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Thread: Non-guided brwn bear hunts in Unit 13?

  1. #1
    Sponsor Becky99588's Avatar
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    Default Non-guided brwn bear hunts in Unit 13?

    I'm wondering if anyone's interested in the proposal up in front of the Board of Game this March, that would allow any Alaska resident to take up to 2 non-residents brown bear hunting in Unit 13? We can already take family members (up to 2nd degree of kindrid), but we can't take non-resident friends hunting. They have to pay for a guide. This proposal would allow us to take these friends hunting for brown bears. Any AK resident could go to F&G and get a 'resident guide license', same as Wyoming residents can do for hunting in their wilderness areas (info on their F&G website). The resident cannot charge anything.

    This would bring a new group of hunters to Unit 13 to take brown bears, and would help the rest of us by maybe producing more moose. I know the guiding industry will not like this idea because it may set a precedent, and lead to more areas where guides are not required. But, it is a way to increase the take of an animal we have plenty of (in Unit 13 anyways). Guides will still have clients too, because their high success rate and trophy size should still draw the hunters with money. Besides, Unit 13 has 'interior' grizzly bears, but B&C counts them as brown bears - so for the most part, this is not a trophy hunting area anyways. I think it's strange that any non-res can come up to AK and hunt moose without a guide, but they can't legally harvest a grizzly bear they run in to. This proposal could fix that, if they were accompanied by an AK resident. We're already trusted to take our close relatives (non-residents) hunting bears, why not friends?

  2. #2

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    Quote Originally Posted by politicalbio View Post
    I'm wondering if anyone's interested in the proposal up in front of the Board of Game this March, that would allow any Alaska resident to take up to 2 non-residents brown bear hunting in Unit 13? We can already take family members (up to 2nd degree of kindrid), but we can't take non-resident friends hunting. They have to pay for a guide. This proposal would allow us to take these friends hunting for brown bears. Any AK resident could go to F&G and get a 'resident guide license', same as Wyoming residents can do for hunting in their wilderness areas (info on their F&G website). The resident cannot charge anything.

    This would bring a new group of hunters to Unit 13 to take brown bears, and would help the rest of us by maybe producing more moose. I know the guiding industry will not like this idea because it may set a precedent, and lead to more areas where guides are not required. But, it is a way to increase the take of an animal we have plenty of (in Unit 13 anyways). Guides will still have clients too, because their high success rate and trophy size should still draw the hunters with money. Besides, Unit 13 has 'interior' grizzly bears, but B&C counts them as brown bears - so for the most part, this is not a trophy hunting area anyways. I think it's strange that any non-res can come up to AK and hunt moose without a guide, but they can't legally harvest a grizzly bear they run in to. This proposal could fix that, if they were accompanied by an AK resident. We're already trusted to take our close relatives (non-residents) hunting bears, why not friends?
    Only if they would open it up to Sows and Cubs, so the SCI guys could get some trophies. Seriously, yes it should be opened to the public, but without any resident having to go along. As written, I would NOT support the proposal. All areas designated for predator control, should be wide open, to any and all willing to hunt them.

  3. #3
    Mark
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    Quote Originally Posted by Akres View Post
    ....All areas designated for predator control, should be wide open, to any and all willing to hunt them.
    I've submitted that very proposal in the past, and it did not fare well. Maybe this time it will work.

    I agree with you, Akres; we should use every tool possible to manage predators, especially since every attempt is invariably attacked by opponents. After a resident shoots a brown bear, what's the motive to go get more of them? The hides cost a couple grand to make into a rug. We can't sell them. What do we do? Stack them up in the garage?

    Let non-residents harvest them. 75% of all brown bears on the North American continent are in Alaska, and the only non-residents who can hunt them are the ones who can afford to pony up $15,000 to $20,000 to hire a guide.

  4. #4

    Default Unit 13

    So how many of the non residents would purchase a moose tag since they would already be up here chasing the griz ? Does any one really want more moose hunters in unit 13 ?

