September 20, 2017

Are Radio Tracking Collars Just a Waste of Money?

One might think so.

I was reading last night a story about what authorities in Minnesota are saying is killing their moose. According to this report, Minnesota once had 8,840 moose in 2006 and now there are only 3,710 “based on aerial surveys in January.”

What about those surveys?

We are told that that between 2013 and 2015, 173 moose were collared as part of a planned study to determine why the moose were dying. It has been reported that because of animal rights perverts’ complaints about the study (probably fearing the study might prove their ideology wrong), the governor stopped any further collaring of moose and essentially the study ended and one has to wonder whether much or any of the information they claim to publish is worth camel dung.

The report says, “Of 173 moose that were captured and fitted with GPS-transmitting collars from 2013 to 2015, here’s what happened to them:

* 28 moose are still alive with collars that are working.

* 53 are believed to be alive but their collars have stopped working.

* 23 are presumed to be still alive but their collars fell off and their status is unknown.
* 12 died immediately after being collared so were not part of the mortality study.
* 57 died with working collars and are the basis for the mortality study data — the moose where cause of death is known”
57 moose, out of 3,710 is the sample used in making their determinations as to what is killing Minnesota’s moose. I doubt that the pie chart they have provided is very accurate and can tell us only what perhaps killed those 57 moose.
But it gets worse. Minnesota officials tell us that collars are very problematic. “It’s frustrating. It’s disappointing. But it’s still a developing technology. Everyone who uses collars like this has issues. There’s a lot that can go wrong,”
The report also contains some other interesting bits of information. As an example, some have determined that the moose are “malnourished.” Undernourishment is being blamed on habitat and there are indications that the highest survival rates for moose are coming in areas that recently saw very large forest fires and the forests have begun to regenerate.
In addition, calf survival rates are running around 30% which, if accurate, tells us it is doubtful that there would be any growth in the moose herd contributed from newborn moose. And, those moose calves, according to Minnesota officials, are being killed mostly by wolves and bear.
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Logging, intentional fires planned in Superior National Forest to improve moose habitat

*Editor’s Note* – Well, I’m confused but that probably doesn’t surprise many of you. Last time I checked Minnesota officials said there was little to be done about saving the state’s moose herd because “global warming” was causing everything imaginable that might work against the moose herd…including the defeat of Hillary Clinton last November.

Using the circular reasoning of unreasoned circular nonsensical clap-trap, isn’t cutting down forests contributing to global warming which in turn kills off the moose herd?

“Twenty years ago the Superior National Forest was criticized for allowing loggers to cut too many trees, especially too many large swaths of forest.

Environmental groups and others contended that so-called clear-cuts were more than just an aesthetic eyesore, but that they contributed to monocultures of small aspen trees and disrupted wildlife that depended on thick, mature forests of big, old trees.

The Forest Service responded by cutting back on cutting.

Flash-forward a couple decades, however, and plans to cut more and larger swaths of trees are getting high praise. Wildlife biologists and others say more logging and more fire are the only hope for Minnesota’s dwindling moose herd.”<<<Read More>>>

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Hold On To Your Wallet

Letter to the St. Paul Pioneer Press – by James Beers

Hold On To Your Wallet

The Headline says it all; “DNR wants increased fees”.

Our “perpetual tax and spend” Governor and his DNR Commissioner “need” hunting and fishing license fee increases of 10 to 15% “to keep up with inflation”. Haven’t our federal politicians claimed there is no inflation, or is that just to keep us retirees from asking questions?

So, “without the hike, the DNR will be forced to make several cuts”, the first of which will be “reducing the workforce”. Then without “additional funding”, roads will not be maintained, there will be fewer wildlife surveys, and walleye stocking will decrease.

