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Thread: AK guided law - moose

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    Default AK guided law - moose

    I have heard talk before about adding moose to the AK list of game a NR must hire a guide to hunt.

    Is this a possibility and if so what must happen for it to take affect? I plan to hunt AK moose unguided (seperate topic I am well aware of what this entails) and might move my plans up if this might happen.

    If they do decide to add moose to the guided list would there be a warning or time for it to take effect? In other words once it passes can a NR get up there before it goes into effect?

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    Forum Admin Brian M's Avatar
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    I haven't heard this rumor, but even if there is such a thought floating around I would find it highly unlikely that they would pass such a proposal. The state would stand to lose lots of money in NR moose tag fees and air charters would take a huge hit as well. For purely financial reasons, this seems far-fetched. Perhaps someone else knows for sure, though.

    -Brian

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    Adding Moose to the list of speices that requires a guide/outfitter is a real posibility. There are valid arguments on boths sides.

    However there aren't any current proposal's before the Board of Game for this current session; in other words it ain't going to happen right away, if it does.

    And yes, there will be ample time and notice giving to any such changes. The making of new laws/regulations in Alaska is a very public process. You can find all of the details about how our fish & game laws/regulation get made by checking out the State's website.

    Some background:

    For some time Alaska has had a regulation that requires the use of a guide/outfitter for some speices, or be hunting with a realitive within 2nd degree of kindred. Moose is NOT one of the speices.

    Most area's in the western lower-48 that are designated "wilderness area" are regulated under the Guide Required status for certain speices, namely sheep....grizly bear are not hunted in down in America.

    ALL of the Canadian proviences' are Guide Required for ALL non-resident aliens...

    ALL of the game consessions/blocks in Africa require the use of a PH (Proffesional Hunter= Guide/Outfiter)

    .........

    Anyway, a couple of years ago it looked like Moose was going to get added to the list here in Alaska. Within debating the reasons, suffice to say Moose were heading in that direction. During the discussion guide/outfitters in general were getting "blamed" for this, and some folks from the public were very passionate about opposing Moose becoming "guide required".
    I'm a guide/outfitter, but more importantly I'm a hunter/conservationsit and strongly encorage modern sport hunting for everyone that wants to particiapte.
    Being part of the process at the local level, professional hunters association, state level during board of game meetings, I came up up with a clever idea that gained some support, but resisted by others. I still think my idea has merit, and would like more consideration given.

    Before I give my idea, I'll let you know why I came up with the idea. First, Moose are in high demand and they are a limited resorse, no doubt something needs to be done otherwise we will not have Moose hunting opportunities in the future as we know them today. Second, while I agree that some speices should be guide required, for some people, I have always questioned the mentality that EVERY non-resident, that is not 2nd degree kindred, should be guide required for ANY speices. Specifically, a person that lived in Alaska for some years, moved away, but now wants to come back and go hunting...this person should NOT be guide required. Another scenario is that an Alaska resident, that is a seasoned outdoorsmen but NOT relative to a buddy in the lower 48, SHOULD be able to take his buddy hunting in Alaska for ANY speices.

    Here was my proposal, in a nut-shell:

    Both parts are implimented at the same time, or neither one.

    1) Add Moose to the "guide required" (or 2nd degree of kindred) satus.

    2) Relax the "guide required" regulation for ALL included speices; Moose, Brown/Grizzly Bear, Sheep, Goats, to read something like this.
    All non-resident hunters must use a guide/outfitter to hunt the following speices, Moose, Brown/Grizzly Bear, Sheep & Goat,
    Except;
    (A) if they are hunting with an Alaska resident within 2nd degree of kindred, OR,
    (B)hunting with an Alaska resident who has been a resident for at least 10 year AND at least 5 years Big Game Hunting experince within Alaska,
    OR,
    (C) the person has been an Alaska resident previously for at least 10 years, with at least 5 years Big Game Hunting epxerince within the State of Alaska.

    Note: Subsection "B" is only applicable for one (1) non-resident person per regulatory year.

    ....

