October 20, 2019

20 Dead Maine Coyotes

I am told that these dead coyotes are at least part of efforts by Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife’s attempt at targeting coyotes in deer wintering areas.

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Presidential Candidates Talk Sportsmen’s Issues with USSA

(Columbus) –Like so many other states during the last 90 days, Ohio is now taking its turn as the center of the political storm. The Republican candidates for the White House are crisscrossing the Buckeye state to make their case to voters prior to tomorrow’s “Super Tuesday” primary.

This full court press, in the backyard of the U.S. Sportsmen’s Alliance’s national headquarters, provided staff leadership a chance to visit and have dialogue with the campaigns and candidates.

Today, former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum agreed to sit down to talk about the most important issues facing sportsmen with USSA staff. Bud Pidgeon, USSA president and CEO; Rob Sexton, Senior Vice President; Doug Jeanneret, Vice President of Marketing; and Evan Heusinkveld, Director of State Services, spent 30 minutes with the presidential hopeful at an American Legion hall.

“I have spent my career fighting to preserve the 2nd Amendment and the traditions of the sportsman, and I will continue working to ensure these rights are never infringed upon,” said Sen. Santorum. “I have to admit though, that one of the best things about being on this campaign was the Iowa pheasant hunts – and the high point for me was watching my oldest son take his first pheasant.”

Prior to the meeting, the Santorum campaign provided information on his views on hunting and second amendment rights. Click here to read the Santorum document in its entirety. USSA will publish Sen. Santorum’s responses to questions asked by USSA leadership tomorrow on the organization’s website www.ussportsmen.org.

Former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney’s campaign also provided information explaining his views on hunting and the second amendment. Click here to read the Romney document in its entirety.

Governor Romney recently addressed his feelings regarding our outdoor heritage during a campaign stop in Ohio on Feb. 29, 2012.

“My own view is, lets protect the second amendment, lets protect the right of Americans to bear arms, whether for hunting, for sportsmen, for personal protection, for whatever legal purpose someone might have,” said Romney.

The U.S. Sportsmen’s Alliance was pleased to have a discourse with both candidates.

“Given that one of these two men could very likely lead our country, it is vital for sportsmen to have every chance to learn more about where they stand on hunting, conservation and gun rights,” said Bud Pidgeon. “We are very pleased to have had the opportunity to visit, and will continue to provide information on the candidates whenever possible.”

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Idaho Fish and Game’s Blind Ignorance

This morning I was reading the “Critter News”, an electronic news report that get sent to a small contingency of readers. The editor provided a link to a story in the Magic Valley news online (subscription). The title of the article is, “Decline in Hunting-license Sales Sinks Conservation Money”.

As I began to read, it was about 50 words into the story that this quote from Idaho Department of Fish and Game’s (IDFG) regional conservation officer Gary Hompland, appeared.

“Fishing licenses have stayed relatively steady as far as the numbers of licenses sold,” regional conservation officer Gary Hompland said. “Most of that, from what we can tell, is because we’ve had some really good salmon and steelhead runs the last few years.”

From this point on Hompland laments about the drop in hunting license sales. While it appears from Hompland’s perspective, fishing license sales is very cut and dry; lots of fish equals lots of fishing licenses sold. Evidently this same theory doesn’t hold true for hunting.

According to Hompland, the loss of hunting license sales is having a devastating effect on the budget at IDFG and evidently the reasons are varied and have nothing to do with a lack of game to hunt. Here’s the list of excuses:

1.) According to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service survey information, hunting license sales have declined since 1975. So, it’s a trend but no reasons given as to what drives that “trend”.

2.) IDFG attempted to lesson the blow by stating three other states, Rhode Island, California and Iowa, as having a greater decline in sales than Idaho.

3.) A “dour economy” as it is called by Hompland.

4.) And, “changing demographics of hunters”.

5.) Lack of new hunter recruitment “like we used to”.

6.) More single-parent families result in fewer hunters.

All of these items seem to be contributing factors to the decline of hunting and evidently none of them effect fishing. But what’s even more transparently ignorant is to think that when it comes to fishing, it’s all about how many fish there are to catch but when it comes to hunting, it’s about everything else except how much game there is to shoot.

