August 23, 2019

While Biologists Dither, Hunting Opportunities Are Squandered

Maybe there is some hope…or maybe not. An article in the Boston Globe provides a few statements from so-called wildlife biologists that offer a glimmer of hope, even if ever so slightly.

Recently in an article I had written about how scientists are attempting to seek an answer to the affect of winter ticks on moose by only studying the moose and making huge assumptions about the tick – assumptions that have been passed on through half-ass “science” and incessantly repeated by the Media echo-chambers – I referenced a Boston Globe article echoing “Climate Change” as the reason there are too many ticks killing moose.

However, the latest bit of propaganda from the Boston Globe, might cause some of us to pause in hope that perhaps…just perhaps, there are some things that might be changing. (Note: Readers may or may not understand the extreme difficulty I find is uttering such statements.)

Let’s take a look at some of the comments found in this article.

The author of the piece begins by saying, “Researchers say that over the last few years, ticks have killed about 70 percent of the calves they have tagged in certain regions, an indication that the tick is taking a significant toll.”

Perhaps this statement needs further clarification and some more answers to important questions. The author says that “researchers” claim 70% of moose calves tagged “in certain regions” have been killed and that this indicates a “significant toll” on the moose. Does it?

Maybe it’s a significant toll in that one region but is this indicative throughout the greater region or the state being referenced? Most of these studies are centered around gaining a better understanding of how the tick effects the survival of the moose. In order to better understand this, it only seems plausible that scientists will pick areas they believe have high infestations of ticks and moose.

What isn’t being said here is that, if assuming the reference to “tagged” means collared and tracked, then 30% of collared moose calves are surviving. What also isn’t said is that we don’t know from the information given, whether the moose calves collared and data collected for this study, is representative of the entire state or perhaps just in areas believed to be the most heavily infested with winter ticks?

Under “normal” conditions, what is the “recruitment” or survival rates of moose calves? And what is the benchmark moose calve survival rate believed to be necessary to “sustain” a moose population? Sensational media reports might play to the emotionalism of ignorant readers but does little in revealing scientific honesty – or perhaps that’s an oxymoron.

“The study expanded last year to northern Maine — which Kantar said had a lower mortality rate of 48 percent — and to Vermont this month. There are about 250 moose collared for the study.” Lee Kantar is the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife’s (MDIFW) head moose biologist. The differences in calf survival rates between 30% and 52% are significant. And yet again, we must ask whether these numbers can, in any way, be attributable to moose and tick interaction statewide?

“Kantar said the study was about moose survival — not climate …..

Every single day when temperatures are above the norm in the fall is another day that the ticks are out there and able to get on a moose.”

At first glance we are told that the moose study is about moose survival and not climate. This is immediately followed by a statement supporting global warming as a culprit of moose tick infestations. So, which is it?

And, let’s examine this statement that temperatures in the Fall making it easier for ticks to find a moose. Where did such a claim come from? And is this statement about fact or is it about what we are not being told? From all the studies and even the echo chambers repeating non-scientific mumbo-jumbo, is there data showing that warmer Falls leads to more ticks on moose? Or is it more repeated emotional, climate-change clap-trap?

In the late Summer and early Fall (September and October) when ticks are making their climb up vegetation to hitch a ride on a passing moose (or other ungulate – cattle, deer, pigs, elk, horses, etc.) temperatures at, or below, freezing will “slow down” activity. It is readily stated that in order for “weather” to significantly kill off ticks, an area needs temperatures to be below 1.4 degrees Fahrenheit for six consecutive days. Not only is this an unrealistic expectation in September and October, it is unrealistic in Maine throughout the winter.

Kantar’s statement that extended warm Fall days “is another day” that ticks can get on a moose, isn’t false. It’s just not very accurate and is misleading. In one breath we read how the studies being conducted aren’t about climate and yet climate appears to be the excuse.

If you want to believe what is written about ticks, the consensus is that “WEATHER” not climate is the biggest limiting or perpetuating factor for moose ticks. Some of the original tick studies that I have read clearly show that the moose tick, at every stage of its life cycle is extremely viable and is virtually unaffected by temperatures. Humidity can limit the productivity of the ticks, but wind is the biggest deterrent to keep ticks off the vegetation they climb where they can attach to a moose when it passes by. Other than any of this, it only makes sense that if you limit the free rides on ungulates, necessary to complete the life cycle, you will limit the presence of ticks.

