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Thread: 50" rule/unreported kills

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    Member Erik in AK's Avatar
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    Default 50" rule/unreported kills

    This came up in another thread and it got me thinking.

    I came up with 5 questions initially:
    1) How many not quite legal bulls are killed and not reported? Probably
    2) Is it a significant number? Requires some serious data mining
    3) How many of unreported, illegally killed bulls are harvested vs abandoned? My guess is most are harvested
    4) Is there a reasonable way to address it? Possibly
    5) What loopholes could be created by any changes to the current rules

    So my idea is an amendment to the S-F/50 rule:

    Allow hunters who kill sub-legal bulls to report them without being fined BUT in exchange for being prohibited from hunting that unit for the next two license years.

    Yes, you pay for your mistake by being restricted from that specific area or sub-unit for a while but you don't get a wildlife violation AND the meat is harvested without fear of penalty.

    The gray area to be determined is where to redraw the line. Is it 49" or 48" or 40"? and on the other side is it a paddle bull with a just barely definable 3rd point or is it a 24" bull or 36" bull? So there is certainly a legal opportunity for someone to just plug the first bull they see and claim a Mulligan. And it could lead to a spike in "middlin" bull kills the first year. So, I realize you can't seal up one can o' worms without opening another but my thinking here is to ensure all game meat gets harvested and to allow for a way to compensate for honest mistakes.

    Thoughts?
    If cave men had been trophy hunters the Wooly Mammoth would be alive today

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    Member Frostbitten's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Erik in AK View Post
    Allow hunters who kill sub-legal bulls to report them without being fined BUT in exchange for being prohibited from hunting that unit for the next two license years.

    Yes, you pay for your mistake by being restricted from that specific area or sub-unit for a while but you don't get a wildlife violation AND the meat is harvested without fear of penalty.
    At first blush, I believe this would result in folks simply going into another GMU the next year and doing the same thing, without reprisal. Doesn't sound like a good idea.

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    Member jeff p's Avatar
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    I think the one element you left out is the browtine count, hunters are given a definitive way to determine legality before shooting through this browtine element. I am not against what you are saying and have thought of it myself at times, but with the browtine count I think the hunter just needs to follow the rules.

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    if you are positing that most 'tweener bulls shot are harvested anyways, and I think you are correct, this rule change would not change hunter behavior much at all, except to encourage more harvest of middle-aged bulls.

    Especially given the nature of many moose hunts, which are often "party hunts", a group of three could harvest "any bull" every year without any retribution whatsoever.

    rules keep honest people honest. that's about it.

    also, this rule would not address the poaching of cows, which may be nearly as prevalant.



    perhaps it's better as hunters that we continue to be vigilant in reporting blatantly illegal harvests.

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    Member MaximumPenetration's Avatar
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    Aye, good thread. I think you ask some good questions here. Actually I have a good example of a situation that occurred this year with my cousin. He was hunting in a Spike/Fork or 50"/4 tines area and he shot a 3 x 3 yearling bull. He watched the bull for a while, could see 3 points clearly on one side and only could find a fork on the other. There was a third point that was about 2 inches long that grew out right by the base and turned 90 degrees. It was almost impossible to see.

    So, after shooting the bull and realizing it was illegal, he decided to clean it up and turn it in. He went to the fish and game office, tracked someone down, turned it in and got a ticket for illegal harvest. The game warden told him the fine would be between $300 and $1000 depending on if he showed up in person for court ($300 if he makes the 10 hour drive) or $1000 if he does the video conference. And of course they took the moose and gave it to the food bank.

    IMHO, and please don't bash me people, but this encourages a person to "make a run for it" and cut it up to put it in the freezer. I think the idea of restricting people from hunting that area for a couple years rather than a fine is a pretty good idea.

  6. #6

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    Under 50" is a penalty of $100 an inch for each inch under if turned in voluntarily. Hunter keeps the meat and the rack. Second time-$200 an inch, state keeps the rack and hunter keeps the meat. 3rd time throw the book at them.

    Under 50" with a guide: $1000 an inch for each inch under. Paid by the guide. 2nd time $2,000 an inch, and so on. Pretty soon the the guide will get it right.

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    Member Vince's Avatar
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    as for numbers? i received some information last week on my way out that the troopers in our area ( Nenana-Cantwell) had received 16 sub legal self turn ins as of the 22nd of sept.. my understanding was most if not all were 20A ( Ferry)as the other side of the river 20C is any bull. but a few could have been unit 13 out of cantwell...

    i would have to venture that 16 is a tiny portion of those sub moose taken. especially with all the competition that was going on back there.
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    Member Erik in AK's Avatar
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    That's not a bad plan 257. Simple and pretty airtight.
    If cave men had been trophy hunters the Wooly Mammoth would be alive today

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    I know a guy in the valley here that shot a sub-legal moose and he got fined $2500.00. He turned himself in too. That just keeps people from turning themselves in, IMO. He also lost the meat too. I say too harsh for an honest mistake.
    If a dipnetter dips a fish and there is no one around to see/hear it, Did he really dip?

