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Thread: Caribou hunting shutdown this year

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    Default Caribou hunting shutdown this year

    Just talked to fish and game, there will be no season this year for non-resident hunting of the mulchatna herd. This is a real bummer for i already have a trip planned and i am sure it won't make the outfitters and transporters happy either. Let everyone know before someone looses out on their deposit.

    John

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    Mulchatna was closed to non-residents last year. So not a big surprise.

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    Going to area 17B, maybe the shutdown is new to that area this year.

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    My personal opinion is to shut the whole state down to Non Resident hunting, boy that would be a stimulus package we could enjoy!
    Mike

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    It was proposal 57 at the BOG meeting. It carried. No nonresident caribou in any of the GMUs that the Mulchatna Herd goes through, 17, 19, (9?). The western arctic herd is really going to get hammer now. There's not enough air services that fly into there for the upcoming demand. You'll have to plan now for 2010.
    BTW non resident was open 2008-09 season, just restricted to one bull.

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    Can't say as I feel sorry for them. Residents have been shut down for the last two years in GMU 9. It probably isn't going to change this year either.
    Still too many wolves roaming around.

    My personal opinion is to shut the whole state down to Non Resident hunting, boy that would be a stimulus package we could enjoy!
    Mike
    Wouldn't hurt my feelings any.
    Now what ?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Alasgun View Post
    My personal opinion is to shut the whole state down to Non Resident hunting, boy that would be a stimulus package we could enjoy!
    Mike
    I third that
    PEOPLE SAY I HAVE A.D.D I DON'T UNDERSTA.....OH LOOK A MOOSE !!!

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by Alasgun View Post
    My personal opinion is to shut the whole state down to Non Resident hunting, boy that would be a stimulus package we could enjoy!
    Mike
    Um, a stimulus package? How you gonna fund the ADF&G programs that are funded in large part by non-resident dollars..you willing to pony up the cash to make up the difference?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Alasgun View Post
    My personal opinion is to shut the whole state down to Non Resident hunting, boy that would be a stimulus package we could enjoy!
    Mike
    Interesting idea....sure might make huntin' in some area's a lot less crowded....how about fishing??!!

  10. #10
    webmaster Michael Strahan's Avatar
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    Default Mulchatna herd hunt? You're kidding!

    I have heard rumors that some air services (and even a handful of guides) are still wooing hunters into GMU 17 to hunt Mulchatna caribou. I just heard this from the area biologist, Jim Woolington, at the BOG meetings here in Anchorage yesterday. Well, to be completely blunt, this brings to mind the proverb, "a fool and his money are soon parted" (actually, someone once speculated about that passage, wondering how a fool and his money could have gotten together in the first place, but I digress...).

    Anyway, I feel bad calling someone a fool, but guys and gals, have you really done your homework on this hunt? Here are some facts to think about-

    The herd size has shrunk to about where it was in 1988, when it was a small herd at the headwaters of the Mulchatna River (about 30-40,000 head). Unlike in those days though, when the herd was localized, the few stragglers are now widely scattered over a huge area.

    The management objectives for this herd are 100,000-150,000 animals with an annual harvest of 6,000-15,000. But we have only a fraction of that number of animals, and only 700-900 animals taken per year.

    The bull-cow ratio is completely out of whack, with few large bulls available (in biological terms this is known as an "age structure defect" and it spells gloom and doom for the herd for the next several years). Simply put, there are not enough caribou, and among the few that are left, there are very few mature bulls to do any breeding. My take is that this is because hunters are systematically picking off the few bulls that are left. Big mistake.

    The reasons for the decline are as mysterious as the reasons for its sudden surge in the late 1990's. Some possible reasons that were listed are: foot rot, pneumonia, parasites (evidence of all three exist), predation, density-dependent food limitation (they ate or trampled all the lichen), age structure defects (see above), harvest, and climate issues.

    The area biologist is trying to assess the problem, and is doing his best to support policies that restrict additional hunting opportunities. Appropriately, non-residents are the first to be impacted, then residents, then locals living in the area. This priority is reflected in the regulatory restrictions we see- last year we had nonresident closures in the entire unit, plus the Nonresident Closed Area in GMU 17B, which effectively shut float hunting for caribou down for non residents in most of that area. We are seeing additional restrictions this year.

    As a commercial operator (guide and hunt planner) I would not dream of placing caribou hunters in GMU 17 unless they absolutely insisted upon it. We've got to listen to the experts on this, folks (not me, the EXPERTS!). That list starts with the area biologist in Dillingham. By the way, you will discover that most (all?) of the air charter operators in Dillingham are no longer encouraging caribou hunts in GMU 17.

    And guess what? The Western Arctic Herd is showing strong evidence of decline too. A photocensus is planned for this coming spring, and it will be interesting to see what comes of that. Currently it looks like we're in a downhill slide though.

