July 16, 2018

I Still Don’t Understand How You Can “Manage” Wildlife Without Counting

And evidently, I’m not the only one scratching their head just a bit in trying to figure this nonsense out. It sure appears on the surface as though claiming counting is no longer important as a vital tool to responsibly manage game populations, like bear, deer, moose, and turkeys is another convenient excuse to hide problems or simply provide alibis for where you were when the moose population dropped dead.

V. Paul Reynolds, in his article today, states the following: “When the moose aerial studies were commenced in 2010, getting a handle on the ever-elusive question of how many moose there actually are was an avowed purpose of the surveys, along with understanding moose mortality and productivity. Eight years later, it seems that, although we have gained useful data on moose sex ratios and causes of mortality, and other indices, we have fallen short in counting heads.”

And in and around 2010 (It wasn’t immediately made known to the public that the Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife (MDIFW) had undertaken a moose study.), I questioned whether MDIFW would ever get to the real, honest, explanation of life as a moose in Maine or would it be just another in a long line of “studies” backed and crafted by Environmentalism’s Scientismic hocus-pocus. So far, it appears it’s leaning toward the scientismic end result.

However, it was encouraging when MDIFW reported that their data “suggested” that ticks were the real culprit in taking control over moose populations, although there still exists fuzzy voodoo science and romance biology over whether it’s Global Warming or too many ticks that are causing moose mortality.

As Reynolds points out, one of the great selling points of this current moose study was the need to get a solid grasp on the moose population and what is controlling it. The Second Grade question remains how do you accomplish this task while at the same time removing from the new Game Management Plan the importance of population densities and replacing it with “healthy populations?”

At the drop of a hat, or perhaps if it fits the current moose management narrative for political purposes, moose biologists and MDIFW officials seemed almost boastful in stating Maine had 76,000 (or lot’s more) moose. After eight years of study and many dollars later, MDIFW is reluctant to utter a guess?

Perhaps what’s really going on is a matter of attempting to save face. Is it that MDIFW has discovered that Global Warming can’t be blamed for a decline in moose? Has MDIFW discovered that winter ticks really are killing off the moose (you know, some of that “natural balance”) and it is NOT Global Warming that has caused the epidemic? Has MDIFW discovered that trying to grow too many moose has caused the prevailing tick problem? Has MDIFW discovered that there isn’t even close to 76,000 moose and, as yet, has not come up with a workable lie as to why they were so far off in their estimations?

If so, perhaps now they don’t know what to do because taking action to scientifically correct the “unhealthy” moose population means bucking the Environmentalists and Animal Rights groups who not only want more moose they want uncontrolled numbers of every wild animal that exists…despite the consequences.

Being politically on the wrong side of Environmentalism is a place MDIFW does not want to be.

For now, better to act stupid and not reveal your hand, and then maybe it will just magically go away.

In the meantime, let’s practice…1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10… I knew you could.

Share

A Quintessential Fourth

These days it is difficult to get me to leave the “protection” of my Maine camp compound. But yesterday I ventured, albeit reluctantly, beyond the pines and comparative coolness of the recent, bonafide heatwave, to attend a family (wife’s side) classic Fourth of July gathering, cookout, and water events on the lake. The entire day, with the exception of once realizing I didn’t have any idea where I was supposed to go to find the lake “camp,” reminded me of events as a child, even those very rare occasions of being at a clean fresh-water lake, baking in mostly uncommonly hot (into the 90s) Maine weather, eating hot dogs, cheeseburgers, chicken and ribs cooked on the grill, sipping lemonade, and watching boats of all sizes on the water and the young children completely ecstatic frolicking in the water, splashing, screaming, laughing with hardly a care.

Perhaps the one thing that really drove home to me how perfectly classic this day at the lake with family transpired, was the fact that my ears, not even once, heard the sound of political badgering and/or commentary from any of the estimated 4o or so family and friends gathered. It was exquisite to be void of the nasty, rotten, hate-filled, biased, brainwashed ragging of anyone wishing to express their political verbal sewerage. Instead, the talk was of historic family stories, hunting, fishing, the children, the weather… all of those things once taught and learned like “never talk about sex, religion, and politics.”

For a brief moment in this modern, progressive society, I entertained thoughts that maybe there was hope for a return to how things used to be.

Realty does come crashing down sometimes.

Share

Maine IFW Posts Ancient 2017 Deer Harvest Report…Sort of

Yesterday I noticed that finally, the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife (MDIFW) posted the 2017 deer harvest report.

A couple things to note: First, the report is dated June 13, 2018. If that was the actual date this report was completed, why did it take at least 2 more weeks to make it public? Or did they post-date it so they wouldn’t be guilty of setting a new tardiness record?

Second, when examining the map MDIFW uses to show the number of deer tagged within each town when you enlarge the map hoping to be able to read the town listed in each town’s boundary, it is illegible. Older reports don’t seem to have that problem. This becomes worthless for those trying to make comparisons from one year to the next without being able to distinguish the towns.

Third, beginning in 2012 MDIFW published what they call an “Age Report.” This report simply lists the estimated age of each deer tagged for that season. I wish it contained more information. The Age Report for 2017 has not been made public yet.

Incidentally, the total deer harvest for 2017 stands at 27,233.

Share

Maine: LD 31 has been brought back from the dead today

SAM ILA — LEGISLATIVE ALERT 

Attention! Attention! Attention!

LD 31 has been brought back from the dead today – Call Your Legislator!

The SAM ILA’s Bill, LD 31, RESOLUTION, Proposing an Amendment to the Constitution of Maine To Require That Signatures on a Direct Initiative of Legislation Come from Each Congressional District is back from the dead and could be re-voted today and tomorrow in the House and the Senate.

Democrats have offered to support LD 31 as a way to kick start negotiations and end the Legislative stalemate that is gripping Augusta.  The deal would be to place the important ballot access fairness Resolution on the 2019 fall ballot.  Finally, a chance for the “other Maine” to have a say in what appears on the ballot as an initiative.  Help us stop special interests and their money from monopolizing southern populated areas to push their agendas and divide our state into the haves and have nots!

The House Republicans have supported us time and time again in our fight to bring fairness to the initiative process!  Ask them to do it one more time by joining Senate Democrats and Senate Republicans as well as House Democrats in making LD 31 a priority in any deal to end the stalemate.

Your support is needed ASAP as time is running out!  Ask your Representative to support LD 31 as key part of a final leadership compromise that brings northern and southern Maine together.

This bill would finally bring fairness to rural and suburban Maine by giving them a voice in what appears on the ballot. If this is approved, Maine would become the 13th state of 24 states with a referendum system to adopt such a voter fairness law.

Click here to contact House members and ask them to support LD 31 as part of the leadership compromise.

Below is a little history about LD 31:

Our organization has introduced this important Constitutional change as a way to bring fairness to rural and suburban areas of Maine that are generally ignored when organizations are collecting signatures for Citizen Initiated petitions.  In nearly every campaign, mostly paid signature collectors, funded from out of state, are targeting heavily populated areas in the First Congressional District.  Simply put, it is all about the money, the more people, the more profit. 

Petition signatures are valuable, hundreds of thousands of dollars are being spent with companies and special interests to buy their way onto the ballot and their job is easier when their campaigns can concentrate their efforts in and around cities like Portland.  This may seem okay when you live in Portland and the surrounding area, but, it is blatantly unfair for the remainder of the state.  Why? You ask. Because some initiatives originating in heavily populated areas can disproportionately and negatively affect rural areas that feel powerless in the qualifying process. 

For instance, over 80 percent of the signatures to put the bear referendum question on the ballot came from the First Congressional District, yet virtually no one in that area would have been affected by its passage.  Half the states, around the nation that have referendum systems, (24) have adopted geographical distribution policies, (12) like the one proposed in LD 31 to help bring ballot access fairness to the people living in rural and suburban areas.

The Federal Ninth Circuit Court ruled that this policy is fair and reasonable, http://cdn.ca9.uscourts.gov/datastore/opinions/2012/03/14/10-16707.pdf

NCSL Report-Geographical Requirements

http://www.ncsl.org/research/elections-and-campaigns/signature-requirements.aspx#Geo

I encourage you to read the Appeals Court ruling at the above link, it is very enlightening and should help answer any questions or doubts you may have about supporting this policy change.

There are some organizations that are opposed to this change, I understand they use the referendum system to promote their organization’s agenda and it is easier to leave the status quo.  I find their opposition stunningly hypocritical.  Your vote on this bill is not to adopt this proposed change, but to allow Maine people an opportunity to vote on the issue.

The opposition argument is: we want Maine people to have the ability to vote on the referendum questions of our choosing, but, we don’t want them to have an opportunity to vote on a policy that makes that system fair for all Mainers.  Do they trust Maine people to do the right thing or not?

I encourage you to read this important Appeals Court ruling, LD 31 is fair and reasonable and I hope you will support allowing Maine people to hear the debate and make up their own mind.

Click here to contact House members and ask them to support LD 31 as part of the leadership compromise.

Please share this with your friends and family!

Share

Maine: Public Hearing Regarding Antlerless Deer Permits

A public hearing is scheduled for Tuesday, June 26, 2018 at 6:00pm at the Augusta Armory, Room 209, 179 Western Avenue in Augusta regarding the proposed antlerless deer permit numbers for the 2018 regular deer hunting season and special muzzle-loading season.

Members of the public are encouraged to attend the public hearing.

Comments may also be shared in writing by July 6, 2018 to Becky Orff, Inland Fisheries and Wildlife, 284 State Street 41 SHS, Augusta, ME 04333; phone: 207-287-5202; fax: 207-287-6395; e-mail: Becky.Orff@maine.gov

Click HERE for full proposal details and additional information.

Share

Old Hunter: Maine IFW Asleep at the Wheel

Old Hunter says:

Press Release from the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife:

MDIFW News — Deer Kill Largest In Last Ten Years

For Immediate Release: June 12, 2018

AUGUSTA, Maine – Deer hunters in Maine harvested 27,233 deer in 2017, the highest total in the last ten years and an increase of 15% from 2016.

“An increasing deer herd in southern and central Maine, and favorable hunting conditions contributed to the best deer hunting season in ten years,” said Nathan Bieber, MDIFW Deer Biologist.

Maine’s deer hunt is broken down into several seasons for firearm hunters, muzzleloaders and bow hunters. This year the season framework stretched from September 9 to December 9. Most deer are harvested during the general firearms season (23,288), which started on October 28th and continued until November 25. Bowhunters took 2,099 deer, and hunters took 970 deer during the muzzleloading season. Maine’s junior hunters were also very successful on youth day, with 876 youth hunters taking a deer this year.

“Deer hunting is large part of Maine’s cultural heritage. Each year, over 200,000 hunters head into the woods of Maine,” said Bieber. “Hunting also provides many in Maine with a sustainable source of high quality, organic, free-range protein.”

The deer hunting season allows the department to manage the deer herd and provide wildlife watching and hunting opportunity in much of the state while decreasing the deer population in other areas in order to reduce deer/car collisions and property damage, and prevalence of lyme disease.

Adult bucks by far comprised the vast majority of the harvest, with hunters taking 18,255 antlered bucks. With 66,050 anterless permits issued, hunters harvested 8,978 antlerless deer.

According to Maine’s deer hunter surveys, on average deer hunters spent 37 hours hunting deer during the season, averaging 4.3 hours afield each trip.

