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Thread: Wildlife Monograph - Unit 20 Moose mgmt

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    Member bushrat's Avatar
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    Default Wildlife Monograph - Unit 20 Moose mgmt

    Was going through some mgmt reports and monographs I have on disk.

    Some good info in this one, which is available online, on Intensive Mgmt of moose, antlerless harvests, history of the area's moose population etc:
    http://www.wildlife.alaska.gov/pubs/...2006_alces.pdf

    Well worth the time if you want to better understand what's going on in the Tanana Flats area.

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    Default PDF

    Interesting Bushrat I like the prescribed fire Idea and I see how it works. What is the estimate of needed burn in a unit the size of 20a. I see that adf&g has been trying to gain permission fo a burn on tanana flats since 1994 at the time of this article. I assume with no success yet. If adf&g is willing to fund a burn is there an alternative? Hydro axes I am sure not near as cost effective as a fire but easier for the public to accept and a way to create access into the area by clearing brush. I am sure it probably does not seed as well as a fire though.
    Thanks for the read.

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    Member bushrat's Avatar
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    Default sledhands, re prescribed burns

    While no one supports what happens to private property when wildfires move through, I'm sure the bios at F&G were very happy that Unit 20 saw so much wildfire activity this summer.

    But it's ironic too, because the smoke generated by those and other fires this summer has just added more opposition among the public for any future prescribed burns of any magnitude that would bring smoke into the Fbks area.

    Don 't recall how large an area F&G wanted to burn off...a lot of it is to increase forage in certain specific areas. Here's a brief synopsis on fire and mechanical treatments and how fast certain browse comes back:
    http://www.wildlife.alaska.gov/pubs/...abstract07.pdf

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    Default Mechanical clearing

    It appears the mechanical clearing works efficiantly and is cost effective.(25-75% of burning costs) But also has its own drawbacks. My understanding was that the clearing done was by dozers pushed into windrows. With the windrows being highly efficiant except they totally eliminate standing debri and also create a crossing/access hazardl to feed in said rows(ie; broken legs for moose) But I did not see where they had used hydro axes in a row pattern ( trees, clearing, trees, clearing, trees) in a sense corn rows. This may help in support of bird nesting also while helping to curtail the terrestrial predation of said birds.
    I have noticed that recently hydro axed areas always contain moose and have taken moose in said areas. The study seems to show that mechanical means seems to stimulate good growth no matter what method is used. Albeit some methods are of course better than others.
    My obvious assumptions in the prior post were all proven wrong for the better. Cost and browse return efficiancy. With that study I would think that f&g would be trying to use mechanical means in areas of concern where AC have not allowed burning in IM areas. Also to further study this problem (Quote: MAY hinder access by browsing species and attract
    terrestrial predators of gallinaceous birds.)

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    Member Erik in AK's Avatar
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    A close friend works for F&G, she reports that the chief opponent of prescribed burns and the loudest complainer of this years smoke was....

    wait for it.....



    the cruise industry

    Burning trumps clearcutting because it stimulates certain plants that wait for fire to germinate, and the ash returns nitrogen to the soil.

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    Member sledhands's Avatar
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    Default WHO?

    The CRUISE industry. I am for one am SHOCKED. Did that smoke slow our flow of money to south africa. gol dang it.

    The germination by fire as well as the ash is something I was aware of. These were some of the reasons I figured burning was more efficiant than clearing . The windrows though are in some instances more efficiant in promoting regrowth. But my thought was that if you can't get the O.K. for a burn and the next best thing is cheaper. Along with being possibly more acceptable by the AC and general population of alaska. Doesn't it at that time become a viable alternative.
    With the need for browse in areas where malnutrition in the moose population will occur without mans hand involved. Wouldn't it seem that this should be promoted (clearing)as an alternative to burning. If not Why?

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    Another option I suppose, would be to open the area for firewood cutting.

    Charge a modest fee, open the terrain to new growth and promote familiarity of the area to hunters. Maybe even establish new trails, and in the process improve access.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Erik in AK View Post
    Another option I suppose, would be to open the area for firewood cutting.

