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Thread: Sea Otter

  1. #1

    Default Sea Otter

    Lets say i found an old Sea Otter skull, am i allowed to keep it?
    ...Jackie Bushman is a TOOL

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    Member trapperbob's Avatar
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    Yes
    Get it sealed with the USFWS.

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    Member HuntKodiak's Avatar
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    Probably a good place to start is contacting NOAA. They should be able to steer you in the right direction. My understanding of the provisions set out in the Marine Mammal Protection Act (http://www.nmfs.noaa.gov/pr/pdfs/laws/mmpa.pdf) is that F&G overseas the harvest and tagging of the walrus, while all other marine mammals are covered by the appropriate department"s "secretary".

    When a walrus carcass is found on the beach by a non-native, the skull and ivory can be kept if you register and tag the find at an authorized F&G tagging station. (I've done this before) However, I believe if you find any other marine mammal's skull, it must not have any soft tissue still attached and you must contact NOAA for permission to keep it. I haven't done this before, but I did look into it back in 99' to see what would be necessary if I found a clean seal skull. Back then I was told it must be without soft tissue attached, and the appropriate department would issue a registration number of some kind to be written on the skull.

    I'll bet you could call F&G for a phone number too.

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    Member HuntKodiak's Avatar
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    Well, I just saw trapperbob's post, and maybe I'm wrong. Maybe the sea otter is covered by F&G too. Guess you'll find out for sure when you call them.

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    Member trapperbob's Avatar
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    Default I have several

    I have several I have found in PWS and had them sealed at US fish and wildlife service, not state. There are some areas on the Aleutians I think you can't pick them up. Corner of new seward and tudor in Anchorage has a lab where they pull atooth and seal it.

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    Member tlingitwarrior's Avatar
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    Yep, Trapperbob is right, its USFWS, talk with guy named John Trent. He's sealed all the otters I've shot. Good guy, very helpful.
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  7. #7

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    thanks ill go the legal route rather then keeping it under raps...looks like either to bullet holes in the head or fang punctures from another critter, but it has no soft tissue at all
    ...Jackie Bushman is a TOOL

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    Member dieNqvrs's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by y2kadle View Post
    Lets say i found an old Sea Otter skull, am i allowed to keep it?
    I am not 100 % sure but my understanding is it is fine to posses with out any documentation, for example it is washed up on the beach. On another note a stellar sea lion or anything else on the endangered species list CANNOT be possesed ever unless special permits are issued for a university ect.

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    Member Sobie2's Avatar
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    I am a USFWS tagger for Sea Otters. TlingitWarrior is correct to contact USFWS and John Trent 1-800-362-5148. USFWS has jurisdiction over Sea Otters, Walrus, Steller Sea Lions, and Polar Bears. NOAA oversees Whales and harbor Seals. ADF&G the rest

    Do not worry about picking up something like a skull, just call. These agencies aren't looking to make criminals out of people... though the various enforcement agencies make people feel like it sometimes. At least from the tagging side if you show the intent of trying to get something tagged, you won't "get tagged"

    Sobie2

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    Member cdubbin's Avatar
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    I found a complete skeleton on the spit tonight with the whole hide attached at the nose....anyone else seen that? Glad I found this thread, think I'll call FWS.
    " Gas boats are bad enough, autos are an invention of the devil, and airplanes are worse." ~Allen Hasselborg

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    Member Sobie2's Avatar
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    Great to hear it cdubbin.

    What you found was an carcass that was picked clean by scavangers. Please call the 1-800 number. The skeleton/skull is probably fine, but the hide may be iffy to keep.... even less likely is the hide will tan out. As with any furbearer care of the hide prior to tanning is key. If it got warm the fur can singe which means you end up with a sea otter hide that looks like it got a tight perm or was maybe from a poodle.

    Sobie2

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    Member cdubbin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sobie2 View Post
    Great to hear it cdubbin.

    What you found was an carcass that was picked clean by scavangers. Please call the 1-800 number. The skeleton/skull is probably fine, but the hide may be iffy to keep.... even less likely is the hide will tan out. As with any furbearer care of the hide prior to tanning is key. If it got warm the fur can singe which means you end up with a sea otter hide that looks like it got a tight perm or was maybe from a poodle.

    Sobie2
    Dropped it off at the maritime refuge headquarters; they said I couldn't keep the skull unless I was native (I'm not).
    " Gas boats are bad enough, autos are an invention of the devil, and airplanes are worse." ~Allen Hasselborg

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    Member martentrapper's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cdubbin View Post
    Dropped it off at the maritime refuge headquarters; they said I couldn't keep the skull unless I was native (I'm not).
    Refuge folks don't keep up on the rules. As sobie said, found stuff can be tagged. Many non natives find walrus carcasses on Alaskan beaches, take the skull and ivory and get them tagged. Seen it done regularly in Nome.
    Would be nice if you could get it back. Likely they won't tho.
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    Member 4merguide's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by martentrapper View Post
    Refuge folks don't keep up on the rules. As sobie said, found stuff can be tagged. Many non natives find walrus carcasses on Alaskan beaches, take the skull and ivory and get them tagged. Seen it done regularly in Nome.
    Would be nice if you could get it back. Likely they won't tho.
    Any chance that can be area specific, meaning ok to keep from one area and not another?.......just curious.....
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    Member martentrapper's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 4merguide View Post
    Any chance that can be area specific, meaning ok to keep from one area and not another?.......just curious.....
    No! Fed law. Should be the same anywhere in US.
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    Forum Admin Brian M's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by martentrapper View Post
    As sobie said, found stuff can be tagged. Many non natives find walrus carcasses on Alaskan beaches, take the skull and ivory and get them tagged.
    So should someone who finds something like this take it to F&G instead of a federal agency? Or...is it F&W that does the tagging?

  17. #17
    Member martentrapper's Avatar
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    I would recommend not TAKING it anywhere till you do some work on the phone. cdubbin has already lost the skull he found (I assume) to federal employees who did not know the law.
    Sobie provided an 800 phone number. Use it. Use the phone to find out who you can take it to for tagging.
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  18. #18
    Member Vince's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brian M View Post
    So should someone who finds something like this take it to F&G instead of a federal agency? Or...is it F&W that does the tagging?
    see the other post..
    I am a USFWS tagger for Sea Otters. TlingitWarrior is correct to contact USFWS and John Trent 1-800-362-5148. USFWS has jurisdiction over Sea Otters, Walrus, Steller Sea Lions, and Polar Bears. NOAA oversees Whales and harbor Seals. ADF&G the rest

    Do not worry about picking up something like a skull, just call. These agencies aren't looking to make criminals out of people... though the various enforcement agencies make people feel like it sometimes. At least from the tagging side if you show the intent of trying to get something tagged, you won't "get tagged"

    Sobie2
    USFWS.. has maritime mammel juristiction.. ADFG does NOT. has been that way as long as i can remember.. and like MT. says.. we have picked up walrus in the past and chopped head of bloated floaters.. and USFWS has sealed them..
    "If you are on a continuous search to be offended, you will always find what you are looking for; even when it isn't there."

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  19. #19
    Member cdubbin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by martentrapper View Post
    I would recommend not TAKING it anywhere till you do some work on the phone. cdubbin has already lost the skull he found (I assume) to federal employees who did not know the law.
    Sobie provided an 800 phone number. Use it. Use the phone to find out who you can take it to for tagging.
    I'm not too worried about it, MT; was more interested in providing a subject for research than keeping a curio. I do really appreciate all the feedback, though!
    " Gas boats are bad enough, autos are an invention of the devil, and airplanes are worse." ~Allen Hasselborg

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