November 26, 2022

Ask a Biolo”jest”?

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A few days ago I was reading another explanation as to why Maine was going to seriously increase the number of “Any-Deer Permits” for the upcoming deer hunting season when everyone is wondering when, if ever, the deer herd in the Pine Tree State is going to recover. This is what one particular “biolojest” said about a possible reason for doing it.

“Biologists might want to increase the herd slowly and incrementally. Otherwise, if the herd grows too quickly and there is a bad winter, losses could be devastating.”

I’m trying to wrap my tiny brain around this statement. I would suppose that there might exist scientific reasons to “increase the herd slowly and incrementally” but I can’t imagine what they might be, especially when one considers the excuses the biolojests use as to why Maine can’t rebuild a deer herd. What I’m most confused about is the statement that if the state rebuilds the herd “too quickly” and then Maine has a bad winter, there could be “devastating” losses. So, logically thinking, if they build the herd slowly, and then there is a bad winter, the losses won’t be devastating?

Losses of deer from severe winters, in my opinion, is always devastating. Perhaps the thinking here is that a quickly grown deer herd would contain more younger deer and thus those deer are more susceptible to suffer from severe winters? Maybe, and yet on the flip side of that, wouldn’t a slowly rebuilt herd contain more older deer, which we also know to be more susceptible to severe winters?

The reality is that Maine uses only its authority to manipulate the population of deer with their “Any-Deer Permit” program. Currently, the state is in the middle of a deer and moose study. At the conclusion of the study, the biolojests are hoping to learn something. But, then what? They will better know how many “Any-Deer Permits” to issue and when?

I have my doubts that Maine is handing out thousands more permits because they are wanting to slow down the speed of the growth of the deer herd. Another reason not considered is that the biolojests have no idea how many deer there are in Maine. Isn’t that important?

I guess this is where I ask: “How do you control the speed of growth of a deer herd that, in places of Maine, doesn’t exist?”