Idaho is not alone. Several states face budget problems and some of that is due to a decline in license sales. The state of Maine is one such state. As a matter of fact they formed a dreaded “task force” to study why nobody from out of state wants to go to Maine to hunt anymore. The task force acknowledged the fact that Maine’s deer population has disappeared, especially in those regions where the out-of-state hunters went for trophy game. Instead of working to deal with that problem, the opted, as I guess we are seeing here in Idaho, to not necessarily deny there’s a game problem but find every excuse other than that for the decline in hunting licenses sold.

Tom Remington

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2012 Maine Moose Permit Lottery Application Period is Open!

Applications for the 2012 Maine Moose Permit Lottery now are being accepted.

It’s simple to apply! And you get instant confirmation of your entry into the lottery!

Apply here at: http://www.maine.gov/ifw/ The deadline for online applications is May 14, 2012.

If you applied for a moose permit last year or the year before, all of your information is pre-filled into this year’s online application. To start, type in your first name, last name and date of birth the same way as in 2011 or 2010. The computer will look up your information. Please review your personal data and make any necessary changes. It’s easy!

Once you’ve filled out and paid for your application, you’ll be able to print out a confirmation page. An email confirmation will also be sent to you.

The legislature made some positive changes for this year’s lottery.

Residents can only purchase only one chance, this increases the value of bonus points for long time applicants.

Starting in 2011 you can skip a year and not lose your bonus points. Thus if you applied in 2010 but not in 2011 you still have your points if you apply in 2012.

Bonus points are earned at the rate of 1 per year 1-5, 2 per year 6-10, 3 per year 11-15 and 10 per year 16 plus:

GOOD LUCK and Safe Hunting!

Best wishes,
Your Friends at the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife

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Montana Wolf Hunt Season Closes – Fails to Meet Kill Quota

In my selfish gloating I am proud to state: “I told you so!“. Over three years ago I predicted that with the wolf hunt plans being discussed for Montana and Idaho, the fish and game departments would fail miserably in any quest to control wolf populations.

We find out today that as Montana closes this year’s wolf hunting season, they failed to reach the quota of killing 220 wolves. What they recorded was 162 wolves tagged, even after extending the season. This equates to a success rate of less than 1% according to KFBB.com.

And of course the Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks (MFWP) have all the excuses why the quota wasn’t met.

Officials say the hunt has been slow for a variety of reasons. Wolves naturally try to avoid humans and they are so widespread across the region. With the lack of snow, they can be harder to track.

While these excuses hold some truth, hunters are restricted in tools necessary to kill wolves, and they’ll never accomplish the task of “control” this way. Readers should be reminded that last spring, Idaho Department of Fish and Game (IDFG) put helicopters in the sky to kill wolves in the Lolo Region. Lack of snow made spotting wolves difficult and officials only killed 5 wolves.

C. Gordon Hewitt in, “The Conservation of the Wild Life of Canada“, over one hundred years ago told us what was the most effectual way to kill coyotes and wolves.

The most successful method of destroying coyotes, wolves and other predatory animals is by the organization of systematic hunting by paid hunters, receiving no bounties and working under government control. This policy is giving excellent results in the United States, as will be shown presently.

The problem is by no means a local one, nor even a provincial one; it is both interprovincial and international in character, and it is only by organization along these lines that ultimate success will be obtained. What we need is co-operation among all concerned: individuals, live-stock organizations, and governments; all of them should contribute to the funds that are needed to carry out the work after a broad policy has been formulated.

Will Graves, author of “Wolves in Russia: Anxiety Through the Ages“, gave his readers a laundry list of all the methods, tactics and tools the Russian Government used in an attempt to control wolf populations.

1. Drive Hunting with Flags – Large squares of cloth tied a couple feet apart and strung by rope was used to force wolves to specified areas where hunters waited in ambush.
2. Drive Hunting Without Flags
3. Hunting Over Bait
4. Call Hunting – Use of man made calls that imitate sounds that will lure wolves.
5. Scouting for and Finding Dens – This is a method used by natives in Alaska and other parts of the world. Wolves often return to the same denning areas each year. Hunters would locate these dens, remove the cubs and kill them.
6. Hunting With Russian Wolfhounds
7. Hunting on Skis
8. Hunting From Horseback
9. Trapping
10. Using Poison
11. Hunting with Eagles and Falcons
12. Hunting From Light Aircraft
13. Hunting From Helicopters
14. Hunting From Snowmobiles and Vehicles

While employment of all these methods yielded good results, Graves points out to readers that without a sustained wolf control effort, problems would persist.

