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Thread: Kind of Bitter on Hunting in Alaska?

  1. #1

    Default Kind of Bitter on Hunting in Alaska?

    It sure seems like theirs a growing sentiment of negativity in my circle of friends on the quality of hunting in Alaska these days, myself included. I cant recall ever feeling like theres absolutely no place a guy can go to get away from the crowds. Be it SC/Wasilla folks or just Interior folks it seems to me that the quality of hunting is really going downhill up here. If its not the crowds then its the closed land you used to hunt that is now Native and no longer usable. This just pushes the crowds into even smaller areas. Then there is the closure of ATV trails which does ditto to what I just said. It doesn't matter if you walk in, ride an ATV in, Boat in on a river boat or pay a charter and fly in....finding some space is not as easy as it once was. I had a conversation with my sheep hunting partner last week about how I almost welcome the idea of a lot of hunts going to draw just to bring more quality to the hunts, as opposed to dealing with the overcrowding that is **** near overwhelming. Yeah you might not draw every species every year, but when you do the hunt might be that much more rewarding, I dont know. So whats your thoughts?

  2. #2
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    Default Thoughts

    Do you remember how good hunting was even 10 years ago. Open sheep and open goat hunts in Knik up to this year, and now they are closed to permits only. Well, I Guarantee if you think things are bad now, they are going to get allot worse. Today is tommorows good old days. Before long it will be like the lower 48 and just wait until the Native Corp's locks up their all there land the the rest of the land goes to consessions. Today is great, just wait.

    Terry

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    Where I call home which is Oregon the state had to go to a draw system yrs ago to do this... Before the draw the hunting was horrible for mule deer... If you didn't get a buck on the opening weekend you might as well call it a season. The reason? half the state would be camped out in the units close to my home town... These were not locals either it was truck after truck of portland, eugene ie valley hunters... Once the state went to a draw on the eastside it set tag limit per unit and now the hunting is very good it is not unusaul to shoot a nice 24 inch mulie nowdays... During the predraw days if you shot a forked horn you were lucky. I agree when you have 6-8 thousand people crammed into a unit that should only have 2 thousand you are bound to have trouble.

  4. #4

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    I agree Terry, I moved to Alaska in 1995 and the hunting then compared to now is night and day, I can only imagine how good it was in say 1985 or 1975, but regardless those days are gone. I have an 11 year old son and as him and I were driving to town the other day he asked me, dad when do I get to go sheep hunting and all I could tell him was......son I hope that when your fit enough to carry a pack and part of your own gear and be fit enough to climb the big mountains, I am afraid that unless you draw a tag you probably wont sheep hunt at all. Then he asked me about moose and caribou and it left me wondering about places I know of that would provide a good experience free of hunting pressure and I was stumped. Tis sad that today is tomorrows good old days no doubt. What comes to mind for me though is what does a fella do when he cant spend all freezing azz winter looking forward to next years hunts because you anticipate next years hunts being more of the same over congested BS which makes for a negative experience? I guess thats when its time to move somewhere else, hope that isn't as soon as I fear it will be.

  5. #5
    Member danattherock's Avatar
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    Default Bad hunting?

    You say the hunting is bad? How can this be. I read a story in the paper the other day about a small group of hunters that killed over 100 caribou in one day. Bad joke. Sorry. One thing to consider is that what you call "bad" is great to many hunters in the lower 48. Solitude is a very relative thing. And that is at the heart of your problems. Many people down south dream of seeing Alaska, and for some reason, finally justify the expense/effort of the trip by making it a hunting trip. That once in a lifetime trip if you will. So they get their bou, head back home and brag to all their buddies about how wonderful the great land is. How "I was 100 miles from the nearest person", when in reality, they may have been 5 miles from the next group. They tell of the infamous tundra, bear sitings, and blueberries all over the ground. How they saw hundreds of bou and waited to pick the best bull. Then their buddies get online and start researching their "trip of a lifetime". At places like this. Before long you have a snowball effect. More and more hunters wanting that hunting experience that only Alaska offers. Problem is, the animals don't multiply as fast as the hunters. So you get lower densities, more conflict with natives, land right issues and such. Then ultimately more legislation. The state is torn between game/resource management, keeping locals/natives happy, and making a buck. Who loses here? You do. It is easy to see, even for an outsider like myself. Lots of money coming into Alaska from the lower 48. Thousands of dollars per hunter, and the hunters are standing in line to come. Then the native lands and BLM regulations kick in. The people in last place are the non-native citizens in Alaska. You contribute less money and fall back in line whether it is fair or not. As long as forums like this (which I love) exist, hundreds of guides looking for business, and shows like "North To Alaska" (which I love), you will have a steady stream of people flowing in to hunt in Alaska. Anyone offended by this statement probably profits in some way from the problem. I am not knocking a guy for making a living even though it sounds like it. But it is what it is. When I was living in Kotz, the locals picked on the hunters, called them "Cabelas army", yet loved them filling the normally near empty restaurants and motel. Of course the bush pilots did not mind the extra people in town. Why would they? So if your making money off the hunters, all is well. If you have millions of acres of "native" land you can kill hundreds of caribou in an afternoon on, all is well. If you are a working and contributing citizen in Alaska, go to the back of the line. As I mentioned, just an outsiders opinion. Worth what you paid for it.
    The two loudest sounds known to man: a gun that goes bang when it is supposed to go click and a gun that goes click when it is supposed to go bang.

