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Thread: Nelchina Caribou

  1. #1
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    Thumbs down Nelchina Caribou

    OK since no one else has started this I will.
    Have you seen the results from the game board for the Nelchina caribou hunt? They now have it set up so that if you make TOO much money you will be disqualified to hunt caribou there. Since when did hunting become a welfare issue? The new limit on income is $51,640. I agree that the Tier II system had issues and needed to be redone but this is not the way to go.
    Others thoughts.

  2. #2
    Member dwhunter's Avatar
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    I am glad to see that you posted this as I was about too.

    Here is the article from ADN today.

    Income ceiling put on Nelchina hunting permits

    Cutoff for moose and caribou is $51,640
    By ALEX deMARBAN
    Anchorage Daily News
    Published: March 11, 2007
    Last Modified: March 11, 2007 at 02:35 AM

    Make too much money and you might not get a permit to hunt Nelchina caribou.

    And if you do make it in under the income limit and are allowed to participate, the state won't let you hunt in any other caribou hunt during the same year.
    Those new rules are part of what hunters are calling an extraordinary decision by the Board of Game Friday that dramatically changes the state's most sought-after subsistence hunt. It also marks a shift in the way the state looks at subsistence, at least in this particular hunt, hunters said.
    The rules also apply to subsistence hunting for moose in the Nelchina area.
    The Game Board's decision is the first time in Alaska's history that access to a hunt has been tied directly to income, said Alaska Department of Fish and Game spokesman Bruce Bartley.
    Hunters have long complained that the Nelchina caribou hunt needs fixing. Thousands annually apply for a permit to hunt caribou there, in large part because it's so accessible. Many are turned down.
    In awarding permits for the hunt north and east of Anchorage -- in an area roughly framed by the Parks, Denali, Richardson, Glenn and Tok Cutoff highways -- the state gives weight to such criteria as how long a person has hunted from the herd and how close the hunter lives to a grocery store.
    Under the new rules, a hunter from a household earning $51,640 or less will gain points toward a permit. Hunters from a household bringing in more than that could be disqualified, depending on how many people are in the household.
    They could get a second chance if there are extra permits. In that event, they'll compete in a lottery against other applicants disqualified for the same reason.
    The board has been trying to fix the hunt for years, in part because demand drastically exceeds the caribou available to hunters, Bartley said.
    In 2005, 6,200 people applied for a permit to hunt from the herd. Only 4,000 permits were awarded.
    Many hunters say the old system was unfair, barring people in their mid-30s and younger who haven't had the chance to build experience in the hunt. They also complained that the application process encouraged people to lie to win a permit.
    Board members said the hunt is not a true subsistence hunt, in which the hunters depend on caribou and moose to feed their families. Some people arrive at the hunting grounds in luxury motor homes towing massive swamp buggies that chew through tundra. Others fly aircraft to get near animals.
    Many hunters don't like the new income limit, said Aaron Bloomquist, chair of Anchorage's Fish and Game Advisory Committee, which makes recommendations to the Game Board.
    "They don't want a welfare system," he said. "And that's what the board created."
    Board members, meeting late into the night Saturday in Anchorage, did not return phone calls. There are 39,000 Nelchina caribou, the state estimates.
    Anchorage guide Neil Webster said he's been hunting from the herd since 1962. He and his wife make too much money to qualify.
    "The board is going in the wrong direction," he said.
    Hunters will notice the changes in May when they apply for permits, and in the fall hunt that begins in August, said Bartley.
    Nick Jackson, a 70-year-old Athabascan from Gulkana, lives in the hunting area. He'll be disqualified. He makes too much with Social Security and retirement benefits.
    He holds out no hope of winning the second-round lottery, he said.
    The decision will take food off people's tables, he said. People in villages without grocery stores often hunted in Nelchina and other areas to get more than one moose to feed their families through the year, he said.
    "I don't know what they're going to do," he said.
    The board made other changes to the subsistence hunts, including a stipulation that aircraft and off-road vehicles above 1,500 pounds will not be allowed. It also created a general hunt for moose without those vehicle restrictions.
    Under the new rules, people eligible for permits can also transfer their permit to other hunters who are closely related, such as brothers or sons, Bartley said.
    As for the income limits, a hunter in a household with four or fewer people, with taxable household income greater than $51,640, will be disqualified from the scoring process.
    As the number of people living in the household increases, so does the limit, Bartley said.


