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Thread: 50 inch 4 or more?

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    Default 50 inch 4 or more?

    I am not trying to change the rules on moose hunting but I don't understand why Alaska has this rule. The area I hunt has a lot of moose and I have seen 4 different bulls in the week I was there. I was hunting with a bow and was with-in 100yd of two bulls at the same time. One looked like a really old bull and the 2nd looked like he was about 3 years old. The older bull was on the "down hill" side of antler growth. The 2nd looked like he might be legal but I just could not tell and I had to much to loose to be wrong (i.e.-truck ATV'S and so on). From what I was told, they made the rule to try and get bigger bulls but I just don't think all bulls have the genetics to get that big. So the ones that might not get that big are not being killed and just keep passing on their bad genes. I would really love to sit down with someone and talk about it. I'm going to try and post a picture of one bull that I spent 3 hours looking at while he was bedded. I thought for sure he was going to be legal, but when he finally looked my way it was to close for my comfort. His horns were just past his ears and it didn't look like he had any brow palms at all. Everyone that I have shown this picture to told me I should have taken him. Tell me what you think.....P1000150.jpg

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    From what I was told by one of Fish and Feathers biologists is the same as what you heard. The bulls that have only spike fork that late in the year don't have the genetics to get real big so shoot them to remove them from the gene pool and sooner or later we will just have those that will get to 50" if not shot before they mature. It made sence at the time , but I don't know how well it has worked in practice. I was told this about 15 years ago so ???

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    Kinda hard to chew.......

    Id make most definit "Sure" before I would shoot, if ever I were in your shoes, and without the brow tines to back up a gesstemate, you just cant be "Sure".

    I think you made a good choice under those circumstances.
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    the number of the brow tines gives an estimate of the age, folks that are used to deer genetics look for the largest rack in a herd to be the breeder, often look for moose, to be the same and, that can be the wrong assumption.

    some time ago the Bios determined, that the older, thus larger bulls, were all doing the breeding,(thumbs up deer thinking) and yet, the moose were in a decline,( no one knew why) after some more studies, they found that a larger percentage of the breeding bulls.. ages 5/6 yr old and older were shooting blanks while keeping the cows herded up from the bulls that could breed them...

    the four brow tine is supposed to be the equivalent of a 5+ year old bull... or the 50..or larger is supposed t be the older bulls..

    in the areas they are trying to increase moose density, these rules have been in place for many years,,


    the idea though foreign. to many from the south is not to increase rack size for trophy's hunting... but to increase population count for meat hunting.


    I too have noticed in my home unit/ 20A it getting harder to find a LARGE bull moose.. I guess they are in fact breeding the size out of them.. last year every 4 browtiner i skinned was 43-47inches


    the one 50 1/2... was three tine.

    so by breeding the genetic gene people out of them they are increasing hunting opportunities.. but your days of the NICE racks may becoming limited in a drainage near you......


    in fact i just spent yesterday out with the kids, after 5 years of cow hunting and 700+ any bull tags, with a 4 or 50 limit on the rest...


    we walked out 310 acers and did not see any moose...hmmm well thats okay and half way normal...

    nor is there any sign of tracks this year in the 200 acers of browse we have... i am more then a little concerned on yesterday walk...but that is another thread
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    Hi All The Reason We Have The Spike Fork Fifty In The Tanana Flat 20A Is Because Of Mike Denuet And Ron Long Two Guide That Use To Guide In The Alaska Range, They Politict Julie Mirirs Of The Board Of Game And Don Young That Wants To Shoot All The Cow And Calfs Off, That They Did Not Have Anuff Big Bulls For There Hunter. And Now You Our Stuck With It. How Do I Now I Was On The Fairbanks Fish And Game Advisory Board For Ten Years.

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    In addition to what's already been offered, biologists also feel that the moose that are being harvested under these rules (the largest/oldest, & the youngest) have the least chance of surviving the winter.
    Vance in AK.

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    Default I get what your saying!!

