September 16, 2014

Hunters Do NOT Cause Lyme Disease

In articles posted in some Maine newspapers, as well as on George Smith’s blog, the opening paragraph may very well cause readers to think that hunters are the cause of Lyme disease. His statement says, “For more than a century, Maine deer have been managed for maximum populations that benefit deer hunters. But Lyme disease is changing the discussion, and is likely to force Maine’s Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife to reduce deer populations in coastal, southern, and central Maine – even while they struggle to rebuild deer populations in western and northern Maine.”

I have no reason to believe that Smith is attempting to blame the prevalence of Lyme disease on hunters. It is, however, important to choose our words carefully. There is a distinct separation between the management of deer in Maine, or any other state, for surplus harvest(hunter benefit) and intentionally managing deer herds at too high a number in order that disease occurs and/or is spread. The Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife(MDIFW) does not manage deer populations at high population numbers, regardless of public health and safety issues, simply to benefit hunters.

While the remainder of Smith’s article deals with the facts of how towns and communities are trying to deal with Lyme disease, it is not the fault of hunters. On the contrary. Hunting is one of the proven elements of deer management in which population numbers can be controlled. When wildlife managers are limited through restricted land access, stealing from them the ability to reduce and maintain healthy deer populations, then the results are what some Maine residents are seeing now. If hunters were allowed into these regions and MDIFW were free to “manage” these deer herds as they would like, the issues of Lyme disease would probably be reduced significantly.

Readers need to understand the functions and purposes of wildlife management and in this case the tying of the hands behind the backs of MDIFW deer managers prohibiting them the necessary tools to control deer populations.

IT IS NOT THE FAULT OF HUNTERS!

Animal Pervert Bill Maher Supports Anti Human Referendum

Another city-dwelling pervert has stepped up to show that humans are scum and animals rules. While visiting Maine and trying to be funny – he claims to be a comic you know – he allowed his name to be placed on a press release that he obviously didn’t write:

““I can’t believe in Maine there are people who put almost 7 million pounds of rotting food, pizza and jelly donuts in their woods each year to lure bears to a bait site, trap them with cruel wire snares and then kill them at close range. How can you call that hunting? That is nothing but an execution. That is almost 70 million pounds of garbage in the last decade alone. Being the only state in the entire country to continue all three of these inhumane hunting practices – I’d say it’s time for a change. Mainers, vote YES on Question 1 and replace those millions of pounds of garbage with the millions of dollars the state will make from tourists going to Maine to see the pristine woods – not garbage dumps.”

This release prompted a statement by “Old Hunter”:

“I can’t believe there are people who put millions of pounds of junk food, drugs and alcohol into their bodies while wasting their lives away sitting on a couch watching some guy who he and others think is funny. These Hollyweird types bait their audience, and trap them behind media machines designed to brainwash the masses, snaring them with cruel statements, lies and human-demeaning comments, causing them to spend millions of dollars buying products that puts even more millions of dollars into this man’s pocket. How can you call that entertaining?”

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Maine’s Bear Biologists Discuss Increasing Bear Populations And Management Strategies At Conference

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

FRONT ROYAL, Virginia – Burgeoning black bear populations throughout the northeast were among the major topics discussed at the annual Northeast Black Bear Technical Committee meeting in Virginia. Maine bear biologists Randy Cross and Jennifer Vashon joined bear biologists from 16 states and six Canadian provinces for the annual conference, which was held August 27 and 28 in Front Royal, Virginia.

“Nearly all the northeast states are increasing hunting opportunities to try and control black bear numbers,” said Vashon. “New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, New York, Pennsylvania and West Virginia all recently increased the length of their black bear hunting seasons. Connecticut is considering enacting a bear hunt, and Maryland has been increasing the number of bear permits available.”

The two-day meeting focused on issues surrounding bear managers in the northeast. Among the topics discussed over the two days included reports from subcommittees/

*Bear population management strategies, including population estimates, modeling techniques and harvest strategies.
*Effectiveness of focused hunting in in urban and suburban areas to reduce conflicts between bears and people.
*Developing a standard message for how to react in a bear-human encounter.
*Standardized protocols for responding to bear attacks and the recent bear attack training received by the Southeast Black Bear Technical Committee.
*Summarizing data on care and rehabilitation of orphaned cubs.
*Ongoing predator prey/prey research about black bear and deer.

“The first day involves status reports from each state and province, where bear managers highlight what is happening in their state, and then we hear from our working groups that are tasked with researching certain topics,” said Cross.

Vashon noted that one of the more interesting topics for the working groups was the discussion concerning aversive conditioning of nuisance black bears, where bears are hazed or harassed in hopes that nuisance bear behavior won’t be repeated.

“What the group found was that there was no silver bullet or one tool that was effective, and that aversive conditioning is an effective short-term solution, especially when addressing an immediate public safety issue or when property damage is severe,” said Vashon. That was the result of studies in three different states where biologists radio-collared nuisance bears and subjected them to aversive conditioning after a nuisance bear complaint.

“Dealing with increasing nuisance conflicts is a priority for most eastern states,” said Vashon. “The committee is currently evaluating if increasing hunting opportunity around urban areas can alleviate conflicts. Initial findings indicate that increased hunting around urban areas is effective at removing bears that cause problems in backyards.”

One part that is particularly helpful to bear managers is feedback from the committee.

“These people know their subject and can give you feedback. It helps improve your program based upon the shared knowledge within the committee,” said Vashon.

The Northeast Black Bear Technical Committee first met in Maine in 2002 and has met every year since then. Vashon, Maine’s lead bear biologist, was the chair of the committee from 2007-2010. As chair, Vashon was instrumental in bringing the Eastern Black Bear Workshop to Maine in 2013.