    Anyway...this is a very complicated issues. I don't buy into the argument that "they can't do that because it will hurt to many people's pocket book". This makes no sence....the whole reason behind this in the first place is conservation of Moose. In the end, it reallly don;'t matter how the Moose die, a dead Moose is a dead Moose, is a dead Moose. Wolves, subsitance hunters, resident sport hunters, non-resident sport hunters, local versus non-local....there is a supply & demand problem. Moose are in high demand. It don['t matter how much money someone has, or the state, if all/most of the Moose are gone. Conservation = wise use. I can ssure that as sportsmen if we don't regulate ourselves, impliment & manage good conservation measures, no one else will....the "system" will self implode.

    So here's my typing lesson for the day.......

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    Default Some thoughts

    1st - Enforcement - as in - "it ain't gonna happen"

    2nd - Bureaucratic Red Tape - as in "can you just imagine the kind of paperwork this will create"...then refer to #1

    3rd - Alaska is part of AMERICA - Not Canada, and Not Africa - and we are the Land of the Free - i dont give a Rats Arse about "how Canada does it" or "how Africa does it" - only how WE do it.

    there is no reason to "ADD" Moose to the list - However - if you want to Lesson Guide requirements overall....well then, perhaps this is a good thing.

    Cutter

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    An important aspect that I left out of the above thread was that the only other alternatives being considered to Moose being added to the guide required status was to;

    1) CLOSE more Moose hunting area's,

    2)AND.... futher Reduce bag limits, seasons, and antler retrictions

    3)AND....make the area's that are still open for Moose hunting, only open by permit drawing only, and ONLY to residents

    4)AND/OR...subsistance tier drawings in some remaining open area's.

    The alternatives are VERY restrictive and eliminate/reduce Moose hunting opportunities for everyone. The fact remains that there is a supply & demand problem. By Alaska constitution the first things that goes away during lean times is non-resident hunting opportunity. If you think for a minute that this "couldn't" or "wouldn't" happen you're fooling yourself. Could such a regulation be enforcable...of course it could be, w/o a big deal...besides, consider the alternatives.> NO Moose hunting. Hard choices.

    I provided example's of other places' managment systems that have proven sucsessfull. Respectfully, its easy to "assume" something, or make a "knee jerk" reaction without having the knowlegde and education about a subject. This is NOT a simple issue, there are NO easy answers or solutions, and this is a dynamic issue that will need constant attention as trends change.

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    Forum Admin Brian M's Avatar
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    Byron - Sorry, I wasn't trying to suggest that managing based on economics is a wise decision, I was just pointing out that it does come into play whether we like it or not. I fully agree that conserving the resource is of utmost importance. I like your thoughts on adding moose and changing the guide requirement stipulations - that being said, though, I don't see it happening anytime soon. Our system for writing laws and managing game is good, but its not perfect - competing financial interests certainly hold sway.

    -Brian

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    Guys I hate to get into the resident vs non-resident topic, but Alaskas' wilderness resources just cant handle hunters from all of the lower 48 coming up to here to hunt on over the counter tags at will, year after year after year. At some point something is gonna have to be done. The moose #'s are down in alot of places but its not slowing down the influx of moose hunters one bit. Look how many areas have been turned into draw only areas just in recent years. Other than Texas and a few southern US states where deer are like cokaroaches you just cant roll into most western states with a group of 5 hunters and pick up 5 deer and 5 elk tags over the counter at the local sporting goods store and head out into the woods. We are going to have to wake up and smell the coffee at some point. And hopefully Alaska will put Alaskans first!

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    My personal opinion is that requiring non-res hunters to have a guide for moose will never happen. For reasons Brian mentioned.

    Byron does, however, bring up many valid points and concerns.

    Alaska is just not Sweden, nor do I ever hope it to be. In some areas (like 20A on the Tanana Flats) we are attempting to manage moose to mimic what Sweden does in some ways, but we simply don't have the same browse available, and so that area has been really hammered with overbrowsing that will affect it for years to come. We should not manage Alaska's moose for maximum abundance to meet this supply and demand problem.

    Right now the push has been on to up the supply side of moose and caribou, even to the point that it creates hunter crowding, user conflicts, and controversy. I'm very concerned at the harvest objectives under IM law that are based on "historic highs" that came on the heels of the federal poisoning and pred-control campaign of the 40s and 50s. These highs were not at all sustainable, yet here we go trying to implement them again in order to try to meet the demands of hunters.