    I understand everything you guys are saying. I don’t want people to think I am a “trophy” hunter. I would be happy shooting cows. I love moose’s meat, and I even think its better than venison. The only reason I asked about this is cues I just didn’t understand. I know when someone tells you something its not always the truth “like what I was told about making bigger bulls”. I love hunting and I was ok with not getting anything this year. I think the reason I love it so much is just for the fact that I get to spend time in the woods. It is true I don’t know all that much about moose genetics and I have tried to find reading material about it but I cant. That is why I posted this thread, to try and understand a little better. Pleas don’t take this as someone crying about the regulations.

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    First off I don't think you can tell very easily from that picture but I am not confindent that is a 50" bull. His paddles looked cupped in to me and not laid out. I think you made the right choice. Hard to tell on a side view though.

    I think the 50" 4 brow tine rule needs evaluation. There is areas on the yukon that a young bull will have 4 browtines yet in some units or parts of unit 13 they might not ever get 4 brow tines imo. I think it is genetics by unit more so than age but I am no biologist either and surely don't claim to know it all.

    This is based purely on my observation of lots of moose in different units.

    Some areas just have large bulls with large racks and some don't.

    Some areas are also known for the big bulls over 50 but only have 2 brow tines or salad forks.

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    Quote Originally Posted by 375ultramag View Post
    But I am no biologist either and surely don't claim to know it all.

    You should be ,IMO I think you do know it all You are the moose "KING" . Glad to see you around they must have you busy at work
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    The deer thing in open range has proven wrong.We now know that the best buck will only cover 4 to 6 does durning mateing season.I'm sure it would be much less with moose as they don't realy herd up.

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    They heard up in the fall. I've seen two bulls with twenty cows herded up more than once on Oct 1st right above treeline.
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    Default get rid of the brow tine rules

    just make it fifty and spike/fork......you can't tell me that a 33 inch moose with three browtines was doing much breeding, if any at all....but i can tell you he was going to be a big moose when he reached his peak...atleast have good palmation down low when he reached 50....this 3 or 4 brow tine regulation is letting the bulls with the two "crab claw" browtines grow up and do the breeding which makes more of them.....i see more two browtiners over fifty than any other from most parts of the state......this regulation is only enabling the genetics of inferior moose to prosper
    "early to bed, early to rise, fish like hell, and make up lies"

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    Default antler width range finder

    I've heard rumor of a range finder that can be used to measure antler span. Anyone heard or seen one or know the brand name?
    Dave

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    Quote Originally Posted by sharksinthesalsa View Post
    just make it fifty and spike/fork......you can't tell me that a 33 inch moose with three browtines was doing much breeding, if any at all....but i can tell you he was going to be a big moose when he reached his peak...atleast have good palmation down low when he reached 50....this 3 or 4 brow tine regulation is letting the bulls with the two "crab claw" browtines grow up and do the breeding which makes more of them.....i see more two browtiners over fifty than any other from most parts of the state......this regulation is only enabling the genetics of inferior moose to prosper

    Hmmm.....I'd actually like to see it go the other way....Make it brow tines or spike/fork only and get rid of the 50" thing. I think a LOT more illegal moose would make it through the season since folks wouldn't be tempted to guess at width (and come up short...). Brow tines are a for sure.

    If there is a 70" bull running around with only two brows....oh well, he gets a pass .


    Eagle...

    The rangefinder with the width at distance feature is a Leupold product I believe. I don't remember the model, but I did see it advertised a while back.
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    Quote Originally Posted by AKmud View Post
    Hmmm.....I'd actually like to see it go the other way....Make it brow tines or spike/fork only and get rid of the 50" thing. I think a LOT more illegal moose would make it through the season since folks wouldn't be tempted to guess at width (and come up short...). Brow tines are a for sure.
    Stole the words out of my mouth.

    There are many sub-legal bulls killed every year on the basis of the 50" rule. There shouldn't be any sub-legal bulls killed if someone is basing their decision on brow tines. There are certainly hunters who are skilled in determining 50", but many of us (myself included) can't tell the difference between a 49" and a 51" bull in the field. Unless the bull is an absolute hog, there's no way I am pulling the trigger on something that doesn't have the requisite number of brown tines. If any change in the law, I'd drop the width provision (along with the growth rings provision on rams, while we're at it).

