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Thread: No More Cow Hunts Along The Rex Trail

  1. #1
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    Default No More Cow Hunts Along The Rex Trail

    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 gona 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.
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    Member mod elan's Avatar
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    Unbelievable how blind people are to the damage wheelers do.

    And because of two bad eggs all us winter users have to pay.

    How far up their rears do these AC's have their heads?

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    Well, the more I learn about this whole AC/BOG/Guides/Hunters/F&G/Proposals, etc...... The more I see it's the squeaky wheels that get the grease and the way I see it most hunters are not involved in the process. Seems to me that a select few are the ones who are the driving force behind most if the decisions that effect us all. Time for more of us hunters to get off our duffs and speak up about what we want or don't want.

    That's the way it works throughout most of our society. 20% of the people make 80% of the decisions because of complacency. Heck, in our last Mayoral election only something like 15% of the registered voters in Fairbanks bothered to vote.

    What a rotten deal about the schmucks who ripped off the trapper and damaged the other folks stuff. Some peoples kids......
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    Not to denigrate any AC process at all- I serve on an AC in the valley. Scuttlebutt has it, though, that the AC's of Nenana, Fairbanks and Delta Junction had a high turnover at the last election, with people opposed to the cow hunts coming out in force and filling the vacant posts.

    It disturbs me when I see any one user group within a larger group fighting to shut other users out of the process. In this case its local residents who have hunted/trapped/recreated and in some cases lived in the area wanting to keep users from other parts of the state, or with a different means of transportation, from using the area. I do stand for the biologically sound management of our resources, and allowing people to benefit from an abundance of game. There is an abundance of moose in this area, and people should be allowed to benefit from that.

    That said: If it is true that the trail is getting hammered, and surrounding areas are being cut up by offroad use, there seem to be other alternatives to shutting it down completely. When habitat loss is an issue, the state can go to a complete motor vehicle ban until there is 12" or more of snow, or as in the case of the Susitna Flats refuge, stay on existing trails once there is enough frost in the ground to support vehicles, but cannot leave the trail unless the 12" of snow is present. Also, if trail condition is poor enough to close off access to one motorized user group, it should warrant closing it to ALL user groups, including those individuals who don't like having to share traditional spots with new(er) users.

    I do support the cow hunts; look at all the meat that has been provided to residents on the road system who can drive to these areas then branch out by offroad vehicle and get a moose that they otherwise would not have shot, or else would have shot in an area that has much fewer moose to harvest. Hunters need to think long and hard before demanding they give up their own hunting opportunity, or take steps to take it away from other hunters. Once gone, it is very very hard to get it back.

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    70% of all the Moose harvested in the state last year came from unit 20-A. I was shocked when the biologist threw those figures out to the game board. There will be a hunt, but everyone will have to go in from the Delta side. I put in a proposal to open the Wood River Controlled use area during the Moose season in September. That one brought out all the guides and tranporters that use horses in the area. They claim that there is no trails and that vehicles would devastate the area. So I asked the Board, "How about we use the same trails the miners use with their dozers, loaders, and pickups? I don't think 4-wheelers are going to damage those trails, not if it's hard enough for a loader. We'll see how it goes in the next few days.

    As for the Fairbanks A/C, Yes there was a big shake up. A former Mayor of Fairbanks, who owns property along the Salcha river, motivated a group using the Antlerless Moose hunt to take over the A/C. He got out over 140 people to come and vote his hand picked people into seats on the A/C. The A/C has 15 members and every year we fill five of those seats. The statement has been made that they will continue to bring forth their selected members till they have control of the A/C. Since that has happened, it seems half the A/C members have suddenly joined them, the other half is feverishly trying to compromise. Ive been called names and am ridiculed because I am the only voice of decent on the closing the cow hunt proposal. The reason the Salcha homeowners got involved is because they were afraid there was going to be a cow hunt on the Salcha. There is lots of Moose and Caribou up the Salcha and they don't want anyone in their back yards, or using their river.
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  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Graybeard View Post
    70% of all the Moose harvested in the state last year came from unit 20-A......
    No way! The 2005/2006 harvest summary shows 27.6% of the statewide total was in GMU 20 (all subunits), which is already evidence of the concentration of hunting as a result of closing off other areas or low moose populations elsewhere.