Dealing with wolves worldwide over the years has always been a struggle. In my series “To Catch a Wolf“, there are numerous accounts of the ways in which people crafted tools and tactics to kill wolves.

So, what is it that wildlife officials expect? They themselves, with the assistance of helicopters can’t kill enough wolves to make it worth the effort. We have read often of efforts by game biologists trying to trap and collar/tag wolves and can’t get the job done. Yet even with that knowledge and their choice not to seek historical facts on the difficulties in controlling wolves, they somehow think a hunter, willing to contribute a few dollars, is going to take his gun and be successful in killing him a wolf? I remind readers of the less than 1% success rate.

As long as states insist that wolves and coyotes will be “big game” animals, hunted for sport by one man and one gun, citizens can expect no changes in the reduction of wolf/human encounters or any increases of game animals in areas where wolves have destroyed them.

One has to question the real goals behind wolf hunting. It certainly doesn’t appear to be population reduction to protect private property and salvage other game animals, such as deer, elk and moose.

Perhaps officials are waiting for Nature to balance itself out! Yeah, that must be what it is. Now, how does that work?

Tom Remington

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Managing Wildlife In “An Environmentally Responsible Way”

For every one of the thousands of “environmentally responsible” bits of propaganda that get printed to thousands of media sources nationwide, at least 10 rebuttals with factual information need to be made in hopes of stemming the tide of inaccurate and regurgitated bad information about wildlife management, and moving those discussions forward with scientifically substantiated facts. It is a relentless battle, but alas, the war rages on.

A rightfully placed “opinion piece” in the Bangor Daily News, from Heather Bolint“Heather Bolint of Damariscotta is a 2009 graduate of Eckerd College in St. Petersburg, Fl., where she earned a BA in environmental studies” – is a rerun of the same old unproven theories that have for years been bandied around by environmentalists and animal activists as fact. While attempting to cherry pick a few theories dressed up like “studies” to substantiate her own agitprop, Ms. Bolint tells readers there exists no other studies but hers and all other information is inaccurate. Or, perhaps she just didn’t go look.

One of the greatest threats today to our wildlife management programs in this country comes from environmentalist, much like the author of this piece. Environmentalists tend to perpetuate theories and ideologies, such as “balance of nature”, “self-regulation”, bolstered by the absurd delusion that man is not part of the equation. This perspective is one from an environmentalist and certainly not one from real wildlife science and as such, the agenda-driven environmentalists use phraseology for wildlife management as, “An Environmentally Responsible Way”.

Actual wildlife biology took a back seat in recent years to demands from social activists, i.e. animal rights; placing animals at or above a plane with humans; a want to “view” wildlife; skewed moral and ethics issues, etc. This is not actual responsibility to care for the wild animals but is, in fact, a labeled “environmentally responsible way”. The author references her misconception by stating, “Maine’s coyote control is needless and unregulated and merely serves the purpose of providing financial stability to the IF&W rather than an environmentally responsible way to manage wildlife.”

Isn’t it a bit on an oxymoron to link together “environment” and “responsible”?

It is first important to point out to readers that Maine essentially does NOT have a coyote control program. Through extensive research recently, I learned that in 2004 the Maine Legislature repealed any remains of the Coyote Control Program. The only coyote “control” that exists amounts to ample hunting opportunities, limited trapping opportunities and a sparse, at best, animal damage control program of targeting winter deer yards to kill coyotes that are extirpating our deer herd.

The author chooses to utilize information written on the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife (MDIFW) website and present it as fact, when in fact most of the information she references pertains to Maine’s Coyote Control Program which has been repealed. She grabs this quote:

By continuing the coyote control program, the public may perceive the Department [of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife] implicitly believes the control program has a strong biological basis, when in fact, the biological benefits of coyote control are unknown.”

And this:

“It is not known whether the current snaring program, or other forms of coyote control, has any effect on increasing local or regional deer numbers.”

As well as this one:

“The possibility exists that the removal of territorial coyotes may allow nonterritorial coyotes into an area, and exacerbate the deer predation problem.”