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    Quote Originally Posted by .338 mag. View Post
    So how many of the non residents would purchase a moose tag since they would already be up here chasing the griz ? Does any one really want more moose hunters in unit 13 ?
    Uuhhh,
    That area is already closed to Moose for Non-Residents, because of the over-predation by bears and wolves. But I would like to see it become back open to them one day, should we ever get enough Moose back in their to support the pressure. If others would one day like to hunt that and other areas of the state, they had better take some sort of action on the predators. Use every thing available to us. It is the same thing for sheep, but the counters are asleep at the stick again. Don't even get me started on the accuracy of the counts, much less the frequency (or lack thereof) by which it is done.

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    Member martentrapper's Avatar
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    Is it as simple as a BoG decision to allow non res to be unguided?
    I believe that is a state LAW, passed years ago by the legislature. I didn't think the guide requirement was something the BoG could change.
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    I used to moose hunt in 13 when I lived there and as far as the proposed about allowing non-res to hunt I would love it I think. I am going both ways on this issue about guides for grizz, sheep etc. I never did shoot a grizz in Alaska but it is #1 on my list and I will keep saving my pennies to hunt them one of these days.

    I still go hunting with my buddies every fall and most times I dont shoot anything and I have been beyond jealous every time one of them shot a grizz. I personally would love the opportunity but I do not think I would like the added pressure in the area, the selfish side of me still likes to go out in that area and others and usually not see anyone.

    Not sure,

    Doug

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    ok i'm in. i don't support this one, not because i'm a guide either. i would rather see it just open to unguided non res than having to have a resident to take them, without pay. what you'll get then is residents capitalizing on the opportunity for some trading, some free hunting and so on. no way to regulate the trading or chaning hands of anything in this situations, as the proposal has no mention of any required paperwork. Basicly this would just downsize the guide requirement.
    IF this prop was to pass, i'd want to see the res in question take a course, get a guide license, acquire land use permission and fill out hunt reports and by no means should this be free. The non res should buy a special license so fish and game knows who and who they hunted with and have it higher priced to cover the extra costs invloved with special hunting circumstances. Otherwise you'll never regulate one res only taking two people out. If it were me, i'd advertise for hunters to come up and in exchange for some free elk and mulie hunting down south....which is considered compensation. thus illegal.

    Rather, just open the predator control areas to unguided non res, maybe have a course on bears like the buffalo or muskox class we offer to tag holders now, just to bring them up to speed on shooting sows with cubs and so on. Since just about every client i've ever had has though every bear was huge...it would be interesting to see what kinda bears they start bringing out and how many are lactating... But this way you don't have the haslte of paperwork, residents could still go out with their buddies but you wouldn't have all the new regs to enforce. my take.
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    Red face proposal

    I dont know about this particular proposal, especially since as MT puts it it may not even be possible. But I am convinced of the benefit of increasing predator control in certain areas to benefit hunting. Fish and Games article about "predator sinks" really seems accurate to my observations about too many predators limiting game populations. And I agree that we residents only need so many hides in our garages. As already stated the proposals would need to be clearly temporary openings to help manage predators so they are not seen as threatening the established guide industry. Perhaps opening a registration hunt in certain areas?
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    Default Proposal 54

    Legally, I don't think the BOG can allow residents to guide (non 2nd-degree of kindred) non-residents for grizzly bear, as Martentrapper stated, even if no renumeration for services is given. So I think Proposal 54 is basically dead in the water on legal grounds.

    Realistically, if we look at past attempts to liberalize grizzly harvests in Unit 13 via tag exemptions, liberal bag limits, and more open seasons, the increase in grizzly harvests exceeded what biologists like Miller believed was the sustainable yield. My thoughts, PoliticalBio, is that you guys need to get the funding for a comprehensive hair-snag dna sampling of Unit 13 grizzlies, as Gardner recently did in 20E, so you can first evaluate the real baseline population of bears before any further bear-control efforts (by whatever means) take place, to ensure we don't go too far with bear harvests. I realize a lot of CMR and line-transect work has been done over time, but until we actually begin collecting and collating hair samples from harvested bears, and from hair-snag bait stations, we just won't have a realistic assessment of what is going on, how many bears are migrating from other areas, and just why the high harvest levels in Unit 13 for so long now have not resulted in a significant (apparent) decline in recruitment of bears.

    http://www.wc.adfg.state.ak.us/pubs/...b-heavy03f.pdf

    The above link is interesting reading. Hope you guys and gals at ADFG get the funding you need to ensure we are doing the right thing with liberalized bear harvests. Keep up the good work,
    Mark

