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Thread: ADFG aerial bear control in 19A - how far are we going to go?

  1. #1
    Member bushrat's Avatar
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    Default ADFG aerial bear control in 19A - how far are we going to go?

    http://www.newsminer.com/news/local_...9bb30f31a.html

    From the Newsminer article above:["Fish and Game staff shot 89 bears — 84 black bears and five grizzlies — in game management unit 19A along the Kuskokwim River during a two-week program that began on May 13 and ended Monday...Biologists shot the bears from a helicopter in a 530-square mile area of state land that is a small part of unit 19A...The nearly 8,000 pounds of meat from the bears, valued at approximately $80,000, was distributed to villagers in Aniak, Chuathbaluk, Crooked Creek, Lime Village, Kalskag, Red Devil, Sleetmute and Stony River...The bear control area is so small that killing 89 bears won’t have an effect on the overall bear population in the unit...A wolf control program has been in effect in a larger portion of unit 19A since 2004 but has not had a measurable effect on the moose population...Approximately 150 wolves have been killed in the area in the past 10 years...Most of the bear control area was within a larger wolf control area.

    89 — Total bears killed
    84 — Black bears killed
    5 — Grizzly bears killed
    530 — Size of the control area in square miles
    8,000 — Approximate pounds of bear meat distributed to residents in eight villages.
    80,000 — Amount in dollars the bear meat was valued at
    230,000 — Amount in dollars the program cost"


    I honestly think that the science isn't behind this and that it's a step too far. What we learned from the Unit 16 bear control program, is that killing a bunch of bears in smaller areas had absolutely no effect on unit-wide moose densities, and that bears from other areas quickly moved into the areas where bears had been greatly controlled. We also learned that in areas that >50% of the time see deep-snow, moose-killing winters, that control efforts are often not efficacious. I recall when Mark Keech gave a presentation to the BOG about the McGrath bear-control efforts, where they removed and relocated over a hundred bears from a similar smaller control area. The takeaway I got from his presentation was this line: "What really affects winter survival is snow depth."

    F&G spokesperson Cathy Harms said that, “Within the next year or two we should be able to see an increase in moose numbers." I guess we'll see. She also said that the program won't have a permanent effect on the moose population.

    Look, I'm glad that some local skinners were able to make some money and that F&G designed this so the public would do the skinning and butchering and the meat would be utilized, and not wasted. Then again, how is black bear meat worth $10/pound, as F&G has estimated? That seems a pretty high assumption to me.

    I don't know what Alaska is coming to, but this frankly saddens me if this is the new road we are going to take with bears. Widespread snaring, unlimted take of black bears, including sows with cubs and cubs, wasn't enough ... it didn't prove efficacious in Unit 16 ... so now we are going to resort to aerial shooting of bears by the Dept in another low-density moose unit that also sees deep-snow winters, at great costs. At what point should villagers take responsibility for going out trapping and hunting and taking bears? But hey, I think the state has proven now that no matter what methods we allow the public to use, no matter what liberalizations we allow for (aside from aerial gunning), that the public simply can't take enough bears (or wolves) to effectively boost low-density moose populations. So where does that leave us? It leaves us with this type of program that I believe is a huge black eye on Alaska and the hunting community.

    What kind of results do we need to see to prove this is effective or not? What percentage of moose calf survival or increased moose densities, or moose harvests in this smaller control area will make hunters and the state say, "it worked"? And thus, "let's do it in other areas."

    As the article states: The moose harvest in all of unit 19A has averaged between 75 and 100 moose the past five years. The harvest objective set by the Board of Game for the unit is 400 to 550 moose."

    So in two years if we see an average harvest in all of 19A of 125 moose, was it worth it? And in five years when, like in the McGrath removal and relocation efforts where the bear numbers had rebounded to even more than were initially removed, what then? Another $230K to kill bears from helos? And what about those deep-snow winters prevalent in the region?

    We just can't get what "we" hunters want across the state. I fear we've crossed a line in trying to do so. It wasn't that many years ago that Fish & Game and the Board of Game said that the aerial shooting of bears was socially unacceptable. And a great number of hunters, majorities even, agreed. And look where we are now. Bears are the new "vermin." We waive meat-salvage requirements for perfectly good and edible meat in order to incentivize more killing of them, while at the same time the state ensures in other areas that the meat is utilized from these aerially-killed bears to ostensibly feed rural village peoples.

    I know many here will disagree with me on this. And it isn't that I don't respect those who support this type of program, so any disagreement isn't personal or means I don't see the other side. I think there is a time and place for some pred-control efforts. But we're now straying way too far imo from science and efficacy and into the realm of these "experiments" that aren't even grounded in real scientific experimentation. It's a shoot-from-the-hip approach; hey we have the power to do these things now so let's do it and see what happens, overall public opinion be dam*ed. That's what we did with bear snaring. And the farther we go, the easier it (sadly) seems to be for more hunters to get on board with it.

    Sigh,

  2. #2
    Member Rock_skipper's Avatar
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    Mark, good post.

