an excellent job of shining a bright light onto a dark shadow that is falling over hunting. Bob’s well researched report, “Why Johnny Won’t Hunt” eviscerated the apathy that is eroding participation in this eons old pastime; Johnny won’t hunt because we won’t take him.
With unflinching honesty and solid research to support his conclusion, Bob clearly explained the economic and societal issues that have led to this sad state of affairs, deducing that despite these impediments the future of hunting depends on current participants making a commitment to introducing young people to the outdoors.
From the perspective that his cited research provides, Bob’s conclusion is both logical and correct. But his conclusion is like saying the Green Bay Packers didn’t make it to the Super Bowl this year because they let Brett Favre go. That may very well be true but it is far from a complete explanation.
It’s hard to pinpoint the exact date that hunting (and fishing) began to change but historical evidence points to the late 1970s and early 1980s. Without being overly pessimistic about this change, let’s agree this is when hunting and fishing began to shed their utilitarian “hunter-gatherer” traditions and tied their future to commercialization.
Today, according to a report (“Hunting and Fishing: Bright Stars of the American Economy” available at www. nssf.org) prepared for the National Shooting Sports Foundation and the Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation, hunting and fishing are “a $76 billion economic force” here in the United States. Furthermore, the report adds, through the purchases of licenses, related gear and travel, hunters and anglers “directly support 1.6 million jobs … And they generate $25 billion a year in federal, state and local taxes.”
Only the passage of time will tell if this “change” was for better or worse but again, without rendering judgment, this is the sword that hunting and fishing will either live or die by. Let it be recognized, however, that under this new paradigm, hunting and fishing have become just another commercialized pastime. The very uniqueness that lured many of us old-timers to the field and stream in the first place must simply “take a number” along with all the other pastimes competing for the hours in our children’s day.
Ironically, at about the same time hunting and fishing began evolving into a “$76 billion economic force,” a new environmental ethos was taking root here in the United States and, not surprisingly given their historically well documented conservation background, hunters and anglers embraced this newborn environmental awakening.
Today, according to a report (“The NODOG Cluster” available at www.greentrackinglibrary.com) researched and published by the Center for the Defense of Free Enterprise, this environmental movement has blossomed into a multi-billion dollar, tightly controlled consortium of both fringe and “mainstream environmental” organizations that is attempting to blur the line between traditional hunter/angler groups and the politically potent environmental movement.
Yet, while many in the hunting and fishing community advocate for partnerships between this new, politically potent environmentalism and traditional hunter/angler groups, there is mounting evidence that suggests this will have dangerous consequences for the future of hunting and fishing and may, ultimately, do more to keep Johnny from hunting and fishing than all the economic and societal issues outlined in Bob Marshall’s excellent article.
Like any other “industry,” the hunting and fishing “economic force” is susceptible to and controlled by the market that purchases the “goods” it produces. So, while some of us stodgy old-timers might argue that the array of high-tech electronic and mechanical gadgets and gizmos being hauled – or hauling us – into the woods these days has nothing to do with the real act of hunting, they are the manifestation of a free-market economy working as it should.
However, at the same time those “goods” are being manufactured by the individual companies and corporations that collectively make up the “$76 billion economic force,” their suppliers (the other companies and corporations that extract and harvest raw materials from the Earth) are under attack by the very environmental groups who want hunters and anglers to be their partners. But that, alas, is not worst of it.
Unbeknownst to – or, perhaps, unacknowledged by – most who advocate for a partnership between “mainstream environmental groups” and the “$76 billion economic force,” there is a little known document called “Agenda 21” that spells out prescriptions and action plans for, among a long list of other frightening things, taking away your right to own firearms and curtailing your access to public land. So what, you might ask, does Agenda 21 have to do with Johnny not being able to hunt and fish in the future? Plenty.
Agenda 21 is, as described on the Wikipedia web site (www.wikipedia.com), “a program run by the United Nations related to sustainable development. It is a comprehensive blueprint of action to be taken globally, nationally and locally by organizations of the UN, governments, and major groups in every area in which humans impact on the environment.” The “major groups” referred to in this description are identified in the text of the Agenda 21 document as Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) or, in laymen’s terms, our “main stream environmental groups,” operating as not-for-profit, 501(c)(3) entities.
While it would be appropriate at this point to list the names of the NGOs – the “main stream environmental groups” – who are complicit in aiding and abetting the UN’s effort to deny you your Second Amendment Rights and prevent you from accessing the “Public’s Land” (please look at the “Wildlands Project” while you’re at the Wikipedia’s UN web site), it will serve a much greater purpose if you would go back to the Green Tracking Library and learn this on your own. Suffice to say, you’re in for a shock.
