September 18, 2018

WOHOOO! Maine IFW Enters Modern World of Tagging Game

Congratulations are definitely in order to the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife (MDIFW) for going above and beyond anything I thought ever possible. They have entered the technology era and devised a system of an instant electronic game registration.

Even though MDIFW seems to be mired in their bad habit of silence in what they do with not one word made available that they were even working on this project, I am delighted to read the news.

The headline reads that hunters, agents, and MDIFW will benefit from this new-age system. And to flex their muscles, a press release (below) tells readers ALREADY how many bears have been registered in the first two weeks of the bear season.

In comparison, last year’s bear hunting season harvest had not been published on the website at the start of this year’s season.

And speaking of websites, it appears that MDIFW has rushed forward to remove the link on their website that takes users to the game harvest page, but I cannot see any link yet(?) to where I can get the harvest data that MDIFW is getting. Is that something that is going to be included in the hunter’s benefit of this new system? According to the press release, I have serious doubts that MDIFW will go that far. They may talk a big talk about working with “customers,” but seldom show it in the final run.

An examination of the Press Release may hold the answer that MDIFW does not intend to make this data readily available to the public on their website: “The new web based system is simpler and faster, and provides the department with real-time data concerning the harvest of animals. This allows the department to provide customers with information about deer or moose harvest numbers more quickly…” (emboldening added)

As lousy as MDIFW is in getting reports out to the public in any sense of responsibility, one has to wonder just how often they intend to notify the public as to harvest data. Hopefully, they can beat their average harvest reporting time schedule of about 6 months.

MDIFW is required by law to make this information available to the public. Can MDIFW skirt that requirement by occasionally publishing a few numbers? We will have to wait and see.

A real benefit for everyone would be that MDIFW creates a landing page on their website if for nothing else than to publish real-time registered game animals. That is not a difficult task to do.

It appears that my days of relentless bitching and moaning about MDIFW’s never publishing game harvest data are over. I sure hope this new system doesn’t give me other reasons to bitch and complain.

In the meantime, congratulations to Chandler Woodcock and MDIFW for finally undertaking this event and getting it operational at the start of the bear season. We will all look forward to its progress through the remainder of the bear season as well as moose and deer. We are also told next season this new system will be used for trapping season.

Wohooo!

Hunters, Agents, and MDIFW Benefit From New, Web-Based Registration System

AUGUSTA, Maine — A new, web based game registration system is up and running at tagging stations statewide, providing hunters, stations and the department with an efficient, easy to use system that benefits all.

“This new system will quickly allow tagging stations and hunters to register their animal, and also provide our biologists and game wardens with real-time harvest data,” said Chandler Woodcock, Commissioner of the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife.

The new web-based system became operational the opening day of bear season, August 27, and has been providing instant data to department personnel about the progress of bear season.

Opening week of bear season, hunters registered 1,141 bears. Hunters have now registered a total of 2,826 bears for the season.

The system replaces the old game registration booklets, where agents used to fill in the data by hand. The books would be in possession of the agents until the end of the hunting seasons in December, and then shipped to Augusta where all data was entered by hand.

The new web based system is simpler and faster, and provides the department with real-time data concerning the harvest of animals. This allows the department to provide customers with information about deer or moose harvest numbers more quickly, as well as provide its biologists the information they need to make decisions on seasons and permit numbers in a much more timely manner.

The new system is a result of an intensive effort by the department’s Bureau of Resource Management, the Division of Licensing and Registration and the Bureau of the Warden Service collaborating with InforME to develop an online application that ensures reliable data while remaining easy to use for registration agents. MDIFW staff has been training the more than 300 stations on how to use the new system. For a complete list of tagging stations, please visit: https://www.maine.gov/ifw/hunting-trapping/tagging-stations.html.

“With any new system, there’s always a few bumps, but we’ve had staff available to assist with this transition to the new system as well as a help line for agents provided by InforME,” said Woodcock. “We are also looking for feedback from our customers on how to improve the system.

The electronic registration program is the latest step in automating more of the services that MDIFW provides, which includes online applications for deer and moose permits, online licensing, electronic lawbooks and the electronic game registration program. These are designed to be provide customers with the information and services they need via simple and efficient access from almost anywhere.

This new system will be in place for game registration, and beginning next year, will be available for fur tagging as well.

