March 25, 2019

More Moose Permits Fewer Moose Ticks – Connection?

It’s difficult most of the time to separate what a person says or doesn’t say in a Media report from what the author is either required to say or is brainwashed enough they don’t know the difference. I think we are seeing some of this in an article in the Portland (Maine) Press Herald about Maine’s intention to increase the number of moose permits they will have available for profit.

Lee Kantar is the head moose biologist at the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife (MDIFW). When the MDIFW began their mostly secretive moose study, I held out little hope that much good would come out of it due to the extent to which brainwashing by Environmentalism has infiltrated the fish and wildlife community and every level of existence.

None of that has changed, however, there has been glimmers of hope in scattered reports from the MDIFW. It appears that Mr. Kantar might even have come to understand that there is a correlation between the number of moose and the number of winter ticks that are a cause of mortality in the great beast community. Perhaps (I may be giving him the doubt on this one) he even has a better understanding of the life cycle of the winter tick…(I’ll leave that one with a question mark at the end)?…? (make it two)

Kantar says: “This year, there was lower reproduction in moose in some parts of the state. Winter tick does not kill cows, it kills calves. But winter tick does put enough pressure on cows that are carrying a fetus, and not all the calves survive.”

An admission that ticks are one cause of moose mortality. This is the first (that I have seen or read) of MDIFW admitting or better, explaining, how anything that negatively effects the reproduction cycle of the moose will negatively effect the sustainability of the herd. It isn’t just the blood sucking that causes the moose to drop dead from exposure or starvation.

Many parts of Maine have seen tons of snow on the ground this winter. This kind of snowfall also has a negative effect on moose and deer. This is where Kantar suggests he has a better understanding of the ticks than before: “The fall conditions drive the winter tick,” Kantar said. “Our expectation is that the tick count will be down, and that should translate into increased calf survival.”

It is during the Fall that ticks are “questing” – in search of a host body to hang out on during the long winter months. When conditions on the ground seriously disrupt this questing process, ticks die by the millions and thus the overall negative effects of the winter tick on moose are mitigated…at least in the short term. This is why Mr. Kantar is suggesting a good moose calf survival and a need to make adjustments to the herd growth and population.

However, the reporter just can’t leave the “Climate Change” myth out of her reporting: “But biologists hope that the incidence of winter tick is lower because snow came early last fall and the parasite thrives in warmer climates and conditions.”

My wish is that one day, just one reporter would do some homework about the tick and stop perpetuating the Echo Chamber of Climate Change. The winter tick does not thrive in warmer climates and conditions. If that were true, the winter tick would be “thriving” to our south where the climate is always warmer and the conditions the way in which ignorant climate change alarmist present it.

The echo chambers continue to falsely report that because Maine has warmer winters the tick is thriving, when, in fact, this has nothing to do with the growth and sustainability of the winter tick. Science has shown that it would take conditions found in the Arctic to actually kill the tick. Two things drive the survival of the tick and Kantar mentioned one of them.

One is the questing process. As I have already mentioned, when the process of climbing vegetation and waiting for a moose to walk by so they can hitch a ride is seriously effected, fewer ticks will complete their life cycles and will die.

The second condition goes hand in hand with the first – ticks being able to find a host ride. It is important and necessary for the tick to find a host. If conditions are favorable to find a host, but there are fewer hosts to latch onto, tick production is mitigated. I believe Mr. Kantar is attempting to learn the balance between how many moose results in a healthy, relative tick-free existence while making adjustments in line with conditions.

What appears to me as encouraging here is that Kantar’s adjustments in the issuing of moose permits is as close to real time adjustments as you can get. Often reactions by biologists are years too late, making it difficult to understand whether any actions were good or effective.

Here we have a case where the biologist appears to understand that probably the tick questing period was interrupted by early fall snow which should result in an increased survival rate of moose calves – depending on how destructive the winter has been in general. This kind of real time management, so long as that management is based on sound science and not Climate Change mythology, should be a terrific boost for the moose herd and these actions should provide us all with a healthier population of moose to enjoy.

Keep up the good work. Let’s hope it continues.

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Fascism We Call Shaping the Future

The other day I was led to a report from Maine prepared by a new legislative, mandated formation of The Land Conservation Task Force. Not surprisingly, the title of this report comes to you as: “Shaping the Next Generation of Land Conservation in Maine.”

What could possibly be wrong with this? I doubt most know.

When any government mandates the formation of a “task force” whose mandate it is to find ways to SHAPE the next generation for any reason, should either run and hide or prepare for oppression. Unfortunately, most choose to run and hide and/or just bury their heads.

I don’t have the time nor the ambition to walk you through this work of fascism, disguised as good community (commune, communism) service…all for the good of all as “shaped” by someone else’s political idealism. I would, however, like to focus on just one part of this communist manifesto.

On Page 20 we find: “Recommendation #5: Target land conservation efforts to effectively protect critical natural resources and help Maine combat and adapt to a changing climate.”