It is no secret that the MDIFW has an aversion for predator control. After all, predator control is one of those nasty things that are learned in indoctrination camps these days. Our biologists are taught unproven theories; that predators like coyotes and wolves are “healthy for our ecosystems” and that nature “self regulates”. This is all junk science and intellectual rubbish.

Environmentalists created the use of “ecosystem” to term our forests and fields; “eco”, of course relating to the environment and “system” as it might refer to orderliness, or organization of working parts that yield a desired result. The only thing that might resemble a “system” in wildlife management comes from man’s effort to work to keep it at some sort of socially acceptable “balance”, i.e. not allowing one species to dominate and kill off another, etc. This is why we developed wildlife management and devised the Northern America Model for wildlife Conservation. It has been all part of the environmentalists’ plan to use social tolerance in wildlife management programs while giving biological science a back seat.

To those people who perpetuate the myth of nature balancing itself, I merely demand that they prove it. They can’t.

But back to the opinion piece, using worn out, and unproven theories about coyotes and predators as a whole from the MDIFW website of outdated information in order to bolster claims that it is “environmentally irresponsible” to control coyotes doesn’t make the grade.

For decades environmentalists and animal rights organization, who know nothing of predator/prey relationships or wildlife management in general, and pay their “scientists” well to give them the theories they wish to perpetuate, have regurgitated the theories about alpha males and females and reactive population growth from implementation of predator control. These have NEVER been proven and contrary to what Heather Bolint says, there does exist studies and data to indicate otherwise.

Dr. L. David Mech, around 1970 published in a book he wrote about how important it was to preserve the “alpha male” in a pack and the disruption it would cause by removing that alpha male. In other words, he was the author, the founder, the creator of the alpha male myth. But on Dr. Mech’s own website, he tells people that he has since that time learned that this simply is not true. He writes:

One of the outdated pieces of information is the concept of the alpha wolf. “Alpha” implies competing with others and becoming top dog by winning a contest or battle. However, most wolves who lead packs achieved their position simply by mating and producing pups, which then became their pack. In other words they are merely breeders, or parents, and that’s all we call them today, the “breeding male,” “breeding female,” or “male parent,” “female parent,” or the “adult male” or “adult female.”

However, the discovery of this information is not allowed to stand in the way of the agendas of environmentalist whose goals include the ending of hunting, fishing and trapping. The argument has always been that in random killing of coyotes, if the alpha male and/or alpha female are killed, the pack will be sent into disarray resulting in increased predation of livestock and family pets, etc. We know this now to be false.

What else are we finding is false?

For the MDIFW biologists to include on their website a statement about how removing “territorial” coyotes in one area might allow for “nonterritorial” coyotes to move in, is actually a reflection of their own lack of more modern understanding of predator and prey relationships and the behaviors of predators such as coyotes. Coyotes essentially have two functions. Kill and eat and reproduce. If targeted coyotes in one territory are removed and hungry dispersing coyotes are looking for a place to go, they might go there or they might not. They are opportunistic animals. If they do fill that void as might be believed, an ongoing coyote control program would solve that problem too. This is not complicated.

When anyone carries with them the unproven theory that if you kill a certain number of coyotes, they will produce more to replace those, will, more than likely, also possess the misinformation that targeting coyotes only allows more to take their place. To state this information as fact, as I have said earlier, is intellectual rubbish and dishonesty.

The entire opinion piece is a fabrication of unproven theories, exceptionally poor information and in some cases, actual myths. Readers should beware that this creation of anti-hunting decretum belongs in the opinion section.

The author reveals her anti-hunting agenda when she says:

Coyote control in Maine is facilitated through shooting, trapping, baiting and running down coyotes with dogs. These can be inhumane methods and are not regulated…..

Humaneness belongs to the eyes of the beholder. While Bolint tries to convince readers that shooting, trapping, baiting and hunting coyotes with dogs, is inhumane treatment, she falls flat on her face failing to discuss the realities of uncontrolled and unmanaged wildlife as a comparison. Of course, anyone who has an aversion or detestation to hunting and trapping of wild animals, would think it inhumane. The “natural” means of death to these animals can be about as inhumane, by human standards, as it can get. What is humane about protecting predators like coyotes to the point they become disease ridden? Coyotes can be carriers of up to thirty known diseases, parasites, etc. Common diseases are mange, parvovirus, distemper and rabies. What is humane about watching a coyote wither away and die from these diseases? Early in grade-school science we learned that too many animals in too small a space, breeds and spreads disease.

