May 24, 2020

Maine Fish and Game’s Bundle of Contradictions About Bear Behavior

These “Bear Facts” were found in an article published in Seacoast Online from the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife:

Bear facts

According to the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife, the black bear is the smallest of three species of bears inhabiting North America, and is the only bear living in the eastern United States. Although most black bears are not much larger than humans, their weight can vary tremendously with the season of the year.

Adult males can average 250 to 600 pounds, and measure 5 to 6 feet tall from nose to tail. Females are smaller, weighing 100 to 400 pounds, and measuring 4 to 5 feet in length.

If you come in contact with a bear, back away slowly, make yourself big by putting your arms over your head, make noise, and head indoors.

There is a misconception, said Doug Rafferty, director of public information and education for the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife, that a bear would want to harm a human, when their primary goal is food.

“No bear wants to eat a man because a man doesn’t taste all that good to a bear. A bear is hungry. His fight or flight response is based on hunger and whether or not he’s trapped or cornered. He generally doesn’t want to even be around a human,” Rafferty said. “Although the thing you have to remember, is that given the proper circumstances, any bear will attack. These animals are wild, you’ve got to stay away from them.”

I just don’t get it and probably never will. How can anybody state that “no bear wants to eat a man” and then turn around in the same paragraph and claim that under “proper circumstances, any bear will attack”? Why is it necessary to somehow dumb down and mislead people by saying stupid things about bears that can’t be proven when the only things that drive a bear and their habits are circumstances? Why can’t these fish and game and environmental organizations use the same amount of resources to explain to the people what those circumstances are that would drive a bear to attack you?

First, Rafferty claims that it’s a misconception that a bear would want to harm a human, when their primary goal is food. The misconception here is that the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife is presenting a misconception that a bear wouldn’t harm a human. Bears harm humans more often when they are looking for food. MDIFW seems to be attempting to tell people that bears WILL NOT harm humans when they are looking for food. When there is ample food that bears prefer, we seldom have occurrence to even lay eyes on a bear. But if a bear gets hungry enough, it will eat whatever it can get and yes, under the right circumstances, a bear will choose a human as a target for food.

Those circumstances might include but not limited to or necessarily need to be all inclusive: A bear coming out of winter hibernation is very hungry; there is little or no food available for the bear in its “natural” habitat; a bear, usually a young male, has been forced away from its mother and is in search of food and a new place to live and gets hungry; a bear that has become habituated around humans. They have lost their fear of humans and have determined humans are not a threat to them and perhaps have even tested enough to plan how to attack.

There are also those circumstances when a human may become or is perceived by a mother bear as a threat to her young and/or herself. Bears can also become startled and immediately feel threatened. If they know they can easily and quickly escape, chances are they will but don’t bet your life on it.

And don’t forget some old bears just become crotchety old bastards and will come looking for some human flesh to munch on just for the heck of it.

The second claim made by MDIFW is that, “No bear wants to eat a man because a man doesn’t taste all that good to a bear.” I mean, seriously? Give us the data on that one, okay! When I read this, in my mind I’m envisioning the Geico commercial on television, where people are asked to sample two drinks. One is sweet, the other bitter. When asked which drink they prefer, they pick the sweet one, of course, and the person reveals they picked the drink of Geico Insurance. So, did MDIFW sit down and offer a bear a barrel full of Dunkin Donuts and Hershey chocolate bars and then a pound of human rump roast and determined the bear didn’t care much for human flesh?

Probably the most intelligent bit of information in the “Bear Facts” is found in the last two sentences, “given the proper circumstances, any bear will attack. These animals are wild, you’ve got to stay away from them”. That’s great advice. The rest of it is mumbo-jumbo nonsense. If MDIFW would now just spell out what circumstances, I think then it might help people to understand why they need to stay away from wild bears.

There’s no need to run around in fear of bears but there’s also no need to be spoon-fed dumb stuff like humans don’t taste good to bears. Please!

Tom Remington


“Charting a Course Where the Prey, and the Preyed-Upon Can Coexist”

In response to an article that appeared at that quoted Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks Regional Wildlife Manager Mike Thompson as saying, “now comes the hard part of charting a course where the prey, and the preyed-upon can coexist.”, former U.S. Fish and Wildlife Biologist Jim Beers offers his rebuttal.

By Jim Beers:

While these state biologists are working hard to come across as good guys as they try to assuage the anger of rural Montanans, note what they say and not how they sound. Note especially that last sentence.

If they see their job as “charting a course where the prey, and the preyed-upon can coexist” they are no friends of rural Montanans. This Disneyesque fairyland where the “preyed and preyed-upon coexist” is EXACTLY the perverted philosophy that got us all into this growing pickle,

OH LOOK! Out there on that island in Lake Superior (where there is NO HUNTING, no towns, no farms, no rural residences, no ranches, no timber management, no economy, no livestock, no hunting dogs, no working dogs, no walking off the designated trails, etc., etc.) accessed only by ferry, owned and kept sealed off by the National Park Service and known as Isle Royal National Park: the wolves and moose coexist! OOOOHHHH!

Montanans concerned about what the state and federal government in league with radical environmental/animal rights cabals have done and are doing to Montana, take note. Those that do not recognize that you are the real “preyed-upon” are not your friends, whether it is through ignorance or secret evil motives makes no difference.

The “hard part” they envision is no harder than falling off a log. They think all they must do is maintain wolves/bears/lions while keeping a few elk/deer/moose in “coexistence”. Hello, is anyone home?

