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· Grrrrrrr
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30,190 Posts
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Jeff,

I’ve been thinking about writing this for a long time. After watching you argue with all comers for years now I guess now is as good a time as any. The below was written in pieces over the last few days as I’ve had time to sit down and think.

I have a Biology degree with an emphasis on wildlife conservation and management. I wanted to work for the conservation department as a Biologist. I do not work in the field for three main reasons....1) I partied too much in college and didn’t maintain the GPA I needed to get into graduate school. 2) When I graduated...1990....the job market was very tight and a minimum of of a masters degree was practically a must. 3) I landed a job in the chemical industry and soon found that there is a LOT more money to be made in private industry than there is in a government job so I stopped applying for jobs in conservation in 1996. As someone who studied the sciences in an academic setting and continues to work in the sciences I have a very strong understanding of science and more importantly I have a very strong sense of skepticism when it comes to the results of an assay or of a scientific test. I have read a lot of the articles you’ve posted and every single one of them is to be taken as opinion, not fact. Yes...those opinions are generally the best information we have because nature doesn’t give up her secrets readily, someone has to go looking for the answers...but again, those answers are not absolute fact, they are simply conclusions based on the results of a study.....a study conducted by humans in an attempt to understand and ultimately do the impossible...control nature.

Do you have a degree in the sciences or is your education in finance, google and letter writing? If you do have advanced education in the sciences then you should know a lot of what I’m going to say next.

The scientific studies and papers you are basing your arguments on are largely funded by academia, government agencies or other individuals (industry for instance) who have a stake in the outcome. Professors are required to publish a certain amount of research in peer reviewed journals as part of their degree process and as part of their tenure process. The pressure on them can be enormous. Many of them struggle mightily to find something to study and much of their research fails to arrive at a conclusion, is rejected, proven inaccurate or otherwise refuted. The vast majority of the hands on work for these projects is conducted by undergraduates with oversight and direction of the PhD candidate or the sitting PhD. As a student I was a part of no fewer than 5 such studies ranging from the nesting behavior of Glaucomys volans to the impact of day length on the absorptive properties of the large and small intestine of Microtus ochrogastor. Government agencies receive funding for studies much of which are conducted by folks who have a stake in the outcome...I.e. if deer numbers are high, they’re forced to host a hunt, or if turkey hatch is low they might have to change season structure etc etc. I’m not saying that these studies are wrong. I am saying that they should be taken as a scientific opinion based on, and dependent upon the parameters and conditions at the time of the study. These parameters and conditions can range from the capability of those doing the data collection to the way raw data was interpreted....those things never show up in the published reults. Scientific studies and the resulting publications should be taken as a piece of the puzzle and never as an absolute. In nature there are very few absolutes and most of them relate to the physical and chemical properties of light and matter. Everything else is in constant flux under the influence of nature as a whole. In wildlife biology/ecology and in environmental settings the exception is far far greater than the rule. For every study that comes one conclusion there may be another that comes to the opposite conclusion. How many times have you seen that so and so found a cure for cancer? Look at the disagreement in the scientific community regarding climate change/global warming. Does roundup cause cancer?....depends who you ask. I can go on and on.

So regarding your ongoing argument about turkey numbers.....who is to say that a trappers’ real world experience isn’t every bit as valuable and accurate as the results of some university or government funded study? Maybe trapping doesn’t help...maybe it does....I know one thing for sure....a dead raccoon doesn’t eat eggs...a dead coyote doesn’t each turkeys...or screw with new born calves. Yes it’s true that if you kill all of the raccoons on a property that new ones will move in....that occurrence is a result of nature’s propensity to seek equilibrium. Critters disperse based on need for, and competition for, food, cover and breeding territory. Just like you and me, critters like elbow room. However there is no hard and fast rule that governs this equilibrium and any scientific study that leads us to believe otherwise is either wrong or being misinterpreted. Turkey numbers are affected by a variety of factors and we as hunters and land “stewards” can make a difference under the right circumstances. Trapping efforts, habitat improvement, selective harvest etc will improve turkey numbers in some cases and in other cases will not. Why? Because nature does what nature does....we can only try to control it. I’m not siding with the guys that say trapping works because I’m not one to ignore someone’s published research but by the same token why ignore someone else’s real life experience? The scientific community does not have all the answers and if they’re honest they’ll tell ya that.
 

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8,176 Posts
Henry,

I've been thinking about writing this for a long time. After watching you argue with all comers for years now I guess now is as good a time as any. The below was written in pieces over the last few days as I've had time to sit down and think.

I have a Biology degree with an emphasis on wildlife conservation and management. I wanted to work for the conservation department as a Biologist. I do not work in the field for three main reasons....1) I partied too much in college and didn't maintain the GPA I needed to get into graduate school. 2) When I graduated...1990....the job market was very tight and a minimum of of a masters degree was practically a must. 3) I landed a job in the truck driving industry and soon found that there is a LOT more money to be made in private industry than there is in a government job so I stopped applying for jobs in conservation in 1996. As someone who studied the sciences in an academic setting and continues to work in the sciences I have a very strong understanding of science and more importantly I have a very strong sense of skepticism when it comes to the results of an assay or of a scientific test. I have read a lot of the articles you've posted and every single one of them is to be taken as opinion, not fact. Yes...those opinions are generally the best information we have because nature doesn't give up her secrets readily, someone has to go looking for the answers...but again, those answers are not absolute fact, they are simply conclusions based on the results of a study.....a study conducted by humans in an attempt to understand and ultimately do the impossible...control nature.

