January 29, 2023

Maine Secretly Hires a Head Deer Biologist

One has to wonder if one of the reasons the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife (MDIFW) has failed to introduce their/our head deer biologist is they are waiting to see if he bolts in the middle of the night as did the previous. Perhaps it’s just that the new head deer biologist is so busy compiling the 2017 deer harvest data so interested taxpayers can look it over before the 2018 deer season begins. It gives us a better idea how our money is being spent. (Note: New Hampshire has already reported on their deer and bear harvests and Vermont tells taxpayers about their 2017 deer harvest.)

So, here’s what I know. And, by the way, if MDIFW doesn’t like that I am sharing the only information that I can find, then I say they should have announced and introduced the new head deer biologist back in August of 2017 when he was hired. Perhaps it would have stopped this personal, speculative inquisition before it began.

Nathan Bieber was hired by the MDIFW to be the new head deer biologist. I suppose that nobody has heard from him or the MDIFW so maybe he’s already skipped town and went back whistling for warblers. Or perhaps he is and will be an excellent head deer biologist. Will any Mainers ever know? Don’t we have the right to know? Who does MDIFW think they are to keep this information from us?

I was reading a V. Paul Reynolds column yesterday and caught in his report that quietly mentions: “Maine’s… deer biologist, Kyle Ravana, left his job quite suddenly and was eventually replaced by Nathan Bieber.”

Who? What? When? Where? Granted Mr. Reynolds is a more well-connected to MDIFW writer than I am and more than likely is seen by MDIFW as far less toxic than I am because of my honest and brazen ways. (Not that Reynolds is not honest) However, is that a disqualifier to the rest of the state that they don’t get to know anything about Mr. Bieber and the hiring?

After reading this, I began doing some research to see what I could learn. I found another 2 or 3 news articles on Maine Online media sites that casually mentions Nathan Bieber’s name, but no introduction of any kind by MDIFW or anybody else.

I did find Mr. Bieber’s Linkedin profile, where he writes of his work experience as, “Deer Biologist- Maine Dept. of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife-Bangor, Maine Area.”

To be the head deer biologist, as Mr. Reynolds indicated in his column, in what at least used to be a well-respected and sought-after destination to hunt white-tail deer, must come with some pretty darn good deer management experience and recommendations…right?

According to the Linkedin page of Bieber’s profile, we see that he just left (2016) the University of Nebraska with a Master of Science degree in Natural Resources (whatever that means.) It also appears his specialty for his Masters was “River Otter Distribution and Abundance in Nebraska.” He earned a Bachelor of Science in fisheries and wildlife from the University of Minnesota in 2009.

Between 2009 and the present, Bieber spent 4 months whistling at warblers in Arkansas, 1 month taking tissue samples from beavers for the National Park Service, 2 months “singing” for woodcock in Minnesota, 9 months as a white-tail deer technician in Wisconsin, 4 months in Illinois finding good places for beaver, otter, mink, and muskrat to swim, 7 months as a gray wolf technician for the U.S. Geological Survey where he “Captured and handled gray wolves. Chemically immobilized animals. Backcountry orienteering. Telemetry,” 6 months back to Wisconsin where he was a deer technician that involved “Captured and handled adult and neonate deer. Chemically immobilized animals. Harvested tissue samples. Telemetry. Kill site investigations,” 4 months counting birds in South Dakota, 4 months as a part-time “Big Game Species Research Technician,” (wildlife technician) earning $13.50 per hour (according to information obtained from the State of Idaho) where he “Manned check stations for hunters. Prepped and catalogued samples. Data prep. Database management,” and 3 months catching prairie chickens in Nebraska.

I know sometimes my math isn’t top notch, but the way I’m adding things up, Mr. Bieber has a total of fewer than 2 years experience doing something or anything to do with white-tail deer biology, management or leadership. On paper is this the qualifications Maine should be seeking to be a head deer biologist? Maybe MDIFW won’t have to pay him so much money and they can use the cash to save more piping plovers…or something more important, like getting that new YouTube video completed.

This doesn’t disqualify Mr. Bieber from being a good deer biologist. Can he really do any worse than what has come before him? Once Maine sported around 350,000 deer and deer harvest ranged above 30,000 each year. With about 20 years of “modern,” scientismic wildlife biology at work, the herd has dropped to 200,000, or less, and a harvest that struggles to make 20,000. Yes, it can get worse. Will it get worse? Who knows. Maybe it will get better.

Whatever the new head deer biologist can do, which is really dependent on the administration of the MDIFW and not so much Nathan Bieber, all this shouldn’t draw our attention away from the fact that MDIFW appears to be hiding something. What else are we supposed to think? What is it they want to hide? Are they protecting him from mean nasty people like me? And this is why people speculate and ask lousy questions. It appears MDIFW has no problem announcing their love affair with movie cameras and taking some pictures of cute little cuddly bears hauled out of the dens in the middle of winter. So why can’t they do the respectful thing for both Mr. Bieber and the taxpayers and tell us what the hell is going on?

Otherwise, are we to report that the LePage Administration, in lock step with the Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife, colluded with the Russians in getting Nathan Bieber this job?

Maybe he’s Chandler Woodcock’s nephew or Governor Lepage’s son none of us knew he had?

Why do we put up with this crap?

The echo chamber and all their minions will just continue to parrot that MDIFW does such a wonderful job. Perhaps they do but surely there is a lot of room for improvement. Is that taboo with this new scientism-laced wildlife management we are in the midst of?