  6. #6

    Default Hunting isn't what it used to be

    Cub I agree with you,

    I came here in 1979 and used to hunt anywhere in the state pretty much to myself. . I remember working in a remote location and the locals would not tell me a thing as to how to hunt the area. but once I got out there I ran into the same folks who were not giving info and all of a sudden their attitude changed because I went looking and did my own research.
    Once I got out there they were fine becauser I showed that I would go out on my own then they helped me all around the place.

    Not so today.

    I have found that the native corps, (not the natives )have locked all access. I called for permission and was willing to pay for access that I used to have for free before the land turnovers and they said were not going to let any new folks or White man in -- to bad.

    Unless we can get the Native corps to let at least some of the hunters on their land we might as well book hunts in other countrys or other states. even the guides are having a rough time of finding a LEGAL areas of land to hunt that they had used for years before the BLM turn overs

    . I have two sons of my own and I feel for ya!

  7. #7

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    Yeah guys its a multitude of issues the way I see it. Here are the facts....

    #1 Alaska is growing, especially South Central (Anchorage/Wasilla) and those guys have to travel to hunt as hutning sucks close to town.

    #2 The Military bases are growing, means more young fit hunters with the AOD to teach them how to hunt

    #3 Guided Hunting has become a Monopoly (supply/demand)

    #4 Air Charters have become a Monopoly (supply/demand)

    #5 We are losing public land annually to the Native Corps and getting none back (Land transfers)

    #6 Reduction to trail usage, they are closing more and more acccess annually and not opening any new areas up

    #7 General Harvest areas being converted to Draw areas

    #8 Lots more DIY non-resident hunters coming up each year, and an extremely wealthy generation of baby boomers that absolutely must hunt Alaska at whatever the cost may be

    #9 People must be making more money than they used to because everyone in Alaska has 4 wheelers and riverboats

    #10 Not enough predator control going on thanks to the greenies which means more 4 legged critters eating other 4 legged critters


    What else is there......

    I am not saying that a fella cant go out and kill something, thats just being in the right place at the right time, its just the experience that is being tarnished just a bit more each and every year by all of the above reasons. Its gotten about as bad as it can as far as I see it, we are just in a slow downward spiral now.

  8. #8

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    Last year i got my moose a half mile from a subdivision. Walked in saw 3 bulls in less than 2hrs. Moose cut up by dark and in the freezer next day. While more people are out in remote areas than in years they have seemed to have missed what was right under there nose. As for sheep more permit areas will force more pressure on the open areas. Forums like this have made it easy for people to find your honey hole. Heck i'm part of the problem i PM'D a guy on a permit area that i have hunted lots of times. Loose lips sink ships! REMEBER TO VOTE NO ON 2 and your remote areas will rebound.
    Last edited by pa18tony; 08-19-2008 at 00:28. Reason: sp

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    I remember talking with an "Old Timer" back in 1974 who had lived and hunted here for 30 years at the time. I remember thinking that he had sure seen the good old days but what I didn't realize at the time was that I too was seeing the good old days. I bought a Cushman Trackster in 1978 and that opened whole new horizons for me. Moose and caribou were a cinch off the Denali Highway in those days. Now I don't even qualify to hunt caribou down there.

  10. #10
    Member akshrop's Avatar
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    I have been in AK only five years, so I can't comment on how it was, but I have really not had any close encounters with other hunters. I have even hunted just a few miles from Fairbanks without seeing another person. I am lucky enough to have a jet boat and quite frankly I have never felt crowded when out on the rivers hunting. I have passed a few other camps/boats, but I just kept going until I was alone. I am not saying that you guys are wrong, just that in my short experience, I have been able to get away from other hunters rather easily. Just don't judge me on my "bagging rate," cause I have been mostly a day late and dollar short on that. I can mostly blame bad timing, my brother's big mouth (oh look a bear/moose/bou!), sleeping in and me saying "oh a fish jumped, lets fish for a while instead." I have also never hunted goats or sheep. I'm a little too lazy for that. Those mountains are too steep for my boat.

