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Thread: Unit 20a

  1. #1
    Member Vince's Avatar
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    Default Unit 20a

    okay guys i am starting this thread, for YOUR ideas regarding hunting in unit 20A ferry trail management, wood river, Rex trail, Yanert,, you know the drill

    I am in contact with the biologist Don Young and have asked him my own set of questions.... as you may or not know I LIVE there in the heart of it.

    what changes WOULD YOU LIKE TO SEE?????????

    cow hunt?
    any bull hunt?
    caribou draw permit hunt?
    predator control?
    sheep?
    bears?

    its on the board.....

    every idea is YOUR IDEA

    what would you like to see saved, added, or changed. what issues did you run into while hunting?

    we can pi ss and moan all we want.... or we can get up and do something about it...

    vince@alaska.net
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    Member Vince's Avatar
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    Default peretor control

    Okay so i have begun my process in this area... this year i have personally witnessed a dramatic increase in the bear population for the unit we live in. i have explained to the F&G biologist, that had i the financial security to pay a Taxidermist, my family could have limited out on black and grizzly bears.. for us that would have been 5 Grizz, and 15 balickes... with opportunities to take more. as it stands we only pulled three ( one from 13) and dealt with the ever present bruins in the yard and on the trail. each of my 4 wheelers were damaged by Black bears this year as well the mining camp on three occasions... wolf and coyote sightings are up also... i am sure in part the bumper crop of Hair, this year has contributed to this as well...

    the grizzly bears all seem to appear shortly after the CLOSE of the season on them.. so my first request will be to liberalize the hunting season on the grizzly bears in this unit. as it stands currently One bear every regulatory year... sept 5th-may 31st...i would like to see this opened sept 1st-June 30 like much of the state and surrounding sub units of 20 currently have similar dates.

    one of my questions i am awaiting answer on is,

    As the BOG and F&G have worked to reduce the overall moose population in unit 20A these last several years.. is the predator boom part of this management?

    I know that if i am the only person who submits proposals on this issue it would probably be set aside.. however if a bunch of us send one in.. and i KNOW there are a lot of 20A hunters on here. the BOG would have to give it a serious looking over..
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    Member Vince's Avatar
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    Thanks Vince,

    The Department will be embarking (starting in November of this year) on an 18-month planning effort to develop an Intensive Management plan for moose in GMU 20A. It will be primarily Advisory Committee based but will include representation from other interested parties (e.g., Unit 20A trappers, private property owners – to mention a few). Our goal is to have a long-term plan (i.e., 5-year) to present to the Board of Game in March of 2010. I encourage you to become part of the process. We will talk a bit about this at the upcoming Middle Nenana Fish and Game Advisory Committee meeting scheduled for October 20th at the Tri-Valley Community Center in Healy. Our hope is to get a large portion of the 20A moose hunting public involved and to hear there views. I hope you will participate!


    F&G reply to me... I know i will be there..
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    Member Rock_skipper's Avatar
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    Vince I typed a whole letter and reread it and had to erace it lol. one to many beers Try again tomorow. E.S.

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    Member Vince's Avatar
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    its okay rock.. this time of day i have those goggles that let me read through the beer.....

    look forward to it...


    by the WAY the meeting in HEALY OCT 20 is AT 6 PM......
    Last edited by Vince; 10-08-2008 at 21:22. Reason: add on
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    Vince - I'm not a 20A moose hunter, so I don't really have a stake here, but if you need help with the grizzlies just let me know and I'll be there. My wife would really like one for the wall, and I'd like a few for my classroom as well. I get out of school for the summer around the 23rd of May, so if you can point me in the right direction up there, I'd be happy to do my part.

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    Member Vince's Avatar
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    i am all fingers Brian... if we don't get some of these guys removed... we wont have any Steak here either... may 23rd.. they are still moving up high.. but i am learning them more each season.. and getting closer to the den.
    "If you are on a continuous search to be offended, you will always find what you are looking for; even when it isn't there."

