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Thread: Hunting Arguments in Modern Alaska

  1. #1
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    Default Hunting Arguments in Modern Alaska

    Hunting Guides are regularly being trashed by some. Not long ago most all hunting guides were reguarded as men of integrity and deserving respect.
    The men and the industry were an important segment of the Alaskan economy and culture.

    As with other trades, guiding is pursued as a profession by those with an interest in it. Men and wemon who like to hunt get better at it and some want to earn a living taking others hunting. This is an honest way to support a family.

    In any business there are those who are not honest and ethical. This is still an exception in hunting I think, as I believe most people are honest in thier dealings. There are always hunters whether guided or not who are willing to cheat. There will always be guides who make thier living from those hunters who are willing to get an animal outside the law.

    Guides using assistants is another way to try to discredit the industry. This is nonsense. It is great that there are guides such as BRNBR who run small personal operations. But as with house building or whatever there are operations of all sizes. The builder starts out as a carpenter helper because he wants to be a carpenter and some have an eye on being a licensed builder.
    Some guides never persue being the licensed Guide/Outfitter, just as some carpenters never persue being a licened Builder. Not because they arn't good at what they do (hunting) but because they are not business men. The larger Guides hire these assistant guides who are competant and professional hunters in thier own right.

    There are those who ridicule transport by horse but it's ok for them to use a plane to land on a lake or mountain, or 4 wheeler or snow machine to get back 20 to 50 miles. Sheep hunting by horse is not about driving up to a ram and shooting it. A horse allows a person to get thier camp and hunting gear farther in....same as 4 wheelers and airplanes. Then you still gotta take a daypack, rifle and water and climb and stalk. Huntin' by horse is honest, ethical and enjoyable hunting.

    To me the 4 wheeler is downgrading our wilderness but I ain't gonna start a petition to stop using them. I will choose to get to where it ain't too crowded as I have for 35 years by horse, plane, 4-wheeler, track machine, or snow machine. I've used them all and Iv'e walked along ways in Alaska.

    Every year we get more people in Alaska who whine about the way things are here. They want to bring the Outside ways with them cause its too hard.
    We are losing Alaska to these people and that's a shame.

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    Charterboat Operator kodiakcombo's Avatar
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    Talking about how thing used to be, guides were people who were from the area they guided in, a lot of negative issues that are coming up are from the straying of guides into areas they dont know, or live in.

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    Alot of people coming to Ak now spend alot of their time griping and whining about how hard it is to acess good hunting away from crowds. Can't get into here or there. Nobody will take them. It's always been tough to hunt Alaska.....This ain't new. As long as they don't know how, it's easier for me. I don't want to tell you how, but I got no problem with you figuring it out. And uh, quit wishing Alaska was more likesomeplace else that ain't so tough.

    Oh, I forgot in the first post to mention I also use boats to get around.

    I can go in the middle of Brown Bear season here on the Ak Pen and not see another person but there will be bears.

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    Member Kurt S's Avatar
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    Well said! The fact is, the guiding business is just that, a business. I don't subscribe to guide bashing, I know several and for the most part they have integrity. That's not to say they aren't just like people in general, they do some bone headed things when it comes to protecting their turff.
    You will see the same thing with general hunting area's as well. Where you used to be able to head out and set up your camp in your traditional hunting spot, you now find that you have to go out weeks in advance to claim your spot. It's uncommon to see confrontations these days.

    Sadly as you put it, we are losing Alaska as we knew it.

    Kurt

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    Member BRWNBR's Avatar
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    KodiakCombo, if i'm not mistaken pretty much the orignal local guides were all local natives if memory serves, harry dodges book, kodiak island and its bears touches on alot of these guides, love that book. but for the most part guides came to alaska from the lower 48 like most folks did back then, homesteaders moved in and then became local. i think on a grander scale, course i'm not sure what you refer to as "local" but i think outa state guides i would consider not local. i've guided over alot of the state and as long as you respect the people around the area and include them if you can...your fine with me. its the guys who come in from Carolinas with six buddies and run a big camp, that chews me up. i wasn't born here, but came here when i was 15 months old and i've lived in 25 different places...so i wouldn't even know where i was local too!!

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    Member BRWNBR's Avatar
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    alaska has an open door open mind policy

    come on in bring your friends, yell real loud and we'll change things to make you and your friends more comfy. thats a recipie to sink a ship.

