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Thread: POW fall bear new reg's

  1. #1

    Default POW fall bear new reg's

    This really affects NR fall bear hunters, heck if you want to hunt a salmon stream that is not near the ocean you might not be able to! For a DIY guy you must hunt from a boat and only launch it at designed places!

    Yikes:

    FAQs regarding the new POW Controlled Use Area:

    Q: When does this new regulation take effect? A: Beginning Fall 2009.
    Q: Will it affect the spring bear season? A: No, the controlled use area will only be in effect during the month of September
    Q: Can I use an ATV or motor bike? A: No. This regulation includes all modes of land based motorized transportation.
    Q: Will this regulation pertain to deer hunting? A: No, This regulation only affects black bear hunters. Deer hunters may still use motorized vehicles to hunt.
    Q: Why was Unit 3 included? A: Wildlife managers have harvest concerns in Unit 3 as well as POW and were concerned with a potential shift in hunting effort to another area if the regulation had been developed only for POW.
    Q: I live on POW, does this regulation affect me? A: No. Federally qualified residents can still hunt under federal subsistence regulations.
    Q: I live on POW. Can my non-local friends/family hunt with or for me using a vehicle? A: No. Only local residents of Units 2 & 3 qualify under federal regulations.
    Q: What if I drive my truck to a deer hunting area and see a bear Id like to harvest? A: You could not harvest the bear, since you used a motorized vehicle to reach the field.
    Q: Can I drive my truck to a boat launch and begin hunting from a boat? A: Yes, you will be allowed to transport the boat, hunters, gear and harvested bears to and from an established boat launch. However, if you spot a bear from the vehicle during the drive to and from the boat launch you can not harvest that bear.
    Q: Can I drive my boat to a stream mouth and hunt from the water upstream? A: Yes. This regulation does not prohibit you from accessing bear hunting locations with a boat.
    Q: Can I drive my boat to a hunting area, anchor offshore and hike upland to hunt? A: Yes. This regulation does not prohibit you from accessing bear hunting locations with a boat or by foot.
    Q: Can I hunt from a bicycle and in the event that I kill a bear, call a friend with a truck to come pick up me and my harvested bear? A: No. This will be considered transporting hunters, hunting equipment and bears.
    Q: Can I drive from the lodge or the ferry and set up a base camp where we will be hunting on foot? A: No, this would be transporting bear hunters and hunting equipment in the field.
    Q: If I am hunting from a boat that I towed from Thorne Bay to Winter Harbor and I harvest a bear, could I drive back to Craig with my bear to take it to the processor? A: Yes, you are now done bear hunting and you could drive back to the lodge, cabin or hotel. You could also drive each morning from the lodge or cabin to the boat launch and return after your boat hunt each evening. However, you could not hunt along the route from the cabin to the boat launch.
    Q: Can I drive with my Kayak or canoe on my truck to a beach or one of the rivers on POW where I will launch and go bear hunting? A: No, you can only launch a boat of any kind at an established boat launch.
    Q: Is this regulation going to be permanent? A: This regulation has a sunset clause and will be re-evaluated in 2 years at the November 2010 Board of Game meeting in Ketchikan. ADF&G will be undertaking a planning effort, engage in new bear research, finish current research efforts, and have harvest ticket information to present to the board. At that time this regulation will be re-evaluated to determine if this or some other strategy is the most viable management tool. Q: I thought the season dates were going to change, where did this idea come from? A: At the November 2008 Board of Game meeting, ADF&G proposed eliminating September 1-15 from the fall season. There was also a public proposal to close the fall season. After significant discussion the Board decided this new modification of the proposals would impact the least number of user groups while first and foremost meeting our management objective of reducing female harvest along the road system.

  2. #2
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    Default That's the whole point DonV

    The unguided nonres were killing too many sows. Only salmon streams that will get hunted are the ones on the ocean, really isn't too bad though just rent a boat. October should be prime...

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    Default Sow Kill

    Expect more to come. Other trophy black bear areas will be experiencing reduced hunting opportunities because of excess sow killing. Check out the 2009 proposed changes coming up and you'll get an idea of the areas that are of concern.

