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Thread: Kincaid Park ADN Article

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    Default Kincaid Park ADN Article

    Really shocked that others haven't started this debate again. Sounded like it was written/proposed for personal interest due to disability/wheelchair stipulations. Also have to question the estimated moose numbers since I see half of their numbers on a weekend basis. Very unlikely that I'm seeing 50% of what truly exists. First weekend of December I watched two 40"+ and one mid 50" bull casually feeding across the public archery range. Interesting that they didn't see any of the three during their survey......

    Don't see a real way to close the park for "X" amount of hours/days to make a hunt feasible. Personally think an archery cow hunt in December/January would be a better proposal. However, don't see it ever happening due to the amount of walkers/joggers/nature lovers within the park daily.

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    It wouldn't be that hard really to close portions of the park. As the story said, the area near Jodpher wouldn't be practical due to too many access points, but the north side of the entrance road is different. There are only a few real access points and they can be clearly signed and even physically monitored if needed. I agree about the population numbers being flawed. I have seen 10+ moose in a single bike ride out there. Strange that they didn't see a single bull despite covering most of the park with their "survey". They don't just move into the park for certain parts of the year. If the hunt happens, the more realistic number of permits would likely be 3-5, I think 10 was used as the possible max at some point if population allows.

    I fully support the idea of the hunt. I am not totally for a couple of the specifics as it was proposed, but the need to reduce the numbers out there is there for sure.

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    I didn't like the uninformed comments about archery hunting. When I ventilate a moose all the way through with an arrow, they don't "run around with arrows sticking out of them". The die rather quickly. I have taken 17 with a bow. A well placed shot with the proper equipment does the job very well. No one hears the shot, and I don't arrow them with an audience with the exception of one I took on Ft. Rich with the F&G boys from the base looking over my shoulder. That one went less than 10 yards before collapsing.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Goody View Post
    Sounded like it was written/proposed for personal interest due to disability/wheelchair stipulations.
    On the positive side, his dedication to promoting a local hunt during the busy ski season is most inspirational.

    IMO - he was pretty self important/congratulating before his accident. Not sure how a disabled hunter could be expected to be responsible for the removal of a moose carcass and guts from the park. Would they restrict the hunts to the road and salvage with a boom truck ... or allow disabled hunters the opportunity to traverse the park with motorized vehicles?

    From my adventures in Kinkaid, there seems to be quite a few moose. And quite a few people/families could benefit from some moose meat.

    Personally, I'd prefer it be a youth hunt with short range weapons. Or better yet, a disabled youth short range weapon hunt?

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    Quote Originally Posted by SmokeRoss View Post
    I didn't like the uninformed comments about archery hunting. When I ventilate a moose all the way through with an arrow, they don't "run around with arrows sticking out of them". The die rather quickly. I have taken 17 with a bow. A well placed shot with the proper equipment does the job very well. No one hears the shot, and I don't arrow them with an audience with the exception of one I took on Ft. Rich with the F&G boys from the base looking over my shoulder. That one went less than 10 yards before collapsing.
    The problem is not what happens with a good shot. It is what happens with a bad shot. And the problem is there is virtually no way to ensure that everybody only takes and makes good shots. Similar with firearms. Imagine a moose getting its lower jaw shot off then parading through town bleeding. Only takes one to make a huge public perception problem for hunting in general among the crowd that does not participate. The ill work of the few becomes the standard that is held to represent the many.

    So the problem is not whether it can be done by some people in a rational and safe manner. The problem is whether a hunt could be managed in a way that ensured that only the very best possible outcome was achieved by and for every participant without fail. Urban hunts are a special challenge. For whatever reason, a moose that is wounded by a car is viewed differently by the masses than one that is poorly shot, regardless of the equipment.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Troy Hamon View Post
    The problem is whether a hunt could be managed in a way that ensured that only the very best possible outcome was achieved by and for every participant without fail.
    Because you used the words "ensured" and "without fail", when it comes to killing an animal in the wild by the human hand I doubt that's even possible.......
    Sheep hunting...... the pain goes away, but the stupidity remains...!!!

