I saw that story on the news last night. I think it is probably something that has been a long time coming.
BS, no studies in 40 years, no scientific evidevidence, poor harvests due to odd winters.....knee jerk reaction, not science.
Only one I would support is registration. Lets getsome data then make an educated decision.
Personally, we had our best year out there, spring 2014 was great. I think it had plenty to do with odd weather, knowing where to look from years of experience, and many hunters just didn't try to hard or at all with all the negative reports coming back from the field.
I fully support conservation, but not knee jerk reaction with more restrictions. The more years we put in out there, the more sucfessful we have become on getting shot oppurtunities whether we shoot or not. We typically take one bear a year but have become more selective over the years.
I don't know bk, harvest data can't be ignored. I personally feel that the one bear every three years is unacceptable for residents because that makes the situation more favorable to non res hunters. I think registration hunt would be OK until they can come up with some better data or studies.
Isn't the BOG debating some of these today? Any word?
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Again, I would fully support some registration hunting permits and data gathered from scientists using tracking collars or what not.
I would definetly support reduction of non-res oppurtunities over reducing quota for residents first.
It is being discussed today in town, according the article.
I would much rather be proactive to keep what we have unlike the reactive sitution with the king runs, which might be too late....I don't know?!
I attended the presentation by her in Valdez. Yes the harvest is down no doubt. BUT no one knows how many bears are out there to begin with. Even she says that F&G have no idea and no way to count them. I have not seen a sow with cubs on any of my bait stations since 06. Nothing. Last year was the lowest amount of bear sightings I have ever had.
Even so, last year green up happened almost a month ahead of time around Valdez. Hunters may have missed the prime time to be out there prior to the brush turning green and visibility decreasing. The year before we had a lot of snow on the ground and then heavy rains causing many avalanches to occur where they have never in the past. Could of killed a lot of bears off and or cubs in the dens.
I think we may see an EO closing the Western part of the sound, where harvest numbers have been the highest. The best method for F&G to turn this around and gain control by turning it into a registration hunt. That would allow F&G to close certain parts of the sound where harvest goals have been reached. Regardless...... data shows a decline and F&G is going to respond in a way no one wants.
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Anecdotal evidence. The last 3 years were all busts, but basically due to timing I think. Either way too early with snow almost down to the beach, or way late where we saw most bears up high.
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The commercial guys are taking a toll, I spoke with a sealer and he said that NR are bringing in a lot of sows, shooting the first bear they see. Going 1 in 3 will have no effect on the guides working the sound as most only hunt once. They need to shut it down or shorten the season. When the SE went to NR draw, many of those hunters have now stated hunting PWS.
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I've been bear hunting, shrimping, and fishing in the Sound for over 25 years. I know there are lots of guys out there with a ton more time than I have, but I have seen some signals that can't be ignored. A typical hunt (regardless of the winter) would mean approximately 40 bears sighted in 5 days - on the beach, not over bait. At the same time, maybe one or two boats would be sighted over 5 days. Now, boats are everywhere, you can't anchor in a bay and stalk a bear without 3 different boats trying to shoot your bear from the water. Also, the average size is much smaller. We used to see several 7' plus bears (I've taken them over 8'), now if you even see a six footer in a seven day hunt, you are doing good. The number of bears spotted dropped from 40 to single digits over 5 days. Let's stop the madness. Accessibility always leads to the tragedy of the commons when it comes to hunting and fishing.
One bear every three years will spill effort to other areas where moose are getting hammered by bears. You'll still be able to take your annual bear (or three), and help a moose along the way - unit 15A, anyone?
Drawing for NR... they are our bears, a PWS spring bear should be a hard earned trophy.
Shorten the fall season, but chop more time off the front end when there are still salmon in the streams.
Shorten the spring season on the back end when they are coming into rut.
No hunting over bait. Spot and stalk only.
Registration hunt for residents with blood and tooth samples for the bios to work with.
Savvy residents will still be able to get a household bear and all their shrimp and halibut for the year. Maybe its time you actually let your wife or child pull the trigger, or your mom or dad. Bear is great eating, but a family of three will still be able to get a bear EVERY YEAR in the sound, and really, one bear per household should be plenty after dip netting, moose hunting, deer hunting, etc.,....