“More moose, researchers say, mean more hosts for ticks.” Bingo! Give the man a cigar. Finally, I have found somewhere within the hollow, echo-chambers of the mass media that the increase in ticks might actually be directly proportionate to the moose population. In addition to this statement, we also read: “The biologists say that one possible way to control the problem, though counterintuitive, is increased hunting.”

Which brings me to the point of this post – dithering at the expense of hunting opportunities!

We further read: ““It’s just going to be a long and brutal situation for them, until the habitat either changes or humans decide we just need to take more of these animals.” (emboldening added)

Isn’t this part of the problem? Isn’t the extremely high moose population in Maine the result of both ignorance and the caving to the demands of the public for more moose for gawking? What in hell should a scientist expect when decisions are being made based on social demands rather than responsible wildlife management and science?

And lastly, we read, “We hope that the tick numbers are thus going to be reduced and at some point you get a new equilibrium of moose density.”

We hope?

Yes, at some point Maine will reach a “new equilibrium” of moose density. Unfortunately, I have serious doubts that the “equilibrium” will be at all stable if scientists continue to dither and cave to social demands. I really don’t think it requires tens of thousands of dollars to be spent on moose studies (and no money spent on tick studies) to figure out that too much of anything, in wildlife, isn’t very good. No, we don’t have the necessary data to make just about all the conclusions that are being drawn. We don’t know if the number of ticks in Maine now is normal, above or below normal. Maine should have figured out a long time ago that the state had too many moose and done something about it. Instead, they wanted to keep the moose gawkers happy and give them all the moose they demanded that could be seen from their living room picture windows.

Mother Nature is only doing what wildlife managers should have been doing. The old girl is killing off moose in droves in order to mitigate the tick infestation. What is extremely unfortunate in this dithering is, that, while the North American Model of Wildlife Management utilizes hunting as a means of managing and perpetuating wildlife, our new, post-normal, environmentally brainwashed “scientists,” too worried about social whining, would rather the hunting opportunities by thrown in the garbage in exchange for letting the ticks kill and waste the meat.

Maybe the idea is to grow tens of thousands of moose, thinking they can, and really making the moose hunting a bigger and better cash cow. There is a reason that moose don’t grow on trees and fill every corner of the forest. I guess we’ll have to spend a few hundred thousand more dollars and time, letting moose be managed by Mother Nature, in her cruel and wasteful way, stealing away hunting opportunities – which incidentally are funded by the hunters – perpetuating a situation in which the only winners are the companies that make the collars and fly the helicopters.

Does any of this make sense?

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Maine’s Moose Herd Thriving?

“It’s the other that’s more troubling to me. According to a Press Herald article, the department indicated part of the reason for scaling back permits was “… to meet public demand for greater opportunities to see moose.”

Say what? I’m a little surprised they consider that a valid reason but I’m stunned they actually came out and stated it. It’s not unlike telling fisherman they’re going to cut back on trout and salmon stocking so they can supply more fish to restaurants.”<<<Read More>>>

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Eating Organic

Moose Down!

moosedown

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The 2016 Maine Moose Permit Lottery Drawing

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

The 2016 Maine Moose Permit Lottery Drawing will take place on June 11 at Kittery Trading Post

We are so pleased to announce that the drawing for Maine’s moose permit lottery will be held on Saturday, June 11, 2016 at Kittery Trading Post in Kittery, Maine.

This year, 2,140 names will be drawn in the random chance lottery from a pool of over 55,000 applicants.

The event will be held under a tent at Kittery Trading Post. Festivities kick off at 9:00 a.m. Food will be available from Kittery Trading Post’s new “Lobster Pot” restaurant located on the patio and over one dozen local vendors will be on site offering everything from guided hunting trips to handmade crafts and goods. Staff from the Department including local biologists and game wardens will be on hand at the event as well.

At 2:00 p.m., we will commence the drawing and announce the name of the first hunter fortunate enough to be selected.

Since 1999, the Department has rotated the lottery throughout the state. Prior to 1999, it was always held in Augusta. In more recent years, lotteries have been held in Scarborough, Oquossoc, Greenville, Presque Isle, and Bethel.

We hold the drawing in different areas of the state so that people can have the opportunity to be part of it first hand. Nothing pleases us more than to have members in the audience react to being selected!

For those of you who can’t make it to the event, the names of permit winners will be posted on the Department’s website starting at 6:00 p.m. on the day of the event. Visit www.mefishwildlife.com to access the list once it has been posted.

 There is no charge to attend the event at Kittery Trading Post. In the past, the reading of names has lasted approximately 3-4 hours. Kittery Trading Post is located at 301 U.S. Route One, Kittery, Maine.