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    4merguide...I have to agree. Perhaps somebody smarter can figure out a way to do it, but as I see it any hunt in the urban environs will be set up for failure. The news will be looking for the one event they can film showing something not going well. And it will play nationally.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Troy Hamon View Post
    The problem is not what happens with a good shot. It is what happens with a bad shot. And the problem is there is virtually no way to ensure that everybody only takes and makes good shots. Similar with firearms. Imagine a moose getting its lower jaw shot off then parading through town bleeding. Only takes one to make a huge public perception problem for hunting in general among the crowd that does not participate. The ill work of the few becomes the standard that is held to represent the many.

    So the problem is not whether it can be done by some people in a rational and safe manner. The problem is whether a hunt could be managed in a way that ensured that only the very best possible outcome was achieved by and for every participant without fail. Urban hunts are a special challenge. For whatever reason, a moose that is wounded by a car is viewed differently by the masses than one that is poorly shot, regardless of the equipment.
    I believe there are far more lousy marksmen with a firearm than archery percentage wise. The bow hunters I know practice A LOT. Plenty of rifle hunters just grab the gun out of the closet where it has been banged around for the past year, toss it in the truck, bang it around some more, grab ammo it's not sighted with, and head out. Then wonder why they miss what should be an easy shot.
    Of course, that wouldn't be the case with any of the members here.
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    Two sides to every coin - there are lots of archery hunters that don't practice a lot - plenty of them. With the newer compound bows I can have an average person who has never shot a bow before shooting pie plates in 45 minutes at 20 yards - it is not any harder than a rifle.

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    It's a weird proposition. It is a very moose dense area and they do cause some trouble during calving season. It would just seem to be better to make it a hot-spot hunt, authorized on a moose by moose basis and would be way more able to be accomplished if it was non-disabled.
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    As much as I would like to have this be an archery hunt, I understand some of the potential issues with that. I believe there used to be an archery hunt on the hillside that was shut down after complaints from moose running around with arrows in them. Although the JBER hunts seems to go off pretty well, we still don't want to create a situation in an already sensitive area that could shut it down quickly. The one part I have an issue with is the restriction to disabled hunters, and not because I have any specific issues against a restricted hunt. It is simply a matter of practicality on two different aspects.

    First, a hunt in an area like this will put a premium on it being quick. Having to close down portions of a heavily used park for the hunt may be okay for short durations, but the longer it goes, the more of a disruption it will be and the more likely that other park users will ignore the closures increasing the potential hazards. Disabled hunters will almost certainly take longer to locate and take their animal just due to their limited mobility and having to work from the main trails and not be able to track/stalk cross country.

    Second, due to their mobility limitations, it will most likely require them to be able to use ATVs or trucks to get around. Having vehicles driving around these kinds of trails will almost certainly cause noticeable damage to them. Limited travel by people taking special care can be done without too much issue usually, but you don't have control over who is driving and what care they may take. Likewise, using a vehicle to retrieve the moose would likely be okay, but having to use a vehicle for all of the hunting activity would greatly increase the amount of travel on the trails.

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    IMO this article was poorly written in the author's typical style to rile up the public, and not all the facts are correct. I was miquoted as I never got a draft ahead of time (the online version has correct quotes now), but the paper versions are out there. As this is my BOG proposal, I was interviewed to at least present my point of view.

    I started working on this over a year ago and the options were considered entirely with public safety in mind. There is no way park use and development will decrease with our ever growing population. Moose human conflicts are only going to increase. I've Coaches Junior Nordic skiing out there for close to 15 years and we teach the little kids what to do when charged by a moose. We always have because every year a group of use gets charged. Now using a Sit Ski, I am at the eye level of the little kids and know firsthand how big a moose looks when it is attacking you and how hard/impossible it is to get away. So again, this all started as a way to make the park safer and reduce conflicts.