– They don’t see any responsibility to all those Montanans outside Montana cities that must live with wolves/bears/lions. They will just have to live with however many and wherever these large predators occur.

– They see no responsibility to maintain huntable numbers and distributions of elk/deer/moose. Whatever numbers and wherever they occur will be “natural” and therefore pleasing to Gaia and the national urban elites that they see funding their futures with OUR tax dollars.

– They see no responsibility to maintain the financial health of the livestock industry.

– They acknowledge no responsibility to protect rural dogs from pets and hunting dogs to watchdogs and working dogs.

– They acknowledge no threat from wolf diseases and infections that threaten humans, dogs, livestock, and desirable (i.e. sought for hunting) wildlife.

– They see no responsibility to the safety and well-being of kids catching rural school buses or old ladies walking to rural mailboxes or kids camping or fishing or fathers working far-off jobs while mother tends to the kids on an isolated rural home site.

No, all these Bozos think they “have” to do is “chart a course” to “prey and preyed-upon” “coexistence”. Do you really want Montana (outside a few Montana cities of course) to be another Isle Royal National Park?

Men, the road ahead is going to be tough. All of us have to fight our way back out of this tar-baby morass that government bureaucrats, radical elites, and our own past indifference has gotten us into. It is not going to be easy.

None of us need these namby-pamby bureaucrats either as advisors or certainly not as leaders. Letting the likes of these current state FWP, DNR, etc. bureaucrats remain in place is like emptying out Guantanamo Bay prisoners to scatter throughout US Forces fighting Al Qaeda and the Taliban in Afghanistan. It not only won’t work. It is suicide!

Jim Beers
25 May 2012

Jim Beers is a retired US Fish & Wildlife Service Wildlife Biologist, Special Agent, Refuge Manager, Wetlands Biologist, and Congressional Fellow. He was stationed in North Dakota, Minnesota, Nebraska, New York City, and Washington DC. He also served as a US Navy Line Officer in the western Pacific and on Adak, Alaska in the Aleutian Islands. He has worked for the Utah Fish & Game, Minneapolis Police Department, and as a Security Supervisor in Washington, DC. He testified three times before Congress; twice regarding the theft by the US Fish & Wildlife Service of $45 to 60 Million from State fish and wildlife funds and once in opposition to expanding Federal Invasive Species authority. He resides in Eagan, Minnesota with his wife of many decades.

Jim Beers is available to speak or for consulting. You can receive future articles by sending a request with your e-mail address to:


Naked Vermont Gov. Reported to Have Been Chased by Bears While He Worked to Save His Bird Feeders

Vermont’s governor Peter Shumlin ran naked in his backyard while he heroically(?) attempt to save his bird feeders from the eminent doom of four hungry black bears.

You can’t make this stuff up.


Michigan Report Shows Coyotes Biggest Killing of Deer

Preliminary reports from a three-year study in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan show that of all the large predators, wolves, coyotes, bobcat and bears, the coyote does the most damage to the deer herd.

According to the report, the coyotes feasted on both adult males and females but did its most damage killing fawns. After the coyote, the bobcat scored in second place, followed by the bear and wolf.

The full report is due to be released in the near future.

Drawing specific conclusions about this bit of information is fruitless, however, if nothing else it once again drives home the point, so often denied by wildlife managers, that coyotes should be taken as a serious concern for the killing of large prey such as whitetail deer. Preliminary data suggest that coyotes killed more fawn deer than adults but the point to be made here is that they do kill adult deer and on a regular basis. This is an event often denied by wildlife managers and environmentalists.

I will be anxious to get my hands on a copy of this report.

Tom Remington


What Will Maine’s Hunter Task Force Recommend To Bring Hunters Back?

Reports are that the Nonresident Hunter Task Force will formally submit recommendations to the Joint Standing Committee on Inland Fisheries and Wildlife on January 23, 2012. George Smith gives readers a glimpse into what he believes the Task Force’s recommendations will be.

In brief those recommendations or perhaps what they will NOT recommend, might look like this:

1. Will NOT recommend Sunday hunting.
2. Recommend to allow nonresident hunters to hunt on residents only day. (What will we name that day?)
3. Recommend a more equitable means of distributing Any-Deer Permits and Moose Lottery Permits.
4. Recommend better and/or different marketing strategies to bring hunters to the state to hunt turkeys, upland birds, ducks and rabbits.

Missing from Smith’s report and presumably missing from any recommendations we can expect by this task force, is increased efforts to control predators that are seriously limiting hunting opportunities for deer. As I’ve written many times before, the overwhelming majority of hunting licenses sold in Maine are to hunt deer. While it’s a good recommendation to market Maine’s other hunting opportunities, Maine is only kidding itself if they think they can somehow replace lost license revenue by promoting bunny hunting (isn’t killing bunnies competing directly with the “threatened” lynx population whose main diet is bunnies?).

Even an obligatory and cursory mention that the Task Force recognizes the need to grow whitetail deer would at least acknowledge they do see this as a problem. However, reading and studying the minutes of the Task Force meetings, the objective appeared to be to ignore that problem and concentrate on trying to hide it from potential or past nonresident hunting license holders.

As Smith points out, “most of the recommendations can (unfortunately) be placed in the category of wishful thinking”, does this then show what a waste of time and effort it all was? Can we collectively compute all the accomplishments of the numerous “task forces” the Maine Government has assembled to “solve” fish and game problems and fit them with room to spare into a sewing thimble? Perhaps another task force to determine if previous task forces have been productive?

Government in action!

Photo Editorial by Richard Paradis

Tom Remington