As this nation’s original conservationists, hunters and anglers have a long and distinguished history of being at the forefront of the fight to protect and preserve wildlife and wild places. It was logical, therefore, that when the environmental ethos took hold back in the late 1970s and early 1980s, hunters and anglers would put their time and money into addressing these new environmental concerns.
But the “mainstream environmental groups” that hunters and anglers allied with in those early days of this nation’s environmental awakening have chosen a new course, a course more aligned with the “Sustainable Development” initiatives of the United Nations than with making certain that Johnny always has a place to hunt and fish (Note: For a full explanation of the consequences of the UN’s “Sustainable Development” initiative which is just one part of Agenda 21, please see “Understanding Sustainable Development: A Guide for Public Officials” at www.americanpolicy.org). Now those environmental groups want to co-opt hunters and anglers to be their “Poster Children,” sacrificing a century of conservation credibility on the pantheistic alter of Agenda 21.
What is most alarming, however, is that several national hunter/angler organizations (as detailed in the Green Tracking Library) have already joined ranks with the environmentalists. Lured by the enormous foundation largess bestowed on those willing to convert to the new green Agenda (21), they seem unable to comprehend or, are unwilling to publicly acknowledge their support for, the socio/economic Armageddon that will ensue when the sovereignty of the United States is subjugated to the socialistic prescriptions of the United Nations.
Hunting and fishing are indeed bright stars of the American economy. The question that needs to be asked, therefore, isn’t “Why Johnny won’t hunt.” The question that all the members of this “economic force” need to ask is, “Will Johnny even be able to hunt and fish in the future?”
Note: This article and many more like it can be found in The Outdoorsman magazine. Please click this link to a PDF page where you can print out a form and subscribe to the magazine. The work of George Doval, editor of The Outdoorsman, is arguably the finest work to be found anywhere in print or online publications.
April 4, 2013
On January 21, 2009 I wrote that when and if the gray wolf in the Northern Rocky Mountains were ever taken off the Endangered Species Act list of protected species and put in the hands of the states, the states would be clueless as how to “manage” the animal. It seems I can rest my case and say, “I told you so.”
The Idaho Department of Fish and Game (IDFG) believed themselves to be ahead of the curve by laying out rules and regulations that would govern a wolf hunt should there ever be one. It became clear that IDFG was more interested in seeing how much money they could make selling wolf hunting tags than managing and controlling the large predators so that other game species, i.e. elk, moose and deer, wouldn’t be destroyed from an overgrown and out of control wolf population. They failed! In addition the rules set aside for wolf hunting were so restrictive to the hunter, the odds on harvest success were reduced considerably. Essentially that first hunt provided for a man and gun and a short period of time to tag his harvest; nothing else to assist him.
Some argued that erring on the side of caution would be the prudent thing to do out of fear that too many wolves would be killed and the wolf would be put back under federal protections. This showed the real ignorance of game managers who both had no idea of how to control this creature nor did they seem interested in learning how to do it from countries that have had to deal more with savage and disease-ridden wolves than Idaho.
In my January 2009 writing I even took the time and listed out the methods that had been implemented by the Russians to control wolves, as was written down in Will Graves’ outstanding book, “Wolves in Russia: Anxiety Through the Ages.” The list includes 14 items including hunting over bait, organized drives, poison, falconry, hunting hounds, helicopters, airplanes and snowmobiles, and yet Russia could not keep the wolves under control. And Idaho knows better?
We are now just over 4 years since that writing and Idaho is just beginning to figure out that maybe the tools they are allowing to control wolves isn’t going to be enough to meet their objectives. And of course the downside of all this “erring on the side of caution” is that in those areas where wolves need thinning, elk, moose and deer populations are suffering. Time is of the essence.
IDFG has grown from man and gun to approving the use of electronic calling devices and trapping but as is being reported in the Spokesman Review, “….the overall effort has barely made a dent in a wolf population that federal and state experts agree is too large for its own good.”
All of this talk of hunting, managing and controlling wolves, also prompted me back in February of 2009 to write a five-part series on the difficulties that confronted people around the globe for centuries on just how to control these wily predators. The series is entitled, “To Catch a Wolf.”
But is the problem really about whether IDFG is allowing for the implementation of the necessary tools to reduce wolf populations? Or is it about a contrary fish and game department unwilling to abide by the laws created by the Idaho Legislature in 2002 to manage wolves to a maximum of 100? Even if one was to concur with the illegally crafted Idaho Wolf Population Management Plan of 2008, the hunting and trapping seasons aren’t getting the job done as they stand. This 2008 plan calls for 500-700 wolves. The official “low ball” estimate of wolves in Idaho stands at around 700, meaning 900-1,000 is probably closer. (This is easy to conclude as we hear every day of the discovery of wolves and wolf packs in Idaho that officials had no idea existed.)
