October 23, 2019

Last Time I Checked Canada Lynx Also Eat During Summers in Maine

In a recent article I just read about Canada lynx in Maine, the author said:

“The environment in Maine is perfect to support Canada lynx populations. Harsh winters, deep snow, dense evergreen forests and sub-zero temperatures are exactly what the lynx likes.

“…Some believe both lynx and coyotes would compete for the same food, but during a recent 12-year study, it was found that is not the case. Lynx roam the deep snow without problems, while coyotes travel more in packs along trails and road systems, and are more likely to attack larger prey, such as deer.”

I have not read, nor do I know, what 12-year study on lynx the author refers to. However, I grew up in Maine and lived there year round for nearly 50 years. I’ve experienced some of those “harsh” Maine winters, with snow depths reaching in excess of 100 inches. I can also tell you with certainty that those conditions, even in northern Maine, do not persist throughout the year. Snow melts in Spring, Summers are warm and Fall can extend well into December.

The question should become, what do Canada lynx eat during the majority of the year when it doesn’t have the advantage over coyotes to stay on top of the snow? If the deep, soft snow persists in northern Maine for 4 months, does the lynx fast for the remaining 8 months? Perhaps the coyote and lynx have some kind of mutual convention in which they discuss which days of the week they will eat?

The Canada lynx is NOT an endangered or threatened species. Environmentalism has caused the brainwashing of non-thinkers to believe that even an animal that periodically inhabits fringes of its normal habitat, must be protected at all costs, and there is little understanding of the realities that exist. Putting out nonsense that coyotes and lynx don’t compete with each other for food, is dishonest at best. The author’s description of what happens in the depth of winter in Maine is, for the most part, accurate. However, the coyotes and lynx must eat to survive the remainder of the year, which happens to be the majority of the year. Why is not that aspect of lynx survival discussed?

 

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Meet the Coywolf

The ignorance on display in this video, comes from two, very young, fully indoctrinated biologists who believe that coywolves inhabiting New York’s Central Park or anyplace in the cities and towns where numerous people live, is a wonderful thing.

Spoken very little of, is the potential danger these animals pose to the public, saying that, while we shouldn’t make friends with the wild canines, we should “make them uncomfortable” to be around humans. Nothing was spoken of the near 50 diseases these filthy critters can carry and spread, and that is, not only a shame, but is irresponsibility bred on ignorance and idealistic Romance Biology and VooDoo Science.

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And People Think Little Red Riding Hood is a Fairy Tale

This not only is a fairy tale, but it’s the biggest lie of the century.

“Phillips described the benefits of wolf recovery in terms of a “trophic cascade.” Essentially, that the reintroduction of wolves in Western Colorado will have a widespread effect resulting from the predation of elk. Most directly, it has the potential to cleanse the herd and mitigate the prevalence of chronic wasting disease. If wolves have a “big enough effect on prey, it can benefit willows and Aspens for example. They can grow more robust and many species can benefit from that,” he said.”<<<Read More Nonsense>>>

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Deer Sanctuaries on Maine’s Seacoast Islands

We continuously hear of Maine’s coastal islands, where many residents live, overrun with deer. Residents have had to resort to killing deer in order to limit the destruction the deer can cause. This perceived phenomenon has existed for a very long time and yet is incompletely reported as some sort of modern event without historical perspective to give people a full understanding of how common deer migration to the islands has been and continues to be. What might be lacking in all this is a rational explanation as to why.

The Portland Press Herald reports that, “Deer are surprisingly good swimmers and have found their way to islands all along the coast, where they face no threats from predators and gradually grow in number until they virtually overrun the communities.”

Let’s put a bit more historical perspective on this.

First, readers should understand that deer are not completely stupid animals. They are quite adaptive to their changing surroundings. An unrecognized example is that deer are learning to winter outside of their traditional “deer yards” because they are tired of being harassed by predators, i.e. coyotes, bobcats, lynx, etc. (bears in the Spring). I have witnessed this “phenomenon” myself. More people need to learn this fact as well.

Deer, not unlike any living creature, need to eat, have reasonable survivable habitat and exist in the least dangerous environment. These changing conditions force deer to adjust their habits and adapt…or die. These are some of the reasons we are witness to more and more deer, and other wildlife living in our backyards. Unfortunately, man haters can only see that this phenomenon exists because man keeps encroaching on the deer. Instead of understanding that man’s existence has created some of the best habitat historically for deer, which is a magnate for them.