    Our initial options were a hunt or a population cull. There was strong opposition to a cull and general support of a hunt.

    The drawing hunt options considered were a General Drawing, a disabled only hunt and a youth hunt. There was strong public opposition to allowing hunters who can easily go elsewhere to hunt (I commonly heard that we didn't want a bunch of rednecks hunting at Kincaid). there was agency opposition to a Youth only hunt, so that left us with a disabled hunt. Yes I am disabled, but that was not the impetus here.

    Weapons: Rifle, shotgun/blackpowder, or archery. It is near the airport and a large residential area, so rifles are out. Due to public opposition from the 1980s archery hunts in town, Agency comments and comments from several at the ABA at meetings this last winter, archery is out.

    The disabled thing is difficult as it needs to have some standard for the public to not see a bunch of "rednecks' wandering around, so language like what allows wheelchair bound hunters to use motorized vehicles to hunt in the Kenai Nat'l Wildlife Refuge were used. I am suggesting that an assistant be required during the hunt and that both hunters be certified and have passed the shooting test. I have shot and retrieved a moose since becoming wheelchair bound. It was more difficult than I anticipated, but it was doable.

    If you have not read the proposal it is BOG proposal #150 that will be considered in March. http://www.adfg.alaska.gov/static-f/...horage_14c.pdf

    I believe Hunt can be conducted safely by closing off portions of the park so as not to limit the whole Park and making it a midweek hunt like DM666 was initially. I was possibly the first successful hunter the first year that the Hillside hunt (DM666) occured. If you were not involved in that process, it took years to even get the hunt approved and even then there were naysayers that it could be conducted safely. It doesn't even make the paper anymore, and hasn't after that first year (2005).

    This is first and foremost about making the park safer for the recreational users and also opening up a traditional Alaskan activity (moose hunting) to those that cant hike the swamps that most of you can.

    Okay, FLAME on

    Ira

    ps. to "Wet eNuf," not sure how I was seen as self important/cogratulating before I broke my back? I advocated and practiced non motorized recreation and ran and skied everywhere. I was a successful hunter despite not owning an ATV or a Sled...

    Quote Originally Posted by Wet eNuf View Post
    On the positive side, his dedication to promoting a local hunt during the busy ski season is most inspirational.

    IMO - he was pretty self important/congratulating before his accident. Not sure how a disabled hunter could be expected to be responsible for the removal of a moose carcass and guts from the park. Would they restrict the hunts to the road and salvage with a boom truck ... or allow disabled hunters the opportunity to traverse the park with motorized vehicles?

    From my adventures in Kinkaid, there seems to be quite a few moose. And quite a few people/families could benefit from some moose meat.

    Personally, I'd prefer it be a youth hunt with short range weapons. Or better yet, a disabled youth short range weapon hunt?

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    Quote Originally Posted by anchskier View Post
    I have seen 10+ moose in a single bike ride out there. Strange that they didn't see a single bull despite covering most of the park with their "survey". They don't just move into the park for certain parts of the year
    Actually you're wrong. Have you considered maybe that's why when they did the survey they only saw 10? I do not think being an arm chair biologist will pan out for you, I suggest sticking to explaining your interpretations of regulations and know how on forums. Oh wait...

    A Kincaid moose hunt is a bad idea all the way around. It seems you can get any crazy idea approved if you include either disabled, youth or vets in the mix. If they changed it to a a disabled youth vet hunt the support will be a slam dunk no matter the science ethics public view etc.....

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    Ira, thanks for chiming in here. These people make it sound like you put this together overnight with no input from any outside sources. If it is determined by the majority that this can be done safely and without a negative impact on park users as a whole, I say yay. I don't care who gets to apply (I wouldn't apply anyway) but there is nothing wrong with a disabled hunt in my opinion. This is definitely a tricky subject, but in the feasibility stage, it is worth throwing out there.

