May 27, 2020

Maine Has Black Bears…And a Few Fools

When I was a very young boy, I recall one time going to the grocery store with my mother. While there, I witnessed another young boy, perhaps a year or two younger than me (4 or 6), throw himself to the floor of the store, screaming, crying and eventually banging his head against the floor, in a fit of uncontrolled rage, simply because he wanted something on the shelf his mother would not let him have.

Quietly, the mom pushed her cart to the front of the store, spoke briefly with the cashier, left her partially-filled cart for when she intended to return, and dragged the boy outside and then…I don’t know what happened. I’m guessing what happened might have been pretty close to what my mother said to me when I asked her what the mom was going to do. Her response went something like: If you ever do that, you may not ever live long enough to see your next birthday.

Things have changed, and depending on one’s perspective, not for the better.

Let’s shift up gears for a moment and examine the acts of adults – perhaps those that didn’t fully grow up from the days of temper tantrums. These days some adults mostly resemble the actions of the 4-year-old screaming, banging his head, and demanding his own way.

Most adults love to extol the wonders of what they call democracy…but only when it is beneficial to prop up an ideology and the narrative that goes along with it. Most really cannot comprehend what a democracy is but love it when it works for them. What a selfish society we have crafted.

The American Governments, federal and state, misrepresent to the citizen slaves that they have certain “rights” (actually privileges of which can be taken away as easily as given out), among them the “right to petition the state.”

This can work well in a civilized society that isn’t manipulated into little locust totalitarians, the likes of which are as the 4-year-old banging his head and demanding his way. Regardless, the spoiled totalitarian, brought up under the banner of repetitive petitioning, goes about his or her demonstrations with the belief that regardless of what the majority have spoken in their “democratic” society, they will get what they want one way or another.

So what’s wrong with that you might ask? Well, nothing, actually. It is the system that has been created and we are subjected to all of its bad points and very few good ones. For me, it’s all about the approach and methodology used in demanding one’s way.

Maine has weathered two anti-hunting bear referendums within the past 16 years. Both times, the voters of Maine have said they don’t want little spoiled totalitarians telling those that are paid to manage the state’s wildlife, how to do it. But that doesn’t stop the little spoiled totalitarians.

Many of those spoiled totalitarians simply do not approve of hunting, fishing, trapping…basically any kind of what they might call consumptive use of wildlife and natural resources. That’s fine. It’s their uncontrolled desire to force all others to accept and abide by their political ideals, etc. Regardless as to whether years of wildlife science and management has proven that consumptive use of natural resources, when done responsibly, is a major benefit to the people and to the wildlife, spoiled totalitarian anti hunters, incapable of mounting an actual provable scientific basis for demanding an end to hunting, fishing, and trapping, have no other alternative than to resort of lying and playing on the emotions of ignorant people.

In the second of the two bear hunting referendums that Maine residents and the Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife (MDIFW) endured, the MDIFW did a very respectable job of hitting the pavement to educate voters that due to the very large bear population in the state, the department needs every tool and resource it can to try to keep the population at a safe and healthy level. One of those tools that still remains a necessity in that effort, is placing baits for hunters to hunt over. It’s not how I would personally choose to bear hunt, but I understand the need to reduce the number of bears and I would never attempt to prevent anyone from participating in a legal hunting activity simply to force them to accept my ideology. That is selfish, childish, and actions of a fool.

The overwhelming majority of bears taken during the hunting and trapping seasons are done so with the use of bait. Baiting bears may not be the weapon of choice in controlling bear numbers, but until such time as the MDIFW is able to find another way of controlling bears, the managers in Augusta have continued to promote the need for this harvest tool.

Without baiting bears, harvest numbers, more than likely, would be reduced by at least half, adding even more and more bears to forests and fields that would indeed increase the already troublesome bear and human encounters that pose a threat to human safety.

Recently I read yet another Letter to the Editor in a Maine newspaper from one of those loud-mouthed, spoiled totalitarians who hates anything he doesn’t agree with…including hunting, fishing, and trapping.

If this man had his way, all hunting, fishing, and trapping would end and he would import wolves, mountain lions, and probably saber-toothed tigers.

He is one of those totalitarians who can’t seem to find real science to support his agenda and so he relies on the echo-chambers of the scientismist’s to promote false, outcome-based, bought and paid for, unprovable theories to promote his agenda to put an end to bear hunting and other pet projects.

His latest “petition” to the State of Maine, to change the rules of bear hunting, would, over a 10-year period of time, outlaw what he has now chosen to call bear “feeding” instead of calling it what it really is…which is bear baiting as part of the necessary process to reduce bear populations.