The ignorance that exists within this task force must be for the greater good. As representatives of a brainwashed society, hand picked to serve due to their admiration of “Bread and Circuses,” each member has been thoroughly consumed with the myth of man-caused global warming (they choose to be more comfortable by calling it Climate Change) from the perspective that by living an existence of Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of happiness, we are causing the earth to warm and all the fake aftereffects.

I suppose we should congratulate the purveyors of such nonsense; those who have profited richly from taking advantage of ignorant taxpayers, the blind and delusional, for successfully perpetuating the taxable lie about a warming climate caused by farting cows and you driving to work to you can pay the way of those who refuse to work – while they trek about in gas-guzzling jets.

However, there is NO hope that the pEOPLE are soon to shed their delusions and do what they should know as the right thing. You either buy into the scam behind this form of Climate Change (yes, capital “Cs”) or you see it for what it really is. I doubt anything I can say will change your mind. But I can try.

Maybe then, you’ll see the authoritarian actions being thrust upon us by eager autocrats who know not what they do. This group of totalitarians have taken it upon themselves, by order of the centralized fascist legislature, to decide what is best for you, your land, the economy of the state, the environment, the climate, and what and how our natural resources should be used or not. They make recommendations which lands, whether yours or theirs, you can access and what you can do with them – and this all from a group’s perspective of how my and your life should be run.

Do you like that?

Bear in mind that these recommendations of what THEY want and how THEY think you and I should live, are partly based on THEIR notion of what they have been brainwashed to believe about Climate Change. This is what they tell us: “Already change has manifest itself through shifting seasons, increased precipitation, introduction of nonnative species and rising sea level. Noticeable impacts include shorter maple tapping seasons, an abundance of ticks and associated diseases, increased coastal erosion and green crabs and other pests that have compromised otherwise robust natural-resource based economies.”

It takes quite the imagination to blame everything they have listed on their “Schindler’s List” as a result of Climate Change. What is a “shifting season?” Is that when Spring is followed by Winter and Summer follows Fall?

I find it laughable that Climate Change causes “introduction of nonnative species.” How does that happen exactly?

Much of this cannot pass a straight face test. Nothing suggested here that the group believes is having “negative” affects on THEIR state, can be proven. It is nothing more than propaganda being passed on to the populace as fact. It is far from true facts and fully supported as false facts.

This is just part of the nonsense being swallowed by an entire culture. But it’s not just this list of made-up fantasies used to promote a lie. It’s the Second Grade level psycho-babble they use in an attempt to sell an idealism that carries worthless meaning. We read: “Maine’s forested landscape provides an important means to lessen the impacts through the sequestration of carbon both in the forest and in products derived from the forest.”

Doesn’t that just make you feel fuzzy all over? Do you know what it is suggesting? It means we must stop cutting trees. Cut down trees can’t “sequester” carbon. GASP!

“Moreover, certain areas and ecosystems have been identified as critical to future adaptation to a changing climate in Maine such as the undeveloped corridor running along Maine’s Western Mountains up through the Allagash and St. John River Valleys and coastal wetlands subject to rising sea levels.”

Oh my! I guess this means we’re all gonna die! What should we do? If we follow their recommendations, we need to take control over and shut down all access to the land that runs from Western Maine, to the Allagash, and through the St. John River Valley. HANDS OFF you carbon causing criminals. That land belongs to the KING…or at least the fascist government who appoints the totalitarians, strongly deluded, members to their fascist task force.

And here’s some more nonsense: “A landscape fragmented by roads, energy infrastructure, dams, and development presents a barrier to many species whose range may shift.”

When it is convenient, these environmentalists claim that species are dying because they are incapable of adapting (shifting) to another “range” or habit. But, when they choose to invoke a claim about species deciding to “shift ranges” then all progress must stop in order to allow such an event. You can’t make this stuff up. It’s much like hunting causes extermination of species and at the same time hunting causes the expansion of species. How is that possible?

“Maintaining landscape-scale connectivity and conserving a network of ecological reserves within a matrix of undeveloped land (including working forests) offers the best chance of retaining a diverse variety of plants and animals.”

I emboldened all the key phrases that I’m sure came right out of the book of radical Environmentalism. PUKE!

This horse manure continues with no end in sight. It’s sustainable development, it’s Agenda 21, it’s from UNEP, it’s Environmentalism, it’s Fascism, it’s Totalitarianism all rolled up in a nice neat wrap. Nobody takes the time to exam the words to discover the real meaning behind this overreach into our lives, having a group of unelected, government appointed socialists dictating what is best for you and I.

I can’t speak for you but I don’t need anybody telling me how I should live and what is best for me. I do my own thinking. I just wish more of you would give it a try and tell these well-intentioned, dictatorial, oppressive, tyrants to back off.

Go SHAPE your own lifestyle and leave mine alone. I don’t want nor do I need any of your “help.” Especially this kind.

