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Thread: Camping trip with guns

  1. #1
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    Default Camping trip with guns

    Well, my first moose hunt ( hopefully many more to come) ended up being a nice camping trip! A buddy and I flew with 40 mile air into a remote lake in unit 12 and had planned to be there the whole moose season. It was a nice area and we saw a cow and calf in the lake when we landed. The camping spot we had had been used numerous times in the past by moose and sheep hunters as there where meat poles, grills and old 5 gallon cans in the campsite. There was also a lot of Griz sign around the camp. We weren't concerned as we had a large bear fence to surround our camp and we only had mt house food so not too many food smells.
    On day three we had snow and very cold temps but we were prepared for it. This was a lake we had picked out in February so we had all the area topos, arial photos, etc, and we're as familiar with the area as possible before we got there. On day 4, the local fish and wildlife officer stopped by to check us out and inform us of a problem bear in the area that had busted up 2 sheep hunters camps in the same location in the previous weeks. 40 mile had informed us of a bear that stole a hunters horns from a camp, but they had said the hunter was several ridges over from the lake in their spike camp. We had seen a black bear sow and two cubs the previous day about .5 miles from camp but we weren't too concerned. The F&W officer said that it is now considered a habituated bear and could continue to cause problems. She left saying that she would talk to 40 mile air about moving us to a different lake. She stopped by again the next day at 2 pm saying that 40 mile would be out there at 430 to move us to a different lake! She didn't give us any choice in the matter, and according to 40 mile air, threatened to shut down the unit if they didn't move us! She had no idea where they were going to move us. So we break camp and wait for 40 mile who eventually show up about 6. We load everything back into the float plane and they take us to another lake about 15 miles away and end up setting up camp in the dark. Pilot had never been to that lake before so didn't have any suggestions on camping spots, ended up setting camp in the best spot we could find which kinda sucked. There was some moose sign around the lake but nothing fresh. We hunted the remainder of the season there. We thrashed brush a lot, called, and glassed, glassed, and glassed. We didn't see a single moose or any fresh sign the whole week. The last day we hiked a couple miles each trying to find any moose sign but there was none anywhere within a mile of the lake. We had a good time but kinda disappointed in the way the season worked out.
    The F&W officer was very polite and professional. She stated that she was new to the area and not familiar with black bear behavior as where she just transferred from only had Griz/browns. Should we had the option to move or stay? We had a large bear fence we made that surrounded our whole camp and kept a clean camp. I was not too concerned about the bear getting into our camp.
    i am sure 40 mile air was put in a pinch also, trying to put us in an empty lake in the middle of the season. Should they have put us in a different lake to start since it was their hunters who had previously had the bear problems or given us the option to pick a different spot or cancel?

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    Member martentrapper's Avatar
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    Were you hunting in a preserve or wildlife refuge? Was the lady officer a fed agent or state?
    I would be very surprised if any enforcement agency would "shut down" a unit over one bear. New officer trying to make a name for herself. Now a refuge manager or preserve superintendent likely has the authority to close an area to the public for safety reason. Not the whole unit tho.
    Any chance you got her name? If she was a fed, write your congressmen and do some complaining. I hope 40 mile will also do some talking to the right people.
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    Member JOAT's Avatar
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    That's pure BS. No wildlife "officer" from any branch can force you to move your camp based on a hearsay history of a bear in the area. I expect some serious overstepping of boundaries took place. Hopefully you got a name and follow up with her "chain of command". Those people need to be put in their place... public servant.
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    Yeah I got her name. I am pretty sure she was federal and I think we were on the refuge/ preserve boundary. Google maps shows the lake north of the northern boundary of the Wrangell St. Elias national preserve though. I told her she should just shoot the bear since it was habituated and likely wouldn't unlearn the human-food correlation. And it was a widely used camping location.
    whats done is done and my season is over, I was just curious as to other hunters response would be in that situation. Has this happened before? I am not looking to get her in trouble, but did she over react? Should it have been my choice to move since I was informed and taking appropriate precautions? When I hunt in Alaska I expect bears to try to get in my camp and try to prevent/prepare for that. Would she have responded differently if I was a resident?

