Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast
Results 1 to 20 of 52

Thread: Predator control or increase game animal habitat

  1. #1
    Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Palmer, Alaska
    Posts
    230

    Default Predator control or increase game animal habitat

    I thought I would throw this out for everyone. First, I grew up in a family that only killed things that would be eaten. Wolves and brown bears and many other animals were not considered a food source, so they were off limits. They would be killed in a life and death situation, though -- but this was never an issue. I realize these are my values and will not reflect that of others. I can appreciate others desire to control wolves in order to increase game populations. I can also see the usefulness of predators in an ecosystem. That being said -- what if the pressure was on creating more food sources for moose, caribou, sheep, etc. rather than predator control? I remember reading about an Athabaskan group that planted various trees in order to increase the moose population. I suppose planting of underwater plants and birch, aspen, and willow trees might be an effective solution? I suppose I will let the fireworks start.
    Last edited by Alaskariverrat; 03-10-2007 at 00:54.

  2. #2
    Member kahahawai's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Wasilla
    Posts
    2,443

    Default

    I'm for predator control, mainly wolves, and not bears (I think we control that ourselves) but wolves kill more calves every year for both Moose and caribou. its a big issue, In my opinion, we can increase the numbers of these animals for future hunting if we bring the wolf numbers down. this is big in Wyoming (on delisting the wolves) mainly for cattle farmers and the elk herd........my opinion right? ....K

  3. #3
    Member martentrapper's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Fairbanks, Ak.
    Posts
    4,190

    Default

    Does anyone really think we can plant enough of whatever species of plants to significantly effect an animal population?
    Fire seems to work for changing habitat. On a smaller scale, bulldozers can alter things too.
    Pred control is the easiest of methods available to us to effect game animal numbers.
    I can't help being a lazy, dumb, weekend warrior.......I have a JOB!
    I have less friends now!!

  4. #4

    Default

    you have to be careful when you create feeding areas. We had a sheep feeding station not too far from my house, but it was found that in the winter when the sheep would really use the station, the big cats would feed on the sheep, it was good for attracting both game and predators. another issue is dependancy, once you start a program like that you need the resources to maintain it or the animals will become depenant upon it, others will come feed as well, the food becomes depleated and the animals will have to find alternate sources. it the alternate sources are different plant/trees or too far away there is going to be trouble in the herd.

    I think your idea of conservation is noble, but understand it is rather complicated.

  5. #5

    Default Welfare

    Highcountry,

    I think you just described the entitlement programs in this country!! Funny how we are not that far removed from animals.

  6. #6

    Default Sounds good

    The planting of vegatation sound good, not sure if a large group could affect the area as enormous as the one in question though. The beavers would enjoy though, they probable destroy more food sources than humans do.
    " Americans will never need the 2nd Amendment, until the government tries to take it away."

    On the road of life..... Pot holes keep things interesting !

  7. #7
    Member BRWNBR's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Big Lake
    Posts
    8,435

    Default

    before you plant all this feed, if its not there arlready might be a reason, we can't MAKE trees grow were trees can't grow or make ponds support new growth if they cant support it themselves, changing the habitat seems to me the fartherst doable idea yet...

    I don't understand some peoples ideals...its ok to kill moose or whatever you eat but you don't want to kill any bears...so you want to dabble in the ecosystem but you don't want to take responsiblity for being a part of it. just kill hoofed stuff and dont' mess with the rest, it'll be fine..right? aparently not. we have the ability to at least try to keep the ups and downs in game flucuations a little more level, ensuring proper balance as best we can. if we do nothing, but still take the moose, cause we know what happens when the moose numbers drop!!...then your gonna have a crash of some sort.

    We dont always have the pretty cute jobs that fit the bleeding heart world out there, sometimes we have to put our dogs down...why?? cause its best for them...that ain't why your killin moose?! proper managment is best for everything in the long run. I never knew i'd find hunters who had bleeding hearts.....if your gonna drop the hammer and leave a gut pile at least stay in the game and help control what your a part of....or encourage the rest of us who like bear hunting to go get after it!!!
    Www.blackriverhunting.com
    Master guide 212

  8. #8
    Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Deep in Hllary country NY
    Posts
    446

    Wink

    My vote goes for control. The way I see it we need to be good stewards of Gods creation.
    ; for them that honour me I will honour, and they that despise me shall be lightly esteemed. 1 SAMUEL 2;30

  9. #9

    Default bears and wolves

    Predator control is/can be good when needed. It is also hard to control bears. At least in my area, bears are #1 for the taking of moose calves. Studies have proven that.

