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Thread: Dieing Breed

  1. #1

    Default Dieing Breed

    The news is out. We're a dieing breed. Hunters are on their way out in Alaska. Check the survey data out at federalasst.fws/surveys/surveys.html

    As Graig Medred said "no surprise" the state subsistence law and the anti-game management crowd have been real successful at reducing hunting opportunity here in Alaska. If you haven't been hunting, or say you have been eating, Nelchina caribou for 40 years you don't have a chance of getting a priority Tier II permit. GMU 20A on the north slopes of the Alaska Range is the only nonsubsistence priority area close to the road system where predator control in the past has allowed for a decent numbers of moose to be harvested. That area couldn't be anymore crowded then it already is.

    So if you're an Alaskan resident who doesn't live in a federal qualified subsistence priority area or if you haven't lived in Alaska for 40 years your out of luck when it comes to getting special hunting rights. Along Alaska's road system you're limited to what you can hunt. But is you're rich enough you can fly or boat out to rural Alaska and still have better success rates then along the road connected parts of southcentral Alaska where 80% of Alaska's population lives.

    Bottomline for Alaska's hunters is either jump up and fight back or take up golf and give up hunting. 10% of the nations hunters in 1996 have already chosen to give up hunting by 2006 according to the new survey. Good luck to you this fall, meat prices are reaching all time highs worldwide.

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    Default Seems as though this opinion...

    belongs in the General discussion board...

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    Default

    I appreciate Rod's post. He's talking about hunting, and this thread is where hunters go to talk to each other. He makes a good point about diminishing hunting opportunity for the average Alaskan. Our Mat-Su Fish and Game Advisory Committee has proposed making the Tier II area in Unit 13 a non-subsistence area so we could all hunt there...this would be the first time in years we hunters could add some areas to hunt. We should all show up at the Game Board meeting in Anchorage next month and tell them to go forward with it.

  4. #4

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Rod Arno View Post
    The news is out. We're a dieing breed. Hunters are on their way out in Alaska. Check the survey data out at federalasst.fws/surveys/surveys.html

    If you haven't been hunting, or say you have been eating, Nelchina caribou for 40 years you don't have a chance of getting a priority Tier II permit.
    So please tell me; How did my 25 year old nephew receive a tier 2 Caribou permit for Unit 13? He filled it this week as well. I believe most of the hunters that have given it up, are the kind of people that give up on a lot of things. Just a flash in the pan for them and nothing more. To be honest with you, I am OK with the fact that there are fewer hunters. We don't need "more" hunters, we need "better" hunters. Access is poor, I will grant you that. You have to spend a lot of time, energy, effort and money to access this state for any purpose, including hunting. More trails and roads would help.

  5. #5

    Thumbs down Our Actions in the Field Count Too

    I am a backpack hunter and long term Alaskan. I shot my first moose at the age of 11 years over 27 years ago and have lived in many different parts of the state.
    I was trying to share that experience with my son who is 14 years old. We don't have the time or money to go on air charters or buy a $70,000 jet boat.
    We were hunting along the Richardson highway near the Tiekel River and snuck up on 6 cows and a mulligan fork horn bull that was with them two mornings ago. We got to fifty yards and I had him set in a prone position perfect for a shot. The Little bull was just getting out of the pond and he was set.....
    Then someone in a near new Toyota Fourwheeler slammed their brakes, jumped out, slammed their car door and started making a racket. Sounded just like somebody on crack. This happened in a matter of seconds.
    Well, the moose shot out of there and he lost his shot at what I believe is a rite of passage.
    It is my view that maybe they didn't see us or were friends of the animals but the next morning I saw the same car on a nearby pond about 1/4 mile away. I should of given them hell but I figured that with their attitude it would not have mattered.
    We weren't the only hunting party that was messed with on this deal. Another hunter from Valdez was set on a big bull on the backside of the pond and had his hunt bungled as well.

    The locals from Chitina just hunt around Chitina or some go all the way down the Yukon to Innoko River near Ruby. Others go to hunting camp near Kotsina in the park. Some have 4wheelers and some use wheelbarrels and tramp in 27 miles by foot and then have neighbors help them haul out meat.

