November 30, 2022

When Will Editorial Writers Know They’ve Written Enough?

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I was completely weirded out after reading the first letter to the editor in the Bangor Daily News from one Joshua O’Donnell, claiming residence in Brunswick, Maine. In that self-exposition, O’Donnell came across more of a candle-burning, Gaia worshiping, stalker than anyone concerned about the welfare of coyotes. Ooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooh!

How does anybody respond to such nonsense? Perhaps a better man that I, Gerry Lavigne, former Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife (MDIFW) deer biologist and now member of the Sportsman’s Alliance of Maine, did rebut O’Donnell’s blather. You can read that here.

Today, it appears that Mr. O’Donnell (assuming it’s the same Joshua O’Donnell) tried a different tactic and decided to pass himself off as an expert on the coyote and game management in general. It should be noted here that this recent letter to the editor more than suffices to demonstrate that the writer is ignorant of coyotes, wildlife management and history.

O’Donnell fails miserably in defining what constitutes a “poorly studied species without any core or long-term understanding of their ecological role within a changing ecosystem.” Somehow I think this is a cautious attempt at claiming the new-science science of ecosystem self-regulation and the importance of predators, like the coyote or wolf as being necessary to “balance” our conglomeration of animal and plant life found in our forests. All a myth.

Then there’s this.

Maine’s coyote hunt exists as the continuance of an inhumane, unethical and violent tradition that historically escalates and has culminated in the complete extinction of keystone predators such as the Eastern cougar and gray wolf.

Are we talking about coyotes, cougars, wolves or asses? (That’s what Jesus called them.) Obviously the only history Mr. O’Donnell has about hunting traditions and history is what he learn in third grade……last year. If we are talking about coyotes, I would like to request from Mr. O’Donnell the facts that show the last time coyotes were exterminated from anywhere on the planet. It is a display of dishonesty, if nothing else, to somehow extrapolate Maine’s coyote control program into the extermination of “keystone predators”.

The rest of what he writes is just fill-in words of garbage and emotional drool. Perhaps if Mr. O’Donnell spent a bit more time learning before speaking, he might discover the truth about what was really in our fields and forests before settlers came here from Europe. In addition, if he were to study and seek a truthful understanding of the North American Model of Wildlife Conservation, he may not wish to excoriate the hunting community that, through implementation of the world’s most sought after wildlife management plan, made it possible that he can see wild game and wild animals as he travels about the state of Maine; that is if he goes outside. Because of this plan and the real conservation efforts of hunters, America has perhaps the most wildlife present ever in its history.

I might concur on one point O’Donnell brings up and that is about how extensively the animal has been studied. I suppose it’s mostly in the eye of the beholder, but it is my opinion that more studies should be done. However, there are currently several studies underway and preliminary results are blowing holes in the theories that the environmentalists and animal lovers have worn out. Just the other day I was reading about someone working with another town in Maine to help to “learn to coexist” with coyotes. This person wrongfully stated that if you kill coyotes, they will produce twice as many offspring the following reproduction cycle. That is one giant lie that has perpetuated in the ranks of the uninformed for decades now.

I wonder if Mr. O’Donnell would accept the results of studies if they didn’t fit his narrative.

Another point to make and one that seldom gets passed on in mainstream media reports. Sportsmen in Maine are not all that interested in exterminating (as if they could) coyotes in Maine, but here’s the problem. The majority of Maine stands on the precipice of losing a much cherished whitetail deer population. Maine’s coyotes, technically a cross hybrid between an eastern coyote, wolf and yes, domestic dog, kill deer and moose, along with many other animals such as the Canada lynx, a protected species. In parts of the country where deer are too numerous, the coyote is mostly a welcome critter to help in keeping the deer population in check. But it’s not that simple. Some of these states are now seeing repercussions from the same over protection of the coyote.

Maine hunters want to see an effort to reduce predators, even black bears, in order to give the state’s deer herd a chance to rebuild and not disappear. Take note that the state is not focusing on coyote reductions in parts of the state where the deer are plentiful, along with the coyote/wolf.

It would be beneficial to Mr. O’Donnell and other readers to learn about predator pits; what causes them, why they are dangerous to the entire ecosystem and how to get out of them.

From Dr. Charles Kay Predator-Mediated Competition
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