    2007 data isn't yet available, even here.

    There are plenty of areas with great moose concentrations (Minto Flats, Koyukuk region, Innoko region, etc). The problem are highly restrictive access, both logistic and regulatory.

    How did you come up with that wacky 70% figure?

    ....I was shocked when the biologist threw those figures out to the game board.....
    I need a reference on that, please. If that's even close to true, we have HUGE moose management problems in this state.

    ....There will be a hunt, but everyone will have to go in from the Delta side. I put in a proposal to open the Wood River Controlled use area during the Moose season in September. That one brought out all the guides and tranporters that use horses in the area.They claim that there is no trails and that vehicles would devastate the area......
    Are you beginning to see the problem?:

    No matter where you're talking about, "the locals" (those who are already in the area) will fight it, and will invariably use environmental considerations to fight any loosening of access restrictions.

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    That was the number given at the Game Board meeting this weekend by the Dept of Fish and Game. If I can find that slide I'll post it.
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    Graybeard, I'm curious about how the A/C's in an area have to be on board in order to have a cow hunt. Is that state law? I was told the reason calves were not legal in the Delta hunt this fall was because the A/C threatened to Veto the whole hunt. Thanks for keeping us informed.

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    The way I understand it, When the Legislature approved the Intensive Management Law, that was one of the stipulations of that law. To have a Cow Hunt all A/Cs in the affected area had to approve.

    The definition of a legal animal was changed due to the folks in Delta and the folks around Anderson/Healy. They wanted it "Cow, Unaccompanied by a calf". Thier view was that all the babies would be left in the field bleating, to be easy pray for preditors. I thought it would be OK to take a cow with calf if you also took the calf, Meaning if two people were out looking for Moose and all they saw was cows with calves, to go ahead and take them. Sometimes a cow and a calf split between two families is all that is needed. But that idea was rejected.

    Some people just can't get over the idea that you don't shoot cows or calves. Especially the people my age. We were brought up after the days of the Big Market hunts when the game had been depleated in the lower 48. So while we were growing up it was taboo to shoot a doe or fawn, only poachers did that. Now they are still in that mind set, and refuse to look at it any other way. I got over that mind set back when I went to the land I grew up in and saw the huge numbers of deer that a policy like that will ultamately lead to. At one time the area where my brothers and Dad hunt, had a requirement that to get a Buck tag they had to bring in two Does first.
    Gun Control means hitting your target.
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    Thanks Graybeard, It made for quite a challenge that first weekend in Delta. The calves were almost as big as the cows. I talked to a former Biologist and he said if you are trying to bring down the population it should be calf only. It does not have the same long term effect as killing breeding cows. If you take to many it can rebound faster by only taking calves.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Graybeard View Post
    The way I understand it, When the Legislature approved the Intensive Management Law, that was one of the stipulations of that law. To have a Cow Hunt all A/Cs in the affected area had to approve.....
    Do I need to write the words anymore?:

    Reference, please.

    I suspect the advisory committee votes don't have to be unanimous, but the Board wants their affirmative votes just to shed pressure from detractors.

    And, frankly, I can't say I blame them. It looks to me like Alaska Board of Game and Board of Fishery politics is slimier and more frustrating than the U.S. Presidential politics.

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    Member BRWNBR's Avatar
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    "or using their river." wow sounds like guide talk....don't ever want to hear a resident get their hackels up because a guide got territorial...residents do the same thing, only they try to get the area closed so no one else can use it. at least guides don't try to close areas they just growl, they don't bite.
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