    Daily News reporter Alex deMarban can be reached at ademarban@adn.com.

    http://www.adn.com/outdoors/hunting/...-8602446c.html

    Doug

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    Member MARV1's Avatar
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    Time for some popcorn this early in the morning. Good read, and looks like it will offend those that are sporthunters at heart.
    The emphasis is on accuracy, not power!

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    6200 applicants, 4000 permits issued last year. (I think), My feeling is the BOG & ADF&G should be trying to up the numbers of sustainable harvest. Intensive management should become more intensive. I realize the ADF&G wants to use helicopters for more intensive predator control, while it does cost more, we not getting the results in Unit 13 from permitted aerial hunters/shooters. Snow conditions in the Nelchina basin ARE good, also north of Lake louise the snow is also good. but gas is going up and pilots say there not much of an incentive. For a state with money in the bank and able to generously give each one of its residents a PFD, myself I would fund them. This is the 4th year of a 5 year program, it would be a shame after a long hard fought battle to see it fail over a 1/4 million dollars. My 2 cents worth.....

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    Default looks to me

    like it will offend those who bother to read the state constitution.

  6. #6
    Member northriver21's Avatar
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    I cant believe this new rule. So what the state is saying is that hardworking, productive, long time traditional use hunters. (the same ones who pump money into the system) are going to be penalized and discriminated against.

    I am so pissed right now that I cant even see straight. Is the state going to make us send in a copy of our tax return and verify our income?

    I quit getting the permits a couple years back because of my age, now in the last 2 years I finally started getting permits again, only to lose them due to having a good job and being a hard worker.

    This is a traditional use hunt there is no such thing as subsistence. If people in rural Alaska go hungry they poach anyway.

    What about our kids who we are trying to raise as hunters and fishers. Now they cant experiance the hunt because their family makes to much money?

    Now to take my young boys out caribou hunting I have to fly them out in some remote area of Alaska for 10 days?

    Total BS

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    Mabey the way to get a permit is to makes friends at Beans cafe, or some rescue mission, then go hunting for you new buddy. This situation is liable to become a freak show.

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    Default Nelchina

    Lots of people talk about the Tier II being a lier's contest. I think that the only reason for this is the Fish & Game does not want to do their job. A good computer programer can query any data base and check what was submitted on the apps. The crew that we hunt with have no reason to lie on their apps. They were born in Palmer well before Statehood. My wife's family has hunted Units 13 since 1963, on and on. Putting a limit on income is just a bad as the current app process. Who is going to check that what information submitted is correct? What about the fact that lots of us choose to hunt for the quality of meat? I would much rather pay the extra to harvest a good moose, caribou or bear then the junk from the store.
    If they really want a subsistance hunt, then set aside 1000 or so permits and put 3000-4000 up for drawing. I know, who will get the 1000 permits, that is for some one else to decide. At least this way, Fish and Game would be getting some more money to mis-manage. The game in the State is and should be managed for ALL of the people in Akaska, not a select few.

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by northriver21 View Post
    I cant believe this new rule. So what the state is saying is that hardworking, productive, long time traditional use hunters. (the same ones who pump money into the system) are going to be penalized and discriminated against.Total BS
    What about the rest of us that; under the old rules, never had a chance at getting the coveted Nelchina Tier II permit? Never, ever...would I have been able to get one. So was I discriminated against?? Well heck yeah I think so.

    Personally I don't like the idea of the income limit, it leaves the door open for more lying and abuse. I liked the proposal that was put forth last year (can't remember the HB #), but it stated that if you chose to hunt the Nelchina area for either moose or caribou you hunted there exclusively and could not hunt anywhere else in the state after that. There were other variables in that proposal, but I still believe it was the way to go. It would have cut back on the amount of permits given out as Tier II and left a handful that could have been done in a drawing system.

    Sorry if don't sound sympathetic to folks who will lose their "subsistence" hunt. But there are many of us that would love the chance to hunt Nelchina caribou that will never get the opportunity.

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    Default northriver

    This is a traditional use hunt there is no such thing as subsistence. If people in rural Alaska go hungry they poach anyway.


    This is such a ridiculous statement written out of a complete lack of respect for others.

    I live in the middle of this firestorm and completely disagree with this new process. I dont have the answers either but statements like this show difference between rural hunters and urban. Sometime check out the F&G violations and where the people who commit them are from. If you dont check them out I am sure you know where they will be from. It wont be a rural address.

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    Member dwhunter's Avatar
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    Please correct me if I am wrong here,

    Doesn't this ultimitely have to do with low Caribou numbers because of so many predators?