It appears the reason for petitioner’s upside down and backwards approach to lying to the public about bears and wildlife science, surrounds around the false, outcome-based, over-simplified, study, done in extremely general terms with no specificity in the study that is used as a broad, sweeping, brush stroke across all species, that when there is ample “food” available for wildlife, it causes those species to reproduce at higher than “normal” rates. Even to the effect that such dynamics might exist, there is no science that indicates, because it is near impossible to do, what, if any, the rate of increase in reproduction would be.

Evidently, the author of the petition now believes that if he calls bear baiting, bear feeding, it somehow has a different affect on the bears and their population, but more importantly it probably will have a false affect on public opinion and I’m sure that is what he is hoping to achieve.

In his Letter to the Editor, the author claims that bears in Maine now exceed the “natural carrying capacity” by 10,000 bears, but offers no information as to what this claim is based on. Carrying capacity, a complex algorithm to determine how many of any species of wildlife is desired by wildlife managers to live within any given habitat and/or ecosystem, cannot be implemented in shear numbers. It’s far to sophisticated which can become extremely troublesome.

No matter the complexity of carrying capacities, the petitioner blames the fact that his claim of 10,000 too many bears is the fault of MDIFW, bear hunters, and guides who use “food” for attracting bears for hunting.

The fact that actual bear baiting involves a very small comparative geographic region, including lots of bear habitat, that any “feeding” of bears for hunting purposes is so negligible it is not thought to have any real effect on the state’s bear population. To even suggest placing baits within strategic hunting locations would “feed” enough of the estimated 50,000 bears to effect bear reproduction is actually quite a silly supposition and certainly any such suggestion is not, and cannot be supported by actual science.

This totalitarian, in his insistent ignorance, states matter of factly: “Feeding bears produces more bears. This is the science.” He then demands an end to the state’s “bear feeding program.”

Only a fool, and there are too many of them, would claim that feeding bears produces more bears and that it is proven science. It is not. It is not as simple as that. One of the most difficult aspects of managing wildlife is the fact that everything about what we like to call an ecosystem is constantly changing with almost none of the changing things something that we, as managers, can control. All we really have at our disposal are well-planned, science-based hunting seasons to control populations. Even those proved problematic at times.

At best, our wildlife managers try to figure out how many of any game species there are and then to go about doing what is needed to keep those populations under control for the health of the species and for public safety. I don’t very often let the MDIFW off without having my say, but right now, I agree with them that they NEED to be able to use baiting bears to control the population. I also think that if the MDIFW believed baiting bears was causing the population to grow, they would end the practice. They have repeatedly stated the need to kill more bears. I think they have other methods available to them but refuse to use them due to social demands…which is wrong on many counts. One might think a large group of biologists and wildlife managers have more collective knowledge about how bears reproduce than one disgruntled man.

If the bear population in Maine was so low, the managers would put an end to hunting and trapping them. They do this with any game species. I would support that move providing the MDIFW has the data to show the need. Right now, the MDIFW has the data to show more bears need to be harvested each season and “feeding” bears (use of bait) is not what is causing the bears to grow in numbers.

Give it rest already and let’s encourage the MDIFW to provide more bear hunting opportunities…the ONLY way to reduce those “10,000” bears.

Below is a copy of the suggested rule changes for bear baiting and bear hunting. I would encourage as many as possible to contact the MDIFW, as there is a comment period, and share your thoughts and ideas about this petition. Thanks!

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Maine Bear Hunting Legislation Proposal LD1118

LD1118 is a revised bear hunting and trapping bill that has been unanimously approved by the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife (MDIFW) committee. It will now go to the full Legislature for action. The Legislature, in the recent past has failed miserably in accomplishing anything that would address the serious overpopulation of bears in the State of Maine.

LD1118 essentially gives the commissioner of MDIFW authority to set bear hunting and trapping seasons and bag limits according to the management needs and goals of the department. What could possibly go wrong?

The proposed bill would also lower the bear permit fee from $27 to $10 and this is a good thing. It still should revert back to the good ole days when having a Big Game License would include big game hunting, i.e. deer and bear. But it’s better than $27 dollars. Non residents would have to pay $74 for a bear hunting permit.

We’ll see if the animal lovers in the Maine Legislature will allow this bill to go through.

