Results 1 to 5 of 5

Thread: Forest fire smoke and animals...

  1. #1
    Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    All-I-SAW, AK.
    Posts
    1,036

    Question Forest fire smoke and animals...

    Where do the animals go when a forest fires smoke is so bad, it burns your lungs and eyes? Does it affect the animals the same way? Do they bust out of there? Or do they suck it up and stay put? What if the smoke is covering an area so big, they can't leave?
    I've always received conflicting reports from various people with "1st hand" experience. Just wondering what you guys/gals might have experienced.
    For example:
    The Venatie fire a couple of years ago, "I believe", ruined my moose hunt. I had hunted an area that I had hunted for a couple of years before with good success. Always had critters running around. Moose, bears, wolves, you name it...Its been a very good area. Then one year, when the fire was going 30 miles away, the smoke rolled in to our area and stayed. This smoke cover was huge and spread out for miles and miles in all directions. There wasn't any animal movement, fresh sign or anything that we could tell. We did alot of sitting trying to glass and some walking. We were doing the same things that we have done in the past. The smoke was so bad, we were getting bad headaches and couldn't see. We headed down to the valley/creek bottoms and hunted the timber where the smoke was at its "best" (if you will) and much cooler. Still nothing... After 3 days total, we couldn't take the smoke any longer, and headed out, empty handed. That was a first. (I know, huntings never guaranteed..)
    On the other hand and during the very same timeframe, my buddy John was in the same region (35 miles due east) going through the same smokey problems. Yet, he had "some" moose activity and even took a nice bull on the second day. He said that the smoke was horrible and they had a hard time breathing too. Fromthe 6 moose that they observed, those moose didn't move out and the activity appeared normal.
    So, for us did the animals just hunker down and sit it out? Did the animals leave our area for awhile? Should we have stayed longer? Should I have tried another tactic? Did John just get lucky? I don't know. I'm always wondering, even to this day, "what if"... Or could we have done anything at all?

    Has anybody had any similar experiences? Thanks...

  2. #2
    Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    All-I-SAW, AK.
    Posts
    1,036

    Red face

    I don't know why that "smiley" avatar showed up in the last paragraph? I must have hit a button somewhere.. Sorry...

  3. #3
    Moderator Daveinthebush's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Location
    Valdez, Alaska
    Posts
    4,402

    Default Hunting

    At least I got to hunt something tonight and kill it. "Smiley" is gone. 225 grain Sierra for the .35 Whelen in the middle of him.

    Yes fingers do cause errors at time.

    Vietnam - June 70 - Feb. 72
    Cancer from Agent Orange - Aug. 25th 2012
    Cancer Survivor - Dec. 14th 2012

  4. #4
    Member MARV1's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Kotlik
    Posts
    640

    Default

    Uhm, I think they put on their gas masks and hunkered down for awhile until they had to move.
    The emphasis is on accuracy, not power!

  5. #5
    Member
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Alaska
    Posts
    2,083

    Default

    Moose, bears, and other large animals as well as birds just move out of there. But insects, rodents, etc. may not be able to scape. Some may still survive in pockets untouched by the fire, however.

    Once the fire is over with, animals often migrate through the area from adjacent forests that have not burned. Several moose were killed on the burned areas of the Steese Highway a year after the fires, probably because these animals were easier to spot from the road.

    Once the new growth takes hold of the burned areas, these become good habitats for moose, rodents, bears, insects, birds, etc., although that could take ten or more years to happen.

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •