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Thread: Back up Shooting on Big Game in AK?

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    Member Hunt&FishAK's Avatar
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    Default Back up Shooting on Big Game in AK?

    what do you all think of back up shooting....is it legal,illegal? if your hunting partner has a tag and you dont, and he shoots and misses, can you legally shoot the animal "back him up"? I think this will be an interesting thread....



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    Quote Originally Posted by Hunt&FishAK View Post
    what do you all think of back up shooting....is it legal,illegal? if your hunting partner has a tag and you dont, and he shoots and misses, can you legally shoot the animal "back him up"? I think this will be an interesting thread....
    Let me start by saying I don't have any technical information on the subject at hand, so this is just my opinion on it.

    If the permit holder shoots and misses, "misses" being the key word, I would say that the "backup" should NOT shoot the animal for any reason. The backup should not inflict the first hit on any animal unless they also have a permit that would make their kill legal on it's own. The only way a "backup" should be allowed to shoot an animal they did not have the primary permit on would be if the permit holder hit the animal first and the backup was necessary to finish it off safely/humanely/etc... If a 2nd shot was required and the permit holder's gun malfunctioned after the initial hit, then a backup would be justified in my opinion. If the "backup" was required to keep a wounded animal from getting somewhere that salvage may be extremely hard or impossible (heading for a cliff/river/etc...) and the original shooter could not follow up themselves due to bad angle, lost sight of the animal, or other reason like that, then I could see it as justified.

    I'm sure there are other justifiable reasons for use of a "backup", but these are just what came to mind right off. I am definitely interested in hearing other's opinions or interpretations.

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    Member Hunt&FishAK's Avatar
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    thats a start....the reason this topic came to mind was due to a jim shockey hunting show where his wife misses a bear and shockey backs her up taking the animal...whereas he probably had a tag as well, just wanted to bring this up....thanks for all your input. Lets hear some more opinions....Another scenario, what if your kid draws a great tag, has a great opportunity on an animal and botches the shot, would you take it upon yourself to bring the animal down to ensure success? I dont have kids so I really dont have a viable opinion.



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    In my heart, if the hunter misses the game, shooting it for him is not backup. I'm betting the law is pretty clear on the subject.

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    Member ArcherBob's Avatar
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    Default hmm

    I'm sure there are guide lines and laws out there, this is just one guys opinion!

    My opinion is if the tag holding individual shoots and misses thats a miss.

    Now if this person misses a grizz and it charges, well thats a whole other story.

    As for one of my kids missing, I see it the same way. If they miss they messed up and thats that, I'm not going to take the animal for them. (Probably illegal?)

    I'm sure someone is knowledgable on the laws and will chime in, I dont have time to look right now.

    Interesting question Hunt&Fish
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    Member Mort's Avatar
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    My opinion only:

    "Backup" does NOT included making the first hit. That is "hunting," not backing up.

    Backup should only shoot at a wounded animal. Could be for safety, preventing loss, anchoring in permissive spot for salvage.

    Backup shooter making the first hit in the event of a charge would be DLP, handled under those rules unless backup shooter had a "tag."

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    Member Kotton's Avatar
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    I feel that if you are hunting with some one and a wounded animal has a chance of geting away and mabye waste and die a horrable death you should ethicaly do everthing you can do to prevent the chance of that happening as for shooting a non-wounded animal I don't think that's right just my thoughts

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    Member Hunt&FishAK's Avatar
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    yes i think that takin an animal without a tag period is a big no-no, under any circumstances other than a life or death situation.



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    You mean like Daddy Big Game Hunter who is a resident of Texas, comes up to visit his 12 year old daughter who is an Alaskan resident, and take her hunting for Brown Bear and Dall Sheep, even if daughter has never fired a firearm in her life. You mean like to avoid guide fees, and non-resident lic. and tag fees. Daughter get a lic. points her finger and Say's, "bang", then Daddy Big Game Hunter shoots. NO....That has Never Happened.

    Or do you mean like world famous Archery Hunter, brings a friend to tag as his the brown bear that he arrowed, and had to be finished by the guide with a .375 H&H, and now the World Famous Archer can continue his hunt. NOPE never happened.

    Or do you mean like the State Trooper from N.Y. hunting as a plant who shoots "at" a large brown bear (Deliberately missing) but yells, "It's getting away" and the first year assistant guide shoots the bear, and every one goes to jail......NOPE that has never happened.

    You mean like my High School Friend who for the last 41 years has begged to come up to Alaska on a cheap Brown Bear hunt, he will pay for my $25.00 Tag and his plan is I shoot in the air, and he shoots the Brown Bear. But we agree that he was only backing me up........and I give him a gift of the finished Brown Bear Mount......like that.......?

    Is it legal, NO..........does it happen a few hundred time every year.....YES. Do I care any more......No. Will it get worse as the morality of hunters continues to spiral downward......yep.

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by Hunt&FishAK View Post
    yes i think that takin an animal without a tag period is a big no-no, under any circumstances other than a life or death situation.

    And how many DLP Brown Bears get shot by Non-resident hunters, who happen to be on a Kodiak Deer Hunt, who figure if I shoot it, I'll buy the hide at the F&G auction.

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    Member Rock_skipper's Avatar
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    Unless you have a tag for said animal yourself, your are not allowed to shoot at said animal unless it is endangering you or said partner. Does'nt matter if said partner wounded it or not.

