October 23, 2019

The Aging Population of Hunters

Early this morning I was reading V. Paul Reynolds article in the newspaper about the importance of mentoring young people toward an interest in the long-time tradition of hunting. I’m not sure I can any add anything to the cause and effect or offer any great solution to the problem. I can relate my own experience as an example of the changes in hunting heritage over the past 45 years.

It was nearly 45 years ago that I received an invitation to a Maine hunting camp, comprised mostly of extended family members who lived in Western Maine. I accepted the invitation but I was also informed that I might not be able to find room enough anywhere in the camp to spread a bedroll. You might be wondering just how small is this camp? Well, it isn’t “big” but at that time hunters taking up residence for the entire week at Hunting Camp numbered around 12, and I recall at least on one occasion a camper was hauled in to handle the overflow.

Of the better than one dozen hunters claiming a sleeping spot, just as many hunters came and hunted a day here and there and maybe hung around for the evening meal.

Those were the days.

Back in the hay day, those of us out of school and working for a living, always, somehow, found a way to take time off to go to Hunting Camp. It was tradition. It was fun, exciting, and it was an extremely important part of life in Maine. The meat and potatoes of Hunting Camp residents for the week was comprised of those of us in the late teens and early twenties. The “fathers” were the aging mentors of the group and when any school-age hunter could convince Mom to “play hooky” they came to camp, as well as on any holiday and Saturday.

Today, at this same family hunting camp, we struggle to find 6 hunters there to hunt the week. And of those six hunters, the youngest is now over 60. Nobody shows up to check the “Meat Pole” and never any hunters just for the day. I don’t remember the last time any school-aged children came to Hunting Camp to hunt. So what has happened?

Many, many things. A progressive society has been very successful in brainwashing our children with negative ideas about the “violence” of hunting and the “rights of animals.” This goes a very long way in making it difficult to get young people interested in hunting…even when Dad or Mom hunted growing up and still do.

I could make a grocery list of all the reasons hunting is a dying event and another list of things I think might help, but the bottom line is that it is a nearly insurmountable task until such time as society as a whole finds value in the hunting tradition.

I wouldn’t look for any big changes.

As a matter of fact, the way things are changing, I would begin looking for a real good place to hide my hunting rifle(s) because “THEY” are going to be coming to get those pretty soon.

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Google The U.N. Environmental Policies Clone The Wildlife News and Wear Your Hip Boots.

Starting around 1980 Purposely mismanage wildlife and fish for years. In 1994 start a wolf population. Continue to mismanage wildlife for years. Make the U.N.E.P. clones look like they know what they’re talking about. Even though they do not. {throughout the 1980s when hunters complain at IDFG scheduled meetings about mismanagement of the big game resource tell the hunter[s] who see the mismanagement polices to shut up.

Somehow those pro wolf groups overlook prior to wolf introduction hunter success rates versus post wolf introduction hunter success rates based upon previous harvest data and previous tag opportunities now reduced by 80% due to wolf population mismanagement in states where wolves have been introduced for years.

Somehow these left wing pro wolf groups overlook game management hunter success rates where hunting management methods have been around for decades. It would be nice if their UNEP cloned attitudes increase the decline in members of their silly group echo chambers..

Sell 5,000 elk tags in an area [48-49-Idaho} that only holds 1600 elk, while the back country around the agricultural lands is sterile of big game animals.

The deep back country of Central Idaho is no longer carrying a respectable number of elk and deer anymore, nor large carnivores.. To me from my experiences traveling Idaho’s back country via horse and mule to no longer see cougars, bears, sows with cubs, black and grey foxes, coyotes, wolverines along with the elk and deer herds, is a far cry from a wolf regenerated success story.. It’s another man made failure of epic proportions..

Throw wolves into a meat grinder then curse at the meat grinder. Isn’t self responsibility for your own advocacy awesome? I think so..

WLNs useful tools want some blowback? You got it..

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Biggest Bucks of Maine Per Year of Deer Harvest

Most people in Maine and other parts of deer hunter havens across the country, know that the biggest buck, by weight, ever taken in Maine was in 1955. Horace Hinkley’s record buck weighed in at 355 pounds.

There were two hunters who tied for second largest bucks recorded at 310 pounds, 42 years apart. Do you know who they were and where the deer were taken? Visit Troy Frye’s Facebook page and you can get a list of the biggest bucks taken in Maine, the year they were taken, the hunter’s name, and where the deer was shot.

Thanks Troy!!

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2018 Maine Deer Harvest By County

Kennebec County in Maine, had the greatest 2018 deer harvest. If you would like to see what each Maine country had for a deer harvest in 2018, please visit Troy Frye’s Facebook Page.

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Land Access: “There Ought to be a Law!”

A few years back, while speaking to a group of elk breeders in Iowa at their national convention, I began my talk by asking for a show of hands from any and all who ever made the exclamation, there ought to be a law. Most raised their hands. The rest were lying…LOL.

In our post-normal existence we have eagerly created, without supporting evidence we reactively rush toward the creation of more limits, bans, and regulations falsely believing such actions will actually alter human behavior and make for a better, safer life. Does it? Do the majority of Americans heed such laws intended to make our world a better place to live?

Not exactly! Have you been out on the highways lately? This is but one example of how laws, intended to make things safer, are failing at breakneck speed. Everyone is speeding. Everyone is running stop signs and traffic lights. Everyone is tailgating. Everyone is passing on the wrong side. Everyone is texting. These are examples of laws intended to make the highways safer to be on and yet the proof is in what you see…total disregard of the laws. So, why do we insist more laws will work?

Does this same thumbing of the nose happen with all other laws? Of course it does and yet, we, in our programmed reactionary behavior insist on making more laws, limits, and bans anytime something happens that we think could have been avoided…especially if we had more laws.

