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Thread: Historical success rate of DM788 (FBKS Management Area, bow only hunt)

  1. #1

    Default Historical success rate of DM788 (FBKS Management Area, bow only hunt)

    I won my DM788 permit last year and was hunting pretty actively. I called in two bull moose (one was in 15-20 yrds form me). I saw numerous caws with calves. I provided plenty grouse to the table. I discovered a lot of interesting things, including bear tracks on the snow in late October in Chena Lakes RA. But I had no single chance for legal shoot. So, I got interested how badly I failed in terms of the success rate numbers for this hunt, which somehow I considered very productive.

    Actually, that was true for 10 or so years ago (60-70% success rate). Last year the success rate was around 20%, three+ times lower compared to the first year when this hunt was established, 1995. And this is not the end of the story.

    Since the hunt duration is nearly tripled starting from 2005 and the number of licenses (and, consequently, hunters) increased tenfold from 1995-96, to compare apples to apples I had to introduce and compute somewhat artificial but consistent parameter. It is "normalized" success rate per day per license. It can be treated as a simplistic estimate of chances to harvest a moose on daily basis for the license holder. Of course, it is much lower than the real chance for that, since nobody hunts the entire hunting period, leave alone that the successful hunter does not continue to hunt. Again, it is simplistic, underestimated, but pretty consistent value, as far as the entire period of 1995-2008 is concerned.

    And this number differs drastically, roughly from 2% in 1995-96 to 0.2% in 2008, ten times fall off.

    So, these my findings. I feel a bit better now (do I?), since DM788 evolved from apparent slum dunk in the 1990-es to rather chancy enterprise with quite limited success.

    Below is the screen shot of EXCELL table I put together with AF&G info from,
    (Select a year and region 3 for the DM788 results. Since no data about hunt duration in 1995-99 is available, I had to assume that it is the same as during 2000-2005, namely 37 days. Also, no info of how many days people actually hunted is available, alas)

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  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Fairbanks, AK

    Default Slam Dunk ?

    I think there is a perception this hunt is a slam dunk. Now that the antlerless bag limit has been liberalized, anything without antlers, I think it will increase a hunter's likelihood of an opportunity for a shot.

    I hunted the FMA last year. I got certified too late to submit for a drawing permit. I saw plenty of legal antlerless moose if I had a permit.

    What I was having a problem with is finding something with anters. I was not seeing them, or not I wasn't not beating the bushes hard enough in terms of days in the field.

    So, despite the perception this hunt is a slam dunk, it is not. It will increase your likelihood of getting a shot. However, I still have the illusion of grandeur of shooting a moose off of my frost covered deck in my britches. What a life!

  3. #3
    Member danjordan78's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2007

    Default Are people working as hard at it???

    Was just talking to someone today about this topic in a round about way. They were saying how they have seen a significant decline in the amount of effort hunters are willing to put into their hunts. 4-Wheelers are the norm now, nobody wants to walk anymore. Forget scouting, that would be too inconvenient. Practice with their rifle/bow before the season? What for, it's probably still sighted in from last season. And I could go on.

    Definitely not saying that I'm above these things either. I notice myself relying on the easier things as well and not working as hard as I should some times. When I get back from an unsuccessful hunt and am disappointed, I stop and think "Did I do everything I possibly could to be successful???". More often than not the answer is usually "NO", and then I'm not so disappointed. I start looking at what I could do next time to put in more time or effort (assuming I really want to be successful in that particular hunt).

    Seems like anymore if we are willing to get more than a mile off the beaten path, scout a little beforehand, and learn our equipment inside and out, we would all be a little more successful.

    Does this answer the question of why this particular hunt is in such decline? Probably not totally, but I'll bet a little!!!

    "May the gods keep the wolves in the hills and the women in our beds!" Menalaus -Troy

  4. #4

    Default Effort

    I agree with danjordan. I think people aren't putting in the kind of effort needed any more. A couple years ago when I hunted this hunt, I spent 15 days out there looking for moose. In those 15 days, I saw a grand total of ZERO other hunters off the road. I saw a few driving around and stopped on the shoulder when you could see a moose off in a clearing a ways out, but none anywhere away from the road. It was nice for me though. I used mountain bike, skis, and foot to get out on trails. Only went back to the car to warm up and get to another area from time to time. Usually a morning hike/bike/ski, lunch time drive to other area, evening hike/bike/ski until dark. Strange to be so alone out there so close to town.


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