June 20, 2018

Vermont Continues To Reduce Moose Permit Allotments

It appears that the Vermont Department of Fish and Wildlife has decided, once again, to cut back on moose hunting permits. Where once there were 25 permits issued, authorities are recommending only 14 be issued this year.

A news article said the decision is based on the continued reduction of the moose herd because of, “…infestations of ticks and brain worms believed to be caused by the warming climate.”

If this was a game where you could buy a clue, the clue to buy would be this: So long as fish and wildlife departments continue to wallow in the deep manure pile of “global warming” they will never find any real answers to wildlife management problems.

Evidently, that’s the easiest mode of operation and are we to now believe the most lucrative?

 

 

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Environmental Assessment and Finding of No Significant Impact for the Issuance of Depredation Permits for Double-Crested Cormorants

SUMMARY: This notice advises the public of the completion of an environmental assessment (EA) and finding of no significant impact (FONSI). The EA analyzed the potential impacts of a proposal to make decisions on depredation permit applications for the annual take (i.e., lethal removal) of up to 51,571 double-crested cormorants, Phalcrocorax
auritus, across 37 central and eastern States and the District of Columbia. The EA considered two alternatives: The proposed action; and the reduced take alternative (which is the preferred alternative). The scope of the EA is to issue permits to manage cormorant damage at aquaculture facilities, protect human health and safety, protect threatened and endangered wildlife, and alleviate damage to property. Based on the analysis contained in the EA, the Service finds that the preferred alternative would not constitute a major Federal action significantly affecting the quality of the human environment, as outlined in the accompanying FONSI.<<<More>>>

Press Release
Service’s Environmental Assessment Balances Protection of Aquaculture with Conservation of Cormorant Populations

November 14, 2017

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has taken action towards providing relief to fish production facilities that are suffering significant economic losses due to predation of their fish stocks by double-crested cormorants. The Environmental Assessment released today was completed by the Service under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) in consultation with the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service Wildlife Services. It evaluated options for issuing individual permits to lethally control cormorants (known as depredation permits) while ensuring the long-term health of the cormorant population.

Cormorants can feed on fish raised for human consumption and on fish raised for other commercial purposes. In addition, cormorants may cause economic damage to property as well as other damage and conflicts associated with increasing populations.

The EA analyzed options for the issuance of depredation permits for cormorants where there is either significant economic damage to aquaculture facilities, significant damage to native vegetation, significant impact on a threatened or endangered species or significant human safety risks.

It provides a strong biological foundation to ensure cormorant populations are managed responsibly and in compliance with federal laws and regulations, while balancing economic development, human health and safety, endangered species management and other priorities.

Upon publication in the Federal Register on November 15, 2017, aquaculture facility managers and property owners across 37 central and eastern states and the District of Columbia will be able to apply for individual permits for lethal take of double-crested cormorants. The Service expects to begin issuing actual permits prior to cormorant migration this fall.

This review did not include potential damage to recreational and commercial fishing by cormorants. Over the next year, the Service will engage stakeholders in order to assess the biological, social and economic significance of wild fish-cormorant interactions, and to identify a suite of management alternatives. This will include identifying the monitoring needs necessary to address the issue and gathering better scientific information that could be used in the NEPA review and decision making process.

The scale and complexity of the issues involving cormorant control to protect wild free-swimming fish populations is substantial, and not as easily assessed as the impacts on aquaculture. The Service will work with states and tribes to compile scientific information regarding the biological and economic effects of cormorants or their removal on wild fisheries.

The Service is also currently working with state fish and wildlife agencies to assess comprehensive management options for cormorants across the United States.

For more information, please visit: https://www.fws.gov/birds/management/managed-species/double-crested-cormorants.php.

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VooDoo Science, Social Demands and Lyme Disease Drive Any-Deer Permit Allocations

So, let me get this straight! According to John Holyoke’s report in the Bangor Daily News, the excuses the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife (MDIFW) give for increasing the allotment of “Any-Deer Permits” (ADP) to over 66,000 is because of 10 consecutive years of mild winters. I can say they were mild for me because I was in Florida, but record breaking snowfall evidently doesn’t account for any part of the Winter Severity Index.

We hear also that most of those ADPs are being handed out in Wildlife Management Districts (WMD) in Central and Southern Maine where populations of deer are the highest, and yet ADPs are being issued in zones where there haven’t been any for a few years and where record deep snowfalls occurred.