For more information on moose hunting in Maine, visitwww.mefishwildlife.com

 We hope to see you at Kittery Trading Post on June 11!

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How Many Environmentalists Does it Take to Screw in a Light Bulb?

The Grinning Moose says:

MarketingMoose

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With Eyes Wide Shut – WE BELIEVE!

Most choose to believe that what their state’s fish and game department tells them is the truth. I think there’s a difference between belief and faith. A belief is a choice to accept something and like it, regardless of any measure of actual existence. Faith is having trust. I suppose therefore, many trust the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife (MDIFW) in the decisions they make as they pertain to game management. I don’t believe nor do I have faith. That doesn’t mean I think they necessarily do a terrible job. There is a difference and few can see it. I will not, however, blindly accept statements and decisions without having the data to understand those decisions. And that’s part of what bugs me in dealing with the latest topic of cutting moose hunting permits. Where’s the data? Are we to blindly just accept MDIFW’s word about management goals? Why should we, especially when we are constantly getting contrary statements of fact?

I’ve pointed out before that one prominent newspaper in Maine printed an article stating that MDIFW had decided to reduce moose permits in portions of Northern Maine in order to grow more moose for moose watchers. That was followed up by one blogger who said that wasn’t true and went to work convincing readers that MDIFW was not growing moose for watching but were following their management plans. Now we have another outdoor writer faithfully standing by MDIFW swearing that any decisions to cut moose permits is based on science and adherence to the moose management plan. Where’s the data?

Does any of this matter? To me it does and it should to more sportsmen. Specifically there are two issues that frequently rear their ugly heads in media accounts that originate from MDIFW. The first is that the media provide “statements” from members of MDIFW. Those statement make a lot of claims and are never supported with data and from whence that data came. It’s easy to state that moose numbers in a particular Wildlife Management District (WMD) have met management goals, but exactly what does that mean? As I said, I refuse to blindly and ignorantly accept that statement. What is that statement based on and how was the data collected to make that decision? What is the moose population in that WMD? What is the bull to cow ratio? What is the carrying capacity? What is the management goal for that WMD and how was it arrived at? These are all important questions and few comments should be offered without having that information. When wildlife managers are allowed to get away with making statements without backing it up with scientific data, we are giving them free rein to do as they wish, which makes me wonder if that isn’t what was behind the statement that MDIFW was going to reduce moose permits in order to grow more moose for watching – certainly not a scientifically supported decision.

The second issue has to do with attitudes. I’ve written of this before. For a long time, wildlife managers seem to be caught dumping on sportsmen and other outdoor sportsmen when they provide anecdotal evidence. Odd isn’t it that if a wildlife biologist walks in the woods and sees 3 moose, it’s “scientific evidence,” and when a sportsman walks in the woods and sees 3 moose it’s “anecdotal evidence” and those statements are open season to be scoffed at, ridiculed and tossed aside.

The MDIFW has done this for so long that the media, their complicit mouthpieces, are doing their bidding for them. This is evidenced in the Bangor News article linked to above.

It’s terrible public relations to ridicule the sportsmen who pay these clowns salaries. In addition, without the hunting, fishing and trapping community, about the only thing newspaper outdoor writers would have to write about are piping plovers and counting bats. Exciting! And where would the wildlife managers be?

But, think about if for a moment. When sportsmen, many of whom spend more time in the field than most all MDIFW biologists or any other group of recreationists, comment about the numbers and health of the moose herd (or any other game species), essentially they are told to shut up because they don’t know what they are talking about. Then, when a microcosmic group, fortunate to have been able to create a spin-off business of moose watching due to the efforts and money of the sportsmen, speaks up and want more moose to boost their profits, MDIFW and the media are quick to bow down and grant them their wish. Why does this make any sense and why do we tolerate such behavior? On one hand we are told there’s no shortage of moose and then the actions tell us MDIFW would rather cater to the gawkers and Environmentalist. Why not tell them the same thing that is told to the moose hunters who are working harder to find the moose – get off your fat ass and out of the comfort of air-conditioned vans and find the moose the same way hunters do?

It’s easier to believe in men and have faith in what they do, than to discover the truth.

BeaverMoose2

 

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IFW Releases 2015 Moose Harvest Data

You can find it on MDIFW’s website by clicking on this link.

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Maine’s Moose Being Regulated Naturally?

While the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife (MDIFW) dithers and collects data from moose and aerial surveys – why I’m not sure yet – I believe what Maine people, at least those that pay attention, are seeing is a form of what will happen when wildlife management is left to the whims of Mother Nature promoted by Environmentalism.

