October 23, 2019

Maine Moose History and Shucking Bears

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Hunter Safety Not Banning Land Access

The editorial staff of the Central Maine Newspapers offers a rare opinion piece about the quasi debate about whether Maine should consider blocking access to private land in hopes of making things safer during hunting season.

The staff believes, and rightly so, that education, focused on safety, has done more to make things safer than any idea of blocking access to land will do. In the last three cases of people being accidentally shot on their own land, the hunter miss-identified the target for a deer and wrongly pulled the trigger.

To err is human, however, in the effort to achieve better hunter/people safety, perhaps it is time to reassess the importance and penalties for pulling the trigger when not 100% positive of the target at hand.

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Maine Moose and Ticks: Continued Spread of Bad Information

I once thought perhaps there was some hope that Maine wildlife officials were starting to get it when it comes to what is causing the moose population to shrink. But evidently Climate Change remains the excuse for everything incompetent.

Yes, few will argue that winter ticks are killing Maine’s moose. However, none can rid their brainwashing that the cause of the vast number of blood sucking ticks is due to Climate Change – proof of professional ignorance. When you combine this kind of blind ignorance with the need for the media to perpetuate nonsense about Climate Change, there still remains absolutely no hope that one day man will get it and then make plans to combat the problem from a real scientific approach rather than an emotional wandering about hoping on all hope that Climate Change will somehow make things right again.

Once again we read in the mainstream media how we are all gonna die because of Climate Change. Maine’s moose biologist is quoted as saying, “Every day that is mild in October and November and we don’t get any snow, every day ticks are out getting on moose. Climate is a factor in the level of ticks we have out there.”

It wasn’t all that long ago that Kantar (Maine’s moose biologist) was caught telling some people that the reason for so many ticks was due to too many moose, and not so much because of Climate Change.

Maybe there’s more funding available if you are willing to perpetuate the Climate Change nonsense.

Ignorance and brainwashing about Climate Change causes one to never use their brain and implement any sort of common sense. It’s more fun, evidently, to plow along with the myth, living in fear that WE’RE ALL GONNA DIE! Thirty years ago it was predicted that whole nations would disappear from the earth if we didn’t do something about global warming. And yet, we still insist that global warming (now Climate Change) is what is causing winter ticks to grow out of control. Smart…real smart.

If Maine would increase their moose hunting permits and lower the moose population to responsible levels, the winter tick problem would go away. I thought Maine’s moose biologists had begun to figure this out. But now they are back to blaming Climate Change on the number of ticks.

In Alaska, were moose have lived for far longer than in Maine, biologists/scientists there have said that there is only one way to mitigate the winter tick problem: reduce the moose population.

It’s easier to spout nonsense and say Alaska doesn’t have a tick problem because it is so cold up there. Ignorance also causes people to think all of Alaska is much colder than Maine. It’s not, and these are areas where the moose thrive. Let’s take a closer look.

The winter tick is not just a common occurring thing in Maine. This tick, Dermacentor albipictus, if found in warm, dry climates like Texas, and cold climates like Alaska and the Yukon. We know that the ticks are found in the Yukon because researchers deliberately took these winter ticks there just to experiment with them to see if they could survive. The ticks survived and the irresponsible, perhaps criminal scientists were allowed to continue practicing their witchcraft.

Perhaps this is just too complicated for some to understand. Try this simple math problem. Alaska has an estimated 200,000 moose. Maine has 70,000. (Note: I use these numbers because the biologists use these numbers. There’s little reason to believe that these numbers are all that accurate.)

Alaska has 663,300 square miles of land. Maine has 35,385. Alaska has nearly 3 times the number of moose than Maine living on 20 times the amount of forests. Alaska doesn’t have a tick problem. Maine does. From this information, people conclude that the problem with ticks is Climate Change. Does this make any sense?

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MOUNT KATAHDIN: When Nobody Knows Or Cares About Grammatical Correctness

In this Post Normal existence of a misguided society, where not only is it a struggle for people to write (or speak for that matter) in complete sentences, at a time when life is in the palm of everyone’s hand, and the language consists of coded abbreviations, and nobody cares about whether anything written or spoken is grammatically correct (the same can’t be said about political correctness), we can read where one lost soul believes it’s important to rename a famous Maine mountain in order to make the name grammatically correct.