  10. #10
    Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Juneau
    Posts
    2,127

    Default Ah definitions

    Quote Originally Posted by LongHunter7 View Post
    My vote goes for control. The way I see it we need to be good stewards of Gods creation.
    My definition of a steward would ask us to take less Moose and caribou so that nature can take it's course and when the natural cycle returns to a high....more tags....when low....eat ramen.

    Of course this enters the discussion of man is part of nature or not....

    It's my understanding that in most of alaska, there is plenty of browse for moose, caribou ranges vary greatly from area to area....Mulchatna, bad, for example. Our habitat is already largely intact and nearly impossible to change on a significant amount of area. Uncontrollable weather conditions aside, there are only two things that we as bipeds can control....our consumption...or furry consumption. (of course some of us are furry too) Man's increased predation on these moose populations is in direct conflict of a preexisting relationship (wolves/moose) so we are the newcomer....but, we also have larger brains (when used) and thumbs. The management of nature for man's utilization is certainly nothing new, but who puts the price tag on an animals life? All of us who moved up here to tromp around the woods and harvest these animals have ran up the bill, and now we are asking the predators to pay the piper.

    There is so much talk of crowding hunters in accessible areas and it's effect on populations, that limiting hunters in the end is probably the more controllable (even if unpopular) option....and we don't even have to shoot the extra hunters.

    I am personally not against predator control in some areas....but the opinion above is theoretically just as justifiable. We created the problem and increased pressure....and god knows it's a sin to slow OUR consumption, so we pass the check.

    Be gentle guys, someone had to rock the boat...or it wouldn't be fun.

  11. #11
    Member martentrapper's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Fairbanks, Ak.
    Posts
    4,190

    Default Newcomers?

    Quote Originally Posted by Catch It View Post

    Of course this enters the discussion of man is part of nature or not....

    Man's increased predation on these moose populations is in direct conflict of a preexisting relationship (wolves/moose) so we are the newcomer...
    Conflict? Newcomer? Excuse me? Where did that idea come from. I believe that humans have been chasing critters just about as long as wolves/bears have. In truth, those wolves and bears have been chasing us for alot longer period of history then we have been able to effectively chase them.There is nothing "conflicting" about what we do. Whatever "preexisting relationship" your thinking of, Catch, we have been part of.
    Our presence in nature bears little difference to other species. Wolves chase off other preds in their territory. Beaver create their own little town(pond) and even build their own house........and drive off intruders also.
    Looking at humans as newcomers and a source of conflict is just what some PETA member would do. I ceretainly don't agree with those ideas.
    I can't help being a lazy, dumb, weekend warrior.......I have a JOB!
    I have less friends now!!

  12. #12
    Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Juneau
    Posts
    2,127

    Default But

    Marten, the difference in the timeline here, is that predator populations are dependent on the amount of quarry they have....we're not. AND, we have upgraded a bit since the start of our relationship with the moose and caribou...i.e. guns, planes, snowgos, gps, gore tex, jetboats, sat phones. So, when moose etc. populations drop...we eat something else and don't die off in a delayed effect of starvation. Wolf/bear pops don't have the same luxury. This is the basis of our increased role in predation on moose etc. numbers.

    I'm no archaeologist but I'm confident that wolfy/beary things were munching on bou'y and moosy things before we had figured out how to get our hands on them without severe bodily harm....predators are born armed....we had to figure it out. But, more importantly (because discussing the chicken and the egg will dilute my point) we are technically, the predator that is currently out of control in it's population numbers...we are not "prey dependent" therefore we can overrun our supply and must therefore limit ourselves....or our competition.

    Man in his current condition, population and technology is indeed a newcomer...and a scary one if animals had the ability to reason. Look at bison in the plains....natives subsisting on foot and then on horses using spears and bows and traps......millions of buffalo for thousands of years.....white man with calipered sight 45/70 and a train to load hides on.....almost no buffalo in a short amount of time. (really no intent on bringing up race here....these were just the players back in the day) The point is, when we as humans developed the ability to harvest way more than we need in relative comfort, we put the balance of things out of wack. SO, it could be read that we are actually the problem and have indeed deviated from nature (depending on your definition of the term).