We control rats and other disease-spreading, undesirable creatures but somehow, while one may turn a blind eye to mice and rats being killed in a trap, quickly dispatching a coyote through hunting and trapping is somehow considered inhumane? I question if the author has any knowledge at all about hunting and trapping.

What is humane about having so many coyotes in some locations that they are extirpating deer herds? What’s humane about the realization of how hungry coyotes, being forced to kill more deer to survive, go about ripping a fetus from a female deer they are carrying in the middle of a deer wintering yard? What is humane about having a coyote eat a deer alive?

What is humane about so many coyotes eating the same prey that is food for other wildlife causing starvation and serious reduction of those species. An example might well by the Canada lynx. Its main prey for sustenance is the hare. If too many coyotes eat up all the hare, what chance does the lynx have? Is that humane? Is this even rational thinking?

The author of this piece is ignorant of the nonexistent coyote control program. She’s uneducated in the facts of coyote behavior as well as predator/prey relationships and provides readers with nothing more than blather, dressed up with a new skirt and bright lipstick and presented as factual information.

Ms. Bolint is an educated environmentalist. She has no idea that the MDIFW and many of the scientists there are her allies. Many there perpetuate the same environmental junk science and share the same theories and myths.

If people actually would like to see well-controlled and healthy populations of many and diverse species, the first thing that is needed is to get rid of environmentalism. It is not a science. It’s a religion given too much power and recognition and it is destroying our forest and fields by doing everything they can to get man out of the woods resulting in widespread predator pits absent of any kind of diverse and healthy wildlife populations.

Tom Remington

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Coyotes: Just Hanging Around Some Place in Maine

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Maine’s 30-Year Moose Lottery Should No Longer Be Called a Lottery

Maine has made changes again this year to its moose lottery system that some are claiming will level the playing field so everyone wins, while others are calling the changes a short term gain resulting in a long time loss. However you look at it, the bitching will continue. It’s the nature of a lottery.

So what is a lottery by definition?

1. a gambling game or method of raising money, as for some public charitable purpose, in which a large number of tickets are sold and a drawing is held for certain prizes.
2. any scheme for the distribution of prizes by chance.
3. any happening or process that is or appears to be determined by chance: to look upon life as a lottery.

I think Maine’s Moose Lottery can fit into definition #1, as the lottery has been used by the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife (MDIFW) as a method of raising revenue for the department. However, I don’t think that “the distribution of prizes by chance” much applies any longer.

Since 1982, Maine has offered some form of a “lottery” in determining who gets to go on a moose hunt. For 2012 Maine will issue 3,840 permits to perhaps 40-50,000 applicants. At one point in time there were 95,000 applicants but that has since dropped to around 45,000.

That precipitous drop has puzzled MDIFW officials and Maine’s lawmakers as it appears they have no clear understanding of why. I’m sure it’s a combination of several things, i.e. wearing off of the newness, drop in interest due to many factors including many only want to try it once, dissatisfaction with the drawing process, cost, etc.

What is known about the lottery system is there’s a lot of complaining that goes on, especially from those who have never been drawn and/or see others having been selected by lottery several times and view the system as flawed or in some cases rigged. I have no reason to believe the system is intentionally rigged, but try telling that to the person who has applied for 30 years and not been drawn.

There is no solution to the perceived problems of the Moose Lottery. Most changes to the process usually only result in a slight shifting of where the complaints come from. Perhaps I can help to explain why there are difficulties.

The first and perhaps the biggest conundrum is that MDIFW tries to run the Moose Lottery as a revenue generator. We can’t blame them for that but doing so presents difficulties. One of those complications is that the moose population should be managed scientifically. Suppose management strategies are devised through processing collected data to determine information about the moose herd. Biologists then can recommend which Wildlife Management Districts (WMD) should harvest what sex and quantity of each. Thus, the issuance of permits by sex for each of the WMDs that allow a moose hunt.

Even though some of us might think using science to determine harvest requirements would be the difficult part of the equation, it isn’t. It’s the process of issuing the permits and keeping the masses happy.