With a fish and game department brazen enough to turn it’s back on the Idaho Legislature, it doesn’t take a genius to conclude that there’s nobody at IDFG seriously concerned with a 900-1,000 individual gray wolf population and probably there are no plans to further implement the use of necessary tools to begin cutting into that destructive population.
You see, in 2002 the Idaho Legislature approved the wolf management plan and in that plan it stated that the IDFG could not alter or create any other wolf management plan(s) without Legislative approval. The 2008 plan was not approved by the Idaho Legislature. So, when you have the anti fish and game department crafting the plan that calls for 500-700 wolves, the same anti fish and game department will post wolf populations always at 500-700 regardless of what they really are. In 2002 the Idaho Legislature understood this problem. Evidently today they do not.
Business as usual as I see it. It appears as though the rules are dictated by the one who holds the ball.
February 20, 2013
In an earlier post this morning, I linked to an article about how Maine’s governor, Paul LePage, signed emergency legislation to stop access to personal information about gun owners. It is what was written and not written in this article that is doing more long-time damage to the Second Amendment. Let me explain.
The article read this way:
The measure was aimed at preventing publications from releasing personal information about gun owners, who comprise a major constituency for Democrats as well as Republicans in a rural state where hunting is common. (Emphasis added)
It is difficult to know whether this is written as an intentional means of wrongfully redirecting the thoughts of readers, is a product of the author’s willful and/or agenda-driven ignorance or the result of years of indoctrination received from various sources of our society but can be blamed mostly on our education factories designed to mislead and deceive.
Why these things are there is left for another article and for those with a bit more interest in that subject, a few minutes spent reading an article I wrote addressing some of this can be found here.
In its simplest form, what is being intimated here is that the Second Amendment is for those who hunt. Perhaps the author knows no better and believes this to be true, especially because the subject at hand is gun ownership in the state of Maine. Would the same author have made the same ignorant statement had the governor of New York signed a similar emergency piece of legislation? Perhaps and under many circumstances I would have said no. Today, I would say that the author, in his or her perverted perception, would make a similar statement but substantiate it by believing that nobody hunts in New York, or at least like rural Maine, therefore why do New Yorkers need guns at all.
I believe what is written in this article about guns and its association with hunting is a deliberate attempt at misleading people as to the purpose of the Second Amendment. Those who hate guns know that it’s a small percentage of the population of the United States that hunt and the more people they can convince of this the more people will ignorantly see no reason to own guns.
Which brings me back to why a seemingly innocent statement, like the one being addressed here, can and does create much misguided animosity toward gun rights, i.e. the right to keep and bear arms, if perceived as being a part of the privilege of sport hunting.
I have heard estimates as high as 300-400 million guns are owned by Americans and clearly those 300-400 million guns are not owned by people who hunt. Nor was the Second Amendment devised for hunting. It was devised for the purpose of self defense/protection and to ward off governmental tyranny.
While it is most often that those who oppose gun ownership will adopt and perpetuate the guns-are-for-hunting dogma, occasionally some will submit to a person’s God-given right to defend and protect themselves, seldom though does anybody talk about our rights to protect ourselves from a tyrannical government both from at home and foreign governments. When the masses of people have come to disregard any notion of the existence of any sort of threat from their own government, it may, in fact, be a glowing sign of the existence of tyranny and thus all the more reason for the right to keep and bear arms in an unlimited fashion. Such manipulation of the mind in people becomes a very dangerous thing. None of this is new.
I am a native of Maine and I grew up with guns. They were just a part of my life and it happens I used them for hunting. Even as a young boy I understood that guns could be used for self defense and I must admit in my days of youth I don’t recall ever having need to think of, nor do I recall having discussions about, my government stealing away my rights and turning me into a slave.
The years I did spend in Maine, taught me, however, that Maine people don’t own guns to hunt. They hunt wild game with many tools and one of them happens to be a gun. Maine natives are fiercely independent, the ultimate in being free, and I happen to know that the overwhelming majority of them would list hunting as at least third on their list of why they should own a gun.
So, the next time you read or hear anyone making reference to the Second Amendment as something for hunters, politely set them straight but at the same time understand that this tactic is being used, sometimes knowingly and sometime ignorantly, by design; the design of which comes from a ruling class that cannot fully function until they have disarmed America.
