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Thread: Winter 40 mile caribou hunt CANCELLED

  1. #1
    Member akjw7's Avatar
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    Default Winter 40 mile caribou hunt CANCELLED

    Looks like my family is going to be missing our freezer shelf full of caribou burger this winter...

    http://www.newsminer.com/news/2009/a...hunt-canceled/

    I did try to get out for one a couple weeks ago, but the entire hunt was on weekdays so it was tough.

    Shame that this hunt (fall and winter) are probably going to end up as a drawing or otherwise restricted hunt (more restricted than it is now as a typical 1 or 2 day hunt).

    For my family this is a shame, because I am not aware of any other caribou meat hunts that are as inexpensive as this. Not everyone has the money to fly out, not everyone has the money for a drive up the haul road, not everyone has the money for a nice enough truck to take that far from town in the first place , not everyone has the money for a boat that can make it 90 miles up the salcha (not to mention the gas $$$ required!), etc etc...

    It's looking like a lousy winter of steroid beef and high (higher I should say) grocery bills - the three times I had plans to get to chitina with a carpool the river flooded out, so no fish. Missed the fall bou and now the winter hunt is cancelled. Guess I'm hoping I can bag a legal moose (meanwhile I know people with any bull tags that don't even plan to hunt their permit area, choosing rather to look for legal bulls elsewhere - but that's another thread! )

    if anybody knows of another reasonably inexpensive location where there's a chance that hard work = caribou, my wife would be thrilled if you would PM me

    guess I'm just whining...but it's out of my system now

  2. #2
    Member MaximumPenetration's Avatar
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    According to the regs you can kill any bull fork/spike or bigger in the FMA from Sept. 1-30 with a bow and certified bow hunter license. I would suggest that for hunting close to home.

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    Member akjw7's Avatar
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    there's a lot of pressure there, but you're right - for moose. I have moose plans already but I'm going to an area I haven't been before and couldn't get my hunting partner to scout any this summer so I'm not counting on anything like a sure thing.

    My wife prefers caribou, so she's more dissapointed with the 40 mile hunt than I am.

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    Member dkwarthog's Avatar
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    Its too bad they closed the winter hunt. I had heard that the RC860 exceeded the quota by a lot...

    After having hunted off the Tayor, I would agree with some kind of change for that hunt. It is just crazy how many folks are hunting up there. The first ridge we climbed, we saw 14 people. Some folks on opposite sides of valleys glassing towards each other!!

    Either a draw, non motorized or something else.... although making it non motorized would probably just turn alot more people into road hunters which is a PITA and unsafe, IMO.

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    Member Vince's Avatar
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    hunters took approximately 580 caribou off the Taylor Highway before the season was closed Aug. 12. Thatís twice the harvest quota of 290. Hunters on the Steece Highway reported taking approximately 270 caribou. The harvest quota for that hunt was 190.

    does any one wish to speculate on how many hunters were present on the Taylor for only 290 caribou?


    or how many were on the steece for only 190 caribou?

    what the heck do they expect? if you allow a free for all it will be a free for all and quota's will be exceeded. the Taylor highway hunt has not gone UNDER quota for YEARS.. though the steece has often not meet the fall quota the winter hunt is often exceeded..

    i to for see changes in this.
    "If you are on a continuous search to be offended, you will always find what you are looking for; even when it isn't there."

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    Member dkwarthog's Avatar
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    We went in on the 9th and came out on the 12th. Driving in, I am guessing we saw maybe 100 rigs mainly between chicken and american summit. Lots of those rigs had 4 place trailers. Hard to say but I think the success rate was high based on what I saw.

  7. #7
    Member fshgde's Avatar
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    Default suggestions

    Here are a few suggestions to maybe make this hunt better , go to bull only, one animal per family, do away with summer hunt. Just have winter hunt can't participate if you have taken a any other large game that year, any other ideas?

  8. #8
    Member akjw7's Avatar
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    not bad...certainly would go over good with me for my own selfish reasons, but I'm not sure if that's right. I hate how everything these days is bent on discriminating against one hunter or another.

    If the goal is to make it more of a subsistence style meat hunt (can't shoot one if you've taken a moose etc) then removing the august hunt is probably a bad idea since a walk in hunt in December is probably not something many would attempt. So you've limited access to those with snowmachines or road hunters. Maybe make the summer hunt non-motorized along with bull only and permits given in person only instead of online.