    I have a picture of a wanton waste of moose case in which just the four quarters were taken. Non-res hunter, but could have very well been a res hunter too. For me, wanton waste of moose is the one thing I see too much of among inexperienced hunters and it's the one reason why a lot of hunters should probably have a guide for moose. Moose are just too big to really pack out for very far, which brings up the other interesting aspect we're seeing more and more of these days, and that is ACCESS to the hunting grounds.

    As access demands grow, and atv and orv abuse grows as well, we're killing what makes Alaska so special and unique. In many ways we are hurting the future hunting opportunities of our children. And we're also setting an example of late that tends to stray from what hunting is/was all about. "Easier" is the catchword of the day. "Faster" goes along with it. All too many now want easier, faster hunts so that they can get back to work in whatever alloted vacation time they have off.

    Basically, to meet the demand for moose, and to fulfill the harvest objectives (which I find absurd) of IM law, we need to put more hunters farther into the backcountry. River systems are maxed out, atv trails already in use are maxed out, and lakes and strips with air access are maxed out as well. What I continually hear is that we need to "spread out" the pressure into other areas. If we look down the line at that philosophy, those other areas will just become like the areas we're trying to make less crowded.

    Until we hunters as a group decide to manage wildlife and hunting under the principles of true wise use and conservation and stewardship that harkens back to the land ethic of Leopold...we are going to lose the remaining wilderness on our public lands and all that makes "wilderness" the best place to hunt and fish.

    Happy Thanksgiving to all,
    Mark

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    webmaster Michael Strahan's Avatar
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    Default I like it

    Quote Originally Posted by Byron_Lamb View Post
    Adding Moose to the list of speices that requires a guide/outfitter is a real posibility. ...

    1) Add Moose to the "guide required" (or 2nd degree of kindred) satus.

    2) Relax the "guide required" regulation for ALL included speices; Moose, Brown/Grizzly Bear, Sheep, Goats, to read something like this.
    All non-resident hunters must use a guide/outfitter to hunt the following speices, Moose, Brown/Grizzly Bear, Sheep & Goat,
    Except;
    (A) if they are hunting with an Alaska resident within 2nd degree of kindred, OR,
    (B)hunting with an Alaska resident who has been a resident for at least 10 year AND at least 5 years Big Game Hunting experince within Alaska,
    OR,
    (C) the person has been an Alaska resident previously for at least 10 years, with at least 5 years Big Game Hunting epxerince within the State of Alaska.

    Note: Subsection "B" is only applicable for one (1) non-resident person per regulatory year.
    Byron,

    I think your idea has merit; it would be worth trying on an experimental basis as a measure to reduce the numbers of moose taken. My first reaction was that this will mean less revenue for ADFG, since their means of support is license and tag sales. Non residents shoulder the bulk of the fees in this area since most big game tags are free for residents. So I think there would be some economic fallout from this, namely that the state will start charging residents for tags. This is something that's been discussed in the past and I think it's inevitable that we'll see tag fees for residents AND higher tag fees for non resident hunters as well.

    Anyway if the goal is to reduce the number of moose taken by hunters, this might be the way to go at least initially. The present course we're on is to reduce the hunting opportunities afforded to non residents, something we're seeing more of every year. I just received a phone call from an individual I know over in GMU 21, who is on an advisory board out there. He told me his area is now going draw for non resident moose starting in the '07 season. This is the direction we're headed, unless we can control it another way. What I don't like about the present situation is that it's crowding the same number of non resident hunters into smaller and smaller areas, which will pressure those areas into going to permit status eventually, just to control the harvest. We have to find a way to break that cycle.

    Nice job on the proposal.

    -Mike
    LOST CREEK COMPANY: Specializing in Alaska hunt consultation and planning for do-it-yourself hunts, fully outfitted hunts, and guided hunts.
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    Byron and Mark,

    Man alive, there is some sense in this state! Hopefully something can be done before everything goes to draw for all. The guide law would be one way to appease this. Or making it a draw for non res and charging a slightly higher draw fee would also help appease the smaller amount of liscense's sold. then the average joe could still afford to come up should he/she draw, and if no guide requirement make it mandatory a short class to show the problems and how to deal with game? Education may win out atleast to some degree.

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    Hey.....did anyone ever notice what a great speeler I am? Shoot, if they gave out metals of honor for typing skills & spelling, surley I would come in last place!

