September 22, 2018

Moose Ticks: When Evidentiary Truth Is Pounding In Your Face

Yankee Magazine has another article on the Climate Change blame game as to why the winter/moose tick (Dermacentor albipictus) is so numerous and killing so many moose. Provided that ignorance continues to rule and all honest evidence is ignored because of a romantic obsession with man-caused climate change, no answers will be found with the exception of those sought after, i.e. new-science scientism.

I am not alone in my contention that the reason that Maine has so many moose ticks, killing so many animals, is because there are simply too many moose.

In this edition of Yankee Magazine, the author and many of those interviewed for the article provide an honest person with all the evidence that supports the substantial theory that the population of moose in Maine is too high and has been in other states.

That population in Maine is coming down as we speak because the ticks have done the job that the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife (MDIFW) could have done mitigating the unnecessary suffering of the animals and waste of good food by refusing the opportunity for Maine residents to hunt them, while artificially ballooning the moose population to satisfy the misled social demands.

Let me take the time for you to present the statements made throughout this article (it is in written form and not digital) that only a blind person (or one with an agenda) cannot or will not see that points a big fat finger at the fact that the number of moose ticks is proportional to the number of moose. (Note: I have emboldened the precise statements that clearly support moose population as the regulating factor of winter/moose ticks.)

“In the late 1990s, they [moose] numbered around 7,500 in New Hampshire; now the state’s population is estimated at 3,500. In Vermont, a high of 5,000 just over a decade ago has fallen by nearly two-thirds to the current estimate, 1,750. And while biologists are working on the updated numbers for Maine – which in 2012 was home to an estimated 76,000 – ‘there are definitely fewer moose,’ said Lee Kantar.”

It must be said that the author of this article linked to, as all others that come before, in pointing out the substantial decreases in the number of moose in New England, blame it squarely on the moose tick. However, the blame then goes to Climate Change rather than seeking the truth as to the reason for the increase in moose ticks.

Throughout the article, there are numerous references to moose ticks and climate change and it is clear that neither the author nor the information provided by those interviewed, indicates to us that they have any honest knowledge of the winter tick. I have stated before that the studies continue in numerous states about the moose and what’s killing it. It appears the general consensus is that it is the moose tick and yet any association of the moose tick and moose mortality is ONLY discussed concerning false conclusions based on myths perpetuated by climate alarmists who want only to blame Climate Change for everything, including their shortcomings of honest scientific processing.

There are several studies about the moose tick but nobody in this article has knowledge of them evidently. All the garbage that is written as to how and why global warming is the cause of moose tick growth, is not true and contradicts those studies that show those factors that cause growth and decline of the tick. Please read this article!

But let’s not let any facts get in the way of a good piece of fiction based on global warming.

Let me continue with the statements found in the article.

(It was in 1992) “At the time, ‘bad tick years were infrequent, and the moose population was still increasing.”

“It wasn’t until five years later, though, that she [Kristine Rines N.H. moose biologist] spotted her first tick-infested moose in New Hampshire. ‘Then we started noticing slight declines in our moose population, and I assume it was probably related to ticks.'” 

“Winter ticks were the primary cause of moose mortality in Northern New Hampshire, where moose density (and therefore tick density) is highest.”

The denial of the obvious continues as the author wallows in global warming and how slight variations in climate/weather is the only cause of more ticks. Burying one’s head in the sand is the mark of today’s scientists as well as writers.

“In parts of New Hampshire…the calf mortality numbers have been sobering. In 2014, more than 60 percent of the collared calves died; by 2016, it was up to 80 percent. (Toward the end of the year, though, Pekins will send me a bit of good news: The mortality rate among New Hampshire’s moose calves last Spring was only 30 percent).”

The author explains the reasoning for this as due to weather/climate issues and nothing to do with the fact the moose population has been cut in half.

“As biologists see it, there are just two strategies, both difficult. ‘We can put the brakes on climate change,…or we decrease the numbers of moose by letting winter ticks run their course or by increasing hunting to bring down moose densities.'”

Strange isn’t it? We read of a biologist offering two strategies, one of which is the ONLY thing that we can change, and yet, the focus is always on Climate Change. Are we brainwashed or what?