It makes sense that at the peak of the moose herd growth, Maine had too many moose and in some areas it may still be the case. Too many moose, aside from creating too many vehicle collisions, brought us a bumper crop of winter ticks (Dermacentor albipictus), so much so that the abundance of ticks began killing off the moose. That’s what Mother Nature does, the result of which benefits no one and this makes little sense.

Because, generally speaking, wildlife management actions lag reality by about 3 years or more, it’s those interim years that get many of us worked up. Then we are often told that managers must collect data and form scientific opinions before making and/or changing moose management plans. We then begin to see the fluctuations of what letting Nature regulate itself will bring.

During the interim, we see guess work and politics rule the moose management plan. Presently, it appears MDIFW is guessing about the numbers and condition of the moose herd and trying to move the number of moose permits up or down hoping it will meet their whims. At the same time we learn that MDIFW is recommending certain permit changes because moose gawkers are demanding it. Odd that moose gawkers get stroked but when moose hunters, who pay all the bills, suggest more permits to reduce and stabilize the herd, we are ignored. Think about it. If moose watchers are granted their demands for more moose to look at, why then, aren’t hunters granted their demands for more moose to hunt? If the scientific evidence reveals there’s room for more moose to watch, then there’s room for more moose to hunt.

And speaking of moose permit changes, I recently wrote about Maine’s plan to reduce moose permits so that moose gawkers could see more moose. This article was in response to a piece I found in the Portland Press Herald in which the author of that piece said, “A proposal to reduce Maine’s moose permits by 24 percent has struck a discord between hunters and those who simply want to view the state animal.

“State wildlife biologists made the proposal Wednesday to meet public demand for greater opportunities to see moose, particularly in northern Maine.”

In a recent posting on George Smith’s personal website he wrote: “Moose permits are not being decreased this year so there will be more moose for viewing.” Both George Smith and Deirdre Fleming can’t be right. So what gives?

It wouldn’t be the first time MDIFW has decided to reduce the moose hunting opportunities to placate the moose gawkers. Just last year the Department cut moose permits in the Greenville, Maine region to “balance social demands” for the moose gawkers.

MIDFW has mentioned that in at least one Wildlife Management District moose production has dropped below management goals and are using that as part reason to reduce permits. Without questioning the management plans, that would be a reasonable decisions based upon MDIFW’s best available science and not the latest clamoring and demanding more moose for the moose looking businesses.

Through all of this, I was recently asked if I thought what we are seeing, i.e. tons of winter ticks, reduced reproduction of moose, is the result of poor or incorrect management of the state’s largest game animal. I had to agree. When we consider that one of the events that set the stage for a rapid growth in the moose herd was the onset of the spruce budworm – resulting clear-cuts – we have to now understand that with many of those clear-cuts in which moose thrive, along with other animals such as snowshoe hares that feed the Canada lynx and other predators, have grown up and are on the verge of maturation. Doesn’t this tell us that the prime habitat to support a lot of moose is disappearing? This in and of itself will reduced moose reproduction.

Then we see the onset of winter ticks. MDIFW and other researchers, because they have been misled with false science, continue to blame global warming for the growth in winter ticks. I strongly believe that regardless of what the current moose study could reveal, any issues will be promptly blamed to global warming.

I have often asked if MDIFW biologists, who claim to be the front-runners in moose management, have considered what is taught in Biology 101, that too many animals in too small an area promotes disease? MDIFW moose managers admit that right now, the number one cause of moose mortality is the result of the presence of winter ticks. Perhaps they forgot to also mention that within that observable mortality exists the unseen mortality – aborted fetuses and a reduction in moose production.

There’s probably only one thing worse than managing wildlife according to social demands; that is managing it unscientifically, based on unproven, non-scientific, garbage about a man-caused warming planet.

There is one thing that we can count on. If man doesn’t, can’t and won’t manage its wildlife based upon the real scientific principle, that was once driven by providing a resource for the people and food to eat, the often demanded “self regulation” will take hold and I guarantee the majority of people will not like the result, nor is there much sense in managing for scarcity.

Because Maine’s moose population grew to numbers too large to support in the long haul, a small niche business resulted in moose watching. Instead of thanking the hunters for financing moose management, those businesses now want to take away moose hunting opportunities. It may have been a mistake to try to grow too many moose. Now, MDIFW, instead of adding to the problems, need to step up and own the responsibility even if it means some lost revenue for the moose watching business. After all, hunters are always asked to give in and give up if it means a better management plan.

