November 21, 2019

Why I Don’t Winter in Maine Any More

Below is a pie chart graphic that illustrates the basic reason why I choose not to spend my winters in Maine. Beautiful state, but……..

mainewinters

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Mild Maine Winter May Have Stalled Whitetail Deer Death Spiral

If the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife(MDIFW) is always so quick to jump on the bandwagon of severe winters as an excuse why there are no deer left in most portions of Maine’s landscape, then it would only stand to reason to jump ship and onto the bandwagon heading in the other direction when there is a mild winter. If all things are relative and one severe winter destroys a deer herd, then is it rational to conclude that one mild winter restores one?

If there has been any reprieve in continued destruction of Maine’s whitetail deer population, it comes more from what the MDIFW didn’t have their fingers in than what they did. A mild winter throughout the state probably did more to halt the death spiral of deer than anything MDIFW did or could have done.

What MDIFW did do was kill 119 coyotes. Earlier, I published the summary of their efforts. In short, MDIFW appropriated $50,000 for coyote killing. They spent $15,156, concentrating on 9 Deer Wintering Areas(DWA) and killed 119 coyote/wolf hybrids. Of note: 79 coyotes were killed by paid agents of the MDIFW and 40 were taken by volunteers.

However, I will withhold judgement on any successes or failures in this effort as the mild winter did not provide the best opportunity to find coyotes in DWAs. And, we may never get to see if any long term, concentrated effort to kill coyotes will be effective if there is no money appropriated next year or the years after that.

For Maine’s license buyers, those 79 coyotes killed by paid agents, cost $191.85 per coyote. A mild winter cost nothing. One mild winter will not cause a restoration of a severely depleted deer herd, but it may be the only hope we have. Sane sportsmen understand that real science forecasting calls for earth to be heading into at least a ten-year cooling. For those wildlife managers betting on global warming to cure their deer management problems, I wouldn’t bet the farm on it.

Tom Remington

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