On Aug. 23 at Jeff’s Catering in Brewer, David Trahan, the chief director of the Sportsman’s Alliance of Maine, was the visitor speaker at a Deer Yard Discussion board hosted by some Bangor-area Republican state legislative candidates.
Gerry Lavigne, a retired state deer biologist and wildlife guide for SAM, joined Trahan on the podium to speak concerning the historical past of Maine’s declining deer inhabitants in Maine’s North Woods and what might be performed to show issues round.
Trahan mentioned that “predation and habitat loss have led to the collapse of the deer inhabitants in northern, jap and western Maine. At one time, 10 p.c of the panorama was deer wintering habitat. Now it’s simply 3 p.c.”
In an effort to finish this “loss of life spiral of appropriate deer habitat,” Trahan mentioned, SAM has spearheaded three initiatives to revive deer wintering habitat:
• A change within the regulation that requires the Land for Maine’s Future Program to prioritize its funding and land conservation purchases towards buying identified deer yards.
• Bought deer wintering areas will likely be held in Belief for the Maine Division of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife and managed by this company.
• Helped negotiate a $40 million state appropriation, which will likely be matched three-to-one by federal funding and used to buy strategically necessary deer wintering areas in Maine.
The Sportsman’s Alliance additionally performed a component within the new doe allow system. Hunters can pay $12 for his or her doe permits this season. This “new” cash will likely be additionally earmarked solely for deer yard safety applications. This fall, for the primary time, hunters will have the ability to harvest each a buck and a doe, with applicable permits.
Trahan mentioned that deer yard purchases have already begun. SAM will quickly announce the acquisition by the state of a significant deer wintering space in southern Aroostook County.
Throughout a question-and-answer interval, Lavigne, the biologist, identified that predation on wholesome wintering deer within the North Woods by each coyote and bears has been a big trigger in deer inhabitants declines. Lavigne mentioned that predators additionally take about 50% of the spring fawns that don’t survive.
Responding to a query about whether or not coyotes interact in random killing, even when they don’t seem to be hungry, Lavigne defined that each one predators, coyotes included, haven’t any compunctions about killing prey at any time when the chance arises. The profession deer biologist mentioned that that is known as “surplus killing” and isn’t in any respect uncommon.
Different constructive information concerning deer yard safety, mentioned Trahan, is the creation of the Aroostook County White-tailed Deer Collaborative. The mission of the collaborative is to boost non-public cash to help deer yard safety and administration within the County. With help and management of Aroostook sportsman Jerry McLaughlin, space sportsmen have already raised $20,000. This cash, together with hours put in by volunteers on feed plot administration within the County deer yards, will generate extra matching cash from the Feds, on a three-to-one ratio. Different members of the White-tailed Deer Collaborative are Andrew Ketch, Rob Keiffer and Bruce Frost.
These enthusiastic about donating to this non-public fund for deer yard enhancement in Aroostook County ought to contact David Trahan at 207-623-489 ([email protected]) or Jerry Mclaughlin at 207-592-2516 ([email protected]).
On the conclusion of the discussion board, each Lavigne and Trahan had been applauded enthusiastically by these in attendance. I publicly thanked each of the audio system for “their management and laborious work.” I mentioned that in all of the years that I had been writing concerning the Maine outside, this deer yard-protection bundle was essentially the most historic deer-management initiative in my reminiscence.
V. Paul Reynolds is editor of the Northwoods Sporting Journal, an writer, a Maine information and host of a weekly radio program, “Maine Open air,” heard at 7 p.m. Sundays on The Voice of Maine Information-Speak Community. Contact him at [email protected]