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Thread: Denning predators

  1. #1

    Default Denning predators

    Board of Game proposal #41 has hit the AP wire. Board Chairman Cliff Judkins is quoted as saying. "the pup-killing proposal is worth discussing." "It certainly has merit if it's effective and is done by Native and Eskimo people," he said.
    "They certainly know where the dens are at and they're not interested in wiping out wolf populations any more than we are."





    Now I'm not Alaskan Native or Eskimo but I have done some denning of bear. It works. If the use of aircraft to reduce predation isn't a politically correct method maybe Alaskan Natives and Eskimos are?
    It will be interesting to see how the board handles this one next weekend. Do others have experience denning?




  2. #2
    Member bushrat's Avatar
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    Default Our org opposed it

    Rod, I think Cliff summed it up with part of his comments as to whether or not it is "effective."

    Our org opposed it. The recent Newsminer op-ed by Sidney Huntington in which he said that villagers could no longer afford to trap, that wolf prices were too low, wolf traps too high, gas too high etc...pretty much convinced me that if Native villagers were no longer getting out trapping that certainly there was no incentive for them to go out denning. So like a lot of the bear control proposals, this is a "feel good" proposal (feels good to many who want more pred control options) that will only give hunting and hunters a black eye and have no appreciable effect in boosting ungulate populations. I sincerely doubt if the proposal were to pass that suddenly we'd see Native villagers spending money to find dens and kill wolf pups when right now few (according to Huntington) are even getting out trapping and trying to take care of this "problem" themselves.

    Curious, did AOC support this proposal?
    Sincerely,

  3. #3
    Member Chisana's Avatar
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    Default

    Count on Arno to crawl out of his den whenever there is a divisive and controversial issue at hand. He's certainly never here to share his vast knowledge when people are asking questions about how to plan their next hunt.

    Judkins' comment show just how out of touch he is. To hear a member of the BOG start injecting racial qualifications into potential BOG decisions is really troubling. If denning is good enough for natives, then why not for non-natives too? Frankly I don't see too many folks fired up about this practice in the villages I visit.

    This another archaic predator control proposal that the BOG needs to kill and another thread that should be moved out of the hunting forum.

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    Forum Admin Brian M's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chisana View Post
    and another thread that should be moved out of the hunting forum.
    It's been 54 minutes, Chisana. Give us some time...

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    Member Chisana's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brian M View Post
    It's been 54 minutes, Chisana. Give us some time...
    Okay, way to get it done!

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    Member bushrat's Avatar
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    Default clarification on proposal

    Just so those reading this thread know, if this proposal were to pass it would legalize "denning" in all areas with positive Intensive Management finding that are not meeting the pop. and harvest objectives, and it wouldn't be just allowed for "Alaska Natives." It would also legalize the taking of sows and cubs in these IM areas.


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    Default Questions

    I am neither a trapper or predator hunter and really only go by what other tell me or what I read, so it is time for you to educated me! So what is denning and how is it done? Could you name all the types of currently legal control means? Then name some that are not currently legal? Also include the pros and cons for each. Seems to me anyone that is against predator control will be against it now matter what methods are used. Should we be using the words hunting when talking about predator control issues?

    Don’t have the exact numbers but didn’t the ADFG want to harvest over 600 wolves for the last several winters and less than 100 were taken? If this is true, what is happening to our resources when our bios say take 600 and we only take 100? So if certain areas have been determined to need some type of control and the methods that have been approved are not working or being used, then why not try something else? Why are we not reaching these goals?

    Why are we getting so politically correct when it comes to managing our resources?

    Also please explain to me you views on the ballot initiative that wants to stop Alaskas Predator Control programs. I am looking for sales pitch as to why I should vote for or against this initiative.

    Thanks for your time.

    Troy

  8. #8
    Mark
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    I've never taken bear in the den, but I know people who have. It's already perfectly legal. It appears to me that the question here is whether or not to add wolves to the denning method, and I don't know if it's illegal to do so presently.

    Can anyone point to the statement in the hunting or trapping regs prohibiting wolves from being taken in the den or prohibiting the taking of pups? I just ran a word search on the regs with the key word "den".

    There were no hits............

    Quote Originally Posted by bushrat View Post
    .....Our org opposed it.....
    Why am I not surprised at this news?

    .....The recent Newsminer op-ed by Sidney Huntington in which he said that villagers could no longer afford to trap, that wolf prices were too low, wolf traps too high, gas too high etc...pretty much convinced me that if Native villagers were no longer getting out trapping that certainly there was no incentive for them to go out denning.....
    Pre-pipeline villagers took bear from dens as their primary bear hunting methods. Wolves?

    Yeah, trapping is no longer economically viable. Thank the animal rights extremist industry for that. (Thankfully, the Asian fur market has rebounded over the past few years.)

