March 30, 2015

In a Rigged System a Bill to Allow Access for Hunting, Fishing

For decades the rigged system many people wrongfully label a democracy or a constitutional republic, has worked at every opportunity to prohibit hunters, trappers and fisherman from as much access to land as can possibly be done. At the same time efforts exist to ban hunting and rob people of their right to keep and bear arms. If they can’t do this outright, they will accomplish the same through what is often called incrementalism or back door regulations to chip away at any and all aspects of hunting, fishing and trapping, including land access.

Then along comes another effort to put an end, at least to some degree, to the continued prohibitions against land access and those who helped to build the rigged system cry foul and claim preferential treatment.

According to Pajamas Media, the Sportsman’s Act of 2015, “builds on previous efforts and adds new provisions to increase access and provide new opportunities for Americans to enjoy our federal lands.”

It appears that in this bill there are provisions that contradict the existing laws surrounding “wilderness” regions – those areas set aside as preferential treatment to only those wishing to see access to federal lands restricted to specific groups or individuals.

And herein we see the hypocrisy and elitist attitudes coming out from those who promote “wilderness” for their own selfish purposes.

“Certain language [in the act] may be interpreted to allow activities in wilderness areas that are not consistent with the Wilderness Act,” Ellis explained.

Leslie Weldon, deputy chief for the National Forest System at the U.S. Forest Service, a division of the Department of Agriculture, expressed concern that the bill seems to give preferential treatment to hunting, fishing and recreational shooting. That could prove problematic given the wide range of activities enjoyed on public lands — and the service’s charge to accommodate everyone from bird watchers and hikers to school groups, photographers and, indeed, hunters and fishermen.

Please understand this. As it exists now, within the rigged system developed and designed to eliminate hunting, fishing and trapping, preferential treatment is being promoted by restricting activities by some in order to promote the desires of others in an exclusive use – and they fear such a bill would be preferential to hunters and fishermen.

Also understand that that those who seem to believe they have a right to own and restrict others, lament that such a bill would cause problems because their choice in recreational activities might be infringed upon in order to accommodate others. This is the result of years of brainwashing that hunting, trapping and fishing is bad and shouldn’t be allowed, giving people the false belief that they have exclusive rights to use the land and that right shouldn’t be at all restricted in order to accommodate others. This is the epitome of blind selfishness.

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Don’t Be So Quick to Dispel Slingshot Hunting

I read and giggled what George Smith had written on his website about discussions on a proposed bill that would provide for hunting small game with a slingshot. LD 291 seemed to have been quickly dismissed but with much ignorance on display.

Smith writes:

Animal rights activists turned out in force to testify against the bill as did DIF&W.

Daryl DeJoy testified that his ten years of attending legislative hearings, “I have yet to testify before a bill as poorly thought out as I believe LD 291 to be… As one commentator on our Facebook page asked, ‘What’s next, baiting chipmunks?”

Judy Camuso, on behalf of DIF&W, testified against the bill. Her testimony was thorough and convincing, raising many problems with hunting with slingshots, including technical and enforcement problems.

It always amazes me that everything to do with hunting and weapons is always approached from the position that those using the weapons are out of control psychopaths whose intention is to willy-nilly kill everything in sight – death and destruction. Oh my God!

In listening to the testimony in Augusta, one person questioned about if anyone knew or had any information about the speed and killing force of a slingshot. Essentially nobody offered any information, assuming then that decisions might be made from the position of willful ignorance.

In the DeJoy testimony, mentioned above by Smith, he rails on about how making a slingshot a viable weapon for small game hunting would do nothing but create injured wildlife, injured pets and a myriad of other problems intended to present the idea as nothing but uncontrolled, irresponsible killing….like bow hunting, rifle hunting, muzzleloader hunting, etc. are? NONSENSE!

Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife opposes such a bill, evidently for “technical and enforcement problems”. I understand but I don’t understand. I’m thinking this is much like the story of the neighbor who went next door to borrow an ax. The man said he couldn’t borrow his ax because it was Tuesday. When asked what Tuesday had to do with it, the neighbor answered, “Nothing. But if I don’t want you to borrow my ax, one excuse is as good as another.”

How many people do you know of that have slingshots? What kind of a problem exists at present with “uncontrolled” uses of slingshots? “Injured wildlife”? “Injured pets”? Why should anyone think providing a small game season for slingshot hunting as something that is going to cause all kinds of “unintended consequences” as was stated by the Senator presenting the bill?

It must be, using the same rationale, that there are “unintended consequences” along with injured wildlife, injured pets and lack of supervision when it comes to archery hunting. No, it’s because of the ignorance and emotional utter nonsense that always seems to rear it’s head in such issues.

Obviously, from what I have read and heard during testimony, ignorance of slingshots is at an all time high and evidently the best way to deal with this issue is to scoff at it and get rid of the proposal before anybody has to find out anything and/or education themselves about the issue. But I guess nobody has time. Gotta go check on those radio collars.

