May 19, 2019

Protecting the Fish and Game Biologist Brotherhood

Once again, Outcome Based Education, political bias and perpetuated myths are on display in Maine. A retired U.S. Fish and Wildlife biologist and a Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife biologist, says that politicians are the cause of Maine’s depleted(ing) deer herd, not coyotes.

Politicians are to blame for many things and readers know I would be the last in line to stand up for one unless I knew them personally and could trust them. As far as whether politicians are the sole blame for Maine’s vanishing deer herd, I don’t think, as much as I would like to, I could put all the blame on them.

The author was a wildlife biologist and worked for the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife (MDIFW), so I doubt he would dare place any of the blame for a terrible deer management execution on his “brotherhood” at MDIFW.

Getting beyond the political bias and nonsense, let’s examine a few things that the retired biologist had to say.

Since the early 1900s, expensive and barbaric coyote bounties have failed miserably in western states, but that knowledge carries no weight in Augusta.

History is full of accounts of how “barbaric bounties” very effectively controlled predator populations. Maybe the author needed to rewind his history clock a few more years to discover that….or maybe the seeming failure was intentional.

One has to simply reread many of the journals and accounts from years ago in the West to learn what actually happened. A favorite account of mine is that of C. Gordon Hewitt.

It always amazes me how that the evils of hunting swing in both directions, when convenient. While wolves and coyotes were virtually wiped out in the West as the settlers moved in, hunters were blamed. When there is talk of killing predators, such as coyotes and wolves, those same people who blamed the destruction of coyotes and wolves on hunters, swing the door in the other direction and tell us as did the opinion piece in question:

It seems counterintuitive, but the war on coyotes has actually increased their numbers and breeding range. The Colorado Division of Wildlife reports that coyotes are more numerous today than when the state was first settled by trappers. Colorado and other western states no longer waste taxpayer money on futile coyote control programs.

There exists no scientific evidence that killing coyotes causes them to automatically breed more of themselves. There are just too many factors that come into play when examining reproductive habits of any wild animal. And is the author of this opinion piece actually suggesting here that all those coyotes now in Colorado are solely to blame on hunters and trappers? Once again, a reading and studying of the history of settling the West shows that aside from certain pockets, this nirvana of the West was not so Disneyesque as many would like to believe. Man’s expansion created a vast habitat to support coyotes and all other wildlife. In time, the implementation of the North American Model for Wildlife Conservation allowed for the growth and health of our wildlife systems.

The retired biologist intimates that Maine plans to implement a one year program to kill coyotes, saying it wouldn’t be effective. Agreed, and I know of no honest person who has indicated that it would. I happen to know explicitly that both MDIFW Commissioner Woodcock and Governor LePage have been told and I believe understand that predator control is an ongoing part of wildlife management and this should have been taking place years ago. The MDIFW fell flat on their faces in this regard.

The article shows us the author’s real colors when he begins his rant about how the Maine politicians failed because they did not steal land rights away from American taxpayers. The crying and gnashing of teeth is about the State Legislature failing to tell landowners they can’t use the resources on their own land; an unconstitutional land grab straight from the pages of the United Nations Agenda 21 program, whose goal it is to take all land and resources worldwide and forbid you and I from owning or having access to any of it, saving it instead for them. I’m all for protecting our wildlife, but never at the expense of man’s life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. There are better ways than forceful takeovers.

We are then treated to what appears to be an expert on the deer management in Minnesota and Michigan stating:

If you remain unconvinced that lack of winter shelter is the primary reason northern Maine supports few deer, please consider this: Minnesota and Michigan deer herds are much healthier than Maine’s. Minnesota and Michigan winters are as difficult as Maine’s. Deer in both of those states must also avoid being eaten by coyotes and wolves.

So the logical question LePage, Woodcock, Martin and deer hunters should ask is this: What are Minnesota and Michigan doing differently to maintain healthy deer populations? The answer: Both states prioritize protecting deer wintering areas through land purchases, conservation easements and regulating excessive timber harvests.

The proof is in the pudding they say, and with the help of a reader, we have been able to provide a couple of graphs that show that since the late 1990s and early 2000s, both Minnesota and Michigan have seriously reduced deer harvest numbers, dropping over 30% and more.

You don’t suppose that one of the reasons that Minnesota and Michigan have a declining harvest of deer, an indication of a declining deer population, has anything at all to do with the years of over protecting predators and now the results of that over protection are showing up? In addition, I have yet to get anyone that pretends to have all the answers explain to me why, if there are no more deer wintering areas left in Maine to support more deer, the ones we have are not being used?

It appears that the basis for the author’s opinion piece in the paper is mostly wrapped around his dislike of Gov. LePage and his republican administration, while at the same time blaming politicians in general for a deer demise, the fate of which was left in the hands of the Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife; a department that the biologist was an employee of. Surely we couldn’t expect someone to point a finger at their brotherhood of hoodwinked biologists….or even perhaps at themselves.

Share

Protection of Wolves In Maine Would Destroy What is Left of Fragile Economy and Ecosystem

Once again we are presented with a glaring example of much that is wrong with wildlife management, i.e being debated in an ignorant and biased media while supplied with information that is so far from the truth but geared only to play on the emotions of an ignorant and lazy populace.

CBC Canada News yesterday, published an article, which was nothing more than pretty much a copy and paste, unverified, unsubstantiated load of crap supplied by the Maine Wolf Coalition. The Maine Wolf Coalition (MWC) is asking the Department of Interior/U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to devise a “bi-national plan”, between the U.S. and Canada, to protect fabricated wolf subspecies in order to allow “for the natural recolonization (as opposed to reintroduction) of wolves in Maine and elsewhere in eastern North America where habitat and prey will support wolves.”

The problems with this chimerical fool’s paradise go far beyond anything our copy and paste media is willing to research, or even bother with seeking facts or differing opinions. In addition, Maine’s fish and wildlife department are seemingly avid true believers into the notion of “balanced ecosystems” and the need for predator protection. Odd isn’t it, or maybe even suspect, that the citizens’ brains are bred to trust government, to rely on what fish and game, so-called, experts say because they utilize “science” in rendering decisions and making choices. The difficulty here, that when attempting to expose it one gets scoffed and ridiculed, is that this notion of “natural regulation” and how “predators make for healthy ecosystems” is only ideological theorizing in which none of it is substantiated by real science. Today’s “science” is more based on wishful thinking, computer modeling and fulfilling agendas while playing on the emotions of people to keep the coffers filled.

Aside from the fact that the Maine Wolf Coalition is lying when in reference to a killing of a wolf hybrid in New Brunswick, it says, “The New Brunswick wolf was determined to be a gray/eastern wolf hybrid. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) abuses the definitions of subspecies, especially as it concerns wolves, in order to fulfill their agendas. Historically, we know there once where some kind of wolf in Maine. All wolves are the descendents of the same canid species and the wavering and ever-changing definitions of wolf subspecies only is relevant in perpetrating predator protections, while stealing away people’s rights.

Historical accounts of wolves in Maine, dating back to the early 1600s, strongly suggest that while wolves certainly were present, they were so only because caribou roamed the state as well. Some believe that hunters killed off the caribou but historic documents show that for unknown reasons caribou migrated out of the state, almost overnight, and the wolves followed them, never to return. This of course is NEVER discussed because it fails to fit nicely into agenda-driven narratives.

It was determined a few years ago, through DNA testing, that so-called coyotes in the East, were nothing more than a hybrid, i.e. a fancy name for a mongrel. Lest we forget basic biology, a dog is a dog is a dog. About the only natural thing that prevents more interbreeding among subspecies of wild canines is the instinct of territory protection. It is most often when growing members of a pack are forced out that wolves can and will mate with coyotes and your pet dog Rover.

The premise of the MWC’s desire for a “natural” recolonizing of wolves into Maine is mostly based on their fantasy that wolves are “important and necessary for a healthy ecosystem”. The task then becomes whether or not I, or a group of like-minded truth knowing individuals, can somehow convince the people that those who espouse to this fictitious “balance of nature” cannot prove their dogma scientifically, that is, the old fashioned way of seeking truth. They simply cannot prove their doctrine.

The MWC believes that an estimated 250,000 white tail deer and 50,000 moose spread out over Maine and New Brunswick, Canada is ample prey to support a protected wolf population. It is not and it is completely ignorant of facts to state so. All one needs to do is verify facts of what is happening on the ground in states where wolves already exist: Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, Michigan, Minnesota, Wisconsin and the numbers keep growing.

Each wolf will eat 12-19 elk a year to survive. When they can’t get that, combined with other prey species, they turn to private livestock – cattle, sheep, hogs, chickens, horses, dogs, etc. Maine doesn’t have elk or caribou. How many deer and moose, along with cattle, horses and sheep, equal 12-19 caribou?

Both Maine and New Brunswick are trying to figure out how it can rebuild destroyed whitetail deer herds and groups like MWC are suggesting protecting more of these mongrel dogs because they make healthy ecosystems? This notion is completely insane.

I don’t think it’s unreasonable to suggest that Maine’s post hunt deer population may be under 200,000. At 12 deer a year being eaten by 500 wolves, that’s 6,000 deer destroyed in one year. In addition, we already know that the coyotes, when the snows are deep enough, will infiltrate the deer’s wintering yards and kill doe deer and rip out their fetuses. As soon as fawning season begins, the same varmints take to killing every fawn they can get their jaws onto. With fawn recruitment already running as low as 5 or 6 per 100 does, where 30% is considered sustainable, anyone with understanding quickly sees the deer herd would be destroyed.

And how is this making for a healthy ecosystem?

And while discussing mythology, MWC states that wolves, like the coyote, only kill the weak and sickly. This also is unsubstantiated theorizing. Wolves are opportunistic and kill whatever is at their disposal. For every so-called study that exists that suggests that wolves kill only weak prey, just as many exist that suggest that wolves, being a keen and wily hunter, have learned to pick out a preferred menu item. They can pick out the pregnant prey in order to feast on the succulent fetuses. And there is never any mention of sport killing by wolves which is substantiated fact.

MWC also declares that wolves would help the economy. This also is a fabrication. In states like Idaho and Montana, the presence of wolves has not only mostly destroyed the entire hunting industry, including license sales and guiding outfits, but is also chopping away at wiping out the livestock industry.

With the proliferation and protection of wolves comes disease. Canines carry more than 30 diseases, most of which are dangerous to humans and sometimes deadly and presents its own set of problems by infecting wild ungulates, i.e deer and moose. Large cysts that grow on deer and moose lungs, liver and other vital organs, does not for a healthy wildlife population make. The presence of cysts on deer and moose restrict their natural ability to flee large predators like wolves.

The short of it is, that protecting wolves, when we can’t even control coyotes that are destroying our wildlife populations, is folly only to those with personal agendas based in total disregard of the facts.

Tom Remington

Share