December 3, 2023

Are Tracking Collars for Deer Problematic?

I guess the answer to that question might be dependent on who you talk to. According to an article I read this morning, (photos available) with the ongoing deer study program taking place in Maine and New Brunswick, Canada, a handful of deer with collars are showing the fur of the deer around the neck worn down to the skin.

Some are concerned about this condition, but according to Dr. Graham Forbes, a wildlife biologist for New Brunswick, it’s only a small number of deer that have developed this problem. However, he also stated: “We’ve talked to some vets and the feeling is there is no great concern for heat loss or damage…”

I know I am guilty of projecting human conditions onto an animal but when the weather is cold outside and my neck is exposed to the elements I wouldn’t like it much.

If it can be agreed that the entire event is basically harmless to the deer, then for no other reason than it just doesn’t look good, this needs to be corrected.

It seems that the majority of the collars that have bothered deer have been removed.



Maine/New Brunswick “Magic Kingdom” of Deer Research


Glyphosate Spraying Killing Whitetail Deer in New Brunswick

KJIPUKTUK (Halifax) — The Halifax Media Co-op has acquired a series of internal communications from New Brunswick’s Department of Natural Resources that comprise literally hundreds of pages of emails related to newly-retired, whistle blowing, provincial deer biologist Rod Cumberland.

These communications are interesting for a variety of reasons, the least of which because they provide an insight into the manner that the bureaucratic machine in New Brunswick is very much linked into streamlining their publicly-presented message with their counterparts in industry, in particular with the efforts of J.D. Irving.

Whistle-blowing scientists take note: Never underestimate your ability to send your former employer into reaction mode, with all the bureaucratic and corporate cooperation and message massaging that that entails.

Upon his retirement in 2013, Cumberland, with early assistance from the Conservation Council of New Brunswick, began to publicly rail against the effects of New Brunswick’s glyphosate application program, whereby, since the 1970s, an estimated 12,000 – 15,000 hectares of Crown land are sprayed with the herbicide per year. Glyphosate mixtures are applied to Crown land in order to eliminate hardwood tree species and select for softwoods, which are then largely used for pulp. Readers may be more familiar with agricultural applications of glyphosate, where it is consistently among the most highly used herbicides in North America.

Cumberland’s wedge issue was that glyphosate spraying in New Brunswick is responsible for the province’s dwindling white-tailed deer population, as it destroys their food supplies. He has, however, continuously highlighted the scientifically-proven detrimental health impacts of exposure to glyphosate mixtures, and has gone so far as to liken the future health-related fall-out from glyphosate applications in New Brunswick to “this generation’s Agent Orange.”<<<Read the Rest of Part I>>><<<Part II Can be Found Here…and there’s a link at the bottom of Part I for Part II.>>>


New Brunswick and Maine Share Deer/Forest Study

It sounds to me like these “biolojests” need to get out a little bit.

“They collared ten deer from each provider.  During this pilot they’ve received interesting and sometimes surprising results.  Kennedy told us that two mature (7.5 year old) does were killed by coyotes this year already, even before the first snowfall!  We all know that coyotes were voracious predators with a skill for chasing deer, but to hear that two healthy, mature deer were killed by coyotes without the aid of snow was surprising.”<<<Read More>>>


Deer population’s changes studied by N.B., Maine researchers

*Editor’s Comment* – I wonder if, during these costly “studies” of deer, moose, bears, elk, etc., in attempting to make a determination as to why populations of these animals have dropped, sometimes precipitously, any of these “scientists” ever sat down with a pencil and paper and made two lists?

In the following article, it reads: “the deer population has declined by 70 per cent in the past 30 years — from 270,000 in 1985 to 70,000 in 2014.” So, two lists – one list of what things were like in the field for deer in 1985; a second list of how things are today. Then a “scientist” can extract from the two lists those things that are different. Logic (yeah I know) might suggest that these differences could be the culprit. What you think? Three to four thousand dollars per collar? Hmmm

“Besides winter conditions, other factors that impact deer populations are the increased number of coyotes, herbicide spraying and hunting and forestry practices.” <<<Read More>>>

Geez! I hope their list of possibilities is bigger than this one.


Bear Population Needs Management

Given the difficulties the government of Newfoundland currently faces with a class action suit surrounding their management of the moose herd and highway deaths involving moose you would expect a heightened sense of the importance of getting management issues right. While there is little chance of bear and human interactions reaching the levels of those of moose and humans the potential liabilities need to be recognized. Government sets not only forest harvest regulations but regulations around disposal of organic materials. The necessity of foreseeing unintended consequences has become a hallmark of our age.<<<Read More>>>


Black Bear Season Extended in New Brunswick

“Natural Resources Minister Paul Robichaud says changes to regulations on the hunt take effect Sept. 1 and are being made because the province has a healthy and increasing black bear population.”<<<Read More>>>


Maine Should Increase Bag Limit on Bears From One Bear to Two

Perhaps it is time for the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife(MDIFW) to put their money where their mouth is and increase the bear harvest bag limit to two bears per licensed hunter rather than leave it at one. MDIFW has often said that they are concerned that too few bears are being harvested each season and that the population is growing too large. Yet, they refuse to do anything proactive about the situation.

In the meantime, the anti human organization, Humane Society of the United States, is presenting a citizen’s initiative this fall to ban bear hunting. MDIFW is rightfully making the claim that with essentially removing all viable forms of being able to control the bear population would present a public safety issue.

With the bear population at present, higher than MDIFW thinks it ought to be, at least in some places, MDIFW should practice what they are preaching and take steps now to increase the bear harvest in order to better control the bear population. This also may send a better message to Maine voters that controlling bear populations is a serious issue.

Maine’s neighbors to the north in New Brunswick are considering increasing the bag limit to two animals, up from just one, due to an increase in the bear population believed to be the result of fewer bear hunters coming each year to bag a bear.


Coyote Wall Art

Below is a photo of some coyotes taken during the winter months in New Brunswick Canada. More can be seen here.



Wolf Shot in New Brunswick, Canada Was a Wild Mixed Species

DNA testing has shown that a wolf killed nearly a year ago was a wild creature of mixed wolf species, i.e. grey and eastern. Officials assume the animal was wandering into New Brunswick from northern Quebec. Unfortunately a CBC News article states that the wolf had tapeworms.

“It had a few tape worms in it as well that indicate it had been feeding in the wild for a while, so it was in good shape.”

Very little being said and no way to know what kind of tapeworms, I’m not so sure I would be confessing that “it was in good shape.” Some kinds of tapeworms can be detrimental to wild ungulates, i.e. deer, moose, caribou, etc. and lethal to humans.