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Thread: Community Harvest Moose - Unit 13. Emergency, need input!

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    Premium Member denalihunter's Avatar
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    Default Community Harvest Moose - Unit 13. Emergency, need input!

    Hello Friends!
    Had a concern regarding this community harvest hunt in Unit 13. I have watched over a dozen bulls taken out of an area I've hunted for a lot of years. The CH allows any bull, and most of these bulls are tweeners. This drainage I hunt only produces 10 to 12 bulls a season, during the regular 20 day Sept season. So I expect by the time over 2000 CH harvest hunters get done, there will be very few moose anywhere in Unit 13.

    So for those that don't know about community harvest, you should check into it. Basically, it allows any minimum of 25 people to form a "Community". Each community member gets a moose tag. One community member could come up and shoot all 25 moose anywhere in Unit 13, plus a caribou for each of them too. I'm not as concerned about caribou as much as I am about moose.

    The tough part is that the CH season starts on Aug 10th. They may shut down the 'any bull' quota at any time, but anyone in the community can still hunt under normal spike/fork/50"/4brow regs all the way through Sept 20th. So, by signing up for the CH, you turn your moose season from 3 weeks to 6 weeks! Sounds pretty cool, right?? Well, no, because there is no way that the population of moose can sustain this type of hunting, and it will ruin the moose hunting in 13 for years to come.

    I can understand why people are signing up! What a great advantage! But in 3 years or less, what is left? The community harvest members went from 900 last year to over 2000 this year, and this number is going to keep growing! The end is near if something isn't done. I have a lot of friends that are signed up, because they know the chances of a moose go down if they wait till the general season...

    Anyhow, I'm going to submit an emergency petition to slow this down and have folks look closer at it. I'd like your guys input on what you think. No one has to agree with me, and I'd really like to see the argument on the other side of the fence. If I get good input, that will help me get the emergency petition started with good information from outdoorsman like yourselves.

    Claude
    Experience Real Alaska! www.alpinecreeklodge.com

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    I could be wrong but I heard that they limit it to a total of 70 moose. But I see your points. It would be nice if the season was only as long as the regular season. They have already closed 13A for Community Harvest if I read the Fish and Game Emergency order right.

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    Member Laker Taker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kevin L View Post
    I could be wrong but I heard that they limit it to a total of 70 moose. But I see your points. It would be nice if the season was only as long as the regular season. They have already closed 13A for Community Harvest if I read the Fish and Game Emergency order right.
    The quota was 100 "any" bulls and the quota has been met but the Community Harvest hunts are still open for spike/fork, 4 brow tines or 50". I agree it's BS that the CH hunters are still allowed to take moose that would be legal in the general season after their any bull quota has been met. It's already hard enough to find a legal bull, then you have the CH hunters taking legal bulls for 3 weeks before the general season opens.

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    Yep, I know 3 of my customers that are doing it. Also seen several moose that I have watched over the last few years get taken out right before they were legal in the area of my cabin where I havn't seen a legel moose in over 12 years. Something has to be done...

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    Member alaska907's Avatar
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    I was waiting for someone to bring this up. All I can say is what a joke all you need is 25 friends and or family members and you have yourself an any bull tag for moose, as for the caribou how many does your CUMMUNITY need? I know of a guy that has been in Alaska for only 3 years and they did the community hunt this year. So with 3 caribou down already and a moose “spike fork” they are going back for more caribou, when will it end? As for the moose we have been going to the same spot now for 6 years and have been very grateful that we have been able to harvest a moose every year. I got told already that 1 spike forks the friend of a friend of mine and a 53 inch was taken out of the area we hunt, 2 different groups opining weekend. Yes can we all put in for this yes so with that said why is there antler restrictions at all? Spike fork 50 or 4 tines.

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    Member BIGAKSTUFF's Avatar
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    ......Or...... we could all band together and form a super 'group' called the Alaska Outdoor Forums Gang, and jump on the band wagon until it gets shut down... Little eater moose for everyone! Yea!!!
    The Second Amendment.......Know it, love it, support it.

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    Member Vince's Avatar
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    hey Claude.. you are aware there is a harvest quota on these permits also right? once its met its closed.. also.. we fought the CH permit at its inception.. fought it HARD..and got our asses handed to us. the ONLY good thing that came of it.. was..