    Charge a modest fee, open the terrain to new growth and promote familiarity of the area to hunters. Maybe even establish new trails, and in the process improve access.

    charge a fee for black spruce peckerpoles? it takes about 50 to make a cord...
    "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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    Quote Originally Posted by Vince View Post
    charge a fee for black spruce peckerpoles? it takes about 50 to make a cord...
    If you make it free nobody will do it. Better yet charge a high fee and threaten a big fine for cutting without a permit and hordes of Fairbanksans will clear cut the place just for the satisfaction of defying the government

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    Default High priced permit.

    That risk factor just might be what it takes.
    Put a pay station at the beginning like the state parks. A metal box with a lock and a little form envelope.
    Gonna need a sign that says wood cutting, x amount, permits here with an arrow pointing to the pay box.
    Yeah that might work and the AC's might even go for that if the thought was that it would benefit the general public,get hunter approval, also relieve pressure from f&g biologist to allow a burn. excellent way of targeting an area, very little out of pocket expense, generates revenue. That really is a good plan
    Except do you really think there are enough ambitious wood cutters in the area to do the job.

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    Member Vince's Avatar
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    the problem is YOU GUYS are discussing unit 20......


    there are no trails, road access, or dry ground to build many on... the dry ground is predominately above tree line. even the hills are swampy up here.

    the tree growth is small with few pockets of hard woods. unit 20 especially 20 A is one of the largest units with the most difficult access by road that is on the road system.

    unit 20 moose management is steering away from the trophy moose to a higher sustainable yield for younger animals and higher success rate. the BOG will be discussing the Unit 20 and most importantly 20A that most hunters are interested in... this next spring. BOG and Advisory meetings will be in full swing here soon enough again... get involved.
    "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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    Default 20a

    Yeah i noticed when hunting there it was kind of like huntin in a hallway.
    So what's your prefernce trophy or higher yield?

    Trophy is fine with me an easy moose is always nice but that is not the way it is. That is why they call it hunting. I enjoy a challenge that is the reason I hunt.

    I don't live in that area but I am not afraid to pitch my views. Vince you live there What do you want? How can I help? I filled out a form for a BOG seat and have been to meetings in the past. My biggest problem at this moment is my work schedule of 6 and 2 interfers a little with gov involvment.

    As I have said before this forum needs a body of representatives. We don't all see things the same but generally we have the same goals in mind.

    The squeaky wheel gets the oil. somebody representing a body of individuals speaks louder than someone that only represents one.

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    Quote Originally Posted by sledhands
    As I have said before this forum needs a body of representatives. We don't all see things the same but generally we have the same goals in mind.
    Sledhands, I beg to differ re us generally all having the same goals in mind.

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    Quote Originally Posted by sledhands View Post
    As I have said before this forum needs a body of representatives. We don't all see things the same but generally we have the same goals in mind.
    The problem is how you arrive at the same goal. There people who expect you to feed your family with out using an ATV, with out using a trail unless you are walking, with out building new roads, with out killing a single wolf or bear, and meeting there standard of being a ethical hunter. There must be other restriction; they want to impose on how you and I hunt. I sure we will hear about them in the future.

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    Quote Originally Posted by sledhands View Post
    Yeah i noticed when hunting there it was kind of like huntin in a hallway.
    So what's your prefernce trophy or higher yield?

    Trophy is fine with me an easy moose is always nice but that is not the way it is. That is why they call it hunting. I enjoy a challenge that is the reason I hunt.

    I don't live in that area but I am not afraid to pitch my views. Vince you live there What do you want? How can I help? I filled out a form for a BOG seat and have been to meetings in the past. My biggest problem at this moment is my work schedule of 6 and 2 interfers a little with gov involvment.

    As I have said before this forum needs a body of representatives. We don't all see things the same but generally we have the same goals in mind.

    The squeaky wheel gets the oil. somebody representing a body of individuals speaks louder than someone that only represents one.

    that is a question i still wrestle with .....

    here is my feeling at the moment with some amount of considerable confusion and head scratching still in progress....


