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Thread: delta bison news letter...

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    Member Vince's Avatar
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    Default delta bison news letter...

    another interesting topic at the AC meeting in Fairbanks was the bison survey stuff


    pretty much the idea is that if they can not save the damage to the farms the herd between now and 2017 will get reduced to pre farm size.. of 250 animals.. then if that does not work.. they can always bring them back up..

    the new letter is out and available for comment at

    http://www.wildlife.alaska.gov/manag...ws_sept_09.pdf

    there were some suggestions that if the herd was required to be DOWN SIZED.. to move 40-50 animals and start a new herd some where ..

    or that they would just get more permits out for a short period.


    also.. can probably project the bison draw permit fee to go to 20 bucks instead of ten. it cost a lot to keep the panoramic and other open and planted to stave of crop damage to the farms.
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    Member Chisana's Avatar
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    It would be interesting to see an economic analysis comparing the benefits of bison hunting to the community of Delta compared to the economic benefits of the farms. I know that several of the farms where I hunted in 2003 were involved with the CRP program. I found that a little ironic, but the bison did like to hang out there. This is an interesting question since the bison predate the ag project.

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    Good question ! It would be interesting to see......

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    IMO that the value of the Delta Bison hunts far exceed the crop damage [which has never been quantified]....BUT the money doesn't get to the complaining farmer instead it is spent at gas stations/lodging/restaurants etc.

  5. #5

    Default My thought is...

    how much money is actually made by agriculture? How much money are these farmers getting "subsidized" with our tax dollars, yet complain about the bison damaging crops? I've heard the farmers say they want the bison to pre 1929 levels, so I would counter that and say that maybe the farmers should be reduced to pre-1929 levels. It would be VERY interesting to see how much the crops sell for and how much govt. money is paid to either plant or not plant. Fact is, the bison are a part of Delta's and Alaska's history and should be managed for the largest possible herd size, even in spite of the complaints the farmers have. JMO

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    Quote Originally Posted by northway View Post
    how much money is actually made by agriculture? How much money are these farmers getting "subsidized" with our tax dollars, yet complain about the bison damaging crops? I've heard the farmers say they want the bison to pre 1929 levels, so I would counter that and say that maybe the farmers should be reduced to pre-1929 levels. It would be VERY interesting to see how much the crops sell for and how much govt. money is paid to either plant or not plant. Fact is, the bison are a part of Delta's and Alaska's history and should be managed for the largest possible herd size, even in spite of the complaints the farmers have. JMO
    Those are my sentiments exactly. The ag project has been failure and at this point the only real value the land has is as bison habitat. It should be managed as such and both Delta Jct. and the state would greatly benefit from a larger bison herd.

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    Quote Originally Posted by VernAK View Post
    BUT the money doesn't get to the complaining farmer instead it is spent at gas stations/lodging/restaurants etc.
    Actually some of the money does go to the farmers when they charge for killing a bison on their property and there is a lot more the farmers could do to make money from the bison hunts if they really wanted to.

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    I agree with you Chisana but the few thousand bucks that a couple farmers charge is a pittance.

    It has been suggested to the farmers that they could make lot more $$$$ by acquiring a guide license and capitalizing on the opportunity. BTW, there seems to be more guiding taking place every year....it's still not a high percentage but there are some folks that just don't have much time so they opt to hire a guide. One of the optons discussed in the Delta Bison Management Meetings was to allow farmers to guide on their own land without a guide license.....

    There were several Delta Bison Management meetings held here in Delta last spring but unfortunately sportsmen were hardly in attendance so the few griping farmers had the floor most of the time.

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    Northway,

    Good points Mike!......The reduction of the herd to pre-1929 levels, which would be zero, is the idea of the President of Delta Chapter of Alaska Farm Bureau.

    The intent of the Barley Project was to have 100,000 acres of grain under cultivation. There is currently less than 10,000 and probably closer to 5,000 acres of grain. This concentrates the bison on a rather small area.

    Most of the Barley fields were enrolled in CRP for which the
    farmer is paid something like $33/acre/year.....

