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Thread: Guided vs unguided hunters

  1. #1
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    Default Guided vs unguided hunters

    When there were a lot of caribou, there were a lot of non-resident unguided hunters killing them two at a time. The mind set was that if the Alaska Fish and Game would allow them to take two, it was ok to shoot two. Guided clients were typically interested in taking ONE great trophy. I watched the number of great bulls fall rapidly AND THEN the number of middle age bulls start to fall AND THEN the number of cows start to fall. Camps filled with unguided clients were like a gauntlet out there, with no chance for the animals. Once the big bulls were thinned out, the hunters started focusing on the middle age bulls because they did not want to go home empty handed. When the middle age bulls were gone, the focused on the small bulls. Once they were gone, hunters started taking the cows, again because they didn't want to go home empty handed. When their buddy shot a second cow, they felt the pier pressure to do the same so they would not be thought of as a poor hunter when they got back home and their buddy was bragging about taking two animals.

    I have heard these unguided nonresident hunters talk about this over and over. Unfortunately, while the predators have not helped the situation, hunters who shot the maximum bag limit allowed by the state are to blame for the Mulchatna caribou herd decline. The politically correct thing to say is "it is due to smoke, feed, predators, or the "natural cyclic nature of animals" and avoid anyone taking responsibility. If these unguided hunters would have been regulated by a one caribou bag limit or even had a tag quota like in other areas of the state and the other 49 states, the herd would be healthy today.

    I think Kotzebue (and some of the other communities) is in for the same experience if the Alaska Fish and Game doesn't get on the stick. Self regulation on the part of hunters, guides, transporters, etc doesn't work because everyone thinks that if the Regs allow it, it must be ok. The same phenomenon occurs everywhere....When they raised the speed limit on our highway systems, it didn't take long for everyone to start driving the MAXIMUM speed limit. Nobody likes too much regulation but if the State of Alaska would have put a stricter limit on caribou harvest ten years ago(when the numbers where great), the Mulchatna herd would still be running strong today.

  2. #2
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    Question question

    I can't tell if you're arguing against unguided hunters, non-resident hunters, or F&G rules.

    I caught the main gist of what you mean to impart, I think, but do you attribute it to one of these things more than the other?

  3. #3

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    Quote Originally Posted by kent dorfman View Post
    The mindWhen there were a lot of caribou, there were a lot of non-resident unguided hunters killing them two at a time. The mindset was that if the Alaska Fish and Game would allow them to take two, it was ok to shoot two. Guided clients were typically interested in taking ONE great trophy. I watched the number of great bulls fall rapidly AND THEN the number of middle age bulls start to fall AND THEN the number of cows start to fall. Camps filled with unguided clients were like a gauntlet out there, with no chance for the animals. Once the big bulls were thinned out, the hunters started focusing on the middle age bulls because they did not want to go home empty handed. When the middle age bulls were gone, the focused on the small bulls. Once they were gone, hunters started taking the cows, again because they didn't want to go home empty handed. When their buddy shot a second cow, they felt the pier pressure to do the same so they would not be thought of as a poor hunter when they got back home and their buddy was bragging about taking two animals.

    I have heard these unguided nonresident hunters talk about this over and over. Unfortunately, while the predators have not helped the situation, hunters who shot the maximum bag limit allowed by the state are to blame for the Mulchatna caribou herd decline. The politically correct thing to say is "it is due to smoke, feed, predators, or the "natural cyclic nature of animals" and avoid anyone taking responsibility. If these unguided hunters would have been regulated by a one caribou bag limit or even had a tag quota like in other areas of the state and the other 49 states, the herd would be healthy today.

    I think Kotzebue (and some of the other communities) is in for the same experience if the Alaska Fish and Game doesn't get on the stick. Self regulation on the part of hunters, guides, transporters, etc doesn't work because everyone thinks that if the Regs allow it, it must be ok. The same phenomenon occurs everywhere....When they raised the speed limit on our highway systems, it didn't take long for everyone to start driving the MAXIMUM speed limit. Nobody likes too much regulation but if the State of Alaska would have put a stricter limit on caribou harvest ten years ago(when the numbers where great), the Mulchatna herd would still be running strong today.
    In court they have a word for this - hearsay. Care to back up your hearsay with some factual data? Thousands of hunters come to Alaska every Fall, so I'm pretty sure that you didn't talk to each of them. What role do you play (guide, transporter, outfitter, etc) that provides you with conversational access to all of these hunters every year?