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    Default good idea, if legal

    I think it is a good idea, if legal. I don't think this would increase "trading" any more than it already happens (and as long as it is "friends/casual".... you come up here this year, I'll come down there next year.... I don't see any problem w/ it. You can do it for nearly any game, so a few grizz spots is OK, too.) Now, if this is two strangers who are really "trading", then BS. That is an ethical issue and should not go on. I think it is a good idea for both hunters to register, though, so minimal education and tracking of results can transpire. I pretty much trust F&G to handle managing game. Maybe I am naive, but I think they do pretty well overall. (PS: I sure wish some of the regs were a little less micro-managed and therefore easier to understand/follow, too.) This will be interesting. j

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    Default details...

    Martentrapper, is right - the Board cannot make this proposal happen, but what they can do is oppose or support it, and if they support it, they can request that the Legislature take a serious look at changing the law. We have very few friends in the legislature who even hunt, let alone present proposals having to do with hunting.

    Mark - be careful what you wish for.... there's a 30 page Unit 13 bear research proposal floating around right now that may need someone of your caliber to edit it. I can tell you that this past spring, in a heavily hunted portion of Unit 13, during a capture operation, 17 bears / 1000km2 were actually observed. Just for grins, if only 40% of the bears were actually observed, then there has been no decline in the population over the last 10 years. I don't think we have to worry about running out of bears here, especially with 13D and 13E in the unit, and 2 national parks on either side. What we have to worry about is getting the funding to look at this bear population, so new solutions can be crafted.

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    As long as the majority of bears harvested are boars, or older sows without cubs, decreasing the population will be difficult. Perhaps you could compare it to a marten population. As long as the breeding age females are not killed, and of course enough boars are around to impregnant them, the overall population will be stable or increase. Many folks believe that reducing adult male bear numbers INCREASES cub survival, thus increasing the overall pop.
    Like it or not, hunters need more incentive to harvest bears and breeding female numbers need to be reduced.
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    Member bushrat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Politicalbio
    Mark - be careful what you wish for.... there's a 30 page Unit 13 bear research proposal floating around right now that may need someone of your caliber to edit it. I can tell you that this past spring, in a heavily hunted portion of Unit 13, during a capture operation, 17 bears / 1000km2 were actually observed. Just for grins, if only 40% of the bears were actually observed, then there has been no decline in the population over the last 10 years. I don't think we have to worry about running out of bears here, especially with 13D and 13E in the unit, and 2 national parks on either side. What we have to worry about is getting the funding to look at this bear population, so new solutions can be crafted.
    PB,

    First, I want to thank you for participating here with valuable insight and information.

    Secondly, while I'll remain careful what I wish for <grin>, I still favor the funding and proper current research techniques to develop a solid baseline population estimate for the grizzlies (and blackies) in Unit 13. Though nothing is a "given" in wildlife biology, when we can practice prudent science, we should do so. When we can't (because of budgetary constraints, for example), then I favor erring on the side of caution. It isn't a matter of actually "running out of bears," but rather having a possible long period of low bear numbers if we go too far in (over) harvesting them. I think, though, that many hunters would be in favor of just such a thing, in perpetuity, if it meant more moose were available for harvest. For me personally there is some magic allocation figure and ratio of bear/wolf/moose/caribou that I'd ideally like to see throughout Alaska, simply because for me having healthy and stable populations of all those species is why I originally moved here, why I consider Alaska so unique and special and valuable in this day and age, and why I value such biodiversity of indigenous predators and prey so much. Sometimes I think us hunters lose track of just what makes Alaska so special, and our greed overrides a modicum of common sense.

    As to Martentrapper's comments, indeed some bios believe that the reason the bear population in Unit 13 has not noticeably crashed with such high harvests is because the killing of so many boars influences cub survival. Though there are other aspects that come into play, particularly migration from nearby areas (parks) that may play a factor in this unit. Still, there is also concern when the majority of harvested bears is NOT boars, as has happened in the past...that we could find we're overharvesting bears, but we won't know that until farther down the line. And one can't deny that the sex/age ratios have been somewhat skewed from what we'd like to see.

