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Thread: What would you do?

  1. #1
    Member walk-in's Avatar
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    Default What would you do?

    I went down to Donnelly Dome yesterday for the opening of the DM 797 cow hunt. It was a pretty good day, and I got my moose, but I witnessed something that I thought I would bring up here on the forum.
    As we were glassing the hillside, I spotted a cow that I intended to stalk. However, after looking at it for about 10 minutes, I also saw that it had a calf (last years) with it. Since the DM 797 permit specifically states that you cannot take a calf or a cow accompanied by a calf, I didn't go after her.
    A few minutes later, a guy with his young daughter drove up and asked my partner if we were going after this cow. He hadn't seen her, but he could see that I wasn't going anywhere, so he said no. The guy and his daughter drove by me, parked up the road a bit, and started stalking the cow. They came out on top of a little knoll, and by that time both the cow and the calf were standing up and clearly visible. One of them (I'm not sure which one) shot the cow. The calf ran off a little ways and then came back. When they approached the cow, it took off and we didn't see it again for awhile.
    They marked the spot where the cow was and then came back to go get their 4 wheelers. As they went by, my partner commented to them about shooting a cow with a calf. The guy apparently said (I wasn't there) that it was no big deal since "it was a year and a half old calf."
    So, my question is, what would you do if you watched this happen? I wasn't able to get the guys license number, but I did watch the whole thing happen. What about the calf? It was last year's, as I mentioned, but would you shoot it if you had the opportunity since it is now on its own? I'm just curious how other Alaska moose hunters feel about this.

  2. #2
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    Report it to the troopers. Its relatively rare (but no unheard of) for a calf to be around for a second year since they usually get chased off during the rut. How did he, or you actually know it was 18 months old? If it was an early calf from this year, it would be bigger and may be thought of as last years, although since I was not there, I don't know. Personally, I would not have shot the cow.

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    New member akhunter02's Avatar
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    Default check

    I could be wrong but I thought that a Calve is defined as one that is within its first 12 months of life, if it was from last year it would be considered a yearling and not a calf, so both would be legal.

    Any thoughts?

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    Member walk-in's Avatar
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    Default good point

    Quote Originally Posted by Bill S. View Post
    Report it to the troopers. Its relatively rare (but no unheard of) for a calf to be around for a second year since they usually get chased off during the rut. How did he, or you actually know it was 18 months old? If it was an early calf from this year, it would be bigger and may be thought of as last years, although since I was not there, I don't know. Personally, I would not have shot the cow.
    That is a good point. I don't know for certain that it was last year's calf. I only say that based on its size. It looked a little big to be this year's.
    I guess the thing that bothered me the most about this was that the permit is pretty specific about not taking cows accompanied by a calf and this guy was out there with his daughter. What exactly did she learn from this? When my kids are with me, I am very careful to ensure that I set the best possible example and a high standard for them to follow.

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    New member akhunter02's Avatar
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    Default I see it

    fairly often, I dont think its all that uncommon to have a yearling still hanging around mom. But still, day one of a cow hunt, he could have waited to find one alone.

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    I actually saw a yearling hanging around with a cow that also had a calf from this year. That seemed realy odd to me. I would definately report the people!

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    some animalsls don't wear their age, like a sheep does, no garuntees it's that old, as posted earlier, best to err on the side of caution and be guilt free and setting a good standard, i'd report it to the troopers and see how they handle it, their problem not yours. i'll commend you for doing the right thing, thats for sure!! nice work and good judgment.
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    Member aktomboy's Avatar
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    Unhappy Sad

    This happens all to often. Its only day two and I know of two locals who saw separate accounts of a cow with a calf or calves being shot just on the first day. Both were reported. Now itís up to the Troopers and Fish and Game.