The director of Baxter State Park in Maine wants to change the name of Mount Katahdin to just Katahdin, claiming that “mount” is built into the name Katahdin. To a loser, who seems only capable of focusing on typos and grammar, life’s importance must be a struggle. Who cares? The English Language is full of such things and nobody cares. Why would anyone think it important to rewrite forever to make a point…or a statement? Have we reached the climax of idiotic sensitivity that any person would find offense in being told that the name Katahdin means it’s a big mountain? What is offensive or important that to some nerd with obviously too much time on his hands (maybe he isn’t doing the job he’s paid to do) would find a need to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars, taking up hours and hours of time people could be spending doing important things, to change the name, dropping Mount?

Nobody cares…nor should they. It’s not important! Nobody cares when somebody calls Islamic Terrorists THE Al Qaida, when “Al” means THE. Are we to be upset because when somebody speaks or writes that way it is grammatically incorrect? Where has any sense of a true compass reading gone?

When the real purpose of life is to correct our forgetfulness of where we came from, in order that we can know where it is we need to go, some poor lost soul is wasting his life obsessing on grammar in an old Indian name.

You can’t make this stuff up.

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Maine Fish and Game One Step Further Out of the Dark Ages

In several years in Maine, the fish and game department (MDIFW) has gone from taking several months (sometimes over a year) to tabulate deer, bear, moose, and turkey harvest information, to now where anyone can visit the MDIFW website and receive instant harvest data in total or broken down by Wildlife Management District.

THANK YOU!!! It’s about time.

Even when MDIFW announced it was tagging digitally and the department (and select others) could get the harvest information, it seemed MDIFW was in the dark that the public was interested in having access to that same information. I wondered if the department ever planned to do that or keep good control over some of us by making us beg for data.

And so, here we are! Click on this link – https://maine.maps.arcgis.com/apps/opsdashboard/index.html#/199555de2ee14d94a6186d9e07453e05 – and to the left you will see up-to-date harvest data for the entire state, for deer, bear, moose, and turkey. Click on the WMD shown in the Maine map to get a breakdown of each WMD.

I am very grateful that MDIFW has chosen to do this…although I am a bit puzzled by a comment from the MDIFW Wildlife Director, printed in the Bangor Daily News. The director said: “We just realized that there was a lot of interest in having that information (harvest data from their digital tagging system). Seriously? “We just realized…?”

MDIFW was so terrible at providing hunters with any current harvest data, they were the laughing stock around many coffee tables in coffee shops statewide. And NOW, they just realized?

Okay, so I guess for some it just takes a long time to wake up. So, good morning!! And, thank you for allowing the tax payers to have access to information we have paid for.

So, now what am I going to bitch about?

Oh, OKAY! How about this? Being that this event is one of the biggest deals to come out of MDIFW in a very long time, why is there no Press Release posted on their website? Back in July, there was a PR announcing an appointment to the position of Information and Education Director. Has that position not been filled and is not active yet?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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2019 Maine “Any-Deer” Lottery Results

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

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

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Maine’s Top 20 Deer Harvest Years

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

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SAM Director Needs “Blue Papering”

The executive director of the Sportsman’s Alliance of Maine needs to have the new law he created, fostered, and now fully supports (LD 1811) put into action against him. He is mentally suspect and is a threat to tens of thousands of Maine residents who, because oh his new law, can quickly have their rights dashed from their hands, leaving many and their families unprotected from real criminals, all in the name of guessing that somebody might do something wrong based upon the biased, and often unprofessional perspectives of cops and quasi medical people. From my perspective, the director should have all his “weapons” temporarily confiscated until such time as a court can rush to judgement over what to do with him and his guns.

Part of the mental disorder afflicting the director is that he believes that “justice” can be served when someone decides another person MIGHT do something wrong based on a person’s perspective of whether or not another person matches their idealistic, “normal” behavior pattern and has the targeted individual put into “protective custody,” weapons confiscated, and put on ice for 14 days waiting for a judge to decide what to do. Think about how things are in this fascist/totalitarian insane asylum called the United States of America. What judge in his right mind (if there are any) is going to release any accused mental patient and restore him/her their “weapons?”

Director Trahan can paint as rosy a picture as he would like but it doesn’t remove the stark reality that his law, while I want to say is “unconstitutional,” blatantly goes against what has been practiced for many years in this country where a person is allowed presumption of innocence and is not taken into custody AND had their personal property confiscated because somebody has power to attempt to predict what a person might or might not do.

I’m going to go out on a small limb here and guess that at some point in David Trahan’s political past and as the current E.D. of SAM, has at one time or other stated that gun control laws only effect innocent, law-abiding citizens – that criminals will get guns no matter whether they are banned or not…etc. And yet, here he is creating and promoting laws designed to forecast a person’s actions, a clear violation of an infringement upon a lawful citizen.

It has been historically stated that as long as any government, and/or those who participate in government, can keep the masses living in fear, they can control them with any laws designed to strip them of any granted or presumed rights of freedom.

It was Thomas Jefferson who said, “When government fears the people, there is liberty. When the people fear the government, there is tyranny.”

What is most tragic is when, due to ignorance and fear of reprisals, heads of sportsmen groups abandon their own rights for a bit of trumped up false security. Governments by themselves can create enough destruction of a person’s rights, we certainly should not have people like David Trahan gunning for (Excuse the expression. You might find it offensive.) laws that not only destroys our Second Amendment freedoms to keep and bear arms but also places in the hands of fascists and totalitarians the power to decide what another law-abiding American might or might not do because they might not fit the mold of what is perceived as sanity in a world gone insane.

Now that’s insanity.

I’ve said it before and I’ll repeat it here – Trahan should step down as his interests are not in line with Maine’s outdoor sportsmen. He has become a serious liability to all gun owners across America and those who believe in the unquestioned right to keep and bear arms.

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USDA Distributes Oral Rabies Vaccine for Wildlife in Northeast Maine

07/29/2019 06:14 AM EDT

AUGUSTA –Oral rabies vaccine (ORV) baits will be distributed in northeastern Maine beginning on or about August 3 through August 7 as part of ongoing, cooperative rabies control efforts aimed at reducing the incidence of raccoon rabies.

The distribution of ORV baits has occurred annually since 2003.

Wildlife Services, a program within the U.S Department of Agriculture’s Plant Health Inspection Service, will distribute the ORV baits in cooperation with the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention (Maine CDC) and the Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation, and Forestry. Approximately 351,000 ORV baits targeting raccoons will be distributed by air and ground over a 2,405-square-mile area. The eastern portion of the area will include Mars Hill and Houlton and reach as far south as Weston; the area will extend west covering areas including Oxbow, Patten, and Stacyville.

The vaccine packets will be distributed by airplanes in rural, wooded areas. Personnel from Wildlife Services will distribute vaccine baits from vehicles in the more populated areas.

Since 2003, Wildlife Services has worked to eliminate raccoon rabies from northern Maine because the virus poses a threat to human and animal health. Wildlife Services also collaborates with Canadian officials in New Brunswick and Quebec to reduce the presence of rabies across Maine and Canada.

As of July 23, 2019, 49 animals have tested positive for rabies this year in 12 of Maine’s 16 counties, including bats, raccoons, striped skunks, gray foxes, and red foxes. Occasional animal rabies cases have occurred in southeastern parts of Aroostook County in the last several years.

Rabies is a viral disease that infects the nervous system of humans and other mammals. It is transmitted primarily through a bite from an infected animal. Rabies is fatal once symptoms are present, although timely post-exposure treatment is effective in preventing the disease in humans.

To help protect yourself and your pet against rabies:

  • Keep your pet’s rabies vaccination current
  • Feed pets indoors
  • Keep garbage cans or other sources of food tightly secured
  • Do not feed, touch, or adopt wild animals and be cautious of stray dogs and cats
  • Do not relocate wildlife because this can spread rabies into new areas
  • Contact Wildlife Services at 1-866-487-3297 to report dead or suspicious-acting raccoons, skunks, foxes, or coyotes in northern Maine. Or call Maine CDC at 1-800-821-5821 for concerns about rabies anywhere in Maine.

ORV baits are coated with fishmeal and distributed in one-inch square cubes or two-inch plastic sachets. Humans and pets cannot get rabies from contact with the baits but should leave them undisturbed.

This vaccine has been shown to be safe in more than 60 species of animals, including domestic dogs and cats. Dogs that consume large numbers of baits may experience an upset stomach, but there are no known long-term health risks.

If contact with baits occurs, immediately rinse the area affected with warm water and soap. For photos of ORV baits, please visit 
www.flickr.com/photos/usdagov/sets/72157623983143606/.

If you are bitten or scratched by an animal, wash the wound thoroughly with soap and water and contact your health care provider and Maine CDC at 1-800-821-5821.

Costs associated with detection, prevention and control of rabies exceed $300 million annually in the U.S., according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Approximately 90 percent of reported rabies cases in the U.S. occur in wildlife. As part of the Wildlife Services’ National Rabies Management Program, the ORV distribution program in Maine is part of a larger effort to prevent the westward spread of raccoon rabies by creating a barrier along the Appalachian Mountains from the Canadian border to Alabama.

For more information:

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