Do you have a degree in the sciences or is your education in finance, google and letter writing? If you do have advanced education in the sciences then you should know a lot of what I'm going to say next.

The scientific studies and papers you are basing your arguments on are largely funded by academia, government agencies or other individuals (industry for instance) who have a stake in the outcome. Professors are required to publish a certain amount of research in peer reviewed journals as part of their degree process and as part of their tenure process. The pressure on them can be enormous. Many of them struggle mightily to find something to study and much of their research fails to arrive at a conclusion, is rejected, proven inaccurate or otherwise refuted. The vast majority of the hands on work for these projects is conducted by undergraduates with oversight and direction of the PhD candidate or the sitting PhD. As a student I was a part of no fewer than 5 such studies ranging from the nesting behavior of Glaucomys volans to the impact of day length on the absorptive properties of the large and small intestine of Microtus ochrogastor. Government agencies receive funding for studies much of which are conducted by folks who have a stake in the outcome...I.e. if deer numbers are high, they're forced to host a hunt, or if turkey hatch is low they might have to change season structure etc etc. I'm not saying that these studies are wrong. I am saying that they should be taken as a scientific opinion based on, and dependent upon the parameters and conditions at the time of the study. These parameters and conditions can range from the capability of those doing the data collection to the way raw data was interpreted....those things never show up in the published reults. Scientific studies and the resulting publications should be taken as a piece of the puzzle and never as an absolute. In nature there are very few absolutes and most of them relate to the physical and chemical properties of light and matter. Everything else is in constant flux under the influence of nature as a whole. In wildlife biology/ecology and in environmental settings the exception is far far greater than the rule. For every study that comes one conclusion there may be another that comes to the opposite conclusion. How many times have you seen that so and so found a cure for cancer? Look at the disagreement in the scientific community regarding climate change/global warming. Does roundup cause cancer?....depends who you ask. I can go on and on.

So regarding your ongoing argument about turkey numbers.....who is to say that a trappers' real world experience isn't every bit as valuable and accurate as the results of some university or government funded study? Maybe trapping doesn't help...maybe it does....I know one thing for sure....a dead raccoon doesn't eat eggs...a dead coyote doesn't each turkeys...or screw with new born calves. Yes it's true that if you kill all of the raccoons on a property that new ones will move in....that occurrence is a result of nature's propensity to seek equilibrium. Critters disperse based on need for, and competition for, food, cover and breeding territory. Just like you and me, critters like elbow room. However there is no hard and fast rule that governs this equilibrium and any scientific study that leads us to believe otherwise is either wrong or being misinterpreted. Turkey numbers are affected by a variety of factors and we as hunters and land "stewards" can make a difference under the right circumstances. Trapping efforts, habitat improvement, selective harvest etc will improve turkey numbers in some cases and in other cases will not. Why? Because nature does what nature does....we can only try to control it. I'm not siding with the guys that say trapping works because I'm not one to ignore someone's published research but by the same token why ignore someone else's real life experience? The scientific community does not have all the answers and if they're honest they'll tell ya that.
 

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10,718 Posts
Years ago when I was much more active in Mo Trappers Association, we worked hand in hand with some scientific trapping studies while trying to develope "Best Management Practices"... I lost a lot of faith in these type studies when statements like "that can't be released for public consumption" were uttered by a MDC Biologist I highly respected. I didn't lose respect for him, but I do better understand the internal politics of wildlife management after participating.
 

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93,225 Posts
Well said Archer. We have a nearly identical path in the lat 80's/early 90's.
Get ready for a heaping helping of refute.
 
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· Máistir an pointe hocht.
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75,067 Posts
Nicely done Chris, and I will say it's not always just the "scientific" when it comes to writing these papers etc. This even applies to business. Academia who have never actually fought in the trenches of Running a business, managing in I.T. organization, or having to make deals with 3 levels of political organizations to be successful, are always quick to write things up as black/white scenarios.....

Life does not work in just a this or that scenario...... It just don't.
 
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· Under appreciated
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93,225 Posts
Nicely done Chris, and I will say it's not always just the "scientific" when it comes to writing these papers etc.
I've tried to make this point before. The biological studies are and always have been plagued by variables that makes absolute conclusions nearly impossible. Yes, there are times that an overwhelming amount of conclusions point to one thing or another, but that never ensures that there wont be contradictory evidence out there as well. The biological studies require objectivity.
In this case there are underlying issues though that prevent objective thought...
https://www.menshealth.com/trending-news/a19548571/why-some-people-need-to-be-right/
 
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· Registered
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20,349 Posts
Chris, chris, ChRiS, you will never take a thesis such as this to the next level until you include at least 6 or more Poles. 2 poles whereas MWT membership can see how other members voted. 2 poles whereas membership can only see results after they have participated in the pole. And of course your control groups.... Nice try though! :) ;)!!!

Seriously though.... Strong Work! Well Stated....
 
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