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    Default Technical aspects

    DM 797 is an antlerless hunt, not a cow hunt and does not preclude the taking of bulls without antlers. A calf is defined on page 22 of the current handy dandy reg book. Less than 12 months for ungulates, muskox, and bison.
    Whereas there are not guarantees about the size of a calf, I have never seen a calf that is as big as a yearling. A whole years growth is pretty substantial.
    Biologically they may have errored in not taking the yearling (assuming it was and antlerless). During a hard winter the young take a beating before healthy adults. The cow was already obviously of age to breed. I would assume that cow would be coming into estrus if in fact it was with a yearling. Killing the cow may expose the yearling to greater risk of not making it through the winter.
    In the case you stated the dilema appears to be ethical, not legal. Ethically they did nothing wrong. Legally they were well within the paramters of the permit. F&G understands population density and knows there is a percentage of antlerless moose that are yearlings and cows together. It seems obvious that they are included in the hunt on purpose.
    The public, including hunters, takes umbrage when young animals are included or affected during a hunt. Again, biologically, for a hunt of this type it makes sense to include them. I personally don't see, based on your first observation, that anything was done wrong.
    What was done right was that a hunter (father) took out a youngster, and hopefully showed her some good things. Let's not forget that a common theme on this forum is the lack of kids in the field.
    In the future, if in doubt about a potential violation, be sure to take as much information as possible, get it to Wildlife Enforcement, and let them sort it out.
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  10. #10

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    but Daddy, (Greg) you never take ME hunting

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    Default bad boy

    That's because you are a bad boy danny. Until you learn the error of your ways and put down your silly little stick the answer is still no. Unless of course you bring over the refreshments.

  12. #12

    Default So what happens...

    WHat happens if you do shoot a cow that does have an obvious calf with it. A hypothetical scenario; your stalking a cow that you have glassed from a ways away in the cambodia.... and don't see a calf with it. You finally get within a reasonable distance and watch it some more waiting for a good angle... and finally BANG. You drop the cow.... and a calf comes running out into the area that you just dropped the moose.

    What are you supposed to do next?

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    I agree with rat. A yearling gets driven off in the spring when the cow gives birth to the new calf. If for whatever reason the new calf is killed the cow will allow the previously driven off yearling to return. That is why so often you'll see a spike fork with an older cow. The older cow just happens to be it's biological mother.

    Since neither one was a calf and both were anterless, they were both legal. And would be no more unethical than shooting a spike fork following a cow during the regular season. A spike fork after all is a yearling and certainly not a calf.

    My question is: Would you have shot the cow if the accompaning yearling was a spike fork?

    I do applaud for the pass over, because it is always better to be safe than sorry. If there's any doubt "DON"T SHOOT!"

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    New member AKDSLDOG's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dammdoggs View Post
    WHat happens if you do shoot a cow that does have an obvious calf with it. A hypothetical scenario; your stalking a cow that you have glassed from a ways away in the cambodia.... and don't see a calf with it. You finally get within a reasonable distance and watch it some more waiting for a good angle... and finally BANG. You drop the cow.... and a calf comes running out into the area that you just dropped the moose.

    What are you supposed to do next?
    In my eyes, you just messed up by not takeing enough time. Turn yourself in and pay the piper. Same princible goes for judging a legal bull, "IT IS THE HUNTERS RESPONCABILITY TO MAKE SURE WHAT HE IS SHOOTING AT AND THAT IT IS LEGAL", end of story. Ignorance is bliss.

    Not being there to see the animal in question it's hard to say, but if in your eyes you truely thought that calf was a calf, then I would turn it over to the troopers and see what they will do.

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    Member AkGreg's Avatar
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    Default Report it

    Report it, let the troopers do their job and find out if it was a calf or a yearling.....legal or not legal.... that's their job. We can sit and debate potential legalities on this one for ever.... BUT. If you think it was illegal then report it and let the authorties go through their motions.....

    It's sad but if we are, as a group, complacent about these kinds of incidents then we all share culpability in the outcomes when animal populations suffer and we become social pariah's.... We hand feed the anti-hunting groups by letting these kinds of things just "slide".....