    I have not seen such blatant poor sportsmanship or rude manners in this state. I bet that while many hunters are losing opportunities to hunt because of numbers of hunters using the same resources (bumping elbows) others are getting turned off by bad behaviors.

    I feel a great deal of regret. He has worked hard all year to get proficient with his rifle and the experience was negative. I explained to him that I was proud of his restraint and his poise in the situation. He could have bungled the incident in a great way but instead he came out a champ.

    Sincerely,
    Thomas

  6. #6

    Default Sharing Nelchina caribou

    Well answering Akers question is easy. Thanks to changes in the Tier II scoring system last spring by the BOG a number of hunters who have been entitled to receive a Nelchina caribou permit every year didn't even appeal. Akers didn't make the first cut for receiving a Nelchina caribou permit, it was only after State Courts intervened and changed the scoring back to a longevity priority for some Alaskan hunters that Akers received his Tier II permit again.

    The attitude of excluding new hunters so that those who have been hunting Nelchina caribou for years won't have to share GMU 13 with new hunters is just what the Mat. Valley Fish & Game Advisory Committee is trying to change. They have submitted a proposal to the Joint Boards of Fisheries and Game to make GMU 13 a nonsubsistence area, which would do away with the longevity priority for the same hunters year after year. A rotation system of permitting Nelchina caribou hunts among Alaskans seem like the fair thing to do for all hunters. Sharing is a core value of the hunting community, traditionally.

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    Default Missing the Point

    AKres...glad to hear your kin got a 'bou. Where will he go to shoot after the Anti's shut us down? We're in a downward spiral, Sir. Fewer hunters have less clout, and with less clout we're easier to ignore. Look at how things have changed from statehood to now as far as hunting opportunity, acceptance of hunting by the general public (both here and lower 48), number of people who participate in a wild food harvest, percentage of the state budget dedicated to game management. We're losing ground.

    The best thing that could happen is more hunting opportunities between Fairbanks and Homer. More people will be motivated to hunt because they'll have a reasonable chance of harvesting something. While I respectfully disagree that we don't need more hunters, I do agree that we need better hunters, but they don't just appear. People have to have the opportunity to go out and harvest something before they'll spend the money on licenses, tags, gear, etc. and then go out and learn how to harvest an animal. And we haven't even mentioned about how screwed up the Tier II system is. Fixing that situation alone is a good reason to support the Anch to Fairbanks non-subsistence area proposed by the Mat-Su AC.

    I know it's frustrating when someone shows up in your favorite spot, and it's tempting to say "there's too many people hunting" but look at the big picture. People like PETA are looking forward to us hunters being such an insignificant minority that they can shut us down. We can't let 'em do it.

  8. #8

    Default

    Since when can alaskans be defeated? Or atleast not go down without a good fight.........

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    Decline in hunters? HMMM makes me think. I heard that.

    Then I read the regs and understood why. The fish and game board makes it very difficult to hunt now days. I honestly think they want to make it hard on the hunter. Sad to say but thats what I beleive.

    I have no problem following rules at all.

    But say unit 13 moose for instance. I would rather see them just make the whole thing permit rather than spike fork or 50" 4 browtines. An area that I hunt locally with my 7 and 9 year old is loaded with moose. We see 20 plus cows a day and 7 to 9 bulls a day. All paddle heads in the 35 to 45" range and mostly 2 brow tines but a few 3's. It's ok with me but it does make it tough for a youngster to get a moose. So that being said what kind of encouragement is there for a youngster to hunt?

    I do a remote hunt as well and next year the boys will go with me to a unit that is a little easier to be succesful. It's any bull. But those are fading fast as well.

    What I would really like is for them to say if you want a bull in Unit 13 then go kill a wolf of bear first and we will give you a moose tag. That would give you some incentive to help with our predator control program.


    Just my opinion

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    Default One Has to Wonder...

    Why is it that Rod Arno so vehemenently speaks out against subsistence, yet you never hear a peep out of him when a big game guide or fishing guide is busted for game violations...Seeing that, who knows how many Big Game Guides support his organization the Alaska Outdoors Council, loosing hunting privleges, to subsistence would cost Big Game Hunting Guides untold millions in profit a year...lets hope that the AOC doesn't get caught up in the lobbying scheme his fellow valley republicans got caught in...

