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Thread: Peninsula Moose

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    Default Peninsula Moose

    Anyone have any thoughts on the peninsula moose and how this article on their condition?
    http://peninsulaclarion.com/news/201...ose-in-gmu-15a

    I know there are plenty of people that have hunted moose in the past as well as the recent past before the new moose regulations on the peninsula changed. Just wanted to get some peoples thoughts on all of this, especially since the article makes recovery sound like it is a long way off.

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    This article really explains it well. http://www.alaskajournal.com/Alaska-...are-declining/ I mean come on, 4 moose harvested last year? The moose populations are clearly declining rapidly and I dont think chain sawing a couple of trees is going to cut it. I mean the area needs some substantial burns in 15 A. I like their ideas of a mosaic of old growth and new growth. Too bad they cant figure out a way to make this happen on a large scale economically. Yeah hunting on the kenai is pretty grim, unless you like carnivore meat.
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    Member sayak's Avatar
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    It is more than grim. And most of this has happened in the last decade or so.
    We have had the discussion before over reasons for the decline of moose on the peninsula, and it seems clear that it (like the king salmon's) is a combination of factors including poor browse, over harvesting, predation, and road kill. Who knows which of these factors has played the greatest role? Nonetheless, the double whammy of disappearing kings and disappearing moose is a tragedy. To fully appreciate living on the peninsula now days you gotta really like the scenery and be satisfied with killing small game and planter fish.

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    I was interested to see that the study did not point to wolves/bears as the reason why the population is hurting. AF&G likes to blame the wolves for all population problems. There is do doubt that the wolves and bears will eat well but the reality is the environment is changing and the moose are getting hammered. It is all a cycle and we can assist with large burns, wolf control act but it is a cycle that will complete its self given time and the hunter will suffer. It is really not much different that the elk issues in Montana. Prior to coming to Alaska I was a field Bio-Tec for the forest service in Montana. We spent lots of time expanding elk parks for habitat restoration. All of that Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation $ were eclipsed when nature took control and burned the hell out of the Bitterroot, Salmon and Big Hole areas. And just like that there was lots of sage parks for the elk!

    Nature will cure the peninsula's old growth beetle kill problems and most who live down there will be screaming for the feds to put the fires out.
    Cant win!

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    It reminds of the perfect storm. IMO there are many reasons for the decline, and it seems they are all hitting at the same time right now. I think it is safe to say that it will take a LONG time for the moose in 15A to recover.
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    Member sayak's Avatar
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    Here is something to think about: moose are relatively recent arrivals to the peninsula (and many other places in Alaska for that matter). They came in numbers after forest fires swept huge areas creating great browse in the late 1800s and early 1900s. Conversely, caribou were edged out and had to be reintroduced. Now the tables are turning and the peninsula is not so great for moose anymore. That is unfortunate, but is it really man's job to create browse for an artificially enhanced moose population?
    Don't misunderstand; I would love to be able to hunt moose again locally, but I don't know that it is really feasible with human population edging out habitat.

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    didnt see this thread when I posted the same arcticle.. What happened to the controlled burns, are they still doing that in 15a...

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    Member sayak's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bear View Post
    didnt see this thread when I posted the same arcticle.. What happened to the controlled burns, are they still doing that in 15a...
    Not sure about burns, but they mechanically razed a bunch of acres on the Skilak Loop to create browse.

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    Quote Originally Posted by sayak View Post
    Not sure about burns, but they mechanically razed a bunch of acres on the Skilak Loop to create browse.

    Thanks Sayak.. been a bit since I lived there(just a part timer down there now) but I seem to recall them doing burns out mystery creek area but honestly have not heard much on it in recent years..

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bear View Post
    didnt see this thread when I posted the same arcticle.. What happened to the controlled burns, are they still doing that in 15a...
    I tried to reply to your other thread but it wouldn't let me.....

    I heard the news on the radio on the way home from work tonight. I also thought I heard the moose they studied were in that fenced in area (the moose pens we call them) but I could be wrong about that. I know they have done a lot of studies on those moose over the years. But the moose I've seen out north seem to be healthy to me, but I'm sure the F&G has a way of determining body fat better than a guy just looking that them on the road.

    With so much beetle kill on the ground now it's like a huge tinder box ready to go up at any time. I haven't heard of a controlled burn in years. I would think they are pretty cautious about them now. If I recall years ago one of their controlled burns got away from them.....
    Sheep hunting...... the pain goes away, but the stupidity remains...!!!

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    Quote Originally Posted by 4merguide View Post
    I tried to reply to your other thread but it wouldn't let me.....