“Studies have indeed shown that with fewer animals to feed on…tick numbers begin to fall.”

But still, let’s focus on global warming!

In Massachusettes, where moose numbers have remained stable at around 1,000, according to this article, “…winter ticks are present, but don’t seem to be having a big effect.”

Perhaps Massachusettes has outlawed global warming?

Need I remind readers of the difference between 76,000 moose in Maine and 1,000 moose in Massachusettes? And yet it’s still global warming that is the cause. You can put a square peg in a round hole I guess.

The article states that in the Adirondacks of New York, where there are somewhere between 500 and 1,000 moose, the animals are; “virtually tick free.” “You can count the number of winter ticks on an Adirondack moose on less than one hand, probably because there aren’t enough moose to get the tick cycle going.

What is most ignorant – caused by the insistence of attributing everything to Climate Change – is that the author, even though he/she may perhaps see that the numbers of moose attribute to the number of ticks directly, makes the following statement: “The trouble is, nobody really knows how far the moose populations in New Hampshire, Vermont, and Maine must drop before they reach the ‘sweet spot,’ and the comeback can begin.”

Nothing is learned here. The blinders are on. Climate Change is the controlling factor regardless of what actual evidence tells us about moose ticks. The author, even after sharing what others have said about how moose numbers and ticks correlate, believes that if we reduce the number of moose so ticks abate, then we can grow more moose again and the moose ticks will magically disappear and not come back. How do you correct this circular thinking?

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At What Price the Exploitation of the Maine Moose

It appears, from a report filed by the Portland Press Herald, that biologists at the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife (MDIFW) are all excited because surveys have shown there are fewer winter ticks being found on moose than in previous years. Surprisingly enough, this report doesn’t actually give a reason for the event. I was surely expecting global warming…but wait! That’s right! Global warming causes an increase in the number of ticks. Does that mean global cooling is causing a decrease? I doubt that seriously.

From studies quoted by officials at MDIFW, we are told that what influences the amount of tick mortality is sub-zero cold and/or early snows in late September into mid-October. How much of that has Maine, specifically the Moosehead Region, had in the past 5 or 6 years? I thought so.

Here’s an interesting bit of information found in the PPH article. The newspaper and MDIFW should be careful. If they present too much of the wrong information they might just prove that I am right and they are going about their perceived moose problems the wrong way.

This report states that in 2011 there were 76,000 moose in Maine. I would assume they retrieved these numbers from an aerial count that was done at that time. Maine’s head moose biologist told the PPH that at one time MDIFW estimated the moose population at between 60,000 and 90,000. That 90,000 estimate was passed along to the Maine Legislature’s Joint Standing Committee for Inland Fisheries by another Maine biologist. Many agreed with the assessment of 90,000 or greater, than 60,000.

It was an official estimate that Maine’s moose population in 1999 was 29,000. Was there any talk of winter ticks killing moose then? If my memory doesn’t fail me, I recall sending an email (can’t seem to put my hands on it at the moment) to MDIFW asking about their thoughts on the effects of winter ticks on moose. I was at the time undergoing some research on diseases that affected wild ungulates. The response I got might surprise you. They said that they were aware of winter ticks on moose, that those ticks might “bother” the moose some, but certainly did not kill any of them. We all learn…don’t we?

To the point. Few would argue the fact that around 2012, give or take, Maine’s moose population was at the highest probably ever. Few would argue that since that time, the moose population has been decreasing. Did it drop from 90,000 to a current guesstimate of 50,000 – 70,000? At least!

Forget the numbers. It is conceivable that Maine’s moose population has been cut in half. I doubt that many would argue that from the period of time when people were tripping over moose, to now, there has been a very significant reduction in the moose population.

In the PPH article, it states that tick counts on surveyed moose have decreased 68% from this same period last year. So, what’s causing the decline? Unless someone can provide accurate data that can definitively explain this decline in ticks, there can be only one reasonable, common sense answer – something that should have been learned in Biology 101.

When moose populations reached an estimated high of 90,000, all hell broke loose. Unfortunately, all this “hell” was blamed on global warming. It is a reasonable explanation that such a large moose population resulted in a marked increase in the winter ticks’ resource of questing for a blood meal for the winter. As I have attempted to point out, Biology 101 teaches that too many animals cramped into too small space results in the growth, spread, and perpetuation of disease. Nothing new here.