Truth be known, black bear is probably one of the cheapest big game hunts in AK for NR..especially for DIY hunters. Many people bring relatives up every year to hunt black bears (state wide). The accessibility of PWS and relative ease of 'beach hunting' make for an attractive hunt.
If fish and game treated black bear hunting in PWS like they do goat hunting in some registration areas - where nannies count as 2 billies - they might be able to at least discourage the taking of sows. Yes, it is hard to tell the difference between a sow and a boar (as it can be with nannies and billies). Especially between young animals... How about cutting residents off for three years if they harvest a sow? Obviously to do something like this would require draw only for NR, because then you would have NR coming up and not necessarily caring if they shot a sow (with no cubs) or boar.
I am just throwing ideas out there...
I also believe baiting should remain legal - I would guess those who take the time to bait are looking for mature boars and will look over and pass up bears that a spot and stalk hunter might not.
oh - as an edit - require all meat to be salvaged for the entirety of the spring hunt.
I don't think that the amount of bears harvested has much to do with the population. The bears are getting a first rate education from the increasing number of boats cruising the shoreline: hear a boat, linger around the beach too long, get shot at.
There is such a vast amount of very thick forests adjacent to the shoreline, the bears can be out of sight in a few steps. The places and inland valleys for the bears to hunker down out of sight, would make it virtually impossible to get a good population count. Maybe this year we should all hunt harder, kill more bears, and get the harvest number up; that must mean that the population is up.
I know 2 people who bait, its expensive and a ton of work and something I don't do due for those 2 reasons. Kudos to those that do as it is a neat experince and a great way to hunt for kids and 1st timers. I don't think it concentrates bears in a valley. Salmon on a creek draw's them in but that's a huge food supply that lasts for weeks or months. Bear baiters I know haul bags of dog food, not that much really and onlh for a short time frame in the spring. Mainly they use scents, sprays, etc.... and something like popcorn to keep them occupied while the bears checks things out. Logistically, baiting for the rec. guy in pws is tough. Don't know what the guides do, maybe they haul tons of food to attract bears for long distances and keep the valley fed.....have no experience with guides. The hunt shows I watch from pws are all spot n stalk though?!
There is plenty of feed off the beach in the spring. The slides, under forest canopy, creek beds, wind blown ridges all green up early, just like the tidal areas. Some bears go the beach, possibly younger, smaller, uneducated bears. Others avoid the beach and human interaction there which is typically a larger, older, and wiser bear that I prefer to chase.
My 2 cents....
What is the name of that swampy flower looking plant that seems to pop up even before the grass on the beaches? Ive seen them snipped of plenty, unless it was blacktail eating them??
Just to be clear, I'm not opposed to bear baiting. However, if there is a conservation concern in pws, then limiting hunts to spot and stalk will reduce harvest. I believe guides can have up to ten bait stations as it currently stands. And I agree that bears do get smart when hunted, I've watched them hide behind a log as a hunter passed by within ten yards. I still believe bears in PWS may be getting harvested at an unsustainable rate. Just my two cents after many years of spending up to seven months a year in the sound. I'm not a weekend warrior. I live out there. There are definitely less bears in the western sound.
Definetely no disrespect when I posted, hope you don't see it that way. Just an open discussion on the bears we enjoy hunting.
Appreciate your opinion.
While we don't live out there, we do spend about 2 months on the water in pws exploring all it has to offer, love that place!
Looking forward to getting out there soon, especially with these crazy temps these past few weeks.
Even if they restrict it more, or stop the hunting alltogether. I like it out there enough that I won't stop going. I can always just shoot rocks, stumps and squirrels, lol.
It is possible that there are less bears, and if that is the case; I would think restricting baiting would be an option. I'm not against baitstations, it's just that it makes it easier to harvest them, that's why people do it. When a bear is harvested, do they ask if it was shot over bait? Maybe they should restrict shooting within 100 yards of high tide mark and also bait stations. That might do something to the "population decline" but I've been known to be wrong before!