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    Member Bearclaw67's Avatar
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    257 WBY I like your idea, straight forward.
    Paul

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    Moderator LuJon's Avatar
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    I tend to agree that a more formal fine system needs to be put in place. The gross variations in punishment certainly encourage people who have made an honest mistake to cover it up. I like the idea of a per inch under legal system would be a vast improvement and a weighted by number of violations fine system makes sense as well.

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    Member Frostbitten's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 257wby View Post
    Under 50" is a penalty of $100 an inch for each inch under if turned in voluntarily. Hunter keeps the meat and the rack. Second time-$200 an inch, state keeps the rack and hunter keeps the meat. 3rd time throw the book at them.

    Under 50" with a guide: $1000 an inch for each inch under. Paid by the guide. 2nd time $2,000 an inch, and so on. Pretty soon the the guide will get it right.
    What about the situation MP discussed (percieved fork horn that turned out to have another scoreable point). At $100 per inch, that makes it an unreasonably lopsided fine for a similar (barely sublegal) offense.

    I say leave things as they are.

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    So under 257's method, I simply need to add the cost of thefine to my hunt budget. I don't need the rack of a small moose, so just shoot one, pay the price and you are off the hook year one. Next year, shoot another and pay the price, forfiet the rack. Sorry, but I don't think it is harsh enough. Without bashing any group, there are too manay transient residents in the state to allow this. This would allow those that come here and live 3-6 or seven years a free pass to violate game laws. Sorry, you shouldn't be locked up for making a "mistake" but it should hurt to the point where you don't want to do it again. Add another zero to your plan numbers and then it will have some teeth.

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    Member bushrat's Avatar
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    Like Andrew said, rules/regs keep honest people honest and that's about it.

    The # of unreported sub-legal kills is, I think, significant. So is the # of wounding losses imo.

    Erik, what is to stop then from others proposing the same with Dall sheep? Gee, a quarter inch from full curl, well golly the hunter meant well, let's just fine him so much per inch or age under.

    No, I don't think it should work that way with either moose or sheep when we have harvest regs based on the size/type of headgear.

    What's missing in this equation, I think, is how sub-legal kills affect so much (lost) opportunity down the line for other hunters. All those sub-legal kills could have grown into legal animals the next year.

    Start something like this and (imo) all it will lead to is hunters not being as careful and/or patient as they should be to begin with.

    "Is it 50"?!"

    "I don't know but it's dang close so go ahead and shoot, it's only a couple hundred buck fine and you can still keep the meat!"

    Uh-uh.

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    Quote Originally Posted by bushrat View Post
    "Is it 50"?!"

    "I don't know but it's dang close so go ahead and shoot, it's only a couple hundred buck fine and you can still keep the meat!"

    Uh-uh.
    Exactly. Rules are rules, either it is legal or it isn't. Do you base the number of drinks you have before getting behind the wheel based on cost or common sense?

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    Member tlingitwarrior's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ERDucker View Post
    So under 257's method, I simply need to add the cost of thefine to my hunt budget. I don't need the rack of a small moose, so just shoot one, pay the price and you are off the hook year one. Next year, shoot another and pay the price, forfiet the rack. Sorry, but I don't think it is harsh enough. Without bashing any group, there are too manay transient residents in the state to allow this. This would allow those that come here and live 3-6 or seven years a free pass to violate game laws. Sorry, you shouldn't be locked up for making a "mistake" but it should hurt to the point where you don't want to do it again. Add another zero to your plan numbers and then it will have some teeth.
    Agreed, simply not punative enough.
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    I like the by inch fine. it is to the point straight foward, I am thinking more sublegal bulls are left in the field, and a guy who makes a honest mistake seems to be raked over the coals. A honest hunter who salveges all the meat and turns himself in, should be shown some leinency if fines and puishment. After all the animal was not wasted.
    What are the max fines for turning yourself in? as compared with not turning yourself in?

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    Member jeff p's Avatar
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    This was covered a few years back here as well, interesting to see the difference a few years can make. http://forums.outdoorsdirectory.com/...ght=#post34103

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    Forum Admin Brian M's Avatar
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    I would certainly be in favor of some standardization of the fines involved, but if there is not a mandatory forfeiture of the meat and antlers, it would simply encourage some to break the rules. As others have noted, you could simply factor the fine into your budget for the hunt and pull the trigger. Honest mistakes happen and we probably shouldn't fine someone thousands of dollars for a 49" bull, but we also should not allow folks to benefit for taking a sub-legal bull by letting them take the meat and antlers home. The brow tine rules are there for this very reason. Personally speaking, if I'm not sure that it is at least 60", I'm not pulling the trigger without the requisite number of brow tines.

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    Moderator hunt_ak's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brian M View Post
    I...we also should not allow folks to benefit for taking a sub-legal bull by letting them take the meat and antlers home...
    I agree. There may be merits to the 'Benji by the inch' mentioned earlier, but if someone were to be nearing the end of the season, and saw a tweener bull, maybe there would be much more "Screw it, I'll take the couple hundred dollar fine if I'm wrong" attitude. At a MINIMUM, keep the antlers at the first infraction plus the fine. Second infraction, both the meat and antlers go to F&G, plus you get the fine. Third infraction...it'd take a dummy...

    Throwing a $2,500 fine at someone definitely makes more 'whack and dash' scenarios I believe...

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