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    Quote Originally Posted by magpie View Post
    Actually you're wrong. Have you considered maybe that's why when they did the survey they only saw 10? I do not think being an arm chair biologist will pan out for you, I suggest sticking to explaining your interpretations of regulations and know how on forums. Oh wait...

    A Kincaid moose hunt is a bad idea all the way around. It seems you can get any crazy idea approved if you include either disabled, youth or vets in the mix. If they changed it to a a disabled youth vet hunt the support will be a slam dunk no matter the science ethics public view etc.....
    Magpie, I can also attest to being able to see 10+ moose along the trails within an hour's ride in the park. But in any case, this is a public safety issue in a busy city recreational area. The hunt would just be one solution to the issue.

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    Quote Originally Posted by AKMtnRunner View Post
    Magpie, I can also attest to being able to see 10+ moose along the trails within an hour's ride in the park. But in any case, this is a public safety issue in a busy city recreational area. The hunt would just be one solution to the issue.
    I never questioned him seeing 10 moose. I've seen that many if not more at the right time of year. None of which are during hunting season. A hunt in Kincaid is not a solution as theres no problem to begin with.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ira View Post
    IMO this article was poorly written in the author's typical style to rile up the public, and not all the facts are correct. I was miquoted as I never got a draft ahead of time (the online version has correct quotes now), but the paper versions are out there. As this is my BOG proposal, I was interviewed to at least present my point of view.
    Thanks for the update, and I reread the article and have changed some of my opinions on the matter:
    http://www.adn.com/article/20141228/...runners-bikers

    According to the Article, "An aerial survey in the mid-1990s counted about 20 moose in the park in early winter. Because aerial surveys seldom find every moose, Fish and Gameís population estimate was 25-30 moose. However, moose numbers have fallen throughout the Anchorage area in the past decade or two, and itís likely Kincaid Park has fewer moose now."

    "Saalfeld figured the observers saw every moose in 70 percent of the park. Applying a correction factor for the areas that werenít observed, an estimated 14 moose were in the park, or about 10 cows and four calves."

    There has been a lot of construction activity in the park over the recent past. Increased bike trails, etc. Problem seems to be generated by man rather than from an increasing moose population.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ira View Post
    I started working on this over a year ago and the options were considered entirely with public safety in mind. There is no way park use and development will decrease with our ever growing population. Moose human conflicts are only going to increase. I've Coaches Junior Nordic skiing out there for close to 15 years and we teach the little kids what to do when charged by a moose. We always have because every year a group of use gets charged. Now using a Sit Ski, I am at the eye level of the little kids and know firsthand how big a moose looks when it is attacking you and how hard/impossible it is to get away. So again, this all started as a way to make the park safer and reduce conflicts.
    From the article: "Edwards was skiing in Kincaid Park in April 2013 when a cow moose stomped him, breaking a pole and both skis on his Nordic sit ski. The attack left him bumped and bruised."