And if that isn’t enough to start your blood boiling just a tad, read what Lee Kantar, acting deer biologist(?) said (because the former deer biologist quit and moved on): “Kantar said that as the DIF&W continues to work on its next generation of long-range management plans, a subtle shift is emerging. In past years, it was common for biologists to issue population estimates for various big game animals. When asked for a statewide estimate on deer, Kantar said biologists are focusing more on the health of the population than sheer numbers.

“We’re not abandoning the thought of ‘How many critters are there out there?’ but the means for us doing that, we do as part of monitoring health, as well,” Kantar said.”

This “subtle shift” is a convenient new tool that is part of a continued reduction in accountability for wildlife managers. The ONLY way a biologist can honestly determine how many ADPs to issue to meet population goals is to know how many deer are within a WMD. To somehow approach things from the perspective of “I think the herd is healthy in WMD 27, therefore I will increase ADPs,” is a step backwards of about 40 years.

Now, it appears, the convenient excuse will be that managers don’t really have a handle on deer populations and will, with the onset of a new Romance Biological deer management plan, sense the condition of the herd and make excuses from there. In case you hadn’t figured it out yet, this is right in line with the convenience of Climate Change (CC = 33). With Climate Change and managing deer for “health” is there really any reason Maine needs any wildlife biologists?

The third excuse of convenience is now emerging where the issuance of 66,000-plus ADPs is Lyme Disease. Deer are carriers of ticks that spread Lyme disease. With the perpetual effort to scare the living hell out of people over Lyme disease, social pressures will demand that MDIFW kill more deer. Historically when those demands are made, the deer get killed and licensed sportsmen are not allowed to do the job and residents are not allowed to benefit from the resource. Also, understand that where Lyme disease is said to be most prevalent is in areas where land is heavily posted to prevent access for hunting those deer. As with any Totalitarian society, the problem is created by the totalitarians who in turn demand that government solve their problems. And we know what kind of job government does at anything they do.

Maine residents and sportsmen should look of a “subtle shift,” or maybe not so subtle shift, toward a new movement of Romance Biology and Voodoo Science to guide the wildlife managers to wallow in their own brilliance of disease creation and scarcity because they are fully engaged in the effort to “change the way we look at and discuss wildlife management.”

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2017 Maine Moose Lottery Open for Applicants

Deadline for applications is May 15, 2017.

Visit Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife website for information and to apply.

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MDIFW Avoided the Cash Rewards

In George Smith’s article in the Bangor Daily News, he writes of a question he was asked by a reader as to why, “Maine essentially close[d] the bear season to non-residents during deer season?”, and querying as to why the Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife (MDIFW) and/or the Legislature won’t open the November deer hunting season to harvesting bear by non-residents in the same fashion as Maine residents can do during the deer season.

The MDIFW offers an answer to that question but doesn’t really address the real issue with managing bears or explain their cash windfall by charging non-resident deer hunters an additional $74.00 for a special tag in order to harvest a bear during deer season. (Maine residents must pay an additional $27.00 for a bear permit to hunt bear outside of deer season.)

As Smith explains and has explained, MDIFW is in the process of establishing revised 15-year management plans for big game species that include bear, deer, moose and turkey. Part of the plan for bear involves what the Department can do to create a greater interest in bear hunting in order to better keep in check a still growing bear population.

The explanation as to why non-residents can’t inclusively hunt bear during deer season without a $74.00 tag, does not include why MDIFW or the Maine Legislature decided to create the exemption in the first place. If the MDIFW is certainly interested in keeping hunters happy, providing for the best management of bears, while at the same time looking for ways to increase the bear harvest, they sure have a strange way of going about it.

MDIFW says that after implementation of the bear hunt exemption, non-resident deer hunters continue to lay out $74.00 for a bear tag, even though the success rate is slim to none – barely over a dozen bears harvested. MDIFW says those bear permits range from 700 – 1,000 each season – or a cash windfall to MDIFW of between $51,800 and $74,000 dollars per year. In the grand scheme of government gouging for every tax dollar they can swindle out of the public, this is not a lot of money, but we do need to change the attitudes of tax payers and stop giving these bureaucrats more money so they can find more ways to limit hunter’s ways to harvest game.

The explanation given by MDIFW about the small harvest totals of bears during the deer season is understandable but it doesn’t address the issue of what to do about the Department’s ability to better control the bear population. In the explanation, MDIFW’s bear biologist writes, “…we will consider a variety of options for meeting our management needs that includes reviewing our permit system and making changes if appropriate.”

I understand that in this particular incident MDIFW was addressing the question asked and therefore there was no need to explain more about the proposed bear management plan.