Before we swallow this bait, please answer two questions:

  1. What is the trend of license sales for non-resident deer hunting, non-resident fishing and resident hunting and fishing?  Considering the devastation of walleye lakes due to indiscriminate netting, the loss of moose hunting license fees due to wolves, and the complaints of deer hunters about wolf decimation of northern deer herds; paying you to “maintain wildlife programs at current levels” seems foolish.
  2. How much of our license dollars, federal Excise Taxes and other funds including all the “incidental” law enforcement, trapping, public relations, etc. are you spending on wolves and how much more will you be spending on wolves if and when your federal counterparts “Return Wolf Management to the State” except, of course for our right to set numbers, distributions, methods of take, sale of parts, etc.?

Note to the St. Paul paper.  Since you so blithely refer to folks like me as members of the “hook and bullet” groups; how about referring to those “supporters” of the increases as “wolf-lover” groups and “indiscriminate fish-netter-lover” groups?

Jim Beers

16 April 2017

If you found this worthwhile, please share it with others.  Thanks.

Jim Beers is a retired US Fish & Wildlife Service Wildlife Biologist, Special Agent, Refuge Manager, Wetlands Biologist, and Congressional Fellow. He was stationed in North Dakota, Minnesota, Nebraska, New York City, and Washington DC.  He also served as a US Navy Line Officer in the western Pacific and on Adak, Alaska in the Aleutian Islands.  He has worked for the Utah Fish & Game, Minneapolis Police Department, and as a Security Supervisor in Washington, DC.  He testified three times before Congress; twice regarding the theft by the US Fish & Wildlife Service of $45 to 60 Million from State fish and wildlife funds and once in opposition to expanding Federal Invasive Species authority.  He resides in Eagan, Minnesota with his wife of many decades.

Jim Beers is available to speak or for consulting.

You can receive future articles by sending a request with your e-mail address to:   jimbeers7@comcast.net

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Minnesota Busts Two Guys Who Must Be The World’s Worst Trappers

The mouse that roared!

Minnesota officials are claiming to have nabbed two old men, 70 and 68 years of age, illegally running traps lines. Officials state they confiscated 638 illegally-set snares. It appears officials have had these two duffers under investigation since 2014.

According to one media report, a northern Minnesota trapper, said these men were not trappers, they were “butchers.” That may be an accurate description…or not, when you consider what 638 traps yielded. If you want to call them trappers, they were extremely poor at what appears to be an illegal enterprise.

Minnesota is claiming this to be the biggest trapping bust in the state’s history. I’m guessing finding 638 traps is big for two men, but for that effort, the state officials report only confiscating one wolf, “17 foxes, five snowshoe hares, two fisher, and one deer that the poachers had illegally taken.” And I repeat all taken, I don’t think the deer was, by at least 638 traps. Astounding!

Charges ranged from not tending traps as required by regulation, unmarked traps, loops in snares sized improperly, unreported or untagged game, etc. Are we to think these two clowns intended to obey the laws after putting out 638 traps? *Note* – According to the trapping rules and regulations of Minnesota, there is no limit on the number of traps one trapper can put out. A trapper is supposed to check traps daily. I doubt two old men could tend a dozen traps each a day.

One person who left a comment at the site of the media report asked, “You spent two years and how many tax dollars following and collecting evidence on these guys and the worst they can get is a 3K fine and a year in jail? Seriously?”

One does wonder why it took 3 years to shut these two guys down.

However, never fear because the idiot wolf lovers, along with their lackeys at the newspaper, are using the event to promote the banning of all trapping to protect wolves, stating how inhumane snaring is. I always have wondered how something to do with animals is called “inHUMANe” when animals aren’t HUMAN…well, at least not in the minds of sane people.

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Deer Management Dollars: Don’t Question Government. Take Their Word as Fact

*Editor’s Note* – The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources wants to increase hunting license fees from $30.00 to $34.00, and they say the increase is needed for “maintaining the level of deer management Minnesota has. Not increasing it.” In addition, the government says we’ll have to take their word for it when they say that most of the money from hunting license fees goes toward deer management even if a recent audit didn’t show that…or can’t show that. Officials say that employees of DNR don’t closely scrutinize how much work actually benefits deer….or something. Perhaps they consider Facebook time as deer management?