    Quote Originally Posted by Ira View Post
    Our initial options were a hunt or a population cull. There was strong opposition to a cull and general support of a hunt.
    Who is our? Moose have been there along time. What are the population dynamics that require the hunt or population cull?
    Seems like "no hunt" should be considered. Or how about some safety areas (buffer zones/designated green belts) for the moose?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ira View Post
    The drawing hunt options considered were a General Drawing, a disabled only hunt and a youth hunt. There was strong public opposition to allowing hunters who can easily go elsewhere to hunt (I commonly heard that we didn't want a bunch of rednecks hunting at Kincaid). there was agency opposition to a Youth only hunt, so that left us with a disabled hunt. Yes I am disabled, but that was not the impetus here.
    A disabled hunt likely requires a lot of resources and coordination. Equipment, and manpower, and greater yet with the salvage of a gut pile as well. Thats quite the task if you did it by yourself with your own equipment. How many other disabled hunters are so equipped?
    Do all the moose need to be killed in order to guarantee public safety?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ira View Post
    Weapons: Rifle, shotgun/blackpowder, or archery. It is near the airport and a large residential area, so rifles are out. Due to public opposition from the 1980s archery hunts in town, Agency comments and comments from several at the ABA at meetings this last winter, archery is out.
    Hunting season is short. With the dwindling population, how does the hunt guarantee that the problem moose are removed? Doesn't a person have the right to defend themselves (example: pistol)?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ira View Post
    The disabled thing is difficult as it needs to have some standard for the public to not see a bunch of "rednecks' wandering around, so language like what allows wheelchair bound hunters to use motorized vehicles to hunt in the Kenai Nat'l Wildlife Refuge were used. I am suggesting that an assistant be required during the hunt and that both hunters be certified and have passed the shooting test. I have shot and retrieved a moose since becoming wheelchair bound. It was more difficult than I anticipated, but it was doable.
    Excellent! Care to share a write-up on the forum so other disabled hunters can be aware of these hunting opportunities or be motivated towards the hunting opportunities.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ira View Post
    If you have not read the proposal it is BOG proposal #150 that will be considered in March. http://www.adfg.alaska.gov/static-f/...horage_14c.pdf

    I believe Hunt can be conducted safely by closing off portions of the park so as not to limit the whole Park and making it a midweek hunt like DM666 was initially. I was possibly the first successful hunter the first year that the Hillside hunt (DM666) occurred. If you were not involved in that process, it took years to even get the hunt approved and even then there were naysayers that it could be conducted safely. It doesn't even make the paper anymore, and hasn't after that first year (2005).
    DM666 is not a disabled only hunt and has vehicle restrictions. Why not close off the park so that moose can be more free of the human usage? Kinkaid is a shared use park ... unless you are a moose.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ira View Post
    This is first and foremost about making the park safer for the recreational users and also opening up a traditional Alaskan activity (moose hunting) to those that cant hike the swamps that most of you can.

    Okay, FLAME on

    Ira
    IMO - you "started working on this over a year ago" and "In June 2013, a woman walking with her husband on the Mize Loop was kicked in the head, neck and back by a cow moose with a young calf. A few months later, two well-publicized skirmishes in Kincaid Park galvanized both Edwards and public opinion. A bull was shot in September by an off-duty police officer during a middle school cross-country race when the animal charged toward a pack of runners. Less than a month later, a biker let his dog off leash on Mize Loop and was charged by a cow protecting two calves. He shot at the moose multiple times with a 9mm handgun, hitting it three times. Police later dispatched the wounded animal."

    1) Like for government gun control, these incidents are your Sandy Hook.
    2) "Now using a Sit Ski, I am at the eye level of the little kids and know firsthand how big a moose looks when it is attacking you and how hard/impossible it is to get away." is your case for self defense.
    3) The disabled thing is difficult as it needs to have some standard for the public to not see a bunch of "rednecks' wandering around, so language like what allows wheelchair bound hunters to use motorized vehicles to hunt in the Kenai Nat'l Wildlife Refuge were used. Thanks for the definitions and ready adoption of a double standard in the Kinkaid scenerio.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ira View Post
    ps. to "Wet eNuf," not sure how I was seen as self important/cogratulating before I broke my back? I advocated and practiced non motorized recreation and ran and skied everywhere. I was a successful hunter despite not owning an ATV or a Sled...
    Except, now you are proposing motorized recreation for disabled moose harvest. Why not a registration problem moose hunt like they do in the valley? Or limit the destruction of problem moose on an as needed basis?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ira View Post
    IMO this article was poorly written in the author's typical style to rile up the public, and not all the facts are correct. I was miquoted as I never got a draft ahead of time (the online version has correct quotes now), but the paper versions are out there. As this is my BOG proposal, I was interviewed to at least present my point of view.