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New Maine IFW Commissioner is a Birdwatcher…Tweet, Tweet, Tweet

That just about covers it from what I can gather. I’ve read just about every puff piece that has been written about Maine’s new commissioner of the Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife (MDIFW) and it appears that when we were promised that her agenda would be “revealed” after the nomination and election process was completed, the Press/Media/Echo-chamber has decided that Judy Camuso is a birdwatcher. I’m afraid that qualification will do little to grow the number of licensed hunters, ward off repeated attacks and lawsuits from environmentalists and animal rights quacks, solve the missing deer herd dilemma, reduce the overgrown black bear population, or mitigate winter ticks that are destroying the moose herd, while increasing the interest in hunting, fishing, and trapping.

But birdwatching is about the extent of it. Either no member of the lamestream press has enough intestinal fortitude to ask any tough questions or Camuso is faster than a speeding bullet able to dodge questions better than any slick politician.

Oh, we are beginning to hear sputtering of how with some “magic beans” to plant, Commissioner Camuso is going to “reach across the aisle” and create the best version of Kumbaya you ever did hear as the magic bean stalk is going to grow tall because the Left and the Right are going to hold hands (of course singing Kumbaya…or is it I Want to Teach the World to Sing in Perfect Harmony?) and water the bean stalk together. AMEN! Praise the Lord!. I need to take a “selfie.”

In an article I read just the other day, once again we are supposed to swallow the notion that what Camuso did during the last anti-bear hunting referendum defines who the person is and what she is going to do. Really? The article took a few liberties and wrote: “…but Camuso believes during the bear referendum she proved her commitment to maintaining hunting practices, including those used to manage the state’s 35,000 black bears. Camuso gave countless talks defending the department’s position… She also vehemently defended the department’s right to take a position on a citizen’s initiative.”

She was almost revealed in a way when the author of this piece took the liberty to state that Camuso “proved her commitment” to hunting practices. However, it was more accurately spelled out that she was very good at defending the rights and positions of the Department of which she was not the head of. And she promoted the position of the department at that time while under the direction of Chandler Woodcock and a governor that didn’t buy into environmentalism so much.

In the article she further explains how she was “committed to our staff,” and swelled with pride to say that even though it was claimed she had death threats during the bear referendum she, “…managed to also hold on to support from the naturalist community.”

I mean, seriously! Think about it…if possible anymore. Why would anyone think with the election of a very far Left governor, that such a politically biased person would appoint a director of the MDIFW who was not able and willing to promote the agendas and ideology of that governor?

I wish some bold member of the press (oxymoron) would simply ask Camuso if push came to shove, will she stand up for the North American Wildlife Management Plan, where game animals are managed as a resources for surplus harvest by hunting, fishing, and trapping, or will she manage according to the high-pressure social demands of environmentalists and animal rights degenerates. It does make a difference.

The Left believes you can manage wildlife at healthy levels by leaving them alone; meaning no hunting. Does the new commissioner believe that is possible? It does make a difference. It can’t be both ways, especially when one side does all the giving while the other does all the taking.

All you idealists can toss out the window any hope that Camuso is going to get the environmentalists to “understand” the hunting community. Understanding is a noun that’s been missing from the vocabulary of the Left for far too long. They do not have any understanding of real science or any notion of a compromise. They want what they want and they will get it no matter the price they and others must pay.

The only real hope in a future that includes hunting, fishing, and trapping is that a government fish and wildlife department does what has been proven successful for many decades and not follow in the path of Environmentalism that practices false Scientism.

I have yet to see anyone who espouses to birdwatching, hiking, kayaking and many other outdoor pursuits and DOES NOT HUNT have a good understanding of the value of this hunting heritage or the toxic onslaught from the Left against hunting, fishing, and trapping.

Nothing would make me any happier than to find out the things I am believing to be true about the new commissioner are completely wrong.

Please make me wrong! It is the only hope of a future that includes hunting, trapping, and fishing.

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Filth in Politics Extends to Hunting

According to George Smith’s article yesterday on his blog, the idea of the Maine Legislature selling moose hunting permits to lodging establishments still runs controversial – as it should.

Smith says that last year the corrupt Legislature used 50 moose permits, valued at some $15,000 each to bribe voters. Oh, that’s not what they would call it but that’s what it was.

You see the Legislature bribes the Maine lodges and in return each “winner” of a moose permit must pay the Legislature a measly $1,500 for each permit. In an attempt to cover up their sin, the Legislature says it uses the money for, “the Moose Research and Management Fund.” How splendid. Is that the money used to determine how to socially best manage the number of moose?

It always amazes me how politicians can wallow in a big vat of excrement and crawl out of it thinking they don’t stink.

The moose lottery, as well as the “Any-Deer Permit” (ADP) allocations stink of political gerry-meandering. These items of bribery, favoritism, and elitism are used to benefit the wealthy – those that can further buy and influence elections.

The losers, of course, are the ignorant people who know no better. Propagandized to think the process of bribery funnels money into good projects, like the “Moose Research and Management Fund,” only steals away opportunities they could have had to fill their freezers. Whether it’s right or wrong matters not. This is corrupt, filthy politics running its course.

I’m surprised to discover the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife (MDIFW) opposes the 50 moose permits being used for bribery. While the Legislature also gives away (bribes) all the ADPs to special interest groups, the MDIFW cow-tows to the demands of guides and outfitters when making decisions on hunting season dates and bag limits in order to keep them happy. Votes? Directly or indirectly that’s the politics behind all of this.