The Minnesota Deer Hunters Association (MDHA) have previously voiced concern the the DNR was doing a poor job at deer management and claim the proof is in the fact that hunting success has dropped off, along with deer populations.

First of all, name me another non governmental organization that gets a greater than 10% increase in their income upon request. I thought so. What’s difficult to understand is, if the MDHA is not happy with the DNR’s deer management, why then are they seemingly negotiating with the government on how much the increase will be for the hunting license and many other fees paid by sportsmen? It appears a simply rejection of this proposal is in order.

This is a classic example of insanity and the redundant belief that throwing money at something makes it better. Over the many years I’ve covered these topics, I often hear sportsmen comment that they think they get a lot for the amount of money they pay for a license. Is that the issue? It shouldn’t be but I assure you it’s part of the problem. The questioning should be as to whether or not YOUR license dollars are being spent in the way you want them spent…without blindly accepting the word of corrupt government that they are looking out for you.

If only $2.00 of a $30.00 hunting license fee goes to deer management, and the overwhelming majority goes toward the “general fund,” in which government bureaucrats say is used to benefit deer and deer management, then Minnesota hunters are being hosed and they should do something about it.

Another issue to consider, but seldom is, is the insanity of something being unacceptable and money is being requested to “maintain” the same level of insanity. Either deer management is good or it’s not. Either way all government fascists should be required to explain precisely where every penny goes. Dumping money into a general fund is the government’s favorite way of using that money for personal pet projects, etc. Perhaps cutting the budget, along with other IMPROVEMENTS, would be a better option. Governments get very comfortable with their lying, cheating and stealing and expect you and I will continue to support their bad habits.

Most sportsmen get quite angry when they find out that any fish and game department is using game license fees to support non game activities. It’s doubly angering when how such funds are being spent is unclear because there is no accounting for it, and triply angering when government says, “TRUST ME.”

“Here’s how the $30 from a deer license is currently set up,” Engwall said. “One dollar goes into a special deer-bear management account. Fifty cents goes into an emergency deer feeding/deer health [think CWD] account. Fifty cents goes into a wolf management account. Twenty-six dollars goes into the Game and Fish Fund. And only $2 goes into the dedicated deer management account.”<<<Read More>>>

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Minnesota Wolves: No Kudos from Here

The following article from a Northern Minnesota newspaper describes a 40-year US Fish and Wildlife Service (retired) Wolf Biologist admitting that wolves in Minnesota have indeed decimated the Minnesota moose population and that, undoubtedly, any attempt to increase moose numbers in Minnesota would be akin to introducing impalas into a lion cage at the zoo.

Since retiring here 8 years ago, no other subject caused the shunning and downright rudeness I experienced than my saying or writing that the moose were declining due to wolf predation.  Newspaper reporters said I was stupid and the Minnesota DNR and the University of Minnesota authored article after article in the papers that went on at great length about “ticks”, “global warming” and “unspecified diseases” being the cause for the moose decline and the loss of the moose hunting season. Such articles always carried the following disclaimer that I paraphrase, “While some claim wolf predation is a factor, the one thing we are certain about is that wolf predation does not diminish moose populations”.

Many of my colleagues today are cheering the fact that Dr. Mech has “seen the light” and is “man enough to admit it” regarding the suddenly discovered fact that wolves are THE cause of the demise of moose in Minnesota.  I offer no such cheer.

The federal wolves are here in Minnesota in great densities.  Mech and the DNR and all the University “experts” have profited in great measure from protecting wolves that have been destroying moose populations, moose watching and creating many, many other negative impacts from their actions and lies performed in league with very evil (the correct word) environmentalists and animal rights radicals with broad agendas associated with wolf dangers and destruction.

Now I try to practice forgiveness but the following explanation by the “good” doctor and his cronies is simply further dissembling and meant to only keep the hunters, ranchers, dog owners and rural Minnesota in their state of perpetual subservience to Mech and the DNR and the University and their federal sugardaddy, the USFWS.