    IMO, that's the issue: countering the bullspit from anti-fur extremists.

    If that BS was effectively and appropriately put to rest and fur prices came back up, we wouldn't be awash in wolves and beavers.

    Even talk of subsidizing trapping (in the form of bounties) brings the extremists out of the woodwork. I don't know why so many other industries are blessed with subsidies and the trapping industry should be ostracized with completely false propaganda without countering the extremists.

  9. #9
    Member bushrat's Avatar
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    Default Will let Rod Arno answer your questions

    Troy, I'll let Rod answer your questions.

    Mark, your take on trapping is a bit skewed as far as it being economically viable. One could say (and many do) that hunting isn't "economcially viable," that one spends more hunting than he/she brings home in meat. One could also argue that those animal rights extremists you mention actually drive the price of fur up, not down. Fur market has, ever since I've been trapping, been highly volatile with major ups and downs. Many of the trappers I know trap to be a part of the overall scheme of things, to participate in their own way in taking some predators like wolves in areas where they hunt, and in doing so they often just "break even." They consider that a win-win. I've done the same here, and like most trappers set out line for a variety of animals, with marten being the major income-producing fur. The notion Sidney Huntington has that most villagers "can't afford" to trap is for me not really true...more a case of expecting the state to do it.

    Troy and Mark, you can find all the statutes and administrative code here:
    http://www.touchngo.com/lglcntr/

    Look at #41 and the listed statutes referenced and then look them up to find the regs on prohibitions on taking wolves from dens. Usually the first thing I do in reviewing certain proposals is to look up the referenced statutes and/or codes.
    Best,

  10. #10
    Mark
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    Quote Originally Posted by bushrat View Post
    ....Mark, your take on trapping is a bit skewed as far as it being economically viable. One could say (and many do) that hunting isn't "economcially viable," that one spends more hunting than he/she brings home in meat.....
    That is very true.

    But, then, there is no legal "commercial hunting" anymore. It's all "sport" or "subsistence". One cannot sell any part of a hunted animal like one does with trapped animals.

    ....One could also argue that those animal rights extremists you mention actually drive the price of fur up, not down....
    That, too, is very true.

    But what the animal extremists have done is virtually kill demand in the West, and they continue to work hard at keeping it in some sort of an ethical cloud.

    ....Fur market has, ever since I've been trapping, been highly volatile with major ups and downs. Many of the trappers I know trap to be a part of the overall scheme of things, to participate in their own way in taking some predators like wolves in areas where they hunt, and in doing so they often just "break even." They consider that a win-win. I've done the same here, and like most trappers set out line for a variety of animals, with marten being the major income-producing fur. The notion Sidney Huntington has that most villagers "can't afford" to trap is for me not really true...more a case of expecting the state to do it.....
    Again, I agree very much with that.

    The fur market is and always has been very volatile, and for a whole bunch of economic reasons. But now we also have ethical reasons.

    Also, marten (sable) prices now are at a high, and that's because that's what's in demand in Asia and Eastern Europe.

    Also, there used to be more people in a position like yours; in the Bush, but not in a village (which have increasingly become state welfare zones since the pipeline construction). People used to need to trap in order to gain some cash income in an area where cash was difficult to obtain. That is less so today with a rich state government, greater internet connectivity bringing greater opportunity to the enterprising few (like yourself), and greater tourism income/opportunities for some smaller communities.

  11. #11
    Member BRWNBR's Avatar
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    you can sell parts of hunted animals, just not meat or antlers still attached to the skull, hides and bones you can sell as well as shed antlers or antlers removed from the skull.

    With the current wolf hunting seasons, taking pups is pretty much taken care of as wolf season is closed during the birthing/little pup stages. if they would just open wolf season to year round and never use the word "pup" i think this would go a bit farther.

    Also don't think we are ready to be shooting sows and cubs statewide...wait and see what a non difference it makes in unit 16...
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    why not just bring back poison? As soon as we kill all the wolves we'll be overrun with coyotes, just like the rest of the united states.

    We have no clue how many wolves are in Alaska, ADF&G has a 4000 wolf margin of error, with wolf density << .01 wolf/sq. mile they are impossible to count, predator control has never worked in this state without decimation of the wolf population (why we are doing wolf control now when we did it intensively everywhere in the state and now are doing again? to let moose gain a foothold? why didn't they gain a foothold then? how is now different? why is there a massive cow hunt in 20A?)

    denning is about as dumb as aerial shooting, if someone wants to tromp through the woods till they find a den and kill some puppies thats all right with me but its not an effective predator control measure, just like aerial shooting isn't. When either are economically viable they might be but with the price of fuel that will never happen and harvest objectives in actual subsistence areas (not 13 or 16b) will remain totally unmet and the state will continue to waste resources fighting for a program that is ineffective. That is my huge beef with aerial shooting, its wasting biologists time trying to cover the board of game's butts instead of focusing on other things.
    I choose to fly fish, not because its easy, but because its hard.

