I am the Executive Director of the Wildlife Alliance of Maine. I have been a Registered Maine Guide for 20 years and was a wildlife rehabilitator for 10 years in our state.
The fact that Ms.Bolint opposed one particularly egregious method of killing animals makes her an anti hunter? This is exactly the mentality that pervades a very small minority of people ( some hunters/trappers) in Maine. If someone doesn't agree with everything they think, then they must disagree with everything they do.
I believe what Ms. Bolint was pointing out is what our state agency, USF&W, and most biologists know. Coyotes eat deer. That does not make them the reason for a decline in deer in Northern Maine. It is widely acknowledged among those who truly understand that nature is more than just what you see in front of your face. There is a bigger picture, and without good habitat, shelter and food, deer are not going to survive in Northern Maine. It is not their historic habitat, period. 100 years ago there were few white tail deer in Northern Maine. Yes, the coyotes will eat the deer, who are starving from lack of suitable food and habitat, but that does not make them the problem, except in the very narrow eyes of those who hate coyotes. Let science prevail. Let nature prevail. Deer will not be naturally plentiful in Maine until we have good habitat again for them, and that will be, at minimum, 40 years, coyotes or no coyotes. Northern Maine deer habitat is where it is because of present forestry practices and there is little being done to turn the tides. The forestry industry just keeps on cutting while showing up at the legislative committee testifying for every coyote killing bill that rears its ugly head every session. Scapegoats are good for providing misinformation and the coyote is a perfect one for those who hate them. Coyote control has been tried for more than 100 years. It didn't work then and it won't now. We need an alpha predator and since we've already killed most of the wolves and mt.lions, coyotes have just taken their place. Unfortunately, these guys think that repeating their rhetoric over and over will change the facts. It won't.
This entire argument is what we call a philosophy of convenience. It is far too inconvenient to blame forestry practices and the continued overcutting of the woods of Maine for wood pellets, pulp and firewood, the real culprits in the decline of the deer population in Maine. In even the toughest winters, and with large coyote populations, deer populations are not in danger when the deer have proper habitat. Everywhere in the US where there are deer and coyote they survive, live and die in balance with nature. It is only our desire for the quick buck and to find a scapegoat for our problems that lead us to blame the coyote for the lack of deer in Maine. Look at the science. There is NO peer reviewed study nor any evidence other than anecdotal (no evidence at all) that coyotes are doing anything but taking advantage of weakened deer who are already starving and dying. IF anything, they are helping them from an even slower, more painful death from exposure and starvation. There are many states that used to make money from deer hunting. Things change, life changes, and people need to accept that we will not at any time in the near future have a deer population similar to that in the late 70's and early 80's when spruce budworm and the subsequent mass cutting that resulted created a very temporary spike in that population. If this state would stop thinking they needed to sell our wildlife to get money and start using some imagination we would all be better off. As to the anecdotes, we need to start using the science and ignoring the cries of those who only want to gain from ignoring that science. One biologist who works for the Sportsmans Alliance of Maine contradicting the rest does not make what he says the truth. Common sense people. Let nature do what it has done for millions of years, without the "help" of man.