    I started working on this over a year ago and the options were considered entirely with public safety in mind.

    There is no way park use and development will decrease with our ever growing population. Moose human conflicts are only going to increase.

    I've Coaches Junior Nordic skiing out there for close to 15 years and we teach the little kids what to do when charged by a moose. We always have because every year a group of use gets charged. Now using a Sit Ski, I am at the eye level of the little kids and know firsthand how big a moose looks when it is attacking you and how hard/impossible it is to get away. So again, this all started as a way to make the park safer and reduce conflicts.

    Our initial options were a hunt or a population cull. There was strong opposition to a cull and general support of a hunt.

    I believe Hunt can be conducted safely by closing off portions of the park so as not to limit the whole Park and making it a midweek hunt like DM666 was initially.

    This is first and foremost about making the park safer for the recreational users and also opening up a traditional Alaskan activity (moose hunting) to those that cant hike the swamps that most of you can.

    Okay, FLAME on

    Ira
    I have no interest in flaming you. I am sympathetic to your concerns about safety in Kincaid Park. No one wants to see anyone injured. But, in my experience the issues you are concerned about are not unique to Kincaid Park and don't seem likely to be resolved by your proposal.

    No one wants to see anyone injured. Most of us would intervene in any way we could to prevent others - especially a child - from being injured by a moose, a person, an automobile, or anything else. We protect our own and ourselves when we perceive a threat.

    Unsurprisingly, so do moose. And other animals. When threatened we all seem to respond defensively.

    Like you I've been charged by moose who felt defensive. I've been charged skiing on the Chester Creek Trail when my wife, my dog, and I unknowingly came between a cow and a calf on opposite sides of the trail. I was charged by a bull in Valley of the Moon Park one December when my dog and I got closer than the bull felt comfortable - though we were just walking on the trail and probably 40 yards away over open ground, not moving in his direction and plainly visible during our "approach." No idea why he felt threatened but apparently he did. Or maybe he was just feeling irritable.

    My ski outings and walks on the trail system have often been delayed or stopped because of moose, with and without calves, that simply didn't want to move further off the trail. In many of these circumstances I wasn't willing to risk my wife, my dogs, friends, or myself by getting closer. I've either waited them out or changed direction. Sometimes even when others have elected to accept more risk by whizzing by on a bike within 10 feet of the moose.

    I've been charged in my back yard when a cow, bedded down out of sight, became frightened when I let my dogs out one January for their morning relief. She was bedded down in the rear part of the yard behind a snow berm in the garden and invisible to me but quickly discernible by the dogs. They explored the intruder they scented and barked. She came pounding after them as they ran back to me through the snow. She looked plenty big as she ran toward me standing on my ground-level deck so I can only imagine how big a moose looks from a Sit Ski and how defenseless that would feel. I've had many moose in my back yard, my front yard, and multiple surprise encounters such as stepping out my front door in the dark to get the paper and nearly walking into a moose browsing right in front of me - within 5 feet of the door.

    My response to the risks presented by the moose has been to control everything I can on the human side of the equation because the moose aren't going anywhere - at least in my lifetime. I've trained my dogs to be absolutely in control of my voice commands, to neither bark nor pursue moose but to stand quietly at heel when we encounter one. I've removed some landscaping from my front yard that was enticing to moose. I've erected a 7' high fence around my back yard to protect my dogs, my wife, myself and my landscaping investment from unhappy moose encounters. I've minimized but not eliminated all risk. I wouldn't eliminate all risk even if I could.

    It appears you have also tried to affect some aspects of the human side of the moose/human encounters at Kincaid by educating the kids you coach. That's great and absolutely essential! Obviously, your experience has convinced you that the risk of unfortunate moose/human encounters with bad outcomes for humans remains too great in Kincaid and there is nothing else you can or should do to change the human side of the equation. You've concluded that reducing moose in the park is the best solution for reducing risk to acceptable levels.