  16. #16
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    Default yearlings

    I dont claim to have a wealth of knowledge about moose age bot twice I have shot fork horned bulls that were with there mom. The were both good sized moose. Wouldnt they have ben over a year old?
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  17. #17
    Moderator Daveinthebush's Avatar
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    Default Taking calves or cows accompanied by calves is prohibited

    This is what I read.
    Year and Hunt Number: 2007 DM797, Moose
    GMU, Area: 20D, Delta Junction
    Number of Permits: 540
    Season Dates:Oct. 1 - Nov. 15

    Residency Restrictions: Alaska residents only
    Legal Animal: Antlerless (taking calves or cows accompanied by calves is prohibited)

    Specimens Req'd: 5 inch section of lower jaw with front teeth

    Internet Reporting: If you hunted unsuccessfully or did not hunt, you may at http://hunt.alaska.gov

    Reporting (Successful): In person to Delta Junction or Fairbanks within 15 days of kill

    Reporting (Unsuccessful): In person to Delta Junction or Fairbanks, by mail, or by internet within 15 days of season end.

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    Default spike fork age

    Wolfkiller, a calf will not have more than just a nub. That would not make it a legal "bull/male" moose by the way. A spike/fork will be over 1 year of age, or what we are calling a yearling.
    I have watched cows with yearlings kick them out in late September. I mean literally kick them. I could not believe the ferocity of the cow in her attempt to drive the yearling away, and when she kicked her offspring it sounded like a bass drum.
    In antlerless hunts, yearlings w/out antlers, whether they are with a cow or not, are legal to take. By the same token, even though I would not expect to see them in this particular hunt as it ends in mid November, bulls w/out antlers are legal also.
    I do find it interesting that people may find it hard to discern a calf from a yearling. Yes, if in doubt don't shoot. But there is NORMALLY a substantial size difference. Also, the nose is markedly shorter than an adult moose.
    As I go back to my initial response, I am even more inclined to say that if a mistake (lack of a better word) was made, it was to take the cow vs the yearling. Again, assuming the cow would be in estrus, that decision potentially killed 3 moose, the cow, the unborn fetus, and the yearling that may not be able to make it on her/his own.

  19. #19

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    Well, my point was not the ethical aspect of shooting an illegal moose, mine was more of a procedural (sp?) course of action. I guess all you can really do is call the F&G for troopers and let them know when/where. However, are you still supposed to salvage the game or leave it? Do the authorities do that? Are you supposed to take them out to where the animal was downed, if so, do you have to help them dress it out, etc.?

  20. #20
    New member AKDSLDOG's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dammdoggs View Post
    Well, my point was not the ethical aspect of shooting an illegal moose, mine was more of a procedural (sp?) course of action. I guess all you can really do is call the F&G for troopers and let them know when/where. However, are you still supposed to salvage the game or leave it? Do the authorities do that? Are you supposed to take them out to where the animal was downed, if so, do you have to help them dress it out, etc.?
    I understood what you were saying, and I thought I ansered it. If you make a mistake and take a illigal animal it is "your" responsibility to dress,skin and salvage all the meat,horns or antlers and evidance of sex and turn it over to the troopers/fish and wildlife. I will tell you if you call them and report it "you" will be the one to clean and pack out for them. And no, I do not have experiance with that being said, but do have many friends that work for fish and feathers and my crotchedy old fatherinlaw (now retired) had well over 20yrs with fish and feathers, both as a biologist and board of game.

    Had a friend of mine shoot a cow in that area last year, after he shot it and got back to camp he realized he was one (1) drainage over out of his boundry for that tag. He cleaned and packed everything he was sapossed to and turned himself in. He is a great hunter and know's the law's, he made a mistake and hunter ethic's took over, he paid a $450.00 fine and forfitted the moose, he could of easily take the moose home and never siad a word. That is why he is a good friend and hunting partner. Ya goof up, pay your dues and learn from your mistakes.

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