    I don't know the numbers or if they have even been studied, but are there more wolves/bears than there were before humans became populated to any extent in Alaska? If there are, theory says that control of them is a great idea, (it's one of the reasons indians used to shoot whitemen), but I would suspect that we are the disproportionate group and therefore should limit ourselves to some extent to offset our increased role in reducing moose etc. numbers.

    Martentrapper, I've read lots of your posts and appreciate your angle on many things so there's no disrespect here. I'm just trying to back us all off the situation far enough to see the entire picture instead of from our point within it. Of course, conversely there is the idea that things are always changing and that within the "here and now" we have the duty to control furry predators in the face of potentially harmful low herd numbers on some very important species in Alaska...and maybe things have changed to the point that this is our only option to help....if so, so be it. Just want to offer up a different perspective.

    And I'll let the PETA comment slide due to respect for you....them's fightin words.

  13. #13

    Default

    So you're gonna bag on humans cause we have an opposable thumb and actually use it? the fact that human pop is increasing is offset by the fact that fewer humans are hunting, and we can augment our diet with foods othre then fresh meat.

    I am for harvest of game, and habitat management, but to think you can offset the affects of hunting by feeding critters is too much for me to gut.

  14. #14
    Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Juneau
    Posts
    2,127

    Default No baggin

    Highcountry, there is no baggin goin on here, and our increase in pop due to what you state is exactly what I said, since we are not prey dependent anymore we can live outside of our own carrying capacity....agreed. Human hunting in it's modern form and intensity has played a big role in tipping the natural balance. And speaking of balance, I don't believe that controlling our hunting is A: popular and thus even feasible and B: going to be enough to stabilize and eventually increase herd strength. There will probably need to be a mix of the two. But to point the finger at bears and wolves alone is a little simplistic.

    I use modern weapons when I hunt, so I freely admit I am part of the problem (according to my arguement), and maybe we as humans need to limit ourselves for awhile as well as our furry competitors to keep things healthy. I'm not saying at all that humans are wrong for hunting even with our increased technology due to that wonderful opposable thumb, but we must accept that we are part of the problem and need to evaluate what we can do to help things as well.

    That said, planting alfalfa fields or whatever to help populations is not feasible either, even if it worked, there are plenty of instances down below that this can congregate ungulate numbers to densities that allow disease to spread more readily and thus means a weakend herd....oops.

    I think predator control is the answer...as long as we include ourselves in the list of predators....but keep ourselves off the same-day airborn options

  15. #15
    Member BRWNBR's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Big Lake
    Posts
    8,435

    Default

    if were gonna use perdator control, shouldn't we use the most effective means neccesary that way its not such a drawn out proccess? we've already limited ourselves, only about 5 percent of the population hunt, i'm sure alaska higher than that..but overall.
    Www.blackriverhunting.com
    Master guide 212

  16. #16
    Member PatrickH's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Eagle River, AK
    Posts
    253

    Default Manage What

    Catch It,
    You seem to think that most game managment is controling wildlife or habitat. Almost all game managment is restricted to controling human harvests. Wild animals can't and wouldn't restrict themselves to seasons, bag limits, harvest methods, antler restrictions, and transportation restrictions. The only thing game managers manage are hunters and fishermen. There are certainly some habitat improvement programs, but they pale in comparison. Most predator populations in the Lower were decimated long ago, which may be why the pendilum has swung so far to the other side that predator control has a bad reputation and is almost never publicly persued.
    The real long-term problem for wildlife populations is loss of habitat. You spoke of the buffalo in the 1800's. There could be millions of them now if it weren't for all those darn farms, ranches, housing developments and cities in the Mid-West.
    Predator control has been a part of the equation since there have been predators. A wolf or bear has no hesitation in killing a coyote or even one of their own kind. If a predator population out-populates it's prey, both populations are decimated and may take a hundred years or more to recover. I don't want to wait that long. I would rather try to control the predator population where necessary to prevent a large-scale crash of both predator and prey populations. People, predators and prey all benefit in the long run.
    If we are going to control predators, why not do it the most efficient and least expensive ways?
    Last edited by PatrickH; 03-10-2007 at 14:50. Reason: finished thought

  17. #17
    Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Juneau
    Posts
    2,127

    Default Another scenario

    BRWNBR so are you saying all the actions taken to help herd numbers should fall upon lowering wolf/bear populations....and if so, how far do we take them....to the point of local extinction? I think this would cross another line if so.