    I'm not sure what you consider to be acceptable levels of risk. I have to believe that having any moose in Kincaid will present some level of risk given the dense trail system and the increasing levels of intensive use of the trail system at all times of the year. There's very little area for moose to be in the park that is far away from a trail heavily used by humans. But amazingly they rarely seem to present a real threat to humans.

    With your background (at least as described in Sinnot's article), you probably understand better than most people that nothing in life is risk-free. Unless we want to eliminate all moose from Kincaid Park and erect a permanent fence to keep them out, no human activity in the park will be free of the risk of a surprise encounter with a moose and injury that might result from a defensive action by the moose. Even if we fenced the moose out of Kincaid Park they will still present a risk throughout the rest of the city's trails, streets, and yards.

    So, it seems to me the issue comes down to these questions:
    1. What level of risk are we willing to accept in Kincaid Park (and elsewhere) regarding moose?
    2. How do we define risk and measure it so we know when we've reached the acceptable level?
    3. What are the tradeoffs for achieving that level of risk and are we willing to accept them?

    Your proposal is intended to reduce the Kincaid Park moose population by up to 10 animals per year and reduce risk of human injury from a moose encounter. The nature of the existing risk is not defined nor is the proposed reduction in risk expected from the "hunt."

    The moose to be killed are habituated to human presence and live in a habitat that wouldn't seem to allow them to be much more than 50-75 yards away from actively used trails or other human activity at any time. It seems virtually certain that the 10 animal limit would be reached.

    If the recent Fish & Game moose census survey data quoted by Sinnot is accurate the 10 antlerless moose to be killed would appear to be essentially all the adult cow moose in the park (assuming that the "hunters" could distinguish perfectly between adults and calves.) Killing all the adult cows would certainly reduce the risk of an unhappy encounter, at least for awhile until other moose moved into the park, which they would certainly do unless the park were fenced to prevent that. How long that would take is anyone's guess. Moose could move in pretty quickly from adjacent areas attracted by better winter browse in the virtually moose-free park.

    If the population of moose in the park is on the high side of the historic estimate then there would still be 15-20 moose in the park after the 10 moose "harvest", meaning the "hunt" would have reduced the likelihood of a chance encounter by about 1/3. The risk wouldn't be zero and given the increasingly intensive use of the park by humans there would still be some risk of an encounter resulting in injury. My own experience indicates that just eliminating cows does not eliminate risk because the bulls I've encountered can be pretty defensive and even aggressive without obvious provocation.

    So, the question not yet answered in your proposal or forum comment is: What level of risk reduction are you attempting achieve and how do you define and measure it?

    Do you know how many moose-inflicted injuries have occurred historically in the park per year? How many occurred last year, this year? Do the numbers show a clear increase in problem encounters?

    Are you expecting to reduce injury incidents from 3 to 1 per year? From 5 to 2? From 15 to none? Is one human/moose encounter resulting in injury in Kincaid Park per year acceptable? Two, three, four? Or, is the goal to eliminate entirely the risk of human injury by moose within the park?

    How did you decide that a "hunt" was the best way of achieving your goal? Beyond educating kids about moose did you consider any changes to the human side of the equation? It appears that you simply assume more and more people and more intensive use of the park and no changes in human behavior or changes to the park environment to reduce risk. With assumptions that nothing changes except the number of moose you are apparently led to an annual moose reduction as the solution. If you are really interested in eliminating the chance of a human injury caused by a moose wouldn't it be more effective to simply remove all the moose and fence the park to prevent any moose from re-entering the park?

    Until I understand more about what you expect to achieve, how you will measure it, and why a "hunt" is the best way I am inclined to oppose your proposal. I don't see this as a "hunt" but rather simply removal of a certain number of moose to achieve an undefined reduction in risk. If we want to reduce risk (and we can define the risk level we have vs. what we want to achieve) then I'd prefer to simply have professionals cull the moose, give the meat to charity and not try to portray this as a "hunt."