Because all have focused on global warming, failure to adequately understand the phenomenon at work, Mother Nature took over, growing winter ticks in order to kill the population of moose. As the moose population began to decline, it wasn’t too long before we began to witness the reduction in ticks. Nothing new here. We are now seeing a 68% reduction in ticks found on moose during winter.

I doubt that MDIFW biologists will admit this or perhaps even consider it in drawing conclusions from their ongoing moose study. If we use their same explanation that climate change (global warming) is causing ticks to grow in uncontrolled numbers, then the only explanation they can give for this occurrence is global cooling. Will they see the direct correlation between moose population and tick population? For the sake of the moose, one can only hope.

I recently expressed a desire to see wildlife departments nationwide to end the practice of making management decisions based on social demands, especially when those decisions become detrimental to the health and/or sustainability of a species. Hunters understand that if numbers of moose, deer, bear, or any other game animal, gets too low, hunting will cease. In the case of moose, the numbers are too high and need to be reduced to mitigate winter ticks. Will greedy guides and moose watching businesses get it? We can be the responsible managers or let Mother Nature continue to force moose calves to die a slow, agonizing death from anemia and exposure.

Unfortunately, as was brought up in the PPH article, guides and outfitters are hoping the MDIFW will figure out a way to kill the ticks while at the same time growing the herd bigger and bigger because the animal “puts a lot of money into the state.” At what expense to the moose are we now driven to its exploitation for profit?

My only hope is that after all the time and money spent on this moose study, biologists will figure it out. But, I doubt that is going to happen. I think it is far beyond the point that any modern-day biologist can get beyond the myth of global warming as being the cause of everything.

It’s really sad a bodes terribly for the future of wildlife management.

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Insistence on Global Warming As the Culprit of Increased Winter Ticks

There is no end to this and I suspect it will continue – the constant ignorant echo-chambering of global warming is going to kill all of us and everything that lives. Damn global warming and damn the computers people have become addicted to that creates fake “computer modeling” and then is plastered throughout cyberspace as an effective means of brainwashing the masses into believing that if man was simply killed off, Nirvana would take over.

A recent article in the Bangor Daily News (Maine) contained information about a Maine, New Hampshire, and Vermont ongoing moose study. Any discussion of this study inevitably brings up the subject of moose ticks. It’s kind of a no-brainer that vast amounts of winter ticks, also called moose ticks (Dermacentor albipictus) are killing moose – perhaps too many moose.

The article states information they claim is what limits the growth of winter ticks: “Late summer drought, which kills tick eggs, and early snowfall, which kills larval ticks before they attach to a host like a moose.” Unfortunately, as always, this is misleading information but works well with selling news copies. Also, unfortunately, this nonsense is repeated incessantly throughout all media to a point where people, including wildlife biologists, believe only what they read in the Media.

If you believe the studies and quote information from those studies, then doesn’t it make sense that you should believe everything that’s in the studies?

Late summer drought CAN have an effect on tick larvae survival. It may also have an effect on tick egg survival. Regardless, that effect is quite minimal in the grand scheme of things…that is if you want to believe the studies where these quotes come from. In addition, “early snowfall” might kill tick larvae in a roundabout way, but most likely the event itself will not kill ticks in an all-of-a-sudden happening. That doesn’t stop the ignorance and dishonesty.

One such study tells about drought and snow and cold and its effects on the survival of the winter tick larvae. It has all the regurgitated echo-chamber scientism, graphs, bells, whistles and even information on the use of “computer modeling” in arriving at certain conclusions. I guess left out of these media echo-chamber discussions are important statements like: “While alterations in drought may influence distribution of the winter tick, climate conditions, especially temperature and snowfall in the spring and fall seasons, seem to be the major determinants of northern expansion of D. albipictus.”

Take notice that drought “MAY” influence tick distribution. However, what does this study say about temperatures? It says that the most influential factors in the destruction of winter tick larvae are high and low temperature exposures. For example, direct exposure of 6 hours to low temperatures of -13 F cause tick larvae to begin dying off. And, high temperatures over 114 F will do the same. Media doesn’t bother to read any of these studies and so they rely on what somebody else tells them who also never reads and examines the studies in their entirety.