  11. #11

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Rod Arno View Post
    Well answering Akers question is easy. Thanks to changes in the Tier II scoring system last spring by the BOG a number of hunters who have been entitled to receive a Nelchina caribou permit every year didn't even appeal. Akers didn't make the first cut for receiving a Nelchina caribou permit, it was only after State Courts intervened and changed the scoring back to a longevity priority for some Alaskan hunters that Akers received his Tier II permit again.

    The attitude of excluding new hunters so that those who have been hunting Nelchina caribou for years won't have to share GMU 13 with new hunters is just what the Mat. Valley Fish & Game Advisory Committee is trying to change. They have submitted a proposal to the Joint Boards of Fisheries and Game to make GMU 13 a nonsubsistence area, which would do away with the longevity priority for the same hunters year after year. A rotation system of permitting Nelchina caribou hunts among Alaskans seem like the fair thing to do for all hunters. Sharing is a core value of the hunting community, traditionally.
    WOW That was a quantum leap of jumping to conclusions and determining your own set of "facts", to substantiate your position. But the fact of the matter is, you are WRONG on all counts, just as you are wrong on many perceptions of what is Best for us Alaskans. I did not address myself in my earlier post, and yet your response was all about me. Where did you come up with that?
    Myself and many family members, including my 25 year old Nephew, recieved the Tier II permits, in both rounds of selection. So, I suggest you do a better job in gathering as much factual data as possible, before you attempt to go before the BOG, with such a frivalous proposal as the one you state. Otherwise, is might sound to them as you are just blowing smoke, like in the quoted post here. Just a bit of sage advice from one that has been there many times. What may seem to you to be the "fair thing", is likely to be judged unfair by others. What you don't seem to understand is that the Laws of Alaska don't have to treat your "fairly", they have to treat you EQUALLY. Big difference here, and to lose sight of this is not prudent.

  12. #12
    Member bushrat's Avatar
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    Default "fixing" it goes too far

    Sometimes when we try to "fix" something, we go too far. For a while now, we've known that hunter numbers have been steadily decreasing, and we know many of the reasons why. Loss of public lands habitat due to development, the privitization of land, and a cultural shift and population boom in America that is more urban-minded than rural-minded are just a few of the reasons hunter numbers have declined or not kept pace with the expanding population.

    The "fix"? Well take a look at the Outdoor Channel sometime for how us hunters try to "recruit" new hunters to the fold, and tell me that you aren't as disgusted as I am to see a teen in an elevated blind over an automatic deer feeder waiting for some bioengineered deer with antlermax-technology antlers to show up. Just the other day someone emailed me pics from a Texas game ranch of this monstrosity of a land vehicle with a covered platform that had to sit ten feet high, full enclosed bar, plush seats, shooting positions...we need more of that?

    I don't think so.

    The one main thing that I see killing hunting is hunters! Yes, I've said it. And hunting orgs who lean toward extremism and shine a negative spotlight on all hunters. There is this oft-touted "united we stand" philosophy that is just killing us. Hunters and many hunting orgs feel they must stand with all hunters, and thus this lumps us all in the same barrel with what is wrong and bad about hunting these days. Darn right that we don't need more hunters, we need better hunters. A buddy of mine coined that phrase and I wish more of us took stock of the truth in it.

    Inre unit 13 stuff and getting rid of the subsistence designation, if that were to happen then it's likely the Nelchina caribou hunt would turn into a statewide draw hunt. Just off the cuff, seems to me that if that were to happen that the people now eligible to hunt there under Tier II permitting would lose out on hunting opportunity more because a statewide draw would have many more people outside that area winning permits and going there to hunt. Would it be "fairer?" Well in the sense that it would make everyone equal it would...but again, maybe we should look more closely at what the end result would be before supporting something in principle alone.

    Rod, I think AOCs push to maximize hunting opportunity and success is flawed because it goes too far, because it leans toward extremism. In that light it often sheds a negative light on hunting and hunters. I've long said that the plans in 20E that your org pushed for would bring too many hunters to that region off the Taylor Hwy. We already have a mess there now, yet the plans call to bring thousands more hunters to that area once the caribou population increases. It will turn into what we have in 20A, which you said "couldn't be more crowded than it already is." This is just another example of a "fix" going too far...of trying to maximize hunting opportunity and success to the point that you actually overcrowd an area and ruin hunting for a lot of hunters who don't want that type of hunt. So in that vein, the cure may be as bad or worse than the initial disease.