Currently Maine is in the midst of bear season, which continues through November 24, 2018. The first week of moose season begins September 24 and the archery season for deer begins September 29. Maine has 215,000 licensed hunters. To obtain a license online or to learn more about hunting in Maine, visit www.mefishwildlife.com.

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Unanswered Questions About “Bat Gates?

A few days ago I was reading a press release put out by the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife (MDIFW) about how the department just built the first steel and concrete “Bat Gate” designed to keep people out of caves where bats hibernate.

Why keep people out? The release says, “Scientists have discovered that white-nose syndrome is primarily passed from bat to bat or from hibernacula surfaces to bats, but can be spread by people because spores of the fungus may cling to clothing, backpacks, and shoes. When people visit caves and mines during any time of year, they could transport the fungus to uninfected areas…” (emboldening added)

Looking at the photos in the press release, it appears that there is an awful lot of habitat destruction taking place during the construction. Did these workers “unknowingly” get fungus on them and transport it to uninfected areas? What did they do to make sure this didn’t happen?

Whose land is this being built on? If not public land, did MDIFW obtain permission to do this?

This seems a bit of a drastic measure to undertake considering the “can be,” “may,” and “could” descriptions of the possible human role of spreading a disease that is natural and perhaps is doing the job it is intended to do – keep the population of bats in check. We sometimes think we are so smart but are we failing to realize that in our personal desire to protect any and all species of wildlife, maybe we are not doing the wildlife any favors.

It should be in the forefront of the minds of biologists at MDIFW considering what they have discovered or at least pretend to have discovered, about moose and winter ticks. Growing and protecting moose populations creates a situation where winter ticks thrive. Perhaps the risk of human transport of this fungus is insignificant compared to the bats themselves. If numbers aren’t kept at healthy levels, Biology 101 teaches us or used to anyway, that disease occurs which in turn reduces the population.

In addition to what should be obvious questions, placing this gate over the entrance to a cave, has anyone asked the question as to what other species of wildlife that may use this habitat is being denied and what threats this imposes on them?

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552 Pound Black Bear Tagged in Allagash, Maine

I am told that this 552-pound black bear was tagged at Tyler Kelly’s Camps in Allagash, Maine.

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SAM Grades, Endorses Some Candidates

*Editor’s Note* – It appears to this editor that these grades and endorsements are based solely on the support of the Second Amendment and voting records on outdoor issues – a very general term. Not that this is necessarily wrong, but readers should understand this concept in making decisions on who to vote for.

In addition, a statement made by SAM I find troubling. “It is our policy to always endorse incumbents with a strong voting record and a good questionnaire even when their challengers receive perfect scores.” Why it is troubling for me is that I am a supporter of term limits. Career politicians are corrupt politicians. Lying, cheating, and stealing are employed in a manner of the ends always are justified by the means – i.e. get reelected. “Always endors[ing] incumbents” is playing into the hands of the corrupt two-party false paradigm system. SAM should endorse candidates based on the lies they are given if that’s the game they want to play.

Press Release from the Sportsman’s Alliance of Maine:

To Whom It May Concern:

The Sportsman’s Alliance of Maine, ILA is happy to announce our Governor, Congressional, Senate and Legislative endorsements and grades for the important upcoming November election. In the governor’s race we are endorsing Shawn Moody and giving his opponent, Janet Mills a grade of A-. Each candidate gave a strong interview and did extremely well on the SAM ILA questionnaire.

Shawn Moody’s honesty, sincerity and genuine answers were refreshing. He was steadfast in his support of the Second Amendment and his advocacy for our natural resources and sportsmen and women was obvious and we believe he would make a great governor.

Janet Mills gave a terrific interview and the SAM Board appreciated her past support and strong voting record on outdoor issues, particularly firearm rights. She received a grade of A-.

In the Second District Congressional race, the SAM ILA endorsement went to Congressmen Bruce Poliquin. He has been a strong advocate for the Second Amendment, a tireless worker for the Second District, as well as a great congressman. We will work hard for his re-election.

His opponent, Jared Golden, after several requests and follow-ups, did not send in his SAM ILA questionnaire. We have concerns with his D grade from the NRA and his reluctance to inform our members and supporters about his positions on issues ranging from land conservation to hunting and fishing. If he had engaged in a dialogue with our ILA Board of Directors we would have explored his links to a Massachusetts PAC, (https://www.bostonglobe.com/…/QcP9SYTmWVswtPSW51…/story.html) partially funded by gun control advocate, and ex-New York Michael Bloomberg. In addition, he would have had an opportunity to explain why he hired Mr. Bloomberg’s campaign manager, Bobby Reynolds, from the recently defeated Maine referendum campaign to expand background checks to private sales and temporary firearm transfers.

Although we respect his service in the military, we are disappointed he chose not to inform our members on so many important issues effecting the outdoor community.
In the First Congressional District race our organization chose not to endorse a candidate; instead, Mark Holbrook and Marty Grohman each received a grade of A+. Both gentlemen would make great advocates for our outdoor community and hope one of them succeeds in the election. Incumbent, Rep. Chellie Pingree did not send in her ILA questionnaire.

In the U.S. Senate race between U.S. Senator Angus King and Sen. Eric Brakey, the ILA Board decided not to endorse either candidate, but gave Sen. Brakey a perfect grade of A+. Senator King, who has had a long history of supporting sportsmen and women, but recently indicated he was open to further gun control measures like magazine capacity limits, received a B grade.

Attached is a partial list of legislative endorsements as well as A and B grades for the upcoming state races. In the coming weeks we will communicate all the legislative grades and highlight several races around the state where we have two friends and supporters running from both parties.

*It is our policy to always endorse incumbents with a strong voting record and a good questionnaire even when their challengers receive perfect scores. There are times, in certain races, like House District, 106, between Rep. Strom and Stanley Short, where both are great supporters and deserve special recognition.

In our later communications, we will highlight several of these evenly balanced races around the state to give our members and supporters a fair understanding of each legislative race.

David Trahan
SAM ILA, Executive Director
205 Church Hill Road, Suite 3
Augusta, ME 04330
207-623-4589
David.trahan@sportsmansallianceofmaine.org

 

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Bears: Looking Big and Making Noise Not Always a Working Solution

I’ve always ridiculed the advice given by people, mostly from those who have never encountered a threatening bear, that when you are encountering a bear, even an outright attack, “look big” and “make loud noises” to frighten a bear away.

Over the past weekend, I was part of a discussion that included a woman that I went to high school with. I had known for several years that she was once treed by a bear near her home while she was out for a walk. It seems that in the past 25 or 30 years, she and her husband have had several encounters with bears at and near their home.

The woman told us that the area around their home has historically been ideal habitat for bears and seeing the animals around their home is a common occurrence.

The day she was treed by a bear, it happened quickly, as one might suspect. She tried the “slowly backing away” approach which only afforded her time to reach a small tree a few feet away. The tree was small enough that she could shimmy up the tree just far enough out of the reach of the bear and also small enough that the bear could not climb it.

The bear persisted to a point where the woman was slipping and losing her grip but she hung on.

She didn’t realize at the time that the bear, once realizing it couldn’t get her from the tree, tried a different tactic – it retreated but only far enough to hide behind a tree. The woman emphasized that in many of her encounters with bears, this seems to be a common method of attack – to hide and wait in ambush.

When she got back down on the ground, she spotted the bear attempting to hide behind a big tree. She quietly snuck away and when she thought she was far enough away from the bear, she ran like hell for home.

What is most interesting is that in telling of the several other bear encounters, most of them right around the house, she was emphatic in saying that the advice to “look big” and “make a lot of noise” is quite ineffective. On multiple occasions, particularly once when a bear forced both the husband and wife into their garden shed, they did their best to “look big,” yelled and made as much noise as they could only to witness the bear basically ignoring their actions.

It is important to note that both of these people, who are not your typical “scaredy-cats” felt threatened by this and all other attacks. They find the advice always given worthless from their own experiences.

I would suppose the takeaway from all of this is that one probably should not completely abandon the advice given but to realize that it is ALWAYS under the circumstances of the moment that determine the actions and reactions of a bear. Perhaps it is for that reason, if someone is regularly hiking in bear country and/or seem to have regular bear visitors to their home, they should consider having at their disposal some other tool to deter a bear other than remembering to “look big” and “make noise.”

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And Just What is the “Cure” for Protecting Deer Wintering Areas?

A couple of weeks ago I made my own comments about a recent “study” done by the University of Maine about “zoning” of deer wintering areas. Their useless study, which proved nothing and only caused the authors to formulate nonsensical theories, suggested that saving a small piece of land or forest for deer wintering wasn’t working.