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Fake Eastern Gray Wolves and Destruction of a Perfectly Good Wolf Species

In an article published on the Maine Wolf Coalition’s website over a year ago, it states that in 2006 a trapper killed a 107-lb “eastern/gray” wolf. The Maine Wolf Coalition (MWC), whose stated goal is the “recovery” of wolves in Maine (evidently they have no preference as to what species or hybridized mix of canine is “recovered”), improperly tells its readers that the animal, whose information they attribute to, was a male eastern and gray wolf mixture.

An honest assessment of the piece of “scholarship” (study) “suggests” that the animal in question, killed south of the St. Lawrence River, was some kind of, at least, partly domesticated hybrid of some canine that fed mostly on livestock and pets.

But here’s the real crime in all of this dog perversion and demands to “recover” wolves, not just in Maine, but anywhere. Those supporting “wolf recovery” are willing, either through ignorance of animal obsession, or both, especially dogs, to totally destroy the actual gray wolf species to get some kind of wild dog roaming about the woods. This makes no sense and presents a good case to support the claim of insanity.

It has already been proven, many times, that the wild canines that inhabit anywhere in the Lower United States, is not a pure wolf but some add-mixture of wild and domestic dogs/canines. Dog lovers then want these hybrid canines to be labeled some kind of wolf, i.e. red, Mexican, etc. So long as the criminals in Government continue to protect these disease-riddled hybrid dogs, they are contributing to the destruction of the actual species. Aren’t there laws that are supposed to prohibit such actions and behaviors?

According to an article found in Deer and Deer Hunting (online), wolves in certain counties of Wisconsin now are responsible for killing more deer than gun hunters do.

In Maine, the deer herd in most of the state, geographically speaking, is in terrible condition. Northern Maine is lucky to find deer numbers that approach 2 or 3 animals per square mile. Poor management of moose has caused North America’s largest ungulate to suffer from winter ticks due to uncontrolled growth in the population. Government officials will claim that moose and deer do not compete with each other but there is little explanation as to why, when there are lots of moose there are few deer.

Maine’s black bear population is out of control and the Legislature, in their incompetence and ignorance, refuse to do anything sensible about the problem. In the meantime, an overgrown population of bears is destroying the deer herd, along with packs of hybrid wild canines, deer have little chance. And, with all this, a group wants “wolves” recovered. NUTS!!!!

The insanity in all this is that groups like the Maine Wolf Coalition want what they call wolves “recovered” clearly at the expense of all else. If these groups cared about the real wolf, they would be looking at destroying and preventing the spread of these hybrid canines. But they are not. They just want some kind of dog they can call a wolf.

Among this insanity, people work feverishly to protect large predators, most of which are direct competitors with humans in the food chain. These predator protectors wrongfully make claim that people don’t need to hunt to eat. They obviously have never lived under conditions where people still need to hunt for food. Besides, even if people didn’t NEED to hunt for food, it is insanity to suggest protecting disease-spreading animals that directly remove food from the mouths of people. It’s as insane as supplementing gasoline by destroying a perfectly good food source.

Wolves have their place in wilderness settings. They do not belong in human-settled landscapes because of public safety, health, food competition, and the actual destruction of the wolf species.

In America there are so many domestic dogs…I mean we are talking millions and millions of them, with millions running unleashed and cross breeding with any other wild or semi-wild canine (dog). The result is a mongrel dog worth little to a society, a direct threat to wild canines – wolves and coyotes. To claim this hybrid mixture as worthy of protection, is insane; it is a knife to our own throats.

If Americans want wolves and coyotes, real ones, on their landscape, then domestic dogs need to be drastically reduced or serious penalties levied against anyone who allows their pet dogs to run free.

What do you think will happen?

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Maine Big Game Harvests: One Excuse is as Good as Another

The opening line in a Portland Press Herald news article says that Maine’s bear, turkey, and deer harvests were all down from last year, “but on par with wildlife biologist’s expectations.” This was followed by all the “usual suspect” excuses, including Climate Change, however, referred to as “extreme weather.”

This prompts me, one more time, to retell the story of the man who wanted to borrow his neighbor’s ax. The neighbor said, “No, you can’t. It’s Tuesday.” The man asked what Tuesday had to do with borrowing his ax and the neighbor answered, “Nothing. But if I don’t want you to borrow my ax, one excuse is as good as another.”

Excuses! Excuses!. And how about a little bit of honesty in reporting? The article states that Maine’s biologists expected deer harvest numbers to be down because, “…the state issued fewer “Any-Deer Permits.” What’s not reported is what the comparative “Any-Deer Permit” harvest was with last year. The reality is that regardless of the number of “Any-Deer Permits” issued it may not have had much influence on the overall deer harvest. One of the last reports we received from MDIFW was that they were not achieving the desired doe harvest rates from the issuance of “Any-Deer Permits.”