    Thank you,

    GAJ

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    Member muskeg's Avatar
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by DonV View Post
    Q: Is this regulation going to be permanent? A: This regulation has a sunset clause and will be re-evaluated in 2 years at the November 2010 Board of Game meeting in Ketchikan.
    I have to agree with GAJ .... come the 2011 season expect tighter NR restrictions in all of SE AK for the Black Bear hunt ....

    And Oct is far from a 'prime time' hunt. Many Black Bears on POW are in the den or at the den areas by Oct 15th. Oct is historically the lowest kill time (maybe tied with Apr) in all of the season except for the winter months of Dec,Jan,Feb and March.

    Many years the first tagged spring Bear on POW is after Apr 15th. The last few years it's been after Apr 20th and those were from the SW Coastline.

  5. #5

    Default

    Anybody know what percentage of the fall kill is normally sows? I don't understand why they don't just make it a NR draw hunt in the fall. Or even spring for that matter, with all the pressure I saw up there last May.

    Do most of the salmon migrate deep into the interior of the island and thus more bears are killed from the road system than what could be killed on the outskirts with boat only access?

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    Default draw coming

    You hit the nail on the head, more than likely the next changes to come will be a draw for non residents, probably 2011

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    Default Drawing on POW

    I talked to the bio this week in Craig and after that conversation I believe a drawing is coming too. My hope is that no one gets alotted tags ahead of time and they do it in a way that is equitable. Either way whatever works best for sustaining the populations I am all for it regardless of whether it effects my bottom line. Now if they only KNEW how many bears inhabited the areas that would be some helpful info as well.

    Muskeg - true all of October is not going to be prime (I should have been more clear) but the first two weeks or so should have some pretty unmolested bears inland making it pretty good hunting. I had friends from Anchortown down the last week of October into November and each could have killed a bear but passed. Not a lot sighted but some pigs none the less.

    We probably won't be open in October since I will be guiding for bears but I am interested to see how it turns out.

    Gooch

  8. #8
    Member muskeg's Avatar
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    Cool my take on it

    Quote Originally Posted by BR Stinger View Post
    Anybody know what percentage of the fall kill is normally sows?
    I have it here on my computer but can't find it .... It was quite a few Sow over Boar during the Sept hunt. Most kill is in the first 10 days of Sept. After Sept 15th the total kill drops right off through November when the kill is very minimal. .

    I don't understand why they don't just make it a NR draw hunt in the fall. Or even spring for that matter, with all the pressure I saw up there last May.
    Actually the 'pressure' is mainly on the central easy accessed roaded part of the island. More that 50% of the kill is in the 4 central WAA's. There are many lightly or even non-hunted areas in Unit #2. That is the reason that area came under the 'controlled use'.

    The AK resident kill is less than 10% on POW Island thus being a non-issue.

    Do most of the salmon migrate deep into the interior of the island and thus more bears are killed from the road system than what could be killed on the outskirts with boat only access?
    No ... the large dominate Boars move in on the fish first. Sows and younger less dominate animals don't go there. The Boars are the first to get satiated on fish and as they leave the creeks in late Aug and early Sept the Sows and less dominate move in. But also in late August or early Sept we usually have a heavy rain / flooding type stuff. This does allow the fish to get into the small feeder creeks and way upland into the head waters of the systems. Some Boars move there for the easy fishing. Then the Sows and less dominate Bear move where the Boars were ... lower in the systems. It is hard hunting the feeder creeks because it is thick close quarters jungle. Also hard to get way up into the head waters and a long pack out with a 100 lb hide.

    The DIY less experienced hunter hunts mainly in the easy accessed lower rivers close to the road systems. They probably don't have the experience or knowledge or are intimidated to hunt the close quarters combat style hunts in the feeder creeks and the head waters. As a result they kill more Sows. Also field ID can be difficult in fall even for the experienced bear hunter. Even Guided hunters kill more Sows in fall than in spring. Cubs sometimes are a little distance from the Sow. Quick shots at ANY bear which many DIY hunters do results also in more Sow deaths.