George Smith weighs in on the study, which evidently he finds a valid argument worthy of a Pulitzer Prize. “I’m wondering if DIFW will change its approach to protecting critical deer winter habitat…”

And what exactly should that approach be? Do we take up the role in an, even more, strong-armed and fascist-like determination and simply take land from people in which environmentally-educated people have determined needs to be “protected” in order to “protect” deer?

When people fail in an ability to think for themselves, they can only see man’s destructive ways – real or imagined as drummed into them by Environmentalism. This narrative of man-hating and private property ownership dislike, along with the consumptive use of resources sets the stage for totalitarians to fulfill the wishes of the fascists.

Solving the problem, if it is really all that serious, of protecting deer wintering areas, is not an easy one. What hinders the finding of a solution is the fact that environmental fascism prohibits consideration of other factors.

These people believe deer are stupid and unadaptable. They need to get out of their offices. Do they actually think just because in their tiny minds trees were cut down and ruined what they determined were part of a deer wintering area the deer that go to for the winter months are just going to lay down and die? Evidently.

And all of this while at the same time promoting Climate Change. Why once the oceans stop rising and killing all the coastal deer, there will no longer be a need for deer wintering areas.

KUMBAYA!

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Is Maine’s “Any-Deer Permit” Allocation System Broken?

One has to ask if the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife’s (MDIFW) “Any-Deer Permit” system is broken and/or outdated. Consider this information.

For those who might not know, MDIFW uses a system in which deer managers determine how many antlerless deer permits should be issued in each of the state’s Wildlife Management Districts (WMD). This system is used to control the population of deer within that WMD. The theory is that when MDIFW needs to grow the number of deer in a WMD they reduce or eliminate Any-Deer Permits. On the reverse, if the MDIFW believes the number of deer need to be reduced in a WMD, they increase the number of permits issued. But does this still work and is it time for modifications?

For whatever the reasons, Maine has in much of the state a terrible accounting of a deer herd. In some places, deer have exceeded what MDIFW wrongly determines to be “social carrying capacity” i.e. the number of deer the public will tolerate.

Where once MDIFW set a goal of in excess of 300,000 deer statewide, they now have decided that somewhere around 200,000 is a good number. Perhaps by 2033, that number will be approaching 100,000. And with this information, we know that MDIFW decided to issue close to 85,000 Any-Deer Permits in hopes that with this record number of permits issued – EVAH! – they can come up with about 9,000 does harvested for the 2018 deer season.

DISMAL!

If we consider all of the excuses MDIFW gives for a poor showing for deer management, shouldn’t the department be asking themselves if this Any-Deer program is still viable?

Whether Climate Change is valid or not; whether loss of habitat is valid or not; whether increased access to land is valid or not; whether the destruction of deer wintering areas is valid or not; whether deer managers are brainwashed by Environmentalism is valid or not; whether MDIFW doesn’t have enough money to properly manage wildlife is valid or not; whether social demands are valid or not; whether consistent threats from animal rights groups and environmentalists is valid or not; there are still some things that aren’t really being talked about.

MDIFW said that last deer hunting season the quota for the number of does they wished to be harvested was not reached in all but 6 of the WMDs. However, MDIFW has never given a reason why this happened. It is vital to know. Without knowing this information, how does issuing 28% more Any-Deer Permits this year pass the straight-face test?

Combine this with information provided by George Smith the other day. His article was about a public hearing held by the Fish and Wildlife Advisory Council concerning the proposed issuance of 85,000 (an all-time record) Any-Deer Permits: “The department held a public hearing on June 26 and only two members of the public attended and no testimony was given.”

Maybe the reason MDIFW couldn’t fill their quota last year is that there are too few hunters to get the job done. Maybe the reason MDIFW couldn’t fill their quota is that there just aren’t enough deer to go around. Maybe the reason MDIFW couldn’t fill their quota is that nobody really cares, including MDIFW, any more about MDIFW’s deer management that produces fewer and fewer opportunities to bag a deer – horns or no horns.

So, are we to just assume that because quotas weren’t filled last year a simple issuing of 85,000 Any-Deer Permits will magically cause the quota to be met this year?

Maybe in those WMDs where quotas were not filled, there are so many trophy bucks it was easier to shoot one of those than an antlerless deer?