As I said above, MDIFW has an odd way of addressing how to generate more bear kills to control the population. The first mistake, in my opinion, they made was to require bear hunters to pay for a special bear hunting permit ($27.00 for residents, $74.00 for non residents), in addition to the Big Game Hunting License ($26.00 for residents, $115.00 for non residents). Not everyone is made of money and in a time when all governments are out of control and clueless about stealing more and more of people’s money, they fail to realize that two things can happen with this scenario. First, fewer people can and will cough up the money to purchase a bear permit. Second, those still wishing to harvest a bear, will do it illegally. In addition, I tire from listening to lame excuses such as the fees required in Maine are a lot cheaper than in other states. Fine! But we are not talking about other states and never is there any discussion about demographics and other factors that go into the setting of fees for hunting, fishing and trapping. I grew up in Maine and I certainly understand, from my own past, that for some people buying a license is a chore. Is it not discriminatory to set fees that take away some people’s opportunities to hunt, fish or trap?

MDIFW grants Maine residents permission to harvest a bear, at no extra charge, during deer season with the purchase of a Big Game Hunting License ($27.00). How big of them, considering, as shown in the explanation in discussion, very few bears are taken during deer season because the bears are most often in hibernation. But they did put it to the non-residents asking for and additional $74.00 (in addition to the $115.00). While the bear harvest by non-residents before and after is seemingly negligible, a handful of harvested bears versus the cash windfall might be worth losing a few more bears.

If MDIFW wanted more bears harvested, why ask Maine hunters to pay for a permit? Makes no sense. Out one side of their mouths they cry about what they are going to do to curb the bear population. While doing that they stick their hand into hunter’s back pockets and pick them clean with no justification other than they wanted more money. It certainly does nothing to help control bear numbers.

Of the bear hunters that exist and do try to harvest bear, why not offer some means of allowing hunters or trappers to take more than one bear? MDIFW really went all out when they said a person could take one bear by trapping and one by hunting (sarcasm in case you weren’t keen). I bet that knocked down the bear population in a hurry!

We know that bears are big killers of deer fawns. MDIFW attempts to use smoke and mirrors to convince people that there are now tons of deer (due to one mild winter, wink, wink), and yet, the deer harvest essentially has remained at historic lows for at least the last 10 years. MDIFW has done nothing to remedy this problem with the exception of coughing up a couple dollars to do some sporadic predator control.

If bear populations are a problem, anyone with a brain should be able to logically conclude that with bears being fawn killers, two birds could be killed with one shot here. Increasing the bag limit on bear, in turn might help grow a deer herd instead of relying on Al Gore and his fake Global Warming.

But wait! MDIFW probably won’t do that because they are owned by the Maine Guides Association. Near as I can tell the guides tell MDIFW what they will and will not do when it comes to bear hunting. Granted, I’m not as stupid as some may think, bear hunting is a cash cow for the guides and they don’t want anybody spoiling their fun. But, at what expense?

It appears from reports I’ve heard and read about, MDIFW is looking at ways of creating more “interest” in bear hunting, hoping this will lower the bear population. Seriously? Again, strange ways of generating an interest in bear hunting. Maine should implement a 2-bear bag limit for one season and then reassess. While they are at it, they should seriously increase the number of moose permits and take a real proactive approach at dealing with an overgrown moose herd that is killing itself with disease and pests – Mother Nature in action.

If MDIFW is only looking for ways of fattening up their cash cow, why not be transparent and go to the hunters, trappers and fishermen, who have paid MDIFW’s way for decades and tell them what they need, what they are going to do with the money and how it will benefit the sportsman. MDIFW might be surprised at the response they get. But, instead, they limit the opportunities for bear hunters while at the same time attempting to gouge their wallets and then wonder what can they do to generate interest.

You can’t make this stuff up.

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Maine’s Magical “Any-Deer” Permit Applications Available

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

AUGUSTA, Maine – Applications for 2016 any-deer (antlerless) permit lottery are now available online from the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife.

Online applications are due by 11:59 P.M. on August 15, 2016. Paper applications may be submitted in person or by mail no later than 5 P.M. on July 29, 2016. To apply online, or print a paper application to mail, visit www.mefishwildlife.com.

This year, a total 45,755 any-deer permits are proposed for 18 of the state’s 29 wildlife management districts across the state, an increase of nearly 60%. Last year, there were 28,770 permits available to hunters.  Hunters who do not receive an Any Deer permits are only allowed to shoot an antlered deer. The proposed permit numbers await approval by the IFW advisory council.

“Last year’s winter was more moderate in many areas of the state, and the increase in the number of any deer permits reflect that,” said IFW wildlife biologist Kyle Ravana. The proposed increase in permits are in 13 different wildlife management districts that comprise southern, central, and western Maine.

