September 18, 2018

Eastport, Maine’s Continuing “Deer Problem”

Actually, I don’t think Eastport has a “deer problem.” I think they have a people problem who think they can cure a perceived problem with a “new way to look at wildlife management” – i.e. Romance Biology and Voodoo Scientism.

If you live in Eastport, Maine, you have the right to keep and bear arms. However, if you are attacked within the city limits and need to defend yourself, make sure the gun you have for self-defense is small enough to throw but big enough to cause some damage if it should strike a violent criminal. That’s because in Eastport, like many other towns and cities in America, there is a law about discharging a firearm in the city. Why are these laws not being challenged?

That’s part of the so-called deer problem.

Another issue is that a deer committee, formed to look at ways of resolving the “problem” admit they are anti-hunting and seek alternative ways of “learning to live with” the deer. A Bangor Daily News article states that a member of the town’s deer committee said, “…And Bartlett made it clear the committee wasn’t a deer hunting group but rather a deer deterrent group.”

The two biggest limiters of deer populations in Maine are severe winters and depredation by large predators, i.e. bears, coyotes, bobcats and mountain lions(?). What better place to mitigate these life-threatening problems than to take up residence in a town that only wishes to “deter” deer, where they probably get fed by residents and where, usually, these large predators are not interested in having much to do with…until they get really hungry. Then they can take a bunch of pets, livestock and an occasional child or two in their quest for a meal.

Here’s my prediction. According to this news article, “…each of the deer that has been taken during the special hunt has been checked for ticks, with Lyme disease being a concern. Over the past two seasons, none of the deer have had ticks. The deer deterrent committee seems mostly unconcerned about private property and public safety of Eastport residents – at least not enough to do anything serious to lessen the problem. When deer become numerous enough and predators hungry enough to come to town for dinner, along the way they will begin eating up citizen’s pets. People can be put at risk and have their property destroyed, but when something causes harm to their pets, attitudes will change. Add to that the likelihood of increased risk of contracting some kind of disease that hits close to home, and soon bullets will replace arrows.

There’s a reason why the North American Model of Wildlife Management is still the best way to manage wildlife.

It works!

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People in Eastport, Maine Complain of Nuisance Deer and Complain About How It’s Done

Nearly a year ago I shared a report that in far eastern Maine, the town of Eastport wanted the state to do something about the slew of deer that had moved into town. Of course there are reasons the deer have moved into town but, as usual, that issue is never addressed. Instead, according to George Smith, columnist at the Bangor Daily News, a mere 30 permits were issued to kill up to 30 deer. With those permits, 11 deer were taken.

It appears as though the town and its people are complaining about the deer and yet don’t seem willing to remove all or some of their restrictions in order that the job can be done. Perhaps it is time to tell Eastport that if they aren’t willing to give a little, they are on their own to figure the problem out.

Eastport has a ban on the discharging of a firearm, and so only archery can be employed to kill the deer. As Smith points out, “This is not hunting. This is killing.”

The Town of Eastport is not entirely to blame. Because of new zoning, it became unlawful to hunt does in the Eastport region. The allotment of “Any-Deer Permits” by the Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife (MDIFW) is to control the growth or decline of deer populations. This is why the state stepped up and issued 30 permits for just one year. Realizing this effort did nothing to mitigate the deer problem, the MDIFW has issued another 30 permits and when 30 deer have been killed, they will issue another 60 permits.

With continued restrictions on the use of firearms, that hunters are restricted to using designated tree stands and the outlawing of baiting, the stage remains set for the killing of perhaps as many as 11 deer.

Evidently the deer problem isn’t THAT bad.

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Deer Pests? Time Marches On

Follow this link to an article to read at Field and Stream about how Time Magazine(behind pay wall) published an article about the overgrown populations of deer.

There are some locations around the country where deer are a “pest” and for various reasons. Some people don’t like running into them with their automobiles, while others get angry over deer eating their expensive shrubbery around their houses. In addition, too many deer often spells trouble with diseases like Lyme disease.

I’m not really opposed to any of the author’s suggestions as to what hunters could do to alleviate this “pest problem,” but I would like to comment on a couple of issues that I’m not quite so excited about and would like to offer a bit of a reality check.

First the author seems agog over the fact that Time Magazine actually published an article on deer and did it, “Fairly and thoroughly reported,” and that, “hunting is indeed the most effective, cheap, and humane method for dealing with critters when they become pests.”

I wouldn’t be so quick as to give Time Magazine (a creation of Henry R. Luce) accolades for anything that might appear to be in support of hunting, i.e. American heritage, freedoms, or North American Model for Wildlife Management. It’s just not in their blood (literally). The author seems convinced that, at least in this one article, Time is patting hunters on the back for the work that is done in the management of wild game. While it may be true that Time appears to be patting us on the back with one hand, it’s what they are doing with the other hand that is of the utmost concern. My recommendation is to take the article for what it’s worth and do not believe Time is on our side, ever.

In addition, if Time is now sending out kudos to the hunting community for a job well done, then why would the author exclaim that hunting is the preferred method of wildlife population control “when they become pests?” The historic reputation of the North American Model is that ongoing management, including the harvesting of game, prevents animals like deer from becoming pests. Ignorant environmentalists, spoon fed from birth about balance of nature, believe if man left these creatures alone they would create their own population controls and balancing. So, how is that working out? The question then must become why are all these places now faced with what to do about nuisance wildlife that wouldn’t have been a nuisance had the people and local governments allowed and provided for the proper management of these wild animals?

Sorry, I don’t buy a hunting license in order to become a pest control man.

A second issue talked about in this article is about the author challenging the hunters to do their part and step up to the plate to do something about too many deer, as if too many deer where the responsibility, or the lack thereof, of hunters. In my years of writing about these problems, where town after town struggles to find ways of dealing with “pest” deer, it is my impression that hunters would be more than eager to step up to the plate and do the right thing (chuckling here a bit) and kill deer. But the hunter is not allowed to. That’s the reason the deer are a pest now. How difficult is that to grasp hold of?

I’ll not debate all the reasons why the hunter has been banned from “doing the right thing”, but to think that the solution is as easy as getting enough hunters to kill a bunch of pests, is a bit naive and reflects lack of education as to the facts and history of dealing with overgrown populations of game species.

In the vast majority of those towns that decide deer need to be killed, they hire “sharpshooters”, not necessarily hunters because don’t you see, those who are at most at fault for allowing deer to become pests, hate the hunter, much because they are an icon of American Heritage; something that once made America great. Whether they like the “sharpshooter” is irrelevant because the anti humans who hate the hunters will do anything except employ the talents and experience of hunters to do the job, probably at no charge, other than being allowed to take home a deer or two. This is spiteful hatred on their part.

Get rid of the ridiculous bans on hunting in many of these areas, and tell the landowners who bar hunters from accessing their lands to shut up and stop complaining about too many deer, disease and auto collisions. If they want the problem solved, let the hunters come on their land and do it. As a landowner you can pick and choose who you will and will not allow to hunt your land.

But not to get away from the topic at hand, hunters didn’t create this pest problem, but if regulations and anti hunting/environmentalists would cease with their hatred of proven and humane wildlife management, many of these problems would go away or better yet, would never have occurred……and with little cost.

It isn’t just a matter of whether the hunters will take responsibility. It’s whether government, dictated to by environmentalists, will allow hunters to take responsibility. Why not ask those responsible for the problem what they are going to do about it?

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