Protect our Second Amendment. It is our last stronghold preventing despotic rule which will happen under a one world government.
February 20, 2013
For several years the state of Maine has been having discussions about coyotes and their effect on the deer herd and other wild animal and plant species. Some people love wild dogs and go to great extremes to protect them. In the process, propaganda gets passed from dog lover to dog lover and soon is readily acceptable as fact, even though it may lack any real common sense.
In an article appearing on the Maine Public Broadcasting Network website, an apple grower in that state, who opposes efforts to reduce the coyote population in order to save other species, says that he couldn’t grow apples without his beloved “songdogs.”
“My name is Steve Meyerhans. I live in Fairfield and I’ve been growing apples in Somerset County and Kennebec County for 39 years.” Myerhans says coyotes play a key role in maintaining the health of his orchard. “The coyotes come to my orchard. They feed mostly on apples and mice and they will control the mouse population.”
Mice, you see, do serious damage to Meyerhans apples. And if the coyotes go away, Meyerhans worries he will be forced spread Zincphosphide, a toxic mouse poison, on his orchard.
I care not to dispute whether coyotes eat apples and mice but apple growers have been growing apples for a very long time. I seem to even recall a story that goes back quite a few years of a certain apple, growing in a certain garden, that wasn’t supposed to be eaten. But, what I would like to dispute is the fact that it was but 40-50 years ago that coyotes began showing up in Maine. Certainly people were growing apples before that. How did they do it?
February 13, 2013
Rep. Gilbert of Jay, Maine is sponsoring a bill that would give youth hunters, age 10-15, a chance to shoot an antlerless deer, without a special permit, during the regular firearm season. Let’s be clear, youth hunters in Maine already have their own Saturday before the commencement of the regular firearm season on deer to hunt and bag any deer, while abiding by the existing harvest laws. The bill is being opposed for all the wrong reasons from what I can see.
In an article that appeared in the Bangor Daily News today by Scott Thistle, middle school students from the Spruce Mountain School in Jay, appeared before the Maine Legislative Joint Standing Committee for Inland Fisheries and Wildlife, to tell why they support this bill.
The article offers two people who oppose this bill: David Trahan, executive director for the Sportsman’s Alliance of Maine and Don Kliner, Maine Professional Guides Association. Trahan says:
“This testimony does not reflect any of my personal or SAM’s position against young people hunting in the woods,” Trahan said. He said SAM opposed the measure because the number of youth that would be allowed to shoot a doe would have a big impact on the deer that are shot.
And Kliner adds:
The bill sends the wrong message, Kliner said.
“The reason why hunting has been so successful in not only bringing back wildlife populations that were once nearly extinct, including whitetail deer, is that we have rules,” Kliner said. “Rules to promote the conservation, the wise use of the species that we all hold so dear and reverently. I would argue that allowing children to disobey or not take part in the rules robs them of the opportunity to participate in the covenant of conservation that is hunting.”
Can anyone argue the fact that if we can’t get and keep kids in the woods hunting, trapping and fishing, it will not matter the impact on the deer herd or whether or not the wrong message is being sent? We can do better than this.
I fully understand Trahan’s and Kliner’s positions on why they oppose this bill. In addition, I would have to say that this bill, as written and blindly implemented would, more than likely, be a bad idea. This news report and the sponsor of this bill is void of any data needed to convince anybody the bill would work. Where are the data? Where are the numbers that can show the impact would be inconsequential and the effort beneficial?
I recall during the debate as to whether to allow a day for only youth hunters prior to the regular season giving those kids a chance to shoot any sex of deer, bald-headed or not. The claims went up then that the kids would destroy the deer herd. Question: Has that happened? Question: Where are the data to show the impact for or against?
While Trahan boasts of his ability to get the Youth Day hunt going, expanding on that program would seem a positive thing and not something to stop simply by stating it will impact the deer herd enough it shouldn’t be allowed. Will it? Where are the projected numbers to show that? Can the bill be amended so it will work? Is anyone looking into that possibility?
Kliner says we would be sending the wrong message to our kids that they need to follow rules too. Agreed, but is a flat rejection of this bill, without an honest effort to modify it to work, also sending the wrong message? A message that says I really don’t care enough to craft a bill that would work well.
We have had Youth Day for a few years. Certainly there must exist data that can give us an indication as to the impact. If my memory serves me correctly, Lee Kantar, Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife (MDIFW) head deer biologist, told me at the time of consideration to implement the youth hunt, that he didn’t believe the number of deer taken by youth on one day would have much impact at all. Does he still feel that way?
