After reading through some of the posts on the welfare for guides thread i just had to ask this question again. How does hunting effect game populations?? Help me out here! I just dont think enough people really understand it. I have talked to a number of people here including a couple of our regional biologists trying to get their take on this issue. There is a lot of BS out there on this subject, and it seems for whatever reason most dont want to talk about or understand it and I dont understand why.
There are a lot of things involved in wildlife numbers, from predators, to loss of habitat but lets just look at hunting.... hunters kill males not females. Any wildlife bioligist will tell you they look at calf survival rates to detirmine how a herd is doing, if out of 100 cows they see only 20 calfs in the fall the herd is in trouble. How is that related to hunting?? If those cows didnt get bred because there were not enough bulls then yes that could be because of hunting, but nowhere in the north have i ever heard of that happening and if it has it would be really bad management by fish/game. There seems to be a lot of folks want to blame the rich non residents (for what i still am not sure) Not many want to look at predator control. With all of the wildlife issues Alaska is facing and so many opinions based on nothing but emotions how will they ever be solved ?
That is indeed an interesting question. If you ever have the chance, listen to Craig Fleener, the subsistence liaison to the BOG. He is from a village on the Yukon, and provides a great perspective from native Alaskan history. They lived off the land, or they died on it. If the game populations crashed, they had to leave that area and find one that had game. They understood that wolves and bears ate the moose and caribou they depended on. So they killed wolves and bears. They killed wolves in their dens, and they also killed bears in their dens, or wherever they could get at them. There weren't enough natives in the area to kill all the wolves or bears, and they weren't trying. But they were able to keep the numbers down.
Many people who oppose any predator control also admire the indiginous peoples of America, including the Alaska Natives, for their closeness to the land and reverence toward it and its other inhabitants. They choose to either ignore or remain ignorant of the fact that part of the Native Alaskan's animal husbandry included predator control.
There is one "Animal" who is a predator, who's population is completely out of control.......It has exploded from under one Billion in 1889 to nearly seven Billion today. It's population doubles every 26 years. It thinks it is smart, it thinks it is superior to all living organisms. It claims a belief in God, or different Gods, but if you study it actions, it behaves as if "IT IS" God.
I don't know what the answer is, but I am sure things will not be goooder in 26 years, with 14,Billion Human Thingies, than it was in 1915 with two Billion Human Thingies. In 1915 Anchorage, Alaska did not exist. In 1918 the entire population (100%) of some Alaska Villages was killed by Pandemic.
We only have the illusion of being in control.