As the corrupt political process continues unfettered, in a brief period of time there will be no ADPs or moose permits available to the common citizen serf. And the lie we are told is that the game animals don’t belong to the king.

I have a bridge in New York I’d like to sell. Call 1-800-who-cares!

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Maine’s New Commissioner Intends to Recruit New Hunters, Anglers

In a Sun Journal article about Maine’s new commissioner of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife (sorry, at this time the link in Google search is no good. Perhaps at a later time if you search “Meet the New Wildlife Boss: Judy Camuso” you will have better luck.), it is stated about Camuso that, “Her top goals are to recruit new people into the agency with the “Citizen Science Program,” recruit more hunters and anglers, and improve communication with the public about how they can participate in outdoor programs.” (emboldening added)

According to the latest report from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the number of hunters and fishermen has seriously declined. From a high of 14.1 million hunters nationwide, that number is now down to 11.1 million.

According to this latest survey and previous ones, some of the major factors that have caused a drop in participation are, land access reductions, available time to hunt and fish, and opposition from environmentalists who oppose hunting and fishing.

I should like to take a moment and point out that although the same survey shows an increase in “wildlife watching” the numbers are misleading if not downright dishonest. Let me simply state that any hunter or fisherman is automatically labeled as a wildlife watcher whether that was their intent or not. So the numbers presented are not an exact representation of the number of people who purposely set out to “wildlife watch.”

If it is a top priority of Commissioner Camuso to recruit more hunters and fishermen, she has a monumental task before her. It has often been stated that although there may be somewhere around 10% of the nationwide population who hunt and fish, an overwhelming majority of people support hunting and fishing as part of a viable wildlife management program. Sadly, that support is dwindling.

One has to wonder what, exactly, can Camuso do to recruit sportsmen, when so many things are now stacked against such an attempt.

If land access is a big wall of prevention, what can the commissioner do to convince land owners to “tear down that wall?” Are there incentives worth pursuing that would prompt a landowner to offer access to their land for hunting and fishing? Some have tried. Few have succeeded. Are there fresh, new approaches to this dilemma? Maybe she has ideas that will work. Let’s hope.

I’m not sure how a wildlife commissioner would approach the problem of sportsmen claiming they don’t have time to hunt and fish like they used to or would like to. Economics is the driver of many things and when a person has to work to make ends meet, how do you convince them that they need to take the time off work to hunt and/or fish?

Perhaps the lack of motivation to take some time off is prompted by lousy hunting and fishing as well as a tiring of the opposition Maine has faced often in recent years from environmentalists and animal rights activists willing to spend millions of dollars to put an end to hunting and fishing. This all tends to spell more doom than encourage more participation.

Which brings me to the third part in this discussion. It would seem to me that if Maine could do a better job at providing bountiful game populations, mainly deer, recruiting would be easier. Deer hunting is really the cash cow but you wouldn’t know if from past management practices and the politics behind them. However, try as they may, the deck is stacked against such an approach.

With the exception of deer, Maine has an abundant bear population that needs to be better controlled. The turkey population is near out of control, judging by the number of landowner complaints and the visual of seeing turkeys overrunning peoples’ property. Moose have always been a favorite of both hunters and wildlife watchers, but managers don’t seem to understand the balance between a healthy moose population, void of deadly winter ticks, and the cash cow that comes from a moose lottery and moose gawking.

So generally speaking, Maine has an abundance of bear, turkey, and moose and yet there is a need for hunters to take this game but few are willing. Why? I hope Camuso has some answers. History shows us that public support is lost when that public sees these valuable game species as nothing but nuisances.

It would seem plausible to me that with so much game (not considering the deer) that’s one deterrent not missing and that the Department should be doing more to get hunters in pursuit. So far nothing has worked. Does Camuso have something up her sleeves? Let’s hope so.

I believe the biggest obstacle is the opposition that exists in this modern culture that have their ideas about animals out of skew. This includes some of the employees at MDIFW. While this opposition may not be that large in numbers – but those numbers are growing – they are well-funded and very vocal. Ongoing threats of lawsuits dampens the courage of any new commissioner regardless of their intentions.

Note: Camuso mentions that several in her department will be retiring and she will have jobs to fill. If she is serious about recruiting, she should make sure those that are hired are not environmental activists anchored in animal rights; that they are believers in the North American Model of Wildlife Management and that hunting, fishing, and trapping are integral and necessary parts of the management policy. It’s time to weed out those more interested in the rights of animals and their protection against hunting and fishing.

How do you curb these threats of lawsuits and do what you know is the right and scientific thing in a wildlife management plan?

The Maine Legislature stopped a recent bill that would have provided hunters with a chance to hunt bear in the Spring. When will the MDIFW stop caving in to the demands (always, always, always) of the Maine Guides Association and do what is scientifically right instead of what is politically best? And while I’m on this discussion, when will MDIFW stop attempting to responsibly manage wildlife when all decisions are too heavily influenced by social demands void of sound science?