    I think I said a few years ago that we should let Mother Nature take care of herself with the cow moose hunt and everbody argued the points from predeator control and the available graze to gain more meat for the table.

    We'll just have to see how it works out.

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    Supporting Member Amigo Will's Avatar
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    Alaska is becoming Anchorage.If hunters can not control and manage wildlife on their own without the governments help then they are for sure not the top predator. Best deal is give it all back to mother nature to control including people which are the real blight on earth in the modern form.
    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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    Member Grayling Slayer's Avatar
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    I wonder how many bears they would have eliminated with a $1,000 bounty? Would have been much more cost effective.
    "I'd rather be fishing!"

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    Member martentrapper's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Amigo Will View Post
    Best deal is give it all back to mother nature to control including people which are the real blight on earth in the modern form.
    The real blight on earth? Does that include you, Amigo? If so, please be the first to begin ridding "earth" of the "blight".
    We could likely control many species of wildlife on our own if left to use ALL means our intelligence would allow. It would also help if we could actually profit from the animals............kinda like commercial fisherman do. Instead, many have this idea we must be "fair" and we "owe" something to the animals. So we create rules and regulations to make ourselves feel good about the killing we otherwise have no real need for.
    Mother Nature already controls us, Amigo. You must not read the news. Starvation and disease kill hundreds of thousands, if not millions. When our species gets cramped in to too small an area, we fight and kill each other just like rodents do. Many other factors contribute to effect human numbers.
    Be sure and do a final post on here when you do your good deed, Amigo..............I'll light a candle in your honor!
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    Supporting Member Amigo Will's Avatar
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    I'm sure I'll be checking out long before many here but losing good folk don't help,losing the waste does.Humans living in places like America got caught up in the keeping up with the Jones after WWII.Fifty years ago the world worked great and you could buy PF Flyers or Keds for sneekers and it was all we needed.Today there are thousands of sneekers,folks kill for some of them and people cry out for even more. We are a wasteful people and much that we toss out after one quick use comes for oil,think plastics. We have lost pride in self here and wallmart proves it with made in China. The people problem is to deep a subject for many so I'll keep teaching till I'm gone.
    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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    Supporting Member iofthetaiga's Avatar
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    Good post, Mark. Thanks.

    What Amigo is saying is spot on too. The short-sightedness, greed, destruction, and wastefulness of people is appalling. Sadly, when this subject is broached the typical response is to attack the messenger and deny the message. Stating that the human species has become a blight on the Earth is a factual and defensible statement. However, there will always be those eager to attack the messenger, deny the message, and argue against reality.

    In the short term, the greedy component of our species will win out and we will continue to destructively overpopulate. In the longer term, we will drive our own extinction by destroying our host environment. "Growth for growth's sake" is no longer the mantra of just the cancer cell; we as a species have adopted it as well.
    ...he who knows nothing is nearer to truth than he whose mind is filled with falsehoods & errors. ~Thomas Jefferson
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    Member Mkay's Avatar
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    I can't believe the private sector could not have done this at no cost to the state.
    My child was inmate of the month at Mat-Su pre-trial Correctional facility.

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    No doubt the private sector COULD have done this at no cost. If the state would remove the restrictions on furs, meat and organs, still requiring use of meat per wanton waste requirements - allowing hunters to recoup at least some of the costs - there would be more people hunting bears.
    Mike
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  10. #10
    Supporting Member Amigo Will's Avatar
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    Its the hunters duty to manage game in his area.Tax deduction for giving meat to church and brown bear hide to F&G for fur auction and you can sell the black bear hide.
    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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    Member martentrapper's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Amigo Will View Post
    Its the hunters duty to manage game in his area.
    Where did you get that idea, Will? Isn't it the STATES duty to do so and we only participate at the level they allow.
    Plus...........you know how much you hate humans!! They shouldn't even be in the picture.
    I can't help being a lazy, dumb, weekend warrior.......I have a JOB!
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  12. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by Amigo Will View Post
    Its the hunters duty to manage game in his area.Tax deduction for giving meat to church and brown bear hide to F&G for fur auction and you can sell the black bear hide.
    If it is the user's responsibility the state and the feds need to back out of it then. Is that what you are asking for?
    Mike
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  13. #13
    Supporting Member Amigo Will's Avatar
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    What I'm saying is if hunters would stop just hunting for meat but also try control other things that effect meat harvest then the government would not have to waste dollars doing the hunting no one wants to take effort to do. Way way its going the government might just as well shoot a moose for every moose hunter and drop it at his house.
    Also I'm not against humans as a whole just the takers that give nothing back ( I do consider a large number as takers) and have no understanding or respect for earth.
    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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    Member martentrapper's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Amigo Will View Post
    What I'm saying is if hunters would stop just hunting for meat but also try control other things that effect meat harvest
    Is this what your doing then? Certainly your not one of the "takers"?
    I can't help being a lazy, dumb, weekend warrior.......I have a JOB!
    I have less friends now!!

  15. #15
    Supporting Member Amigo Will's Avatar
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    Never been a taker never will be.Take probably three or four top predators per meat like deer but also eat the bear killing two birds with one shot.
    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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