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Grizzly bears, black bears, wolves, coyotes, cougars/ mountain lions,bobcats, wolverines, lynx, foxes, fishers and martens are the suite of carnivores that originally inhabited North America after the Pleistocene extinctions. This site invites research, commentary, point/counterpoint on that suite of native animals (predator and prey) that inhabited The Americas circa 1500-at the initial point of European exploration and subsequent colonization. Landscape ecology, journal accounts of explorers and frontiersmen, genetic evaluations of museum animals, peer reviewed 20th and 21st century research on various aspects of our "Wild America" as well as subjective commentary from expert and layman alike. All of the above being revealed and discussed with the underlying goal of one day seeing our Continent rewilded.....Where big enough swaths of open space exist with connective corridors to other large forest, meadow, mountain, valley, prairie, desert and chaparral wildlands.....Thereby enabling all of our historic fauna, including man, to live in a sustainable and healthy environment. - Blogger Rick

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Monday, February 5, 2018

I truly laugh when I hear hunters complain about the 5-10,000 Eastern Coyotes, 4500-5000 Black Bears and 3-4000 Bobcats supposedly decimating Massachusetts Deer herd numbers.........Massachusetts has continually had record setting Deer hunting seasons with human hunters shooting or bow hunting a record-setting 13,220 Whitetails in 2017 ...............There are an estimated 95-100,000 Deer in the "Bay State", so hunters are only removing some 13% of the deer population annually.............Note that biologists say that in Western Mass., deer density is between 12-18 per square mile and in Eastern Mass. an astounding 50-80 per square mile...............At the time of colonization, it is estimated that Massachsetts and the other Eastern USA states harbored 6-10 Deer per square mile, the density that optimizes forest regeneration and biodiversity...........Eastern Wolves and Pumas need to be re-introduced to the great state of Massachusetts if it is ever to truly "blossum" each Spring with a full burst of native plant life,,,,,,,,and the cascading array of animal life that those plants will foster

Mass. has record deer harvest in 2017

By Bradford L. Miner; february 3, 2018

100,000 Whitetail Deer call Massachusetts home

WESTBORO – A record 13,220 deer were harvested in 2017, according to preliminary figures released by the state Division of Fisheries and Wildlife.
Deer can be taken during shotgun season in December, as well as archery and primitive weapons seasons.
The 2017 harvest exceeded the 2016 tally by 971.
Statewide, the deer herd is estimated at 95,000 and MassWildlife’s management goal is a deer density of 10 to 15 deer per square mile. There are areas in the easternmost parts of the state where densities reach 80 deer per square mile.

Marion Larson, chief of information and education at MassWildlife, said deer densities are significantly higher east of Interstate 495 because of limited access to land open to hunting as well as local restrictions on the use of firearms.
Ms. Larson said deer project leader David Stainbrook has noted that statewide, the 2015 season saw a harvest decline, most likely related to warm weather that season and an abundance of food. Because deer did not have to move as far or as often to find food, they were less likely to be seen or harvested.
The deer project leader said the more seasonable weather in 2016 and 2017 may well balance the low 2015 harvest of 10,102 animals.

Ms. Larson said Mr. Stainbrook analyzes harvest, biological, and hunter effort data, along with hunter success rates and male-female harvest ratios, to manage deer populations in each MassWildlife management zone.
She said that process is underway for the annual spring deer management review, and a complete harvest summary will be posted on the MassWildlife in June.

5000 Eastern Coyotes in Winter and 10,000 during 
Summer months are not denting Whitetail Deer numbers

According to the MassWildlife website, the state’s deer populations historically were controlled by three primary predators: mountain lions, wolves and humans.
Mountain lions and wolves no longer factor in the equation, and as a result deer populations have grown in areas without regulated hunting, despite traffic mortality and predation by black bears, bobcats and coyotes.
A growing Black Bear population(4500 now in Mass.)is not denting Deer numbers

In some regions, deer are often viewed as pests that damage property and cause public safety concerns.
According to MassWildlife biologists, in areas of the state with adequate hunting access, deer numbers appear to be balanced with available habitat and within the agency’s management goals.
Bobcats(perhaps 2000-3000) are not denting Deer numbers

The MassWildlife website states that in areas where town bylaws prohibit the discharge of firearms, and areas where hunting access is severely limited by 500-foot safety zones, land closures, or town bylaws requiring written permission, an insufficient number of deer are harvested to maintain a stable population.
MassWildlife staff say communities and landowners must increase hunting access sooner rather than later, noting that as deer numbers continue to rise, efforts to keep the population in check will become increasingly difficult.

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