Well, it’s back in the news again. Predator control.
I read today’s predator control article in the Anchorage Daily News http://www.adn.com/news/alaska/story...-7634587c.html and saw a number of things in there that are pretty hot issues. Here are some quotes:
“Give hunters on snowmachines the chance to pursue and shoot wolves just a quick drive from Wasilla or Big Lake”
“Let airborne hunters bait and kill bears immediately after landing”
“Create the state's only bear-trapping program in an area near McGrath”
“reduce big-game predators in an effort to increase struggling moose and caribou populations in several areas”
"The best thing is to reduce the prey population right where you want it -- in the first year," said board member Ted Spraker of Soldotna. "I'm sure that would not be very tasteful to the public ... but if you're going to do it you should do it right and be very efficient."
“Moose numbers are rising around the Kuskokwim River village of McGrath, where aerial kills have been in place the longest, said state Fish and Game spokeswoman Cathie Harms.”
“The commissioners may also increase bear baiting in hard-to-reach areas. To do that, they'll waive rules against same-day airborne hunting, allowing hunters to bait and shoot bears on the same day they've flown.”
“To increase moose for urban hunters, another measure would give snowmachiners the chance to chase and shoot wolves on either side of the Parks Highway around Kashwitna and Talkeetna. Land-and-shoot hunting would also be allowed in the 4,000-square-mile area.”
That's a lot to chew on.
I want to see if we can simplify this discussion without getting into a shouting match over our differences. Some of us have some pretty strong opinions on this issue, and it’s easy to set each other off to the point that the entire discussion is side-tracked with personal issues, people threatening to hunt in each other’s backyard, and the like. Let’s not go there.
I hate to do this, but I think this poll should be left to licensed Alaska hunters only, who are residents of the state. In matters of legislation (which some of this is), only Alaskans will be allowed to vote on these issues. I don’t want to be unfair to anyone at all, and I’d like your input on that. So, the rules of the poll as I see them would be:
1. Only registered voters who carry an Alaska hunting license can participate?
2. Multiple-choice questions (you choose all that apply)?
3. ? other suggestions?
I want to put a meaningful poll together that reflects where folks are on some of the issues. Here are some sample questions. Please feel free to tweak them any way you like, and I’ll try to post a poll on it later this week. Remember, when we do polls, we only get ten questions, so we have to be really concise here. I’m going to post some sample questions in this thread. Please don’t try to answer the questions here; we’ll do that in the poll. The purpose of this thread is to come up with the RIGHT questions for the poll. Okay, here are some possible questions.
1. I think predator control in Alaska is a bad idea.
2. I think predator control in Alaska is a good idea.
3. Decisions about predator control should be voted on by the public.
4. Decisions about predator control should be made and executed by ADFG.
5. I favor localized predator control efforts as a measure to boost ungulate numbers for sport hunting.
6. I favor state-wide predator control efforts to boost ungulate numbers for sport hunting.
7. Predator control should be done by government agents.
8. Predator control should be done by licensed sport hunters.
9. I think we should be allowed to hunt wolves from the air (land and shoot, or aerial gunning).
10. I think we should be allowed to hunt bears from the air (baiting, land and shoot, or aerial gunning).
11. I think we should be allowed to trap bears.
I think this could be a very important poll. There are many folks making these decisions, who read this board. Knowing how we feel could have an impact.