For this coming deer season, a total 84,745 any-deer permits are proposed for 22 of the state’s 29 wildlife management districts across the state, an increase of 28% Last year, there were 66,050 permits available to hunters. Hunters who do not receive an Any Deer permit are only allowed to shoot an antlered deer (with some exceptions during archery season and on youth day). The proposed permit numbers await approval by the IFW advisory council. There will be a public hearing on the proposed permit numbers on Tuesday, June 26 at 6:00 p.m. at room 209A in the Augusta Armory.

“Last year’s winter was more moderate in central and southern Maine, while up north, winter was a little more severe on average than years past. The change in the number of any deer permits reflect that,” said Bieber.

Permit numbers are increasing in nine southern and central wildlife management districts, are decreasing in 11 WMDs and staying the same in nine WMDS. You can find the complete numbers at https://www.maine.gov/ifw/news-events/rulemaking-proposals.html.

The department uses the any-deer permit system to manage the white-tailed deer population in the state. The ability to adjust the state’s deer populations derives from the ability to increase, or decrease, the number of breeding does on the landscape. White-tailed deer are at the northern edge of their range in Maine, and winter severity is a limiting factor concerning population growth. By controlling the harvest of female deer in the 29 regional wildlife management districts throughout the state, biologists can manage population trends.

Last year, MDIFW wildlife biologists examined over 20% of the state’s deer harvest, collecting biological data to monitor deer health throughout the state. In addition to examining registered deer and gathering biological data, lymph nodes were collected in ongoing efforts to monitor for Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) in Maine.

CWD sampling efforts were targeted around towns with active captive cervid facilities, winter feeding operations, and/or high cervid densities. We collected samples from 476 deer, which were sent to the Colorado State University- Veterinary Diagnostics Laboratory for testing. All samples tested negative for CWD prion.

The deer harvest for the past ten years is as follows: 2007 — 28,885; 2008 — 21,062; 2009 –18,092; 2010 — 20,063; 2011 — 18,839; 2012 — 21,365; 2013 — 24,217; 2014 — 22,490; 2015 — 20,325; 2016 — 23,512; 2017 — 27,233.

Share

Maine’s Disturbing Deer Harvest Trends

Although still not published on the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife (MDIFW) website, some news outlets are reporting that Maine hunters surprisingly harvested a total of 27,233 deer in 2017, an increase over the previous season of about 15% but far from the near 37,000 in 2000.

The increase is being given to a growing deer herd…well, at least in southern and central Maine, while the rest of the state evidently is just devastated by global warming (severe winters). MDIFW intends to issue more “Any-Deer Permits” hoping that even though last year’s ADPs never got filled in the majority of Wildlife Management Districts. Without more hunters, I’m not sure how more ADPs will cause more deer to be killed. But we’ll see.

Below is a completed graphic by my graphs guru which includes the 27,233 harvest figure. But I am more and more clearly beginning to see a disturbing pattern that needs some answers.

From the graph we see that while the number of deer harvested in 2017 increased 3,721, the number of 200 lb. bucks harvested actually dropped by one, instead of a logical near 15% increase if all things were remaining relative. The graph also shows that the percentage of big bucks harvested in relation to the overall kill continues to shrink and that we are approaching half the number of big bucks that were taken in the year 2,000.

There could be several contributing factors to this event but the trend appears to be putting Maine in the same league with a lot of other small deer states further reducing the appeal to hunt deer and/or come to Maine and hunt big bucks.

I’ll take a closer look at this if we EVER get to see the harvest reports for 2017.

Share

Black Bears, Mange, Climate Change Nonsense, Emotional Ignorance

In a report filed in the Washington Post and reprinted in the Bangor Daily News, bears in Pennsylvania, along with neighboring states of New York, West Virginia, Virginia, and Maryland, are suffering from mange.

The article states that Pennsylvania, “seems to be the epicenter of an outbreak that scientists don’t fully understand.” Mange has been a problem since the 1990s.

And because biologists “don’t fully understand” the reason for the outbreak, they make sure they insert their favorite “go to” excuse of Climate Change.