    I heard the news on the radio on the way home from work tonight. I also thought I heard the moose they studied were in that fenced in area (the moose pens we call them) but I could be wrong about that. I know they have done a lot of studies on those moose over the years. But the moose I've seen out north seem to be healthy to me, but I'm sure the F&G has a way of determining body fat better than a guy just looking that them on the road.

    With so much beetle kill on the ground now it's like a huge tinder box ready to go up at any time. I haven't heard of a controlled burn in years. I would think they are pretty cautious about them now. If I recall years ago one of their controlled burns got away from them.....

    Yeah I think the same as you bout them north roaders... Moose that is . I was also surprised to the amount of moose i seen in15 a this year after the hard winter but i suppose looks can be decieving. I have heard the food issue more then one too. Sure hope they get is figured out soon.
    That out of controll burn was right around the last time I heard anything bout controlled ones so maybe that's the reason they haven't been having then along with the beetle kill... **** beetles..... Just seems to me like they need a good one down there. Seem like moose in c a fairing better and also if I recall they have had quite a few more burns wonder if that's just coincidence

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    Kenai Peninsula Fire History Map 1700-2009

    kpfirehistory.jpg

    "In 1947 and 1969, two large human-caused fires burned 310,000 acres and 86,000 acres, respectively, in the Kenai Lowlands, converting much of the mostly mature black spruce forest to birch and aspen."
    http://www.fws.gov/refuge/Kenai/what...e_ecology.html

    The 1947 burn was started by road construction workers building the Sterling Highway, and as I recall the 1969 burn was from canoeists with a campfire.

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    Quote Originally Posted by tustumena_lake View Post
    and as I recall the 1969 burn was from canoeists with a campfire.
    Sounds like all you need is some more canoeists with campfires.
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    Quote Originally Posted by martentrapper View Post
    Sounds like all you need is some more canoeists with campfires.
    well they did have that guy sharpening his axe or what not in caribou hills give it a good try some years back..

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    I'll help. Let me log ADF&G selected areas for the biomass then burn the rest. Creating new moose browse and make the burn easier to control.
    Even a jackass won't stumble on the same stone twice.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ACNDHO View Post
    I'll help. Let me log ADF&G selected areas for the biomass then burn the rest. Creating new moose browse and make the burn easier to control.

    so do you happen to why is it they dont let you take the standing deadbeetle kill down there,,, heard many things over the years including fed stuff but honestly never heard anything official.. sure sounds like a win win to me...wood to folks who can use it and food for the moose

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    Default Peninsula Moose

    It's not the taking of beetelkill, it's the making roads. Anadromous streams and whatnot. Plus, the beetle kill is old enough to where it's lost a significant amount of commercial value.
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    Burns have something to do with why the 15C population is fairing better than 15A, but it also is a combination of logging and high quantities of fall browse available above timberline. The moose in 15A haven't had any fires, no logging that I know of, and lack high quantities of fall browse above timberline except for that portion of 15A that meets up with the Kenai mountains in the resurrection area.

    I'm not sure the state can really do anything in 15A, because so much of it is federal land. The only thing is to try and get the funding to purchase heavy equipment and do some mechanical regrowth off the refuge.

    In 15C though, there is still work that can be done so at least one segment of the Kenai moose population can be healthy and produce sustaining/increasing moose populations. I think one way to get this done, I know it will be expensive and not sure the legislators will want to put it in the budget, but they make some pretty good heavy equipment mulchers now that some of the seismic companies use that I think could be used for the state for the purpose of tearing up the soil to simulate moose browse regrowth. Because while some areas of 15C have burned, the areas down low around homes are where the moose winter and the majority of areas that have burned in 15C are not moose wintering areas. It will come to a point in order for this segment of the kenai moose population to stay healthy some mechanical stimulation will need to be done or browse in the 15C wintering areas will decline. Fires will not be allowed to burn in these areas with all the homes around.

    Continuing off the momentum of this season's brown bear hunt will definitely help as well. If there is no aerial gunning of wolves this year that's ok, because moose hunters can still take some wolves the old fashioned way. All it takes is a little effort.

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    Quote Originally Posted by martentrapper View Post
    Sounds like all you need is some more canoeists with campfires.
    the 1969 swanson river fire...

    312453116.jpg

    I guess I was about 15 years old then but I remember this fire the smoke from it drifted right through Kasilof. It was a big deal, everybody was afraid they would get burned out but it seemed to stop on the edge of civilization.

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    Quote Originally Posted by 33outdoorsman View Post
    Continuing off the momentum of this season's brown bear hunt will definitely help as well.
    That's a big one right there.......imo.
    Sheep hunting...... the pain goes away, but the stupidity remains...!!!

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