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    Quote Originally Posted by VernAK View Post
    I agree with you Chisana but the few thousand bucks that a couple farmers charge is a pittance.

    It has been suggested to the farmers that they could make lot more $$$$ by acquiring a guide license and capitalizing on the opportunity. BTW, there seems to be more guiding taking place every year....it's still not a high percentage but there are some folks that just don't have much time so they opt to hire a guide. One of the optons discussed in the Delta Bison Management Meetings was to allow farmers to guide on their own land without a guide license.....

    There were several Delta Bison Management meetings held here in Delta last spring but unfortunately sportsmen were hardly in attendance so the few griping farmers had the floor most of the time.
    I think the farmers could easily earn more money than they do from the bison hunts.

    I know that in 2003 some of the farms were charging a flat fee if you killed an animal, others charged a flat fee for access. Instead of charging a flat fee they could charge a daily rate to access their property regardless if you kill or not. They could also build a few simple cabins for lodging hunters. I would gladly do that rather than stay at the Silver Fox. I put over 1000 miles on when I was up there, just because there was so much driving between where I was staying and the hunting areas. I would have no problem allowing farmers to guide on their own land without a license. They wouldn't even need to guide, just bring a tractor out to help load the animal after it is down and move the gut pile out of the field.

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    Quote Originally Posted by VernAK View Post
    Most of the Barley fields were enrolled in CRP for which the
    farmer is paid something like $33/acre/year.....
    The whole idea of having CRP at the Delta Ag project is just laughable.

  12. #12

    Default How to address this issue

    Vern,

    What is the best way to address this issue? Proposals, etc.?

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    Draft Agenda
    Delta Junction
    Fish & Game Advisory Committee
    Wednesday October 28, 2009 6:30 p.m.
    City Hall, Delta Junction
    Call to Order
    Roll Call
    Approval of Minutes from March 24, 2009 meeting
    Old Business
    New Business
    Update on Delta Bison Management Planning Process- Steve Dubois
    Update on the 40-Mile Caribou Harvest Plan-Steve Dubois
    Call for proposals for the Statewide Regulations (Cycle A)
    Delta AC Committee Action on BOG proposal 241A establishing a Bonus Point System for bison and sheep drawing permits
    Update on GMU 20D Moose Hunt
    Update on Macomb Caribou Hunt
    =================================================
    Other Dates and Deadlines:

    Statewide BOG proposal deadlines November 6,2009
    Interior Region proposal deadlines December 4,2009

    On-Time Comment Deadline for BOG Arctic Region is October 30,2009. The proposal book is available at http://www.boards.adfg.state.ak.us/gameinfo/meetinfo/gprop.php. The proposal books will be sent out shortly.
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    Northway,

    As is usually the case, there are at least two sides to the story.

    Several farm owners do not allow hunting simply because of the overwhelming number of calls and visitors they receive. Hunters need to do their part and respect the land owner's property and wildlife.

    Part of the problem is the herd count is above the agreed upon number [360 pre-calving] and hunters have not been that successful in meeting the harvest quota for several reasons. Many just don't realize how difficult the bison hunt can be once the animals have become wary.

    It is not all of the farmers that want the herd reduced or eliminated. Many are tolerant of the bison and realize that the bison were in the area long before the farmer.

    There were many ideas and informal proposals discussed in the Bison Management Meetings and I had many of those ideas listed in a recent AOC quarterly magazine which can be viewed on the AOC web site. Look through those ideas and ask your local Advisory Committee to debate and support a reasonable plan. This is not just about the Delta AC as it really effects all Alaskans whether they be hunters or folks that just want to preserve the US's largest herd of free roaming bison.

    If you have an idea for a proposal, have at it! But a proposal approved by an AC usually carries more weight with the BOG.

    I like the idea of allowing hunting as early as August for bison that are North of the Alaska Highway. That's where most of the crops are and this may make the herds stay South of the highway and on the bison ranges longer to allow for crop harvest. South of the highway hunts would begin October 1 [after crop harvest]

    I would also like to see a bison message center [Silver Fox Office perhaps] where a farmer experiencing crop damage can leave a message for hunters to help him with the problem....cell phones are illegal for this purpose.

    I'm rambling....time for bed.

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    Member Vince's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by VernAK View Post
    Northway,

    As is usually the case, there are at least two sides to the story.

    Several farm owners do not allow hunting simply because of the overwhelming number of calls and visitors they receive. Hunters need to do their part and respect the land owner's property and wildlife.

    Part of the problem is the herd count is above the agreed upon number [360 pre-calving] and hunters have not been that successful in meeting the harvest quota for several reasons. Many just don't realize how difficult the bison hunt can be once the animals have become wary.

    It is not all of the farmers that want the herd reduced or eliminated. Many are tolerant of the bison and realize that the bison were in the area long before the farmer.

    There were many ideas and informal proposals discussed in the Bison Management Meetings and I had many of those ideas listed in a recent AOC quarterly magazine which can be viewed on the AOC web site. Look through those ideas and ask your local Advisory Committee to debate and support a reasonable plan. This is not just about the Delta AC as it really effects all Alaskans whether they be hunters or folks that just want to preserve the US's largest herd of free roaming bison.

    If you have an idea for a proposal, have at it! But a proposal approved by an AC usually carries more weight with the BOG.

    I like the idea of allowing hunting as early as August for bison that are North of the Alaska Highway. That's where most of the crops are and this may make the herds stay South of the highway and on the bison ranges longer to allow for crop harvest. South of the highway hunts would begin October 1 [after crop harvest]

    I would also like to see a bison message center [Silver Fox Office perhaps] where a farmer experiencing crop damage can leave a message for hunters to help him with the problem....cell phones are illegal for this purpose.

    I'm rambling....time for bed.

    i answerd this the other night....


    most hunters there, are just tourist with guns...and act the part
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    Vince,
    I understand your statement and I agree, we do see a lot of folks that just aren't up to the task......but we still need a proposal to fix the situation....unfortunately, that problem is not easily solved.

    Many hunters would do well to hire a guide as it would probably save time and money.

  17. #17

    Angry

    The farmer in Delta should be given no more credence than the homeowner in Anchorage. You plant something the critters like to eat, shame on you. The only way they will finally listen is if a Trooper is instructed to tell them to shut up and go home. My patience is running thin with all these foolish demands.
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    Default there are few to none "very experienced" bison hunters...

    ... and that isn't ever going to change. It's permanent, based on the permanence of the resource being very limited.

    Chime in here if you know anyone in the universe that has harvested even 3 bison in their life...... that number is close to zero.


    Quote Originally Posted by VernAK View Post
    Vince,
    I understand your statement and I agree, we do see a lot of folks that just aren't up to the task......but we still need a proposal to fix the situation....unfortunately, that problem is not easily solved.

    Many hunters would do well to hire a guide as it would probably save time and money.

  19. #19
    Member Chisana's Avatar
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    Unless you are there at the beginning of the season the hunt is tougher than you would expect.

    The farmers who got into this should have known that they would be growing things bison like to eat. The fact that many farms are in CRP makes it laughable that they are complaining about bison crop damage.

    If the bison herd were allowed to grow in size the state would gain far more economic benefit than it currently does from the ag project. I don't even think the biggest brewery in Alaska uses Delta barley does it?

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    Default Presentation to Advisory Committee

    You guys should take a look at this ppt presentation (coverted to pdf) Steve DuBois gave on Oct. 21st for the Fbks AC.

    Comments are due by Oct 31st on the Delta bison issue. I had no clue the state was spending so much money farming the bison herd, growing crops for them on state land etc. There is talk now of possibly giving permits to the farmers in lieu of paying them for damage done by bison on their private land, doesn't make much sense to me.

    More info here:
    http://www.wildlife.alaska.gov//inde...=planning.main

    Scroll down to the active planning projects.

    [edit: the pdf file exceeds my quota, and I'm a supporting member (aaarggggh), if someone else can post it, please email me and I'll send it to ya]

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