    If you're going to plan a hunt anywhere in Alaska, you've GOT do do your homework first! Either that, or be prepared for your hunt to be a bust.

    Now watch... someone who went out there last fall and shot a nice bull will chime in, saying they were inundated with vast herds of caribou.... there's always one or two out there.... sometimes you get lucky.

    -Mike
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    no non resident hunting would be a stimulus package...that sounds like the guy we have in office now. Get ride of the paying customers and things will get better!!

    here some ideas on that. i know everyone baulks are rural perference but most want state preference..same as rural just on a grander scale.
    I would like to hunt other animals someday so i'm gonna vote for non resident hunting, even where i don't guide.

    Drop the portion of non res hunters outa the picture....limited customers, same number of air taxi's doing less flying.....EQUALS..higher rates...ohhhh. gotta make up for the finacial loss somewhere.

    Less folks buying the pricey tags and us getting ours for free...gotta make up the difference somewhere...just erase the NON infront of nonresident tag price....ohhhh

    oh ya, selfish ambition is a stimulus package, stimulate more road hunting.
    Www.blackriverhunting.com
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    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Strahan View Post
    And guess what? The Western Arctic Herd is showing strong evidence of decline too. A photocensus is planned for this coming spring, and it will be interesting to see what comes of that. Currently it looks like we're in a downhill slide though.
    -Mike
    Your premature, Mike. There's only one count that gave evidence of a decline. Have to get a couple more done to really say the times are a changin!
    The total sport take of WACH bou is under 500 each year. That's a herd of almost 400 thou animals.
    I can't help being a lazy, dumb, weekend warrior.......I have a JOB!
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    You bet I'd pay more, infact I'd like to see tags sold across the counter to residents. How many years have you been frustrated with the drawing permits system or especially the tier 11 system. I'd love to be able to plan a hunt knowing the tags were the easy part.
    Selfish ambition? Call it what you want, it's only an opinion and Lord knows there's plenty of that around these days.

    Speaking of opinion, I'm sure some of you will have the redaz over the recent anouncement to abolish the tier 11 system and put those "units" up for grabs in the general draw. Many of us on the other hand think it's wonderful! Looks like the whinners got their way AGAIN with ADFG.
    Mike

  14. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by Alasgun View Post
    You bet I'd pay more, infact I'd like to see tags sold across the counter to residents. How many years have you been frustrated with the drawing permits system or especially the tier 11 system. I'd love to be able to plan a hunt knowing the tags were the easy part.
    Selfish ambition? Call it what you want, it's only an opinion and Lord knows there's plenty of that around these days.

    Speaking of opinion, I'm sure some of you will have the redaz over the recent anouncement to abolish the tier 11 system and put those "units" up for grabs in the general draw. Many of us on the other hand think it's wonderful! Looks like the whinners got their way AGAIN with ADFG.
    Mike
    Well brother, if you want your voice to be heard by ADF&G, all ya gotta do is speak up! Why not craft a proposal to eliminate non-res hunting, and make up the financial shortfall via increased resident tag prices. Here's some help with the math:

    (A = Number of non-res hunters buying that specific license or tag)

    The amount of financial shortfall you'll INITIALLY (without factoring in trickle-down effects) need to make up for includes:

    A * $85 = shortfall from non-res hunting licenses
    A * $185 = shortfall from non-res combo hunting/fishing licenses
    A * $225 (cost of non-res black bear tag)
    A * $500 (cost of non-res brown bear tag)
    A * $400 (cost of non-res moose tag)
    A * $325 (cost of non-res caribou tag)
    A * $450 (cost of non-res bison tag)
    A * $425 (cost of non-res dall sheep tag)
    A * $150 (cost of non-res deer tag)
    A * $300 (cost of non-res elk tag)
    A * $300 (cost of non-res mountain goat tag)
    A * $1100 (cost of non-res musk ox tag)
    A * $175 (cost of non-res wolverine tag)
    A * $30 (cost of non-res wolf tag)

    Of course, let's not forget the trickle down effects: loss of guide, air transport, hotel, restaurant, rental car, tourism, and other business due to several thousand non-res hunters not coming to Alaska; the resulting loss in tax revenue, which means your taxes will also rise to cover the difference; the loss of some guide and air taxi businesses altogether, which further reduces the tax base and which you'll need to make up for; and so on. The businesses that do remain will have to raise their prices to cover the reduction in customer base, so you'll pay higher prices for goods and services in addition to paying higher taxes.