What do these temperatures mean? When tick larvae are on the ground, prior to climbing vegetation as part of their “questing” event, they are commonly found in the leaves where temperatures effectively never reach 114 degrees F or -13 F, say nothing about doing so for 6 hours or more.

Once the tick larvae leave the protection of the leaf litter, they begin climbing vegetation where they search for a host, i.e the moose. Their “quest” is a host for the winter where they remain mostly protected from climate conditions hiding out in about a 100-degree climate until Spring.

In late Summer and early Fall, during the tick’s quest, they are exposed to the elements while waiting in the vegetation. It is during this time that the tick is vulnerable. What we are never told is that the tick at this stage is most vulnerable to wind. Yes, that’s right, wind. Wind can blow the ticks from the vegetation and return them to the ground. They must then begin their slow ascent back up the vegetation. They might miss their ride. It could kill them in the end.

They are also vulnerable to cold temperatures. In Maine, during September and October, if the tick larvae are exposed to temperatures at or below -13-degrees F for six hours or more, according to this one study, they will begin to die off. If early snow comes and remains on the ground, it will end the quest cycle which in turn will limit the number of ticks waiting to attach themselves to a passing moose. Obviously, a shortened or a lengthened quest cycle will alter the number of animals that take up a tick for the winter.

So, please leave your comments below with data that shows when and how often areas of Maine have seen these climatic conditions that will kill tick larvae in September and October. Hint: I won’t be holding my breath while waiting.

But it’s global warming that is causing the increase in winter ticks. That’s we hear perpetually. Okay, let’s play their game. If global warming, as spoken and written about in the Media, is real, then according to them the average temperature in a place like Maine will increase gradually anywhere from 1 – 5 degrees F over the next half-century. With the information I just gave, and the fact that more than likely the authors of this study are believers in global warming (they indicate as such in their study report) how can it pass the straight face test that small average temperature rises are what is causing ticks to increase in the proportions that they have?

Missing from this study, as we often find in about all studies rooted in global warming mythology, is any discussion about how the number of moose effect the number of ticks. We know from what has been learned that the winter tick could never survive if it didn’t have a host. This study indicates that riding on the back of a moose is the safest place in the world for tick larvae to be. When we examine the life cycle of the winter tick, you don’t have to be an over-paid scientist to understand that to kill the tick is to eliminate any one part of its life cycle. Not much we can do about climatic conditions…no, seriously, there isn’t. Get over it. Grow up! There is so much separation in reality between the conditions of drought, high and low temperatures (in Maine) and the survival of the tick larvae that it appears a waste of time trying to blame it all on global warming when perhaps the answer is really very simple.

I am thus reminded of what a veterinary scientist said not very long ago about moose and moose ticks: “Once (winter ticks are) introduced in a moose population in an area, the only known way to control it is to reduce the moose density, especially calves, so that there are no hosts available,” she said. “It would require an antler-less hunt or even a cull of calves and yearlings, which would not be something that would be easy to sell to the public.”

I have, and will continue to hear, all the nonsense about how, because I am a hunter, I just want to hunt and kill moose. Not exactly true. For example, I am a hunter. I hunt almost 100% only deer. I have never hunted moose, nor have I ever applied for a moose permit to do so. I have no plans for my future to do that either. I like moose meat. I like it a lot. I like deer venison more.

Consider, however, the ignorance of the statement that all I want to do is hunt moose or that all I want is for hunters to hunt moose. Once the moose herd was reduced to levels where events of winter ticks stop their epizoodic levels, hunting of moose will return to a level to maintain a moose herd. There might be a short burst of increased moose hunting to reduce the population, but certainly, it will not continue.

As far as the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife managing moose numbers at levels to please the public to be able to see moose, it is time to end that dangerous practice. Growing moose so people can drive around in climate-controlled autos and view moose, needs to end and end now. Look what it is doing to our moose. Are we to allow 50% of our moose calves to suffer a slow death so someone in an SUV can gawk at a moose? Get off your lazy ass and walk in the woods to see moose the way some of the rest of us do.