    At any rate, I am continually impressed at the passion and knowledge some folks on this forum contribute. There are some really smart people with some great conservation & game managment idea's discussed here. It would sure be nice to sit us all in the same room w/ paper & pencil in front of us with instructions to discusss Alaska Moose issues. Our objective being to come up with the best proposal we can, collectively, and then submit it to the state BOG, with an elected spokes person for the oral testomiony portion. Not EVERY proposal has to come from the regional advisory boards, in fact I've seen some excelent proposals that came from indivdual people.

    Here in Alaska we are going to swear in a new admistration in about 2 weeks. Most of the time when a new administration come in they also bring in their own department heads, new people at the high ranks. Currently there is termoil with members of the Board of Game. Times are changing right now..... might be a good time to offer something different with Moose conservation at the state level?

  12. #12

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    Good points guys, good info too. AK has recently attracted a lot of attention for DIY NR, I have not been there yet but it seems clear to me it cannot continue to increase - something has to be done. I hope it is a NR draw, not NR having to hire a guide for moose.

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    "Most area's in the western lower-48 that are designated "wilderness area" are regulated under the Guide Required status for certain speices, namely sheep....grizly bear are not hunted in down in America."

    Huh? In Wyoming this is the case, but it will end as soon as someone with a nasty lawyer ends it. It's a rediculous clause intended to give money to outfitters. Every state is different, Montana just changed things significantly, allowing the regular draw to remain and allowing people to buy outfitter sponsored and landowner sponsored tags. Quality Montana hunting experiences are getting much harder to come by with the increase in out of state hunting traffic. The state had to, and did, make changes that were pretty fair to everyone and were certainly favorable to guides. Why? Guides have a lobby and will scream if they lose any of their lock on the money. It worked out pretty well and Alaska will have to do the same, pretty soon, to save the quality experience.

    This is my recommendation:
    First, let me get a caribou and a moose in the next two years (as an evil out of stater). Then, and only then, put a draw system on the unguided 'bou hunts leaving the current levels of trips the same (hunters per thousand 'bou or whatever). Limit out of state guided or unguided 'bou hunts on a one-per-person limit unless the herd can handle two per hunter. Leave guided caribou hunts alone. Put out of state moose permits, guided or unguided, on a draw system starting in 2010 or so. Include antler restrictions on the moose permits.
    Leave goat, sheep, grizz, etc., the same.
    Leave black bear the same.

    Now all of your problems are solved (NOT!).

  14. #14

    Default Kiss

    Byron,
    Creative thinking but how on earth would you enforce your proposal? How do you prove 5 years big game hunting experience? Don't you think it would create another industry of "buddy lists". You take me hunting and I'll pay you under the table, or maybe trade you for a hunt somewhere else. I know this happens already, but it would be a real problem under your proposal in my opinion. The other issue is a constitutional issue of equal protection. How can somebody here for 10 years have more rights than somebody that has been here for 1 year, they are both residents and must be treated equally under the law. This is what kept the permanent fund changes from going through to require two year residency. Michael's point of charging a tag fee for residents would be good if you could guarantee the money would go to the department, but I don't think you could. They would use it to fund the teacher's retirement. Simple solution, charge residents for tags (why shouldn't we pay our share?) and make every area draw only for non-resident moose and registration for residents. You could even allocate a certain percentage or all tags to RESIDENT guides (notice how I slipped another issue in there) to keep them in business. The issue still becomes getting the tag fees to go to the department, and I have no ideas for that one. Also, how about user fees for non-hunting users of wildlife (bird watchers, tourists, etc.) Maybe not?