The department uses the any-deer permit system to manage the white-tailed deer population in the state. The ability to enact change in the state’s deer populations derives from the ability to increase, or decrease, the number of breeding does on the landscape. White-tailed deer are at the northern edge of their range in Maine, and winter severity is a limiting factor concerning population growth. By controlling the harvest of female deer in the 29 regional wildlife management districts throughout the state, biologists can manage population trends. With last year’s winter below average in severity, more permits can be issued.

This year, there are any deer permits proposed for WMDs 7, 12, and 13 after these districts saw no permits last year. Biological data collected as well as field observations by biologists suggest that these WMDs can withstand a light doe harvest. The mild winter provided deer with a lower than average over-winter mortality, as well as increased reproductivity.

Last year, Maine’s hunters harvested 20,325 deer. Hunters harvested 14,907 bucks, and 3,615 adult does. For the past 8 years, Maine hunters have been harvesting approximately 20,900 deer annually.

Maine hunters were most successful during the regular firearms season for deer, which accounted for 82% of the total deer kill. Bowhunters accounted for 10%, youth hunters just over 4.2% and muzzleloaders 3.7% of the total deer kill.

Up to half of all any deer permits in each WMD are allocated between Maine landowners who own 25 acres or more (25%) and youth hunters (25%). The remaining permits are then distributed to the remaining hunters who apply for any deer permits. The drawing will be held on September 9, 2016 and results will be posted on the Department’s website.

The 18 wildlife management districts where any-deer (antlerless) permits are proposed are 3, 6, 7, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26 and 29.  Firearms hunting for deer begins with Youth Deer Hunting Day on Saturday, October 22, 2016. Youth may take a buck statewide or an antlerless deer only in the wildlife management districts where any-deer permits will be issued this fall.

This year, Maine Residents Only Day is on Saturday, October 29, 2016, and regular firearms season for deer runs October 31 through November 26, 2016.  Note: this year, a nonresident who owns 25 or more acres of land in Maine and leaves land open to hunting, holds a valid hunting license, and is not otherwise prohibited by law, may hunt deer on the Resident only day.

The regular archery season begins on September 29 and continues until October 28. The expanded archery season is from September 10- December 10 in specially designated areas. The muzzleloading season is November 28-December 3 in all areas of the state, and continues another week ( December 5-10) in southern and central Maine (WMDs 12, 13, 15-18, 20-26 and 29).

For more information, visit www.mefishwildlife.com.

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Concealed Carry Permit Holders Across the United States by John R. Lott, John E Whitley, Rebekah C. Riley :: SSRN

Since President Obama’s election the number of concealed handgun permits has soared, growing from 4.6 million in 2007 to over 12.8 million this year. Among the

Source: Concealed Carry Permit Holders Across the United States by John R. Lott, John E Whitley, Rebekah C. Riley :: SSRN

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Maine Permitless Carry Bill Goes to Governor for Signing

Today, Constitutional/Permitless Carry legislation, Legislative Document 652, was enacted by the state Senate by a vote of 23-12. This critical legislation will now go to Governor Paul LePage for his expected signature.<<<Read More>>>

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Southern New Mexico Cattleman’s Circle

Mike Phillips, who manages the Turner Endangered Species fund and the Ladder ranch were just denied a captive breeding permit for wolves at Ladder ranch, a permit held for the last 17 years, by the NM Game commission. The decision was unanimous. Finally a commission with a brain that is sick of being railroaded by extremists and unfunded federal mandates. After 17 years, NM is finally getting it.

Source: Southern New Mexico Cattleman’s Circle | Facebook

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Winter proves tough on deer, states weigh hunting limits 

In Maine, biologists are recommending a cut of 23 percent to the state’s deer hunting permits. In Vermont, the number of antlerless deer permits is being cut nearly in half. In Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, deer hunting could be halted altogether.

“This last winter was one of the worst that I can remember. I suspect that we lost a lot of deer,” said David Trahan, executive director of the Sportsman’s Alliance of Maine. “Although it’s disappointing to see permits go down, I would have to agree.”
Maine’s Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife biologists are recommending the state issue 28,770 “any deer” permits, which allow hunters to harvest bucks or does. The cut would come a year after the state reduced permits from 46,710 to 37,185, a 25 percent cut that was also motivated in part by winter die-offs.

Maine’s deer herd was about 200,000 a year ago. State biologist Kyle Ravana said this year’s estimate should be ready soon. The state Inland Fisheries and Wildlife Advisory Council is expected to vote on the permit recommendations this spring or summer.

Source: Winter proves tough on deer, states weigh hunting limits | Concord Monitor

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