In parts of the United States, slingshot use and hunting, as well as competition events, are common. The skill set is quite remarkable. Instead of shaking one’s head and imagining two boys using a slingshot to kill the neighbor’s dog or cat, why not first educate yourself. Do people practice archery and target practice with their guns and rifles on a neighbor’s cat or dog? Not as a rule but somehow if Maine should implement a season of small game hunting with slingshots, all of these things will happen. Slingshots cause uncontrolled killing.

Slingshots, of the right size and manufacture, are viable weapons. Just like Maine has decided that .22 long rifle caliber rifles cannot be used for deer hunting, so too would limitations and regulations, just like all other disciplines, be placed on slingshots.

One person argued it would be uncontrollable because the the weapon is silent. I’m sure glad arrows go bang when they are shot out of a bow. I’m glad traps can be heard slamming shut. It’s a good thing fish scream when hooked by a fisherman. And those earth tremors we feel, are to let us know somebody threw their trash and personal waste on the ground. How ridiculous can we become?

I know little about the exact wording or the intent of the person who proposed the bill (they didn’t show up for testimony evidently) but I would certainly hope that before the Maine Fish and Wildlife Committee would toss out this idea, they think it through thoroughly. There are benefits to having such a season.

And how can any government agency not be chomping at the bit to provide another means of taking tax money to license and regulate such an activity. Hasn’t stop them in the past.

Fear the SLINGSHOT!

Maine Deer Management: Excuse Du Jour?

I was reading George Smith’s blog this morning about all the deer plans Maine has come up with over the years all aimed at rebuilding a deer herd. Smith points out, and I believe he is factual, that the number one excuse found in the myriad of deer plans as to why deer numbers don’t grow is because of diminishing habitat for the animal. Really?

I won’t deny that losing habitat isn’t a factor – and it might even be a significant factor – to maintaining and growing a deer herd. But I don’t think I’m alone when I say that I am really quite sick and tired of listening to that crap sandwich.

It’s a crap sandwich because of all the things that could be done to increase the deer herd, it’s the least likely something anybody can do about it. It’s not too far from thinking we can control the weather.

First of all, the avoidance continues, with never an answer, as to why if wintering deer habitat is so lacking why are there empty deer yards across the state? But let’s forget that for now – seeing that nobody wants to talk about it.

So Maine has all of these deer plans proposed and proposed and proposed and then along comes another to suggest another working group to come up with a plan, a plan, a plan and guess what? Nothing changes…well, at least nothing any of these people want to talk about.

Let me ask one question. What are Maine deer managers doing to build the deer herd back up? Simple question. Let’s form a list:

1. Form a working group
2. Devise a plan
3. Cry because it’s all about habitat, habitat, habitat, habitat, habitat…excuse me, I just vomited on my computer screen.
4. Ignore the plan
5. Talk about wasting money to collar 40 deer to study whether or not coyotes are killing deer.
6. Form a working group
7. Devise a plan
8. Self committal to an insane asylum.

INSANITY!

Here’s something to think about. The excuse du jour – no habitat – claims that deer can’t be grown because there just isn’t enough habitat so deer can survive the winters. So, Maine has done nothing about that and that’s not surprising. So, they wash their hands of any responsibility and decide to go study moose. Oh, but let’s not forget that token deer collaring program that might happen. That will surely put meat in my freezer.

So, if habitat is the big deal here, then there must be enough wintering habitat to allow for the increase in deer densities following 2 or 3 relatively mild winters. That did happen. I know it did. That’s encouraging so, hold that thought for a minute.

If Maine could maintain the current level of deer wintering areas and build deer up to carrying capacity, would not hunters and others be happy? Or at least happier than they are now? So, let’s work at trying to keep the habitat that exists, without becoming statist, totalitarians, and actually do those things within our easy power to cause deer numbers to go up.

1. Control coyotes/wolves (Sorry that means killing them and it has to be a program, ongoing and forget all the lame excuses as to why it doesn’t work. It does and there’s proof. We don’t need a study group to find out.)
2. Reduce black bear populations. When discussions surround coyote killing to mitigate depredation, we hear how bears kill more deer than coyotes. Fine, go kill some bears. How about a spring season? Oh, wait. Because we live in fear for our lives over fascist animal rights groups we dare not stir the pot and have a spring bear hunt. IT MIGHT OFFEND SOMEBODY. It might offend the farmer losing his livestock too but that doesn’t count? It offends me that I don’t see deer at all while hunting deer in the woods in the Fall. And while we bury our heads in the sand, the deer population works toward extirpation in Maine, while deer to the north of the state, in Canada, are doing okay.
3. Better control and monitor where bobcats and all other predators are having an effect. We don’t have to kill all the bobcat, just reduce numbers in areas where deer need help.
4. Here’s another suggestion. Instead of caving in to the political power brokers to allow them to build trails through the middle of deer wintering yards, maybe that would help save habitat. Oh, what’s that you say? That doesn’t count? That doesn’t matter? That’s too small an amount to have any impact? Okay. I get it. It’s about power and control.