An Interaction Takes Two? Intelligence Not Required

The Bangor Daily News(BDN) editorial staff has gone above and beyond the call of duty to exemplify their ignorance on the subject of bears. There’s a saying that’s been around for some time and has changed a bit over the decades but essentially it says that it is better to make people wonder about how stupid you are by keeping your mouth shut, than speaking and removing all doubt.

The BDN editors decided to take a stab at removing all doubt by stating that staff at the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife (MDIFW) aren’t bright enough to understand in an equation involving bears and humans, the density of the human population factors into that equation. Hurray for the BDN to point out the obvious.

What causes bears to conflict with humans isn’t just how many bears and how many humans are on what sized land mass. But does the BDN know that or do they even care? Doubtful!

The issue of bear behavior, especially in human-settled landscapes is complex and changes rapidly. Editors at the BDN and radical perverts at the Humane Society of the United States have no business attempting to manage our wildlife and game species from their offices in both Bangor and Washington, D.C.

People have been spoon-fed utter nonsense since the day they were born and now they believe it all to be truth. No more than Chandler Woodcock ought to tell the editors at BDN how to layout their newspaper and sell copies, BDN shouldn’t be protecting an animal species they have zero knowledge about and clearly show that they don’t.

This is why Maine residents should vote to let the MDIFW professionals take care of the bears, BDN can continue to print their newspapers and the Humane Society of the United States can continue to fraud the people and steal their money. Or, they could do what others do that are clueless: Go play golf.

Reports From Readers About Bear Referendum

TrustBiologistsOur trip to western Maine yesterday found many of these signs roadside. They were mostly in rural areas. We suspect that many of the rural folks, even though they may not hunt Black Bear, do have safety and economic interests that make them understand that a ballooning Black Bear population will change their way of life forever. [We] saw fresh deer tracks but these critters will not be helped along by having more ravaging Black Bears.

Stopped to buy some honey and the inside of the shop as well as the outside had these signs. The beekeepers will likely be put out of business if the referendum passes as will many of the folks that have their crops pollinated by bees.

Maine “Any-Deer Permit” Lottery Results

Published online through the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Website, hunters can find results of the recent lottery draw for “Any-Deer Permits.” An “Any-Deer Permit” allows a hunter to harvest a deer of either sex within the zone for which the applicant had applied.

Click on this link and then the matching first letter of an applicant’s last name. Scroll to search for your name.

Bear Baiting: “I Would Never Try to Dissuade Another Person From Doing So”

I recently submitted an article for my monthly column in the Bethel Citizen newspaper about bear hunting and ethics. It should be published in the next few weeks there. The basis of the article was an attempt to understand why other seem empowered or compelled to dictate another person’s moral and ethical beliefs within the existing laws.

A Letter to the Editor found in the Bangor Daily News today from 70-year-old Hank Hoskins says: “I am in my 70s and have hunted big game animals since my grade school days. The pursuits required efforts beyond sitting and waiting over baits; the activities were hunts, not “shoots.” My hunting days are about over and my ethical code would never allow me to attempt to shoot a bear over bait. That said, however, I would never try to dissuade another person from doing so if such shooting was a legal activity.

A glimpse into the rarity of raw honesty and what might be a solid understanding of individual rights and liberties.

Maine Reps Shaw and Libby: Facts About Bears, Management, and Referendum

“So the questions arises, who would you rather believe — Maine wildlife experts who have studied and maintained the health of the bear population for 40 years, or the Washington, D.C.-based Humane Society of the United States, which boasts that its ultimate goal is the elimination of all hunting, of everything, from big game down to barnyard varmints.”

“These facts evidently don’t matter to a group called Mainers for Fair Bear Hunting, which is pushing for passage of the referendum. In a campaign advertisement the group declared, “States that opted to restore fair chase to bear hunting have continued to maintain relatively stable bear populations.” That, of course, is a flat-out untruth.”<<<Read More>>>

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Missed Bear Debate? Available Now Online

If you were unable to catch the live stream of the bear referendum debate hosted by WGME-TV and Bangor Daily News, all six parts are available for viewing on the WGME website.

Another Maine Town Resolves to Oppose Question One

Press Release from Save Maine’s Bear Hunt:

Augusta, Maine- The Maine Wildlife Conservation Council is pleased to announce that for the second time this summer a town has issued a resolution in opposition to Question 1, the bear referendum which proposes to eliminate Maine’s three most effective methods of controlling Maine’s bear population. The Town of Portage Lake notified the Maine Wildlife Conservation Council on Wednesday that they had unanimously supported this resolution and join the town of Millinocket in their formal opposition.

“We are so pleased that yet another municipality has decided to formally oppose Question 1. Question 1 would hurt hundreds of small businesses (guides and outfitters, as well as the associated businesses that support them), and undermines 40 years of scientific research at the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife that concludes these three methods of hunting are vital to controlling Maine’s large bear population,” said James Cote, Campaign Manager for the No on 1 campaign. “We encourage all municipalities to learn about the science behind these three methods and the nationally recognized bear management program at the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife.”

History clearly shows that in states where these methods were banned, bears are becoming an increased problem and pose a serious threat to public safety (see attached bullets). In addition, we know that states like North Carolina, New York, and others are seeking to implement new methods of controlling their bear populations because they have become such an issue.

“The bottom line is that long after the proponents of this legislation decamp to Washington, D.C., Maine people and local leaders would have to assume the burden and cost of dealing with an out of control bear population. That’s not what we want for Maine people and that’s not the way we think bears should be managed. Let’s leave the management of Maine’s healthy bear population to the nationally recognized bear biologists and game wardens at the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife,” said Cote.

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