August 24, 2019

Media Mantra Says Maine’s Deer Harvest Has Increase

deerdeepsnowMedia reports all throughout Maine’s recent whitetail deer hunting season mostly are in agreement that it appears the deer harvest took a 20% increase from last year. It will probably be 3 or 4 months before official harvest data are released; a time when most hunters have forgotten about the season and moved on to other things, i.e. ice fishing, sledding, etc. Some examples of media reports can be found here and here.

Some don’t think getting the facts in a timely manner, as other states do, matters much, but I say, especially under the current conditions in Maine concerning the deer herd, timely data is more important than ever before. It’s easy for the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife (MDIFW), along with the aid of their complicit media outlets, to hype the deer season as being one of great success. It’s the close examination of the compiled data that tells the real story.

I have no faith in the mainstream media in these affairs as their intent it to sell copy and historically, their exists little in the way of “journalism” these days. It has been co opted by copy and paste cloning of text.

If Maine’s harvest statewide should come in at around a 20% increase over 2012, that would fall in line with what the new deer biologist, Kyle Ravana predicted going into the season. That harvest number would still be 20% – 30% below historic maximum harvests. It certainly isn’t time to blow one’s horn about the successful rebuilding of a deer herd, when the majority of the success can be attributed to mild winters. What happens when another bad winter or two hits again?

However, all this talk and media hype of overall hunting success and increases in statewide deer harvest, does nothing to educate and inform the hunters of what’s going on with the deer herd town to town and Wildlife Management District (WMD) to Wildlife Management District. If planned properly, a media campaign can convince enough people the MDIFW has waved their magic wand and saved the deer herd. That’s not good enough for me and that’s why I have always been so adamant about getting the deer harvest stats out in a more timely fashion; while it’s still fresh in everyone’s mind.

So, once again, Maine sportsman will, more than likely, have to wait until late March and perhaps in April before we can have access to data to examine to see where harvest increases took place and where they didn’t. In the meantime, I do hope that the majority of hunters had success and filled their freezers.

I want hunters to be successful and I want a healthy, robust deer herd. However, logic dictates that for that to happen, something must change or we are programmed to repeat the failures of the past. I’m not convinced the necessary changes have taken place to prevent the disasters of 4 and 5 years ago.

For those who may not regularly follow and read my articles, I have long promoted solutions that I feel need to be done in order to manage deer to better rebuild the herd and prepare for and prevent another disaster as the winters of 2007/2008. Here are links to some of those articles: Here, here, here.

It is readily admitted that since 2009, the winters have been relatively mild and as a result has allowed for a reduced mortality during winter months. Implementation of a deer management plan that heavily relies on global warming (more mild winters), especially at a time that science is forecasting a transition into about a 30-year period of rapid cooling, will only spell continued disaster. Something must change.


UN-IPCC Climate Report Condemned

Monday, September 30, 2013 Press Release 8-2013
8:00 AM

The Space and Science Research Corporation (SSRC), has just released a profoundly critical review the UN-IPCC’s latest climate report, “Climate Change 2013, The Physical Science Basis, Summary for Policymakers.” In the SSRC’s own ‘Assessment’ of this Summary from the UN-IPCC, it issues what may be strongest condemnation of UN-IPCC reports to date from an authoritative climate research organization.

Edited by other SSRC Associate Scientists, the primary author of the SSRC review was Mr. John Casey, SSRC President. In addition to that position, Mr. Casey is a well-known climate lecturer and author of the internationally acclaimed climate book, “Cold Sun.” He is also the Editor of the Global Climate Status Report (GCSR), and has recently been called “America’s best climate prediction expert.”* On August 21, 2013, near Miami, Florida, he and other scientists held an important news conference where they announced the coming end of global sea level rise caused by the now ten year long cooling of the Earth’s oceans and the rapidly approaching new cold climate era.

The SSRC is the leading climate research organization in the United States in terms of its advocacy for a national and international plan to prepare for the approaching dangerous cold climate that it and other science organizations have predicted. From its separately posted Assessment of the UN-IPCC Summary for Policymakers, comes this critical opinion:
“This Summary and future portions of AR5 based on the science contained in this Summary, should be discarded. Given the host of significant errors, flaws in judgment, and simply bad science found in the Summary, it should not be considered as a worthwhile scientific document for any policymaker interested in understanding the full range of causes and effects of climate change and what the next climate era will be like. The report also provides sufficient evidence to conclude that there may have been serious scientific misconduct and breach of professional ethics by the UN-IPCC and the Summary’s authors.”

Click here to download a PDF file of the full three page press release.

Click here to download a PDF file of the SSRC Assessment of the UN-IPCC report.


Maine Coyote Control Report



MDIFW: Preliminary Figures Released on 2011 Wildlife-Related Activities in Maine

Forty-nine percent of all Maine residents 16 years of age and older hunted, fished or watched wildlife in 2011 and a total of $1.4 billion were spent in the state on those activities, according to a preliminary report by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

The National Survey of Fishing, Hunting and Wildlife-Associated Recreation, which is compiled every five years, looks at participation in and expenditures for hunting, fishing and wildlife watching by state, region and nation.

The preliminary survey also found that 1.1 million residents and nonresidents did some sort of wildlife-associated activity in Maine, including 838,000 wildlife watchers, 341,000 anglers and 181,000 hunters.

A total of $799 million were spent on wildlife watching in Maine, including $514 million in trip-related expenses and $172 million on equipment.

When it came to fishing and hunting, $644 million were spent in Maine, with $317 million going towards trips and $267 million being spent on equipment.

Residents and nonresidents spent a combined 7.3 million days watching wildlife away from their home, 3.9 million days fishing and 2.5 million days hunting in Maine.

Nationally, 38 percent of the U.S. population enjoyed some form of wildlife associated activity in 2011, spending a combined $145 billion on the activities.

The number of people who fished increased by 11 percent nationally between 2006 and 2011, while hunting participation increased by 9 percent during that time.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service started releasing the survey in 1955, making this the 12th version of it.

The final national report for 2011 will be available in November and final state reports will be released in December.


New Report Shows Hunter Participation Increasing

MISSOULA, Mont. – ?A new report that shows more people are hunting is good news for conservation, according to the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation.

The just-released 2011 National Survey of Hunting, Fishing, and Wildlife-Associated Recreation shows 13.7 million people, or 6 percent of the U.S. population age 16 and older, went hunting last year. That marks a 9 percent increase over 2006, reversing a previous downward trend.

?”This is great news for everyone in the hunting and conservation community,”? said David Allen, RMEF president and CEO. ?”But it?s even better news for our conservation efforts to protect and improve habitat for elk and other wildlife. We strongly believe that hunting is conservation. This is also a reflection of the importance of our hunting legacy of the past and our hunting heritage as we look to the future.”?

Thanks to hunter-generated dollars, RMEF protected or enhanced more than 6.1 million acres of wildlife habitat. RMEF also recently added ?hunting heritage? to its mission statement, reaffirming a commitment to ensuring a future for wildlife conservation through hunter-based support.

U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service data show hunters spent $34 billion last year on equipment, licenses, trips and other items to support their hunting activities. If you break down the numbers, sportsmen and women spent $10.4 billion on trip-related expenditures, $14 billion on equipment such as guns, camping items and 4-wheel drives, and $9.6 billion on licenses, land leasing and ownership and stamps.

?”The more hunters spend on firearms, ammunition, bows, arrows and hunting licenses and permits, the more money is generated to provide the necessary funding for successful science-based wildlife management across the United States,?” added Allen.

Here are some brief highlights from the report:

? 13.7 million hunters in 2011 compared to 12.5 million in 2006 (9 percent increase)
? Hunters spent an average of 21 days in the field
? 1.8 million 6 to 15 year olds hunted in 2011
? Big game attracted 11.6 million hunters (8 percent increase since 2006)
? Hunting-related expense increased 30 percent since 2006
? The overall participation of hunters increased more than 5 percent since 2001
? Total hunter expenditures increased 27 percent since 2001
? Expenditures by hunters, anglers & wildlife-recreationists were $145 billion or 1 percent of gross domestic product

The 2011 FWS report contains preliminary numbers. Read it in its entirety at the link below:

The final report is due in November. An FWS preliminary report containing data from the states is due out later this month.


Maine Fish and Game Fixes Poorly Crafted 2011 Bear Harvest Report

A few days ago I posted an article about the 2011 Maine black bear harvest report from the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife (MDIFW). In that report I said, “In addition, the quality of the blurry post on the MDIFW website appears to be that of a second grader. Is it possible that someone’s dog ate their homework? Maybe MDIFW has spent so much money on non game programs and watching bears sleep in winter dens, they can no longer afford to post quality reports on their website? Should we expect the website to be taken down soon also?”

And yes, I was chastised, once again, by some who thought I was being too hard on the folks at MDIFW. Whether I was or wasn’t, it appears MDIFW agreed that the report lacked the quality typical of what you would find on the website. The blurry, gray and black report was removed and replaced with clear and sharp text and a dash of subtle coloring to assist in distinguishing between numbers, etc.

Thank you MDIFW for doing this and keep that dog away from your homework!


It Took 251 Days to Count 2,400 Black Bear for the Maine Fish and Game Bear Harvest Report

I think “Johnnie” needs to go see the principal because of his conduct in not getting his homework done in a timely fashion and that the quality of his work is not up to expected standards.