If habitat is so big that nothing else matters, as it sure seems that’s the case, then how do you explain the fact that in Eastern Maine were coyote/wolf control is ongoing, their deer numbers are rebounding nicely? Why? Coincidence? I don’t think so. They are doing something about it. I think they at least understand that while habitat isn’t fully abundant, and let’s face it, it never will be again, they can and are doing somethings that will help.

Now, I know these suggestions require work and it might not be as much fun as tracking radio collars and flying in helicopters counting animals, but one more claim that Maine can’t do anything about the deer herd because of habitat and I will have to vomit on my computer screen again.

Enough already! Rome burns while another working group and deer plan is devised.

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Understanding Hunting Etiquette

Compassion

HuntingEttiquette

If I Owned the Woods

Suppose I bought all the woods and hills around a thriving valley where farms and ranches abounded and town families prospered from a mix of agricultural support and several small industrial businesses. Suppose further that all the former owners from whom I had bought the land had been considered part of the greater valley community for generations.

What if I:
– Went to court and closed every road through my property that I could?

– Vegetated every closed road so that travel through my property by anyone from hunters to firefighters was impossible?

– Eliminated all grazing and timber cutting on my property?

– Closed my property to hunting, fishing, and trapping and any access?

– Refused to clean up downed timber after a big storm?

– Refused to spray insect-infested trees, or to remove dead ones?

– Brought cougars, wolves, and grizzly bears onto my property and released them?

– Refused to accept any responsibility for human injuries or dead animals resulting from MY predators?

– Made firefighting access and water availability to fight fires that started on my property unavailable UNLESS the valley residents bought ME airplanes and hired many new employees to work FOR ME when they weren’t fighting MY FIRES that could spread to the valley?

– Went to court and obtained a judgment that because I was not commercial and was considered a charitable, scientific entity that Local and State governments not only could not tell me what to do on my property, they and my neighbors would have to accept any impacts my land use practices imposed on them?

Well, of course:
– Sawmills would close because timber harvests that had gone on for generations ceased.

– Sawyers, like ranch-hands, would become unemployed as timber cutting and grazing acreages disappeared.

– Ranches would steadily dwindle in herd size and then in numbers as forage availability dwindled.

– Farms would dwindle as part-time work in the valley and in The Woods disappeared.

– Businesses would dwindle and disappear as transportation into and out of the valley was constricted.

– Real estate values would plummet as farm land became unprofitable and town homes lacked for buyers since there was no work available and predator problems even in town became endemic. Insurance rates skyrocketed since predator damage was the sole responsibility of the unfortunate citizens damaged in any way.

– Hunting, fishing and trapping disappeared. Businesses for guiding, housing and feeding such folks also dried up as access disappeared and predators both reduced game and posed deadly threats to visitors, children, and others considering outdoor activities.

– Local government and State government revenue of all sorts fell precipitously while demands for government “help” skyrocketed. My land went untaxed since it was “devoted to a higher ideal”, businesses closed up, agriculture dwindled, families moved away or went on welfare, and vacant and “foreclosed” home sites proliferated.

As all this went on, I became more powerful. I bought up parcels all over the valley. While I closed them to any use by local people, I bought, or rented at a discount, properties that would further close roads and pinch off increasingly isolated private property of former ranchers and farmers and long-time residents of the valley. Local government did only what I ALLOWED and I stacked the State Legislature with the best politicians that MY MONEY COULD BUY!

QUESTION: Who am I?
No, I am not Henry Potter. You remember him don’t you? Lionel Barrymore played him in “It’s a Wonderful Life”. He was the evil old cuss that made everyone poor and created that gloomy town where James Stewart (George Bailey) contemplated suicide until the angel showed him how important he (and really EACH OF US is) was to his community.

No, I am not some media mogul or Hollywood gazillionaire buying up rural land and then imposing urban standards and fantasies or rural communities.

I AM UNCLE SAM!

I am the US Forest Service. I am the National Park Service. I am the Bureau of Land Management. I am the US Fish & Wildlife Service. I control over 40% of the United States.