  13. #13

    Default How do you figure?

    Quote Originally Posted by ak_powder_monkey View Post
    why not just bring back poison? As soon as we kill all the wolves we'll be overrun with coyotes, just like the rest of the united states.

    We have no clue how many wolves are in Alaska, ADF&G has a 4000 wolf margin of error, with wolf density << .01 wolf/sq. mile they are impossible to count, predator control has never worked in this state without decimation of the wolf population (why we are doing wolf control now when we did it intensively everywhere in the state and now are doing again? to let moose gain a foothold? why didn't they gain a foothold then? how is now different? why is there a massive cow hunt in 20A?)

    denning is about as dumb as aerial shooting, if someone wants to tromp through the woods till they find a den and kill some puppies thats all right with me but its not an effective predator control measure, just like aerial shooting isn't. When either are economically viable they might be but with the price of fuel that will never happen and harvest objectives in actual subsistence areas (not 13 or 16b) will remain totally unmet and the state will continue to waste resources fighting for a program that is ineffective. That is my huge beef with aerial shooting, its wasting biologists time trying to cover the board of game's butts instead of focusing on other things.
    You go off spewing about how predator control doesn't work, yet data proves it does. You are so off on your data. I do agree with you that the denning issue is "out there", but aerial hunting IS effective. How do you figure the price of fuel is stopping aerial wolf control from being effective? The guys I know are going to be gearing up here shortly to do just that. Most aerial guys are waiting until mid Feb. when they have better weather and longer days to do it with. How is that state wasting resources on aerial wolf hunting? They aren't paying for crap! The gunner/pilot's are footing the bill. This in reality is costing the state very little money. I wish people would actually get the facts or tell people the real truth. The state is not paying anyone to do this, it is all up to the pilot/gunner teams.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by northway View Post
    You go off spewing about how predator control doesn't work, yet data proves it does. You are so off on your data. I do agree with you that the denning issue is "out there", but aerial hunting IS effective. How do you figure the price of fuel is stopping aerial wolf control from being effective? The guys I know are going to be gearing up here shortly to do just that. Most aerial guys are waiting until mid Feb. when they have better weather and longer days to do it with. How is that state wasting resources on aerial wolf hunting? They aren't paying for crap! The gunner/pilot's are footing the bill. This in reality is costing the state very little money. I wish people would actually get the facts or tell people the real truth. The state is not paying anyone to do this, it is all up to the pilot/gunner teams.
    Why haven't harvest objectives been met???

    Heres how it works
    BOG says hey we should do wolf control say hey F&G what do you think (wink wink nudge nudge)
    ADF&G Bios write papers explaining that predator control doesn't work unless harvest is sustained forever or wolves are erradicated wasting a bunch of time
    Public votes down aerial gunning
    BOG waits two years does the same thing

    -that's what it costs the state money, there are very few wildlife bios in AK and their resources are being spent defending the predator control program instead of focusing on say actually counting the wolves (a 20&#37; margin of error in the population count) or actually counting sheep, moose, bears, caribou, goats, wolverines, bison or deer. I'm not talking about gas I'm talking about state resources.

    -The rural predator control units (not 13 or 16b) haven't met their harvest goals in a while and won't until its economically viable to be an aerial gunner (like it was in the 70s) because people have better things to do with money. This will likely be the same as denning.

    -As predator control has increased the amount of permits issued to residents within the predator control units has decreased thus subsistence hunting has decreased

    -Unit 13 will never have enough moose and caribou to meet "subsistence needs" even if you kill all of the wolves and bears

    -Unit 16b didn't go to teir II status until predator control started


    -Eagles are more significant predators on caribou birthing grounds than wolves are

    -Wolves do not actively hunt big game in the summer like they do in the winter therefor the issue of calf recruitment is due to a different factor (possible black bears who specialize in taking young moose, or maybe poor habitat)

    Take a look at the data instead of blindly following the BOG
    I choose to fly fish, not because its easy, but because its hard.

  15. #15
    Mark
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    Quote Originally Posted by ak_powder_monkey View Post
    why not just bring back poison?...
    Because poison is fully indescriminate and kills off scavangers like eagles, foxes, coyotes, wolverines, etc, et al just like the predators.

    Denning doesn't.

    .....As soon as we kill all the wolves we'll be overrun with coyotes, just like the rest of the united states....
    Of course you knew that coyotes are a relatively recent arrival in Alaska, and despite the fact that there are still plenty of wolves here?

    .....We have no clue how many wolves are in Alaska, ADF&G has a 4000 wolf margin of error, with wolf density << .01 wolf/sq. mile they are impossible to count....
    Those two points are completely false, I suspect you know that (even though it's easy to prove that you are often unknowlegable), and I think you're arguing those points knowing better.