After reading all the “science” and “discovery” humbug I ask you to consider:

  1. Assuming the legal issues are resolved soon” is the caveat given for any solution.  Any biologist with the least understanding  of and appreciation for the US Constitution and the North American Wildlife Management model would not give this meaningless pap as a necessary beginning.  Federal seizure of state wildlife management authority and jurisdiction is THE reason moose hunting, moose and other things like wolf attacks on campers and dog deaths are happening throughout northern Minnesota.  While Mech warbles about court decisions and working with the radicals that control USFWS and have made the DNR and the University federal lapdogs, federal impositions driven by national and international politics and corruption will keep rearing its ugly head whenever bureaucrats and politicians see a benefit to themselves.  Anything that does not start with the complete removal of any federal opportunity (like repeal of the Endangered Species ACT) to reassert federal jurisdiction over non-treaty Minnesota wildlife is simply a pipedream.
  1. Mech recommends that the state focus more of its wolf harvest quota in future years in the primary moose range, to give the moose population some breathing room.” Any future wolf control that would give ANY “breathing room” would (thanks again to Mech, the DNR, the “U” and USFWS) require reducing the wolf population drastically over many years and then keeping it at the lower level forever.  Even if the progressive urban Minnesotans understood and agreed; it would require shooting, trapping, snaring, aerial hunting, poison (?) etc. to attain and sustain the lower wolf levels.  Would government do it? Would rural Minnesotans do it?  What is the cost?  Who would pay?  Are rural Minnesotans anymore able to do such things?  Are the staffs of the DNR or USFWS or even USDA any longer capable or willing to do what would have to be done?
  1. His assertion that, “if moose continue to decline, wolf numbers will decline as well” is pure poppycock.  If you believe that, there is a bridge for sale in Brooklyn.  Wolves decline when moose decline as described on little islands like Isle Royale NP in Lake Superior.  Wolves in NW Canada, Siberia and Alaska switch to other wildlife and even humans when a main food source like moose decline.  In the settled landscapes of the Lower 48 States when moose decline, wolves shift to deer, elk, cows, calves, sheep, lambs, dogs (when they are not breeding them), kids at bus stops, old ladies in gardens, old men checking the mail, toddlers in the back yard, garbage, hunters’ game, livestock discards, and more than I have room to describe here.  Between their doing “what they never did before” in areas they were “never in before” and hybridizing with every coyote and dog they don’t eat: I guess I am just making an otherwise “double arabesque and pirouette off stage right” retirement for this Bozo into a “get out and stay out” exit by a failed bureaucrat as he deserves.
  2. He concludes, “There’s really little reason to delay. The evidence is increasingly clear. While climate factors may play some indirect roles in the moose decline (such as making moose less healthy and more vulnerable to wolf predation), wolves are the primary direct factor behind the disappearance of this northwoods icon. That’s a scientific conclusion that’s hard to refute”.

He still keeps his foot in the radical canoe with, “climate factors may play some indirect roles in the moose decline (such as making moose less healthy and more vulnerable to wolf predation” something with no evidence and no more than a fairy tale to sell snake oil.

He goes on with, “wolves are the primary direct factor behind the disappearance of this northwoods icon”.  No Doctor; You and the USFWS and the DNR and your University cronies are responsible and you offer no solution other than a glass of warm milk before retiring.

Your nostrums from your retirement villa for the debacle and losses you wrought are too little and too late.  It will take men doing what men do best, to undo what you and your cronies once sold and offered as testimonials to justify imposing them on rural Americans.

To quote a Boatswain Mate I once knew, “put a cork in it!”

Jim Beers

15 Sep. 2016

If you found this worthwhile, please share it with others.  Thanks.

Jim Beers is a retired US Fish & Wildlife Service Wildlife Biologist, Special Agent, Refuge Manager, Wetlands Biologist, and Congressional Fellow. He was stationed in North Dakota, Minnesota, Nebraska, New York City, and Washington DC.  He also served as a US Navy Line Officer in the western Pacific and on Adak, Alaska in the Aleutian Islands.  He has worked for the Utah Fish & Game, Minneapolis Police Department, and as a Security Supervisor in Washington, DC.  He testified three times before Congress; twice regarding the theft by the US Fish & Wildlife Service of $45 to 60 Million from State fish and wildlife funds and once in opposition to expanding Federal Invasive Species authority.  He resides in Eagan, Minnesota with his wife of many decades.

