Well I missed the last part of the convicted guide thread that myself and Mr. Strahan were debating some topics on, so I thought I would start a new topic to be discussed in detail. First off I will say this about me, I am an outspoken person by character. I am the type of guy that cant sit back and not put my $.02 in when I feel strongly about something. Some guys are afraid to speak their peace for fear of being made fun of or out smarted in a debate, I on the otherhand have no qualms about debating something I feel strongly about with anyone! Also I live in the interior, I dont hunt the Chugach mountains and or have any idea what goes on in the Matsu Valley so my input is merely relating to what goes on from the Alaska range north.
Okay hence some of my own personal resentment stated towards the guides which I am sure you picked up on in my comments to Mr. Strahan, here is what I see. If you disagree with me thats fine, but this is what I see and its okay to disagree with me. I have not lived in Alaska my whole life, I have about 10 years under my belt up here. I came to Alaska because the lure of the last frontier and my passion for the outdoors (both hunting and fishing). Thngs in the lower 48 have deteriorated so badly with the management of our countries wildlife resources in ways that are too many too list. Just in the last 10 years there is a trend that has developed too quickly and too robustly up here and that is lower 48 money having way too much power in dictating what is going in Alaska. As hunting conditions deteriorate even more in the lower 48 the hunters with large amounts of surplus funds are flocking to Alaska in greater numbers. Guide services like anything relse react to this demand, and more and more guide services are popping up each and every year. The transporters are also responding to this because so many of the guide services rely on these transporters to do a lot of their heavy lifting. This leads me to my initial gripe. Where does this leave the average Alaskan resident that works 5 or more days a week and provides for his family but also has a strong passion for hunting? The Haul road that once was a good place to hunt with breathing room for most hunters seeking it has been improved to such a level that more and more hunters can crowd that region, why was the road developed so much? Why are their a half dozen Yellowstone National park type rest areas alll along the haul road? I'll tell you why because the tourism industry wanted the road better and rest stops for the buses full of tourist that travel it now many times a summer and fall. It just appears to me that the state could give a chitt about the people that live up here, simply put. All they care about is money. Just to give you an example, I read a post on another forum last week about a guy that has a hunt booked for spring brown bear on kodiak and wanted to know what gear to bring. The spring hunt on kodiak wont even come out till next year, however the state has established a pattern of giving guides down there a set amount of tags each year in a manner that they can actually guarantee a client a tag 2 years in advance. Now on the other hand I and my friends can put in for those coveted Kodiak tags till were blue in the face with no guarantee that we'll ever draw. So once again money rides shotgun and the resident rides back seat. Really I could go on and on and on with examples.
My feelings are that lower 48 money is destroying Alaskas hunting for those that live up here. When decisions are made in relation to the resources up here the residents ride back seat to the guiding industry and we are left in the the ATV/ORV abuse topics to fight back and forth because it is all many of us have as access. So while guides are out in valleys killing 2 dozen legal rams a year and intimidtaing (officially or unofficialy) DIY resident hunters from access into their guiding land which also happens to be public land. Then resident hunters gain access to what little they can from the road system and conjestion occurs, animals are thinned and then when everything is gone we are left with nothing. All the while the guy with $12,000 is sure to have a wonderful sheep hunt somewhere in remote Alaska that most of us cant ever get a ride into. I always thought Alaska was about Alaskans and figured things could never get the way they are now because Alaskans wouldn't tolerate ity and it appears its either happened while no one was looking or we just never know what exactly is going on. The guides are fighting guides, the guides are fighting residents, and transporters are caught in between, the guy bringing up the rear is the Alaskan resident that works 8-5 and gets 10 days vacation a year and doesn't have near the options available to him that which every non-res with money does. Many of the guys I know that love hutning dont have a problem spending the money to pay air charters for fly in access but unless you want dumped right in the middle of a major caribou migration region along with 100 other hunters , your options with them are limited.
So in closing, I may be way out of touch here , I doubt it because I hear this stuff discussed daily amongst resident hunters. I am intersted to hear other resident alaskan hunters perspectives.