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    Member Rock_skipper's Avatar
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    Well I'm back Vince. Just thought I'd wait and see what the weekend circus was going to be like. From the posts left on the hunting forum it sounds like it is a free for all out there. Why just limit this to just 20A, even with the population of fairbanks it seems like Delta is in more trouble. One of my questions to you and the fish and game is why have you seen a rise in the bear population if the moose are being iliminated? Years ago here in delta you had to watch your ass if you went out side the house, did'nt matter what time of day it was. I'm sure it had something to do with the people population back then, but now you don't hardly even hear about a bear being around town now. The killing of all these cows ( and calfs ) has a great impact on an area weather it be bear, wolfs, or man. This latest weekend showed just what that impact was. I would after reading some of the posts, get rid of the 4-wheelers, better yet stop the hunt. Back to the point ( I hate this cow hunt ) why have you seen so many bears in your area? Do they come through in the spring, and then return in the fall on there way back to the denning area, or are they there all year round? Next are you in a valley or next to the hills? If your in the hills I can relate. We had a mine up in the hills and had problems all summer long. Now that we have a place at the base of a hill, next to the valley, we catch them in the spring and the same ones coming back in the fall. They really don't even bother looking at the place anymore, leave a paw print her and there, other than that keep right on trucking. Did have one bite the brand new 4-wheeler tires that we put on a week before, and drink all but 2 beers out of the case that was left sitting down at the boat landing, Grrrr, lol, I would have like to have seen him, but watcha gonna do. I'm at the conclusion if they become bad boys take them out, if they mind there own business, they make a nice picture that only the rest of the world would envy. Point is would you like to have all of anch in your back yard with there 4-wheelers looking to kill anything that moves? That might be extreme, but after all the sub-legal moose that get shot here every year, it makes a guy bitter, and most of the offenders are from the southern part of Alaska. I think there ought to be a question- air for what you are hunting for and why. I think everybody should get in on this thread, and voice your thoughts. I know I'm not the most political speaker buy a long shot, and I hope you can read between the lines. I have been an outdoor person for over 40 years in Alaska and a hunter since I was 6. Thats all for now, let the bashing conmence.E.S.

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    Member Erik in AK's Avatar
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    I'd like to see 20A become Alaska's "Sweden".

    -Intensive predator reduction.
    -More & better trails
    -Further divsion in to smaller subunits with subuint specific harvest objectives
    -Controlled burns to generate browse
    -More cow/calf hunts
    -Bull hunts managed by antler class with no big bull hunting until after 15 October
    -Fees if that's what it takes to pay for it all

    JM2C

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    Member Vince's Avatar
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    Rock skiper no bashing on my end.. i feel we each have our opinion of what we would like to see...

    as for why limit it to 20A.. well, i have to see what i can do on my end first i guess. its the area that i live in and effects me the most. it is a very popular hunting area especially the last week of the season. most units frequented by Anchorage, and Fairbanks hunters close the 20th.. and it allows 5 extra days for those that did not tag out. i am completely familiar with the sudden influx of ATV, and armed personell...we have often joked up here that hunting season is just an extension of the tourist season the only difference is the tourist now have guns. I am still learning the ropes of becoming actively involved with the F&G advisory program, combined with my role in the wife's business and the highway commission , and the DMV, as well running my own construction and repair business. i am a busy guy. I would love to jump in on the delta area, but the fact is.. i have never done more then drive through those zones. I spend my free time in and around 20A. so my efforts there are based on my first hand knowledge.

    as for my influx of Bear sightings, i can only attribute it (in part) to the late spring, the summer flooding, the snow in August. the breeding season was late this year causing a wider range of movement for them. ( i am speculating here) things greened up late and i am guessing that the less then average snow fall and unseasonable warm winter last year the moose did not have the winter die off they are accustomed to.

    on the average it is like you said.. they do not normally cause any problems and i have 3 grizz. that are known each year and make an effort to leave MY stuff AlONE... one actually comes up the trail and looks to see if i am home before heading off to the blackie bait stand, in the spring. to date he has never done more then eat two of my trail camera's. I can only guess he views me as the poperatsii...he don't like his photo taken..

    I don't care for the cow hunts either. and i feel that taking a calf is ethically WRONG by any standard. and taking a cow that has a calf kills two moose. I feel that is simply wanton waist of a resource even though the hunter did not pull the trigger on it...


    kids gotta go to school so more later.
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    Member Vince's Avatar
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    Default Contd

