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Thread: Donnelly West Training area closed

  1. #1

    Thumbs down Donnelly West Training area closed

    ... Half way through the moose hunting season.

    For the period 18 September to 20 October, the entire portion of the Donnelly West Training area of Ft. Wainright will be off limits to all users because of a scheduled Red Flag exercise. Moose hunting in this area continues through 25 September and in previous years hunters have coexisted in this area during Red Flag exercises as long as they stayed out of the normal impact areas as outlined in the US Army maps.

    This has a serious and detrimental impact on a number of groups. You have a large number of local hunters. You have those individuals, both in and out of State, who hire local transporters and outfitters for a hunt of a life time. Then you have the air operators themselves and their staff, to which this is a significant source of their income. Finally, and to me unconscionably, you have soldiers just returning from their deployment, who have the time and desire to go hunting, many in this area. All of these individuals are now left with little or no time to find alternate sites.


    During the Public Comment about the Donnelly Training Area, it was stressed that they were going to work with the locals and there would be no change from previous usage. It appears now that this is not going to be the case.

    Just another case of the Fed's sticking it to us again when it comes to hunting in AK.

    -TJ

  2. #2

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    If it's anything like the Ft Rich and Elmendorf hunts that is pretty much standard operating procedures. No point in whining about it, just make the best of it that you can. If I had this tag I wouldn't be happy about it either but as you know already know there isn't much you can do about it. Which hunt is this?

  3. #3
    Supporting Member Amigo Will's Avatar
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    Screw training the troops for their battles to come.A few folks moose hunt it much more important than troop training.

  4. #4
    Member Rock_skipper's Avatar
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    I don't believe there is a tag for the area mentioned. It does have a 50" requirement tho if I am correct.

    There is no whining envolved.

    This needs to be brought to att.

    They can and could restrict thier focus on other training grounds for 15 days. Lord knows they have the ground.

    I don't hunt the location myself, but the more people they push off that land, that means more people that are going to find somewhere else to hunt.

  5. #5

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    Unfortuneatly, this has not been an issue for the past 20+ years as both the exercises and the ability to moose hunt have always been able to go on as planned. Without any expenation, they have shut down a ton of moose hunting area and provide no response when you try to contact them on it.

    Will - maybe they will pay reperations.......

    -TJ

  6. #6

    Default Tags

    There are also any bull drawing tags issued for two hunts that are part of this area. I don't have the regs handy to give you the numbers.

    -TJ

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    sour grapes...there are plenty of other places to hunt. i can't understand how someone would put their moose hunt over the needs of the military in a time of war, especially on military land. as for the "hunt of a lifetime," you should probably plan such a hunt someplace less likely to get closed.

  8. #8

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    What Bull moose hunt takes place in 20D after the 15th of September? I am not aware of one. Cow hunts yes, but not bulls. If I drew a DCU bull tag, I'd be thankful as hell they didn't close the area on Sept 1st like they have in years past.

  9. #9
    Moderator LuJon's Avatar
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    The mil has an enourmous expanse of land in AK and no one really cares what they do or when except on a small percentage of it for a limited time in Sept of each year. W/ the subsistance heritage that makes AK great this should have been though of ahead of time and adjusted to better fit the needs of the surrounding community. To try and play this off as if adjusting their schedule and mission planning would somehow present a future risk to the troops is rediculous. The military puts millions of dollars annually into public affairs hosting all sorts of air shows and other events. All of that is in the interest of maintaining good public relations w/ the local residents. The obviously wants to maintain good PR and this is certainly not going to help!

    Real reason this is going down is most likely some big wig w/ no connection to AK wants to oversee some mountain war games in prep for Afghanistan and he just happens to be available some time between 18 September and 20 October...

    I will not be surprised if the schedule is changes in the next couple weeks to be more specific. It all depends on who puts preasure where and how important the arse is that needs the chapstick treatment!

  10. #10
    Member Rock_skipper's Avatar
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    This is just a thought, but I'll throw it out there anyway.

    As it is well known there is some mixed fellings about the cow hunts in the Delta area.

    They talk about over grazing, road kills, low calf counts, etc.

    By shutting down this area, it will create more cows having calfs because there will be more bulls, or there will be more bull's because they cont. the cow hunt, so the cows that did mix it up with the bulls never deliever next years calfs. hmmm

    Where do you draw the line on management?

    I believe this area will be open to cow hunts again later this year.

    I myself will not particapate, but to each his own.

    Just something to think about.

  11. #11

    Default Donnely West Closure

    This closure dose not only affects 20 D but a good portion of 20A including the DM773 any bull tag that runs from Sept 1 to 25th. My wife drew this tag and is very dissapointed to say the least. First tag she has drawn in 22 years of applying and she can't use it since she only has 13th to 20th to hunt this year..

