November 14, 2018

Michigan’s Elk, Hunting Heritage Receive Boost from RMEF Grants

Press Release from the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation:

MISSOULA, Mont.—In continuing its long-term relationship in Michigan, the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation awarded more than $30,000 in grant funding to benefit elk, elk habitat and hunting programs in the Wolverine State.

“We are excited to make this funding as Michigan is celebrating 100 years of elk on the ground,” said Blake Henning, RMEF chief conservation officer. “The grants will benefit elk and other wildlife by improving habitat across the elk range.”

Michigan is home to more than 6,000 RMEF members and 19 chapters. RMEF volunteers raised the funds by hosting banquets, membership drives and other events.

“We can’t say enough about our volunteers,” said Kyle Weaver, RMEF president and CEO. “They provide their time, talents and abilities to further our conservation mission of ensuring the future of elk, other wildlife, their habitat and our hunting heritage. We simply cannot do it without them.”

Here are RMEF’s 2018 projects in Michigan, listed by county:

Cheboygan County

·        Remove brush and invasive autumn olive from 70 acres of openings and seed with annual rye to build soils that will later be planted to cool season legumes that are more palatable for elk and other wildlife in the Pigeon River State Forest and can be maintained by mowing and fertilizing.

·        Remove all brush and small trees to maintain and restore openings across 111 acres of the Pigeon River State Forest while also tilling and planting vegetation to benefit elk and other wildlife.


Otsego County

·        Provide funding for a conservation easement to permanently protect 56 acres of prime wildlife and riparian habitat along the Pigeon River.


Macomb County

·        Provide funding for equipment to benefit the Trinity Lutheran School’s archery program in Clinton Township that teaches 6th through 8th grade students about archery, teamwork and competition.


Statewide

·        Provide funding for the two-day Michigan Youth Hunter Education Challenge in Lansing that offers youth an opportunity to test their skills at a variety of hunting techniques under simulated hunting conditions. The event includes archery, muzzleloading, shotgun and .22 rifle shooting in addition to wildlife identification, orienteering and hunter safety and ethics.

RMEF funded its first Michigan project in 1990, a three-year cooperative study with Michigan Department of Natural Resources and Michigan State University to collect data on the movement and population of Michigan’s elk. At the time, Michigan’s elk herd was the only wild, free-ranging huntable elk herd east of the Mississippi.

Since 1990, RMEF and its partners completed 159 conservation and hunting heritage outreach projects with a combined value of more than $5.4 million. These projects protected or enhanced 5,897 acres of habitat and opened or improved public access to 877 acres.

Michigan project partners include the Michigan Department of Natural Resources as well as other sportsmen, outdoor industry, additional organizations and private landowners.

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Pretty in Pink? Or, An Amish Meeting Has Begun?

*Editor’s Note* – I must apologize for the gross error that I made when I wrote this article. Whether it was old age or just laziness and stupidity, I referred to the group in Maine who lobbied for an exemption to wearing hunter orange clothing as the Quakers. I have written more than one article in the past year about this event and in those articles, I correctly referred to the group as the Amish, not the Quakers. I have gone through the below article and changed the name of Quaker to Amish. I apologize if I have offended some. It was not my intention. Thank you. (2/1/18 9:30 a.m.) Find previous articles here, here, here, here.

I knew it only a matter of time before a ridiculous law the State of Maine passed allowing a group of Amish, who say they can’t wear bright clothing, don’t have to wear Hunter Orange as is required by law, before other groups would jump in making demands of what kind and/or color clothing they prefer to wear while hunting.

Maine, even though it decided that the reason the state requires Hunter Orange clothing is for safety, got trumped by a stupid request from a tiny bunch of Amish seeking an exemption from wearing the “bright colored” clothing.

Now it appears that in Michigan a bill has been introduced that will allow anyone, not just women (after all it is difficult to tell the difference these days), to wear blaze pink when they go hunting, because as one person stated, “Women prefer to always look and feel attractive (even while hunting), having pink as an option can help with any insecurities over what they are wearing, pink is a color that can immediately identify a female, women don’t want to be mistaken for a man, even from a distance or in the woods.”

There is an argument that can be made that women don’t want to look like men. Everywhere I go today, I see what I think are women dressed up like men and vice-versa. Is it important that the few women who want to “feel attractive” while hunting, forego the hunting safety issue just as Maine did when it came to appeasing a group of Amish?

As someone so eloquently put it, “Nobody looks good wearing hunter orange!” Hunting isn’t a fashion statement and the last time I checked it wasn’t restricted to only one sex. Did lawmakers act in a sexist fashion to devise this safety law? If the laws were devised for public safety, and that safety issue is a time-proven event, then religious sects who think their god will send them to eternal damnation, should stop hunting. What god would condemn bright clothing but allow getting all bloody killing animals. And if women feel it necessary to “feel attractive” while hunting, take up modeling.