When these clowns blame climate change, we know that what they are referring to is a warming of the climate that brings events that scientists “don’t fully understand.” If this was true, then it seems feasible that black bears living in the southern states would be suffering from mange on a regular basis, but that evidently is not the case. But it’s easier to blame Climate Change.

While it might not be explained how the bears contracted this kind of unusual for bears mange, might it be possible that it is spreading from the “epicenter” at quite an alarming rate, or so it appears, because of a large population of bears (20,000) and one that is “a record number for the state.” Mange is spread through contact and with increased populations of bears the chances of contact with other bears increases. Makes sense.

If 20,000 bears is a record number, and Pennsylvania has a bear hunting season, then it certainly appears that despite the hunting the population continues to grow. Either Pennsylvania is deliberately attempting to grow the bear population or bear hunting alone doesn’t seem to be able to keep the population in check or to reduce the population. Many other states are suffering the same dilemma – too many bears and no way of controlling the populations. What waits on the horizon for all these states with black bears?

Most people don’t have knowledge of real wildlife science and depend on their favorite form of Scientism to give them the fabricated talking points that make them feel like good pals with animals such as bears. They don’t want to believe that bears, or any other animal, suffers when populations get too large. Instead, they want to just blame the existence of men and of course all forms of hunting.

In a recent Letter to the Editor of a Maine newspaper, one such person blames the continued growth in Maine’s black bear population on hunters being allowed to hunt over bait. Pennsylvania does NOT allow hunting bears over bait and yet their bear population continues to grow at about the same rate as Maine.

It can be argued forever whether or not artificially feeding bears effects the rate of reproduction. But there are some facts that should be looked at but seldom are when emotional clap-trap Scientism is the driving force behind the obvious hatred toward hunting and hunters.

The Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife (MDIFW) has stated repeatedly that when natural food is readily available, hunters have a very difficult time to successfully lure a bear to a bait station. Bears much prefer their natural food over man-made bait.

Those opposed to hunting, and more specifically bear baiting, claim that baiting bears causes the increase in reproductivity of black bears. There are far too many influencers on bears that any study can definitively say more food, or baiting bears causes an increase in population.

But even if it was an accepted fact, at what real impact does a bear baiting season have on population growth?

Maine has an estimated 30,000 to 35,000 black bears. According to MDIFW’s bear harvest report for 2016, 2,859 bears were taken during the entire hunting and trapping seasons. Of those 2,859 harvested bears, 1,936 were taken over bait. It can be safely stated that all of Maine’s 35,000 bears don’t live adjacent to the handful of bait stations hunters employ.

The overall success rate of harvesting a bear in Maine runs about 25%. We could play around with some math here but the bottom line appears to be that even with the baiting, bears being affected, if at all, by bait is but a drop in the bucket compared to the overall population of bears in the state of Maine. Consequently, any change in reproductive rates would certainly appear to be insignificant.

For Maine residents, including the ones making claims that baiting is the driving force behind an ever-growing bear population, the question of concern should be, will Maine bears begin suffering from mange? And if so, what is the plan of attack should it strike?

The trend in this country today is disturbing from a wildlife management perspective. More and more people are perversely in love with all animals and want them all protected. To go along with this unnatural love affair with animals and the brainwashing of our children in schools and in the media, there are fewer and fewer hunters every year. This combination spells disaster in wildlife management. With little or no tools available for wildlife population control and management, our forests and fields will become chaotic “natural balance” as the Environmentalists scream for. With that chaotic approach, we can expect continued “unusual” outbreaks of life-destroying diseases which is how Mother Nature deals with it.

It appears the only way we can learn the truth is to let it happen and clean up the mess later.

Share

Proposed Allotment of Maine “Any-Deer Permits” per WMD

George Smith, through the Bangor Daily News, provides readers with a list of the number of “Any-Deer Permits” proposed to be distributed to the Wildlife Management Districts for the upcoming 2018 deer hunting season.

Share

Maine Moose Lottery Drawing Results

Click the link below and click on the letter that begins the last name of the applicant.

Maine Moose Lottery Results

Share