October 18, 2019

Maine Bears and Wildlife Managers: Dither, Dither, Dither

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It seems that when Rome burned, all the people managed to do was stand and watch. Wildlife managers and Maine legislators seem content to stand and watch, dithering away as the black bear population continues to grow and no real action taken to do much of anything about it.

One has to wonder if the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife (MDIFW) is incapable of doing their job due to fear of lawsuits and the pressures they receive from environmentalists, animal rights groups, animal protectionists, hunting haters, and haters in general.

We know that MDIFW is pretty much controlled by the outfitters and guides who tell the department how, when, and where the bear will be hunted. That needs to end.

For many years managers have spoken publicly of the need to do something about a rapidly growing bear population and since the beginning of those discussions, nothing has been done to limit the growth.

MDIFW claims that the only way they can get enough bears killed to somewhat limit the growth is by allowing baiting of bears. The act of baiting and hunters sitting over that bait to shoot and kill bears is not a very popular activity, especially among non hunters. According to the last two referendum votes to end bear baiting, the majority of voters indicated that they believe the MDIFW when they said it was a necessary tool to help control the bear population.

The Maine Legislature is also dithering on any actions suggested to battle the growing bear population and so the non action continues. Until when or what happens?

We now read that Maine has decided to put off another useless study in attempts to discover what affects baiting bears with human food has on the bears and in particular the rate of growth in population. I don’t really think some scientismist’s fake study, rooted in romance biology, and outcome-based is necessary. A simple examination of mathematical numbers would do the trick.

Most bears taken during the hunting season are taken over bait. Last season 3,486 bears were harvested. 2,484 were taken over bait. Officially, Maine claims there are 35,000 bears roaming about the woods. As those estimates go, there is no doubt that number is a low estimate. Guesses in excess of 40,000 would probably not be that far off. So, with approximately .6% of bears being fed human food, kick me if I’m wrong, I have serious doubts that feeding .6% of bears human food for one month out of the year is having any serious impact on the bears. Certainly we shouldn’t be wasting money on something so stupid just to appease the animal rights people.

With each passing season and more dithering taking place, combined with the reality that the bear harvest continues to fall below target goals and the number of hunters decreasing, one has to wonder what kinds of diseases will take over the bear population and do the job of reducing numbers the managers and legislators of this state can’t seem to get around to doing. In the meantime we up the risk of bear/human conflict pushing the envelope of public safety and health.

Is it so difficult to simply up the bag limit to two bears, excluding having to take one by trapping? Come on man!

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