  11. #11
    Member Vince's Avatar
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    i agree with all of you guys.. but what i see as bad about the hunting is the sense of ENTITLEMENT people feel when they go. yeah i raised a stink on the other thread. but the fact is that a person who feels entitled to the hunt because they drove 100-400 or flew 3000 miles is so very wrong. and the fact is the hunting is easier and better then it was when i was a kid. sure i don't see big moose any more. but i sure used to work my hiney off for the ones we did get. heck we used to run a trap line with my dads friend off muldune road. my first bear stand was across Jim creek up Knik glacier area. it USED to be 4 hours Anchorage to Wasilla. i have seen the growth and all along.

    People spend all year planning a hunt and forget that the trail they are using was put there by people like myself , my father, your father or friend. who spend all year out there making a living. they forget that when they go home people like me still have to use it and clean up behind them as we go.

    what makes bad hunting is someone having the perception that my back yard is their play ground. it was the same out in Wasilla in the *80's people used to come off the mountain following our Horse tracks back wards and be upset cause dad wouldn't let them track a moose through our yard. It is no different now when i go to my mining claim to spend a week and find some one else has got my fire going used all the wood and drank the coffee.... and the bad thing is they planned all summer to do it.

    whats bad about hunting is the lack of respect for the neighbors any more. I love having all those people stop by camp when i am there love to share my coffee and fire. hate being taken advantage of. and get upset when the perception is that because we live here we already have it. People forget we worked our butts off to get where we are today. and have what we do..

    whats bad about hunting is the person who thinks that moose they spotted 3 miles away is theirs, forgetting 379 other people spotted it also when it stepped out.

    The bad thing about hunting is that it has gotten to **** easy. now it is an entiltelment.... not a privilege.

    Hunting has changed so have the methods but again so have the moose. there are more moose in our suburbs then in the woods any more. I have not seen a +60 inch moose in 15 years but i see 100 more moose, then i did then and that gives the mis conception that they are Every where.

    the bad thing about hunting is there are not enough to go around. the country of Finland Harvest more moose in a season then Alaska has alive.

    go to a draw system I am all for it.. maybe it will put some of the respect back in to hunting and remove some of the ENTITLEMENT!!!!!!!!!!

  12. #12
    Member junkak's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vince View Post


    go to a draw system I am all for it.. maybe it will put some of the respect back in to hunting and remove some of the ENTITLEMENT!!!!!!!!!!

    Easy there Tex.
    On the same principle you will have a 'Draw' for toilet paper and Americans don't roll that way

    I live in Anchorage but my family enjoys moose burger and steaks all year. Carr's/Safeway is close and has good beef but nothing compares to my own premium ungulate burger and roasts

    Does this make me entitled? Having a hard time seeing your point.

    Not trying to be difficult or obtuse. Just want a reasonable explanation.

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    Member Vince's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by junkak View Post
    Does this make me entitled? Having a hard time seeing your point.

    Not trying to be difficult or obtuse. Just want a reasonable explanation.

    my point is simply that to many people show up in the woods after investing a ton of money and effort in to planning the hunt and then feel that no one else should be there. especially when they are not the ones living in the area and taking care of it while they are gone


    it is not so different then my neighbor being told his camp was up for two weeks and now it was this other persons from Sutton. because 2 weeks is the limit on a wall tent site...... never mind the camp has been there 20+ years and is visited by Dozens of people through out the season. the lady and her husband actually told him it was THEIR TURN.

    I go to my mining camp each Moose season.. Not so much to hunt but to make sure it is still there at the end of it.. my wife will bow hunt one out the back door while i am gone and thats all we need... if i draw a tag great. i will go I don't hunt sheep because i cant. i choose Not to do the steece or Taylor hwy combat/caribou hunts and i don't raise Cain because i no longer qualify for the tier II moose and bou that i did for 15 years... i also CHOOSE not to bow hunt the Dalton. if i felt i wanted to i would be Privileged to do so .. and i KNOW that many on this site feel as i do... but there are to many still that we all call yahoo's that ruin that experience for it. if every one is going to argue over THAT moose... put a raffle ticket on his butt and see what he sells for..maybe then we can get some roads in our state.

  14. #14

    Default Control your Own Destiny!

    Had to read this post as I am thinking of hunting in AK and it certainly got my attention. As I have never hunted in Ak, I can't comment on the hunting -today or past. But I can tell you that when seaching for an Outfitter/guide the bulk of my contacts were in the lower 48! In fact it got to the point where I was surprised to hear from a "real" Alaskan.
    As I mentioned in my post- Fall Brown Beasr Hunt- I have guided along the Rockies for the various game we enjoy here and over the years I have seen the same. One of the biggest contributors (in my humble opinion only) has been the invasion of "Foriegn" Outfitters. Guys with big dreams and even bigger $$$. What they want, they buy. Initially they buy it to serve their own selfish purpose, then knowing the money that is to be made, they rape the land of it's natural resources. they don't give a **** about us cowboys out west. Would they do it in their own back yard or state? I think not. Anyway, I'm getting worked up so it's time to quit! Guys (and gals) don't let the BIG BOYS WITH BIG $$$ do to you what they have done to us. Keep control of your state and your resources, make your legislators accountable to you not big business. And believe me hunting in America is big business. Just visit your local Cabela's or Bass Pro. Anyway enough!!!

