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Thread: Same day airborne rule

  1. #1
    Member Erik in AK's Avatar
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    Default Same day airborne rule

    I've been thinking about this recently--reading your posts about your fly in sheep hunts and float trips and the thought occured to me that in many cases the SDA rule is unnecessary:

    Now before anyone bursts a vein, here's my reasoning:

    1) The original intent of this rule was to prevent hunters from searching for an animal from the air, land close to it and kill it. Essentially using the airplane to unfair advantage.

    2) Many if not most hunters do not have access to privately owned airplanes and use air taxi services to fly in.

    3) Under the new rules regarding transporters--paying for extra time to "scout enroute" is a thing of the past. Transporters are prohibited from looking for game while hauling clients.

    4) Many, if not most, float hunters and sheep/goat hunters move substantially away from the drop off point the same day--often several miles.

    So..............
    Why not allow SDA hunting for hunters using an air service as long as hunters are X miles from the drop off point. I think 3, 4 or 5 miles is about right. Moving this far negates any potential advantage gained on the flight in and it allows hunters to conserve a potentially precious hunting day.

    **I suggest limiting this exception to air taxi clients because there are no "scout enroute" restrictions on private pilots.

    I welcome your thoughts.

  2. #2
    Member tboehm's Avatar
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    Default great

    I like the ieda and would vote for it. I think that the problem would be you give a kid an inch and they take a yard. If they allowed any leway and you would have all kinds violations. Just like the thread about killing the cow with a calf. I think that it comes down to personal ethics and that is where it needs to start. I'm for anything that would get big brother and all of the tree huggers out of our hip pocket!!

  3. #3
    Member martentrapper's Avatar
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    Default

    Good points, Erik. Unfortunately, we never let logic stand in the way of emotion/ethics!
    I can't help being a lazy, dumb, weekend warrior.......I have a JOB!
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  4. #4

    Default

    Purely pragmatic, SDA is lots easier to monitor and enforce than your 3-5 mile idea.

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    Member MARV1's Avatar
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    Default

    Air taxis for these type of drop off hunts are charters, not regularly scheduled flights. Blah, blah, blah, it is the law now so deal with it. There will be those that break the law, there are some that do now as it is so don't make it easier for more hunters to hunt wrongfully with more advantages.
    The emphasis is on accuracy, not power!

  6. #6
    Member Dan in Alaska's Avatar
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    Default

    On my recent bear hunt, we had to wait a day to hunt. We flew into Port Allsworth on one of the regularly scheduled air taxi flights, but since PA is a private landing strip, we had to abide by the SDA rule (checked with the Troopers to be sure). We took a boat across Lake Clark to hunt, in an area we didn't fly anywhere close to, but we still had to abide by the SDA rule.

    I didn't like it, but I can see how law enforcement would have a hard time distinguishing between someone in my situation and someone who was deliberately breaking the law.

  7. #7
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    Default Scouting

    So, when people fly into areas with air taxi operators do they keep their eyes closed? You may not survey the surrounding area as thoroughly as private pilots, but you are benefitting from an aerial view just the same. You see terrain to avoid, animals to pursue, other hunting camps...I like the current rule- it gives the critters a fighting chance. Your point about distance traveled has merit- but just as others have stated- it would seem that SDA is easier to enforce.

  8. #8
    Member bushrat's Avatar
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    Default Fair Chase in spirit and law

    "As hunters, we must establish a high ethical standard of fair chase or we risk three things important to our future. One is the leadership in doing what is right for wildlife; the second is the opportunity to hunt; and the third is our self-respect."

    Jim Posewitz wrote the above in his little book, Beyond Fair Chase. The SDA rule is grounded in trying to enforce a fair-chase ethic, yet it isn't the reg/law of the state everywhere. I think that is because in areas like Kodiak where you can't "spot" game from the air, it's reasonable to be able to land, then head out and hunt and if you do spot game that same day be able to take it by "fair chase" standards. So I can see what Erik is driving at with his post, though I don't at all agree we should rescind the SDA rule for hunters using air-taxis.

    First off, regardless if there is a new "law" or not that prevents air-taxis from spotting game, that simply is not happening. I spoke with a few air-taxi pilots recently, and they definitely spotted game from the air (unintentionally...it's hard to avoid it really when your passenger is looking everywhere too), and when they landed they had to remind their clients that it was illegal to hunt until the next day. I don't believe many if most fly-in hunters move the same day. In fact, many are put out in the field at base-camp locations on various strips or locations, and hunt out of there.