But none of this is really new. In the book, “Early Maine Wildlife: Historical Accounts of Canada Lynx, Moose, Mountain Lion, White-Tailed Deer, Wolverine, Wolves, and Woodland Caribou – 1603-1930,” by William B. Krohn and Christopher L. Hoving, we read that, since the beginning of the time that man inhabited Maine, deer would swim the distances from the mainland to the islands to escape the natural predators.

In a multi-part series I did about the wolves written in this book, I wrote this about the island deer:

“This particular presentation I have chosen, comes from work done by a W. Wood in 1977, New

England Prospect. The writings were dated 1634. I believe the 1634 author was a Thomas Cotes
of London.”
~~~~~
“They [deer] desire to be near the sea, so that they may swim to the island when they are chased
by the wolves. It is not to be thought into what great multitudes they would increase were it not
for the common devourer, the wolf.
The wolves be in some respect different from them in other countries. It was never known yet
that a wolf set upon man or woman. Neither do they trouble horses or cows; but swine, goats and
red calves, which they take for deer, be often destroyed by them, so that a red calf is cheaper
than a black one in that regard in some places. In the time of autumn and in the beginning of
spring, those ravenous rangers do most frequent our English habitations, following the deer which
come down at that time to those parts. They be made much like a mongrel, being big boned, lank
launched, deep breasted, having a thick neck and head, prick ears, and a long snout, with
dangerous teeth, long-staring hair, and a great bush tale.
 
These be killed daily in some place or other, either by the English or Indian, who have a certain
rate for every head. Yet is there little hope of their utter distruction, the country being so spacious
and they so numerous, traveling in the swamps by kennels. Sometimes ten or twelve are of a
company. Late at night and early in the morning they set up their howlings and call their
companies together – at night to hunt, at morning to sleep. In a word they be the greatest
inconveniency the country hath, both for the matter of damage to private men in particular, and
the whole country in general.”
Even today, the deer move to the islands for protection. It is my contention that predators have historically driven deer, seeking safety, to the islands. Once there, they reproduce in numbers only somewhat limited by their surroundings. This rate of growth becomes a problem for residents who, in turn, take actions to limit the destruction the deer can cause.
It should also be understood that coyotes/wolves, if the conditions exist on the mainland, in which these large predators became hungry enough, they would also swim to the islands in search of a meal.
Certainly the fact that deer swim to the islands is not a modern day phenomenon.
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Back When Kids Did the “Right” Thing

kidswithcoyote

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How Much Are Mountain Lions “Eating” Into Your Hunting Opportunities?

*Editor’s Note* – It was nearly 7 years ago that I wrote this article on mountain lions and the effect they might be having on hunting opportunities. It seems, almost as a yearly event, Maine begins another debate as to whether there are mountain lions in the Pine Tree State. Such is the case again, as John Holyoke of the Bangor Daily News, received some emails from readers who swear they saw a mountain lion.

With that in mind, I decided to unearth this older story and share it with readers again.

It seems that mostly what we hear these days is how predators, bears, mountain lions, wolves, coyote, bobcat, etc., have no effect on our deer herds. This of course is not true and is really a dishonest statement. Of course these large predators have an effect on the very areas in which they live. It might be more accurate to say that we don’t really notice the effect they are leaving behind until the game we hunt, which is often the same game these predators hunt, are disappearing.

If we look at the state of Maine as an example, here is a state that in the northern two-thirds there is essentially no more deer left. We have heard all the excuses – severe winters, loss of habitat, poor management, too many predators, etc. What we don’t seem to be getting a grasp on is what happens to our game management plans when the ecosystem gets torn to shreds by either uncontrollable circumstances(weather), or unpredicted effects(predators)?

I was emailing over the weekend with a good friend in Maine about the deer problems there. He made what I consider a profound and very accurate statement. He said, “Everything would be hunky-dory if we had not had two very severe winters in a row. It found all the weak spots in the management of the Maine deer herd.”

While I believe this statement to hold a lot of water, why is it we still are feeling this need to deny discussing some of those weaknesses other than blaming winters and habitat? As I pointed out just a minute ago, predators do make an impact on the very ecosystems that they live. In a robust ecosystem, most of us never pay notice to predators. In other words, there is plenty to go around – at least for now. So what happens when the ecosystem becomes lopsided? What happens when two severe winters in a row decimate a deer herd? What happens when two severe winters in a row finish off a deer herd that has already been weakened due to reduced habitat and too many predators, or at least what now appears as too many predators? These are some of the “weak spots” my friend was referring to.

