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Thread: WACH Bag Limits

  1. #1
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    Thumbs up WACH Bag Limits

    I have had a lot of questions regarding the current bag limit up here in unit 23 for 08 caribou hunts. Last spring the state reduced the bag limit for caribou for out of state hunters from 2 animals to 1 per year but this does not affect instate hunters. If you check the AF&G web site you will see that it is still a whopping 5 caribou per DAY for resident hunters and that has not changed. Lots of guys were telling me that they would not make the trip north for 1 animal.

    If I am misinterpreting this let me know but all of us who live here can fill the raft by hunting out of Kotz.

    If you need any assistance in planning your 08 WACH hunt please visit my web site or give me a call.


    Walt
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    Member martentrapper's Avatar
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    Yep, looks like your right, 5 a day for all Ak. res. Might remind the guys living south of the Yukon R. they need a harvest ticket.
    I'm confused about your "fill the raft" comment. Thought you were advocating moderation and good meat care. Touting the 5 a day limit seems a little over encouraging!
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    Cool Martentrapper

    Ah… Just as expected, a quick and needed poke from my good friend MT. I guess I should have left that part out and you are right about being a good steward of the resource. The thing that puzzles me is why was decided to reduce the out of state animals harvested but not the instate harvest?? Any ideas Martentrapper or anyone else? I have long wondered what was the total number of hunters in unit 23 each fall and how many are out of state hunters. Might make for an interesting poll. I am guessing that the instate hunters make up 25-30% of our hunting visitors and that is based upon nothing but my gut, care to put your 2 cents worth in guys?

    Walt
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    Member martentrapper's Avatar
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    Walt, wasn't it 2 years ago, in Nov 2005, at the BoG meeting in Kotz where the non res bou limit was lowered to 1? That's what my memory says. That limit kicked in for the 06/07 regulatory year. So it has been 2 seasons now that non res have had a bag limit of 1.
    As to the reasons, seems like you should know the answer. Non res have a long way to tote meat back home. BoG probably got testimony from locals that too many non res hunters were wasting meat. Lowering the bag limit for non res was one way to hopefully address meat waste problems.
    If the BoG had also lowered resident bag limit, the limit would have been lowered for ALL res, including you and your subsistence hunting buddies. I doubt that would have gone over too well.
    If you want harvest info for res and non res in unit 23, I suspect the info is available. Give Mr. Dau a call. You might also look into the WACH Working Group and see what sort of info is available thru it.
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    Don't know the whole history of non res limit changes, but in 06 it was 2 bou.

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    wasn't one bull and one cow for non res last year or am I forgetful
    I choose to fly fish, not because its easy, but because its hard.

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    webmaster Michael Strahan's Avatar
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    Default Regulation history for nonresident caribou in gmu23

    In 2005-06 it was five bulls. In 2006-07 it was reduced to two. In 2007-08 it was further reduced to one. If present trends continue, I would expect the nonresident limit in the 2008-09 booklet to be reduced to half a bull, or one every two years

    Perhaps someone could chime in on the biological justification for this swing? Seems to me that this is a huge herd. And on the north side in GMU26, the limit is still five. This is where most of the critters in GMU23 come from during the migration, so I'm trying to make sense of it.

    Was this because of wanton waste? Or was it socio-political?

    -Mike
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    Default Seems Logical

    I don't know BoG's reasoning, but it makes sense to me. The vast majority of non-res hunters in 23 are looking for trophy racks. How many non-res want to ship meat back from 2 (or 5) caribou? If folks are looking for the experience of an AK hunt and a trophy 'bou, then 1 bull makes sense. How many folks have room to hang two 'bou mounts in their house? Saves lots of hunters from potential wanton waste as well. Just my opinion...

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    webmaster Michael Strahan's Avatar
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    Default I hear you, but...

    Quote Originally Posted by Ripper View Post
    I don't know BoG's reasoning, but it makes sense to me. The vast majority of non-res hunters in 23 are looking for trophy racks. How many non-res want to ship meat back from 2 (or 5) caribou? If folks are looking for the experience of an AK hunt and a trophy 'bou, then 1 bull makes sense. How many folks have room to hang two 'bou mounts in their house? Saves lots of hunters from potential wanton waste as well. Just my opinion...
    Well, if this is the reasoning that was used, I believe it's flawed. It assumes that the BOG is able to accurately determine why nonresidents want to hunt the WACH, how many trophies they want, and what value they place on the meat. I don't believe they could (or even should) make these kinds of assessments. If hunters are wasting game meat, let's hold them accountable for it!

    As to how many caribou mounts a person should have, that's entirely up to them. I routinely encourage hunters to get two tags; shoot something they really like, and spend the rest of the hunt looking for a bigger one. Nothing wrong with that at all, assuming (of course) that the meat is properly cared for.

    We do not need the state of Alaska or its representatives to save us from ourselves.

    Just my .02.

    -Mike
    LOST CREEK COMPANY: Specializing in Alaska hunt consultation and planning for do-it-yourself hunts, fully outfitted hunts, and guided hunts.
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    Member Casper50's Avatar
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    Default A quick rant.