    Erik, you are talking about just a few fly-in hunters here, the ones who would move x amount of miles from their drop-off location. But even still, it's real easy to spot animals from the air, land a few miles away, then float down and kill them. The whole premise of your argument lies in the notion that game was not spotted from air to begin with, sorta like a Kodiak scenario for deer, and so I am not busting a vein over it (or the allowance of SDA on Kodiak), but it is too much trying to micromanage for a very few and I would not support it. Keep the SDA rule as it now stands for most of the state.

  9. #9
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    Angry Eric

    Eric:

    I agree 100% with what you are saying but how does AF&G differentiate between the few guys who have that access to a Cub and the average guy who does not?

    I knew a guy up here who had access to a cub and took 2 sheep in 1 weekend (proxy hunt). It caused a lot of heartburn because the pilot also took a sheep on the same hunt. 3 sheep, 2 days and 2 hunters. See the problem?


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  10. #10
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    Default

    A question on the "no spotting" from air taxis. If I ask the air taxi to drop me of at the confluence of x & y rivers, & once we get in the area I ask him to drop to 500' & fly an ever increasing circle centered from my camp site for 10 minutes before landing, only going back for a second look at something if I ask him to & keeping his mouth shut if he sees something I don't that would be acceptable wouldn't it?
    It's no different than hiring a boat to cruise the beaches bear hunting as long as they don't say "look, there's a nice one".

    By the way, I say leave the law as is.
    Vance in AK.

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  11. #11
    Member JOAT's Avatar
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    Default

    There is a huge difference between flying over an area vs. scouting by boat or any land vehicle (ATV, snowmobile, etc). From the ground (or water) your visibility is limited just as if you were walking. Most animals will not allow you to approach close enough on a motorized vehicle to make a big difference. However, from the air you can scout hundreds of times more area very quickly and the high vantage point gives you visibility of objects/animals that you can't get from the ground. You are also (typically) high enough that animals are not spooked by the engine, allowing much closer observation.

    The spirit of SDA is to keep the playing field level for all hunters. This keeps sport hunting sporting. If all you want to do is put meat on the table, it is much cheaper to go to the grocery store. If all you want to do is get a "trophy" rack, you can have one custom made by a taxidermist - then you can make up whatever barroom story about the hunt that you want.

    As for the distance idea, I don't like it. A guy can easily cover 5 miles of wilderness in an hour. So you fly over and spot your animal(s), set down on the lake 5 miles away, drop your gear, grab your gun and huff it back 5 miles to make the quick kill via the GPS waypoint or compass heading you noted as you flew over. Now you can go back and get the rest of your gear to cape and pack.

    As for enforcment, who is going to measure this 5 miles and how is that going to stand up in court? No one walks in a straight line, so you might walk 7 miles through the woods and still be less than 5 from your drop off point. The state would have to prove the exact locations of both where you landed and where you shot the animal. It sounds like an enforcement nightmare.

  12. #12
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    Default Reasonable

    Erik's question is reasonable and fair. In most areas I would concur that the present SDA regulations make sense. But is there a GMU and specific game animal in AK where hunting same day airborne would work?
    Are there not regulations prohibiting the taking of caribou from a boat in specific GMUs? If I am correct, they do not apply to the entire state. So, like Erik, I too am wondering if there is a time (limited opening) and a place (specific gmu/subunit) where it would be appropriate to fly and hunt the same day for a specific species and sex of animal?
    Certain SDA airborne hunts might be fairly easy to monitor by enforcement as contrasted with the enforcement of distance from a drop off point.

  13. #13
    Member martentrapper's Avatar
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by bushrat View Post
    [B]"As hunters, we must establish a high ethical standard of fair chase or we risk three things important to our future. One is the leadership in doing what is right for wildlife; the second is the opportunity to hunt; and the third is our self-respect."
    [/FONT][/SIZE]
    Doing what is "right" for wildlife? How do we know what is "right", Mark? Should we just hire Posewitz to tell us?
    Opportunity to hunt! Yea, we keep telling the rest of society how bad alot of us are. We make rules so what we do is "fair". Some of us cry when we kill an animal. No wonder society thinks were repulsive.
    Self respect? How is that? What's more difficult, Mark? Successfully learning to safely use a plane, or learning to shoot a rifle accurately? Oh wait.........nevermind, you and most of the other readers here have never learned to fly.........you can't answer that question with any intelligence.
    Anyone who can sit still, control their breathing, and point a rifle, can learn to shoot. Learning to really use an aircraft in a hunting situation takes years of practice...........if you live thru it!
    An airplane is a TOOL. Like any tool, it is useful in certain situations, and not useful in others.
    SDA is a logical way to control harvest and access to game. It shouldn't have anything to do with what is "fair"!
    I can't help being a lazy, dumb, weekend warrior.......I have a JOB!
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    Northwestalaska
    You should have turned the guy in for killing two sheep in a weekend. You are not allowed to proxy for sheep. Only moose, caribou, and deer.