    Unit 20 A is one of the most sought after any bull tags in the state as the harvest ratio on these tags continues to increase.. especially in the Ferry Trail management area.

    as the population of moose is modified to fit the need of higher yield it is a population of younger moose. though the harvest rate for the drawing tags are increasing the harvest rate for general season harvest of bulls that are spike/fork 4 brow tine or over 50" is steadily declining. thus reducing the availability of general season harvest. if you are not luck enough to draw a tag. with general season harvest declining, the demand for the coveted tag is INCREASING exponentially and making the rate of draw diminish to the average individual.


    now lets leap ahead for a few years into the future and look at some insight i have in that area....


    the FT MA area is accessed by the ferry road system.. any one out there over the last few years has seen an increase in silver spots on a chunk of 4x4 post and a piece of rebar....These are CORNER POST


    there is a large core drilling operation and mining claim that has claim to 8-10 square miles of the top of the ferry road system and is looking at buying/leasing out several of the other larger claims in that area...

    my experience with these LARGE mining operations is the fence that is put up... i would challenge any one to JUST access ACROSS fort Knox mine... and the gold reserve in this ferry area, is rumored to dwarf Knox or Pogo.


    what is this going to do once the high yield of moose in one area is suddenly cut off with out permit for access.....

    granted at the moment this is speculation on my part, but my experience in this state gives me a rather good insight,......



    over dependency on one area for a resource is the wrong approach... when that area is severely limited in terms of access...

    if the lean to wards high yield and draw harvest is going to be the case ... the areas behind this management area need to be opened up to the general season hunter and access granted.

    why MUST my trail stop at the Totatlinika river? WHY is the wood CUA in place to begin with? how about the Yanert or other?

    lets open those up and general season opportunities diminish ... AT LEAST for the taking of extra large game such as moose... those that require some form of transport to be removed from the field.


    The Mat Su valley has one of the highest populations of moose in the state, why is it NOT being manèged for high sustained yield as the FT MA? it is being managed for increased general season harvest... perhaps because the population base is there and the demand for local harvest is higher for them and drawing permits for 500 moose in a population of 500,000 is just not gong to happen.

    where as the FT MA is a GO TO place that is popular with not only the Interior based population but the mat valley, Anchorage, and KP populations as well,,, For years the seasons of the rest of the state closed 1 week prior to the unit 20A. giving an extra week of hunting in the close to rut period. making it a go to.


    high yield of drawing hunts and a general season harvest need to be combined to some degree. otherwise our CHANCES to GET TO GO hunting will diminish steadily over the years as the request for the tags increase.

    off hand any one have the numbers for # of applicants for the 20A hunt by hunt#? last i heard was over 7000 applicants for 85 tags....
    "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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    Quote Originally Posted by bushrat View Post
    Sledhands, I beg to differ re us generally all having the same goals in mind.

    I believe the general goal is better hunting and more opportunity to hunt for the most part with members of the hunting forum. Now whether we all agree on the road to be traveled to reach these goals? or how to travel it ? are two entirely different things but I would not call them goals. Bushrat I have been to and read through your complete ABHA information I can honestly say that your goals are very likely more lofty than the average joe on this forum where natural resources are concerned.

    I realize that they will promote these afore mentioned goals, but there is more to yours. Don't take this wrong! That is not a bad thing.

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    Sledhands, thanks for explanation of what you meant re general goals we all may have. It's just that better hunting and more opportunity itself can have wide-ranging meanings <grin>.

    Seriously, it can. And does. Hence what I said earlier.

    One view of that underlined sentence is indeed to try to turn Alaska into Scandanavia. Another view is a bit more moderate, but nevertheless still pushes access access access at any cost, with little to no restrictions or limits, to provide more opportunity. And yet another believes we currently have the best hunting and the most hunting opportunity of anywhere in the United States...along with a full compliment of indigenous predators like wolves and bears, so why should we would really change that.

    The devil is always in the details, and it is those details, from my experience, that so often force us into differing camps as hunters and make it so there really is no overall general consensus on what is best.

    Especially here on this forum <grin>. Anyway, appreciate your take, nice to have you aboard and learn from your perspective.

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    I can easily agree with 'Sledhands" in regard to this, MO.

    Quote,,"I believe the general goal is 'better hunting and more opportunity to hunt',
    for the most part with members of the hunting forum".

    I don't view that statement as something new,
    or against what most hunter would like to see, and/or have 'better/more opportunities.

    I believe it reflects what many hunters would like to happen in Alaska.


    Scandinavia, IMO, and references to it are old news.
    Alaska is NOT Scandinavia, never will be,
    In most instances 'it' was brought up, in reference to the lack of PREDATORS,
    and Alaska's ABUNDANCE of PREDATORS.

    Aside from that reference, I view it as being 'used' as anti-growth, anti- predator control.,
    and misrepresented as 'originally' related to Alaska.

    MO.

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