T.R. Michels

T.R. Michels is a professional guide who specializes in trophy whitetail, turkey and bear hunts in Minnesota. He has guided in the Rocky Mountains for elk and mule deer, too. He publishes the Trinity Mountain Outdoors website at www.TRMichels.com.

Answers to Facebook Wildlife Questions

Posted by: T.R. Michels under Recreation Updated: October 3, 2011 - 5:57 AM

For some reason this would not post last night as I promised, but here it is.

To address some of the misconceptions and issues raised on some of the "Protect Minnesota’s Research Bears" page on Facebook (which you all should join).

Why wasn’t Hope wearing a collar?

Hope did not have a collar on when she was shot, because she kept pulling it off. And the researchers did not have time to catch up to her and put another one on before they lost track of her, and then she got shot.

What more could researchers have done?

The researchers did everything physically possible, short of staying in the woods, and sleeping in it, in not much more than their clothes at night.

Why are post being deleted on the Lily the Black Bear page?

If it has anything to do with the actions of the DNR I can understand it.

Posts may be getting deleted on the LTBB page, because Dr. Rogers and Sue Mansfield feel they have to be very cautious in what they allow to be posted on that web page, because the DNR is threatening to limit the number of den cams they can put out; limit the number of visits to dens they can do; limit the number of bears they can put radio collars on, and more.

I, on the other hand, do not worry about approval of what I am doing. In fact, I received an e-mail from Chris Niskanen the Communications Director of the MN DNR, asking me to call him, because he’d "like to correct your (my) assertions in your (my) recent blog post.

I e-mailed him back explaining that with everything that was going on in my family right now, my wife’s battle with lung cancer, my daughter’s battle with skin cancer, her problems as the result of the after-effects of bariatric surgery, plus her chronic migraines and chronic asthma, and because I had lost the hearing in my left ear about a year ago and I currently had an infection in my right, with drainage due to the release of the infection liquids, and the drops I was putting into my ear, that I did not want to take any phone calls, because we had spent the night in the ER with my daughter, and that I was not up to getting my chops busted right now.

I asked him to e-mail his corrections of my assertions in my post, and wrote that I would probably post them on my blog. He has not, as of this date, sent me his corrections However, I did receive an e-mail saying that if I would not give him/the DNR my phone number that they would contact Dennis Anderson of the Star Tribune.

First of all no one ever asked me for my phone number, even if I would not give it to them. And how am I supposed to take an e-mail that says that if I don’t do what they want, they will contact my superior? I’ll let you decide what that means.

AS to the Lilly the Black BearPage

I cannot speak definitively about why posts are being deleted from the Lily the Black Bear page, but after talking to Dr. Rogers several times, I know that he is worried that Commissioner Landwer will limit the number of cameras he can put in dens, limit the number of times they can visit the dens, limit the number of bears he can put collars on, and other things that will affect his ability to conduct the research in the way he wants to do it.

So, Dr. Rogers and the Moderators of the Facebook page are being very cautions not to allow anything negative to be said about the DNR They feel they have to be not only politically correct when it comes to the DNR, but not allow any negative postings by private citizens of the Sate of Minnesota. And since I am sure the DNR knows this now, even if they did not know or suspect the censorship of a privately owned internet page because the owners/moderators of that page and Dr. Rogers, are being unduly influenced, due in part to the possible or feared actions of the DNR, now - I would hope that the DNR would tell Dr. Rogers and the moderators of the LTBB page, that in no uncertain terms, do they need not worry about what private citizens are saying about the DNR, because the DNR is strong enough to handle some criticism, and that the actions of Commissioner Landwehr will in no way be affected by what is posted on that page. That is the least they can do.

You can post Negative feelings about the DNR on my web age

On that note, because I am not funded by the DNR in my research of black bears, and I am not afraid of what any entity can do to me - rest assured that you can post your thoughts here, and o n my "Protect Minnesota’s Research Bears" page on Facebook and they will not be censored, unless they are off topic, maligning, or vulgar. As long as you are civil, I will allow negative posts about Dr. Rogers, myself, hunters, non-hunters and anti-hunters, the DNR, and any other entity connected to this issue, to remain on this page, as long as you do not ramble or become abusive. Rambling is reserved for me.

Why do hunter Bait Bears?

