June 4, 2020

Maine DIF&W Lacks Mission Statement and Commitment For Harvest Opportunities

It’s nearly impossible for any establishment to achieve success without a distinct and clear vision of what their mission is. On the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife(MDIFW) website, there is no “mission statement”. If one gleans through the many pages, they might be able to pick up certain statements that would tend to make them think certain things about what it is that MDIFW is aiming to do. However, is that clear and concise planning that guarantees success?

An example of what I mean can be found on the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources web pages. While it matters not to me or perhaps to you whether we agree with the information contained on those pages, at least there is a brief mission statement and stated goals and objectives. This gives the department written goals and objectives to strive for, provides that same information to the citizens of Utah and creates a written benchmark in which citizens can keep the department on task by a continual reference to those goals and objectives. This is basic.

Some states, like Montana, and approximately 12 other states, have gone so far as to amend their constitutions in order to protect the right to hunt and fish. Montana’s amendment reads: Section 7. Preservation of harvest heritage. The opportunity to harvest wild fish and wild game animals is a heritage that shall forever be preserved to the individual citizens of the state and does not create a right to trespass on private property or diminution of other private rights.”

While it’s impressive that Montana has such an amendment, read carefully exactly what it protects concerning hunting. It protects “opportunity to harvest wild fish and wild game animals”, nothing more and nothing less. As citizens wishing to fully protect that heritage, wouldn’t it make sense to mandate fish and game departments to manage wild fish and wild game animals for surplus harvest for all citizens, along with protecting the opportunity?

This is the transformation that has taken place over the years by fish and game departments, hijacked by state governments, along with non governmental, environmental, and animal rights groups, to turn these departments into wildlife protection agencies. While most states’ fish and wildlife departments toss about the use of “opportunities” to hunt and fish, no longer do we find departments willing to state that their goals are to manage game animals for surplus harvest.

Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife(MDIFW) lacks a clearly written, well defined and accessible mission statement, complete with goals and objects. It also has no constitutional guarantee to provide surplus game or protection of “opportunities” and spends much of its time not only being manipulated by social pressures rather than using science, it goes out of its way to seek out and involve the public in setting management and population goals based on what the public will tolerate.

Evidently fed up with the bitching and complaining from hunters and associated industries, Maine crafted its “Maine’s Game Plan for Deer“. Prompted by a dying population of whitetail deer in Northern, Western and Eastern Maine, this plan was devised believing it would be the road map to recovery. What the plan lacks, once again is what I, personally, would consider clear goals and because of this, leaves sportsmen unsure of what exactly is going to take place, what the specific plan and achieved goals will be, specifically population objectives, and exactly who the Maine’s Game Plan for Deer was written for.

As a hunter, one would wish to see a statement from the Governor or at least the MDIFW Commissioner, stating that the objective of Maine’s Game Plan for Deer is to restore surplus populations of deer in all Wildlife Management Districts(WMD) for harvest opportunities. This would tell the sportsmen, who by the way are paying the bills at MDIFW, that the department intends to grow deer to levels that will give them surplus deer to harvest. Such a statement does no exist in Maine’s Game Plan for Deer.

As second choice, hunters might be satisfied for now if they could read or hear from the same sources that Maine’s Game Plan for Deer sets goals to rebuild deer populations that would increase hunting opportunities. That didn’t happen either.

As a matter of fact any wording or written statements that provide hunters any kind of reasonable assurances are quite lacking. The best I could come up with I’ll share below.

The MDIFW, after releasing Maine’s Game Plan for Deer, dedicated an entire newsletter to publish its new plan and discuss the whys and wherefores. Surely here hunters would find assurances.

In the newsletter, the following statement can be found:

While we’ve all been impressed by healthy deer populations, including trophy bucks, in parts of Maine, we’ve been concerned about low deer numbers in northern, eastern and western Maine. The population is below our publicly derived goals, and below the desires and expectations of hunters, guides and outfitters, rural Maine business owners, and those who enjoy watching deer.(emboldening added)

What does “publicly derived goals” mean? I can guarantee you it doesn’t mean more, better and guaranteed opportunities to harvest your deer to feed you family next fall. Further research shows us that Maine’s Game Plan for Deer is broken down into five elements.

One might also think that while publishing Maine’s Game Plan for Deer, an opportunity would be seized upon by MDIFW to assure the hunters, again those paying the bills, that this plan is for them (we are the ones who bitched and complained) and the purpose is specifically to grow deer to hunt. Instead, the preamble is about deflecting any notion of placing any blame for an abysmal deer herd away from MDIFW by stating: “there are several inter-related factors that are suppressing deer numbers” and the list does not include any slight hint of poor management. As a matter of fact, Commissioner Woodcock tells readers, “I’ve heard hunters claim that mismanagement on the part of the Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife caused the numbers to go down. That’s not true.” The dog ate my homework? Why does MDIFW exempt itself from blame?

So, if Maine drafts a Maine’s Game Plan for Deer, and in it there is nowhere that it even assures hunters that the plan is to grow surplus deer for harvest, then why are we paying for this and supporting it?