    1.. we now have some draw tags for unit 13 caribou instead of JUST teir I or II...

    and

    2.. its NOT only for the natives that live there as they wanted it to be....


    keep in mind.. the state MUST provide a resonable opportunity for subsistence.. if they do not.. ALL of the draw, hunts go away.. and we are back in the Tier II game like we used to be.
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    webmaster Michael Strahan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BIGAKSTUFF View Post
    ......Or...... we could all band together and form a super 'group' called the Alaska Outdoor Forums Gang, and jump on the band wagon until it gets shut down... Little eater moose for everyone! Yea!!!
    Please keep our name out of it. Outdoors Directory does not get involved in political causes, nor do we want our name associated with this in any way.

    On a personal note, this political / community harvest situation is a real mess.

    Mike
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    Member Vince's Avatar
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    On another kinder note... while everyone that drew a Tier I caribou tag.. or a Drawing permit for unit 13 bou. this year.. now have a much smaller quota, and are restricted to Bull only...

    the federal subsistence tags have no restrictions or quota... and weve already been informed any attempt to get the feds to change it to match.... will result in early closure of all the Draw permits...


    some times.. we have to roll with the flow..
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    Member bushrat's Avatar
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    Default Ah, gotta love wildlife management politics

    Claude et al,

    This remains a highly contentious issue. And most people likely aren't aware of how and why community subsistence harvest hunts (CSH) came about in the first place. Nor are they aware of the subsequent statutes and regs.

    I'm leery to even post on this because it remains so controversial. I was at pretty much every Board of Game meeting that this came up, following the court case after it was initially passed, and was at the final special meeting in Anchorage where the Board passed this as it now stands.

    This is so controversial because of the whole conflict between Native rural subsistence "rights" and the rights of non-Natives from other areas who also have their own customary and traditional hunting practices. Initially, the CSH was for certain Copper Basin communities and tribes. It stemmed from the customary and traditional practice whereby certain hunters from the community would essentially proxy hunt for the whole community. It allowed designated hunters to thus go out and hunt (legally) as they had done in the past for others in the community, and because of the importance of longstanding subsistence needs allowed for more opportunity than just a general season hunt.

    But it didn't allow this for other communities or areas among mostly non-Native hunters. So there was a lawsuit. And it came down that if the Board allowed this for these certain Copper Basin communities, it had to allow it for others, including non-Native hunters, as long as they were comprised of 25 or more members.


    But still, the regulations governing this "subsistence" hunt for everyone on the list have different salvage requirements than most other hunts: All the meat normally required for salvage, plus the head, heart, liver, kidneys and hide must be salvaged. All meat, including ribs, must also remain on the bone.

    No member of a CHS may apply for a any tier or draw or registration permit, or hold a general season moose harvest ticket. If unsuccessful a member may hunt moose on a state harvest permit in other areas, but only if that area allows more than one moose to be taken per person.

    Futhermore, "communal sharing" must happen in the form of at least one communal sharing event.

    There is more, and you can read the permit hunt conditions here:
    http://www.adfg.alaska.gov/static/li..._2013_2014.pdf

    I'm typing this up fast, so excuse any errors in how I remember things. Yes, there are advantages to forming a "community" of 25 or more and going this route, but there are also some clear disadvantages I think for many. Do you want to have to salvage and carry out the moose hide and head and organs? Do you want to basically be unable to hunt elsewhere if your proxy hunters aren't successful? Do you want to have to hold a communal event?

    Now here is where I may get in hot water. I was one of the few white guys at these meetings who supported the initial notion of the Copper Basin community subsistence harvest hunts. I've supported them in other areas near where I've lived so long in the bush, among other Native communities. It was just a way of legalizing what has always been.

    Now I'm non-Native and I've shared meat with other non-Natives over the years and I recognize that it isn't only Native peoples that have a certain customary and traditional practice of doing this. But honestly I wasn't too happy at BOG meetings with the whole backlash and push to allow this among any group of 25 or more individuals from elsewhere in the state ... essentially for the reasons the OP posted, over concerns where it may lead as far as harvests and how that could affect non-CSH hunters. But ... I do get the whole backlash and all, that if this is allowed for one group it should be allowed for all. And the courts agreed.

    Which leaves us where we are today.