I am steadily eliminating all sustainable uses and management of RENEWABLE natural resources on MY LAND. I am eliminating roads and access on MY LAND. I am ignoring enormous fire-fuel accumulations resulting from Wilderness, Parks, storm damage, Roadless Areas, insect damage. I am closing access and roads everywhere to impede firefighting and public access. I am demanding that already-impoverished taxpayers give me more firefighters and expensive equipment to appear to be fighting fires of increasing magnitude and frequency. I accept NO RESPONSIBILITY (exactly as I have established the legal precedence for damage from the wolves and grizzly bears THAT I INTRODUCED AND SPREAD) for fire damage to residences, towns, and businesses resulting from fires STARTED AS A RESULT OF MY ACTIONS AND INACTIONS ON MY PROPERTY! I have spent over 40 years establishing legal precedents that say State and Local governments cannot tell me what to do or not do on MY PROPERTY. I have financially and professionally seduced State bureaucrats and State politicians to become my secret mistresses for whatever I want to do. I put millions of rural employees and thousands of rural businesses out of work and then vow to “reduce unemployment” and “support small businesses”. I pay no taxes and renege on promises to “replace lost taxes and share revenue with State and Local government”. I breed and release wolves on MY PROPERTY to infest State and private “neighbors” and do likewise with even more deadly and destructive grizzly bears and, like Henry Potter, despise and ridicule the ignorant bumpkins he evicts into the snow.

Uncle Sam has exceeded the slumlord Henry Potter in arrogance and evil. I suggest that when they make the movie one day, they consider cutting and pasting Spencer Tracy from the movie “Dr. Jekyl and Mr. Hyde”. The 4 federal agencies cited above go about like Dr. Jekyl daily making scientific pronouncements and seeming good; while in truth killing and spreading evil nightly before reassuming the sweet appearance of a do-gooder.

Jim Beers
20 August 2012
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. You can receive future articles by sending a request with your e-mail address to: jimbeers7@comcast.net

High-Tech Hunting? You Can Count Me Out

PrimitiveHuntingThe other day I was reading an article posted on the Maine Portland Press Herald website, written by Bob Humphrey, about how useful technology has become to hunting and hunters. Perhaps, but I have little interest in changing the bulk of what I grew up loving to do – deer hunting. Color me Crabby Smurf!

And, of course, my comments are sure to be taken the wrong way as some young whipper-snapper, breast fed on gadgets and gimmicks that serve to render one’s brain one-dimensional, robotic and generally dysfunctional, that I want to ban the use of electronics for hunting. Let me reiterate what I said above: I have little interest in changing the bulk of what I, ME, not you and everybody else, grew up loving to do.

What pleasure does one get from “hunting” when gadgetry tells the hunter where the game are? Can’t you do this sort of thing at home on a computer? The article, linked-to above, proclaims that life is ruled by technology, taking neutral ground refusing to clearly state whether that is good or bad, but begins to justify the use of technological gimmicks to prop up the outdoor business.

Imagine you’ve spent several thousand dollars on a caribou hunt and then go five to seven days without ever laying eyes on an animal. Knowing the location of migrating herds allows outfitters to move their hunters into areas where they at least have a chance.

Obviously, this is a legal act, or so I presume, and I will not seriously question the need to make adjustments to hunting techniques based on the scientific need to manage for healthy game populations. Personally, I would never spend “several thousand dollars” for any kind of hunt. And, I would not pretend to deny someone who wants to…, at least until said hunts, technology and all, begin to cut into my experiences and opportunities as a primitive hunter.

Carrying cellphones and other electronic gizmos, loaded with “apps” that become the hunters’ knowledge bank is, well, dishonest in a sense. One has to wonder if these same “hi-tech” hunters have an “app” to dispense toilet paper when nature calls? Or do you just use the phone, GPS, radio, tablet, “eye” pad, etc.? Rinse when you get home.

You decide whether technology of this form is good or bad for society. Personally, I see the cellphone, and similar instruments, as the number one destructive tool of humanity, and it’s getting worse. Go to the grocery store. People “grazing” about the store on their phones, texting and talking, even asking what aisle an item might be in. The shopper can’t function beyond the device. Where’s the shopping list? Why can’t you remember what aisle the coffee is in? Oh, that’s right. You have a devise that will do your thinking for you. How convenient! How inhuman!

I run into people often who might tell me they had been to a “really cool” place. I ask them where it is located. They shrug their shoulders. North or south? Their reply is they have it programmed into their GPS that’s how they get there. Brilliant isn’t it? And of course these instruments are always correct in the information they dispense. NOT!

I grew up knowing north, south, east and west, how to read a compass, look up in the sky, see the sun, see the moon and stars, recognizing items in the forest, learning about deer habits and habitat – and none of it ran off of battery. What happens when your batteries go dead? Did you program your device to remind you to bring spare batteries? What happens when you follow the instructions on your GPS that leads you into territory where there are no “bars” to connect to your brain center? What will you do?

The author begins his piece by saying: “Technology is pervasive in all aspects of our lives.” Of course it is, whether we like it or not. But isn’t there something sacred about you and the forest and leaving that electronic addiction at home?

Oh, wait. Let me Google that and see if I can find the answer to my own question. Where’s my SMART phone?