Judy Camuso probably has great intentions when she says she wants to recruit more hunters and fishermen. If she is sincere about this and determined enough, there has to first be management changes within the department. Is she prepared to do that? Can she? Maybe?

During the latest anti-bear referendum, we got to see Camuso in action, working for the MDIFW, convincing the Maine population that baiting bear was a necessary part of bear management. It was a great job done and perhaps the one act in many years that gave hunters hope that proper and necessary management took a front seat to the demands of environmentalism. That act probably did more to save, or perhaps recruit, more hunters than anything else the department has done in many years.

Is there more where that came from? Was Judy Camuso’s actions at that time driven by her own perspective of things or was she just following orders from then commissioner Chandler Woodcock? I think we are going to find out…or at least I hope so and the sooner the better.

The new commissioner should take immediate action to save the hunters and anglers Maine already has and then head down that road that will actually recruit more of them.

A monumental task and good luck.

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Maine Leg. Committee Up and Down of Bill Votes

I recently wrote of the Maine Legislative Joint Standing Committee on Inland Fisheries and Wildlife’s unanimous vote of “ought not to pass” on a bill that would have allowed for a Spring bear hunt. The JSC has been up to more tricks.

In a bill (LD27) that will allow the use of crossbows during the bowhunting season on deer was unanimously approved. The Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife’s (MDIFW) commissioner, Judy Camuso, argued in favor of the crossbow use and even supported its use for turkey hunting. The JSC did not vote on such a move.

LD 79 is a bill that would grandfather any shooting range that existed before a recent bill banning shooting ranges within 100 yards of any building. The JSC was unanimous in its recommendation to pass.

A bill (LD 490) to expand the trapping season up to 21 days also passed the committee, while a bill (LD 525) to raise the registration fee for snowmobiles failed.

Next week the committee will vote on a brand new proposal from the Humane Society of the United States that would require all female bears to report to MDIFW headquarters in Augusta to receive the yearly supply of birth control pills. Bears wishing to avoid ingestion of chemicals can option for an IUD. (This is a joke. Ha Ha)

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Maine Leg. Committee Nixes Bill for Spring Bear Hunt

The Maine Joint Standing Committee for Inland Fisheries and Wildlife voted 9-0 that a bill to allow for a Spring bear hunt “ought not to pass.” (Note: 4 members of the committee were absent. Were they out hunting piping plovers?)

Okay, so now we know that the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife (MDIFW) opposes a Spring bear hunt. Does MDIFW oppose that bear hunt because the Maine Guides Association is telling them to oppose it? Hmmmm.

So, what is the MDIFW going to do? Sounding like a broken record, they keep telling us that more bears need to be taken during bear hunting season to mitigate the growth of the animals that are presenting more and more public safety issues each year. And yet, there appears to be little MDIFW is willing to do to solve the problem. Maybe if they wait long enough, Global Warming will take care of the bears.

Who knows?

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Maine Moose Permit Lottery Open For Business

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

Dreaming of the hunt of a lifetime? We are pleased to announce that the 2019 Maine moose permit lottery application process is now open.

Applications for the moose permit lottery will be accepted online only.

The online application process is fast and simple and you receive instant confirmation that you have successfully entered the lottery. 

To apply online, go to mefishwildlife.com and fill out the online moose permit application. There, you will be able to indicate several preferences, including which wildlife management districts (WMD) you are willing to accept a permit in, and if you would accept a permit in another WMD if your name is drawn and all of your top choices are filled. You will also be able to select your preferred hunting season, whether or not you would accept an antlerless permit, and your choice of a sub-permittee. 

The deadline to apply for the lottery is 11:59 p.m. on May 15, 2019.

Applicants are awarded bonus points for each consecutive year that they have applied for the lottery since 1998 without being selected and each bonus point gives the applicant an additional chance in the drawing. Bonus points are earned at the rate of one per year for years one to five, two per year for years six to 10, three per year for years 11 to 15 and 10 per year for years 16 and beyond. Since 2011, applicants can skip a year and not lose their bonus points. So if you applied in 2017 but not in 2018, you will still have your points available if you apply in 2019.

Want to be there for the drawing? The 2019 moose lottery permit drawing will take place at Cabela’s in Scarborough, Maine on June 8, 2019.

For more information about moose hunting in Maine and the moose permit lottery, please visit: mefishwildlife.com

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Proposed Deer Hunting Bills for Maine

Deer hunting bill proposals are making there way before the Legislative Joint Committee on Inland Fisheries and Wildlife. Here’s a look at some, with links for you to view the text of the bills, and some comments that I may have.

LD175 – An Act to Extend the Deer Hunting Season by 2 Saturdays.

In my opinion this is not a good idea. Let me explain my position.

As I understand the bill, the intent here is to give rifle deer hunters 2 extra Saturdays to hunt. These two Saturdays would run the following two Saturdays after the last Saturday of hunting in November. This usually occurs right after Thanksgiving.

It should be noted that the two weeks following the regular firearms season is muzzleloader season. These 2 extra Saturdays being sought coincide with the muzzleloader season.