    There is really no such thing as a backup shooter unless you both have tag's for the same spieces.

    Unless there is some kind of special permit I'm not aware of.

    If one person shoot's said anmial, it is his/her responsibality to either find said anmial, or let the outdoor's take it's natural course.

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    Quote Originally Posted by BrownBear View Post
    In my heart, if the hunter misses the game, shooting it for him is not backup. I'm betting the law is pretty clear on the subject.

    The law is clear........the problem is that unless they tell what happened, and others rat them out, it would be impossible to prove. Even when it is a sting set-up on a Guide Operation, they generally have a video camera showing the whole conversation, and the deliberate miss.

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    Member Kay9Cop's Avatar
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    I did some research on this before my wife and I went on a registration bear hunt. One of us would obviously kill their bear first and then be without a permit. I researched the pertinent Alaska statutes after not being able to get a warm fuzzy about an answer I got from an AWT.

    There is no definition for hunting in the Alaska statutes and regulations, only a definition for taking. Having a permit allows you to take an animal. If you have any part in killing or attempting to kill an animal you are considered to have taken or attempted to take the animal. If you take or attempt to take an animal without a permit you are violating the law. There is no provision for being back-up, only DLP.

    I presume the reason I was not able to get a confident answer from an AWT is because a lot of guides shoot at their client's bears to keep them from getting further away and necessitating a long and dangerous tracking job.

    The counter argument to what I found in the statutes is that legally an animal belongs to the person who placed the first lethal blow. So, a person backing up another hunter would say that it wasn't their bear because it was mortally wounded and they weren't really trying to "take" the bear, the bear had already been "taken". But, even though it's not their bear they were trying to kill it, so by definition they were trying to take it.

    It's a big circle, and I suspect no one ever gets convicted of unlawful taking when backing up another hunter because of the confusion.

    Everything I've said is only my opinion based upon the way I interpreted what's written in the statutes.
    "Beware the man with only one gun; he may know how to use it."

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    Default ethics

    I dont know about the legalitys of it and dont care, for me its ethics... A miss is just that a miss. Backup is another story... Here I cannot hunt while guiding... however I tell all my hunters (especially bowhunters) that if they wound an animial I will give them my rifle if it gets out of range, if they refuse to use my rifle I shoot it period, its not even debatable to me.
    Last year a friend was guiding a guy from Italy, they had a big grizzly coming to them in a big basin, the guide told the hunter not to shoot until the bear turned broadside, well the hunter took the shot face on at 200 yards and wounded it. They watched as the bear took off the hunter never fired another shot even though my friend was telling him to shoot! When the bear was almost out of sight and range my friend started shooting missing every time. Of course it rained all night and the bear was never found. This was all on film and to me both were to blame, I tell all my hunters to keep shooting until the animal is down and if they dont I will. There is nothing worse to me than a wounded animal that gets away. To date in over 20 years of guiding I have lost 1 animal ( grizzly) it was totaly my fault and I will do everything to make sure it never happens again legal or not.

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    Member Rock_skipper's Avatar
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    Ethics, don't count for s__t in a court of law. I understand your thought's tho.

    If an anmial was brought down and someone was to check it and found 2 differant bullet's in it, when only one had a tag for it, it's going to be a little hard to explain.

    As much as what I've said here, I would probably break the law and bring it down if I could. But it would be against the law that is on the book's.

  16. #16

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    Quote Originally Posted by yukon254 View Post
    Last year a friend was guiding a guy from Italy, they had a big grizzly coming to them in a big basin, the guide told the hunter not to shoot until the bear turned broadside, well the hunter took the shot face on at 200 yards and wounded it. They watched as the bear took off the hunter never fired another shot even though my friend was telling him to shoot! When the bear was almost out of sight and range my friend started shooting missing every time. Of course it rained all night and the bear was never found. This was all on film and to me both were to blame, I tell all my hunters to keep shooting until the animal is down and if they dont I will. There is nothing worse to me than a wounded animal that gets away. To date in over 20 years of guiding I have lost 1 animal ( grizzly) it was totaly my fault and I will do everything to make sure it never happens again legal or not.

    So....a day later the weather clears, there are five days left on the contracted hunt.......is the hunt over if the client has wounded a bear.....? If not two days later they harvest a different bear, it is skinned and on the way back to camp they find the first bear dead........now what......? Leave it, skin it......?

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    Quote Originally Posted by BrownBear View Post
    In my heart, if the hunter misses the game, shooting it for him is not backup. I'm betting the law is pretty clear on the subject.
    That's the way it is. You are correct, since there isn't such a thing as back-up in the hunting regulations in Alaska, and the law is very clear on that. The person who shoots the animal has full responsibility for it.

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    Thumbs up

    I can't wait to see the outcome of this post ethics vs law!nice thread question/debate hunt&fishak

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kotton View Post
    I can't wait to see the outcome of this post ethics vs law!nice thread question/debate hunt&fishak

    O'well it is not like we have anything better to do this time of the year. I might have to switch sides after I see JOATS first post.

  20. #20

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    Quote Originally Posted by BrownBear View Post
    In my heart, if the hunter misses the game, shooting it for him is not backup. I'm betting the law is pretty clear on the subject.

    The word you are avoiding is "POACHING". If it is shot illegal is is "POACHED".

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