Interview with Mait Siimson

Wildlife Specialists Talking about Their Area of Expertise
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Interview with Mait Siimson

Post by Jo UK » January 30th, 2009, 12:46 am

Mait Siimson,
has worked for 20 years in Tartu Police Prefecture as a constable, and he retired last year.

Mait has been a hunter since 1967, and has been the Chairman of the local Hunters' Society for 31 years. He has been feeding the wild boar for some decades now. Looduskalender's Wild Boar Feeding place has been under his good care since the webcam project started in 2007.

Here is Mait as we have often seen him.
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Post by Jo UK » January 30th, 2009, 12:52 am

Mait - where does the food come from? We know about the children who collected the acorns, but where do the apples, the cereals come from?

Mait Siimson(M.S.):

Hello, all nature friends, camera watchers and Forum visitors! First of all I would like to thank you all for your interest and engagement.
As you all already know, and mentioned in your question, the acorns were gathered by children from the local kindergarten. The grain we buy with money from our hunters’ assocation, and the apples come from voluntary contributors, whose apple harvest threatens to rot.
Last season we also got grain from the flour-mill company Tartu Veski.

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Post by Knallfroesch » January 30th, 2009, 9:46 am

Hello Mait,

I`m interested, about damage caused by game. Do you have problems with damage caused by boars and deer and what about the population of boar and deer at your district?
And who spend all the food?
I have about 30 questions - but I`ll stop now :laugh: ... looking for the question of others :bow:

Thanks Mait, for all your doing and kindness at "forest-camera". :hi:

Knallfroesch


M.S.:

In the summer season the boars do quite a bit of damage in grain and corn fields: looking from the edge of a field all seems in order, but in the middle of the fields there are large areas that are trampled down and grazed empty. The boars can spend a whole day in a corn field, because there are good hide-outs. Because of this we now try to feed the boars to some extent during the whole year, to keep them away from the fields. And for the same reason most of the summer hunting is done in the fields where the damage is greatest.

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robin
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Post by robin » January 30th, 2009, 10:59 am

Hello, Mait... :wave:
I like to catch your waves on the pictures :shake:
Do you watch also the wild cameras which is in estonia?
Do you read the forum and watch the pictures, what we make here? And maybe you are also one of the members of this forum?
One more question, do you use something to confirm the meat on the table so the foxes cant steal it?


M.S.

Oh yes, I watch most of the cameras with great interest. The forums, regrettably, I don’t follow, because don’t know English well enough. If it were, I would certainly read them.
Yes, the meat is fixed on to the table with a wire now.
Birds are wonderful

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Post by Kuremari » January 30th, 2009, 11:15 am

Hello, Mait and thanks for your great job at feeding place!

Have you seen any signs at the hay feeder about the roe deers? Do they come to eat there?
and what do you think why the deers avoid the feeding place?

Thank you for the "food art" we spend a lot of time, guessing the meaning of your "paintings"
:D

M.S.:

Deer don’t visit this feeder very frequently. There are probably several reasons for this. They do not get used to the lights as easily as the boars. There are also two more mangers in the neighbourhood that are in a different type of forest – these are very actively used by the deer. The lowland bog pine forest that dominates around our feeding site is clearly not their favourite biotope.
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Post by sunnygirl » January 30th, 2009, 12:40 pm

Hello Mait!
It's nice to see you almost every day.( If I am at the computer)
I'm grateful, you manage to bring food constantly every day.

My question is, do you have some pets at your home?

Take care!

sunnygirl


M.S.:

To quote from the song * “mice, rats, run in the pantry …“ No, at the moment no pets or domestic animals, the boars are quite enough for me :)
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Post by yarko » January 30th, 2009, 7:53 pm

Thank you so much for the good job Mait!

My question is: do you have some suggestion or reprimands to the people who spend time in nature?


M.S.:

Mostly I am disturbed by the litter that is left in the forest on camp fire sites. People should rather allow themselves more time in nature, to really observe the activities of animals and birds.
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"I love not man the less, but Nature more." Lord Byron

Jasmijn

Post by Jasmijn » January 31st, 2009, 1:43 pm

Hello Mait,
I will also thank you for feeding the animals every day :thumbs:
It's very special for many people to see things we normally can't see.
-How did you got involved in this project and how long are you doing this now?
-Do you (and/or the others) have a special deal with a slaughter-house to get meat for the birds?
Thanks again for all the things you do for the animals and therefore also for us :bow:

a special request....since a few days a buzzard flies from the table to the camera and back, is it possible to make a picture from that camera, so we have an idea where and how he can sit there? (thanks)


M.S.:

By chance. When a camera site was looked for, it was known that there was a feeding place near our hunting lodge. What decided the thing was that electric power could be arranged, and also that there was a transmission tower for Internet in suitable distance.
The camera project runs for the second year, but I have been feeding the boars there for many years before that already.
We have an agreement with the slaughterhouse that we get cuts that are not suitable for the local meat processing plant for the birds, but this year there have regrettably not been much leftovers.

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Post by MurakaMari » February 3rd, 2009, 7:49 am

Hei Mait! :hi:
So nice to see that someone care about the animals,bring food everyday once or more times in day... 8-)
Sometime You look like that: "What you look at me, I just do what I have do to!!" I think that You mood depends how good was Your day. Do I guess right??
You are hunter, right!? Then You hunt wild boards and other animals too and do You don´t feel sorry about them ,because You have been feed them?? I know that hunting is hunters passion, but how can You kill harmless animals?? Yes, the wild boards are not so harmless and they do lot´s of trouble in the potatoes field and other places, but however it seems cruel, but what is Your opinion about that?? :puzzled:
You built very shiny snowman, I was very surprised, because I wasn´t expect that. :2thumbsup: Where the idea came from??
Thanks for answers and take care!!!

Mari


M.S.:

The boar population increases by some 75%. The mild winters of the last years provide favourable conditions for them too. Hunting is needed to keep the numbers within limits. This question about killing defenceless animals ... look for instance at farmers: they often help at the birth of their animal kids with their own hands, feed them, nurse them when needed etc., but in the end these animals still end up as meat. This is simply what life is like. And in hunting at least the animal has a clearly greater chance to get away from the hunter. But as I see it the prey is not the main thing in hunting. It is more important to spend time in nature in good company. There are many days when an animal is not even sighted but nobody frets about that.
Thunderstorm

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Post by Liis » February 3rd, 2009, 9:16 am

Hello, Mait -
you have observed the nature and animals around you for a long time.
Have the boars - and other animals - changed their behaviour? Do you notice any changes from the feeding? ((Edit.) They look so big and glossy!)

Background: wild animals like roe deer have become a nuisance in places, not only because they have increased but also because they are not shy of people any longer. (as the 'garbage bears' in North America)
People live differently too: summerhouse gardens with nice things to eat, pet animals to catch, less angry watchdogs, less guarding of cattle, more people moving in nature but not to hunt or work.


M.S.:

Since forest areas have become much fewer and smaller and people move much more in nature than earlier – there are for instance many rambling paths etc – then animals have adjusted to this, they are less scared of humans and they also move much more near settled areas.
At the feeding grounds, well, it is normal that the young piglets grow fast; the sows however now mostly put on weight for the new litter to be born, this will happen after the snow has gone away; many of them may have up to 10 young. The percentage of fat under the coats is much higher in autumn than now, then they feed and fatten mostly from the grain fields.

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Post by Jo UK » February 3rd, 2009, 7:00 pm

Mait, on 3. 2. 09 you put this mountain of food for the boar. They appear not to be interested in it - yet!
Please can you tell us what it is? No-one can make a good guess!


M.S.:

It was ordinary silage; we tested it to see if any of the animals would like it. Seems that most did not particularly appreciate it.
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Post by Jo UK » February 8th, 2009, 10:48 pm

Another food-related question.
When you do those "food-art"designs with the food, where do you get the idea from? Do you invent the design as you go around, or have you seen a picture of something, then copy it when you deliver food?


M.S.:

I haven’t even noticed that there are particular shapes and patterns, I just pour out the feed as it comes. Sometimes it is spread all over, sometimes in small heaps, to see how the animals react. I really don’t create any art there :)

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Post by Jo UK » February 8th, 2009, 10:49 pm

If all hunting in Estonia were banned, what would be the short term effects? What would be the long term effects?

M.S.:

Nature regulates itself anyway. To start with the numbers of many animals would certainly rise, after some time however there will be competition for the food, contagious illnesses will spread and the numbers will decrease again. In case of natural regulation the changes would come in big waves. Hunting helps to smooth out the waves.

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Post by sunnygirl » February 9th, 2009, 7:02 pm

More question for Mait.
In our Finnish Bird-forum have we thought about the place ( ground) where feeding place is located on.
Some of us have guessing if it is some old roadbase ?
Partly overgrown. Is that possible?

Thank you !

M.S.:

Earlier there has been a peat processing centre here. The hunting lodge is the former sauna of the peat workers, and on what is now the parking space there were huge caterpillar tractors and other machinery; along that overgrowing but still open path that is in front of the camera the machines went out to the one-time peat field.
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Post by yarko » February 10th, 2009, 11:07 am

Mait, could you please tell us a bit about your 'own' animals - do you have dogs (possibly some hunting breed?)

M.S.:

I have already mentioned that at the moment my only ‘pets’ are the boars. Earlier I have had dogs (not hunting dogs). But in my opinion a dog needs to move around freely every day, a band dog I wouldn’t like. And if I were to spend all my free time with the dog, who then would feed the boars for the camera :)
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Post by juta » February 26th, 2009, 10:13 pm

Mait Siimson:

Thank you, to all of you, for all the interesting questions!

*
Sahvris jooksid hiired, rotid,
Kellel olid suured
Kotid seisid nurgas püsti,
Mölder vaatas, hambad risti.


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Rats and mice run wild in pantry
Carrying bags of supersize
Line them up against the wall
Miller glares, gnashing teeth
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Post by juta » February 26th, 2009, 10:24 pm

Thank you to Mait Siimson for interesting answers!

Thank you to Okaskera for help!

Thank you to Kaija Eistrat for the translation!

Thank you to Yarko for organizing this interview!
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Post by caysa » February 27th, 2009, 9:29 am

This was lovely!! Thanks to everyone that made it happen!!

For Mait's birthday we need to gather money and get him English lessons :gathering: .
He misses out on so much, all the nice things we say about him too!
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Post by leanne » February 27th, 2009, 11:04 am

how nicely spent morning for me, aitäh, thank you mait!!!! (for everything)

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Post by sunnygirl » February 27th, 2009, 12:01 pm

Thank you Mait about your answers !
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