    As for the hunting of the bears.. i am a stringent believer that you only take what you need to get by.. I shot my FIRST grizz this year because he came into camp with my kids after fighting with a sow.. he was pissed and looking for trouble.. and you know WE ATE the grizz he was a tough old guy but turned into sausage just fine. i do not harbor any real, ill will to wards the critters they need to make a living also.. and in my 40 years here. i have learned a lot about them and find that for the most part they are CURIOUS about every thing. I keep wanting to sit and start a thread about what "WE AS HUNTERS REALLY KNOW ABOUT BEARS" i just have not had the time to do so.. they deserve our utmost respect and our admiration at the same time. people fear them people hate them for their own reasons... I need a BIGGER GUN IN CASE i see a bear is all over this forum. but thats another story... but he fact is most guys will NEVER see a bear unless they go looking for long periods.

    the ramp-id belief that they all need to be removed i feel is the lower 48 mentality showing it's ugly head up here. i respect them.. sometimes they are a pain in my rear...but thats life up here.. i still don't walk around the woods armed for " JUST IN CASE"


    Erik.... I am unsure of your meaning of making unit 20A Alaska's Sweden?

    better trails? more access?

    that is one of the largest complaints we all have. access to to limited. or there are to many hunters...

    it's called hunting.. not killing.. or shooting or getting.. if it was easy every one would do it.. part of the hunt is the work it takes to get there and back.. and honestly i will not propagate my back yard becoming a larger play ground, for armed tourist...... and honestly there are a lot of dumb jacks out there that have no business being in the woods with a high powered rifle... i am sure you have seen it also..

    controlled burns, predator control ( not elimination ) are definite pros to the cause... more trail? Na there are enough. learn how to use them wisely with out tearing up the country side. perhaps we should put a 4 lane highway though the flats solely for road hunters? then YOU guys could fight over the best parking spots and camp grounds...... oh wait they already do....


    further division of the sub units? my god man have you read the regs for this unit? ferry management area, wood river CUA, lignite archery only and the Yanert CUA all mixing with each other.. it has taken me years to locate and KNOW where i am at in it all. on top of that they throw in ZONES and sub ZONES.....

    I have made my point clear on the calf hunts... they are easy prey to lazy hunters in my opinion.. and thats all it is my opinion.. like i said no bashing because we each have our opinion.. my opinion at the moment is based on MY PERSONNEL observations from the last two hunting seasons in the ferry trail management area... at the moment.. there are to many bears.. to many hunters. the any bull tag is a slaughter. this year we saw ONE bull over 50" last year we saw several... but i never see the big bulls the next year. when i know they were left at the end of the season. the any bull tag for this unit needs some tighter controls on it.. weather they be archery only, close a week early, or be spread out through the unit. as i see it 90% of the tags filled come out of ONE small section/ drainage of 20A.

    So rock ... i hope that answered your question on why i am limiting to 20A.. as for our location i am 2 miles south of the clear sky... my claim is in the hills behind it.. on the average year. we see A bear.. or some bear tracks.. this year i have seen LOTS of bears.. like never before.. so something drastic changed out side mom nature.. and i would like to know why? and i am willing to spend the time working on it.. but with in reason of course... I may have to change some of my lazy yard habits but if thats what it takes then great..

    and i will give help to guys who want a bear... up to a point.. reduced not eliminated..

    Vince
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    Member Rock_skipper's Avatar
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    Default Thanks vince

    Its refreshing to see someone out there that can relate. While I'm not against 4-wheelers for the people that use them wisely, its just like anything else, there are always going to be the ones that think they have a new toy and want to use it regardless of the damage they cause. As for the bears, it dose'nt sound that they are to bad there, granted there are going to be bad ones that have to be killed, but don't ask anch. help in coming up to wipe them out. You know its people like Erik that wants better trails, and wipe out the cow and calf population, kill the bears and wolfs and leave nothing behind except for better trails that burns my ass. This surgary that I have had done has left me with more time on this computer, ( its about all I can do at this time) Next week I am going to go to fairbanks and see what kind of schooling I can get into, and one of the things that I'm going to pursue is wildlife managment. I was here in delta in the 60s and the 70s and the 80s and the 90s and the 2000s. I saw what they did in the late 60s and 70s, and it took 30 years to get it back. Now they are doing it again, and half of the hunters that come up here wer'nt even alive then. People can say what they want to say, but history will repeat itself. Hell even the people in the F&G office today wer'nt around then. I have lived more than half of my life in the woods and have a pretty good outlook on the ways animals live out there. I have never shot a bear, or a caribou. I have shot 17 bull moose. I have had bears come in at night and steal parts of my moose, do I hate them because of that? NO. It was his right to do that, D--N I'm in his country, I'm no better than a wolf that is on a kill. The bigger one wins. ( some of those were close calls, lol ) Nothing like a bears breath through a flimsy tent rubbing your head with his nose to get your blood pumping. And yes my hand was curled around the 44 lol, ( still had to change the shorts in the morning) I guess the point I'm trying to make is just because the F&G says its right dose'nt make it so. They are very few and they need people like us in the feild to give them a heads up on what is happening out there. If they don't listen to us, and just go on the numbers that they come up with were all going to be in trouble. One other note, had a friend over the other day and we were talking about this, and he was from Mont. he said they were treating this like a deer hunt down there. Deer bounce back quick, moose don't. I guess I'll go on that note. Thanks again Vince, maybe we can sit down over a beer and hash this out sometime. E.S.