    I initially thought that the salvage and other requirements for the CSH would tamp down participation. I am aware that a lot of what is salvaged by requirement, among some groups, ends up in dumpsters. On the whole though, it's not really a bad idea, this CSH, imo, as it was initially brought forward. If it was actually followed now according to the orginal intent.

    There is also strict requirement on reporting of harvests. This is fairly new and it will take a bit more time to assess how it is impacting overall populations and non-CHS hunters and their success rates. As noted, an emergency order came down the other day requiring the same antler restrictions of the non-CHS hunts. Not sure what can be done but imagine now that they have allowed non-Native participants from non-rural areas, there may not be the overwhelming opposition to this there was initially. This is all in statute and regs now, would be hard to nullify. Won't be another Region IV BOG meeting til 2015.

    That's my thoughts for what they're worth. Tough issue, as so many wildlife mgmt issues are.

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    Premium Member denalihunter's Avatar
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    Vince,
    Your right on some points, but the season shutting down once they hit 100 moose is incorrect. The season does stay open throughout 13, but the CH moose go to spike/fork/50"/4 brow, but they can remain hunting from Aug 10th to Sept 20th.

    I've spent too much time not paying attention, but now that I have retired but all other things but the lodge, I'm going to concentrate on doing anything and everything I can to fix stupid. I'm may not win anything, but at least I'll be heard.

    But I do appreciate any input, for or against, on this issue. I would like to get the petition done with as much information as I possibly can.

    Thanks!
    Claude
    Experience Real Alaska! www.alpinecreeklodge.com

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    Quote Originally Posted by Vince View Post
    hey Claude.. you are aware there is a harvest quota on these permits also right? once its met its closed...
    The harvest quota is just for the "any bull" part. Once that 70 moose quota is met it reverts back to the normal spike/fork 50 inch requirement but the hunt stays open until September 20th.

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    Premium Member denalihunter's Avatar
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    Great post, Mark. A good point to make here is that yes, there are ugly salvage restrictions, and all you'll be leaving behind is some intestines, but if I'm looking at it from a "how can I fill my freezer" perspective, and "how can I gain 3 more weeks of moose season", I'd take that restriction in stride and just go with it.
    From someone that lives in the middle of 13, this is very disturbing to see years of wolf control, and other things go down the drain to fill a few freezers for very few years, until the resource is decimated.
    If we want our kids to hunt in 13, we have to stop this, in my 'on the ground' opinion.
    I was going to sign up for this once I heard all the details two days ago on how it works, but then I realized this was a short term way to fill the freezers with the long term being nothing.

    Look forward to seeing more perspectives! Thanks everyone so far!
    Claude
    Experience Real Alaska! www.alpinecreeklodge.com

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    Member BIGAKSTUFF's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Strahan View Post
    Please keep our name out of it. Outdoors Directory does not get involved in political causes, nor do we want our name associated with this in any way.

    On a personal note, this political / community harvest situation is a real mess.

    Mike
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  15. #15

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    It is certainly an unfortunate situation and I can't imagine it not putting a serious dent on moose numbers up there. The only provision that I like about the Community Harvest is that it is not restricted by geography like Federal Subsistence fishing and hunting regulations. This preference stems from my own personal experience; I live 10 miles too far South to qualify for rural subsistence privileges, my good friend doesn't. As a result, he get's loosened size restriction on moose, an extra early-season hunt, and an extra late-season hunt. To get to the legal hunting area we both have to drive past the Fred Meyer. He works at the exact same job that I do and in fact makes a little more than me. It doesn't seem right that he would have any more access to the resource than I would. At least under community harvest restrictions, he wouldn't.

    The answer that I could possibly see working would be to change how the draw-hunt system is set-up for moose, both statewide and in your area. At the statewide level (for moose and all species) I would like to see you be able to apply 6 times for the same moose tag (and three for other species) to increase your odds of drawing the tag that you most want. To be beneficial to the moose population in unit 13, the could model the draw structure in place for unit 20 cow hunts where individual hunting areas are pretty small and multiple seasons for the same area exist. For example, the Community Harvest allotment for 13b this year was 26 "any" bulls. If the department considers this to be the sustainable harvest, those 26 bulls could be divided between an "early" hunt that runs August 10-August 20, a "mid" hunt that runs August 21-August 31, and a "late" hunt that runs September 1-10. You could break it down even further so that 13b was divided into 5 to 7 permit areas, and quickly there would be 15-21 new draw hunts to apply for. You would be able to focus your effort on drawing the specific small area and time that is most suited to you, harvest would be more evenly spread-out throughout the unit, and fish and game could easily cancel the late hunts if the any bull quota was met. I would also think that people would use their drawing applications harder on hunting close to home. I certainly don't need to apply for cow moose permits by Fairbanks when there is a Homer cow permit, but I like to increase my chances of drawing something. If I could, I would rather just put my name in for the local hunt 4 or 5 times and maybe apply for one or two new areas, and would bet that many hunters around the state would do the same.