    Speaking of being careful what you wish for, if we reduce the breeding age females, Mike
    Quote Originally Posted by Martentrapper
    ...breeding female numbers need to be reduced.
    well that goes directly against your example of what would be prudent harvest strategies.
    As long as the breeding age females are not killed, and of course enough boars are around to impregnant them, the overall population will be stable or increase.

    So which is it? Should we reduce the breeding age females? Or should we ensure that "the breeding age females are not killed"? Can't have it both ways...or can you? <grin>.

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    Member martentrapper's Avatar
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    You misunderstand me. I was pointing out that as long as "the breeding age females are not killed" we will NOT be able to reduce the overall population.
    I wasn't using that as "prudent" harvest strategy. I feel NOT killing females is a problem if we want to reduce the bear population. Reducing predators seems to be popular in that area.
    Healthy and stable populations? Magic allocation figure? When has any of that EVER existed in Alaska? The one real constant in nature is change. While we may wish for and attempt to attain "stable" populations...........have we ever really reached that goal? Will we ever?
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    Question

    Quote Originally Posted by Mark View Post
    Let non-residents harvest them. 75% of all brown bears on the North American continent are in Alaska, and the only non-residents who can hunt them are the ones who can afford to pony up $15,000 to $20,000 to hire a guide.
    Heres a thought.
    Have a Non-Res drawing for area's of concern. Charge $2500 (give or take) for the winners who can go into the field and hunt unguided.
    Part of the fee can go toward education of the hunter as a prerequisite to the hunt.
    For the guided prices I have seen, The Non-res would be saving a bundle and am sure you would find many takers..
    Going into the field with a "Friend" just invites the wrong eliment

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    Quote Originally Posted by Formerly Montana Bob View Post
    Heres a thought.
    Have a Non-Res drawing for area's of concern. Charge $2500 (give or take) for the winners who can go into the field and hunt unguided.
    Part of the fee can go toward education of the hunter as a prerequisite to the hunt.
    You know, on the surface that doesn't sound like such a bad idea. I'm sure there are some negatives I'm not seeing on the first take, but....

    1. Increased harvest (if, in fact, such a thing is deemed to be biologically necessary)
    2. Increased F&G revenue (which would be even better if it were directed to increased Unit 13 moose/caribou/bear research)
    3. Increased opportunity for those who dream of an Alaskan grizzly hunt, but can't justify the $10,000+


    I don't think it would ever fly politically or legally, but it seems like a good idea.

    -Brian

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    Member BRWNBR's Avatar
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    hey or have them book with me, i'm not anywhere near 15,000 for a bear hunt...geez those numbers are thousands of dollars off. don't use big numbers to over exgaurate a point.

    just change the bag limit, open baiting and shoot all the cubs...geez.

    we don't even know much about the bears in 13 but everyones jumping on the band wagon to pull them outa there. moose are going up, bears are stable, lets contine with a little more liberal harvest limits for the grizz and let the time train takes its time. overnight change might be to radical and we'll miss alot of information that way. do it the slow way and make sure we dont' over compesate by killling off to many bears. i too think there is a bear/moose/wolf/caribou balance out there. animals are just there for me to kill so others can eat...its a resource lets take care of it and be patient enough to find the balance.
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  19. #19

    Default 15K for Bear Hunt

    Brwnbr,

    Nice to hear of guys offering reasonable bear hunts out there! Remember though - even if your guide fee is much less than that - there are a number of other costs involved in a non-res bear hunt:

    - airfare to Alaska (let's say $750)
    - hunting license and bear tag ($600)
    - overnite in Anchorage or elsewhere at beginning/end of hunt ($200)
    - transport into the field (if not included in your fee) - ($1600)
    - taxidermy fees for a rug ($1500 - 2500)

    So even if you offer a quality hunt at a reasonable price - a nonres hunter will need to remember, that it will cost us another $5-6k in costs not directly linked to your outfit.

    I'm not up to speed on the bear population in Unit 13, but would sure love to hunt them if they opened it up to non-residents. Back in the 60s, my family got all of our meat for the year hunting moose and caribou on the Denali Highway. I'd love to hunt bear where we used to hunt moose and bou, even if it wasn't the highest area in terms of near density, just for the nostalgia.

    Michael

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    Member BRWNBR's Avatar
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    ya mdhunter i didn't factor those costs in, cause all those costs would be there for the DIY hunter as well, so they balance across the board.
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