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    Guys there is a another thread going in the fishing section about longliners and charter and weekend anglers competing over Halibut numbers. $$$$ is the root of all evils! As there are many resident Alaska guides operating in this state that provide a wonderful service there are that many more that only use Alaska to make the almighty $. Guys we are slowly each and every year putting Alaska closer and closer to the rest of the US where the resources are so controlled that very little is left to be enjoyed. Its nothing personal to out of staters, Alaska just cant afford to be pimped out by every guy who can muster the cash to charter planes and boats and rafts and launch a couple dozen hunters into the same valleys year after year with only one intention, to make $. Yes the villages are fighting back in good ways and bad ways they have no choice, at least they have soem pull with lcal F&G influence to make their areas subsistence and closed to general tag hunters and yes many residents are upset by all this, heck most have been priced right out of the game entirely! We have easily longlined ourselves of all the fish in some of our worlds oceans how long until we longline (guiding) ourselves out of a thriving wildlife resource? The sad part is no matter who you complain to or how loud you shout , $$$ is the only thing that speaks. Hence my thread about residents soaking up some of the bills to change perspectives a little. Everybody claims that they hold conservation as the utmost priority and all I can do to respond to that is throw BS flag! Its all about the Benjamins.

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    Default agree

    Time to start charging residents for their tags, even a nominal fee would make a difference, and theres no way any Alaska resident can convince me that paying $25 per tag would stop them from hunting.
    Also charge more for draw permits, double it, once again its not going to stop anyone from applying.
    All areas for all species should be by draw only for Non Residents, this way we limit/control the numbers going into any one area, and bring in more revenue. If someone from the lower 48 can afford 3 to 5 grand to come up and do a moose hunt, another 30 or 40 bucks will not make a difference.

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    Guys and gals,

    There is no need for residents to pay for tags. What we (and ADFG) need is a long-needed increase in the resident license fees, and non-res license/tag fees, which btw would have already been in place this year had not certain "pro-hunting" orgs with a lot of political clout and backdoor deals circumvented the proposed license-fee increases asked for by ADFG.

    I am still astounded that the Alaska Outdoor Council and Ralph Seekins turned SB 170, a simple two page license-fee increase bill, into a 30-page monster that demanded that if we hunters were going to pay more that we should see absurd results like a guaranteed "one-third harvest" of the harvestable surplus of ungulates annually, and a mandate for ADFG to manage ungulates at "maximum carrying capacity of the habitat population."

    Some of you might know that the org I co-chair, Alaska Backcountry Hunters and Anglers, strongly opposed these proposed changes to our Title 16 statutes, and we also argued that adding a ridiculous "trophy fee" for non-resident hunters, based on the size of the animal's skull, horns, or antlers, was...well, unfair and RIDICULOUS!

    Why does ADFG not have the budget they need and deserve, and why aren't we now paying higher license fees, and non-residents paying higher tag fees? Because of the Alaska Outdoor Council and the greed among too many hunters these days that calls for more more more ungulates and more more more access, all the while slowly taking the wild out of wilderness.

    It's time we all reconsidered what "pro-hunting" really means, and what opportunities we want our kids to have in future. We can't turn Alaska into some kind of game farm and try to boost success rates to proportions that are out of touch with the reality of Alaska hunting.

    Aaaargggh, I'm still really perturbed over SB 170. Anyway, yes we need a bump in what we all pay for hunting licenses, and what non-residents pay for licenses and tags. We also need to start funding ADFG with more general fund monies, because this current system only makes them beholden to non-resident dollars and influences how we manage game and opportunities for all of us.

  18. #18

    Default Mark

    Maybe you know how the beurocracy works? Is it true that increases in the license fees will not necessarily go directly to ADF&G, but goes to the general fund? If so, how do we hunters get money directly to ADF&G?

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    webmaster Michael Strahan's Avatar
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    Default I don't think so...

    Quote Originally Posted by blackfoot View Post
    Maybe you know how the beurocracy works? Is it true that increases in the license fees will not necessarily go directly to ADF&G, but goes to the general fund? If so, how do we hunters get money directly to ADF&G?
    Blackfoot,

    I believe all license and tag fee monies go directly to ADFG, as this is the only way they are funded.

    Maybe something has changed though.

    -Mike
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    Blackfoot,

    First off, you won't catch me saying I know how bureaucracy works <grin>!

    The monies from the proposed license and tag fee increases would have gone right to ADFG and would have been tied to management and staffing. I do agree with some transparency to see where the money goes, but I don't believe in tying it to sweeping changes in how we manage and allocate our wildlife. We deserve good, prudent management from our license and tag fees, which involves good science, good density estimates, etc. I do not think the money I pay for a hunting license means that ADFG has to ensure a 33% success rate for all moose hunters! Therein lies the problem --- many want to tie any future increases to dramatic results that are not biologically sound.


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