  9. #9
    Member Vince's Avatar
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    then you wind up with the bu herds with not enough bulls p[er cow ratio...

    the herd out by Dillingham(?Mulchatna?) accrding to the Bios this spring at the BOG meetings..

    due to the large intrest in those bulls and selcetive hunting they have 1 bull per 100 cows..

    the bulls can not breen enough to keep the herds alive..

    I am sure i will be corrected.. but i remember the conversation even if my local is not correct.
    "If you are on a continuous search to be offended, you will always find what you are looking for; even when it isn't there."

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    Member Rod in Wasilla's Avatar
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    I think a bull only harvest with a limited number of locally available cow registrations thrown in would make a big difference in the number taken. As it is now, it's pretty easy pick'ns so it draws a lot of hunters. Limiting the general harvest to bulls only should reduce the hunting pressure and lengthen the hunt to give hunters a realistic chance after opening day. And the number of cow registrations available could be used as a tool to manage herd size.

    Of course, not being local, that would mean that I would probably never get to harvest a cow again. But, I would still have a chance for a bull for the freezer.

    Or... how 'bout this. Use the online registration system, but make the hunters choose whether they will harvest a bull or a cow when they register. If they get their quota of cow registrations, the system wouldn't allow any more and whoever is left would only be able to harvest bulls. It would force hunters to be more selective and give people more time to hunt instead of everybody having to take the first thing they see on opening day because they never know if F&G is going to shut it down the next day.

    I don't know... maybe neither of these would work. Anyway, I'm bummed that there won't be a winter hunt this year. I work too much in the fall these days to put a real hunt together. I didn't even put in for sheep permits this year because I knew I'd be working. Looks like I'm going to have to try for a moose on the weekends if I want to fill the freezer. Probably won't get anything, but it's worth a shot. Anybody know where all the spike/forks are hanging out?
    Quote Originally Posted by northwestalska
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    Default My 2 cents...

    Post a Trooper in Chicken at a 24 hour manned check station. All successful Hunters msut report their harvest within 24 hours of taking an animal. All unsuccessful hunters must do the same thing before leaving Chicken.

    If the quota is meet or close to being meet, then the Fish and Game can set a time and (1) trooper could drive the road and major trails handing out EO's. The word will spread quick then.

    Hopefully it want go to a Draw or Tier II just because of one good, quick year.

  12. #12
    Member Vince's Avatar
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    Hopefully it want go to a Draw or Tier II just because of one good, quick year.
    Problem is it is closed EVERY year in a day or two.. and the quota is met every year in a day or two.. the Fall quota on the 40 mile ALWAYS borrows from the winter quota

    problem is

    TOO many Permits. i am wagering in the few thousands for a few hundred animals...as long as that keeps up.. the yearly allowable will be met, over exceeded, and reduce the next years allowable harvest..

    we have 3 road accessible OPEN hunts

    forty mile

    steece ( in-part same herd)

    and the Dalton ( that increases in popularity yearly) the Dalton has only been open to the public since the mid/late 90's

    the WA-CH. is financially unavailable to MOST hunters. due to lack of access.

    so what needs to happen.

    honestly the state needs to be opened up to relieve pressure off the few roads we have.

    OMG!!!! NO!!!!! we cant do that... that would mean resources readily available to remote communities. they would not need to shoot 100 caribou. only 5-15....

    the local herds would start to recover. the inaccessible ones would take some culling.. the sickness in them would diminish. needs would be met..

    subsistence should take precedence over sport.. as sport is just that.. sport done for fun. and or profit. but access to this state SUCKS... i can fly to the lower 48 for 1/4 the cost i can fly to the north slope, when i get to the states i can DRIVE to any town i want... Alaska Airlines and others have us by the nuts and KNOW It.

    all my life i have run one corner to the next.. i could have done MANY MANY high end European vacations on the cost of traveling IN the state Of AK.

    road to Nome, Kotz, bethel, dilling ham king salmon, illiamna barrow, pt hope, qunihagak, unalakleet,st Michaels, hooper bay,togiak, emmonick, st Marys, galena, tanana. ALL the main hubs should have a highway to it.. and a trail to the town next to it.. and a road running along side the rivers. Yukon Kuskoquim, Koyukuk, all the thorough fairs

    the big problem. .. Alaska is geographically stuck n the few dry spots we have in this state.. and are unwilling to tell California mentalist to Go piss up a rope with the environmental issues they sue our state over yearly

    forty mile will see changes maybe not this year but soon..

    so will steece

    the Dalton will take the slack.. then go to R permit.. then be closed to draw

    i give it 10 years max look what the last 10 have brought us
    "If you are on a continuous search to be offended, you will always find what you are looking for; even when it isn't there."

