We had a group meeting last night of all the A/Cs in the Unit 20-A area. Any one of which has the power to shut down the Cow Hunt. The only way the Middle Nenana and several of the Fairbanks group would agree to continuation of the Cow hunt was if all the zones along or reachable from the Rex Trail was shut down. Even after F&G showed the Moose are still there in high numbers, They were adement about shutting down the hunts along the Rex. I went into this meeting confident I could save the winter hunts at least. I was hoping for a November hunt, to gain access into the Wood River Controlled Use Area, where there is still a large number of cows.
At issue was the distruction of the Rex by the tired rigs from down south. I for one saw this coming and have to admit I am in agreement here. The Rex Trail is a fragile trail at the least. Not suitable for large tired vehicles. Nor is it suitable for heavy use by large tracked vehicle. If vehicle usage does not exceed a certain limit the trail will recover each year. The last eight or nine years, usage has exceeded those limits.
When I brought up the winter (November) hunt, I was blowen out of the water. No way. We can blame the Snow Machiners that was up there with in the last two weeks for that one. Someone went in and not only stole fur from a local trappers trap line, they stole the traps as well. Now this guy lives out there year round. Trapping is his lively hood. Someone stealing his traps was crossing the line.
Then they brought up dates and times, of how a snowmachiner, last week, ignored signs and ran across a homesteader's septic system with a snow machine. Thanks to that inconsiderate snowmachiner the family now has to once again use the outhouse. Since their septic system is now frozen, their indoor plumbing is now useless. Think about it, how would you feel if someone denied your family the use of your plumbing in your house for the winter. I'd be ticked, ready to shoot a snow machine myself.
So if you had plans to hunt Cow Moose along the Rex this coming season, forget it, aint going to happen.
These guys are screaming for DNR to shut down the Rex to anything over 1500 lbs. due to the abuse from large tired vehicles.