    Also the DIY hunter on POW goes for the low $ hunt. That is the B&B / rental rig / road hunt. Not many pay the extra $'s to go remote. But POW Island offers the logging road system. It also has seen an explosion in B&B type operations and Fishing Lodges getting into the "self Guided Bear hunt" business in recent years. It is also still the poster child of Alaska for illeagle guiding and transporting for the low $'s. Those illeagle guides and transporters work unregulated without any of the permits, insc, licenses and other hard costs that the leagle Guides and Transporter are required to have.

    You can't just regulate POW by itself. We know from the Kuiu NR restriction of a few years ago ... that just drove more hunters and hunting pressure and several Guides from Kuiu to POW. So all of SE has to be addressed.

    All these things are pieces of the pie. The result is the road closure and stricter restrictions on the horizon for the NR Black Bear hunter in all of SE AK.

    I heard talk tonight of going Guided only for Black Bear in certain areas of SE at a Forest Service meeting here in Ketchikan. And there has been that talk for several years by some POW Island residents. All the cards will be on the table at the BOG meeting in Ketchikan in fall of 2010.

    That's my story and I'm sticking to it.

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    Default

    The AK resident kill is less than 10% on POW Island thus being a non-issue.
    If this is the case, why not just apply the stricter regulations to non-residents? Or just move to non-residents need to be guided?

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    Member muskeg's Avatar
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Dr.No View Post
    If this is the case, why not just apply the stricter regulations to non-residents?
    Very few residents hunted from the road system in Sept. Most Ketchikan hunters hunted from boats. Federally qualified subsistence (resident of units #1, 2 and 3, I believe) can still hunt the roads in Sept.

    Quote Originally Posted by Dr.No View Post
    Or just move to non-residents need to be guided?
    There seems to be more talk of that and it might happen. Any number of NR restrictions might come down at the 2010 BOG meeting ... or none ... or just stay with the Sept closure !!!!

  11. #11

    Default

    Good info, I see why they are doing it, and I see a draw coming because it has too. That island is getting pounded where it is accesible.

  12. #12

    Default

    From what you have explained Johnnie, it sounds like a high % of the bears in the streams near the ocean will be sows and now it's very difficult to get up to the higher streams where the mature boars actually are. Even more difficult if a guy wants to hunt them later on in the alpine areas. I'm all for reducing hunters, this just seems to be an odd way to do it. It is what it is though.

  13. #13
    Member muskeg's Avatar
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    Default Harvest Ticket

    Big Boars are where you find them ... there are still some lower and even on the beaches early in the fall and late. As well as in the upland berries and high alpine.

    Another issue is many of POW's upland clear cuts are becoming unhuntable do to the various stages of regrowth. Not much recent logging to make good huntable berry fields. The bears are there .... just can't see them.

    This last BOG meeting there were several proposals before the Board on the POW Bear. From closing down all fall, Sept 15th opener, closing the month of Sept (as well as stopping the spring baiting). There was a very long discussion on the issues.

    The Board also passed a Harvest Ticket hunt (with questionnaire) fall all Black Bear statewide. Harvest Tickets are not available online. A hunter must now go to an ADF&G office or Vendor who has them before going into the field. This will give them some much needed hunter info ... for when they meet again next cycle.

  14. #14

    Default Black bears by the numbers

    here's some stats for you:
    Spring harvest is approx. 85% male
    Fall harvest is approx. 50/50

    It is true that ADFG does not have a good population estimate for POW (it's hard to count animals that live in a rain forest). We can apply some density estimates from other places, but that has it's own issues. What is clear is that folks who live here on the island used to see lots of bears driving around 15-20 years ago, now you see very few. ADFG has been nervously watching the bear harvest on POW streadily increase since about 1997 and in 2005 it peaked at almost 500 bears. Since then the harvest has declined dramatically. The spring harvest is higher than the fall harvest, but as the overall harvest has declined, the fall harvest has stayed fairly steady (when a high % of females are killed). We are now below the management ojective of maintaining a 3:1 ratio of males to females in the harvest. There is also anecdotal evidence that there are some pretty significant numbers of unrecovered bears during the fall. Age structure and average skull sizes indicate the bear pop has being damaged as well.

    As has been pointed out, there were several ways to address this issue. Close the first two weeks of the fall season, close the fall season completely, or go to a draw were some of them. In the end it was determined that the controlled use area was the tool that most closely gets at the specific problem (over-harvest of females along the road-system in the central part of the island), impacts the least amount of people and still provides opportunity. It's not a perfect solution, but steps needed to be taken.