Let’s take only one example, the mountain lion. But Tom! There are no mountain lions in Maine! Officially, there are no mountain lions in Maine nor are there any wolves and from my perspective it can remain that way until circumstances warrant a change.

Perhaps two months ago, this same friend sent me a photograph he had taken in Maine of what he believed to be a mountain lion kill of a whitetail deer.

mountainlioncovereddeer

 

I sent the picture for an opinion to some people who I knew had far more experience with mountain lions than either the two of us. Dr. Valerius Geist, a renowned biologist and expert on ungulates, commented this way:

We live in the boonies surrounded by large predators, including mountain lions. Deer vacate the land when puma show up. We know that from old work done with radio collared mountain lions and deer. So, no big surprise that the deer have vanished. Why the surprise over puma being present in the East?

I also got a response from George Dovel, editor of the Outdoorsman and years of experience in the outdoors.

Let me emphasize I am neither a cougar expert nor an expert cougar (mountain lion) hunter but I was a close friend to and hunted with the most successful Idaho lion hunter of the 20th century, *** *****, for a few years. During the 18 years I lived in what is now the Frank Church Wilderness I examined a fair number of cougar kills and, in those I examined closely on snow, I determined the lion always dragged the carcass at least a short distance once it killed or paralyzed the animal, and often – but not always – covered it. If the kill was not concealed by brush and/or trees and also covered by leaves, needles or other debris as in your photo, it was quickly discovered by magpies, ravens or eagles. The photo you provided might indicate a typical mountain lion kill.

So I have at least stirred up the idea in you that mountain lions might be around in a few places in Maine. What effect will this mountain lion have on the whitetail deer population within its territory? Under “normal” circumstances, probably none that would get noticed by the average hunter/outdoorsman. But what if the deer herd began shrinking because of winter kill, loss of habitat, etc.?

In the spring edition of North American Whitetail Magazine, 2010, Volume 28, Number 2, there is an article in there by Dr. James C. Kroll. He writes,

Although many state wildlife agencies still won’t admit they have lions, the public is now well aware they exist in a number of places. And, they can have a real impact on whitetails. In general, a male lion will eat one deer per week, while a female with young will eat two deer per week. The hidden blessing is that lions tend to have very large home ranges, and they therefore don’t defend their territories as vigorously as wolves or bears do.

If the mountain lion was ranging over territory that comprise whitetail deer populations that were healthy in numbers, let’s say 20 or more deer per square mile, I doubt any of us would ever much notice the deer the lion took out. Dare I say, we probably would not know the lion existed. But what if this lion was now living in the same territory where the population of deer has been reduced to 2, 3 or 4 deer per square mile. Being a good hunter, a hungry lion can finish off what remains of a deer herd within its territory, if it’s eating a deer or two per week. If the lion doesn’t completely wipe it out, it certainly can hamper the rebuilding effort or make it difficult to sustain a herd.

So now we are looking at a real predator problem, well, that is if one wants to maintain a deer herd. Where once the lion would go unnoticed, now hunters want to know where the deer all went. Predators do have an effect on whitetail deer numbers and under Maine’s circumstances one mountain lion ranging about an area with a drastically reduced deer herd, can finish it off. It’s now a problem. So, why not admit it?

Managing deer in Northern Maine, as well as parts of Downeast and the mountains in the west, is a challenge simply because geographically, these areas sit on the outer fringes of whitetail deer range. There will always be severe winters here and there and as my friend said, those bad winters show up the weaknesses in the deer management plan. If Maine wants to keep a deer herd in these areas, it best be plugging up some of these holes so that the severe winters, when they hit, won’t have such a devastating effect on the herd.

We can start by admitting that predators do have an impact on deer herds. How much we notice depends on certain conditions, some of which we are witness to now. We need to more closely monitor and manage predator numbers of bear, coyote, bobcats, as well as reduce competition for food and habitat between deer and moose.

None of this will be easy but a repeated denial that predators matter, isn’t going to cut it anymore.

Tom Remington

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Can coyote predation risk induce reproduction suppression in white-tailed deer?

Abstract

