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Thread: Ak Hunting News: SE Alaska Deer Hunt Underway Despite Reduced Deer Numbers

  1. #1

    Arrow Ak Hunting News: SE Alaska Deer Hunt Underway Despite Reduced Deer Numbers

    This news clip is from Alaska Hunting News. Discussion is welcome. This news feed is robot generated.

    Cold weather and deep snow took a serious toll on SE Alaska deer during the 2006/2007 winter, but the deer season is proceeding, but Alaska Wildlife News says state biologists are keeping a wary eye on the population.

    The effect on deer was not as severe in southern SE Alaska, a companion article reported.


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    Last edited by Webmaster; 10-11-2007 at 08:06.

  2. #2
    Member SoggyMountain's Avatar
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    Neil nailed it.

    I am not going to starve because I can't kill my deer.

    I probably have two more hunts left in me, and I am going to focus on antlers this year.... or shoot a black bear and say "mmmm! That's good deer meat!"

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    Member SoggyMountain's Avatar
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    I heard of 300" of snow expected this winter too! We might want to start thinking about conservation and err on the side of too much.

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    Default From what I've heard

    We all know that there isn't tons of deer out there right now. This august kinda proved that but people are still seeing deer and shooting deer. I think there's still plenty around. We might have trouble finding them but that doesn't mean the deer aren't around. I atleast saw deer everytime I was out. I've been to areas that were supposedly loaded with deer and haven't seen anything. Not that Douglas is loaded with deer right now but the herd should rebound just fine. We didn't see the same mortality that places like Hoonah were reporting with stacks of dead deer on the beach. I would think if they change anything maybe cut out December from the hunt. That way when it does snow we don't get the same beach massacre that occured last season.

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    Member SoggyMountain's Avatar
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    Cutting December - That sounds reasonable.

    I just want to say I "did my part" this year in the event we get slammed again.

    I never have problems shooting does...but I am changing my perception/practices this year "just in case."

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    Quote Originally Posted by AKBoater View Post
    We didn't see the same mortality that places like Hoonah were reporting with stacks of dead deer on the beach. I would think if they change anything maybe cut out December from the hunt. That way when it does snow we don't get the same beach massacre that occured last season.
    You're contradicting yourself here Boater. If there are stacks of dead deer on the beaches naturally, what do you think will happen if there is a big snow and hunters aren't allowed to take them on the beaches? There will be even more dead deer on the beaches from starvation. The reason this happens is that there are too many deer for the small amount of feed available. So why not harvest the deer for food, before they get to the starving to death stage? If you thin the herd early enough, at least the ones who survive have a better chance to make it through the winter. Deer are going to die in high snow winters. The question is, are they going to rot on the beach and feed the birds and scavengers or are they going in someone's freezer. The other question is, are you willing to take more to let more survive, or are you going to leave them all so that less will survive.

    Look at it this way. Say in the winter range there is enough food that the deer can get to that 3,000 deer can survive, not flourish, but survive. Now say you have 6,000 deer going into winter. If you reduce that herd to 3,000 before things get bad, most of that 3,000 will survive. But if you leave all 6,000 what happens then? First off, you have enough feed for 6,000 deer to make through half the winter. Then you're out of food and you have a massive die-off for the second half of the winter. You might only have 500 that survive somehow instead of 3,000. Then you are looking at years years and years of reduced limits or even no hunting before the herd rebounds.

    Biologists realize this and sometimes take action to try to save part of the herd by thinning it drastically. I lived on Kodiak back in the early 80's when bag limits were upped to 7 deer and the season was extended through January one year and to Feb 15 one year in an attempt to save a core part of the herd.

    Here in Prince William Sound, beach harvesting is encouraged. You are even allowed to shoot from your boat. It's already been established here that bad winters are harder on the deer than the chances of over harvesting are. For one thing, on an easy winter, there are less deer on the beach. In a hard winter, the deer need thinning for the good of the herd.

  7. #7
    Member Flintlock's Avatar
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    Default deer

    I wonder if Channel 2 News will go interfere with the deer hunts as well...

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    I also want to point out, the interesting story that was linked to this one. Click on this blue link in the original story.

    The effect on deer was not as severe in southern SE Alaska

    It explains why Southern SE wasn't hurt as bad as the rest last winter. Part of it was that the snow wasn't as bad, but part of it was that because there are more deer predators, (ie wolves and black bears) the densities of deer are lower which means more animals have a chance of surviving a bad winter.

    " “The absence the main predators - wolves and black bears - makes it a totally different system,” Porter said. Key predators such as wolves on Prince of Wales Island (commonly referred to as POW) keep the deer density consistently lower than on the ABC islands.

    “So the deer population is buffered a little bit against hard winters on POW,” Porter said. “Deer numbers don’t fluctuate as much. The deer there (on the ABC islands) are at or near the carrying capacity for that range, whereas on POW we’re well below it.” "

    I might also point out that Prince of Wales Is. which has a substantial wolf population, is a premier trophy area for Sitka Blacktails.

    This little tidbit explains exactly why the predator control programs pushed by the state at present will be doomed in the long run. As long as we have mild winters, it will work for a while, but the first bad winter or series of bad winters, the winter kills will be devastating. You can't keep densities of game animals at max levels without paying the piper down the road. That's why moderation is the key. Try to keep the herds balanced to a point where they can make it through the bad winters and you avoid the huge fluctuations of too many or too few animals. I'm not saying predators are off limits. In times when prey to predator numbers are out of balance, take them to smooth the dip. But to take them to produce more prey animals than the winter habitat can sustain is foolishness.

    I'd rather see level numbers over many years than boom or bust.

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