March 5, 2015

Maine Deer Management: Excuse Du Jour?

I was reading George Smith’s blog this morning about all the deer plans Maine has come up with over the years all aimed at rebuilding a deer herd. Smith points out, and I believe he is factual, that the number one excuse found in the myriad of deer plans as to why deer numbers don’t grow is because of diminishing habitat for the animal. Really?

I won’t deny that losing habitat isn’t a factor – and it might even be a significant factor – to maintaining and growing a deer herd. But I don’t think I’m alone when I say that I am really quite sick and tired of listening to that crap sandwich.

It’s a crap sandwich because of all the things that could be done to increase the deer herd, it’s the least likely something anybody can do about it. It’s not too far from thinking we can control the weather.

First of all, the avoidance continues, with never an answer, as to why if wintering deer habitat is so lacking why are there empty deer yards across the state? But let’s forget that for now – seeing that nobody wants to talk about it.

So Maine has all of these deer plans proposed and proposed and proposed and then along comes another to suggest another working group to come up with a plan, a plan, a plan and guess what? Nothing changes…well, at least nothing any of these people want to talk about.

Let me ask one question. What are Maine deer managers doing to build the deer herd back up? Simple question. Let’s form a list:

1. Form a working group
2. Devise a plan
3. Cry because it’s all about habitat, habitat, habitat, habitat, habitat…excuse me, I just vomited on my computer screen.
4. Ignore the plan
5. Talk about wasting money to collar 40 deer to study whether or not coyotes are killing deer.
6. Form a working group
7. Devise a plan
8. Self committal to an insane asylum.

INSANITY!

Here’s something to think about. The excuse du jour – no habitat – claims that deer can’t be grown because there just isn’t enough habitat so deer can survive the winters. So, Maine has done nothing about that and that’s not surprising. So, they wash their hands of any responsibility and decide to go study moose. Oh, but let’s not forget that token deer collaring program that might happen. That will surely put meat in my freezer.

So, if habitat is the big deal here, then there must be enough wintering habitat to allow for the increase in deer densities following 2 or 3 relatively mild winters. That did happen. I know it did. That’s encouraging so, hold that thought for a minute.

If Maine could maintain the current level of deer wintering areas and build deer up to carrying capacity, would not hunters and others be happy? Or at least happier than they are now? So, let’s work at trying to keep the habitat that exists, without becoming statist, totalitarians, and actually do those things within our easy power to cause deer numbers to go up.

1. Control coyotes/wolves (Sorry that means killing them and it has to be a program, ongoing and forget all the lame excuses as to why it doesn’t work. It does and there’s proof. We don’t need a study group to find out.)
2. Reduce black bear populations. When discussions surround coyote killing to mitigate depredation, we hear how bears kill more deer than coyotes. Fine, go kill some bears. How about a spring season? Oh, wait. Because we live in fear for our lives over fascist animal rights groups we dare not stir the pot and have a spring bear hunt. IT MIGHT OFFEND SOMEBODY. It might offend the farmer losing his livestock too but that doesn’t count? It offends me that I don’t see deer at all while hunting deer in the woods in the Fall. And while we bury our heads in the sand, the deer population works toward extirpation in Maine, while deer to the north of the state, in Canada, are doing okay.
3. Better control and monitor where bobcats and all other predators are having an effect. We don’t have to kill all the bobcat, just reduce numbers in areas where deer need help.
4. Here’s another suggestion. Instead of caving in to the political power brokers to allow them to build trails through the middle of deer wintering yards, maybe that would help save habitat. Oh, what’s that you say? That doesn’t count? That doesn’t matter? That’s too small an amount to have any impact? Okay. I get it. It’s about power and control.

If habitat is so big that nothing else matters, as it sure seems that’s the case, then how do you explain the fact that in Eastern Maine were coyote/wolf control is ongoing, their deer numbers are rebounding nicely? Why? Coincidence? I don’t think so. They are doing something about it. I think they at least understand that while habitat isn’t fully abundant, and let’s face it, it never will be again, they can and are doing somethings that will help.

Now, I know these suggestions require work and it might not be as much fun as tracking radio collars and flying in helicopters counting animals, but one more claim that Maine can’t do anything about the deer herd because of habitat and I will have to vomit on my computer screen again.

Enough already! Rome burns while another working group and deer plan is devised.