    Michael unfortunately that's the way government is headed. According to them we must all be protected from everything all of the time. The biggest reason I retired from the military was because the military was the largest believer in this philosophy. I believe in being as safe as possible but the public shouldn't have to put up with a bunch outrageous restrictions just to protect idiots from doing stupid things. The gene pool is getting awful crowded. Sorry for the hijack. This is one of my pet peeves.

  11. #11
    Member bushrat's Avatar
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    Default already been discussed ad nauseum

    We all discussed this back on the old forum when it was happening and Prop 142 was before the BOG to reduce non-res limit to 2 caribou. The WACH Working Group has been heavily involved in this decision. You can get a hint of what went down on page six of this pdf file from the Working Group:
    http://www.taiga.net/projectcaribou/...rails_2007.pdf

    Note the poster that is now being used: "Wasting Meat Offends Everyone." Also, there is a non-local online hunter ed program for hunting Unit 23 bou, and if you look at the poster in the pdf file it will explain some of that "education" effort, stuff like don't leave trash, burn your tp, let the first animals migrating pass before shooting an animal, respect others' camps etc.

    Yes, it's all socio-political; what Board of Game decisions aren't? <grin> Far as I can tell, at this point there is no biological justification for limiting non-res hunters to only one caribou. They went to a rib-meat on the bone requirement too to try to curb some wanton waste.

    Inre the "how many non-res hunters want to ship meat back home?" question, my own experience last fall trying to get meat donated to military families led me to believe that most non-res hunters are not shipping the meat back home. Northern Air Cargo will ship meat for free out of Kotz if hunters donate to food bank, and that is what most hunters I spoke with (non-res) were opting for to cut costs. Isn't true in all cases though. Some might also recall ADFG Wildlife News article from a couple years back that showed pallets of meat on the tarmac at Kotz totally exposed to the sun and just sitting there for way too long. Like I said, this has been hashed out ad nauseum here with differing viewpoints and sides taken. My own take is that if transporters, guides, folks like Walt who rent equipment to hunters, would work with all involved that things can be turned around, at least to the point that the BOG ups the bag limit to two bou for non-residents if the WACH is still strong in numbers.

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    food for thought, that may explain the regulation chancges

    http://www.wildlifenews.alaska.gov/i...rticles_id=236
    I choose to fly fish, not because its easy, but because its hard.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Strahan View Post
    If present trends continue, I would expect the nonresident limit in the 2008-09 booklet to be reduced to half a bull . . .

    -Mike
    Given that antlers always have to come out last, does this mean that non-res would only be allowed to take out the back half of the animal?

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    New member akhunter02's Avatar
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    Default Its all a joke

    right now, but watch and see. Can you say Mulchatna? History repeats its self through our own greed and carelessness

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    Default Kotz

    Yeah this is all funny. I've hunted out of Kotz and while I was loading my Moose meat into boxes I was the only one loading meat. Everyone else was loading antlers. The funny thing is some of them were packaged wrong and were not shipped. You want to fix the problem, simple; all meat and bones must return with the hunter no matter where they are from. End of problem. Hunters would take care of meat and waste would definately decrease.

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    Member martentrapper's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Strahan View Post
    Well, if this is the reasoning that was used, I believe it's flawed. It assumes that the BOG is able to accurately determine why nonresidents want to hunt the WACH, how many trophies they want, and what value they place on the meat. I don't believe they could (or even should) make these kinds of assessments. If hunters are wasting game meat, let's hold them accountable for it!

    As to how many caribou mounts a person should have, that's entirely up to them. I routinely encourage hunters to get two tags; shoot something they really like, and spend the rest of the hunt looking for a bigger one. Nothing wrong with that at all, assuming (of course) that the meat is properly cared for.

    We do not need the state of Alaska or its representatives to save us from ourselves.

    Just my .02.

    -Mike
    I can't believe what I'm reading, Mike. For literally years, you have advocated responsible and ethical hunting practices, especially when hunting out of Kotz. You've even started threads on the problem in Kotz, if memory serves me right. Now your dissing the BoG for taking steps to address that problem.
    Amazing!

    The real problem in Kotz is the VISIBILITY of the meat that is wasted. Dumpsters, airport, etc. Locals were up in arms. The BoG had to take steps to reduce the effects of this problem. It isn't about mounts, or why non res hunt, or the govt trying to save us from ourselves. It's about real solutions to a real problem. A problem that was making all hunters, res and non res, look bad.

    It would have been great if the BoG could have reduced res and non res limits. Might have helped with the waste problem also. But like I said before, reducing the res limit would have reduced it for ALL residents........even the ones living in unit 23 that might only have a couple weeks to get the meat they wanted for the winter. Reducing the non res bag limit was, and is, an effective way to lessen the problem of wasted meat in Kotz.......whether that meat is wasted from neglect, or from circumstances somewhat beyond the control of the hunter.

    As someone else pointed out, the non res limit in 26 is still 5. Unit 26 can be economically reached from Bettles (probably not from Kotz). If non res hunters want to hunt where the bag limit is more than one, there are opportunities to do so.