While the article mentions that more “bonus deer permits were handed out,” we haven’t a clue as to how this offset the reduction in “Any-Deer Permits” or the resulting harvest. Hocus-pocus – smoke and mirrors.

I have a stinking suspicion that once all data is collected and an honest assessment of that data is examined, we’ll find out what some of us already know – the deer herd, with the exception of a couple of Wildlife Management Districts in the central part of the state, is poor with little effort being taken to do anything about it.

With the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife (MDIFW) announcing their intentions to manage deer for “health” rather than spend time counting (somehow the two are not related?), I would suspect the herd population to continue to shrink, along with interest in deer hunting. After all, who wants to spend money and effort beating the forest for deer, when the odds of success at bagging a deer continue to shrink? And we wonder why license sales continue to drop?

Turkey and bear harvest numbers were abysmal and still MDIFW and the Maine Legislature continue to tread water doing nothing about what has become a nuisance flock of wild turkeys and a potentially dangerous swarm of black bears. With all these bears, we should be thankful it was a bountiful mast crop. Tens of thousands of hungry bears can spell disaster.

We are at a point where serious changes need to be made with both turkey and bear hunting bag limits and/or lengths of season. Dithering continues to rule the day, I suppose operating in fear that “social demands” won’t tolerate more bears and turkeys being killed.

Here’s a suggestion. MDIFW should cease with the “social demands” pandering, along with letting the guides and outfitters tell them how to run their hunting seasons and bag limits, and do what is best for game management. But I realize those days are long gone, therefore we should expect more of the same, and “one excuse is as good as another” when it comes to explaining game harvest numbers.

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Maine’s Bear Hunt Falls Short of Harvest “Hope and Change”

Understanding that the Maine black bear hunting season is not yet over and what is left generally produces very little increase in the the total harvest, it appears that the black bear harvest will fall far short of hoped-for numbers.

According to the live harvest data on the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife’s (MDIFW) web page, the current black bear harvest stands at 2,241, nearly 1,100 short of last years total bear harvest. Compared with the last 5 years, it appears this year’s take will come up well short of that average.

Yes, the blame will be placed on the reality that there was abundant natural food for the bears and history seems to have taught us that because baiting of bears is the most successful way to take them, when there is abundant natural food, bears aren’t so much interested in a bait pile.

Okay, so we get that. Isn’t this another thing that, as game managers, we have no control over? And because we have no control over certain things, isn’t it responsible to take better and different actions that would better guarantee that a bear harvest would meet harvest goals as part of a responsible management program?

One might think.

But, the MDIFW and the Maine Legislature have failed, once again, to take any meaningful and responsible action to make sure that the bear harvest meets goals necessary to keep the population in check so as not to continue to increase public safety issues as well as the impact bears are having on the dwindling deer population (even though managers are telling us there are plenty of deer) in parts of the state where the bear population is very healthy numbers wise. There is a correlation…isn’t there?

The Maine Legislature either would not pass or postponed any action to address the burgeoning bear population. As I asked earlier, is the Maine Legislature liable for damages, injuries, and death caused by an irresponsibly grown population of black bears? Is the MDIFW liable because they refuse to buck the outfitters and guides in the state who refuse to work with the state in reasonable ways and responsibleness to bring the bear population in check?

I walk down the street. I see a hole. I fall in it………..

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Maine Moose History and Shucking Bears

A couple of issues jumped out at me that I found reading two articles published in Maine newspapers recently. The first had to do with an article in the Bangor Daily News about the history of Maine’s moose and their moose hunt.

The article presents a timeline of events that began with how unregulated moose killing led to the end of all moose hunting, ending with the present day limited moose hunt lottery. The article, as written, states: 1980: Changes in forest practices, including clear-cutting, have provided moose with more habitat and food sources, and the herd shows signs of consistent growth.”

This is actually a partially inaccurate statement. Yes, there were changes in forest practices that have been ongoing, but everyone knows that it was the event of the outbreak of the spruce budworm and the resulting clear-cutting in efforts to salvage as much timber as possible that provided millions of acres of prime moose habitat. There was so much habitat as a result that Maine grew an artificially high population of moose. (Note: This same event and resulting clear-cuts, also provided false growths in rabbits, the prime food source for Canada lynx. And yes, the clear-cuts caused a false growth in Canada lynx and as these clear-cuts change, we are still attempting to artificially grow the number of Canada lynx.)