 

Jim Beers is available to speak or for consulting.

You can receive future articles by sending a request with your e-mail address to:   jimbeers7@comcast.net

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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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Disease, wolves top list of Minnesota moose killers

*Editor’s Note* – What the news report DOESN’T tell us.

The information printed in this news report is misleading and I believe to be intentionally so. What I highlighted below is but one example. Of 173 collard moose, 47 died last year. The report says 1/3 of the 47 (15-16) moose’s deaths were attributed to wolves, continuing on to say that 25% of the 15-16 moose (approx. 4) had illnesses making the moose “easy prey” for wolves.

The dishonesty here (or ignorance) is that such statements lead readers to believe that those 25% of moose would not have been killed by wolves if they hadn’t been sick. That’s just not an extrapolation that can be honestly made. One could just as easily have said that if the wolves hadn’t taken the 4 moose that happened to be ill, they would have taken 4 healthy moose.

The numbers being used lessens the actual impact. We are talking about 173 collared moose. The same article tells us that Minnesota has 3,450 moose. We are not sure that the 173 collared moose are an exact replication of the state’s moose herd. Nonetheless, the 173 collared moose represent approximately .05 % of the total moose herd.

If the 173 is any indication of what is taking place statewide, the math then can tell us that 932 moose died in Minnesota last year and 311 of them because of the existence of wolves.

We are repeatedly told by science that wolves, depending upon circumstances, are going to take a certain number of large prey each year regardless to whether they have disease or not. Making assumptions that had the moose not been ill, the wolves wouldn’t have killed them, becomes a dishonest skewing of factual evidence, in what appears to be attempts to protect the wolves.

How can honest science reach the most accurate conclusions if the scientific process is already skewed to achieve results that place the wolves in a dishonest realm of culpability?

Preliminary results from tracking 173 adult moose that were captured and fitted with GPS radio collars from 2013 to 2015 show that two-thirds of the 47 that later died succumbed to various health problems. Another third were killed by wolves, but 25 percent of those moose had illnesses that made them easy prey, and some that died from health issues had been injured by wolves.

Source: Disease, wolves top list of Minnesota moose killers

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Seeking Felony Charges for Poaching?

*Editor’s Note* – Missing from the below quote and the entire article linked to, is that another result of a “felony” rap for poaching, is the right to have a gun. Now, don’t go flying off the handle before you hear me out.

Throw the book at poachers. Each state needs to decide the penalties for poaching. If Minnesota wants longer jail terms and heftier fines, then go nuts. Leave it in the state’s hands and discretion. Few people want lesser punishment for poaching.

But consider if you will, the times in which we live. As unfortunate as it might be, my first reaction when I read that the governor’s proposal was to up the charges for “certain” offenses that, “unlawfully take animals above a restitution value…” was one of distrust of government, gray areas, interpretations and lawyers.

A simple read through this article, it’s pretty easy to read it and say, “Damn right! Throw the book at these poachers!” And rightly that should be the case.

For me, I have no confidence in any government, especially a government led by a crook and an idiot (that’s Obama today. Who will it be tomorrow?) who wants to disarm the people and will use any tactic to do it. I could smell a rat here. The rat could and probably would, monkey with these laws in order to turn poaching into another means of gun control/disarmament.

Color me untrustworthy, but with the most corrupt government in existence today, and little faith it is going to get better any time soon, Minnesotans need to be careful what they ask for.

The governor’s request is to take gross violations of game and fish harvest laws from gross misdemeanor offenses to felony offenses. That changes the following: Potential jail time goes from up to a year to a year or more. Fines go from $2,000 to $3,000. Game and fish licenses could be revoked for up to 10 years.

Source: Amp up fines to stop flagrant poaching

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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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