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Thread: Reclassifying Black Bears?

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    Default Reclassifying Black Bears?

    What do you think about the proposal that was tabled by the BOG that would reclassify black bears the same way wolves are fur bearer or big game depending on the method they were taken and the license used? What are your arguments for or against it? Also what do you think about legalizing foot snares to take black bears in certain areas?

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    Member RainGull's Avatar
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    I like it kind of.

    I support a one tag one animal philosophy in which the department issues tags based upon biological data saying that it is a good and/or acceptable thing. The tag then entitles the bearer to one animal as dictated by the tag to include all of it's parts (minus any sampling needed for sound management). The person then may do whatever they want with the animal and it parts (including sell them). In other words manage it like resource extraction (since it is considered a resource, and we are extracting it from the field).
    Science has a rich history of proving itself wrong.

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    Mark
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    Quote Originally Posted by hiline View Post
    What do you think about the proposal that was tabled by the BOG that would reclassify black bears the same way wolves are fur bearer or big game depending on the method they were taken and the license used? What are your arguments for or against it?
    I think reclassifying black bears as furbearers will allow those with trappers licenses to sell hides, claws, skulls, gall bladders, etc, and might initiate higher harvests in the areas needed.

    Also what do you think about legalizing foot snares to take black bears in certain areas?
    I have a problem with this.

    A snare set up for a bear can catch a young moose.

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    I have a problem with this. A snare set up for a bear can catch a young moose
    .I'm still doing some research but I think their are sets that will target blacks. Maine has legal snares they also have a large population of moose. I'm working on some contacts in Maine and Alberta.

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    Member bushrat's Avatar
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    The snaring of just black bears with Alrich-type foot snares won't work in Alaska because in areas with both black and brown/grizzly bears there is no way to ensure you don't catch a brown bear. We also can't ensure we don't catch sows with cubs.

    The way I view the issue of trying to increase bear harvests because we deem there are just too many bears is that if we ever do institute another method of harvest, or incentive, that this must first have a reasonable expectation of working.

    Let's for a moment just say that we had only black bears in Unit 16. So we don't have the problem of also catching brown bears in foothold traps. And let's further assume that we don't care if we catch any sows who may have cubs. (BTW, there are several different methods of snaring bears by foot, and one pipe-set method has a cover that the bear removes to get to the bait, so other animals aren't likely to get caught. Others have breakaway devices). Let's say the state (via the Board of Game) were to allow foot-snaring of these bears in order to try to increase harvests. What do ya'll think would be the required time-frame between checking your set(s)? One day? Three days? A week?

    In the Canadian provinces where the foot-snaring of bears is permitted (with only Aldrich-type snares) the regs state that these snares must be checked daily. Now even if we allowed snaring of bears here in Alaska and extended the check-time to every three days, just how many hunters/trappers are going to be able to get out every three days (let alone every day) to check their set(s)? I'd say not many at all. The allowance of foot-snaring has absolutely no reasonable expectation of really increasing harvests if we mandate the same check-times as other wildlife agencies do.

    Anyway, we can never have foot-snaring in areas where there is a possibility of also catching brown/grizzly bears unless we also wanted to target grizzlies. And like I said, even if we did want to target both brown and black bears, the regs as to mandatory check-time would likely not be conducive to very much participation. Ask yourself if you'd be able to participate in various units like Unit 16 if you had to check your set(s) every three days.

    For those of you who believe that any other option for bear reductions is a good thing, even if it only meant another couple percent of harvests, we must weigh the benefits and risks of such new management schemes. One of the risks I know you guys don't like hearing about is the public perception of hunting. If the BOG believes we must increase bear harvests to a great degree, and then institutes a controversial program they know has no likelihood of even coming close to meeting the objectives, that is way too much risk for no real benefit. And that's beyond the other problematic issues I brought up above, namely that we have both brown and black bears in units where any foot-snaring may be instituted...which is why it won't fly. There is some difference between the snare loop size used to target grizzlies or blacks, but still that would not prevent catching younger grizz or grizz cubs.

    Sale of bear parts is another whole issue. Many Canadian provinces and some states allow the sale of galls. In Nova Scotia, for example, they have a very good system set up whereby hunters and/or trappers can sell galls after first having them tagged at the DNR office. The Alaska chapter of The Wildlife Society has a good tech-review about sale of bear parts with a lot of good info:
    http://wildlife.org/chapters/ak/AK%2...view_Final.pdf

    I urge everyone to seriously weigh the risks and benefits of any new (and controversial) changes to bear management schemes. We know that baiting of bears has taken a hit in other states, and has been targeted up here as well. We have public support now for things like bear baiting. Do you want to lose that support? Remember that hunting is a privilege and that the non-hunting public basically controls various aspects of what we do via ballot initiative. Let's keep hunting something that is respected by the non-hunting public rather than turn them against us.

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    Mark
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    Quote Originally Posted by hiline View Post
    Quote:
    I have a problem with this. A snare set up for a bear can catch a young moose.
    I'm still doing some research but I think their are sets that will target blacks. Maine has legal snares they also have a large population of moose. I'm working on some contacts in Maine and Alberta.
    I'd be interested in what you find out.

  7. #7
    Mark
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    Quote Originally Posted by bushrat View Post
    The snaring of just black bears with Alrich-type foot snares won't work in Alaska because in areas with both black and brown/grizzly bears there is no way to ensure you don't catch a brown bear. We also can't ensure we don't catch sows with cubs.
    Those are two good points.

    Remember that hunting is a privilege...
    I disagree. I believe it's a crucial management tool.