All of this is just completely insane and proves the world has gone insane. One man was quoted as saying, “This borders on the absurd.” No, it doesn’t border on the absurd. It is beyond that. There is no longer any sense or sensibility or the reasoning skills and mental prowess to even know the difference.

INSANITY!

 

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Will Michigan Make The Same Mistake and Designate Wolves as a “Game” Species?

It appears that, despite the Courts blocking of all efforts to implement management of wolves in Michigan, the state rule makers are moving forward bills that would designate the wolf as a game species, setting the stage for a controlled wolf hunt, should the Federal Government ever decide to remove the gray wolf from the list of Endangered Species.

Wolves are a predator and mass killer and need to be controlled, not hunted or trapped as a game species.

More information can be found here.

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Why Animals Eat Their Young

It has been reported that three women decided it would be fun to go “tubing” on the Muskegon River in Michigan. They had never been tubing before. Perhaps they had never been out of their houses either. They stepped out and bought some tubes and headed for a popular put-in location. According to one of the women who became “lost,” they were told by “someone” that the river goes in a circle; that if they launched at this particular site they would return back to their car where they started.

They didn’t return for some strange reason and spent 20 hours on the river screaming for help.

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Environmentalists Petition Feds Seeking ESA Listing for Moose

Described as a “subspecies” of moose, the animal in parts of Michigan, Minnesota, Wisconsin and North Dakota has received attention in the form of a petition to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) to place the subspecies (Alces alces andersoni) on the Endangered Species Act list for federal protection.

Readers need to be made aware of certain lies that are always told the people, by both the petitioners and the Federal and State Governments. As an example, the USFWS said in response to the petition, “This substantial 90-day finding initiates a rigorous status review in which the Service will determine whether the species warrants listing under the Endangered Species Act.” It is doubtful this will happen. We already know that the USFWS does not have (at their convenience – wink, wink) the resources to do this and historically, we know they do just as they damn well please. They run rough shod over anything or anybody who stands in the way of them fulfilling their agendas. (Visit the Mexican wolf introduction fiasco)

We also find this enormous lie: “To ensure the process is comprehensive and the final determination is based on the best available scientific and commercial data, the Service has opened a 60-day comment period to solicit relevant information from the public.” There are two important aspects of this statement that are flat out false. One is that the USFWS is seeking “best available science.” They are not and never have. Best Available Science is what they determine works best for them. They hand select whatever information is given to them, if it fits their narrative, and deliberately and irresponsibly disregard the rest. This we have seen often through the history of the Endangered Species Act (ESA).

The second aspect is that they are seeking “relevant information from the public.” It is relevant only if they deem it to be so. When I thoroughly examined the Environmental Impact Statement devised by the USFWS as a requirement of introduction of gray wolves into the Northern Rockies (see my book Wolf: What’s to Misunderstand?), it became very clear that all information the USFWS placed front and center was only information that could be used to support their wish to introduce the gray wolves. Every issue that the USFWS listed as unimportant, are, at present, the only important issues that the American people are facing today. What then, does that tell us about this fascist and rigged government structure we are now forced to live under?

Therefore, we all should be made aware that the process that is undertaken by the petitioners, as well as the Federal Government, is a rigged farce. Moose will be listed or not listed depending upon first, what the USFWS wants to do, and second, how much money is in for the petitioners. In reality, the status of the moose is immaterial. It’s about the status of the rigged political process that is the ONLY determining factor. All else is nothing but smoke and mirrors. It’s not about moose. It’s about political ideology.

The environmentalists, pretending that they are actually concerned about the preservation of anything other than their bank accounts, believe that listing the moose as an endangered animal will allow for the needed protections to save the “subspecies.” Because Isle Royale is included in this listing proposal, will environmentalists work to keep moose protected on the island by killing wolves?

As always, we can sit back and watch the dog and pony show. Perhaps the environmentalists need some money and so the USFWS will play their usual game of pretending in order that you and I have to pay some more tax dollars to cover the legal costs of the environmentalists because the Government could not chose not to fulfill their end of the rigged process.

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Marenisco, Michigan Fighting Wolf Problem

“It’s a big problem up here,” he said. “I know the DNR’s hands are pretty much tied as far as what we can do about these wolves since they’ve been relisted (on the endangered species list) by court order, but I live this every day and I’m responsible for the safety of these people. I have to deal with it on a daily basis and no one wants to listen to what we have to say up here. Something has to be done.

“Mahler said one of the most prominent local trappers in the Marenisco area recently set out his coyote traps and trapped 11 wolves before getting one coyote. Of course, the trapper had to let the wolves go, but the number that were trapped before even one coyote was trapped illustrates the extent of the wolf population in that area.

Source: Marenisco fighting predator problem – The Northwoods River News – Rhinelander, Wisconsin

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Predator-Prey Study: Wolves not threat to deer you may think

*Editor’s Note* – I have not read the entire report referenced in the below link. Most of the information presented is sensible and seems to substantiate most all other real scientific studies on predator prey relationships.