But nothing will change. Obsessed with global warming and the money and convenient excuses that come with it, enables the creation of more and more useful idiots.

However I must say,

DON’T GO LOOK!

 

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The Only Way To Control Moose Ticks Is……

This Alaska state veterinary must be as stupid as I am…..She says, “Once (winter ticks are) introduced in a moose population in an area, the only known way to control it is to reduce the moose density, especially calves, so that there are no hosts available,” she said. “It would require an antler-less hunt or even a cull of calves and yearlings, which would not be something that would be easy to sell to the public.”<<<Read More>>>

And this is a classic example of why I end many of my articles by saying:

BUT DON’T GO LOOK!

Old Hunter says:

 

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Maine Cuts Moose Hunting Permits by “Just” 3%

Opportunity! That’s the adjunct word that is readily used today in describing hunting, fishing, and trapping. Once everyone is brainwashed into accepting the word “opportunity” as a privilege granted by the state, what else is left?

Why should I, or anyone, get riled up over a measly little 3% reduction in “opportunity” to hunt moose? Maybe I shouldn’t but that’s not the whole and truthful story in the matter.

According to what the Portland Press Herald just reported,  in 2013 the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife (MDIFW) issued 4,085 moose hunting permits. Those permits are handed out through a lottery process. Just announced by MDIFW is that this year’s permit allocation will stand at just 2,080. However, let’s make sure that Maine sportsmen understand that there is still “opportunity.” We can’t fault MDIFW’s management plans and execution of those plans because, well, we still have “opportunity.” That’s how many sportsmen see things. As I said, “opportunity” is the word.

If MDIFW keeps cutting permits, the moose numbers may recover to where 4,000 or more permits are allotted. By then the tick problem will resurface and MDIFW can find some Federal funds and/or grant money and conduct another study on the affects of winter ticks on moose, all the while never bothering to study the tick itself. It’s easier just to take what the environmentalists have perpetuated that global warming causes ticks. Science and common sense are no longer a part of the equations. Always be ruled by the demands of the social groups.

There is, however, hope…well, not really. I just like to say that, I suppose in the same fashion that fish and game departments love to promote “opportunity.”

Okay! So, we are supposed to cut the managers some slack because they are still in the middle of a moose study. Probably ten years from now, we will still be saying Maine is in the middle of a moose study. Or maybe the sharing of the results and data of this moose study will happen as efficiently as when we get harvest reports for deer, bear and moose…never? We had to find out through the grapevine that MDIFW was conducting a deer study with the major land owners of northern Maine. Evidently this study is about how protecting deer yards is having no effect on the deer. Let’s go discuss it in the coffee shop. That has always worked.

We know winter ticks are being blamed for fewer moose which results in fewer hunting permits (opportunist). I don’t have a problem with that….well, mostly not. Of course increased winter ticks has always been blamed on global warming, even though Maine’s head moose biologist says, “With moose the hypothesis that is being talked about has to do with climate, but it’s complicated. It seems spring and fall affect the winter ticks, that and high moose densities.”

Notice he did call it a hypothesis. It appears this hypothesis, like all other hypotheses, still provides the escape to blame all things on climate change. Winter ticks have been around the world since the beginning of time. Who did the first moose biologists blame the ticks on?

I refuse to even hint that Kantar is suggesting anything will ever be done about “high moose densities” unless it is done by Nature the way it has in the past 3 years. There are too many moose, causing too many ticks and those ticks are killing off the moose. The reports are that this year’s winter tick mortality has been considerably less than the previous 3. What has happened to the moose population during this time? Who knows. They won’t tell us. Is a reduction in moose population directly proportional to the reduction in ticks. Nah, it’s the drought and the cold winter. Don’t you know?

Aside from all this, the state wouldn’t dream of reducing moose populations to mitigate ticks and other diseases, including public safety and private property issues, because they fear the lobby of the environmentalists and those looking to make a buck gawking at moose. I don’t blame those looking to make a buck…but at what expense.