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    Quote Originally Posted by fish_hunter View Post
    Yeah I got her name. I am pretty sure she was federal and I think we were on the refuge/ preserve boundary. Google maps shows the lake north of the northern boundary of the Wrangell St. Elias national preserve though. I told her she should just shoot the bear since it was habituated and likely wouldn't unlearn the human-food correlation. And it was a widely used camping location.
    whats done is done and my season is over, I was just curious as to other hunters response would be in that situation. Has this happened before? I am not looking to get her in trouble, but did she over react? Should it have been my choice to move since I was informed and taking appropriate precautions? When I hunt in Alaska I expect bears to try to get in my camp and try to prevent/prepare for that. Would she have responded differently if I was a resident?
    If you weren't on federal turf, and she was a Federal Park Service officer, then I'd think that she not only over-reacted, but had no real aurthority. But who knows what sort of 'pull' has been established through MOAs etc. these days. It is, after all, the post-PATRIOT ACT world we're livin' in now.. And America, in general, seems relatively passive and content with that for now..

    I know that various authorities will shut down hiking trails after problem bears re-appear a number of times. The park Service also closed an area near the Toklat River in Denali Park after one hiker was munched by a bear.

    But those circumstances all involve either hikers who typically don't have the kind of gear you have, or lethal encounters with bears.

    It may be that she was overly sensitive to the number of serious bear issues we've seen this year, but it sure sounds to me like she both over-reacted, and pushed authority that she may not have had.

    Heck, for grins and giggles, send your hunt trip bill to the Park Service in D.C. with a write-up of the experience. Tell them you'd like a slice of that stimulus money. ;^>)

    Alaska ain't the same no mo'! That's for sure.

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    Default Camping trip with guns

    I absolutely would not have moved, but since she didn't really "make you" I.e. against your will, I don't know that she did anything "wrong" in the bureaucratic sense.

    However I agree 100% with what everyone has said above, totally out of line and uncalled for. I would raise hell if I were you. Repeatedly. Make sure to let our US Representative Don Young know, he would want to know.

    If you don't mind, I would be curious to hear more about the actual dialogue you had with her.

    I'm guessing you were in Tetlin NWR? In which case she was likely a US fish and wildlife service ranger.


    This emphasizes that it is VERY important to understand the land ownership status and management rules that apply, both to know what is not allowed, but also what is legally allowable so you are confident standing up for your rights.

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    Supporting Member Amigo Will's Avatar
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    If you lived here you probably could have stayed if you had what was needed to take a bear. If you stayed against her warning and ended up DLPing a bear it probably wouldn't fly as a legit DLP and cost you.
    Now left only to be a turd in the forrest and the circle will be complete.Use me as I have used you

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    Quote Originally Posted by fish_hunter View Post
    Yeah I got her name. I am pretty sure she was federal and I think we were on the refuge/ preserve boundary. Google maps shows the lake north of the northern boundary of the Wrangell St. Elias national preserve though. I told her she should just shoot the bear since it was habituated and likely wouldn't unlearn the human-food correlation. And it was a widely used camping location.
    whats done is done and my season is over, I was just curious as to other hunters response would be in that situation. Has this happened before? I am not looking to get her in trouble, but did she over react? Should it have been my choice to move since I was informed and taking appropriate precautions? When I hunt in Alaska I expect bears to try to get in my camp and try to prevent/prepare for that. Would she have responded differently if I was a resident?
    I fail to see WHY you wouldn't wanna get her in trouble. This stuff will continue. I would get ahold of Don Young and Murkowski.

    This is totally Outrageous. What was she trying to accomplish? Protecting the hunters? Ridiculous. Or the bear? Even more Ridiculous.