    In addition black bear hunters will now be required to get a harvest ticket for bears. This will give ADFG valuable info on hunter numbers and success rates. Also biologist are working hard to come up with techniques for estimating the bear population using dna analysis. Some preliminary results look promising. Overall, this was not a knee-jerk reaction by F&G, some sort of change has been a long time coming.

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    Default What Muskeg Said

    The majority of what Muskeg said can be applied to 6D as well. Right now Fish & Game has a proposal eliminating the first 10 days of the fall season for the very same reasons eluded to earlier. Likewise the last 20 days of the spring season was eliminated a few years ago for the same. It seems that nonresidents on vessel-based transport-only hunts have increased the fall sow kill in PWS by a factor of 5x in recent years. Area biologists and others believe this is an unsustainable trend. I tend to agree.

    Most of the solutions currently being debated are just treating the symptoms and not the disease. Once the US Forest Service decides it can enforce a permitting requirement on ALL commercial users who utilize the uplands the majority of the problem will go away.

    GAJ

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    Default

    It’s the easiest fix there is! Make it a drawing for bear tags on POW for NR’s for the full year spring and fall!

    I have ONLY two concerts: what’s good for the animals and what’s good for the residents of Alaska!....in that order.

    The bear hunting on POW has been hammered by non-resident hunters…I’m not guessing…I live there and have for 16 years! And that’s year a round not a few months of the year like some and say that they are pow residents, I’ve seen it go from seeing lots and lots of huge bears every year to maybe one every few years now. But whatever ya can’t stop progress right?

    The Alaska fish & Game doesn’t give two f’s about us residents, and the game and fish have come in second to money brought in by non-residents….If your not in the guiding business, the hunting and fishing residents of AK have been sold out by the F&G for years! I don’t blame the non-residents nor most of the guides, there are a lot of good resident guides out there who live in this great state and do care about a game,,, but there are a lot of money grubbing guides who only care about money..

    The sport fishing has been pounded in most of the state, and what’s happened to our sheep hunting the last 15 years is sickening, if not criminal! Every other state only gives out no more than 10% of its sheep tags to non-residents. But not Alaska….. Thanks again AF&G!

    I could go on but I won’t….Things are going to change more and more Alaska residents are getting pissed because of what’s happing to the quality of our hunting and fishing…..

    You think I’m unhappy about what I’ve seen happen to our fish and game state wide in the last 20 years……you have no idea…..I’m white lipped pissed over it!

    THX, Again money grubbing AF&G……….

    Sorry if I’ve offended anyone…..you’ll get over it! I and many good Alaska residents have been offended for years. Go subsistence!!!!

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    Default

    muskeg Quote:
    Originally Posted by Dr.No
    If this is the case, why not just apply the stricter regulations to non-residents?

    Very few residents hunted from the road system in Sept. Most Ketchikan hunters hunted from boats. Federally qualified subsistence (resident of units #1, 2 and 3, I believe) can still hunt the roads in Sept.
    If this is the case, then why apply restrictions to other residents hunting from the road system? If these residents are 'very few', then why do the restrictions encompass them as well? From my perspective, if I hunted POW for deer in the fall from the road system and saw a really nice bear, I'd like the opportunity to go after it....

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    Default Good question

    Dr. No ... ... I really don't know. You could probably call Boyd the ADF&G biologist in Ketchikan and he could tell you the BOG reasoning behind that .... all I know that I was called .. during the process ... and asked what I thought about Ketchikan hunters being affected by the closure. I in turn called several hunters in Ketchikan I know and none had ever known any one that hunted POW Sept roads .. or killed Black Bear during Sept from the roads. I had never known any either. I reported back that info.

    Maybe sealing records said the same thing.

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    Default

    Muskeg....not a big deal to me really. I've had a couple of opportunities to take nice black bears here in Juneau in the fall and I've always passed... I just find it frustrating to have additional regs applied to user groups who are not impacting the resource.

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    Cool

    Collateral damage !!!!!

    Remember this is only going to be 2 Septembers .... we were many many Septembers getting to this issue.

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