I am not a very big proponent of the muzzleloader season falling when it does. It is my opinion that running any deer hunting season that late into the season puts an added stress on the deer which are either on their way to winter yard up or are already there.

Adult male deer have undergone a great physical strain through their rutting season. They have eaten little, have lost a lot of weight and stored fat. Further stressing the animal puts it at greater risk of survival during the winter months.

Adding 2 Saturdays of rifle hunters in the woods stressing further the deer population could cause serious damage to the deer herd, of course, depending on what Wildlife Management District (WMD) we are talking about. Certain WMDs would be not under the strains of winter during that time while others, like this past season, deer would already be yarded up. Perhaps changes to this bill might specify WMDs that would not be greatly affected.

It is not that I am opposed to offering hunters extra opportunities. My concern is for the deer herd. When examining hunter opportunities, it must be considered whether the deer herd can withstand the extra strain and the resulting reduction in the herd.

LD188 – An Act To Provide for an Expanded Muzzle-loading-only Deer
Hunting Season

This proposed bill will make it mandatory that the Muzzleloader Season on deer be extended for “12 hunting days” following the close of regular firearms season.

There’s a couple of things that need to be explained here. First, the current laws regulating the muzzleloader season give the commissioner authority to close a season if conditions warrant the need.

Second, the commissioner also has authority to set the season dates. The new proposal would mandate 12 hunting days (two calendar weeks) and remove authority from the commissioner to set the dates. It would not take away the authority of the commissioner to close the season if conditions warrant.

There is little that changes here from the current conditions except taking the authority away from the commissioner to set the muzzleloader season dates and makes the season mandatory. As long as the commissioner can still close the season due to detrimental conditions, I see little difference.

Neither for nor against this bill until such time as more evidence is presented.

LD190 – An Act To Provide Antlerless Deer Permits to Senior Resident
Lifetime Hunting License Holders

The intent of this bill is within its title. It is my understanding that there are currently some 36,000 senior hunters. Many are not aware of the fact that the overwhelming majority of “Any-Deer Permits” (ADP) are already predestined to special interest groups. Adding another 36,000 ADPs to the list will effectively use up all the permits. The ADP system is a tool that is used to manipulate the deer populations per WMD. If the total number of ADPs required to be issued exceeds the biological need, then what? In addition, this bill allows for the holder of a senior ADP to use his/her tag anywhere in the state. This runs contrary to the theory behind utilizing ADPs.

Not only would I oppose this bill but I might suggest another bill that would effectively repeal the issuance of most all other special interest groups’ awards of ADPs.

LD265 – An Act To Increase Opportunities for Hunters, Anglers and
Sporting Camps by Extending the Seasons on Upland Game

The intent of this bill is to open the season on Upland Game on the last Saturday of September in order to better utilize a Saturday to coincide with fishing season. It is stated that this bill would be perhaps an economic advantage for sporting camps.

I think this bill makes sense and not only assist sporting camps but might provide better opportunities to hunt snowshoe hare, gray squirrels, ring-necked pheasants, ruffed grouse, and bobwhite quail. Provided that such a move doesn’t jeopardize the management goals of the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife, this bill appears reasonable.

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Advice and Suggestions to the Maine Department of Fish and Wildlife

A reader sent me a copy of the Maine Sportsman, specifically George Smith’s article about his “advise” to the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife (MDIFW). After reading it, I thought perhaps I would offer something similar. Sometimes I am accused of being only critical of the MDIFW seldom offering constructive criticism or even suggestions on better or different ways in which to do things.

Smith writes of the need to “unlock that door” that prohibits visitors access to the commissioner of the MDFIW. I understand the concept and how convenient it would be to just “drop in” someday and chat with the commissioner. I would like to think that the real situation playing at the offices of the MDIFW has more to do with security than a want to lock themselves up and separate them from the public. I might be wrong. We do live in a strange time in which most people are always aware and subjected to enhanced security measures.

TURKEYS

George writes about what he would do about turkey management and the role that hunting plays in that management. For the most part I think he brings up some good points, i.e. too many turkeys, too few hunters, and the barrier of license fees that prohibit more people from trying or getting involved in turkey hunting and harvesting a turkey that would aide the MDIFW with their management goals.

Originally, I had thought that Smith’s idea of including turkey hunting as part of a Big Game Hunting License wouldn’t fly because the MDIFW would not be willing to give up that revenue from turkey license fees. Is there a trade-off here? Will somehow opening up the turkey season to reduced cost (and loss of fees to MDIFW) be made up in other ways? Perhaps.

I think that consensus must be reached as to whether there are too many turkeys and how critical it is that turkey populations be reduced. If, more people gained interest in turkey hunting, perhaps down the road, as populations came more in line with management goals, turkey license fees could be levied again. If a reduction in the number of turkeys is urgently needed, and I think if we haven’t gotten there yet we soon will, then the MDIFW must do what is expedient to make the reductions in numbers necessary to be responsible for the healthy management of these game birds.

FISHERIES

Fisheries is far from my strong point and knowledge base. I am not at all that qualified to offer the MDIFW advice on how to specifically manage the fisheries in the State of Maine. How fortunate for some.