  15. #15

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    I moved up here in '89 and the hunting around that time frame was spectacular. I could go sheep hunting and see plenty of full curl rams and hardly any hunters. My moose hunting spot held twice as many bulls as cows and caribou hunting was a short drive from Fairbanks. Things have changed and it's all due to a growing hunting population. I don't mind sharing info with other hunters as I have had the favor returned many times. Times are a changing fellas and if we don't adapt you can count on your quality hunting experiences to go downhill. OK, let the name calling begin......

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    Quote Originally Posted by junkak View Post
    Easy there Tex.
    On the same principle you will have a 'Draw' for toilet paper and Americans don't roll that way

    I live in Anchorage but my family enjoys moose burger and steaks all year. Carr's/Safeway is close and has good beef but nothing compares to my own premium ungulate burger and roasts

    Does this make me entitled? Having a hard time seeing your point.

    Not trying to be difficult or obtuse. Just want a reasonable explanation.

    I have been here a short while but anyhow where I just came from Ft Huachuca the only people who could hunt on the post were AD military, dependents and DOD, DOA folks... Avg Joe in the state could not put in for deer tags on Huachuca and Huachuca has probably one of the best deer population in the state and people would give their 1st born up to have an opportunity to hunt the post... Unlike up here anyone can put in to hunt on Richardson, Wainwright and Greely (sp) I bet if they changed that where only Military folks could get these tag alot of folks up here would be very upset over it. I guess you can say they think it's an entitlement not a privalege to hunt on the installations.

  17. #17

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    go to a draw system I am all for it.. maybe it will put some of the respect back in to hunting and remove some of the ENTITLEMENT!!!!!!!!!!
    I think it will get worse than that I can see the entire state to be tier II in a few years. I don't what have happened to the wildlife populations in this state but if something doesn't happen soon Alaskans are going to be flying to Kansas to do their hunting.
    Chuck

  18. #18
    Member GITDEMBARS's Avatar
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    Default Oh No

    Quote Originally Posted by 323 View Post
    I have been here a short while but anyhow where I just came from Ft Huachuca the only people who could hunt on the post were AD military, dependents and DOD, DOA folks... Avg Joe in the state could not put in for deer tags on Huachuca and Huachuca has probably one of the best deer population in the state and people would give their 1st born up to have an opportunity to hunt the post... Unlike up here anyone can put in to hunt on Richardson, Wainwright and Greely (sp) I bet if they changed that where only Military folks could get these tag alot of folks up here would be very upset over it. I guess you can say they think it's an entitlement not a privalege to hunt on the installations.

    Uh oh, you used the "M" word, this goes bad every time.

    I'm sure the Ft. Huachuca scenario is great in AZ but that won't be good here. With this concept will come, "Keep the Military on post only". That my friend will suck. To many hunters and not enough room, animals, or species.

    Let the bashing begin.

  19. #19
    Member Phil's Avatar
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    Default Population

    I've sais this before and here seems to be a good place to re-state the obvious. "The only constant is change".

    As long as there is an increase in hunter demand for a finite animal population - there will be many changes - some good for all, some god for some, and some good for none.

    That's the way life looks for an "old timer".

    BTW, I did my first hunt in Alaska in August 1971. Things have changed since then.

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    Quote Originally Posted by GITDEMBARS View Post
    Uh oh, you used the "M" word, this goes bad every time.

    I'm sure the Ft. Huachuca scenario is great in AZ but that won't be good here. With this concept will come, "Keep the Military on post only". That my friend will suck. To many hunters and not enough room, animals, or species.

    Let the bashing begin.

    LOL I just want to say that I was using that as an example for entitlement and privalege... Sure the Az scenerio is great for military folks you are guranteed a deer tag where a lot of people in Arizona haven't drawn a deer tag in yrs (5-6)... My buddy told me for this yr they had 110 plus rifle tags and only 80 were drawn now they have 30 plus left over tags. I think that would be a great opportunity to let Az residents to put in for the left over tags... But hey this isn't about Az... I do not advocate the closing of these posts to residents I feel they should let the Soldiers have 1st crack at the tags and if there are left over tags then those go to the whoever... I'm sure I'm going to get beat up over this but oh well...

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