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    Rock Skipper,
    Thank you for mischaracterizing my post. You know what burns my ass? Guys without a grip on concepts like herd dynamics and ecology who then pontificate indignantly about how game should be managed.

    Considering that 20A is the most heavily hunted unit road accessible unit in the state, the state might as well maximize it's potential as a moose producer.

    I do not advocate wiping out predators, but if ungulate populations are going to be managed primarily for public consumption then some competition from wolves and bears has to be eliminated.

    Birch and willow stands in the 5 to 12 year class are optimum moose browse.
    Improving the calorie yield of a given patch of forage translates into more and healthier moose. Small, multiple, controlled burns spread throughout the unit keep regenerating new browse.

    Sub-dividing 20A further allows bio's and managers to better allocate tags and protect the herd from localized overharvest.

    More and better trails means bridges and corduroy so that bog crossings don't become ever-widening suck holes, and stream crossing don't become mud bogs, and hunters don't have to worry about fines for crossing anadromous spawning streams. More and better trails help disperse hunters, and facilitates getting all that meat out of the field quickly and cleanly. More and better trails means bios and managers can do their ground work without relying so heavily on expensive aircraft. More and better trails means that hunters are less likely to go off trail causing unnecessary habitat damage, and more and better trails improves access to a moose herd who's numbers were increased specifically for hunters.

    Shooting calves is not ethically wrong. In fact, it is the most biologically sound option. Based on your post I assume you don't know what "supernumerary" means but I suggest you look it up. While you're at it might I suggest the writings of Valerius Geist and Wayne Heimer. Focused hunting pressure on big bulls does more to damage moose heard dynamics and overall herd health that any other variable. It stresses sub-dominant bulls by moving them into the breeding pool before they are ready, and it lengthens the rut. This, in turn, lengthens the calving period which greatly increases calf mortality for two primary reasons: 1) It exposes a broader crossection of each year's calf crop to predation and 2) It means that a significant percentage of the calf crop will be born late (after late May). Calves born late have a much higher winter kill rate than calves born on time.

    In a herd with "normal" dynamics the biggest bulls breed the vast majority of cows in the first two weeks of October. Holding off bull hunts until the 15th ensures the vast majority of the best bulls have passed on their genes, and in most years it's not too cold or too snowy yet. Also the swamps are more likely to be mostly frozen and there's no bugs and no issues with meat spoilage due to heat.

    Considering that such a plan, or anything close would take money that's is not currently in the budget I also support paying a fee or fees to make it happen.

    The point of my post and my suggestions is to set 20A aside for intensive moose managment to increase hunter opportunity for average Alaskans, not to create a road hunter's paradise(...that's what the Nelchina herd is for)

    Have a nice day

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    Member Rock_skipper's Avatar
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    Alright Eirk, you struck back. It says you are from Anch. Before I go on , how long have you been in alaska, and how long have you hunted in the interior? Waiting on your reply.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Erik in AK View Post
    Rock Skipper,
    In a herd with "normal" dynamics the biggest bulls breed the vast majority of cows in the first two weeks of October. Holding off bull hunts until the 15th ensures the vast majority of the best bulls have passed on their genes, and in most years it's not too cold or too snowy yet. Also the swamps are more likely to be mostly frozen and there's no bugs and no issues with meat spoilage due to heat.

