Page 1 Page 2 Page 3 Page 4 Page 5 Page 6 Page 7 Page 8 Page 9 Page 10 Page 11 Page 12PAGE 1 MAZINA’IGAN SPRING 2017 Published by the Great Lakes Indian Fish & Wildlife Commission Spring 2017 Following a reprieve during the relatively mild 2015- 2016 winter, the waawaashkeshi (deer) population seems to be doing fairly well, and the 2016 off-reservation deer hunt turnedouttobesuccessfulformanytribalmembersthisyear. Overall, the number of deer permits issued was up slightly from 2015 (by about 121 permits), and the off reservation tribal harvest was up compared to 2015 (by about 241 deer). A total of 9,276 permits were issued to tribal members throughout the season. Of those issued permits, 705 tribal members harvested a total of 1,744 deer throughout the Ceded Territory (Figure 1). This included 1,040 antlerless, 697 antlered deer, and 7 registered as “unknown.” Tribal hunters harvested deer from 39 counties within the Ceded Territory. This included 23 counties in Wisconsin, 12 counties in Michi- gan, and 4 counties in Minnesota. Four counties in northwestern Wisconsin accounted for over half (51%) of the total off-reservation deerharvest.Thosecountiesincluded Burnett, accounting for 21% of the harvested deer, Bayfield (15%), Douglas (8.3%), and Sawyer, with about 7% of the total harvest. The most active and successful part of thehuntingseasonoccurredbetween October 22, 2016 and November 28, 2016, accounting for just over 60 percent of the total deer harvest. Permits, harvest up in 2016 waawaashkeshi hunt By Travis Bartnick GLIFWC Wildlife Biologist The most deer harvested by tribal members on a single day occurred on November 19, coinciding with the state of Wisconsin’s gun deer season opener. Figure 1. Distribution of waawaashkeshi (deer) harvest by GLIFWC member tribes during the 2016 off-reservation tribal hunting season, summarized by total deer harvested in each county. Retaining youth, government policies challenge Japan’s bear culture In the rugged high country of northeastern Honshu, Japan, a Matagi hunter raises a warm black bear hide before a jagged range of snow-capped mountains. Head bowed, he thanks the animal for its sacrifice and offers up prayers to theMountainGoddess.Oncecomplete the ceremony delivers the spirit of bear to the ancient deity—a being endowed with resurrection powers. “After she takes back the soul of the bear, another one can be created,” said Mitsu Takahashi, University of Toyama professor. The bear life cycle and associated rituals are central to Matagi culture. Because the goddess is known to be an “ugly lady,” Matagi women steer clear of the forested mountains during hunts to avoid inciting her wrath with their“beauty.”Huntingingroupsofsix, men communicate through a variant language called “mountain tongue” to conceal their intentions from the keen ears of animals. Butthingsarechanging.Asmodernsocietyincreasingly drainsMatagicommunitiesofyoungpeople,traditionalbear huntingandtheritualsthatgowithitareinjeopardyoffading away, Takahashi said. On his third visit to the Ojibwe Ceded Territory,Takahashiledasix-mandelegationtotheGLIFWC central office December 7 on a cross-cultural exchange. Among the group, a pair of elder Matagi hunters shared their belief systems along with related challenges that many resource-based native people face in the 21st Century. “We want to pass on these rich resources to the generations after us,” Mitsuo Matsuhashi said though Taka- hashi. “Conservation for the future is very important.” Traditional hunters and the Min- istry of the Environment are often at odds over wildlife, said Takahashi, a law professor. He went on to explain divergent views between government authorities and Matagi leaders. While traditionalpeopleseespringtimeAsian blackbearhuntsasaspiritualendeavor, Japanese policymakers take a prag- matic, sometimes steely approach to By Charlie Otto Rasmussen, Editor Early Ziigwan treats Fiddlehead ferns, great in soups. (see Japan’s bear culture, page 3) Brown bear on Hokkaido. (photo by Hiromi Taguchi) OHM Maple Syrup, great with everything.