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V. Paul Reynolds: Lynx ITP “Doesn’t Pass Straight Face Test”

“If you applied the Florida panther math to the Maine lynx, trappers would be permitted to accidentally take 50 to 100 lynx a year and not impact the population appreciably. And yet, USFWS, in collaboration with Maine’s state wildlife managers, is restricting Maine’s incidental take to .006 percent of the lynx population – not over a year – but over 15 years! Really now, does this pass the straight face test?”<<<Read More>>>

Fur Market Tanking

Five years ago, its pelt would have fetched $50. These days, it will likely yield half that.
Economic forces including market slowdowns in big fur-buying countries like Russia, China and South Korea, as well as a continuing trend toward distaste for fur as a result of animal welfare concerns, make Cogill among a dwindling number of trappers catching fur-bearing beasts in the wild.<<<Read More>>>

On Maine’s Legislative Slate: An Act to Ban Bear Trapping and Hounding

According a tidbit found in the Portland Press Herald, a bill may be proposed in the Maine Legislature that would ban bear trapping and bear hunting with dogs.

…lawmakers also are gearing up for potentially contentious policy fights over environmental and outdoor issues, including a measure to ban bear trapping and bear hunting with dogs following the failure of a referendum in November that also sought to ban bear baiting.

I’ve not researched this bill and I don’t even know what the language is contained in the proposal. It would seem that the chances of a passage of a bill of this kind should be slim to none. The people of Maine spoke quiet clearly in November at the polls and let everyone know that they really preferred for wildlife management to be handled by those at the Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife.

I am hoping the bill never sees the floor of the Legislature.

Trapping is Cruel? Nah! Reading Drivel From the Clueless is Cruel

Some need to get a life. I’ve overused that saying, attributed to more than one person, including the Bible, that it’s better to keep your mouth shut causing people to wonder if you are stupid than to open your mouth and remove all doubt. Or, how about the comment once made by Alice von Hildebrand: “God has set limit’s on man’s intelligence, none on his stupidity.”

A letter to the editor in a Maine newspaper about trapping describes the act as such: “held there struggling in pain and fear until it dies”, “execute it at point blank range”, “an indifference to life”, “condones suffering”.

Since 1980 there have been 1.3 billion unborn babies murdered; “held there struggling in pain and fear”, “executed at point blank range”, and yes, obviously there’s an “indifference to life” and those billions of people “condone suffering.” So where’s the outrage?

Perverse!

Lynx Lawsuit: “Bureaucratic Interests, Emotions and Propaganda Fantasies

In a recent article written by James Beers, he said that one of the difficulties that exists today that seriously hampers the ability to make informed decisions about wildlife management was “a matter of bureaucratic interests, emotions and propaganda fantasies.”

Friend of Animals (FOA), another radical and perverted group that fails to have any comprehension of the realities of wild animal existence and fights with every breath to protect all animals at all costs, even the destruction of other species, having nothing but “emotions and propaganda fantasies” to operate with, has filed a lawsuit against the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service because the Service issued the state of Maine and Incidental Take Permit (ITP) for Canada lynx.

FOA, calling those involved in the fur bearing business, “killers involved in this murderous industry,” without providing substantiation claimed that, “Canada lynx are expected to decline by 65 percent in the next two decades.” Much like global warming models predict I would surmise.

It’s all a money making ploy by the radicals who deliberately avoid the truth in the matter as it does little to pad their bank accounts.

The ITP was issued and within two months, administration of the ITP was necessary to mitigate the loss of lynx, subsequently resulting in the closing of trapping in lynx protected habitat in Maine. The only thing not working right here is there’s no money going into the bank accounts and pockets of FOA.

Death Threats Will Not Stop Great Montana Coyote and Wolf Hunt

Death threats from some sick, perverted eco-terrorists will not stop the first annual Great Montana Coyote and Wolf Hunt. Understandably frightened off by these sick subhumans, Idaho for Wildlife has stepped in to help bring the event about. Please help in this effort.

MontanaDerby

Directions for the Destruction of Wolves and Coyotes

April 17, 1907

From: United States Department of Agriculture, Bureau of Biological Survey – Circular No. 55

By Vernon Bailey – In charge of Geographic Distribution

“The losses from the destruction of stock by wolves and coyotes in the western United States amount to millions of dollars annually and seem to be increasing rather than decreasing. Practical means of preventing these losses are urgently needed. The present circular, based on field work of the Biological Survey, aims to present briefly the best methods of hunting, trapping and poisoning wolves and coyotes, of finding the dens and destroying the young, and of fencing to protect stock. By the methods given herein the numbers of wolves and coyotes may be rapidly diminished and the losses of stock thereby reduced to a minimum.”>>>Read More>>>

Maine Trappers Association: News and Lynx Updates

Press Release from the Maine Trappers Association:

* As most all Maine trappers now know we have an Emergency Rule put in place as of 9 December 2014 to take the following actions, due to the recent taking of a second lynx.