In my mind, a true lottery would be an actual one chance, random draw, some win, some lose. I’m not a statistician but I’m wondering, in theory, if 40,000 people each bought one chance at a moose lottery and the same 40,000 people bought one chance for 30 consecutive years, how many of those 40,000 would never have been drawn a winner and conversely how many win more than once? Would the results be representative of what Maine’s Moose Lottery results look like now?

A straight up lottery wasn’t satisfactory and so changes began to unfurl and now the lottery more resembles a system of equitable redistribution than a “distribution of prizes by chance”.

Is it the responsibility of the MDIFW to generate revenue or provide hunting opportunities for all license buyers? Ask 50 hunters that question and you’ll get a divided response and 50 different explanations to support their claims.

If it is MFIDW’s job to make money, then we should just allow MDIFW to conduct a lottery for a moose hunt in the best way that will generate the most money. Perhaps auctioning off the 3,840 permits to the highest 3,840 bidders would pad the coffers nicely……..well, at least for awhile.

If it’s MDIFW’s job to ensure that Maine license hunters all get a chance to hunt a moose then the lottery system should be abandoned altogether. Either concoct some mocked down version of an “Any-Deer Permit” where all licensed hunters have a season, albeit a short one, or establish as simple as can be done a rotation method of selection. I’ll spare you the details.

The changes to the lottery are an attempt to approach equity in the system. In other words, to reduce the number (and I don’t know what that number is) of people who have never been drawn for a permit. This is what is being perceived as the driving force toward justice. The question I might ask is will the number of people who will be quieted by the resolve of their viewed unfairness be greater than those who will abandon the process altogether?

Which brings us to another problem with the Maine Moose Lottery – politics. Simply put, a grumbling and unhappy wannabe moose hunter is a potential new vote if some legislator somewhere can make them happy. Need I say more?

In a true lottery, where there will always be winners and losers and the losers, a percentage, will always complain, or a rotation device where everyone eventually gets a chance, will not stop the grieving. Griping is human nature but there might be less of it than what is being echoed now.

There are a lot of unanswered questions with the latest round of attempting to legislate fairness, most of which we won’t know the answers to until 5-10 years down the road, when the moaning and groaning begins to escalate once more.

Tom Remington

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Open Letter to Maine Trappers, Hunters, Commissioner Woodcock and Governor LePage

*Editor’s Note:* The below letter was sent electronically to Gov. Paul LePage, MDIFW Commissioner Chandler Woodcock and several hunting industry leaders throughout Maine.

I have spent much of the last three days studying and researching the laws governing trapping, snaring and in particular the Coyote Control Program. I finished up a 30 minute session on the telephone with the Maine Law Library this morning and learned some very interesting pieces of information. I’ll try to spare all the details and provide only those of importance.

PL2003 c. 655 an act by the Legislature, effective Aug. 31, 2004, repealed all of Title 12, section 10105 subsection 3. In other words there is no longer a Coyote Control Program in Maine. Prior to the repeal, the language of 10105 sub 3 was as follows:

“3. Coyote control program. Pursuant to section 10053, subsection 8, the commissioner shall maintain a coyote control program as follows.
“A. The commissioner may employ qualified persons to serve as agents of the department for purposes of coyote control. These agents must be trained by the department in animal damage control techniques and must be utilized by the department to perform coyote control duties in areas where predation by coyotes is posing a threat to deer or other wildlife. Each agent shall execute a cooperative agreement with the department specifying the conditions and limitations of the agent’s responsibilities as an agent, including any terms for reimbursement of expenses or payment of wages.
“B. Agents must be trained in the use of snares and must be deployed in the unorganized townships to control coyotes during the winter months. All snaring must be carried out under the direction of department officials and with the knowledge of the local game warden. All areas of snaring activity must be adequately posted.
“C. Agents may be utilized for the benefit of agricultural interests as long as the department is reimbursed annually for the cost of those efforts by the Department of Agriculture, Food and Rural Resources from funds specifically appropriated or otherwise made available to the Department of Agriculture, Food and Rural Resources for that purpose.”

All that exists now in Maine Statute Title 12, Section 10105 is:

3. Coyote control program.
[ 2003, c. 614, §9 (AFF); 2003, c. 655, Pt. B, §21 (RP); 2003, c. 655, Pt. B, §422 (AFF) .]

The history line across the bottom tells us the process of the elimination of the Coyote Control Program laws.