Two things have been happening since. First, because of man’s greed and ignorance, we attempted, and still are, to sustain a moose population approaching 100,000 animals. Mother Nature responded by knocking that population down with winter ticks providing an unnecessary and tormenting way to die for moose – wasted meat that would have provided some Maine families with nutritious food. Second, it’s been nearly 50 years since the spruce budworm and much of that prime habitat has changed.

In short, Maine’s generous uptick in moose numbers was an accident and not simply due to man’s efforts at management.

The second issue I found was in George Smith’s article about not needing to be scared of bears. George tells stories of some of his and his families’ dealings with black bears, and in one case of how he gathered up the family to run down to the shore of the lake to be there when a mother bear and two of her cubs came swimming across the lake.

George’s stories are presented as cute, fun, exciting, and never a serious word of caution. All the stories and accounts the author tells are probably true, but, what of that one time when a person, or family, due to “cute, fun, and exciting,” find themselves in a position where the mother bear will do whatever it feels is necessary to protect her cubs? Then what? Oh, yeah, yell.

Even domestic animals can be unpredictable but this is seldom, if ever, taught to our children. The family dog or the neighbor’s cat are always seen by people, children in particular because of how they are taught, as always approachable, never looking for signs that might indicate to stay away or having been taught that because they are animals they are unpredictable.

This incorrect teaching and attitude that animals are nothing but cute, fun, and exciting, it what causes those “rare” occasions when animal attacks person.

Perhaps instead of saying that there is no need to be scared of bears, we should be a bit more honest with ourselves and those around us and say that we don’t need to be scared but because it is an animal, and a potentially vicious predator, we need to be respectfully cautious, assuming that we might be treading where the bear, or other animal, may not want us to be.

Maybe then, those “rare” instances will become even rarer.

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Grizzly Bears, The Courts, The Government, The RIGGED SYSTEM

Reinstatement of ESA Listing for the Grizzly Bear in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem in Compliance With Court Order

SUMMARY: We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), are issuing this final rule to comply with a court order that had the effect of reinstating the regulatory protections under the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended (ESA), for the grizzly bear (Ursus arctos horribilis) in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem (GYE). Thus, this final rule is required to reflect the change effected by that order to the GYE grizzly bear population’s status on the List of Endangered and Threatened Wildlife. DATES: This action is effective July 31, 2019. However, the court order had legal effect immediately upon being filed on September 24, 2018.<<<Read More>>>

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Maine Bears and Wildlife Managers: Dither, Dither, Dither

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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Deer Baiting Should Be Used Like Bear Baiting

George Smith in the Bangor Daily News, posted testimony from Rep. Paul Stearns arguing in favor of a bill that would allow for deer baiting. It appears not many people are in favor of such.

Stearns gives several reasons baiting of deer should be allowed, the most of which I disagree with. I have voiced opinion in the past that it seems ridiculous that it is legal to grow a crop specifically for deer to eat and then, while you can’t directly hunt “over” that crop you can hunt “near” it.

Maine allows for baiting of bear. The reason is that it is believed that baiting bear increases the success rate of harvesting a bear. This, at the current bear management strategy, is a desirable thing as the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife (MDIFW) has too many bears and management wants numbers reduced. This should be understandable but that is not always the case.

Does Maine have too many deer? Not by a long shot. However, there are some places in Maine that do have far too many deer. Many of these places do not get hunted and in some cases won’t get hunted for various reasons. It would seem that in such cases, allowing baiting of deer, to draw them to a shooting zone, would be an appropriate use of the tactic. Isn’t this what so-called “sharp shooters” do when hired to cull deer?

It makes sense that if the MDIFW retains as a management tool the authority to allow bear baiting, then shouldn’t they also retain the authority to allow deer baiting, or any other species, when the demands of responsible control and management of a species is necessary?

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The Deaf Maine Legislature

The Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife (MDIFW) has been trying (I’m not sure how hard) to find ways to reduce the overblown black bear population in much of the State of Maine. During the debate that surrounded the last assault by animal rights groups to eliminate bear hunting, the MDIFW repeatedly told Maine voters that Maine had too many bears and it was causing a problem…including a public safety issue.

Voters must have understood and agreed that hunting was the best way to manage and control game populations and for the second time, they voted down a referendum to end bear hunting. Evidently the Maine Legislature had their heads inserted deep into regions of darkness and smelly air.

Proposed bills that would have taken steps to reduce bear populations, were either shot down by the legislature or postponed. In essence, nothing has changed and Maine will continue to be pestered by nuisance bears…such as the one in the picture below taken by my next door neighbor.

I wonder if the Maine Legislature is now liable for serious injury or death to the public by bear by refusing to take action?

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