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Thread: WACH calving/herd estimates

  1. #1
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    Default WACH calving/herd estimates

    I sat down with Jim Dau, AF&G caribou Biologist for unit 23 yesterday. He has just returned from doing hid aerial surveys of the caribou calving grounds up around Cape Lisborn on the North Slope. Jim get his herd size estimates form these surveys by flying over the calving grounds and taking a lot of photographs and crunches the numbers into a total estimate.

    Here is his 5 minute summery of the WACH. The temps were ideal for food plot growth and that should translate into plenty of food for the animals to fatten up on. Same thing applies on our side of the Brooks Range so there should be good veg/food for the winter. Numbers look about the same as last year so the herd is still growing but the down side is the insect impact will be great this year as warmer temps on the North Slope have been ideal for bighting bug. This will provide a lot of stress on the herd and will cause them to keep on the move and could mean a stressed animal that does not put on weight as well. There was very little snow pack for the bou to seek out for bug relief also.

    Well I donít know what this means but my thought is the number of animals will be similar to last year but with not as many fat animals to choose from.


    Walt
    Northwest Alaska Back Country Rentals
    Your best bet in rafts, canoes and camp rentals in all of NW Alaska
    www.northwestalaska.com

  2. #2
    Member lawdog's Avatar
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    Angry Question...

    Why did he recommend reducing the bag limit for nonresidents to one instead of two before he did the heard evaluation? Isn't biology supposed to be part of the decision or is it just plain politics at this point? Do you know any of these answers? Seems to me if the heard is still growing there would be no reason to change the bag limit. Maybe there will be an emergency order again this year like there was last year.

  3. #3
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    Default Lawdog

    Lawdog

    You need to give Jim a call to get those answers. My primary concern is where are we at on this bell curve with the herd. At some point the bell will begin to close and the herd will take the normal downward spiral. I know the numbers will come down and it will happen quickly due to something like a hard winter or??

    I respect Jim and his recommendations. I have known him and his family for many years but I have the advantage of not being affected by the reduction in bag limits.


    Walt
    Northwest Alaska Back Country Rentals
    Your best bet in rafts, canoes and camp rentals in all of NW Alaska
    www.northwestalaska.com

  4. #4
    Member lawdog's Avatar
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    Default I've already called him..

    He's made it clear that if he could he would find a way to keep even non local residents out of there as well. So as of right now the only thing protecting the hunters from outside of 23 from suffering bag-limit reductions is that peskey constitution. I have to figure he's trying to find a way around that as well.

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