It is my understanding that in the wording of Rep. Gilbert’s bill, all youth hunters would have to abide by all the existing hunting laws, with the exception that they could harvest an antlerless deer without a permit. That would mean they follow the same harvest restrictions as everyone else, meaning they cannot shoot an antlerless deer in those Wildlife Management Districts where taking of antlerless deer is prohibited. That leaves those zones where permits are issued because the population of deer is such that a harvest of does is part of the management plan for deer.
It seems to me that biologists and wildlife agencies nationwide spend gobs of money creating computer models for just about anything they want an outcome for. Would it be that difficult at the onset of such a bill, to create a model, based on past history, as to how many of those youth hunters would shoot an antlerless deer and with that information, factor it into the logarithm used to determine the allotment of Any-Deer Permits? Can adjustments be made as part of the lottery drawing for Any-Deer Permits, that would give an advantage to youth? Can there be a way for an adult who draws an Any-Deer Permit, to sign it over to a youth? (Perhaps that already exists. Seems there is some amount of swapping of moose permits allowed.)
I think there are ample ways to make hunting laws that will encourage kids to hit the woods, rather that prop up a half-hearted effort thinking your doing the youth a favor. Now, you want to talk about sending wrong messages? Maybe it’s time to show the kids we adults really do care about the hunting heritage and their future in this sport by finding ways to make such proposals work.
I understand the process of proposing bills and the debates etc. I also understand that when bills are poorly crafted – no or little thought going into them, providing no data to support the need and impacts – they sometimes require an up or down vote. It sounds like David Trahan may have found himself in such a predicament. I don’t know.
It also appears that Rep. Gilbert, while his heart and his intentions where in the right place, a better effort should have been made to craft a bill that would benefit the youth, who are the only future to our hunting heritage, and at the same time providing statistical proof of how and why a well-constructed bill would not impact negatively the deer herd.
Rep. Gilbert, in my opinion, is on the right track. He just needs some help and cooperation from MDIFW and others more knowledgeable about crafting good legislative bills.
February 5, 2013
Yes, it’s that time again. Time for those of interest to apply for a chance at a moose permit to hunt moose in Maine. Visit this link at the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife (MDIFW) website and fill out your application.
And while you’re at the site, take a couple extra minutes to contact the MDIFW Commissioner and let him know that all the money you’ve contributed to be used for growing and maintaining a moose herd isn’t being spent for your benefit. Maine has for years stated there were only 29,000 moose and they carefully thought the process through before deciding how many permits to allot. Well, now that more of our money has been spent the past three years to count moose and MDIFW has decided there are really 76,000 moose, MDIFW, (after giving it careful thought?) has decided to allot an additional, whopping, 430 permits. Golly! Ain’t that swell?
Let’s see. My math is a bit rusty but rattling off some numbers in an empty head I think this shows somewhere around a 60% increase in the estimated number of moose, and yet only perhaps a 12% increase in permits. Does that make sense to you? Do you feel like you’re getting screwed over?
According to the Boston Globe, Lee Kantar, MDIFW’s head moose biologist, explains why hunters, who have footed the moose recovery bill for what now seems a bazillion years, can’t have but a scant 430 permits:
“What some people fail to understand is we have very clear responsibilities for managing moose for a variety of publics, not just hunting,” Kantar said. “Wildlife viewing stands on equal ground, so you need to be cautious on your permit levels, and that means accounting for your unknowns,”
So, let’s get this straight. For the past several years MDIFW believed the state had 29,000 moose and could comfortably (“accounting for your unknowns’) issue 3,725 moose permits. But now with MDIFW believing there are 76,000 moose, only 4,155 permits can be issued…….I assume to make all the rest of the “on equal ground” moose available to the “on equal ground” moose gawkers who contribute nothing to the growth and maintenance of the herd. Oh, wait. That’s right they pay the governor a handful of tax dollars, that, incidentally, do nothing to help out the moose herd. Shucks! Did somehow those “unknowns” get pulled out of somebody’s dark side or is this placating the environmentalists out of fear they will get offended if Maine decides to kill a handful more moose?
Maine sportsmen deserve better than this slap in the face and kick in the groin. Some have applied for a moose permit since the lottery’s inception and have never been drawn. And this is the treatment they get for their persistence? You can’t hunt them even after your investment, but we’ll make sure the moose gawkers get more “equal ground” than hunters get. Pathetic!
January 23, 2013
January 14, 2013
According to John Holyoke, “Out There” at the Bangor Daily News, 2,895 of 3,725 moose permit-holders were successful in bagging a moose. That’s about a 78% success rate or a 12% increase from last year.