MOOSE

Odd isn’t it, in many ways, that some are opposed to the reduction of moose populations to mitigate the winter ticks’ destruction of the moose herd but think nothing about advocating the complete destruction of a herd of deer to get rid of Lyme disease. Perhaps if more evidence pointed a finger at the health risk to humans from the winter tick, mindsets might change.

I have written extensively on Maine’s moose and what I believe to be the need to bring the moose population in Maine to levels that seriously reduce the presence and perpetuation of winter ticks that are inhumanely and unnecessarily causing moose to suffer and die during long and cold winters.

Smith laments about the loss of businesses associated with moose watching now that Mother Nature took over where wildlife management failed. During the heyday of the overgrown moose populations, some scrambled and took advantage, as any good entrepreneur might do, looking for ways to exploit the abundant moose for profit. It might have been fun while it lasted but the lesson that should be learned here might be at what price do we exploit any wildlife animal for lucre? As grown adults we should see that having enough moose around that many got into the business of moose watching tours was but a flash in that pan. Time to move on. We have learned that attempting to grow moose in numbers for capitalistic enterprises is a terrible thing to do to the animal – part of the downside of attempting to manage any species while being driven by social demands.

More recent studies are suggesting what some of us knew a long time ago – that too many moose was the cause of the aggressive expanse of winter ticks resulting in high mortality rates on the large beast.

The MDIFW should move quickly to determine at what population Maine’s moose will be most healthy while still providing opportunities for Maine residents to harvest a moose and fill their freezers.

I suggest that the MDIFW, once establishing moose populations, based on sound science and not social demands, issue enough permits or a long enough season to bring the population under a control that reduces the tick infestation. Once that is accomplished, permit for the future can be issued accordingly. Letting Mother Nature do the job is not only irresponsible but is a waste of a terrific natural resource.

DEER

Smith tells readers that the MDIFW stopped managing deer in northern Maine and only “manages” moose. I don’t know if this is actually an official position taken by the MDIFW, but it appears there is at least quite a bit of evidence to support that statement.

Smith claims that because Maine failed to protect winter habitat in Northern and Western Maine, the deer herd “was lost.” I concur the deer herd was lost but I think it had other influences than just a loss of habitat. A lot of things have changed over the years, one thing being the behavior of the deer. While deer are learning how to adapt to that loss of winter habitat, we humans remain locked in our unadaptable behavior of insisting on things being the way they were when our fathers hunted the whitetails.

Each time I have listened to the worn out excuse that deer have disappeared because of loss of winter habitat, I have always asked why, if that is true, thousands of acres of old winter habitat, still in winter habitat condition, is void of deer? Never an answer.

Loss of winter habitat in the classical sense, can and does have an effect on the deer population. Attempting to somehow “manage” deer to return to unwanted winter habitat, is an example of managers failing to learn and adjust to changes of the deer population and their habits. When we see this failure, one can’t help but wonder how much we can rely on the deer managers “estimate” of deer populations and other management shortcomings.

We failed to learn quickly enough that attempting to manage moose populations at high enough levels that tourism benefitted, the moose herd suffered terribly due to exposure and anemia from blood sucking winter ticks. Deer populations are suffering but perhaps in different ways because the ecosystem in which they have traditionally comfortably inhabited have and are changing. The deer are adapting as best they can but our management tactics are not. Evidently the preference is to give up.

Too many moose compete with deer. Too many large predators kill deer and fawns and this is challenging the stability of the deer population and in some places we are witnessing the unsustainability of a deer herd. Are we to just blame it on loss of winter habitat and Climate Change or should we be responsible stewards of our wild game animals?

If we are to mitigate the cause for the lack of deer in portions of Northern and Western Maine, isn’t the responsible thing to do is to reduce the bear and coyote populations to give the deer a chance? If we simply stop deer management because loss of habitat and Climate Change is the excuse, what then can we expect of all of our game and wildlife species going forward?

Managers have a responsibility to care for all of these game species. Giving up on one species in certain areas, tells me that there is lack of knowledge and poor management skills involved. The epitome of wildlife management failures is giving in to some man’s fictitious notion that the globe is warming and the northern border of the whitetail deer’s habitat is moving south, while our neighbors to the north continue to work at managing their deer. If Climate Change is causing such chaos that is forcing the destruction of habitat for deer, then it makes sense that other more northern species are migrating south according to the changes. Is this happening? No. A warming climate, as claimed, should be reducing the affects of severe winters. Is that happening? No.

There’s little more that managers can do to stop the perceived reduction of winter habit and deer habitat in general short of demanding more totalitarian tactics to take property and property rights away from people and corporations. It’s easy, from afar, to stand in judgement over landowners, demanding they relinquish their rights as property owners in order to enhance the habitat of any wild animal. The tough part to deer management is maximizing what is left and working in earnest to make the best of what we have. Even if deer densities in Northern and Western Maine aren’t at ideal levels, is that reason enough to simply walk away and say, we tried?