A tragedy occurred in Maine two years ago when a young woman was on her own land during deer hunting season and was shot an killed. The shooter admitted he failed to follow the “rule of law” that demands a hunter identify his/her target before pulling the trigger. While this law is more of an educational reminder of the ultimate responsibility of the one with the gun in their hand, it does not prevent mistakes nor will it stop anyone intent on killing for whatever the reasons.

The editorial board of the Bangor Daily News suggests that Maine needs to review its hunter land access laws and consider a requirement that all hunters seek written permission from a landowner before hunting on that person’s land.

A land owner should be able to control who and how anyone accesses their land. They presently have that control at their fingertips by utilizing an existing law of posting signs of no or limited access. Yes, the onus is placed on the landowner to spend the money for signs and put the signs out. Perhaps there are better ways to assist a landowner in accomplishing this task.

The bottom line is this, will posting the land keep people off the property and will it prevent a tragedy like the one that happened two years ago? It will not stop the person who is intent on entering someone’s land whether it’s posted or not. Unless land is posted all the way around, what is to stop anyone from accessing partially posted land?

The question here is whether or not making or changing the law that would require written permission to access land would have prevented a killing like the one in Maine two years ago? We might be creating ourselves a false sense of security, causing the landowner, who may falsely believe their land is 100% safe to be on during hunting season. In actuality, a new law may be making things worse.

One could argue that it is the hunters’ responsibility to know where boundary lines are regardless of what the access laws and restrictions may be. Sometimes it is extremely difficult to know where every boundary is and if you cross, even a well-marked property line, whose it is. If I unknowingly cross a poorly marked property line, would I be in violation of the law?

Hunting is a very safe activity. It is not fool proof. To err is human as the old expression goes. We will never correct that regardless of how many laws are made.

So, let’s consider the problems that will mount if Maine decided to enact a law that would require written permission before access…for any reason. Which brings us to another question about such a proposed law. Would such a law discriminate against hunters and be in effect only during hunting seasons? Assuming a new law requiring written permission would be permanent and year-round, what kind of mess is this going to create for the outdoorsman, the landowner, businesses geared toward outdoor recreation, and law enforcement? Will this new law be such that it places the landowner in a situation where they are constantly being asked for written permission? Will this form of harassment cause the landowner to avoid such and simply post their land, which they might not have done anyway – an added expense for the landowner.

Consider the large landowners of Maine – Irving, Pingree, Liberty Media Corp. (John Malone, who is based in Colorado). How are they going to handle a law where they have to hand out written permission for anyone to access their land? Or are they just going to shut it all down to avoid having to have another paid position to handle just dishing out land access permission slips?

How is law enforcement supposed to handle this new law? Is it even enforceable? Is what exists now really broken?

I own land. It’s not posted. If I go on my land during hunting season, I dress the same way as if I was hunting – with hunter orange. I never assume because I’m on my own land I am safe. Mistakes happen.

I don’t believe anyone is capable of grasping the extent of how Maine would change if the laws were changed that would require written permission to access private land. What economic impact will such a move have on Maine’s economy? One can argue that it might make it safer but such laws will not stop human error. Most all accidents happen due to human error. In that case, more and better education might limit and reduce those errors.

Before we make more laws to restrict land access, let’s first consider other ways to educate and remind hunters of their responsibility and to remind the people of Maine when hunting seasons are underway. Perhaps Maine could invest in public service announcements that would remind people about hunting seasons.

Let’s be practicably responsible and not create a bigger mess that may do little to make things safer.

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2019 Maine “Any-Deer” Lottery Results

The results of the Maine 2019 “Any-Deer Permit” Lottery results can be found at this link – https://deer.informe.org/2019/

Just select the letter that matches the last name of the applicant and scroll through the results.

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Maine’s Top 20 Deer Harvest Years

This chart comes from Troy Frye’s Facebook page found at this link. He provides other interesting graphics about Maine’s deer harvest histories.

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The $136,666 Deer Vasectomies of Staten Island

To refresh the minds of readers, please recall the story about how Cornell University implemented a program on Staten Island, New York, to give vasectomies to as many male deer as possible in order to reduce the deer population on Staten Island.

Now three years into the program, we discover that of the estimated 2,000 deer on the island, the population has been reduced by approximately 300 deer. At a cost of about $4.1 million, the cost per deer reduction runs about $134,000 each.

Brilliant!!!!

Read more!

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Mandatory CWD Testing

A hunter skillfully downs a trophy buck. After admiring the beauty of the massive creature, before field dressing it, he reaches into his backpack and pulls out a Chronic Wasting Disease test kit. A new mandatory test, where the hunter must do a quick test to see if the animal he took tests positive for CWD. And then what?

Well, here we go. Here’s a case of a man-invented or man-spread disease, Chronic Wasting Disease, that all began in a government laboratory in Colorado. Today CWD has been tested positive in 26 states and now, officials are demanding that mandatory testing of harvested deer be implemented.

And for what reason? It is recommended that people do not eat CWD-infected meat. A mandatory field test would tell the hunter immediately if the animal is infected. Then what?

The test might prevent the hunter from dressing the deer and spreading the disease throughout the environment quicker than if you just left it to rot. Either way the contamination is there.

About the only advantage I can see is that a hunter might save himself/herself a lot of work before dressing and dragging a deer out of the woods and then waiting for test results before eating.

Then, if the test comes back positive, what’s the hunter to do with the contaminated meat?

While a required test might alert the hunter immediately of whether he/she has downed an infected animal, I see nothing here that would do much of anything to help stop the spread of the disease.

Maybe there isn’t anything that can be done. Perhaps we could require force feeding all contaminated meat to any and all government officials. They deserve it.

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Deer Meat Pie in a Primitive Clay Oven

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