    I feel your pain seeing your local area get used so hard. I hope a sensible solution to the problem exists and can be found. I struggle with the idea of location-based preference for any hunting or fishing activities anywhere on the road system, and I realize that the community hunt was designed to avoid this, but I don't feel like it is a sensible solution. Good Luck!

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    I totally agree with Claude that this community harvest moose hunting must be stopped for good. I heard a report that Boulder Creek in unit 13A was like a war zone on opening morning Aug 10. Heard one camp got four bulls opening day and the group camped next to them got 6 bulls! That is 10 moose and that doesn't even include everyone else hunting that drainage. Is that number more like 20-25 if everyone else is included? Will there be any bulls left to mate with the cows for the rut? Horrible management that we allow this to happen and come Sep 1 everyone else will be held to 4 brow 50 inch rules. How many years will it take that drainage to recover?

    I called Glenallen Fish and Game today and was told the quota for 13A community harvest was 16 moose. She informed me 41 were taken opening day and hunters have 5 days to report. How about the hunters who took a full week off and still might be in the field? This number is sure to increase more. There is no way the Troopers could fly a chopper to every possible moose camp in 13A and tell them that the quota is met and they can no longer hunt any bulls. This is just horrible moose management and it makes me sick...

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    Member rimfirematt's Avatar
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    This is just the crap that happens when everyone wants special treatment. Not just in hunting but in all facets of life.

    We are all human, it's all our land or at least the land we get to walk on for awhile, we should all be the same.

    All special circumstances do is breed scams and greed.

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    Member Vince's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kingslayer View Post
    . This is just horrible moose management and it makes me sick...
    a note here.. i am NOT picking on you personally... but the statment..

    like mark( bushrat) i was at every meeting this involved.. along with about 5 other dedicated folks... and about 100 Ahtna folks, federal subsitence users, feds that dont like us.. NPS.. and attorneys for all their sides..

    every year regulations are passed based on public input, and pressure on the board by that public.. and every year.. mark, Myself, and many others on this forum remind folks of Proposal dates.. meetings... times.. and seems like there are only about 20 or so who ever have the nads to take time off their lives.. and show up.. participate and learn..

    the rest sit on here and ***** and moan... sometimes it gets tiring even TRYING to explain why things are as they are...

    good news is.. we GOT a small portion of the quota that is open draw with out restrictions..

    youll lose that too.. if you tackle this.. cant have it all.. never will
    "If you are on a continuous search to be offended, you will always find what you are looking for; even when it isn't there."

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    Premium Member denalihunter's Avatar
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    Well, since everyone knew so much, but us that are whining, I wish I would have known about this. I didn't know much about CH or understand it until a few days ago, as I watched moose after moose being hauled out 3 weeks before what I thought was the season. Since you and Mark knew all about it, why not let us know on here? I know there was some minor notes here and there, but it wasn't much.
    I don't live in a town, or near a town. I just can't travel 65 miles via snow machine, 200 miles by vehicle to make it to each meeting, but for those of you that are going, it would be great to get information and your thoughts.
    Now that I know the details and the problem, you can bet I will be all over this. Instead of bashing us that are talking about this now, we'd appreciate good input that we can use. Early on, probably no one would have guessed that this CH would turn into over 2000 'community members' hunting unit 13. Under old tier 1 or 2... there were only 150 permits allowed. Now we have as many as there are people that are willing to apply. So the original idea that very few people would do this type of hunt is now, as of this year, wrong, and now it must be addressed before the resource is gone.
    Thanks again for the input and keep it coming!
    Claude
    Experience Real Alaska! www.alpinecreeklodge.com

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    I hope Ahtna folks get as many moose as they feel like! one great thing about moose hunting, the world don't revolve around unit 13. Way better moose hunting GMU's out there IMO.

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