  12. #12

    Thumbs up

    Hunt the days alloted. It only takes one day to kill a moose. Commanders come and go. Some like hunting, some don't. Ain't the first time for this sort of thing to happen. Maybe just the first for this location. Wait til the ultra modern range is put into action at Ft. Greely. Then you are going to here some screeching, from all the guys that access through it, to hunt the backside. Frankly I am suprised it didn't happen this year, but next season for sure, watch out, it coming.
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  13. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by Meknowy View Post
    sour grapes...there are plenty of other places to hunt. i can't understand how someone would put their moose hunt over the needs of the military in a time of war, especially on military land. as for the "hunt of a lifetime," you should probably plan such a hunt someplace less likely to get closed.
    Do you even know what you are talking about or the size of this area? This isn't some small park next to Ft. Richardson.

    -TJ

  14. #14
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    Yea and Red Flag is an Air Force exercise where a small park next to Ft Rich is WAY TOO small. An F-16 flying low level at 500 knots covers a lot of ground in a hurry and you don't want to be under it when it does. I don't know what they have planned for missions and Ihope they reconsider the schedule but the land is first for military training, then other users. Any one planning to do a hunt of a lifetime on a military reservation where they tell you up front that closures are possible is making a mistake, no matter how long its been open.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Top Jimmy View Post
    Do you even know what you are talking about or the size of this area? This isn't some small park next to Ft. Richardson.

    -TJ
    of course I do. it's not hard to find information on Donnelly, and it all says the same thing - could be closed. perhaps i was too harsh before, so I'm sorry for that, but if it says it could be closed, it could be closed. the size is irrelevant - i would be pissed off, too, if I lost a hunt, but nobody should be going into these hunts without their eyes open. along with weather, access, success rates, and pressure, possible closures are something to take into account when you put in for hunts.

  16. #16
    Member Alaskan22's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Meknowy View Post
    sour grapes...there are plenty of other places to hunt. i can't understand how someone would put their moose hunt over the needs of the military in a time of war, especially on military land. as for the "hunt of a lifetime," you should probably plan such a hunt someplace less likely to get closed.
    I'm going to have to disagree with you on this.

    While I realize the importance of military training, and the needs our personnel need. However, the 2 days they occupy a good portion of 20D and 20A, are during the ONLY 3 weeks of the year that these areas are requested for need by the public. They can't reschedule, or have NOT scheduled for this time frame?? Hunting in this area is NOT a new idea, while training during these times, and restricting access IS.

    Hopefully it can work itself out, as lots of people have time and money invested in these area for hunting.

    I'm pretty sure any part of the State and the hunts falls under the "could be closed" condition. Look at the recent 40 mile herd closure. So, by your logic, I should NEVER plan any hunt because SOMETHING might happen that "could close" the area. Good call....
    Know guns. Know peace. Know safety.

    No guns: no peace. No safety!

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alaskan22 View Post
    I'm pretty sure any part of the State and the hunts falls under the "could be closed" condition. Look at the recent 40 mile herd closure. So, by your logic, I should NEVER plan any hunt because SOMETHING might happen that "could close" the area. Good call....
    That's a pretty big stretch...

    "Training areas on Fort Wainwright (including Donnelly and Gerstle River TA) may be temporarily closed during military training exercises. These closures are listed on a weekly recording at Fort Wainwright: 353-1028 or Donnelly/Gerstle River TA: 873-4713, and are indicated in the Donnelly Training Areas when the red flags are flying at major entrance points near the Richardson Highway. Weekly closures will also be listed on the USARTRAK recreation check in phone system."

    Does that sound like the rest of the state? The 40-mile hunt was closed because too many animals were taken - that's not even remotely the same thing. I think you missed the point, because that wasn't my logic at all.

  18. #18

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    This has been going on for years guys, its not anything new. A buddy of mine from DJ drew the DCUA Bull tag a few years back after years of putting in. We had a monster located that we were watching in the same general area the entire month before the season. The Army closed the entire Donnely Training area from the 1st - 15th of Sept. This stuff happens when you are hunting on Army land. Last year was the first year in a while that there wasn't an excercise going on in this area and it was due to the majority of the soldiers from Wainwright and Rich being deployed. Lots of them are back now and the Army wants to train, I say get over it!

  19. #19

    Wink

    Another way of looking at the Silver Lining of the Dark Cloud.

    Soldiers/Airmen training during Hunting Season. Sorta takes them out of the competition loop don't it? If they need to train, so be it. But we all know this isn't the real reason, so gotta take the bad with the good. Just go hunting there will be fewer hunters in the field with you.
    "96% of all Internet Quotes are suspect and the remaining 4% are fiction."
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  20. #20

    Default Update

    It appears the Army is updating the map to reflect a change in the dates and areas. Hopefully they see the need to work with the locals hunting those areas for such a short period of time each year.

    And just as an FYI, the Army also has the Tannana Flats Trainig Area which encumpasses most of the Tanana Flats from the Tanana River to the Wood River, and includes the Blaire Lakes Bombing Range. Pretty much the entire Tanana Flats across from Fairbanks. Could be next time that a significant portion of 20A gets shut down in the name of "training".

    -TJ

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