1. The use of body grip (lethal) traps in the Lynx Zones (WMD’s 1-11, 14, 18, and 19) above ground or snow level are now no longer allowed.

2. In WMD 7, 14, 18, and 19 body grip (lethal) traps smaller than 7 ½ inches may be used on the ground – only if in a lynx exclusion device.

3. In all the above WMD’s foothold traps above the ground or snow level are no longer allowed.

* This Emergency Ruling was triggered by a contingency provision in IF&W’s Incidental Take Plan developed to obtain a permit under the Endangered Species Act from the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service for the unintended take of Canadian Lynx. Under the conditions set forth in the Incidental Take Plan, if two lynx are killed by legally set traps, trapping rules will be modified to prevent another lynx being killed.

* This Emergency Ruling action was taken by IF&W after their notification of and consulting with the Maine Trappers Executive Officers on the incident. The MTA officers were in total agreement with this emergency action. Any other recommendation or action taken by the parties would have resulted in the U.S. F&WS taking some form of action.

*It should be noted that a 3rd lynx taken in “any part of the state” (no matter what WMD) will have the same results.

* IF&W and the MTA board are diligently working together to a resolution to this issue, with the end results hopefully benefiting Maine trappers being able to continue to trap in the future in the affected areas for marten and fisher in some fashion that will prevent the taking of the final 3rd lynx. Meetings have been and are being held by both parties to work towards a resolution.

* A meeting of MTA officers, directors, and any members who want to attend to talk about Lynx and what actions we need to take to help resolve this is planned to be held either the 4th or 11th of January 2015 in Bangor at the Bangor Motor Lodge. IF&W will attend this meeting so that we can all work to a resolution. The actual date and time will be determined and disseminated to MTA members as soon as possible.

Other MTA News

Mr. James Cote who led the Bear Referendum Coalition has agreed to be the MTA’s Legislative Liaison.

He is the principle consultant of JM Cote Company, a strategic government and public affairs headquartered right in Augusta.

He brings with him a wealth of experience in dealing with Maine legislator’s, Maine property owners, and others.

He has served in the following positions:

* President & CEO of the Associated Builders and Contractors of Maine

* Director of Government Relations and Communications for the Maine Forest Products Council

* Political Consultant at Eaton Peabody Consulting Group

* Managed Peter Mills 2006 campaign for governor

* Lead Consultant for the Maine Senate Republicans in 2012

* Campaign Manger for the 2013 / 2014 Bear Referendum (No on 1) Campaign

* Former monthly columnist in the Northwood’s Sporting Journal

* Served on the Governor’s Landowner-Sportsmen Relations Advisory Board in 2007 And he has many other accomplishments to his credit.

Jim attended Thomas College and the University of Maine Farmington and is a graduate of A Rising Tide campaign leadership program. He is also a former Maine Policy Scholar through the Maine Community Foundation and a recipient of the Thomas College’s Gold Key Award for Leadership Excellence. Jim as also a frequent speaker in political science courses at local universities.

With all this and more he surely will do a bang up job for the Maine Trappers Association. So a big Welcome Aboard to the MTA team is given to Jim.

If I Owned the Woods

Suppose I bought all the woods and hills around a thriving valley where farms and ranches abounded and town families prospered from a mix of agricultural support and several small industrial businesses. Suppose further that all the former owners from whom I had bought the land had been considered part of the greater valley community for generations.

What if I:
– Went to court and closed every road through my property that I could?

– Vegetated every closed road so that travel through my property by anyone from hunters to firefighters was impossible?

– Eliminated all grazing and timber cutting on my property?

– Closed my property to hunting, fishing, and trapping and any access?

– Refused to clean up downed timber after a big storm?

– Refused to spray insect-infested trees, or to remove dead ones?

– Brought cougars, wolves, and grizzly bears onto my property and released them?

– Refused to accept any responsibility for human injuries or dead animals resulting from MY predators?

