As the new Hunting reg books make their was in to the publics hands, I thought it would be timely to bring to everyones attention the changes in Unit 22 Ox regs.
According to the Dept. we have overharvested mature bulls...........especially in sub unit 22C. No bull hunt in 22C this coming winter. The easy Ox hunt is over for the time being.
Quotas are being lowered unit wide I believe. Since nearly everyone is harvesting mature bulls, the Dept is moving to lower that harvest.
Drawing permits numbers are also being lowered. There were 18 permits for 22E this year, as well as the few permits for DX103 and 104. Next year there will only be 15 for unit 22E and likely less in the other 2 areas.
Looming on the horizon is the Nov. BoG meeting in Barrow. The possibility exists that all mature bulls will go to a Drawing hunt and the rest of the animals will then be back in Tier II. The Board is also looking at Trophy Destruction for subsistence Ox hunts.
However, all is not lost. The unit 22E herd is healthy and under harvested. There are excellent opportunities for residents to participate in that hunt. The 2 guides operating in that sub unit are both offering a discounted price for registration hunters who hunt with drawing hunt hunters. If your a draw permit holder, I would recommend finding a couple buddies to go along and do the registration hunt and split the total cost 3 or 4 ways. If your interested in the registration hunt, look for a draw permit holder and tag along. The only draw back to using a guide in 22E is the inability to hunt on Bering Land Bridge Preserve. The Preserve has been very slow to allow commercial use permits. There is a provider of snogo rentals in Shishmaref (Noooo, it ain't me) and plenty of Ox just west of the village, on Preserve lands. With no guide using the Preserve lands, and few locals interested in Ox, the species is way under hunted there which makes for very mature bulls.
There will still be opportunities to do the registration hunt out of Nome. Hunters will just have to plan on going farther. The Teller area has good numbers of Ox and was not too difficult to access, weather permitting. The area north of Nome, 22D remainder in the reg book is somewhat closer than Teller, if you know the way, and Ox are generally present once inside the sub unit.
Services are available in Nome.
Hard to tell what the future will bring, but I don't see much room for an increasing harvest in the near future. I advise anyone (Ak. Res.) interested in doing the registration hunt to consider doing it this year.