Predators can have powerful nonconsumptive effects on their prey by inducing behavioral, physiological, and morphological responses. These nonconsumptive effects may influence prey demography if they decrease birthrates or increase susceptibility to other sources of mortality. The Reproductive Suppression Model suggests that iteroparous species may maximize their lifetime reproductive success by suppressing their reproduction until a future time, when conditions may be more favorable. Coyote (Canis latrans) range expansion in the United States has exposed white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) populations to increased predation risk, and coyote predation can have profound effects on white-tailed deer reproductive success. We evaluated effects of temporal variation in predation risk (i.e., coyote–deer ratios) on fecundity and reproductive success of white-tailed deer on the Joseph W. Jones Ecological Research Center in southwestern Georgia, United States, by exploiting a rapid decline in coyote abundance to establish a natural experiment. We measured fecundity by examining ovaries for evidence of ovulation, and measured reproductive success using evidence of lactation from deer harvested before and after the decline in coyote abundance. We found that incidence of ovulation and lactation increased following the decline in predation risk. Our results suggest coyotes may be able to influence deer recruitment, independent of direct predation, through interactions that result in reduced fecundity. More broadly, our study suggests that in order to understand the totality of the effect of predators on prey population dynamics, studies should incorporate measures of direct and indirect predator effects.<<<Read More>>>

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Minnesota Wolves: No Kudos from Here

The following article from a Northern Minnesota newspaper describes a 40-year US Fish and Wildlife Service (retired) Wolf Biologist admitting that wolves in Minnesota have indeed decimated the Minnesota moose population and that, undoubtedly, any attempt to increase moose numbers in Minnesota would be akin to introducing impalas into a lion cage at the zoo.

Since retiring here 8 years ago, no other subject caused the shunning and downright rudeness I experienced than my saying or writing that the moose were declining due to wolf predation.  Newspaper reporters said I was stupid and the Minnesota DNR and the University of Minnesota authored article after article in the papers that went on at great length about “ticks”, “global warming” and “unspecified diseases” being the cause for the moose decline and the loss of the moose hunting season. Such articles always carried the following disclaimer that I paraphrase, “While some claim wolf predation is a factor, the one thing we are certain about is that wolf predation does not diminish moose populations”.

Many of my colleagues today are cheering the fact that Dr. Mech has “seen the light” and is “man enough to admit it” regarding the suddenly discovered fact that wolves are THE cause of the demise of moose in Minnesota.  I offer no such cheer.

The federal wolves are here in Minnesota in great densities.  Mech and the DNR and all the University “experts” have profited in great measure from protecting wolves that have been destroying moose populations, moose watching and creating many, many other negative impacts from their actions and lies performed in league with very evil (the correct word) environmentalists and animal rights radicals with broad agendas associated with wolf dangers and destruction.

Now I try to practice forgiveness but the following explanation by the “good” doctor and his cronies is simply further dissembling and meant to only keep the hunters, ranchers, dog owners and rural Minnesota in their state of perpetual subservience to Mech and the DNR and the University and their federal sugardaddy, the USFWS.

After reading all the “science” and “discovery” humbug I ask you to consider:

  1. Assuming the legal issues are resolved soon” is the caveat given for any solution.  Any biologist with the least understanding  of and appreciation for the US Constitution and the North American Wildlife Management model would not give this meaningless pap as a necessary beginning.  Federal seizure of state wildlife management authority and jurisdiction is THE reason moose hunting, moose and other things like wolf attacks on campers and dog deaths are happening throughout northern Minnesota.  While Mech warbles about court decisions and working with the radicals that control USFWS and have made the DNR and the University federal lapdogs, federal impositions driven by national and international politics and corruption will keep rearing its ugly head whenever bureaucrats and politicians see a benefit to themselves.  Anything that does not start with the complete removal of any federal opportunity (like repeal of the Endangered Species ACT) to reassert federal jurisdiction over non-treaty Minnesota wildlife is simply a pipedream.
  1. Mech recommends that the state focus more of its wolf harvest quota in future years in the primary moose range, to give the moose population some breathing room.” Any future wolf control that would give ANY “breathing room” would (thanks again to Mech, the DNR, the “U” and USFWS) require reducing the wolf population drastically over many years and then keeping it at the lower level forever.  Even if the progressive urban Minnesotans understood and agreed; it would require shooting, trapping, snaring, aerial hunting, poison (?) etc. to attain and sustain the lower wolf levels.  Would government do it? Would rural Minnesotans do it?  What is the cost?  Who would pay?  Are rural Minnesotans anymore able to do such things?  Are the staffs of the DNR or USFWS or even USDA any longer capable or willing to do what would have to be done?