So, if the continued implementation of an Any-Deer Permit allocation system is failing to grow more deer in northern, western and eastern Maine, and the same system is failing to control the deer population in southern and central Maine, maybe the darn system is broken.

Insanity trudges on!

 

 

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2018 Maine Any-Deer Permit Lottery Results

Follow this link, click on the letter that begins the last name of the interested party and then search for your name.

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Political Militancy No Way To Govern

David Trahan, executive director for the Sportsman’s Alliance of Maine pens an article in the September 2018 edition of the Sportsman’s Alliance of Maine News, called, “Political Militancy No Way to Govern.” I applaud his words and his effort. However…

The article mostly focuses on the efforts of three Maine legislators who have chosen to target the Kittery Trading Post to force them to stop selling “assault-style” weapons and to raise the age to 21 to be able to purchase what is called a “long gun.”

Of these three legislators and others nationally, Trahan writes: “For many reasons these Legislators, and others at the national level, like Maxine Waters, have stepped over a serious ethical line. As a past State Senator and Representative, I understand elected Legislators have exceptional power to change laws that could negatively impact a business or organization they don’t agree with – like Kittery Trading Post.

“When three Maine lawmakers and their followers decided to target one company, instead of introducing a policy change through legislation (a Legislator’s job) that would have rightly affected all similar Maine companies, they become “political militants”, not policy makers.”

Let’s turn the clock back just a wee bit shall we?

Last year Maine passed LD 557, a law that inequitably targets hunters and fishermen if they are caught destroying property. No other group or individuals are included in this doling out of unjustifiable increased punishment. I believe the correct terminology that represents such unlawful targeting of one group or individual over another is “unconstitutional animus.”

The Sportsman’s Alliance of Maine was a major promoter of this law which makes little sense when you consider the words of David Trahan against the three Maine legislators who he feels have “crossed a serious ethical line” by targeting Kittery Trading Post.

Perhaps Trahan, the Sportsman’s Alliance of Maine, and the Maine Legislature went further in the destruction of due process than the three Maine legislators targeting Kittery Trading Post. What the three legislators did may have crossed a perceived ethical boundary, what Maine and the Sportsman’s Alliance of Maine did was, in my opinion, a direct violation of individual rights and that of due process.

Simply taking the action of “policy change” have never guaranteed that passed laws are not in violation of a person’s rights. Such is the case involving LD 557.

My call is to the Sportsman’s Alliance of Maine to seek to repeal LD 557, especially in view of the facts of the statement made in the article written by the executive director of the Sportsman’s Alliance of Maine.

Passage of and the promotion of LD 557 was nothing more than just another form of political militancy, which we have read is “no way to govern.” SAM should practice what they preach.

 

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Maine: Landowner Appreciation Day Is Sunday, September 9th, 2018!

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

It’s that time of year again! The Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife & the Maine Forest Service will be hosting a statewide clean-up event Sunday, September 9th 2018.  This event will be the day when you can show the private landowners of Maine just how much you really appreciate them. We want to thank Kittery Trading Post, Waste Management and BDS Waste Disposal, our generous sponsors for this year’s Landowner Appreciation Day!

Your club or organization can still enter the event by calling 287-5240 speak with Virginia Vincent, or e-mail her at Virginia.Vincent@maine.gov.

Please provide the following info:

  • Club /organization name, (amount in group that will be participating)
  • Area of the state where you will be willing to help
  • Contact person & phone number, e-mail address
  • Clean up sites that you will be working on such as towns, locations, landowners, etc.

Kittery Trading Post has graciously agreed to sponsor the following prizes again this year!

  • 1st place prize $1000.00 gift card to KTP
  • 2nd place prize $750.00 gift card to KTP
  • 3rd place prize $500.00 gift card to KTP
  • 4th place prized $250.00 gift card to KTP

Maine Warden Service and Maine Forest Service staff will have sites available as well (via e-mail).

For contest purposes: All loads of trash will be measured by pick-up truck load, at one of the designated drop off spots by Warden Service or Forest Service personnel.

We will be sending more info periodically. Become an Outdoor Partner today and visit our website under Landowner Relations. For more information about the Outdoor Partners Program, please contact Landowner Relations Specialist Corporal Rick LaFlamme at rick.laflamme@maine.gov .

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