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    Default Lots to think about

    I agree about genetics being the cause of brow tine #'s. I've killed, and been a part of killling several bulls in unit 17 that had 2X3 brow tines, all the way from low 60's bulls to low 40's. We don't have to worry about the 50" rule down there so it didn't matter, but it was interesting to see. I can see Brians and AKmud's point about just going to brow tine #'s becasue it would drastically bring down the # of sub legal bull kills, but I also wonder what it would do to the brow tine genetics of the area.
    As to the original ?. It's hard to tell if that bull is legal, but in my opinion it's antlers look smaller than 50". that is just by their shape. They don't seem to stretch back very far and just look small. Good call on passing him up.

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    Quote Originally Posted by eagle937 View Post
    I've heard rumor of a range finder that can be used to measure antler span. Anyone heard or seen one or know the brand name?
    Dave
    I have not heard any reviews on it yet but here is the link with a video of it it's called the RX-IV Boone & Crockett Edition


    http://www.leupold.com/hunting-and-s...ckett-edition/

    I did find them on sale for $409

    http://www.scopes4u.com/site/1616595/product/LP62840-R
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    I think you guys are confusing age/ brow tines and rack size...


    it is well proven that different areas of the state can cause larger racks at and early age.. the primary reason is the mineral content and resource available to the moose during development. you may find a 50 incher with 2 tines and a 3o incher with 4-7..... the 50 is probably the younger bull ( according to my talks with the Bio's..) he just had/has a better diet then the other.
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    Default spike/fork 50" rule

    The spike /fork 50" rule was started because of low cow/bull ratios. To get more adult breeding age bulls, the spike/fork rule was adopted. There is a certain percentage of young bulls that have a spike or a fork and a certain percentage that grow larger antlers their first year. I forget the percentage off the top of my head, but it seems like it was 30-70 or 40-60. So at least 60 % of young bulls survive their first hunting season even if all spike/fork bulls are shot. It takes a couple more years for most of them to reach a 50 inch spread. This keeps a significant # of bulls alive to breeding age before they are legal to hunt. By having a higher cow/bull ratio, it should help ensure most cows are bred and also helps the gene pool by having more bulls in the pool. This rule also should have helped more bulls survive to trophy size. If they aren't shot when they are young, they get to grow up.

    I think the intentions were good when this rule was set up, but there are some impracticalities that could be tweaked.

    There are a couple drawbacks with this set up. First, as mentioned, a lot of sub legal bulls are shot and wasted as a lot of hunters can't or won't judge sufficiently what a 50" bull is. Second as also mentioned, certain traits may be bred out of bulls by the rules, ie 3 pt and larger brow tines, and possibly spike fork configurations. Also, if the larger antlered bulls are taken from the gene pool, bulls with genes for smaller racks may be ruling the gene pool.

    I'd like to see the 50"+ bulls get to breed before hunting season. Make the early season spike fork, and then have a late season after the rut for the 50" bulls. Doesn't make sense to take them out of the herd before they get to breed. This way, you get to spread their genes and still take a trophy if that's what you want. One way to have fewer hunters in the woods at one time would be to make hunters pick which season they want to hunt. The spike/fork season, or the 50" plus season. Meat hunters would get to go out first and harvest the young eaters, and trophy hunters could harvest the post rut big bulls. Variations of this are used in Washington state to reduce hunters in the field at one time. Hunters have to pick east side or west side of the state for elk. They also have to pick which weapon they want to hunt with, modern firearm, black powder, or archery for deer and elk. Makes for less crowded woods for everybody.

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    Make it 5yr+ or 4 brow tine. This would put the old paddle horn wussies in the game. You can usually tell an old bull and then just count teeth. Sure it might be a bit harder than counting sheep rings but it would be another safety net. If it has 10 teeth in the front you are golden! Obviously not practicle but it would offer another solution for those that can actually judge a moose. I would love to see those old dinky round paddle 1-2 browtine moose get pulled out of the gene pool!

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