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    Member gusuk1's Avatar
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    Default regs for guides to loose but improveing

    Quote Originally Posted by BRWNBR View Post
    alaska has an open door open mind policy

    come on in bring your friends, yell real loud and we'll change things to make you and your friends more comfy. thats a recipie to sink a ship.
    one of the problems is who can be a guide.as most on this thread know.what yanks my chain is just about anyone can become a guide by putting in his time with another.this brings up a couple points such as a catch 22,non res need a guide,but a non-res guide can guide them.another chain yanker is that they can enjoy the low cost of living in the land of plenty while the res stick it out in the land of none, costs such as fuel and grub are getting out of reach for some in the bush.if one looks at other states and see what it takes to be a guide most start with having to being a resident of that state.and for the most part of what i have seen is most of the money earned in the state leaves the state.another issue is to me the subsistance users being affected.

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    Member BRWNBR's Avatar
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    i'm with ya, i'm glad to see the changes that they are making to the guide regs for getting a license and being eligalbe for one. they may not be the biggest steps the industry has ever seen, but at least they are trying to take steps. be neat to see how it all goes in the next ten years. would love to see the title "guide" have respect again, and be something of a honorable title...like surgeon...lol

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    The kind of Hunting Guide bashing I see by some members here used to be reserved for liberal anti-hunting bunny huggers. They used to fit in better at a Celeberty anti-hunting/anti-gun march. This is one of the changes taking place in Alaska today.

  10. #10

    Default Isn't it kind of funny

    That an out of state buddy of mine has to hire a guide to hunt sheep, bear and goat. And then the guide he hires could also be an out of stater. Doesn't make sense to me.

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    There are a lot of issues here between guides and resident hunters.

    As previously stated:

    1: Guides working deals with local transporters so they won't fly residents into the guides areas. The residents should have access to all open areas of the state, but that is not happening.

    2. Recently we have seen two different guides indicted for felony charges, one found guilty of assault with an aircraft. The other, I'm assuming is pending when he rammed two residents' aircraft with his airplane rendering them un-airworthy leaving the hunters stranded and the mercy of the climate and nature.

    3. Several of us have witnessed unethical behavior by guides from herding game away from hunters or to hunters with aircraft to intimidation of residents hunting in the same areas.

    4. The preception of guides taking more than "their fair share". Whether based on scientific fact or not, a dall sheep guide in the Wrangells supposedly taking 27 sheep a year or a black bear guide in the PWS asking to take 150 hunters to the field is rubbing residents the wrong way.

    5. The recent licensing board requirement stating that you have to be a guide to rent a private cabin to hunters is seen as the guides taking rights away from private property property owners.

    6. One of the guides' organizations asking for reduced resident only areas and more guide use areas, along with terminating subsistence and Tier II systems.

    7. What many see as "greed" against "right".

    There are good guides out there. I know quite a few of them and have worked with them in different capacities (I'm not a guide, assistant guide, transporter or government employee). A few high profile bad apples do leave a black eye on the entire profession.

    Until the guides start policing their own and begin working with resident hunters to resolve some of the conflicts, there will continue to be tensions and battles fought on these lines. We will probably both end up with an ugly compromise that neither are happy with.

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    I agree with every statement made here but the single denominator in all this is trying to figure out how to get more non-res hunter money, which IMO is the root of all our evils. The state wants it, the guides want it, and the transporters want it, reduce the flow of inbound hunter money by reducing the tags available to them and it reduces the issues at large. Its obvious from talking to several guides that I know that there is growing hate and discontent amongst guides in many areas as well, so the residents arent the only ones upset about all this.

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    Default AK CUB and non-residents

    It seems absolutely crazy to allow non-residents to have a guides license which is conflicting with laws that prohibit these same licensed guides from hunting on their own.

    The Big Game Licensing Board taking private property rights away by dictating the use of cabins is Government out of control and acting like jack-booted thugs.

    I can agree with ya AK Cub that there are too many out of state hunters. Limiting the available tags would have some effect at reducing those numbers.

    I'm not for interfering in private enterprise of tranporting hunters by dictating that they have to fly into guide areas that they don't want to fly into.
    Since some guides provide the bulk of some transporter income, it would be forcing them to do something that could hurt them financially in business.

    Another big concern of mine that has never registered in your writings is that if you make it easier for you to get into an area, then the masses of hunters coming in with you will ruin the hunting there. Look at the Mulchatna to see what problems easy access causes.

    Since there is lots of places to land on public land, figure out a way to get er done.
    BE GLAD IT AIN'T EASY TO GET TO SOME PLACES IN ALASKA YET.
    Last edited by chignik; 12-23-2006 at 18:26. Reason: mistake

  14. #14

    Default Better Ways to Use All This Energy

    AKCub,

    After reading this and your other recent thread, I will agree with your assertion that you're opinionated...but maybe there are ways to put that opinion, and all your energy, to good use.

    It seems like the root of the problem (according to your in-depth analysis) is too many non-resident hunters. Well, this is 2006, and even if we're not all math geniuses there are good spreadsheet programs available, so maybe there's a way to address this.

    First, figure out the total amount of funds provided to AKF&G from resident and non-resident draw fees, licenses, tags, and other fees associated with hunting each year. Let's call that Data Point 1.

    Then, determine (again using your analysis) how many licenses and tags you wish to grant to us non-res hunters in a year. This is Data Point 2.

    OK, based on the number of non-res hunters you allow, times the license fees, draw fees, and numbers of tags you allow them (DP2), gives you the total revenue from non-residents in the future. This is Data Point 3.

    Now, we need to subtract DP3 from DP1, to determine the amount of annual revenue that will need to be covered by the resident hunting population, in order for wildlife management to at least continue at the current level. Let's call this DP4.

    Once you know DP4, it's a simple matter to divide that number among the resident hunter population, and see what the new resident fees will need to be, in order to make you happier (just a warning, you're not gonna like this number). Once you know that number, just circulate a petition among all of the resident hunters, and once they sign it, take your data and petition to the legislature, and humbly request that they proceed with your request.

    Do not be deterred if they resist due to potential impacts your plan may have on the significant amount of Federal funds pulled into Alaska by Mr. Stevens, and do not be swayed by their contention that large parts of Alaska are Federally managed and therefore should offer equal access to all US citizens regardless of their state of residence.

    How's that sound? I've given you the start of a way to take your frustration, and direct your energy in a manner that offers potential benefit to you and other resident hunters as well.

    Good luck, and please keep us informed of your progress.

    Merry Christmas to you and yours, and may all enjoy a safe and memorable Christmas season.

    Michael

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    Member RainGull's Avatar
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    (I gave fair warning and opportunity but I cannot stay out of issues that affect us all no matter how contentious)

    Do we really want the European Feudal system in relation to the kings game? Are we there yet?

    I grew up on Air Force bases, so I got around in those 16 years of establishing myself as a hunter. The resources are getting more and more scarce in terms of opportunity, access, and actual numbers of game in a lot of cases (nationwide). I have been an army of one in the orange army.

    Alaska is truly the last frontier, and we are beginning to see the same old enemies follow us here that have beseiged the other 49 states. (actually they have been here all along, they are only now beginning to prevail with their buroughs and over-regulation that favors the lawyers who write the laws and will work the system for the highest bidder.)

    This issue seems to me to be the same issue as everything in religion and politics. It boils down to liberty, freedom, independence to make our own decisions, and the pursuit of happiness. It seems that attempts at holding onto or securing any and all of those precious ideals are on the rocks.

    The thread runs through everything. Media consolidation, monopolies (oil, media, healthcare), govt. corruption, fishing, natural resource use and development. (Mines that pay us nothing and USFS roads that cost more than the timber they bring to market.)

    A house divided cannot stand, as this board has clearly illustrated we are a house divided. As every other board I frequent illustrates is the case throughout our once great nation.

    I am not an America basher, quite the contray, it just seems to me that this myopic debate is symptomatic of the rest of the story. The story of an America that favors the monied. As Warren Buffet put it in an interview with Ben Stein:

    “There’s class warfare, all right,” Mr. Buffett said, “but it’s my class, the rich class, that’s making war, and we’re winning.”

    http://www.nytimes.com/2006/11/26/bu...erland&emc=rss

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    Member BRWNBR's Avatar
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    if we limited the number of tags for non residents or went to more drawing stuff, i think we'd run into an underharvest. the money some of these non residents are paying the guides or DIY is alot more than most residents want to pay or can pay. Say your non reso forks out 12g's for a sheep hunt, that guide might have 3 grand wrapped up into transportaion alone..how many locals would pay that much to hunt sheep themselves? so that area don't get hunted....say we put grizzly on a tag system state wide and less non res hunters can get to them. how many residents want to pay 1000-2500 dollars to hunt a grizzly every year? not many. so if you were to restrict non access or hunting opportunies, the residents would have to pick up the slack and the costs to hunt the areas the non res are paying to get to.
    would be tricky to find the balance...

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    Member RainGull's Avatar
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    I'm not worried about underharvest. I don't know how much $$$ the feds put into our system for wildlife, nor the budget for the state, but if we went to a draw that wouldn't reduced the number of non-resident hunters nor residents except where and when needed. If the cost is too high then perhaps we should just leave them alone and let there be an underharvest, it's not like we're doing Alaska a big favor by hunting. Love it or leave it they always scream.

    The draw does not neccesarily ever have to limit harvest so it is not an obstructive tool to anything. The whole point is so as not to empty a drainage of sheep or moose etc...That means more revenue for everyone in the long run!

    Thier money doesn't impress me, a drainage full of curl-and-a-half rams living and dieing of old age, a secret spot, a really hard earned sheep of a lifetime like the inaccesible Alaska we all used to know, now that impresses the hell-o out of me (that's why I'm here!)

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    Default AKCubs Despairing Situation

    Many times I've read your rants about being limited access to hunting areas by transporters. They won't take you where you want to go. Guides are intimidating Transporters and DIY Resident hunters from getting into the best spots.
    Your first gripe when returning from an AK Pen Br Bear huntwas that the Transporters were dumping everybody and their dog off within rock chuckin distance of your camp. Then everyone from miles around came to your bay to look over your shoreline.
    Your self-pity shows up dang near everywhere you go.
    You want to be able road hunt the Haul Road (easy access to hunting) but agonize over hunters being there. Actually the good hunting was before the Haul Road was built.
    You complain that the Transporter(s) that fly into the northern Wrangells, Mentastas, Nutzotins, and other prime ranges won't fly you and your party in.
    Incidently, these transporters that I know don't want to dump too many hunters in the hills. Also a gripe of yours is that transporters dump too many hunters in the name of greed=money.
    Let's pass a law to force them to haul you and the public. OK...Alright now your going hunting in the Wrangells for sheep August 2007. You want everybody on the web to know. Ya come home a week later and can't wait to rant, complain, whine on the web that the transporter dumped everybody and their dog within rock chucking distance of your camp. They got up earlier and raced to the top, got their sheep and scared yours away.
    I came to Alaska,(like you to hunt and fish the last frontier) at 22 yrs old fresh from USMC discharge. I saw that first fall that moose hunting was a first come, first serve road hunt. I wasn't rich and was making low income as a welder helper but I was determined that would be my last fall of road hunting with the masses. I started making choices and decisions that would get me out of their rut.
    Don't hope for easiere access because you will be run over. Be glad that it's still tough to get into and hunt the best areas. Figure out how you can get er done. Leave the others on the easy ground.

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    Chignik, I am so sorry that you see my posts as rants. I dont see them the same way. I dont BS, hide, or butter things up. I wasn't alone on the Pen, there were 3 of us. The feelings were the same for all 3 of us. I tell the good stories just as I tell the bad ones. My issues with modern alaska hunting difficulties arent just mine, they are shared with many friends and their experiences mixed with mine. As for getting er done, I have and I do, this year was the first time I tried to venture from my normal means of hunting, which is to work harder and go farther than anyone else does to hunt in good locations. The problem is that congestion of hunters made me decide this year, rather than riding wheelers 30 miles into the mountains and dealing with all the logistical issues associated and possible congestion , I will spend more money than I ever have, whatever it takes to find someone to take me out there and take all the time off from work neccessary and do 2 fly in hunts to remote Alaska. The results were horrible and I went 0-2 on those hunts and experienced some serious dissapointments . And you will not catch me doing the same again this year. This year I am going to do things the way I always have. Please understand, I have been very successful hunting up here, I have a 63" moose, a P&Y Caribou, a P&Y Dall Sheep and some **** nice blackies on the wall and have killed several other black bear,moose and Caribou. I dont have any problem doing things the way I always have, I just wanted to try getting into remote Alaska this year and my findings were very discouraging. But with all that said I have to voice my frustrations that I experienced while trying to access remote Alaska this year. I wont be even attempting to be flown somewhere this year unless I draw something. But the other aspect to my "rants" is that these topics like ATV use possibly being restricted will also directly affect my hunting in some areas. Its just that it seems like eventually residents working for a living up here will eventually be restricted to throwing a pack on and walking in off the highway to hunt as all other means will be restricted or too costly. Chignik, there are some serious issues going on out there and maybe because you live in remote Alaska you dont see them, but up here in the interior these are alive and growing.

    P.S. I dont hope for easier access, I just hope for the access we had last year and the year before to still be there next year and not to be losing access each and every year.

  20. #20
    Member martentrapper's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AlaskaCub View Post
    P.S. I dont hope for easier access, I just hope for the access we had last year and the year before to still be there next year and not to be losing access each and every year.
    That's alot to hope for, Cub. Change is the one constant in our universe!
    I can't help being a lazy, dumb, weekend warrior.......I have a JOB!
    I have less friends now!!

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