It’s been 251 since the Saturday after Thanksgiving in 2011. That’s how long it took the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife (MDIFW) to prepare two pages of the annual black bear hunting season harvest report. In addition, the quality of the blurry post on the MDIFW website appears to be that of a second grader. Is it possible that someone’s dog ate their homework? Maybe MDIFW has spent so much money on non game programs and watching bears sleep in winter dens, they can no longer afford to post quality reports on their website? Should we expect the website to be taken down soon also? Maybe it’s just global warming?

The first thing to point out in this report, other than it took 251 days to prepare, is that the harvest of just 2,400 bears, statewide, is abysmal. Maine may have perhaps the largest black bear population it has ever seen, at least in modern times, and one has to wonder why hunters can only take 2,400 bears. At this rate, we should expect to hear about more bear and human encounters and likely a kill off of the creature by some disease because of too dense a population. I suspect global warming myself.

The second thing that should be pointed out is that the only mention of comparative harvest numbers of previous years is, “The 2011 harvest of 2,400 bears is the lowest harvest since 1997.” By the way, the 2010 harvest was 3,062 and 2009 resulted in the take of 3,486. Is there a pattern here? You can find bear harvest reports on the MDIFW website going back only to the year 2005. Perhaps the website doesn’t have enough disk space to contain more information. Or, now that the use of modern techniques for calculating harvest numbers (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, ……..etc. must not work anymore) it’s extremely complicated to copy and paste the bear harvest report from the previous year and then just plug in the new year (that requires changing one digit or perhaps two every ten years), with the continued development of best available counting methods, Mainers might expect to wait for several years for their reports…….or never. I can hear the excuse now: “Well, nobody seemed interested in these reports so we stopped making them available.”

I wonder how many hunters even know these reports are generated by MDIFW? By the time they come out, everyone has forgotten last year’s bear season. Most are out fishing and getting their firewood together for the coming winter. Or maybe that’s the way it’s intended to be.

With less and less effort and money being spent on managing game for hunting opportunity and hunting harvest surplus, one would logically conclude that with at least 1,000 fewer bears killed, any intelligent man can calculate that it has taken MDIFW, on average, 105 days to count a thousand bears, this report should have been out in May. If it took 105 fewer days to count bears, MDIFW should have saved money. Must be time for a new fleet of trucks. Or maybe they could use the money to better understand why no one appears to be interested in hunting Maine bears.


Maine Hunters Funding Efforts to Provide Moose Watching For Tourists

George Smith, former executive director for the Sportsman’s Alliance of Maine, and current free-lance writer who covers many of Maine’s outdoor issues, filed a report on his blog yesterday about activities that took place at the meeting of the Joint Committee on Inland Fisheries and Wildlife.

Part of Smith’s article included a report on moose by Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife’s (MDIFW), Lee Kantar, head deer and moose biologist.

Kantar claimed that Maine would be leading the nation in moose research and management and described new research initiatives, including surveys using Maine Forest Service helicopters and pilots………………..

“We’ve gone a long way… but it’s limited,” acknowledged Kantar. When asked by Rep. Jane Eberle how many moose we have, Kantar said he couldn’t answer that question definitively. But he did provide an estimate of 75,000 moose, a very high number that will embolden those calling for more hunting permits. Kantar warned against that, noting the importance of balancing all demands for moose from tourism to hunting.

There are a couple things to note in this information. If Kantar says he “estimates” 75,000, historically all wildlife biologists low ball estimates. So how many moose does Maine really have? 100,000? Regardless, at the rate the state is going the moose herd will soon outnumber the deer herd.

Which brings me to another point to be made. Yesterday I reported on efforts by the State of Maine to make the Moose Lottery more fair. In that article I suggested the idea of a mocked down version of the current “Any-Deer Permit” system, the only deer management policy the state employs. The question now becomes one of asking if a continued deer hunt in a shrinking deer herd is good enough for deer management, shouldn’t a short moose hunting season be good enough for moose management?

But the issue I wanted to point out is what is wrong with wildlife management today. Mr. Kantar states that Maine needs to be careful about killing more moose because it might mess with the “balancing all demands for moose from tourism to…..” Where is the science in that? Why are my license fees being used to provide moose watching opportunities while limiting my opportunities to hunt the game species I’m investing in? Maine is trying to generate tax revenue through tourism out of the wallets of the outdoor sportsmen. Where will it all end? It all makes me very ill!

Also consider how Maine’s game management, if you want to call it that, has changed over the years. What once was a deer hunting mecca, the Great North Woods of Maine, has now become a paradise for providing moose for tourists to look at and putting video cameras in bear dens, how cute, which no doubt will result in more demands by environmentalists and animal rights advocates to stop hunting and killing black bears and moose.

Below is a “Metamorphosis Part I and Part II” of a Maine Deer Biologist as compiled by contributor Richard Paradis of Maine. Maybe, just maybe, this closer resembles reality than tongue in cheek and also consider the prophetic claims, laced with environmental truths of today.