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Thread: Clearwater Creek Controlled Use Area confusion

  1. #1
    Member Boreal's Avatar
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    Default Clearwater Creek Controlled Use Area confusion

    I just got back from a great, whirlwind weekend hunt on the Denali Highway in the Clearwater Creek Controlled Use Area. We went up the Windy Creek road and had a great hunt on bikes. Also ran into some confusion about the regulations. I want to state from the beginning that everyone involved was very courteous, friendly, and the whole interaction was positive. So not trying to complain about any individuals, but rather, ambiguity in the regulations.

    The SoA 2019-2020 Hunting regulations state in the description of the Clearwater Creek Controlled Use area that the area is "closed to the use of any motorized vehicle for hunting, including the transportation of hunters, their hunting gear, or parts of game, except for brown/grizzly bears, wolves, and small game from Mar 15 through June 30". I've been hunting this area for several years, using a bike for access. This trip, we ran into a group of people hunting moose from a large tracked vehicle about 4 miles in from the parking lot. While we were processing our caribou I met the vehicle on the road and asked to make sure they understood that the area is closed to motorized access hunting. The hunters on the rig had the regulations with them, and thought they were following the regulations: they interpreted the regulations to mean that the area is "closed to the use of any motorized vehicle for hunting... from Mar 15 through June 30." Those of us who hunt the area know that it's closed to motorized access, and I can legitimately see how someone could interpret the regulations (and the sign at the Windy Creek parking lot) to mean that the area is only closed to motorized access from March 15 - June 30. It's not clear in the description of the regulations. When I explained that the regulations allow for hunting of brown/grizzly bears, wolves, and small game with motorized access from Mar 15 - June 30, the hunters on the rig realized their error, and seemed legitimately horrified that they were in violation. They quickly unloaded their weapons, turned the rig around, and started the slow trip back out.

    I 100% believe that this was an honest mistake made by ethical hunters, and one that could be avoided by making the language in the regs and on the sign less ambiguous. I also appreciate that the hunters on the rig were courteous and open to discussion, it made what could have been a tense situation into a positive experience.

  2. #2

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    Sounds like a positive interaction. Good job discussing the situation with the other hunters and kudos to them for responding the way they did. It's easy to get confused sometimes.

    If you haven't already, you should consider contacting ADF&G to explain the confusion and see if they will consider clarifying the explanation in the regs in the future.

  3. #3
    Member 4merguide's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Boreal View Post
    I 100% believe that this was an honest mistake made by ethical hunters, and one that could be avoided by making the language in the regs and on the sign less ambiguous.
    Although this one seems pretty straight forward to me....ie, "closed EXCEPT for....", it is indeed a shame that regulations can't be plain, simple, and black and white. Yet so much of them seem to be quite gray in which a person really can interpret the wording differently than intended. Like the ol' hook "in" the mouth scenario. They know how much confusion it's brought, yet they still refuse to address it. Why? All it does is make things much harder than it should be.
    Sheep hunting...... the pain goes away, but the stupidity remains...!!!

  4. #4
    Member Frostbitten's Avatar
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    The regs are plenty clear in respects to the CCUA,

  5. #5
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    Adfg seems to have i proved there signs in ccua this year clearly stating closed to motorized hunting..,
    “I come home with an honestly earned feeling that something good has taken place. It makes no difference whether I got anything, it has to do with how the day was spent. “ Fred Bear

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