    Hunting, in my opinion, does not involve shooting habituated animals in an urban environment. It's just killing for a specific purpose and trying to make it publicly palatable by calling it a "hunt" for a specific disadvantaged population is just a fiction and introduces the potential for a variety of incidents that might give the public a distasteful view of "hunting."

    If we want to remove moose just close the park, send in a few Fish & Game staff (or contracted professionals), shoot the moose and get them out quickly and cleanly with minimal muss and fuss. If we want to eliminate risk then fence the park. That would still leave some risk on the trails and neighborhoods but for me the risk is worth the opportunity to see moose. I seldom use Kincaid anyway because there are too many people there.

    According to species information on Fish & Game's web site there are 175,000 to 200,000 moose in Alaska. Before the Pipeline era there were fewer people in the state than moose. Now there are about four times as many people as moose. The most recent Moose Management Report from ADF&G covering surveys through 2009 indicate there are 1500-1800 moose in the Anchorage bowl. There are about 300,000 people in the same area. That's about 166-200 people for every moose. Both you and Fish & Game see an inevitable increase in the human population and an inevitable decrease in the moose (and other wildlife) population. The Moose Management Report (p. 195) says:

    "Winter habitat will inevitably decrease over time in the Anchorage area, as will the number of moose that overwinter in the Anchorage Bowl."

    So we will eventually reduce our risks by simply overpopulating and destroying habitat that support moose and other wildlife. If it makes folks feel safer I guess we might as well kill them all now and fence the park. Maybe we'll eventually make Kincaid like Central Park in New York where the biggest risk is from other people. I guess for some that would be better. I'd personally rather take my chances with moose and enjoy seeing them and believing I live at least close to Alaska - at least until either I'm dead or Alaska no longer exists as the place I want to live.

    I don't understand your view about Rick Sinnot's article. To me the article seemed dispassionate and did not seem to take a position one way or the other. It appeared to simply present the issue and some relevant data, and provide some perspective - primarily yours. He gave some facts about estimates of the moose population in the park and how those estimates were derived by Fish & Game as well as some information about human/moose encounters that were threatening or injurious. Informative but not incendiary. Which facts did he present incorrectly? What about the article was intended to "rile up the public"?

  19. #19
    Supporting Member bullbuster's Avatar
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    If you want to live and play where there are no wildlife conflicts, move to Portland.

    There are other options besides killing the moose of Anchorage. Make it a requirement that all events are preceded by some training. Provide escorts and pre-event trail clearing. Ask for armed volunteers to be available for immediate action. Fly low level drones with IFR sensors. Spray wolf pee along the trails.

    It took all of one minute to think of those. The Glenn Hwy is riskier to a greater number of people due to moose conflicts. Should we kill all the moose between here and Palmer in the interest of public safety? No, we choose other mitigation methods. }:>
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  20. #20

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    Quote Originally Posted by bullbuster View Post
    If you want to live and play where there are no wildlife conflicts, move to Portland.

    There are other options besides killing the moose of Anchorage. Make it a requirement that all events are preceded by some training. Provide escorts and pre-event trail clearing. Ask for armed volunteers to be available for immediate action. Fly low level drones with IFR sensors. Spray wolf pee along the trails.

    It took all of one minute to think of those. The Glenn Hwy is riskier to a greater number of people due to moose conflicts. Should we kill all the moose between here and Palmer in the interest of public safety? No, we choose other mitigation methods. }:>
    First off, nobody is looking to kill off all the moose. Let's get that out there right away. Too many people jump to the extreme on one side or the other. Second, just because you see issues with other areas has no basis on whether or not this action could be used to help this area. Do we stop all road safety improvement projects because there may be some other section of road that is also dangerous? No, we address those we can with reasonable solutions when the opportunity arises.

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