Tier 1, Families and Hunting
I just finished reading the Complete Nelchina Caribou thread under the hunting section. I have great interest as my family and I have hunted this area for almost 50 years. I saw some grumbling, complaints about over crowding in some areas and a few areas with violation/regulation issues. I personally saw some safety problems that hunter orange would have solved. But, the one thing that stood out from the problems were the family and kid stories. I have never seen or heard so many stories of families getting out and hunting together and kids taking their first big game animal. So many pictures of young new hunters and proud parents. I can also tell from the post and what I personally witnessed was that this program brings lots of new hunters into the sport. I also bet a lot of game meat got shared with non-hunting familes, spreading the faith. My hats off to the person or group that finally got this program fixed and in place. This is good game management in my opinion.
Well said, sir. Selfishly there are some things I don't love about it, as I hate being locked into Unit 13 for moose, but that's my choice to make. As for what you say about families and new hunters, though, you're spot on. I have also noticed a huge increase in the number of families afield together in that area in addition to it being an excellent opportunity to introduce new hunters. I have personally had the great privilege over the past two years of accompanying four people on their first successful hunt in Alaska - one my nephew and three friends who were new to hunting. Two of them that I first took in '11 went back without me this year and again found success, and now feeding their families wild meat has become a part of what they do and who they are. (I think my favorite thing in all of this was seeing the results of my friend's second hunt this fall. He posted a picture of a meticulously cleaned carcass trimmed down to the bone and wrote "My graduate project in the Brian M school of hunting. Love it! )
As the future of hunting depends on introducing new hunters to the lifestyle, I am very thankful for the structure of this hunt. It's not without its problems, but there is much good that has come from this over the past two seasons.
Great for families & kids, probably not so much for moose...
My kids got to go with me this year too, they both enjoyed it and had a good time. Shot my first animal with a handload this year too.
Not sure I agree that 3500 hunters in one gmu will be good for the moose population in 5 years though.