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    Member dkwarthog's Avatar
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    Rod, not to pick a fight, but based on what I saw, I'm not sure I agree that the bull only harvest with some local cow tags will make that much of a difference. I think every bou I saw (harvested) was a bull.

    I'm sure some cows were taken but the 30 or 40 that I saw either shot or in guys pickups were bulls. I dont think I saw a single dead cow.

    just my .02 as I've not spent as much time up in the 40 mile as alot of you have...

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    Member akjw7's Avatar
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    warthog - I think the winter harvest is probably more evenly split than the fall. At least based on what I've seen.

  15. #15

    Default I am sure you will

    see some serious changes. I think it should all go "walk in" hunting. No atv's. This is no longer a hunt, it is shoot out. I live here and choose not to participate. We want the hunt to be an enjoyable thing, but has turned out to be much less than desired with no control over harvest.

  16. #16
    Member whitewolf2025's Avatar
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    Too bad.... I shot my first bou on the Haul rd. while my husband was away in Iraq this past winter and we were going to go up with a friend this winter and let him try for his first bou but guess not now.....I dunno if I could get him to walk in 14 miles for one caribou like I had to do for mine. Oh well. The hard workers get the prize I guess :P

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    Member Rod in Wasilla's Avatar
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    Yeah, I don't know. I did say that I didn't know if my ideas would work. But it is good to have the discussion. What I do know is that my harvests have been split 50/50. So with that experience, I made some assumptions that may or may not prove to be true. Either way, it would be nice to be able to massage the system in a way that would keep it in check without a complete overhaul to a draw.

    [I'm not trying to pick a fight either, but as far as all of the harvested animals you saw being bulls... Well, you do know that cows have antlers too, right?]

    Quote Originally Posted by dkwarthog View Post
    Rod, not to pick a fight, but based on what I saw, I'm not sure I agree that the bull only harvest with some local cow tags will make that much of a difference. I think every bou I saw (harvested) was a bull.

    I'm sure some cows were taken but the 30 or 40 that I saw either shot or in guys pickups were bulls. I dont think I saw a single dead cow.

    just my .02 as I've not spent as much time up in the 40 mile as alot of you have...
    Quote Originally Posted by northwestalska
    ... you canít tell stories about the adventures you wished you had done!

  18. #18
    Member bushrat's Avatar
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    I've been harping over the Intensive Mgmt goals for the Fortymile herd for years now, as well as how this hunt is conducted.

    Will be talking with bios and ACs on where we're going to likely go with this next spring at the BOG meeting.

    Couple points, and they are not set it stone:
    1) The subsistence take needs to have priority, however we work it. Meaning, whatever the determined subsistence needs are, those animals are reserved in some fashion each year for subsistence uses.

    2) Non-resident hunting needs to be dropped until the herd grows more. I don't think we should have ever continued non-res opportunity while we are actively doing wolf control and claiming we are trying to grow the herd to "put food on the tables of Alaskans."

    3) Fall hunt needs to likely go to draw system for the Taylor and Steese hunts. Don't like to say it, but registration hunts like this don't work. They create zoos, conflicts, atv abuse, and pretty much ensure overharvests. Could work to keep the Salcha and Fortymile River/Joseph hunts registration, with F&G surmising X number of bou will be taken by fly-ins and boaters as part of the allocation.

    ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    There are several other mgmt problems imo too. The massive 2004 fires, and some in 2005, burned off about half of the winter range. Poor time to try to really grow this herd. A bunch burned off in the Yukon Territory too.

    The median IM harvest goal for this herd is 8,000 animals annually. For several years now, we have been harvesting around 900 animals each year. And what is happening is that thousands of hunters (mostly atv hunters) are flocking to the field each fall to take most of those 900 animals. There have been some winter registration hunts, and those too can be real zoos.

    I think it's clear now to the Tok AC that the Chicken area can't handle any more atv traffic than they have now. Fortymile Miners Assn. has complained too...they are afraid DNR may shut them down as happened on the Rex if the abuse continues. Some fear all the traffic could even lead to more closures. This is something we need to face before it gets even more out of hand. Perhaps moving to more winter hunts when/if the Fortymile herd does eventually grow would be the best option. I just can't see us ever meeting the median IM harvest objective without creating more problems if we try to harvest most of those animals in the fall.

  19. #19

    Default Thanks Mark

    I think this season really put the nail in the coffin for this hunt. Something has to happen and the subsistence part must take priority. First thing I asked the bio was the non resident take and I told him that is the first thing that has to be removed, then we can start working on turning this back into a hunt that is what it is supposed to be.

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