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Thread: Where not to go bunnie hunting...

  1. #1

    Default Where not to go bunnie hunting...

    20 Mile Creek back over the tracks towards to Mts., Ingram Creek, Hope Rd. area by turn outs...and around Mud Lake near Jim Creek area.....Good luck

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    Member AKMarmot's Avatar
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    Curious to why, is it getting over hunted & trapped down south of 20mile?

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    Member J2theD's Avatar
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    Ive hunted those areas and never had luck. Seen 2 rabbits total, never gotten one.

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    Can't really say...I saw 2 bunnies at 20 mile and just a few tracks...Ingram Creek I didn't see a thing...saw a few tracks on the Hope Rd.....Mud lake was where I saw the most tracks, there are a few in that area and would go back there and hunt more, try to cover more ground...

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    Member Hunt&FishAK's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Oneriver View Post
    Can't really say...I saw 2 bunnies at 20 mile and just a few tracks...Ingram Creek I didn't see a thing...saw a few tracks on the Hope Rd.....Mud lake was where I saw the most tracks, there are a few in that area and would go back there and hunt more, try to cover more ground...
    the farther off the road you get the better the small game hunting....all those areas get hit hard year after year after year...not only by hunters but by the predators that use the trails/tracks/roads to cover more ground and find more prey, there are alot of coyotes in the 20 mile river valley and portage, as well as mud lake......get your snowshoes or xc skis on and go in a ways, youll be quite surprised by how much more sign youll find....



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    Member Bradchrist's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AKMarmot View Post
    Curious to why, is it getting over hunted & trapped down south of 20mile?
    Partly overhunted for sure. I've seen more human tracks out at ingram this year than I've seen is the last 5 combined. Also I think the amount of snowfall has moved them around a bit. If you look hard enough you can find them still.

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    try gunsight, parks hwy mi 114 to about 120. snow is feet deep but i have pretty good success rate there. birds are there as well just a ways up the mountain.

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    sorry, I meant to say glenn hwy.

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    Member sniper3083006's Avatar
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    Rabbits are getting thin up there too. To many hunters and not enough resources also plus there were alot more predator tracks this year then in years past. A couple years ago it was nothing to go up there with a buddy and catch 5 apiece in about 3 hours now its more like 3 in 3-4 hours.
    Not to mention there are alot more traps in the area compared to the past.

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    Member blasterak's Avatar
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    Sounds like it might be worthwhile to do some predator calling down that way. Might have to bring my AR and Foxpro call down there sometime, at least give it a shot

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    Member homerdave's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sniper3083006 View Post
    Rabbits are getting thin up there too. To many hunters and not enough resources also plus there were alot more predator tracks this year then in years past. A couple years ago it was nothing to go up there with a buddy and catch 5 apiece in about 3 hours now its more like 3 in 3-4 hours.
    Not to mention there are alot more traps in the area compared to the past.
    NOTHING really affects the bunny cycle. They are either in an up, a peak, or a down. Hunting pressure (and predators) respond to the "up", and die off along with the bunnies. Snowshoe hares are not like cottontails, the hunting is good every 7-9 years, then heads down to "suck". Just the way it is.
    Right now we are coming off peaks and headed down in many areas that were relatively close to population centers, so lots of recent arrivals are under the impression that the rabbits have been hunted out... actually, everything is just what can be expected.
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    Moderator LuJon's Avatar
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    Dave is dead on. Hares have two uteri and are leverette producing machines all summer. They are literally pregnant with two separate broods nearly all the time between about may through August. Their cycles are mostly attributed to the food source responding to their over browsing. Willow and other food sources will develops toxic tannins in its bark when heavily fed upon and it becomes indigestible so the hares starve out and go bust. Several years of reduced browsing and the food source returns to normal and the hare rebound to start the cycle again. There is nothing we as hunters can really do to impact the cycle at all.

    An interesting note is that essentially the same thing can happen to moose and is why ADFG studies the brows as a method to identify regional carrying capacity. This is a key factor in the recommendation of regional cow hunts. Somewhat ironic in both cases how many folks choose to ignore the science.