    Pretty easy to be arm chair quarterbacks on this forum. Why don't some of you actually attend a BoG meeting. Get on your local AC. If you don't like the way things are.......put your money where your mouth is and try doing something about it.........you too Mike!
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    webmaster Michael Strahan's Avatar
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    Default well, I'm trying to be consistent...

    Quote Originally Posted by martentrapper View Post
    I can't believe what I'm reading, Mike. For literally years, you have advocated responsible and ethical hunting practices, especially when hunting out of Kotz. You've even started threads on the problem in Kotz, if memory serves me right. Now your dissing the BoG for taking steps to address that problem.
    Amazing!

    The real problem in Kotz is the VISIBILITY of the meat that is wasted. Dumpsters, airport, etc. Locals were up in arms. The BoG had to take steps to reduce the effects of this problem. It isn't about mounts, or why non res hunt, or the govt trying to save us from ourselves. It's about real solutions to a real problem. A problem that was making all hunters, res and non res, look bad.

    It would have been great if the BoG could have reduced res and non res limits. Might have helped with the waste problem also. But like I said before, reducing the res limit would have reduced it for ALL residents........even the ones living in unit 23 that might only have a couple weeks to get the meat they wanted for the winter. Reducing the non res bag limit was, and is, an effective way to lessen the problem of wasted meat in Kotz.......whether that meat is wasted from neglect, or from circumstances somewhat beyond the control of the hunter.

    As someone else pointed out, the non res limit in 26 is still 5. Unit 26 can be economically reached from Bettles (probably not from Kotz). If non res hunters want to hunt where the bag limit is more than one, there are opportunities to do so.

    Pretty easy to be arm chair quarterbacks on this forum. Why don't some of you actually attend a BoG meeting. Get on your local AC. If you don't like the way things are.......put your money where your mouth is and try doing something about it.........you too Mike!
    MT,

    I've always held the line on hunters taking responsibility for their actions in the field, especially when it comes to meat care. But I never said it was a good idea for the state to revoke hunting privileges from an entire group of hunters because some were wasteful.

    Some time between 1990 and 1994, the folks up thataway successfully lobbied for the "no fly" zone from Sapun Creek to the mouth of the Noatak on the grounds that airplane activity was disrupting the caribou migration; a claim that to my knowledge has no factual backing. Now the same claim, together with the wanton waste issue, is being made to justify a reduction in the nonresident bag limit, according to the article put out by ADFG. Do we have new evidence of that the migration is actually being disrupted, or is it the same argument, dusted off and shined up, and brought out again for a new crop of hunters who may have forgotten the weak standing it had the first time?

    Let's call this what it really is: political lobbying by locals who want to keep outsiders away. Folks, this is federal land we're talking about here. Land that, together with the game that lives there, belongs to the people of the United States. It is not private land. While I fully support, endorse and encourage user fees and restrictions on private native lands in Alaska, and I further encourage deference to local hunters encountered in the field, I get a bit upset when we see our hunting privileges compromised when there is no shortage of resource. Yes, I believe there is a problem in parts of GMU 23 with wanton waste. But I strongly disagree that a reduction in the bag limit is the way to stop it. We need to enforce the laws we have, not create new ones. Put the hammer down HARD on these guys, but don't take my hunting rights away!

    I believe this wanton waste issue is being used as leverage by folks who have had another agenda for many years, the curtailment of hunting opportunities on public lands for nonlocal hunters in Unit 23. Is this what we really want? Let's not forget that nonresident hunters are footing the majority of the bill when it comes to funding the Alaska Department of Fish and Game. By reducing hunting opportunities in the western arctic, we will force these folks to go to Canada where they can still hunt good numbers of caribou without the hassle. Dunno if anyone has noticed, but a nonresident hunter can only hunt moose up there on a drawing now (another recent development). With the reduction of the caribou bag limit, this means you get to hunt one of the most expensive places in Alaska for one caribou bull! Somebody got what they wanted for Christmas!

    I dunno, folks. I really don't know about this one. I normally support what the hard working folks at ADFG do for us, and I want to support this, but I'm having a real hard time seeing the justification for this one.

    MT, you are right about going to the BOG meetings; it's no excuse, but I have been very busy of late, with the launch of the float hunting book. Dunno if I could have stopped this one, but it would have been at least somewhat satisfying to have said something. Sheesh...

    -Mike
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  18. #18
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    it seems rather odd only a non-resident would waste meat, i have been there spent a lot of money there for local services waiting out weather on both ends of the hunt , will not go back until i can shoot 2 bou and then will bring 8 - 15 other non-residents to purchase services, meals and sleeping arrangements as well as local art , while i was there i couldnt tell non-residents from residents by looking, it seems if there was local company that cut and wrapped meat they could make a lot of money, i know it cost me 300.00 to have my meat cut wrapped and flown home..not much compared to the whole hunt .

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    Member Alaska Gray's Avatar
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    Could this be attempt to keep the bulls population from decreasing? Adak that use to be a great place to take a trophy bull. Now look at the herd. Bad shape if your looking for trophy bull.
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