    Hunters and hunting orgs need to start thinking about shedding a positive light on hunting in Alaska, cuz if we don't the public will turn against us. I'm not saying to kowtow completely to the public, or that we should never have pred-control programs, but I think we need to think a lot harder about this attitude of the last six years now that "We don't give a D**N what anyone else thinks!" An attitude like that only fosters resentment and the repercussions to hunting aren't good.

    And as far as the "antis"...they really are the least of our problems, but many like to always mention "the antis" to put the chicken-little fear in us. Talk to most non-hunters and you know what they tell you? They think "the antis" are nuts. But...and this is the big but...they also think a lot of hunters are nuts. Without unethical hunting behavior and the numerous bad examples of hunting out there (high fenced hunts like described above, the new Sportsmen for Fish and Wildlife Alaska chapter that will push to turn Alaska into a game farm mostly devoid of wolves and bears, etc), the antis wouldn't really have anything to use against us. Maybe we should look to clean up who we are rather than try to recruit more young hunters into the bad aspects of hunting.

    Ps, nice to see you on here Rod.

  13. #13
    webmaster Michael Strahan's Avatar
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    Default Re-post the link

    Quote Originally Posted by Rod Arno View Post
    The news is out. We're a dieing breed. Hunters are on their way out in Alaska. Check the survey data out at federalasst.fws/surveys/surveys.html

    As Graig Medred said ....
    Rod,

    Could you re-post the link? The one you posted doesn't work. Also, I think you are talking about CRAIG Medred?

    I am headed for the field right now, but I'm not seeing what you're saying. While saying that hunting is dying is a common message these days (and has been for many years), what I'm seeing IN ALASKA doesn't match what you're saying. Sure, our moose numbers are dropping in most areas, so the opportunities are changing, but bears are up! In GMU 16 you can now shoot FOUR BROWN BEARS in a calendar year (two regulatory years) if you shoot two in the spring and two in the fall! In many areas, black bear season NEVER CLOSES and you get to shoot three! Caribou numbers in the Arctic are through the roof. Opportunities are abundant, and hunters are coming to Alaska.

    We are seeing HUGE increases in the numbers of float hunters coming to Alaska. Talk to the folks at Alaska Downstream and Alaska Raft and Kayak; they'll tell you that their rental fleets have doubled in recent years, and even then they are all rented out for the fall season every year. No, I don't think we're losing a lot of hunters in Alaska. But I would be interested in FACTUAL DATA from RELIABLE SOURCES on your point.

    Regards,

    -Mike
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  14. #14

    Default We need more NEW Alaskan hunters

    not neccesarily more hunters coming from outside who aren't here when the fights for hunting rights come up.
    As far as "needing better hunters", if we don't have new hunters participating, there will be no new "better" hunters. For an analogy, if people don't come to "church" the preacher can't preach.
    If potential new alaskan hunters don't have a chance for a successful hunt, they won't go. That is just pure money and time economics.
    Mike
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    There is a faster way off the mountain, might hurt a little though.

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    Default

    Most of the folks posting seem to be long-time Alaskan's, and you are forgetting the flood of people from Outside, including the illegal aliens, along with the slob-hunter mentality. I do not believe Alaskans have suddenly become slobs.
    Here in Bethel the Koreans are marrying into the local Native population. Last year we had two black bear found with gall-bladders and all feet removed. Everything else left there.
    It is the growing lack of civility, lawlessness, and lack of proper home training.

  16. #16
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    Default New Hunter Perspective

    I am a 15 year resident of Alaska but brand new to hunting. I have gone out twice now with no results of game being taken, but that has not disappointed nor detered me from wanting to go again. I relish the opportunity to get out of the urban areas and stretch my legs a little. Just the pure experience of being outdoors and in such a beautiful setting is rewarding. Now sure, I truly look forward to finally filling my freezer with some of Alaska's wonderful bounty, but to me hunting is more than just taking game, it is the overall experience.