    Think of all the guides that would find ways to hunt same day airborne if there was any rule at all that allowed it. The sky would be filled with supercubs.

  15. #15
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    MartenTrapper

    Learning to fly and flying an airplane is not that difficult. Flying a plane in a hunting situation safely is not that difficult. It's just practice like anything else. Dont put all pilots on your high horse.

  16. #16
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    Default 2 days

    I would like to see this rule increased to 2 days (at least for sheep hunting). This past Aug, while I was out on my TMA hunt I saw a black supercub flying 5 straight nights. I found out that he was a quide looking for his client, see he was the one with the Gover tag, so he had big $$$.

    What a hunter! He is the type of hunter that brags about killing his 400+ point elk he shot, but leaves out that it was a fenced elk in only one acre.

    Again, What a true outdoorsman and hunter.

  17. #17
    Member 8x57 Mauser's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by martentrapper View Post
    ...
    An airplane is a TOOL. Like any tool, it is useful in certain situations, and not useful in others.
    ...
    Well, sure. Other tools include set guns, punt guns, poisons, and explosives. But if the only test of whether using a given tool is whether it's useful in a certain situation, every hunting season in Alaska would soon be a drawing permit, and most seasons would last for a day or two of good weather before being closed by emergency regulation.

    We've had discussions before about whether there is any appropriate distinction between hunting and all other forms of taking game. I believe there is. I don't have a problem with reindeer herders corraling their meat animals with a helicopter, but I believe it would be inappropriate to drive a moose to a hunter with one.

    Trappers take fur animals with traps, but there is a reasonable distinction between trapping and hunting.

    So the same-day-airborne rule strikes me as appropriate. It has its genesis in the idea of fair chase hunting - keeping some semblance of a level playing field between technologically endowed hunters and prey endowed with natural advantages. It prevents the practice we've read about in historical accounts of running game to the point of exhaustion and landing virtually atop it to shoot. And it's enforceable without huge phalanxes of additional staff to measure distances from landing zones to kill sites, multiple court cases to establish interpretations of "scouting" game vs. "transporting," &c.

    Quote Originally Posted by martentrapper View Post
    ...Some of us cry when we kill an animal. No wonder society thinks were (sic) repulsive.
    ...
    I may be misreading you here. I don't think the people who consider hunting repulsive are reacting to those who cry when they kill an animal. I suspect they're reacting either 1) viscerally to the notion of killing at all, or 2) based on their own moral outrage at scenes or stories of animals killed slowly or without respect.

  18. #18
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    I agree big game guides should not be able to spot animals from the air,what happen to good guides who know the area well!!I watch a guy talk to a super cub flying around spotting sheep for him THIS IS NOT FAIR CHASE HUNTING.It should be stopped.

  19. #19
    Member Erik in AK's Avatar
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    Default

    Thanks for weighing in everyone.

    For those who feel my idea increases cheating opportunities (Mark I thought of your same example AFTER hitting send) how exactly does the current SDA rule prevent cheating? My point is the SDA rule only restricts honest hunters and if the rule loosened a bit those same honest hunters would continue to be honest and hunt within the rules.

    As for those who disregard them, the rules are meaningless. Once that plane takes off there's no one there to watch but you yourself and your character.

    JOAT: Just how much backcountry experience do you have? The view of the terrain from the air changes completely once you're on the ground. As far as dropping everything to backtrack 5 miles to "quickly" kill an animal....on foot, on typical Alaskan terrain, to cover 5 miles takes about 3 to 4 hours. I'm not taking a shot at you personally, but your assumption about the effort required to cover 5 miles is.....overly optimistic.

    In my case, during this year's sheep hunt we saw rams from the airstrip. Side trips notwithstanding, it took us 6 1/2 hours to cover the 7 miles needed to gain the valley those sheep were in. And that was with 3 miles of trail. I wanted to take a "nickel tour" on the way in and my pilot said no, due to the rule change and I respect him for that.

    Even if the rule was not in place and he did take me "scouting" and I did spot a good ram within range of a same day hike, I would still have had a several hours long hike to get there. In my view "several hours" favors the animal and negates any advantage gained by an overflight.

    If the SDA rule remains unchanged, as I expect it will, it's no great hardship. I was curious to get your input, so thanks again.

    BTW tv321 it's not too late to call the Troopers.

  20. #20

    Default good rule

    SDA is a good rule. I have seen and flown over areas where there are big bull moose and it would be a matter of minutes to land and shoot one. Changing this rule wouldn't be good. I am sure it does happen, but to take it off the books is not a good thing. People with planes will always "look" for animals. That is the beauty of flying. Fair? Maybe not, but it is going to happen! Not sure of anyone that sets the GPS, flies in a straight line and lands without looking around.

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