What we see in Maine right now with moose might be just a glimpse into the future.

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Does Maine Deliberately Withhold Moose Harvest Data to Inflate Revenue?

One seriously has to wonder. Regardless of how much sportsmen beg for moose, deer and bear harvest numbers – even if they were “preliminary” – we don’t get them. This leaves us with one answer, it would appear. Is it that the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife (MDIFW) intentionally withholds moose harvest data, let’s say for 2015, until after they have announced how many permits will be issued for 2016, in hopes of not discouraging hunters from applying and thus keeping up revenue?

Last year the harvest data appeared on the MDIFW website on February 4, 2015. We are now 3 weeks later than that. It must be the moose biologists are so busy collecting useless data on moose, data that won’t be used for scientific management due to caving to the demands of moose watchers, they don’t have time to get the harvest data out.

Old Hunter says:

ProfitForHoldingData

If Maine is going to continue with “managing” moose to appease the “bread and circus” folks, maybe it’s time for an “entertainment” (circus) license requirement for the “Gawkers.” Why should my money be used for moose management, only to be continually denied hunting opportunity, so more people can sit in their cars and “watch” moose?

A Camoose or a Moosel? No doubt it would become another cash cow.

Camoose

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Cut hunting permits 24 percent so public sees more Maine moose, plan urges

*Editor’s Note* – I can hear the nonsensical comments from the environmentalist-trained game managers that they must manage wildlife according to social demands. I think in the circles I grew up in and the research that I conduct on a daily basis, the effect is called communism. It was the Roman writer Marcus Tullius Cicero who wrote after the fall of the Roman Republic, which was replaced by the Roman Empire, that: “The evil was not in bread and circuses, per se, but in the willingness of the people to sell their rights as free men for full bellies and the excitement of the games which would serve to distract them from the other human hungers which bread and circuses can never appease.”

I guess we are supposed to ignore the schizophrenic actions and reactions of moose managers from the past 4 or 5 years who one day tell Maine citizens there’s at least 90,000 moose, to they’ve all died from winter ticks, and now a population of 60,000 to 70,000 and the head moose biologist is, “so giddy about” the number of moose he is seeing in his aerial surveys.

Some thought that the head moose biologist’s decision to cut moose permits over concern of a dwindling moose population was a hasty move. I’m not sure I would describe it as much hasty as I would wrong. I would have gone in the opposite direction in order to reduce the numbers of moose to mitigate the infestation of winter ticks – evidently the number one killer of Maine moose. The Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife (MDIFW) insists on grasping desperately to global warming as the answer and perhaps they shouldn’t be.

If MDIFW believe in global warming, which that seems to be their number one excuse for everything, then why react in the way they are because they believe last winter the weather was harsh enough to kill off a few ticks and suddenly the herd is healthy again? Surely, global warming will return (in their minds?) and along with it will be more winter ticks – according to their own conclusions as to why there are so many ticks.

Evidently, we are to ignore any scientific evidence as it might pertain to decisions made on how moose should be managed. We read in the article linked to below, that MDIFW is proposing a reduction of moose permits for the upcoming moose hunting season in order to provide more moose for viewing opportunities so that, “We can meet our objectives.” And MDIFW admits, as they always have, that this decision is based solely on “management” reasons [social demands] and is not scientific.

If wildlife viewing is becoming such an important central government decision to feed and entertain the servitude with “bread and circuses” then perhaps it is time to give the Motherland what she wants. Maine sportsmen spend millions of dollars each year that is meant to go toward wildlife/game management. As the pot boils and slowly kills the frog, few recognize that soon those valuable “hunting opportunities” will be replaced with the “bread and circuses” of “wildlife viewing.” Those demanding the entertainment don’t understand that managing game at numbers high enough to see from their cushy SUV’s and tour buses is seldom healthy and responsible for neither man nor beast. Evidently MDIFW doesn’t understand that either and/or are driven by totalitarian influences and out of fear of losing their handsome pensions they must appease the environmentalist gODs.

Maine is in the middle of a moose study – the reasons given because they don’t know enough about moose to understand what causes the changes in moose populations etc. If that’s true, then the study is a waste of time and money. What’s the point of collecting scientific evidence if it is to be trumped by pacifying the environmental-socialists by giving them their bread and circuses?

So why the reduction in permits?

“We want to meet our objective (for what the public wants as far as viewing). So it’s for management reasons rather than biological,” she said.

Source: Cut hunting permits 24 percent so public sees more Maine moose, plan urges – The Portland Press Herald / Maine Sunday Telegram

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