    If this is the case wouldnt it make sense for everyone to get together and decide to do something about the problem? Why not go out and shoot a bear, wolves or try anyway etc (great reason for another hunting trip). I realize this sounds simple on paper but wouldn't it be a step in the right direction rather than fighting the F&G why not work with them to fix the problem.

    Doug

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    Member northriver21's Avatar
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    fish,

    I meant no disrespect. All I was trying to say was that if someone in Alaska was truly hungry and the game was available then you would do what you have to feed your family.

    That is subsistence hunting.

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    dwhunter, You got it, I've got pic's of a dozen and more caribou calves killed but not eaten, wolves have a good old time in the spring calving areas, as far as wanton waste, wolves are the largest contributers. If people haven't witness the carnage, they generally don't believe it. Less wolves = more Caribou.

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    Member trapperbob's Avatar
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    Default Remain united to accomplish results

    I am a urban hunter so don't clump any group as they or them. Try to stay focused on the fact that people urban/rural of all user groups will be discriminated against based upon the fact that they are hardworking people making little more than a modest income. This reeks of discrimination. People who have never seen the Nelchina area will be awarded permits based upon low income. That is ridiculous.

  15. #15
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    I must admit a little bias, as I grew up hunting the Nelchina herd. With lower herd numbers I stopped getting permits about 6 years ago, but finally got back into the hunt last year. It was awfully nice to be back in the area my family has hunted since the 60's, and that caribou has been a huge part of our protein intake this winter.

    I can see the need to do something different with the allocation of permits. Even though I am happy now that I'm winning permits again, I understand the complaints of those who felt they would never have access to this hunt. The idea behind the board proposals this year was to restrict access to this hunt to the point that extra permits would be available for a drawing open to all. On the surface that sounded like a great idea, as it would allow for the subsistence hunt to continue while also enabling new hunters to access the Nelchina herd. I've got to say, though...the way they chose to do this has me baffled. There are so many other ways to restrict access - no motorized access, increasing salvage requirements, etc. But basing access solely on income? Wow. I've got to agree with others here in that what the board is actually doing is discriminating against hard working Alaskan families and punishing success. Creating divisions based on income is never the answer in such situations. I am extremely disappointed in the board's actions.

    For those of you who know more about the board process than myself, what are the options for overturning this decision? Do we have to wait until next year's board meeting? Is it subject to a legal challenge??

    -Brian

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    I'm sure the BOG ran this before their legal dept., however it doesn't mean that it is definetly legal or not subject to legal challenge. My guess is there will be a legal challenge.

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    ik think the board is trying to draw a line between subsitance adn traditional...subsistance means you subsits or live off the land, tradition just means you'd done it for a long time. hey are trying to give priority to the people who NEED the caribou meat, rather than teh people who WANT the caribou meat...
    i don't think they can just seperate it by area otherwise they woulda by now. this will make a lot of people unhappy (see above) who make more than the 51k, dont' bother me any, i don't make 51k and dont' qualify anyway, not that i wouldn't mind a teir II tag...or detla or kodiak or...ahhh you know what i mean. teir II caribou tags aren't the end of the world for people even though some act like it.
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    This is a traditional use hunt there is no such thing as subsistence. If people in rural Alaska go hungry they poach anyway.


    .....but true none the less.

  19. #19

    Default Yeah

    This is Subsistance hunting. Why are people whinning because they make to much money to qualify? I for one am glad they are doing something. I've been through the area during the season and it is odvious alot off the socalled subsistance hunters make alot more than I do. Its supposed to be about helping people in need not rewarding someone for hunting in the same spot their whole life. I was hoping myself that it would go strait to a draw.

    A few people mention "Why punish success?". Sorry to offend, but that is just plain sad. My wife and I didn't qualify for WIC when my daughter was born because we made way to much money. Why should we be punished for being successful.

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    Member Kurt S's Avatar
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    You say;

    "What about the rest of us that; under the old rules, never had a chance at getting the coveted Nelchina Tier II permit? Never, ever...would I have been able to get one. So was I discriminated against?? Well heck yeah I think so."


    This is hardly the case. Everyone will have a chance if you put in long enough. As the "old timers" drop off the top, they are replaced with the younger at the bottom. Put in your time and you will be one of them. The ruling last night does nothing to open the door to anyone that doesn't already have the opportunity. I don't recall there being a restriction that you had to make over $51k a year before. Yes, you will cut out the old timers that put in their time and money, and worked hard, but you will add no group that hasn't had the same opportunity because of income.

    Kurt

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