    OR, we could just fence off a huge area and have ourselves a canned hunt with an established moose population that is managed solely for our needs and wants as hunters/subsisters, wouldn't that be fun. In theory, we could do this statewide as we could wipe furry predators out (it's been done many other places) and have our wild way with moose etc. populations and control them solely through hunting by humans. Most likely this would result in consistent and satisfactory numbers for all users....but at what cost. I don't want us in the shoes of my grand parents that told stories to me of when wolves and bears used to be seen near the old farm every once in a while....knowing full well that I or my kids probably never will, cuz they were shot and poisoned out of existence...that just might take a big part of the Alaskan experience out of Alaska. What do you folks think of an Alaska where the opportunity to see a wolf or a bear becomes a once in a lifetime event....I personally think it would be a shame, no matter how many moose and bou racks I would then have piled on top of my container van in the back yard.

    This idea of course is extreme and said for emphasis.

    I personally hate the idea of limiting opportunities for hunters...especially those that live within each states' boundaries, but also know that we are part of the pressure problem and think that if it was balanced correctly, it wouldn't be a drawn out process to correct it. And if it does take a long time....why the need for such instant gratification....building a solid plan with many aspects of control will ensure long term stability (despite a slower start) than an attempt to fix a problem instantly. I love hunting, but if I had to wait a few years (Mulchatna bou herd for me) to let things stablize and build....I am willing....it's a big state after all and there's lots to do.

    Sometimes this scenario resembles two kids sitting near a broken window and both have baseball gloves in their hands....house owner walks up and asks who did it....and both (us and furry predators) point fingers at the other and say "HE DID" but in the end both are partially responsible.

    This state has looked to predator control for a long long time to fix population fluxuations....how's that workin for us. I'm not saying it doesn't work, not at all, but our use as hunters needs to be factored in if we are going to have animals for the long haul, which I think we can all agree on.

  18. #18
    Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    2 mi east of 'Halfmoon creek"
    Posts
    831

    Thumbs up

    In Alaska approx 80% of harvestable ungulates go to PREDATORS, approx 10% go to incidental kills, ie: drowning,falls etc, Less than 10% go to human harvest. Heck of a way to divide the pie, feed predators more, humans less. In Unit 13 the habitat would support another 25 thousand Moose at this time. The thing some people don't understand about predator -prey cycles, left unchecked, YOU might have some good hunting seasons, but your childern and grandchilden might not. These are not short term cycles! I can imagine all the suffering of Mother nature and all the bad things that happened before the reintroduction of wolves in Idaho, wyoming, Montana. Yeah the deer , elk antalope, and sheep populations must have been full of sickly animals, must have been terrible until lately. Of course this is not what I hear,

  19. #19
    Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Deep in Hllary country NY
    Posts
    446

    Wink

    I used to think that the wildlife bio"s would make recomendations for predator control after reserching the problems, and they would be applied! Not so I guess, It seems that the recomendations are then studied and given a ( what the people want to hear) coating before they become ineffective!There seems to be a sell it to the public dynamic that overrules all else. Bill
    ; for them that honour me I will honour, and they that despise me shall be lightly esteemed. 1 SAMUEL 2;30

  20. #20
    Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Juneau
    Posts
    2,127

    Default One more

    It's becoming apparent that patience is another factor in the decision of what to do. True, natural cycles take a long long time and the time frame of desired effect will need to be agreed upon.

    And I'm not saying no furry predator control....but that for the short term....as in until things rebound....our pressure would need to lessen as well to really make things stick. IF you wack all the other predators and then go in and shoot off the excess moose yourself immediately....that would be ridiculous...especially if there are potentially 25,000 more moose that could be put into the range, wait a bit and things could be phenomenal.

    Dedwuf, lack of habitat is hardly an issue for any species in this state....thank the good lord. So that is not the issue. So, area 13 could handle 25,000 more moose. Most of the rivers in Bristol Bay could handle a lot more salmon than they currently do....but running things that close to their maximum capacity just flirts with disaster. I see your point that there is potential for plenty of increase and that's what I want too....just not exactly in the same way.

    I'm loggin off after this one, I've stated every angle of this one that I can and it will soon be futile to continue: So, in summation. Predator control is needed in many areas, but should be coupled with lowering hunter numbers for a certain period of time as well to ensure that the desired effect sticks. Any other questions to my logic of lack there of LOL, see my above posts. Habit in many areas as stated by DEDWUF is already in fantastic shape, so augmenting habitat luckily is not necessary.

Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •