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Thread: Restricting non resident hunters

  1. #1

    Default Restricting non resident hunters

    I know i will probably strike a nerve with guides, but here goes. We all know that for the most part south central Alaska has a depleted large game population. It mystifies me as to why we do not limit the amount of non resident hunters in this area. We are getting more and more people hunting a small road accesable area. We have heard for more then 20 years of this magic proposed road to Magrath yet it has not appeared. Until we expand the road accessable area we should eliminate or significantly curtail all out of state tags for the South central area road accessable area. My opinion is that we need to take care of our own people who look to the meat as an alternative to high market meat prices. My opinion,any comments?

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    webmaster Michael Strahan's Avatar
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    Default It's already been done

    Quote Originally Posted by viktor
    I know i will probably strike a nerve with guides, but here goes. We all know that for the most part south central Alaska has a depleted large game population. It mystifies me as to why we do not limit the amount of non resident hunters in this area. We are getting more and more people hunting a small road accesable area. We have heard for more then 20 years of this magic proposed road to Magrath yet it has not appeared. Until we expand the road accessable area we should eliminate or significantly curtail all out of state tags for the South central area road accessable area. My opinion is that we need to take care of our own people who look to the meat as an alternative to high market meat prices. My opinion,any comments?
    Viktor,

    Most of 16B has been closed to nonresidents since at least 2004, perhaps even before that. When times are lean, the first thing is to cut non-resident tags and / or access. Did you know that there are some river corridors (five mile swaths on both sides of the river) in other units that are closed to non-resident moose hunters, but open to residents? It's an effort on the part of ADFG to control the numbers of moose killed, but also an effort to control wanton waste by folks largely unfamiliar with how hard it is to pack a moose to the river. There are non residents out there of course that know their stuff, but there are many more that really don't when it comes to moose.

    -Mike
    LOST CREEK COMPANY: Specializing in Alaska hunt consultation and planning for do-it-yourself hunts, fully outfitted hunts, and guided hunts.
    CLICK HERE to send me a private message.
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    Forum Admin Brian M's Avatar
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    Default

    Viktor - You mention guides in your first sentence, but it seems to me that most guides operate far from the road system. Road system hunters seem to be mostly do-it-yourselfers, and in my experience are already mainly residents. As for road accessible areas having depressed populations, which areas are you referring to? Unit 13 certainly is low in certain areas, but other regions such as 14A have a huge moose population. I agree with you in principle, that local needs should be addressed first, but I'm not sure that it's such a problem in this case. I could very well be wrong, though...

    -Brian

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    Default more road system=NOT

    You need to be careful what you ask for....you just might get it, and then other challenges associated w/ more roads.
    However the fact is that Alaska has a realativily low human population, one result of that is not much road system infrastructure, mainly because we don't "need" it, can't afford to build it or the yearly maintance cost.

    Strahan is right, the framers of the Alaska consitution put residents first and it shows with our current F&G laws, methods & means, season dates, bag limits and so on.

    Your term of a "depleted" game population is realative. Respectfully, when you're looking through a tunnel you're going to have a small field-of-view.
    Kindly keep in mind that Alaska has more spieces of hunt-able big game than any other state in the union. With the exception of White tail deer, we also have the most volume of game. Futhermore, Alaska has more record book (boone & crockett club) entires than any other state in the union.
    That said, I'm at a loss as how you can come to the conclusion that we have a "depeleted" game poulation.


    Have you ever heard the phrase "20% of the fishermen, get 80% of the fish"? I suspect this is true with hunting also, except when you're talking about highly sought after "trophy" animals that are massive/large/mature for thier spieces; I'd bet its more like 5% to 95%. In other words a few really dedicated hunters generally get the finest quality animals.

    Brute strenght & ambition only goes so far (although great assets), the "best" hunters I know are also "smart" hunters.

    good hunting...>Byron

  5. #5

    Default Bad Idea! Limited Access - Good Idea!

    As a non-resident I have to say eliminating non-residents is a very bad idea. Two main reasons, financial impact and federal land. We all know the revenue brought into the state by non-resident hunters. Restricting access to federal land in which we all own just doesn't seem right. The whole issue is a real hot topic in the Western states. I agree that limiting access in some areas is needed. I hunted POW last year and saw way too many hunters. Making it a draw area with limited tags will protect the quality of hunting. I also agree that the local residents should be taken care of as well. Hence, the basic 80% resident to 20% non-resident tag allocation system. Alaska is a beautiful and wonderful place. I would love to live there, but there aren't many jobs in the biomedical research field. I will have to be happy with just visiting for a hunt occasionally, as long as you keep letting me!

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    A great deal of the road system hunts ae turning into drawing hunts which, of course, restricts the number of hunters. Aeas where the Mulchatna caribou herds are having problems in 17B the restriction in no nonresidents within 2 miles of the major river systems. For the 06 season, most of the Mulchtana herd area is one caribou, resident or nonresident. So yes, the state is resstricting non residents, especially since there are a large number of people that would come up here if the guided requirement on some species was lifted. And areas with road access is looked at.

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    Moderator Paul H's Avatar
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    I think the real frustration is that hunting in Alaska is expensive, and/or physically demanding. The thought of folks coming up here is, hunters paradise, all these species at your finger tips. I had that same delusion, and have spent many frustrating hunting seasons gameless. The reality is there isn't a moose around every tree, and there never has been. You either have to fork out $'s to get out to the game fields, or bust your ***** in the areas off the road system not open to wheelers.

    I've coresponded with a non-res that came up last fall and shot a 70+" moose off the road system. He canoed out and got into a good area that doesn't see much pressure. Took, him and his wife 2 hard days to pack out the animal. Most folks aren't willing or able to do so, but there definately are plenty of critters to hunt within a 2-3 hour drive or Anchorage, but the last few miles of access will require some serious work.

    If the state is criss crossed with roads, game populations won't increase, they'll decrease, and hunter populations will increase. I'd hate to see Alaska be just like the lower 48.

    I can see giving residents preference in areas that are depleted. That said, the reason you can't shoot a moose out of your backyard or just off the road has nothing to do with non-res hunters, or guides.

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    Member bushrat's Avatar
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    Default well said Paul H

    Quote Originally Posted by Paul H
    If the state is criss crossed with roads, game populations won't increase, they'll decrease, and hunter populations will increase. I'd hate to see Alaska be just like the lower 48.
    Paul H,

    The above about says it all.

    Best, Mark

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    Default

    Personally i think viktor is heading in the derection with this,i do agree with most that putting roads accross this state would not be a good thing, the restriction of non-resident hunters wouldn't hurt my feeling one bit,first of all if you look at some of the trophy permit areas in our state you'll see that it's not your friend or the guy next door that drew the permit it's the guide from anchorage that put 300 non-residents in for that permit,i hate to say it but it's all about the money,non-residents bring alot of money to this state,so what do we do to fix it,how about a bonus point system,non residents would still have to buy a alaska lic and put in there money for each permit they intend to apply for,reduce the permits to non-residents to 20% of the overall number of permits issued,one other thing that would help is to have a quota system for each and every unit in this state,once the applied for quota is reached we no longer give a lic to that area.. I know i'm going to get hammered on this but i really believe that some changes have to happen in the near future,there's just two much pressure on our resources,I've had the great fortune of hunting and fishing in this state all my life,and the changes i've seen the last 20yrs are ugly,from guide use areas to wide open,there's just about as many guides in the field as there are animals,if we continue at this pace we will be just like the kenai river in 5 yrs. residents will just back off because it isn't any fun to go in the field and compete with 5 guides for every sheep etc....just like whats happening on the river.I'm sorry if i went off but i'm really conviced that this state is headed in the wrong derection.

  10. #10

    Default

    Don't ever be sorry for speaking your mind sheep man, alot of what you said is absolutely right on the money!

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    SheepMan, made some good points.....

    I'm an outfitter, registered hunting guide. We run a small family operation taking only a few hunters each year. We live as year-around residents within our guide area, we've been doing it a long time, in the same place, and have never gotten "grass is greener on the other side" sydrom. However, the same can not be said for others, we're seeing more and more people in the same general area's that we hunt every year. You're absolulety right that something has to give. Can you imagaine how frustrating it is for us?

    Kindly keep in mind that MOST guides don't want all, or the majority of, the resorces for themselves. I'd like to think that the majority of guides choose to take folks hunting because they like the lifestyle. Taking people hunting, as a guide/outfitter, is an honorable profession. I realize there are exceptions, but this is true in any profession....one bad apple can spoil it.

    The APHA (Alaska Proffesional Hunters Association) has been, and will contiue to work on this very issue. In fact, hunter conflict, resident & non-resident hunter access, and resource allocation are at the top of a list of issue's that need attention.
    Alaska fish & game has a neat & fair system in which PUBLIC input to the laws & regualtions are WELCOME and ENCORAGED. The more active sportsmen are in the process, the better they will be for everyone.

    With the modern age of the internet, "type" is cheap. It would mean a lot to put your idea's on paper, you have some great idea's, and submit them to the Alaska Board of Game in the form of a proposal. These meeting are generally held in the Spring each year and they alernate different year-meeting for different GMU's.
    There are some smart sportsmen that visit this website, I wish I saw more people at the Board of Game meetings. Its up to us, as sportsmen/conservationist to regulate ourselves. The more people who are actively involved with the process.. the wider demographic's will be represented, which will result in the most fair "democratic" process of game managment.

    I throughly enjoy reading this website, issues like the one(s) dicussed here make us all more knowledgable.

    Good Hunting...>Byron Lamb

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    Default No Roads

    Take it from me you never want roads crossing into untracked land. Hopefully you will be able to keep that from ever happening. In the twenty odd years I have been a guide in Northern Maine I have seen some of the best fishing holes and hunting spots ruined by logging roads that were put in to access the timber. In my opinion when the log drives ended back in the 70's spelled the bad times to come for a lot of great hunting an fishing spots. I could go on and on about how it used to be but I think you get the point. If you love the outdoors fight to keep roads from happening.

    As far as guides, one thing to remember, as Byron said there are many good ones out there. Most of us do it for the love of the job, God knows after twenty two years at it I haven't gotten rich at it. But I enjoy what I am doing. I don't know how it is in Alaska but remember one thing we are just trying to make a living like the rest of you and the good ones among us hate the people who abuse, poach and polute the land and waters as much if not more then you.

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    Default Non-residents again?

    Well here we go again! We just had a lengthy debate about the WACH a couple of weeks ago. There were too many non-resys up there. Now we have too many non-resys in the southern part too. I think someone should do a numbers search and find out how many non-resys come to AK to hunt vs. how many resident tags are sold. It takes a small fortune to come to your great State and hunt. I for one don't come for the meat, I come for the challenging experience and the chance for a unique trophy animal. The meat is a bonus. I really wonder if the non-resy is the problem? We saw some misguided thoughts on the WACHs issue.
    If, as "sheepman" mentions, there should be a quota system, that's fine if you have the staff to come up with a sensible plan. But by the same token you better evaluate what the guides are doing to bring the hunters to the State.
    I would agree that ethical guides do not want to hurt the resource but they also are in business to make money. The question is: is the AK Game and Fish Dept. adequately staffed to make sound biological recommendations to the Legislature? If not, you will get another Seekins type bill proposed from a politician who doesn't know all the facts and may be grandstanding!
    Alaska is a huge State with growing pains - hopefully the voters will have the wisdom to do what is right.

  14. #14
    Member dwhunter's Avatar
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    Default Out of state hunters

    I would be interested is seeing the success rate of all out of state hunters that visit the state to hunt. I have been buying an out of state license for MANY years and 3 weeks ago was the first time I was successful in more years than I care to remember. Part of the reason for my lack of success is because of socializing etc with old friends and hunting usually taking a back seat admittedly. I have also been bringing up 4-5 new out of state hunters every fall for 4 years now and this past season was the first time anyone of them ever shot a moose.

    I have to admit I see a little of both sides of this issue, I have considered Alaska my second home since I left all to many years ago and I would hate to see mine and others opportunities to enjoy the Alaska wilderness restricted to preference points.

    Doug

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    Default Pressure Disbursement

    A few years ago, I lived in WA. When you obtained your Big Game tags, you had to declare your weapon of choice for each tag and could only hunt the seasons for that weapon. They had seperate weapon seasons for each species in each GMU.

    I got into muzzleloader hunting for elk this way, and found it to be a great way to escape from the herds of modern rifle hunters. Bow hunters enjoyed first chance during all seasons.

    This is one option that could spread the hunting pressure out....even if just a little bit. It certainly wouldn't be popular, because it would reduce the number of days spent in the field.

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    Default Non-residents an easy blame

    You know non-residents seem to always get a bad rap, it doesn't matter what state you are from. I can't speak for Alaska but here in Maine I have seen where the rules are twisted, abused and broken by more residents then non-residents. I have heard countless times by residents that "I used to fish such and such waters and would be able to catch my limit before lunch then go back and catch another limit but now I can't anymore because the non-residents have found my fishing hole".

    Come on guys at the cost of your hunts how many non-residents are actually affecting your hunting? I know my friend has been up on two brown bear hunts now and has yet to get a shot at a bear. He has paid over $25,000 in outfitters fees alone not counting what he has spent in your state on other things and has come home empty handed both times (but only empty handed in the aspect of no game) He has enjoyed and taken home the beauty of Alaska both times. If most non-resident hunts are like that and like the ones describe by dwhunter above then I don't see where the non-residents are putting a dent in your wildlife population. Maybe the ones that are complaining the most should work at improving your hunting skills. I hear time and time again from the residents of Maine that there are no deer in northern Maine, yet a lot of these guys do nothing but drive the gravel roads looking for the dumb one to stand there and give them a shot. Then when they don't see any deer the non-residents are shooting then all. I either pass up or get a buck in these same areas every year but I get out and hunt.

    Look for a solution in a permitting system, predator control, shortened seasons, whatever, but come on, don't jump on the easy target just because it is there. I seriously doubt that the non-residents are even putting a dent in your wildlife populations as compared to what the resident take is. Most of us can't even afford a hunt in your state including myself.

  17. #17
    webmaster Michael Strahan's Avatar
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    Default This is another problem, Byron

    Quote Originally Posted by Byron_Lamb
    ... Kindly keep in mind that Alaska has more spieces of hunt-able big game than any other state in the union. With the exception of White tail deer, we also have the most volume of game. ...I'm at a loss as how you can come to the conclusion that we have a "depeleted" game poulation.


    Have you ever heard the phrase "20% of the fishermen, get 80% of the fish"? I suspect this is true with hunting also, except when you're talking about highly sought after "trophy" animals that are massive/large/mature for thier spieces; I'd bet its more like 5% to 95%. In other words a few really dedicated hunters generally get the finest quality animals.
    Byron,

    I wanted to let this percolate a little before responding. Although I agree with much of what you said with regard to the variety of available species and sheer numbers of animals, the fact remains that Alaska has the lowest density of game animals per square mile of any state in the country. Simply put, there's a lot of real estate out there without a critter to hunt nearby. A related issue is the overall condition of our moose population, and of our caribou population in most places besides the Arctic. I spoke with ADFG area biologist Toby Boudreau back when he was the Main Man out there in McGrath, and he echoed the same sentiment. Regarding moose, he said that there are no "bright spots", no hidden pockets of moose somewhere that give one hope for a turnaround. He was applying that not just to the McGrath area, but to the state of Alaska. We're on a downhill slide.

    The other point I wanted to make regards the second paragraph above. I've long held the same belief that you have, that a small percentage of the hunters get most of the game. This is mostly because of experience and skill in the field. But I've become aware of another factor, particularly as it relates to guided hunters (which have a generally higher success rate than non-guided hunters). The sad reality is that some of the success of guided hunters in Alaska is traceable back to unethical (and even illegal) guiding practices. I know of many situations, some well documented and some not, where hunters were successful even on exceptionally large animals simply because the guide was willing to bend or even break ethical and / or legal constraints. This gives such guides a competitive edge at outdoor shows, with clients who don't know the difference, and keeps some of these operators in the limelight for years. I'd like to see guides get together to stand against such activities, and to take a proactive stance in cleaning up their own community. Then perhaps we'd have a more credible voice as a group, to the hunting community at large.

    Best regards,

    -Mike
    LOST CREEK COMPANY: Specializing in Alaska hunt consultation and planning for do-it-yourself hunts, fully outfitted hunts, and guided hunts.
    CLICK HERE to send me a private message.
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    "Dream big, and dare to fail." -Norman Vaughan
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  18. #18
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    Default

    Quote:
    "I wanted to let this percolate a little before responding. Although I agree with much of what you said with regard to the variety of available species and sheer numbers of animals, the fact remains that Alaska has the lowest density of game animals per square mile of any state in the country. Simply put, there's a lot of real estate out there without a critter to hunt nearby."

    You also have the lowest density of people per square mile in the country as well.

    Quote:
    "I've become aware of another factor, particularly as it relates to guided hunters (which have a generally higher success rate than non-guided hunters). The sad reality is that some of the success of guided hunters in Alaska is traceable back to unethical (and even illegal) guiding practices. I know of many situations, some well documented and some not, where hunters were successful even on exceptionally large animals simply because the guide was willing to bend or even break ethical and / or legal constraints. This gives such guides a competitive edge at outdoor shows, with clients who don't know the difference, and keeps some of these operators in the limelight for years."

    I would like to see statistics of violations by residents as compared to non-residents or guides.
    Also, could it be that guides do well because it is our job and we live in the same woods as the animals we hunt? Knowing the terrain better then most?
    Like I said, we are always the easy target for residents. Is it because you feel non-residents or guides are taking something from you? Is it territorialism and because someone shot a moose or whatever that you thought was yours you come down on the other hunter instead of examining your own hunting skills?

    Mike, by no means am I refering to you in these references and questions, I don't even know you. I am not trying to attack you or anyone in general I am just saying that people should examine their own skills before they right away put a blame on the guide or the non-resident hunter for taking their game.

  19. #19

    Default MaineGuide

    I wouldn't say that guided hunters do better than resident hunters because they live where the animals live. There are many, many guides that guide up here that don't even live in this state and they do just as well as the resident guides. When you compare the overall numbers of guiudes and guided hunters to resident hunters, you will see that the resdient hunters are more in number. So if you take the total # of successful guided hunters and compare them to resident hunters the percentages favor the guided hunters. Most, if not all guides run their business' far from any roads and a lot of resident hunters do hunt the road systems so most of the competition is with other residents or maybe even a few nonresident hunters, not guides.

  20. #20
    Moderator Paul H's Avatar
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    Default

    I'm guessing Mike's referring to guides using aircraft to spot and radio locations of animals from the air. Let's face it, guides have pressure to produce animals, not merely take clients through the brush. There aren't enough animals for all clients to go home with a trophy, yet hardly any client is happy when they are the one that goes home empty handed.

    To maineguide, there is simply more demand for animals from hunters, res, non-res, guided, non-guided than the land can supply. So, folks that get skunked are miffed and want to take it out on someone.

    The reason there aren't enough animals for demand are complex, and to a degree based on politics getting in the way of game management.

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