All that governs snaring in Maine is Maine Statute 12252 which bans snaring and Maine Statute Title 12, Section 10105, subsection 1:

1. Authorize taking or destruction of wildlife. Whenever the commissioner determines it necessary for the accomplishment of the commissioner’s statutory duties, the commissioner may authorize a person to assist the commissioner in the taking and destruction of any wildlife. The commissioner may place conditions or restrictions on any authorization granted under this subsection. A person who violates a condition or restriction placed on an authorization granted under this subsection invalidates that authorization and subjects that person to applicable laws under this Part.
[ 2003, c. 614, §9 (AFF); 2003, c. 655, Pt. B, §20 (AMD); 2003, c. 655, Pt. B, §422 (AFF) .]

This repeal, which by the way includes LD237 which provided the guidelines in which the IFW Commissioner could implement a snaring program, could have effectively been undertaken during the recodification process that became law in 2003. I don’t know that this happened but it is a possibility. Regardless, it is my opinion that the laws of the State of Maine and the wishes of the people have been circumvented through manipulation of the “process” in order to achieve certain goals and agendas.

So, it would appear, by law, the ONLY thing the Commissioner has a legal right to do is hire or appoint trappers/hunters to target coyotes, with limited traps due to lynx lawsuit protections or rifles, that are killing our deer herds. And with no more Coyote Control Program, in which the Legislature once many years ago and reiterated several times after, mandated that the Commissioner/IFW formulate a Control Program, does this not make Maine more susceptible to lawsuits by targeting coyotes or any other predator to save deer?

Any notions anyone has that Maine will ever implement a snaring program again should be flushed out of their minds. We can waste time blaming anyone and everyone for what has happened but it fails to change the facts.

Snaring is not supported by IFW, I don’t know if the Legislature or the Governor’s office supports it, but it will never happen and it will definitely not happen with the approval of the USFWS. So, let’s stop wasting our time and energy. It’s just NOT going to happen.

As sportsmen, who care about our opportunities to hunt for deer and fill our freezers for food for the year, how do we change 1.) the laws and support needed from the Joint Committee and the Legislature to save this industry?, and 2.) how do we change the attitudes of those at IFW who support the propagation and spread of predators, rather spend their time and efforts on non game programs and view hunting and trapping as activities that they deem as socially unacceptable activities? These attitudes have no place in a fish and game department in which I invest my hard earned money to support. This MUST change!

It’s time for IFW, the Legislature and the Governor’s office to come clean on where Maine stands in its statutes to govern trapping and snaring and move forward in an aggressive and meaningful manner to remove harmful predators and rebuild the deer herd. If this can be done, it is my belief that there will be more support from the sporting community to dig in and help.

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“It’s The Time of the Season for Loving”

For those of us who grew up in the 60s and 70s, we well remember the “Zombies”. They made a hit out of the song, “Time of the Season”, and the lyrics state, “It’s the time of the season for loving”.

I’m either blessed or cursed to have a mind that operates like mine, but a friend sent the below picture to me with a brief caption that read, “It’s the season”. With my mind being ripped and pulled in several directions between humor and disgust and several stops in between, I soon began to see comparisons in which I formed a bit of a parody if you will; only for those most deserving.

First consider the name of the band who plays the song – Zombies. From Wikipedia, a description of a zombie: “The term is often figuratively applied to describe a hypnotized person bereft of consciousness and self-awareness, yet ambulant and able to respond to surrounding stimuli.”

I believe Zombie would be an apt label to place on our fish and game departments who refuse to acknowledge and deal with fast breeding predators like coyotes and wolves that are not “balancing our ecosystems” as the myth goes, but instead destroying it and other species along with it.

In addition, the photo depicts, not only the “natural” act of wild canine predators, but is also an accurate analogy of what is happening to the outdoor sportsmen.

Therefore, it is only fitting that the “Zombies”, both the singing group and the wildlife managers be honored with the photograph and the video, while the sportsmen get screwed. Note: For better effect, while viewing and listening to the music video, keep a close eye on the actions of those two coyotes. Makes for great entertainment.


If perverted, Click image to Enlarge

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