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    Member sniper3083006's Avatar
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    Homerdave and LuJon,
    I didn't really make my post all that clear and left out a bunch of as I didn't want to get long winded. So here goes.
    I understand and hear what you guys are saying and thank you for your research and knowledge. But there is NO way you can say an area can't be over hunted in my opinion. Here are something interesting points for you guys to ponder and shed some light on for us. These are solid facts I have seen and some I have been apart of.
    Seen with my own eyes.
    Up around Lake Louise, 6 people hunting in a group 2 guys were pulling 2 4'ish sleds on 2 different occasions same group of guys slightly different areas. I saw these fellows and stopped to talk to them for a bit to see how things were going and how their day had been this was approximately 3 in the afternoon. They said they were having one heck of a good time and have about 40 hares between them.
    Up on the way to Lake Louise about 1/4 of the way there is a huge pull off on the left hand side of the road (a lot of atv'ers and snomachiners stop and use this spot to ride and whatever). I pulled in to stomp around and see what sign I could see and maybe get 3-4 hares for myself and met 3 guys that had 23 hares between them in military type assault packs.
    By the little airport up there before the snow started flying and as the hares were turning white. Just off the roadway a truck was parked in a pull out and 10' from the truck in the grassy ditch area 2 guys and a young boy were set up with a chair, some shooting sticks and a .22 rifle knocking hairs off. I stopped and asked how the hunting was today as I was heading further up the road and to hunt some too. They said the bunnies are moving around pretty good and that they have 7 in the past hour or so.
    Done myself
    I have personally taken a friend hunting to a spot I have found and where we easily catch 4 apiece on several days. We never catch more than 5 each as 5 is usually enough for each of us. I am not the only one who uses the spot and it is starting to get thin up there. Just this past OCT and NOV it was easy to see 20-30 hare going in and coming out get our 5 each and roll out. Been there several times in DEC and once here in JAN and I have not seen nearly as many in that trail we stomped, postholed or walked and in that area in general. I have another spot I go to by myself that a different friend and I found when I returned from deployment and see a lot of hare and manage to get my self imposed limit then hike a good ways away and call for fox and other predators called a few fox in but never was offered a a decent shot.
    So I am not buying it that an area can't be over hunted. The cycle issue in this area is not effected yet quite like it is in many other areas I have seen or heard of say Girdwood, Jim creek, Butte the Hay Flats and on post.
    In the mains areas I have been hunting I think it is over hunted from what I have seen.

  14. #14
    Member Mountain Man Jack's Avatar
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    Of course an area can be over hunted. Its when you have an area that's location is spat out over the open internet like individuals have done in this thread and in combination with a downward cycle is when you notice a very sharp decline.

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    Member fishak's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 27 sportfisher View Post
    try gunsight, parks hwy mi 114 to about 120. snow is feet deep but i have pretty good success rate there. birds are there as well just a ways up the mountain.
    went to the glenn today around there and went 5/6 just walking along snowmachine trails
    hook, line, sinker, done.

  16. #16

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    I think what Homerdave and Lujon were saying is actually very true. It is hard to imagine how fast hares can actually reproduce. Of course hunting has an effect on the overall population, but I think the point they were trying to make is that the effect is negligible in the long run. Hares start breeding at age 1 and they can have 2-3 litters per year, averaging 4-6 leverets per litter. Let's just assume for example you had only 1 hare in an area. In 1 year, that hare could potentially produce as many as 18, but let's just assume it only had 10. The next year those 10 hares could each have ten hares to produce 100. Those 100 hares could each produce 10 to produce 1000. And so on and so on. Eventually in just 10 years, at that conservative reproductive rate, you could produce over a billion hares from just 1. So I think the point is, even though hunters maybe affecting the population a little, there isn't much we could do to cause a major decline unless the population of hunters grew exponentially in response to the hares. There may be miniature ups and downs in local populations for brief periods of time, but eventually, the exponential growth is going to overwhelm the food source like Lujon said.

    Now for other animals with low reproductive rates, like moose, sheep, bears etc., of course you can over hunt them. That's a no brainer.

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    Member homerdave's Avatar
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    i know a guy here in town who is popping hares for dogfood. he is taking a couple dozen avery 5-6 days, has been for a month or so, and is still getting just as many.
    he is only hunting in his yard and a small bit of alder patch...
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    when you decide that somewhere has been overhunted for hares, pull out your map, say a 1:63, and evaluate just how much ground you've covered. obviously the most pressure will be right off of roads and along well used (by humans, foxes, coyotes) trails. stretch your legs a little bit.

    what's the sense in acting like everything should stay the same year after year?

    My dog might starve if he was relying on me to feed him local hares this year or last. 3 years ago I could have fed him one twice a day all winter. (It wasn't overhunting)

  19. #19
    Member Arcticmayhem's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bushwhack Jack View Post
    you could produce over a billion hares from just 1.
    Um, I think you missed something in biology class

  20. #20
    Member homerdave's Avatar
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    reproductive information on page 25.
    http://www.fs.fed.us/r2/projects/scp...owshoehare.pdf
    Alaska Board of Game 2015 tour... "Kicking the can down the road"
    http://www.alaskabackcountryhunters.org/

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