Many anti-hunters and non-hunters are complaining that hunting over bait stations is not hunting. Well, lets look at it more closely. First lets’ assume that in order to keep bears in balance with the "habitat carrying capacity" (the amount of forage available to bears) in much of its range in central and northern Minnesota, or in order to keep bears in balance with the "social carrying capacity: of the habitat (how many bears will humans put p with in the more suburban or urban areas of the southern portion of black bear range in Minnesota, you have to remove some of the bears every year, because in almost all areas bears are at carrying capacity levels of some sort. You cannot transport them to other areas of the state, or even other states, because those habitats are full to. So, the only alternative is to kill them. And that is best done and most cheaply accomplished, by offering hunters permits, so hunters will harvest the bears for sport, meat, hides, skulls, or rugs.

But, hunting black bears in the State of Minnesota, where bears are often at least somewhat and often primarily nocturnal/crepuscular feeders (meaning they only come out to feed within a few hours of sunset, and may continue to be active until a couple or hours of daylight. And due to the habitat they live in, which most areas is thick forest, sometimes the only chance a bunter gets, and at least in many instances the best chance a hunter gets, at killing a black bear (because sows may have a home range of up to 20 square miles, and boars may have a home range of up t 100 square miles), is by putting out some type of food that bears like, so that they can get the bears to come to an area where the hunter can see into the forest more than a few yards (especially if the hunter is an archery hunter) from where the hunter waits, so the hunter can actually see the bear as it approaches the bait station, and give him time to assess its size and age, possibly its pelt conditions, and gets a good shot

If hunters could not bait, many of them might not ever see a bear, or get a chance to hunt one. Which means that in order to achieve the required number of bears harvested each year, and keep them within the carrying capacity of the habitat and area they live in, more permits must be offered, with the undesirable results of too many hunters in the woods, each trying to hunt the same few bears.

Baiting, in the forests and swamp habitat of Minnesota, has proven to be the most successful way to harvest bears, and keep them within the carrying capacity of the habitat. Without baiting, habitat destruction and irate human being might be the result of too many bears in the state.

Why do some Hunters want to get me Banned from Midwest Hunting Shows/

I cannot honestly answer that question, but before they do it, they might think of the things I have done for them in the past.

Do you hunters who want to lynch me remember that I am the person who exposed Scent Lok as a Fraud, because it cannot be reactivated in a household dryer, nor can it last for more than about 7 times wearing it or seven washings, because the charcoal is completely full of chemicals that cannot be dislodged in temperatures below 500 degrees F. When I did that I saved some of you a couple of hundred dollars, and all I got was ridiculed for taking on a multi-million dollar company ,that lies to it customers. I’ve never been thanked, by anyone.

Do hunters remember when I was submitting articles about the low number of older bucks in Minnesota, to the Minnesota Deer Hunter’s magazine - Whitetales. The lowering of the older buck portion of the deer herd was directly linked to the deer management practice of the state of Minnesota, whereby they were proud of the fact that after they implemented there "new" management plans (in the late 70’s, and ha not been changed until recently) , they reduced the older age portion of the bucks in Minnesota, from 34 % to 17% (and they were proud of that?), which resulted in an increase in buck numbers in the overall deer population of the state, due to the increase of 1-2 year old bucks in the herd (yea, ‘cause that is what deer hunters want to see, is more 6-8 point yearling and two year old bucks - when the habitat can just as easily hold an equal number of large older bucks.

This change was due to the fact that the gun season was held during the weeks of peak breeding in Minnesota, when older dominant bucks were most often seen – and killed, as they searched for and bred estrus does. After which they did not get a chance to pass on their large racked genetics to our deer herd, because they had been killed, possibly before they had a chance to breed all of the does that they could have. Finally, after years of pressure by Minnesota deer hunters, the DNR changed the gun season dates in some areas, to the weeks after peak breeding, which allowed the older large racked bucks to live long enough to pass on their genetics.

From what I’ve seen at the Deer Classic, most hunters will gladly pass up the chance at a small 1-2 year old 6-8 point buck, if they know they have the chance to shoot an older buck with a large 8-12 point rack. I tried to get good information out there, but it took time to get the DNR to make some changes.

 

God bless, good hunting and hunt safe,

T.R.

TRMichels@yahoo.com

 

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