  1. His assertion that, “if moose continue to decline, wolf numbers will decline as well” is pure poppycock.  If you believe that, there is a bridge for sale in Brooklyn.  Wolves decline when moose decline as described on little islands like Isle Royale NP in Lake Superior.  Wolves in NW Canada, Siberia and Alaska switch to other wildlife and even humans when a main food source like moose decline.  In the settled landscapes of the Lower 48 States when moose decline, wolves shift to deer, elk, cows, calves, sheep, lambs, dogs (when they are not breeding them), kids at bus stops, old ladies in gardens, old men checking the mail, toddlers in the back yard, garbage, hunters’ game, livestock discards, and more than I have room to describe here.  Between their doing “what they never did before” in areas they were “never in before” and hybridizing with every coyote and dog they don’t eat: I guess I am just making an otherwise “double arabesque and pirouette off stage right” retirement for this Bozo into a “get out and stay out” exit by a failed bureaucrat as he deserves.
  2. He concludes, “There’s really little reason to delay. The evidence is increasingly clear. While climate factors may play some indirect roles in the moose decline (such as making moose less healthy and more vulnerable to wolf predation), wolves are the primary direct factor behind the disappearance of this northwoods icon. That’s a scientific conclusion that’s hard to refute”.

He still keeps his foot in the radical canoe with, “climate factors may play some indirect roles in the moose decline (such as making moose less healthy and more vulnerable to wolf predation” something with no evidence and no more than a fairy tale to sell snake oil.

He goes on with, “wolves are the primary direct factor behind the disappearance of this northwoods icon”.  No Doctor; You and the USFWS and the DNR and your University cronies are responsible and you offer no solution other than a glass of warm milk before retiring.

Your nostrums from your retirement villa for the debacle and losses you wrought are too little and too late.  It will take men doing what men do best, to undo what you and your cronies once sold and offered as testimonials to justify imposing them on rural Americans.

To quote a Boatswain Mate I once knew, “put a cork in it!”

Jim Beers

15 Sep. 2016

If you found this worthwhile, please share it with others.  Thanks.

Jim Beers is a retired US Fish & Wildlife Service Wildlife Biologist, Special Agent, Refuge Manager, Wetlands Biologist, and Congressional Fellow. He was stationed in North Dakota, Minnesota, Nebraska, New York City, and Washington DC.  He also served as a US Navy Line Officer in the western Pacific and on Adak, Alaska in the Aleutian Islands.  He has worked for the Utah Fish & Game, Minneapolis Police Department, and as a Security Supervisor in Washington, DC.  He testified three times before Congress; twice regarding the theft by the US Fish & Wildlife Service of $45 to 60 Million from State fish and wildlife funds and once in opposition to expanding Federal Invasive Species authority.  He resides in Eagan, Minnesota with his wife of many decades.

 

Jim Beers is available to speak or for consulting.

You can receive future articles by sending a request with your e-mail address to:   jimbeers7@comcast.net

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Colorado Has Too Many Black Bears – We Told You So

*Editor’s Note* – When Colorado decided to effectively ban every method to legally harvest black bears, with the exception of one man and one rifle, we warned the public and officials that when social demands, orchestrated by the environmentalists, remove the tools necessary for wildlife managers to control wild animal populations, problems like those now appearing in Colorado would persist.

This is the same message that many of us sent to voters in Maine who, thankfully, opted not to do away with the hunting and trapping tools needed to keep bears in check. Now Colorado is considering increasing bag limits on bears and/or lengthening the season. Good luck with that. Maybe they should consider repealing the ban and allowing baiting and hounding.

The Post Independent reports higher numbers of bear-human conflicts has led to more relocation of the animal, but more relocations have led to less available locations for more relocations. According to the newspaper, Parks and Wildlife has relocated six bears and put down 17 this year in Management Area 17, which includes Glenwood Springs, Carbondale and most of Pitkin and Eagle counties.

Parks and Wildlife District Manager Dan Cacho told The Post Independent relocation gets complicated when that many incidents occur in one spot because officials want to move the bears “at least 100 miles away” but still need to keep them in Colorado.”<<<Read More>>>

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Rockholm: Wolves Are Destroying Our Wildlife

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