Element Two of Maine’s Game Plan for Deer is titled: Deer Population Management. Here’s what’s listed:
Strategies:
• conduct research to
refine our current deer population model
• better understand interactions between deer,
habitat, and predation
• understand how moose management may affect
our ability to increase the deer population
• work with landowners to eliminate deer mortality
where winter feeding makes deer susceptible to
vehicle collisions
• increase law enforcement efforts to target illegal killing
of deer
• work with the legislature to increase penalties for
illegal killing of deer
(emboldening added)

If I wanted to write a book, I would address all of these issues. However, a strategy to “refine our current deer population model” needs attention because, after all, isn’t this what Maine’s Game Plan for Deer is about? How does MDIFW plan to “refine” this and what’s more, what IS the current deer population model? Oh, yeah! I recall. Maybe the statement made the other day that was published in the Bangor Daily News from Maine’s head deer biologist tells us what Maine’s “current deer population model” is.

We realize, more than anything, that moose are valued economically for viewing as well as hunting opportunity as well as being on the landscape and just the aesthetic of moose,” Kantar said. “We balance all those things. That’s our job.”

Just replace the word “moose” with “deer” and that probably fits aptly.

But I think Element Four should give us a better indication why Maine’s Game Plan for Deer is not a plan to increase your odds of bagging a deer next year or any year into the foreseeable future. It’s a plan to appease the public and in particular environmental and animal rights groups. Element Four is: “Deer Planning and Public Involvement”.

MDIF&W has employed public participation to develop management goals and objectives for many species of Maine’s wildlife, including deer. The Department has conducted species planning since the early 1970s and has refined and expanded the process with each planning update. Most recently, the 1999 Big Game Working Group set the Department’s deer population management objectives for 2000-2015.

Deer are a public resource, but live on private lands. For any wildlife management effort to be successful, especially those occurring on private property [including deer wintering area management] society must determine: 1] the wildlife management result it desires, 2] the effort that it will undertake or require to achieve the result, and 3] to achieve the result, how much of the effort / cost will be borne by the private landowner and what, if any, society will bear.

You may view this statement in much the same way as does MDIFW, the governor’s office, the Maine Legislature and probably the majority of the Maine population. You agree with it and/or find no fault with it. However, it’s this mind set of “we’ve been doing this “since the early 1970s” that people think because they have it must be right. It’s not! It’s wrong on every count. It’s why there are no more deer! Why is this difficult to comprehend?

Deer is a resource that must be managed scientifically. We are now at a point where our fish and game departments allow the dictates of social pressures, and yes, even the social perversions of extremism, to directly influence how it manages wildlife. We, as yet anyway, don’t directly control our human populations based on what society dictates, do we? Please say no.

As a hunter, here I sit trying to figure out how we have gotten to this point. Since I was ten years old, I have invested in the Maine fish and game department. I didn’t do it because I had nothing better to do with my money. I did it because I like to hunt and fish. I did it because I was told that coughing up money each year for a license was a good thing and that money would be used to make sure that I had fish and game to harvest when I was hungry. This is my investment and your investment. We are still paying for it and we have nothing to say about it while the environmentalists and animal rights advocates have infiltrated our fish and game departments and all through state governments. And they pay nothing for the privilege of telling MDIFW what it will and will not do. There once was a time when sportsmen had ownership and the influence. No more, and that’s very sad as well as a troubling commentary for our future.

Maine’s Game Plan for Deer, like the hapless MDIFW without goals, without strategies, without a mission, is not a plan that will promise to increase your hunting and harvest opportunities. The Plan makes no such promise, while only stating it will work to increase deer populations that fit social demands only. With a department that protects the predators that destroy the deer, you might get some limited opportunities to hunt deer but it certainly is not what most hunters have in mind…..or at least used to.

Tom Remington

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Months in the Making, Maine’s Deer Harvest Numbers Finally Made Available

While Maine hunters still can’t comprehend why it takes over 3 months to tell them how many deer got killed during the past deer hunting season, most have forgotten, perhaps conveniently, that there was a deer season.

However, today the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife (MDIFW) has made available deer harvest information.

Total 2011 deer harvest amounted to 18,170. This compares to 20,063 from 2010. For those wanting to know and something MDIFW didn’t seem too eager to publish in their report, that’s a decrease in deer harvest of about 9.4% from the previous year. That in and of itself might not sound all that bad but when you realize that this year’s harvest was half what it was in 2000, it further drives home the point that Maine deer hunting stinks. It’s been in a downward spiral for many years and the past three years are not indicative that anything is going to change in the foreseeable future.

The numbers are not unexpected but pathetic regardless. In MDIFW’s written report, it seems the department is quick to point out that any reductions in deer harvest from last year to this year are all the result of the reduction of “Any-Deer Permits” issued. Of course the harvest report isn’t the place to discuss this issue but the question still begs to be answered; what has MDIFW been doing for the past decade that it got to a point it had to make such drastic cuts in the allotment of Any-Deer Permits?

Are we now supposed to accept that with 2 of the past 3 winters being relatively, to exceptionally, mild and a drastic reduction in Any-Deer Permits, Maine hunters will soon be back to the glory days of deer hunting? Let’s hope so but true deer rebuilding will not happen until the state gets a handle on their over grown and over protected predator populations. Sorry, but in my opinion no hope and change global warming and/or reduction of Any-Deer Permits in Southern Maine, is going to do squat for Northern Maine.

Tom Remington

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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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