But, never fear. Maine sportsmen will always have their “opportunities.” Opportunities may not exist for all or even most. If you’ve got the money, you can increase your chances, even while the chances continue to dwindle. If there remain but one lone moose permit, deer permit, bear permit, etc. Mainers couldn’t complain because MDIFW has protected their opportunities.

If LD 11, a constitutional amendment said to protect hunting, fishing and trapping in Maine, were to pass, how easy it will become to protect opportunity.

Fabulous!

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Kill Deer To Limit Lyme Disease – Moose Ticks? Global Warming

In this article I was reading, it amazes me that doctors, politicians and scientists will argue that if you want to limit the infestation of the ticks that carry Lyme disease, we need to kill or eradicate the landscape of deer.

And yet, moose are dying by the tractor trailer truck load and it is blamed on global warming.

Is any connection being blocked due to political agendas? Probably.

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Vermont Moose Study: Ah, Say What?

Maybe there is still hope to save the moose. In an article found Online at The Sun, Vermont Fish and Game biologists are quoted as saying, “Winter ticks spread more rapidly when moose are overabundant,” said Cedric Alexander, Vermont Fish and Wildlife Department’s lead moose biologist. “Although we decreased Vermont’s moose herd to reduce the impacts of moose on the landscape, it may have also contributed to the much lower rates of winter ticks on Vermont’s moose than biologists observe on moose in New Hampshire or Maine.”

However, there are a couple of thing also written in this article that makes me pause and exclaim, SAY WHAT?

For those with some knowledge know that the media, most often fed by fish and wildlife departments, lay the blame of reduced moose populations squarely on global warming, even when there is no science to support such a claim. As we have learned, global warming is a very convenient excuse for everything. And of course, we have reached a point in moose studies where scientists seem to agree that much of the loss of moose through the United States is caused by the infestation of moose ticks, or winter ticks – Dermacentor albipictus. The problem is that it appears there is no agreement as to why there appears to be a problem of too many ticks and too many moose dying from those ticks. Many simply want to lay the entire blame on some fabricated idea of a warming climate. Certainly weather, as has been shown, affects tick survival and perpetuation. Weather is NOT global warming.

Now Vermont is whistling a different tune: “Vermont has already taken steps to help reduce the issue of the winter ticks by increasing the number of licenses sold to hunt moose in recent years. This has taken the population of the species from over 5,000 in the state in the early 2000s to around 2,200 moose today. The species is healthiest at medium densities…” This is perhaps the first I’ve heard of this claimed deliberate action to reduce Vermont’s moose population.

In the “Say What?” category we read:

“As seasons in recent years have warmed up, the winter ticks have been more able to survive and reproduce in the winter.” Winter ticks don’t “reproduce” in winter.

“They don’t pose a problem to deer because deer evolved with the species present…” I don’t understand what the embolden statement means. Somebody help me! I’ve fallen and can’t get up!

SAY WHAT?

 

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MDIFW Should Design All Game Hunts Around What I Want

I think that is what I am hearing. No, not that the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife (MDIFW) is designing all it’s hunting plans around what best suits my fancy. What I think I am hearing though is that everyone else wants MDIFW to pay special attention to their needs, I guess, thinking them to be more important.

I would like to say that I don’t envy MDIFW’s job of designing 15-year management plans for moose, bear, turkeys and bear but it appears some of the difficulties being encountered are problems they or the Legislature brought on themselves. When you go out and get “stakeholders” to come sit around a table to discuss how things ought to be run, what do expect would happen? When you survey the ignorant public, the purpose of which is always to achieve desired results, and then try to manipulate your game management plans according to what the survey says, what is it that you expect?

Add to that bringing in some radical animal rights pervert interested in only banning hunting, trapping and fishing, and what then would you expect?

Here’s a laundry list of items I’ve read about that some want MDIFW to consider when it comes to managing moose.

1. Kill more moose

2. Kill fewer moose

3. Change the moose hunting seasons – for so many different reasons it appears all of them are for selfish reason, with little consideration for the welfare of the moose – and absent the scientific process.