    I'm not calling BS on your claim - I'm saying you're not backing your claim with any real data. People might tend to engage in the discussion more if they had some factual data to review and discuss.

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    Quote Originally Posted by kent dorfman View Post
    The mind set was that if the Alaska Fish and Game would allow them to take two, it was ok to shoot two.


    everyone thinks that if the Regs allow it, it must be ok.
    If the regs allow it, it better be OK. That's F& G's and the biologists' job, deciding what level of harvest is best for the health of the herd. And if they believe there is an over-harvest taking place, they can always shut it down by emergency order.

    I will admit tho that when things are managed politically instead of biologically, the right thing doesn't always happen. And that is a good reason to beware organizations like SFW and AOC getting involved in game management.

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    In a hundred years we have gone from one and a half million caribou to what we have today.JMHO but the big decline came with the meat hunter supplying fresh meat to mining,R&R,military base and highway camps.As the numbers dropped so did the area the bou travel decrease.Herds now make smaller circles than they did even fifty years ago as man takes over the land in larger areas.

  6. #6

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    Yah, the same thing is likely to happen to the central arctic herd too.

    Quote Originally Posted by kent dorfman View Post
    When there were a lot of caribou, there were a lot of non-resident unguided hunters killing them two at a time. The mind set was that if the Alaska Fish and Game would allow them to take two, it was ok to shoot two. Guided clients were typically interested in taking ONE great trophy. I watched the number of great bulls fall rapidly AND THEN the number of middle age bulls start to fall AND THEN the number of cows start to fall. Camps filled with unguided clients were like a gauntlet out there, with no chance for the animals. Once the big bulls were thinned out, the hunters started focusing on the middle age bulls because they did not want to go home empty handed. When the middle age bulls were gone, the focused on the small bulls. Once they were gone, hunters started taking the cows, again because they didn't want to go home empty handed. When their buddy shot a second cow, they felt the pier pressure to do the same so they would not be thought of as a poor hunter when they got back home and their buddy was bragging about taking two animals.

    I have heard these unguided nonresident hunters talk about this over and over. Unfortunately, while the predators have not helped the situation, hunters who shot the maximum bag limit allowed by the state are to blame for the Mulchatna caribou herd decline. The politically correct thing to say is "it is due to smoke, feed, predators, or the "natural cyclic nature of animals" and avoid anyone taking responsibility. If these unguided hunters would have been regulated by a one caribou bag limit or even had a tag quota like in other areas of the state and the other 49 states, the herd would be healthy today.

    I think Kotzebue (and some of the other communities) is in for the same experience if the Alaska Fish and Game doesn't get on the stick. Self regulation on the part of hunters, guides, transporters, etc doesn't work because everyone thinks that if the Regs allow it, it must be ok. The same phenomenon occurs everywhere....When they raised the speed limit on our highway systems, it didn't take long for everyone to start driving the MAXIMUM speed limit. Nobody likes too much regulation but if the State of Alaska would have put a stricter limit on caribou harvest ten years ago(when the numbers where great), the Mulchatna herd would still be running strong today.

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by twodux View Post
    If the regs allow it, it better be OK. That's F& G's and the biologists' job, deciding what level of harvest is best for the health of the herd.
    As long as there is an allowable harvest F&G is required by law to allow the harvest.

    So what happens is the BOG manages allowable harvest right down to the last "one" before F&G can step in and invoke an emergency order.

    Overharvest and bag limits re the caribou hunting scenario the OP is commenting on is the BOG's "fault"...NOT the F&G's "fault".



    Quote Originally Posted by twodux View Post
    I will admit tho that when things are managed politically instead of biologically, the right thing doesn't always happen. And that is a good reason to beware organizations like SFW and AOC getting involved in game management.
    So, yah... I agree too that politics and the special interest's of the commercial hunting industry have a long history now of interfering in Alaska's F&G management authority and organizations like AOC and SFW and APHA and FNAWS ect through the BOG have had a lot of success already at undermining the department of F&G.

    Now that our state wide surpluses (allowable harvest's) are in such miserable condition the special interests of the commercial hunting industry have got to change the (culture of) Department of F&G in order to sustain for at least a few more years the un-sustainable commercial hunting industry they have been building the last 25 years.

    Is it any wonder that some residents are calling for changing the BOG to a professional board instead of a "good fella's" board?

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