There is no need to kill off all the coyotes/wolves in Maine or reduce bear populations to levels that give us more deer than are needed to balance a very valuable resource. All that is stopping this effort is the MDIFW’s insistence on caving to social demands. I suppose to them in the short term it is easier to cave in than to stand up to those demands supported by strong scientific evidence. And that may be the actual problem. Does the MDIFW have or want the strong scientific evidence?

BEAR

The MDIFW has a very good bear study program. Some claim that program is the envy of all other fish and wildlife departments. Only radical animal rights groups or individuals would argue that there are too many bear. The MDIFW publicly admits they need to reduce the bear population, but so far, have done little to solve that problem. Perhaps they are moving at a speed that only politics and social demands allow them. Time for change.

Having too many bears presents several problems – public safety and a disruption of population goals of other species such as deer and moose. Fortunately, bear hibernate, otherwise God only knows what kind of destruction they would wreak on weakened deer in deer wintering areas.

Some studies suggest that the presence of bear has more negative impact on deer than do coyotes/wolves. Maybe the current studies that the MDIFW are conducting on moose and deer will help us gain better understanding on this concept.

Regardless, it appears Maine must reduce bear populations. But how? One problem that jumps out immediately is the power of the guides and outfitters placing demands on the MDIFW to manage bears according to their wishes that would best maximize their business profits. While it is understandable that this is important to the private enterprises, should the MDIFW continue to allow increased public safety concerns and actual reductions in deer populations, and perhaps even moose, simply to appease these groups? Of course not, but when will the MDIFW move to do anything about it? Perhaps the time is now.

Like with turkey hunting, Maine needs to find easier and less expensive ways to encourage more hunters to take up the challenge. Hunters that have little interest in bear hunting might change their mind if hunting bear were part of a Big Game License all the time during open season on bear.

Bag limits should be raised. The late summer bear hunt should have a minimum of a two-bear limit – perhaps three in some areas. If that doesn’t do the trick, then a Spring bear hunt may be necessary. Regulations can be employed to mitigate the killing of cubs as has been proven in other places that have Spring bear hunts.

The MIDFW has done a respectable job of working to ward off the radical animal rights groups bent on closing down bear hunting. They should increase and improve this effort to include everything they do with wildlife management. Two bear referendums have proven that maintaining a passive posture and making management decisions based on social demands is not only irresponsible, but ridiculous, almost childish. If wildlife managers and their administration don’t have or believe the science necessary to responsibly managed their wildlife, they should be out of a job. There should be little room given to social demands when it comes to scientifically managing game.

OPERATIONS

There are certain aspects of running a fish and game department that should be within the control of the commissioner, who, of course, answers to the governor. Open and closed seasons should be within the control of the commissioner. That person, along with the managers and biologists in the department, are the ones who should know what is going on and what is needed, not the Humane Society of the United States, other animal rights groups, or even the Legislature. Such social and political powers spoil any scientific approach at wildlife management. It may take an act of the Legislature to effect such changes.

We live in a time where these powerful animal rights and environmentalists have gained control over our factories of higher indoctrination. The result of this is now showing up in our fish and game departments where the concerns are more about the “rights” of animals and away from a consumptive, use of a natural resources approach to wildlife management.

Scientifically, it has been proven that the North American Model of Wildlife Management works. Those opposed to this form of wildlife management know this and have been working tireless to “change the way wildlife management is discussed.” Along with this has come the social demands to place equal rights and protections on animals as are given to humans.

Outdoor advocates, hunters, trappers, fishermen, as well as all those who understand and believe in the necessity of consumptive use to best manage and control wildlife, should demand that the commissioner be more selective and demanding of those that are hired as biologists and wildlife managers. Candidates should be screened as to their idealism and positions on animal rights and hunting, fishing, and trapping. To responsibly utilize hunting and fishing as part of the overall plans for wildlife management, cannot have room for animal rights advocates or those opposed to this system.

Some have called for money from general taxation to support the MDIFW. It is my opinion this would be a very big mistake. First of all, before any MORE money is dumped in the lap of this department, a complete audit should be undertaken so that all will know exactly what every penny is spent on and where every penny comes from to run the department. If more money is needed, then that has to come from fee increases and not from general taxation. Here’s why.

With money sent to the MDIFW from general taxation, along with it will be demands from the general taxpayer for bigger representation. This opens the door even further for more infiltration by environmentalists who want to “change the way we discuss wildlife management.”

We have seen this already. Where once the MDIFW used to be the department of fish and game, other states have gotten rid of their fish and game names completely, replaced with departments of natural resources.

With a weakening of the managerial understanding and knowledge of how wildlife management should run, further expedites the dreaded end to responsible wildlife management, replaced by VooDoo Science and Romance Biology.

The only way the MDIFW can survive as a bonafide fish and game department is if it remains out of the control of Environmentalism.

The MDIFW does many things well. Some things they have little control over. Certainly there is room for improvement and if others, like me, realize that if we don’t do something to change those things that are sending us in the wrong direction and away from the North American Model of Wildlife Management, the good that we enjoy now will soon be lost. Let’s not let that happen.

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