  17. #17

    Default Corrected website for survey

    Thanks Mike,

    I left the gov out of government; federalasst.fws.gov/surveys/surveys.html
    Also the ADN article on the subject, ("Hunting, fishing are declining despite Alaska's angling rank" Aug. 14). And Medred's piece (Modern Alaskans don't have time to fish, hunt) on August 19.

    No doubt bear predation is a problem in GMU 16, as well as other areas. A number of moose populations have been driven down by predation in the 90's and that's why the BOG has liberalised bear harvest.But as far as abundant opportunity goes for harvesting moose that's not the case in most of the state. Since most of the talk is about GMU 13 the mean harvest between 1991 and 1996 was 921 moose. By 2001-2002 that number dropped to 430 moose. Which meant that in the late 80's-early 90's the success rate was 25%, while in the last few years that rate has dropped to 13%.(Keep in mind that non-resident moose and caribou hunters aren't the problem in GMU 13, they have been kicked out of there for years.From 1995-1999 nonresident moose hunters made up about 8% of all moose hunters statewide)

    Floater hunters up, yes I agree and a lot of them are resident hunters since nonresident moose hunters have been excluded in GMU 13, 16B, and most of GMU19, and GMU 17. More motorized access would spread that out some but moose follow drainages.

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    Default IMO

    375 ultramag- congrats on finding an area in unit 13 that is "loaded" with moose! I haven't seen one in years. I will say that I have seen improvement in recent years- which I would attribute to 'liberalized' wolf and bear harvesting. I killed a 66" bull this year- we saw other bulls but few cows, and even less calves. I enjoy the opportunity to still hunt Moose near my cabin in 13e, even if I have to work harder to get a legal moose- 50" or 4 bt, or spike/fork, at least I get to hunt- with a draw I may not even have the opportunity- and there is very little hunting pressure so a draw would do little to decrease the number of hunters- at least in the area I hunt.

  19. #19
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    Mr. Strahan,

    You asked for factual data...let's look to ADF&G itself. Call them and ask how many hunting licenses they've sold each year for the past 15 years. They'll fax or email it to you. It is a steadily declining number. Then ask for the demographic profile. You'll see that the group buying licenses is heavily populated by older hunters. We don't have a slug of youngsters coming up the pipe to replace us.

    Look at the last page of the spring Permit Hunting Supplement which shows how many people apply for permits, and how many actually get them. Then dig a little deeper and see how many people actually fill those permits. In most cases it is a single digit number (expressed as a percentage). This is all public info from ADF&G, and I can post it if you'd like. What these statistics demostrate, clearly, is that 1) there are fewer hunters, and 2) fewer people are applying for permits, and a dismally low number of people are successfully filling them.

    I don't think Rod was trying to be Chicken Little with his original post, or scare us into recruiting people to buy licenses so we don't look weak to the anti's, but rather alerting us to an article that has been published (for all to see, included anti-hunters) stating that records, aggregated into data, clearly demonstrate that our numbers are decreasing. Rod was simply suggesting that if we who value our outdoor traditions want to preserve our way of life, we need to do something different.

    One thing that really sticks out is hunter opportunity...where can people go to have a reasonable chance to harvest a moose or caribou. If it don't look fairly good, they're not going to go. I know, I know...it's called "hunting" not "harvesting" but how many of us go to an area where we know we're NOT going to see an animal? Hunter opportunity is the key...that means more areas open to hunting, and better management. The GMU 13 area is an obvious area to open - right between our two largest cities. I know people who get their Tier II ticket now don't want to give it up, but this system is an upside down pyramid waiting to fall over. Remember the Zobel's suing the Permanent Fund. This system is begging for the same kind of deal.


    Finally, I about fell out of my chair when I read someone's comment that "bear numbers are up..." everyone knows that's the problem, right?



  20. #20

    Default GMU 13 moose

    You don't need a draw for bull moose in GMU 13, the spike/fork or 50" with 4 or more brow tines takes care of over hunting concerns. There is nothing like that regulation for limiting caribou harvest.

    What we need in GMU 13 is more predator reduction. ADF&G figure when you have a combination of wolf and bear of 50 for every moose then you're in a predator pit situation. That's what we've got in GMU 13. As long as hunters have the tools to reduce predation and they are willing to get out their and take wolf and bear we have a chance to get back to the late 80's when the same number of hunters as today were harvesting twice as many bull moose during the general hunt as today.

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