4. Spend gobs more money to further study the moose – with still no mention about studying the tick.

5. Have a basic free-for-all moose hunt in the southern zones.

6. Stop hunting moose in the southern zones.

7. Reduce moose numbers due to damage to the forests.

8. More hunting during the rut. Less hunting during the rut.

9. Stop hunting moose during grouse season.

10. Schedule hunts around the schedules of camp and guide owners.

11. More studies should be done on moose/vehicle collisions before issuing more or less moose permits.

12. Shoot only bulls, shoot only cows, shoot only barren cows, shoot one or maybe two calves.

13. Use the current moose study data to determine moose harvest. Don’t use the current moose data for anything.

And I’m sure I’ve left off more than I’ve included.

Yikes! And where is the scientific evidence to substantiate all these claims of what MDIFW ought to do? I thought so.

There is one thing that is certain. Even after MDIFW has been spending the past 3 years studying moose, counting them and trying to figure out what role, exactly, the winter tick plays on moose survival, while mired in climate change hocus-pocus, everyone knows better about what to do…including myself, I should add. But I really do…wink-wink.

It’s a crap shoot! It doesn’t much matter what MDIFW does, they are probably damned if they do and damned if they don’t.

We can only hope that in time, biologists will figure it out and use science, instead of “stakeholders” and an ignorant society telling them how many moose suits their fancy for their own personal agendas.

I read recently one writer calling a comment made by head moose biologist, Lee Kantar, “interesting.” I might be wrong, but I assume by “interesting” he either didn’t understand or didn’t agree. I don’t have the exact quote, so I’ll attempt to paraphrase his comment. It concerned moose and automobile collisions. Kantar said that it was “inappropriate” to say that having a moose hunt in southern Maine would reduce collisions.

Perhaps to disagree is not to understand. For those not of the ability to understand, perhaps they are not in a position to be offering advice to MDIFW either?

I think it’s an insult to insinuate that Lee Kantar isn’t smart enough to put together a hunt for moose that would or would not have an affect on car collisions.

Figure that one out!

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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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Low Deer Numbers, But Plenty of Food in Northeast

*Editor’s Note* – The description given to what is being called a bobcat kill of a deer, is very similar to that of a mountain lion – just saying. There are certainly more bobcats in New England than mountain lions, however, so long as predators like bears and bobcats are allowed to proliferate – bears mostly due to limits on hunting and trapping seasons and bobcats due to limits on trapping – don’t expect to see any great increases in the number of deer in these areas along with further reductions in hunting opportunities. (I might also add here that Maine is overrun with Canada lynx, another predator of the whitetail deer. So long as protections continue on the lynx, we can rightly expect further destruction of the deer herd.)

And on another note, it will be interesting to see what happens this year when it comes to winter ticks and moose. The so-called authorities have blamed climate change on the growth of winter ticks calling for a colder, longer, snowier winter believing this will kill off the ticks.

According to the same so-called authorities, they got their snowy, cold and prolonged winter last year and they are using that as the excuse of why deer populations remain low.

Will the ticks return full force or be significantly reduced? Whatever the case, there will be an excuse. I might predict that if a lessening of winter ticks isn’t revealed this winter, it soon will be as moose numbers continue to plummet caused by the abundant tick. As was said to me one day, moose managers don’t know what they are doing, refusing to keep moose numbers at healthy sustainable numbers and so “mother nature” had to do the job.

The hard winter in the northeast, and the heavy snow conditions well into spring, are the main causes of low numbers regionally. Does under stress produce lighter fawns, and weaker fawns are a boon to predators.

Connecticut is something of a field lab for predation studies. Just 15 years ago there were very few predators outside of deer hunters, now the state is crawling with record numbers of coyotes, black bears and bobcats. More than 80 fawns have been collared in the northwest Connecticut study, which let biologist determine the cause of morality.

“Everyone wants to point at coyotes, because they make such a ruckus, but in reality it’s the quiet killers, bears and bobcats. Especially bobcats,” LaBonte said. In January, state officials checked the spot where a GPS collar stopped moving and found a 70-pound fawn buried under snow and leaves. The cause of death? Telltale signs of a bobcat kill: slash and bite marks around the head and neck. “We uncovered the fawn and took pictures, then went back the next day and the cat had returned that night and re-covered the deer,” LaBonte said. “They’re amazing animals.”

Source: Low Deer Numbers, But Plenty of Food in Northeast | Field & Stream

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