    So there you go - I've laid it out for you, all you gotta do is shape the proposal and take it the ADF&G! Don't expect them to stand and cheer, but who knows - maybe you're thinking outside the box and have hit upon a great concept.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mdhunter View Post
    Of course, let's not forget the trickle down effects: loss of guide, air transport, hotel, restaurant, rental car, tourism, and other business due to several thousand non-res hunters not coming to Alaska; the resulting loss in tax revenue, which means your taxes will also rise to cover the difference; the loss of some guide and air taxi businesses altogether, which further reduces the tax base and which you'll need to make up for; and so on. The businesses that do remain will have to raise their prices to cover the reduction in customer base, so you'll pay higher prices for goods and services in addition to paying higher taxes.

    So there you go - I've laid it out for you, all you gotta do is shape the proposal and take it the ADF&G! Don't expect them to stand and cheer, but who knows - maybe you're thinking outside the box and have hit upon a great concept.

    True, non-res bring a good amount of cash into the state....however, the lack of an income tax....coupled with the large amount of non res guides, outfitters etc. means that less of that money stays at home than some would think.

    I guess I can talk smart since I can't afford to hunt any other state than the one I'm in....and I can barely afford most of Alaska...so that less folks from somewhere else just means more room and animals for me and my freezer...it's selfish but it's true.

    For me, it's sad that there are areas out in Dillingham that I can get to in my boat...and would love to hunt...but I don't dare due to the amount of guided/outfitted hunters...who are nearly all non res, with lots of non res guides etc. In order to hunt Alaska....I had to move here, leave family behind, and put up with rough weather, high prices of things, and the interesting social experiment that is bush life, and I love it but my little slice of paradise has a price and somehow that is rarely understood. Just because you can pay for it, doesn't mean you earned it.

    Ok, non hijack talk. Yes, the Mulchatna herd is tanked...and it needs all the protection it can get as things hopefully get better, so I support any limitations on it...even if it hits at the local level. I'm not going anywhere so I will just catch it on the rebound.

  16. #16

    Default roger

    Roger,

    No non residents? I noticed that you have a picture of yourself with an animal that does not look to be native to Alaska. Good thing the residents where you hunted that animal didn't ban nonresidents.

  17. #17
    Member martentrapper's Avatar
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    Hey Catch, think of all the Karma opportunity now available to Mulchatna bou hunters.
    I can't help being a lazy, dumb, weekend warrior.......I have a JOB!
    I have less friends now!!

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    Wink Young and cheek I hope!

    Quote Originally Posted by Alasgun View Post
    My personal opinion is to shut the whole state down to Non Resident hunting, boy that would be a stimulus package we could enjoy!
    Mike
    Come on Mike!

    The idea would be an economic sinkhole! Just think how many $ are spent here in the state and benefit so many communities along the way. Just keep in mind that pulling our drawbridge is very short sighted! If Seattle used that approach Alaska would have to shut down in 2 weeks or less as almost everything we use up here comes from somewhere else including my heating oil.

    Walt
    Kotzebue

  19. #19
    webmaster Michael Strahan's Avatar
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    Default Yes.... and no

    Quote Originally Posted by martentrapper View Post
    Your premature, Mike. There's only one count that gave evidence of a decline. Have to get a couple more done to really say the times are a changin!
    The total sport take of WACH bou is under 500 each year. That's a herd of almost 400 thou animals.
    MT,

    What I said is that there is evidence to support the notion that the WACH is declining. I did not say that the evidence was conclusive. I spoke with a biologist in the Kotzebue office last week and she reiterated this, saying that the survey conducted in July 2007 put the herd count at 377,000, down from a high of 490,000 in 2003. This would be a drop of about 20%. There is some uncertainty of the accuracy of the 2003 survey, but another photo census is scheduled for this coming spring. The hope is that this coming survey will provide definitive results and we'll know for sure. BUT, based on the numbers from the 2003 survey, the herd may be in decline.

    Whether we agree on exact numbers, accuracy of counts, etc, one thing for certain; what goes up must come down. It's not a question of whether the WACH will see a population drop, it's a question of when.

    My main point still stands though; wherever a person is planning on hunting caribou, they must do their homework first. The only thing that's certain about caribou is their unpredictability, whether you're talking about individual animals, herd groups, or entire populations.

    I'm at the BOG meetings and they have not gotten to GMU 23, but when they do I will report back with any relevant data that emerges at their presentations.

    -Mike
    LOST CREEK COMPANY: Specializing in Alaska hunt consultation and planning for do-it-yourself hunts, fully outfitted hunts, and guided hunts.
    CLICK HERE to send me a private message.
    Web Address: http://alaskaoutdoorssupersite.com/hunt-planner/
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    "Dream big, and dare to fail." -Norman Vaughan
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  20. #20
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    ........the large amount of non res guides, outfitters etc. means that less of that money stays at home than some would think.

    THAT'S what I have a problem with.
    Now what ?

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