    She shouldn't even been there without a ligitimate reason. It's harassment, pure and simple.

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    Member broncoformudv's Avatar
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    Sorry to hear about your hunting experience that truly sucks. With that said there is no way I would have moved camp over a bear, I would have just shot the bear if they were in season and I had a tag or harvest tickets.

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    Member AK Ray's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by broncoformudv View Post
    Sorry to hear about your hunting experience that truly sucks. With that said there is no way I would have moved camp over a bear, I would have just shot the bear if they were in season and I had a tag or harvest tickets.
    That is an easy thing for us locals to do, but the OP is from out of state and as others have stated could have ended up in trouble.

    Female federal warden that flys.......hmmmm.....**************? The actions reported do not sound like her though, so I doubt it was her.
    Last edited by kingfisherktn; 09-23-2012 at 10:39.

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    Member tboehm's Avatar
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    Fish Hunter.. What was her name?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Amigo Will View Post
    If you lived here you probably could have stayed if you had what was needed to take a bear. If you stayed against her warning and ended up DLPing a bear it probably wouldn't fly as a legit DLP and cost you.
    She said it wouldn't be a DLP because she was warning us about it in advance. I replied " so I can't shoot the bear if it busts into my camp and we feel threatened?". She said that we could but 40 mile would be on the hook for it.

    How would they know if it was even the same bear that busted up the two camps? No video or sightings. They don't even know if it was black or a Griz.

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    Quote Originally Posted by tboehm View Post
    Fish Hunter.. What was her name?
    **********

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    Moderator kingfisherktn's Avatar
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    Let's please leave names out of this thread.

    Thanks

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    Member Frostbitten's Avatar
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    I would leave this between 40 mile air and her. They moved you, the onus is on them (40 mile) for changing your plans. Either way, what's done is done.

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    Member Matt83's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fish_hunter View Post
    She said it wouldn't be a DLP because she was warning us about it in advance..
    So...if you awoke to the bear trying to eat your face, you couldnt legally shoot it? What kind of clowns are the feds hiring these days??
    "The man who reads nothing at all is better educated than the man who reads nothing but newspapers."
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    Member AK Ray's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fish_hunter View Post
    She said it wouldn't be a DLP because she was warning us about it in advance. I replied " so I can't shoot the bear if it busts into my camp and we feel threatened?". She said that we could but 40 mile would be on the hook for it.
    This is just bogus. If this was the way DLP worked then the whole hillside of Anchorage would be screwed when it came to killing bears in the summer.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Frostbitten View Post
    I would leave this between 40 mile air and her. They moved you, the onus is on them (40 mile) for changing your plans. Either way, what's done is done.
    I don't think so, because it will happen again and again unless this is resisted.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Smitty of the North View Post
    I don't think so, because it will happen again and again unless this is resisted.

    Smitty of the North
    the fact is that 40 mile air moved the hunters, even though the hunters didnt want to move If the reason for the move was legit (which is between the transporter and whoever influenced them), then it's over...a bummer, but over. If it turns out that the transporter blew it, then the hunters need to rely on the transporter's integrity and make it as right as they can. I've heard nothing but the best about these guys, so if the latter is the case, I expect they will do what they can.

    I've been in a situation where a transporter (not 40 mile air), didn't do what they said they would do. A couple months after the fact, I contacted them about the situation, and as a result they hooked us up on another trip a year later, which turned out to be nothing short of fantastic.

    The bottom line is, all the hunters have in this situation is that their transporters moved them to another lake. If the transporters were unduly influenced, lied to or otherwise unlawfully forced to make the move, then the transporters have the responsibility to resolve it, and I have no doubt they will, as their livelihood depends on it.

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    I plan on talking to the owner of 40 mile about the situation. The dispatcher said he was upset about the whole thing too, but he was flying a lot tryig to catch up after the big windstorm the previous two days so i didn't get a chance top speak to him. I would like to find out exactly what the officer said to them before I go up the chain.

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