However, it still amazes me that Mr. Beyer, one of the DNR researchers makes some puzzling and seemingly contradictory statements. First he is quoted as saying that wolves will NOT decimate a deer herd. This is followed by: “What we know from the scientific literature is there are only two reports where wolves are believed to have contributed to a substantial reduction of deer … winter weather is still the driving factor, even in the low-snow zone,”

Even though the article begins by stating that there are several factors involved with trying to determine predator prey relationships, all of a sudden it now appears that none of that matters because “only two reports” suggest that wolves are believed to decimate deer herds.

I don’t know those reports but I’m willing to wager they are pro wolf, fake science reports.

I will not dispute that winter weather is a driving force of great influence on deer survival. Perhaps Beyer believes that 100 years from now there will be wolves, coyotes and deer sharing habit – and there may well be. But what happens in the interim? We cannot control the weather. We can only mitigate disease with good sound wildlife management. The possibility exists that wild swings in deer populations will be a reality. We also know through scientific studies that with the right combination of circumstances, uncontrolled large predators can easily destroy a deer herd and keep it at levels that are unsustainable. If this is the conditions in which the DNR believes will not decimate a deer herd, then one has to believe their goals will be the elimination of hunting as a management tool.

All this being said, the data being shared in this article reinforces what many of us have always known about the relationship of deer with weather and predators.

“We’ve been surprised by a few things in Phase I (low-snow study),” notes Dean Beyer, a researcher with the DNR. “We learned that adult does were avoiding core wolf areas and that coyotes were avoiding them, too. That put coyotes and does in the same area, which probably resulted in a greater mortality by coyotes. And we were all surprised by the rate at which bobcats killed fawns. The rate is much higher than other species.”

Source: Predator-Prey Study: Wolves not threat to deer you may think | MLive.com

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Senate Panel Backs Bill to End ESA Protection of Wolves in 4 States, and Prohibit Court Interference

A Senate committee has approved a Republican amendment to strip federal protection from gray wolves in three Great Lakes states and Wyoming. The measure also prohibits courts from intervening in those states on behalf of the embattled predator.

Source: Senate panel backs bill to drop wolf protections in 4 states, including Michigan

FingerinDyke

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Wolves attack dog near Gwinn, Michigan

A Forsyth Township man is looking for help from the Department of Natural Resources following a wolf attack on one of his dogs. Dennis Stachewicz was out walking one of his German Shorthaired Pointers Sunday afternoon, when two wolves surrounded his dog, Gabby.

Source: Wolves attack dog near Gwinn | News, Weather, Sports, Breaking News | WLUC

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Traditional Hunting Practices Replaced With “Everyone’s a Participant” Mentality

I never thought the day would come when I would become a cantankerous old bastard, but here it is I guess. What’s the world coming to…except a rapid end?

Growing up in Maine and being a part of a deer hunting family, the goal was to bag the big buck. Second to that was to hear about someone who did and, yes, see if your buck was bigger than there buck. It was a healthy competition as most competitions are. But that has all changed, it seems. (Note: Without counting and measuring the big one, there will never be any stories to embellish and pass down. What’s the point in living?)

Yesterday, I discovered a news article where the writer, evidently on “assignment” from his boss, seeks to find out, “Why are people so interested in big deer?” If you are of the generation that I grew up with, you might ask, “Are you kidding me?” If you’re of the younger generation, probably you will ask, “Yeah, what the heck does anybody care about big deer or big bear or HOW MANY DEER OR BEAR WERE TAKEN THIS SEASON? I “participated.” Isn’t that enough?

I guess living in an age where everyone gets a “trophy” the idea of being in any kind of competition for biggest deer, biggest bear, biggest moose, seems, well, unfair to some. Everybody is a winner, right?

To continue my harp on the subject of why the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife (MDIFW) fails miserably in making available game animal’s harvest data, without discovering a better explanation, perhaps the reason is rooted in the same new age nonsense of “everybody’s a wiener.” (not a typo) Maybe MDIFW is afraid of offending someone if they published in newspapers, on a timely and regular basis, harvest information. Maybe they fear promoting competition among sportsmen and sportswomen. GASP!

BigDeer

Here is an example of the State of Michigan reporting deer harvest numbers as the days progress throughout the deer hunting season. It seems they are not afraid of offending somebody and perhaps they might even understand that deer hunters want to know how many and how big.

Pennsylvania is telling their people how many bears were taken on the first day of bear hunting season. But wait! What does Pennsylvania think it’s doing also letting people know how big the biggest bear tagged, so far, is? That might offend somebody.

MaineDeerBiologist

Yup, things they are a changing. When it is normal that a news editor would assign someone to discover what the fascination is about big dear, or any large-game animal, what future is there for the sport? And as is pointed out in the above photograph, “Do ya think the anti-hunting, anti-trophy folks got a hand in this?”

YOU BET!

BigBears

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