    ....the non-hunting public basically controls various aspects of what we do via ballot initiative.....
    Again, I disagree.

    It isn't the "non-hunting public" who try to gain control of hunting via ballot initiative.

    It's anti-hunting entities who do so.

    Let's keep hunting something that is respected by the non-hunting public rather than turn them against us.
    Let us also recognize the enemy of hunting for who and what they are, as well, and cheerfully oppose them at every opportunity (which is precisely what they do to us).

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    Member ak_powder_monkey's Avatar
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    We should probably just posion all bears and wolves in Alaska, we'll grow more moose that way, plus the state can make a nice chunk of change to manage the moose ranch by collecting all the dead bears then selling their claws to texans. Not to mention the extra money we could get from non res tags for all those extra moose, oh we'll have to convert most of the land to farm land to feed all the extra moose. Oh man without bears there will be way more salmon spawning too, like when we had a bounty on dolly varden, man that totally boosted the salmon run, same thing with killing a bunch of eagles.

    Or we could treat bears with respect, and make it required by law to eat what you kill.
    I choose to fly fish, not because its easy, but because its hard.

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    Member ak_powder_monkey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mark View Post

    I disagree. I believe it's a crucial management tool.


    Actually its not a management tool in any way up here at least except to benifit other hunters. Now the lower 48 is another story because they did poison all the wolves, and killed all the bears (in about 100 years). Explain how hunting manages animals in Alaska in any way other than to benifit other hunters?

    I can only think of a very few, killing moose to keep them from getting killed by cars, but then we'd just have to kill all moose and not just legal bulls. And trapping beavers to keep them from flooding property. How long is your list? Oh thats right you probably think without bear hunting there would be no moose.
    I choose to fly fish, not because its easy, but because its hard.

  10. #10
    Mark
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    Quote Originally Posted by ak_powder_monkey View Post
    We should probably just posion all bears and wolves in Alaska, we'll grow more moose that way, plus the state can make a nice chunk of change to manage the moose ranch by collecting all the dead bears then selling their claws to texans.
    Poison was the pre-statehood federal approach, remember?

    Ahhhh.........the good old days of federal mismanagement..........

    It's full circle again, but with a twist, heh?:

    Instead of killing everything with poison, the feds are back (in complete violation of the Alaska Statehood Act) trying to prevent anything from being killed in any way, shape, or form (unless the killer is a member of their rare "special" class of people) and calling it "management" and "stewardship".

    Or we could treat bears with respect, and make it required by law to eat what you kill.
    Slap at any mosquitoes lately?...........

  11. #11
    Mark
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    Quote Originally Posted by ak_powder_monkey View Post
    Originally Posted by Mark

    I disagree. I believe it's a crucial management tool.
    Actually its not a management tool in any way up here at least except to benifit other hunters.
    According to folks like yourself and other anti-hunters, yeah.

    Balance is maintained for species in human demand with harvest limits, and incentives ought to be used to increase harvests on species populations that aren't in as much demand, in high densities, and/or are inaccessible.

    Then it's a tool.

    When people play ideological games, then it isn't.

    It's a religion.

    Get it?

    Now the lower 48 is another story because they did poison all the wolves, and killed all the bears (in about 100 years).
    "We don't give a **** how they do it Outside."

    (Ever hear that one?)

    Explain how hunting manages animals in Alaska in any way other than to benifit other hunters?
    When used to bring a high-density species population into balance, it is a management tool.

    It really is that simple.

    Sorry you don't seem to get it.

    I can only think of a very few, killing moose to keep them from getting killed by cars, but then we'd just have to kill all moose and not just legal bulls. And trapping beavers to keep them from flooding property. How long is your list?
    How many species are there?

    How about a plague of shrews?

    Ban mousetraps because people aren't eating the shrews?

    Oh thats right you probably think without bear hunting there would be no moose.
    Nope.

    There would be fewer moose, and recruitment would suffer.

    If you'd like, you can review a number of official studies here in Alaska which have established that.

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    Member ak_powder_monkey's Avatar
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    Thanks for reaffirming my point mark.
    I choose to fly fish, not because its easy, but because its hard.

  13. #13
    Mark
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    Slap at any mosquitoes lately?

    Catch any shrews this winter?

    Isn't that "wildlife management"

    Did you eat them?

    Are you going to answer the questions?

  14. #14
    Member ak_powder_monkey's Avatar
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    Mark you should work in the Bush administration for you are a master of spin
    I choose to fly fish, not because its easy, but because its hard.

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    Dang monkey, you never stop do you. Turning another thread into one of your tireless crusades. Dont waste your time Mark.

  16. #16
    Mark
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    Quote Originally Posted by ak_powder_monkey View Post
    Mark you should work in the Bush administration for you are a master of spin
    I'm not spinning anything.

    I'm asking questions.

    Got answers?

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    Member ak_powder_monkey's Avatar
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    sorry, eat what you hunt
    I choose to fly fish, not because its easy, but because its hard.

  18. #18
    Mark
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    Quote Originally Posted by ak_powder_monkey View Post
    sorry, eat what you hunt
    I've eaten rat, and quite a few mosquitoes, but never a shrew.

    You?

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    Member ak_powder_monkey's Avatar
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    I've eaten my fair share of mosquitos, never killed a shrew though, not much sport in it.
    I choose to fly fish, not because its easy, but because its hard.

  20. #20
    Mark
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    Quote Originally Posted by ak_powder_monkey View Post
    I've eaten my fair share of mosquitos, never killed a shrew though, not much sport in it.
    If they were infesting your house, would you kill some?

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