– Made firefighting access and water availability to fight fires that started on my property unavailable UNLESS the valley residents bought ME airplanes and hired many new employees to work FOR ME when they weren’t fighting MY FIRES that could spread to the valley?

– Went to court and obtained a judgment that because I was not commercial and was considered a charitable, scientific entity that Local and State governments not only could not tell me what to do on my property, they and my neighbors would have to accept any impacts my land use practices imposed on them?

Well, of course:
– Sawmills would close because timber harvests that had gone on for generations ceased.

– Sawyers, like ranch-hands, would become unemployed as timber cutting and grazing acreages disappeared.

– Ranches would steadily dwindle in herd size and then in numbers as forage availability dwindled.

– Farms would dwindle as part-time work in the valley and in The Woods disappeared.

– Businesses would dwindle and disappear as transportation into and out of the valley was constricted.

– Real estate values would plummet as farm land became unprofitable and town homes lacked for buyers since there was no work available and predator problems even in town became endemic. Insurance rates skyrocketed since predator damage was the sole responsibility of the unfortunate citizens damaged in any way.

– Hunting, fishing and trapping disappeared. Businesses for guiding, housing and feeding such folks also dried up as access disappeared and predators both reduced game and posed deadly threats to visitors, children, and others considering outdoor activities.

– Local government and State government revenue of all sorts fell precipitously while demands for government “help” skyrocketed. My land went untaxed since it was “devoted to a higher ideal”, businesses closed up, agriculture dwindled, families moved away or went on welfare, and vacant and “foreclosed” home sites proliferated.

As all this went on, I became more powerful. I bought up parcels all over the valley. While I closed them to any use by local people, I bought, or rented at a discount, properties that would further close roads and pinch off increasingly isolated private property of former ranchers and farmers and long-time residents of the valley. Local government did only what I ALLOWED and I stacked the State Legislature with the best politicians that MY MONEY COULD BUY!

QUESTION: Who am I?
No, I am not Henry Potter. You remember him don’t you? Lionel Barrymore played him in “It’s a Wonderful Life”. He was the evil old cuss that made everyone poor and created that gloomy town where James Stewart (George Bailey) contemplated suicide until the angel showed him how important he (and really EACH OF US is) was to his community.

No, I am not some media mogul or Hollywood gazillionaire buying up rural land and then imposing urban standards and fantasies or rural communities.

I AM UNCLE SAM!

I am the US Forest Service. I am the National Park Service. I am the Bureau of Land Management. I am the US Fish & Wildlife Service. I control over 40% of the United States.

I am steadily eliminating all sustainable uses and management of RENEWABLE natural resources on MY LAND. I am eliminating roads and access on MY LAND. I am ignoring enormous fire-fuel accumulations resulting from Wilderness, Parks, storm damage, Roadless Areas, insect damage. I am closing access and roads everywhere to impede firefighting and public access. I am demanding that already-impoverished taxpayers give me more firefighters and expensive equipment to appear to be fighting fires of increasing magnitude and frequency. I accept NO RESPONSIBILITY (exactly as I have established the legal precedence for damage from the wolves and grizzly bears THAT I INTRODUCED AND SPREAD) for fire damage to residences, towns, and businesses resulting from fires STARTED AS A RESULT OF MY ACTIONS AND INACTIONS ON MY PROPERTY! I have spent over 40 years establishing legal precedents that say State and Local governments cannot tell me what to do or not do on MY PROPERTY. I have financially and professionally seduced State bureaucrats and State politicians to become my secret mistresses for whatever I want to do. I put millions of rural employees and thousands of rural businesses out of work and then vow to “reduce unemployment” and “support small businesses”. I pay no taxes and renege on promises to “replace lost taxes and share revenue with State and Local government”. I breed and release wolves on MY PROPERTY to infest State and private “neighbors” and do likewise with even more deadly and destructive grizzly bears and, like Henry Potter, despise and ridicule the ignorant bumpkins he evicts into the snow.

Uncle Sam has exceeded the slumlord Henry Potter in arrogance and evil. I suggest that when they make the movie one day, they consider cutting and pasting Spencer Tracy from the movie “Dr. Jekyl and Mr. Hyde”. The 4 federal agencies cited above go about like Dr. Jekyl daily making scientific pronouncements and seeming good; while in truth killing and spreading evil nightly before reassuming the sweet appearance of a do-gooder.

Jim Beers
20 August 2012
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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