    Have a nice day
    Erik hence the 4 brow tine rule in this unit.. the biggest bull do breed most the cows however F&G have found out long ago the biggest bulls are shooting blanks by the time they reach the age of 5-6 years old.... 4 tines

    you see thats another reason i got involved with the biologist, So i too can learn things...by wiping out 30+ any bulls with 2-3 tines this fall alone in one creek basin.. they effectively wiped out a large portion of the bulls that actually reproduce
    Last edited by Vince; 10-14-2008 at 23:22. Reason: misworded
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    Member Erik in AK's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rock_skipper View Post
    Alright Eirk, you struck back. It says you are from Anch. Before I go on , how long have you been in alaska, and how long have you hunted in the interior? Waiting on your reply.
    If it matters, since 1991. I lived in the Fairbanks area from 02 to 05. I've hunted the Tanana Flats twice. Accessed the area by boat. Hunted on foot. I don't even own an ATV by the way.

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    Member Vince's Avatar
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    in regard to the any bull hunt... they put out these tags because the bull to cow ratio was to high... hmmm let see 4 years of killing the cows and calfs... very few calf grew up in this area no new cows.. and by far this year has had its lowest number for cows.. to many mid life bulls to do the breeding. so now in at least one are they took them all. i am expecting next year we will have mulligans every where.

    Erik.. i don't oppose a cow hunt at all.... but t should be regulated and not a free for all. i grew up in the valley and even as a kid i drew the unit 14 cow tags every few years... and when we went hunting there were not a small army of people looking at them...as has been the case here in 20A and by the sounds of it in Delta. by rock skipper..

    i agree with Rock on this one. just because F&G says you can doesn't make it right...

    we are just about a month away... from.. one of the best examples of it yet....

    Steece hwy caribou hunt ..you know one day some poor soul IS GOING TO GET SHOT IN A CROSS FIRE!!!!
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    Member Vince's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vince View Post
    Thanks Vince,

    The Department will be embarking (starting in November of this year) on an 18-month planning effort to develop an Intensive Management plan for moose in GMU 20A. It will be primarily Advisory Committee based but will include representation from other interested parties (e.g., Unit 20A trappers, private property owners to mention a few). Our goal is to have a long-term plan (i.e., 5-year) to present to the Board of Game in March of 2010. I encourage you to become part of the process. We will talk a bit about this at the upcoming Middle Nenana Fish and Game Advisory Committee meeting scheduled for October 20th at the Tri-Valley Community Center in Healy. Our hope is to get a large portion of the 20A moose hunting public involved and to hear there views. I hope you will participate!


    F&G reply to me... I know i will be there..
    again this meeting is at 6 pm in HEALY... come join us
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  19. #19
    Member Rock_skipper's Avatar
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    It dose matter how long you have been here. Hands on experiance is a whole lot more dependable than just reports. Being as you were in Fairbanks in 04 you should remember the ( Boundary fire over 530,000 acres - The Dall City fire mile 78-103 of the Dalton Hwy over 480,000 acres - and the Billy Creek fire near Dot Lake over 460,000 acres ) Those were just the biggest ones that year. Another prescribed burn of over 70,000 acres was planed for the Wood River area in 2005. Not sure if that happened or not. As far as trails go an example is the Wickersham Creek Trail, it is closed to motorized traffic from May to Oct. so it dose'nt get tore up. As far as the Rex trail goes, if the hunters or the joy riders want to fix it themselfs fine, which could be done if they wanted to, just don't ask me or the rest of the state to pay for it. As far as building new trails in the Fairbanks area the whole place sits on top of permfrost, as soon as you take the top layer off and ride on it a few times it'll be trash. Look at what happened to the firebreak out in the Chena Hot Springs area. Another thing is as you said you don't even own a 4-wheeler so I'm not sure what the trail issue is for you, I'm sure it has to do with other people managing the area, and thats your opion, but mine is a large area of 20A is acessable by boat, and I would rather not see anymore destruction done to the area. A quick question- where would you build these trails? You have your opions and I have mine on the cow hunt, and I really don't think were going to change each others minds on that one. Did'nt mean to burn your ass Erik, but part of hunting is working to get the meat, if everybody could just ride up to one and shoot it, I think you'd find the seasons shorter than we have today. I don't know if you have shot a bull after the 15th but by that time they are in full rut, and you can taste it in the meat, I personally don't care for the taste. Well thats my thoughts. E.S.

  20. #20
    Member Vince's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rock_skipper View Post
    Another prescribed burn of over 70,000 acres was planed for the Wood River area in 2005. Not sure if that happened or not. .
    i dont think this one did Rock... the guy in anderson tried to burn down Nenana with his ashes.....not sure if the litigation is finished on that yet or not....
    "If you are on a continuous search to be offended, you will always find what you are looking for; even when it isn't there."

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