    Wolves are much easier to count than bears because they're up all winter when foliage is gone, they leave tracks all over in the snow, and thus can easily be aerially counted.

    ....predator control has never worked in this state without decimation of the wolf population....
    If that was true, why are there still more wolves here than anywhere else?

    This is true:

    There has never been a predator control measure implemented since 1900 without dramatic opposing political pressure and baseless claims from the environmental industry.

    ....why we are doing wolf control now when we did it intensively everywhere in the state and now are doing again?....
    1) Because previous attempts were on-again, off-again because of the court/environmental meddling, and

    2) because wolves reproduce like other canines; prodigiously, which is unlike brown bears

    ....if someone wants to tromp through the woods till they find a den and kill some puppies thats all right with me....
    Well, then, this exchange (and your opposition) ends here, right?

  16. #16

    Default Interesting info.

    Quote Originally Posted by ak_powder_monkey View Post
    Why haven't harvest objectives been met???

    Heres how it works
    BOG says hey we should do wolf control say hey F&G what do you think (wink wink nudge nudge)
    ADF&G Bios write papers explaining that predator control doesn't work unless harvest is sustained forever or wolves are erradicated wasting a bunch of time
    Public votes down aerial gunning
    BOG waits two years does the same thing

    -that's what it costs the state money, there are very few wildlife bios in AK and their resources are being spent defending the predator control program instead of focusing on say actually counting the wolves (a 20% margin of error in the population count) or actually counting sheep, moose, bears, caribou, goats, wolverines, bison or deer. I'm not talking about gas I'm talking about state resources.

    -The rural predator control units (not 13 or 16b) haven't met their harvest goals in a while and won't until its economically viable to be an aerial gunner (like it was in the 70s) because people have better things to do with money. This will likely be the same as denning.

    -As predator control has increased the amount of permits issued to residents within the predator control units has decreased thus subsistence hunting has decreased

    -Unit 13 will never have enough moose and caribou to meet "subsistence needs" even if you kill all of the wolves and bears

    -Unit 16b didn't go to teir II status until predator control started


    -Eagles are more significant predators on caribou birthing grounds than wolves are

    -Wolves do not actively hunt big game in the summer like they do in the winter therefor the issue of calf recruitment is due to a different factor (possible black bears who specialize in taking young moose, or maybe poor habitat)

    Take a look at the data instead of blindly following the BOG

    AKPM this looks like some interesting info can you post a link or someting to where you got it??

    THanks

  17. #17
    Member ak_powder_monkey's Avatar
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    the margin of error is the first thing listed on this page

    http://www.wc.adfg.state.ak.us/index.cfm?adfg=wolf.main
    I choose to fly fish, not because its easy, but because its hard.

  18. #18
    Mark
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    Quote Originally Posted by ak_powder_monkey View Post
    .....We have no clue how many wolves are in Alaska, ADF&G has a 4000 wolf margin of error, with wolf density << .01 wolf/sq. mile they are impossible to count....

    Those two points are completely false, I suspect you know that (even though it's easy to prove that you are often unknowlegable), and I think you're arguing those points knowing better.....
    the margin of error is the first thing listed on this page

    http://www.wc.adfg.state.ak.us/index.cfm?adfg=wolf.main
    I stand corrected.

    You also wrote:

    ...they are impossible to count....
    Got a link to prove that assertion, too?

    I offer this (page 114):

    ....Unit 16 contained an estimated 120-140 wolves, in 16 packs, during fall 1998 (Table 1). This is approximately twice the number estimated during February 1993. The large increase in recent years is probably an artifact of our methodology and resources. The effort to control the spread of lice allowed us to get reliable minimum estimates of pack sizes and distribution in a large portion of Unit 16, and the resulting numbers were substantially higher than previous estimates in those areas. This demonstrates that the “traditional” method of estimating wolf populations solely from incidental observations by staff, trappers, pilots and other outdoor enthusiasts probably results in a significant under-estimation of wolf numbers. Further, we may be able to detect only large population shifts through traditional methodology…….
    In other words, no aerial surveys are conducted. Sealing, hunting/trapping reporting, and incidental reporting was what was used to estimate numbers.

    When the biologists actually went out in a funded program to try to catch wolves to de-louse them, they found that there were twice as many wolves as they originally estimated.

    Of course, you know what that means, right? There is likely many more wolves out there than presently believed.

    Daddy used to always say that when you see a wolf, he's already seen you twice.........

  19. #19

    Question

    I've heard the best way to den bears is with a dog ...
    Is it the same technique for wolves?

  20. #20
    Mark
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ishmael View Post
    I've heard the best way to den bears is with a dog ...
    That'd be illegal.

    ....Is it the same technique for wolves?
    Of course not. Wolves don't hibernate.

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