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Thread: central arctic herd ideas to increase harvest

  1. #1
    Member akfishfool's Avatar
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    Default central arctic herd ideas to increase harvest

    Ok so another thread in the archery forum was talking about changes to the haul rd hunt. My question is this. Since the central arctic herd is now up to over 70,000 animals, and biologists are worried it will crash if growth is not brought under control, What do we do to significantly increase harvest. Currently you can shoot 5 per day year round as a resident, but unless you bow hunt you have to pay to fly or try to hike 5 miles each way to get to the rifle hunt area. We all know how often thats done, and know one is going to do it and carry more than 1 bou back so the harvest is being attained, bow hunting has been unable to take enough animals to make a dent either. So I want to hear ideas suggestions and the like as to what people think would work, and might actually have a chance at passing.

    To be clear the science says more bou need to be harvested or the herd may crash, then we all lose including the bou. So it could be a temp measure, or something perm.

    Personally I like the idea of allowing snow machine transport during the winter to take hunters outside the corridor to hunt. No hunting inside the corridor with them just as transport through.

    What else is out there
    60% of men don't know what they have until they lose it
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    Member Erik in AK's Avatar
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    I support allowing snowmachines to travel outside the 5 mile corridor using rivers from 15 November to 15 April.

    On the west side of the road this would be difficult as there are no east-west rivers (excepting the lower Atigun). For the west side I would propose designated east-west corridors 1/2 mile wide at West Fork Atigun, Galbraith Lake, Toolik Lake, Slope Mtn, Ice Cut, and Happy Valley.

    Allow winter meat hunters to get theirs, plus remove surplus animals from the herd in a way that minimizes impact on the tundra.

    Also, if the herd is truly on the brink then I could support removing same day airborne restrictions and upping the non-res bag limit.
    If cave men had been trophy hunters the Wooly Mammoth would be alive today

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    Member mossyhorn's Avatar
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    Decrease the non-res tag fees. $325 a pop makes it a bit hard for Non-Res hunters to take more than one. I made the trip up this fall and only could afford one tag. I'll be a resident next year but would have gladly taken more than one caribou if it didn't cost so much.

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    Well..........I dont know how this fits in, "BUT" the Western Arctic Caribou Herd, 400,000 in all, allows 5 per day for res., and 'maby(?)' 2 for outsiders.....Im sure it was down to one, but maby 2 now.....anyhooo, the explanations we were given was that 80% of non res were comming to Unit23 for the '5', and the limit was lowered to spred the non res (And all the $$ they brought) around the state.

    Cabellas army was demobe'd 'round here, and so were the wifes Summer/Fall 10,000$ + art sales with it.

    Caribou are awsome, and theres a whole economy for those that choose to live from them still.
    If you can't Kill it with a 30-06, you should Hide.

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  5. #5
    Member akfishfool's Avatar
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    I like the ideas on the snow machine access details. I really don't see why this is not done. especially since the herd is growing so fast and considered at risk of crash. They could make the bag limit anything they want, but without new hunters it's not going to cut it.. I mean 5 per day for res and 5 per year for non res. they might as well just say no limit. But I am sure someday will raise a stink and come up with some reason why its a horrible idea. I can be made to change my mind, but so far the reasons I have heard are nothing but self interest protecting **** and have nothing to do with real science, preservation or herd management. just managing other hunters for the benefit of a few and danger of the bou I.E. herd crash.

    Change my mind, or show me a better option!!!
    60% of men don't know what they have until they lose it
    15% aren't sure but figure it's better than nothing
    25% know exactly what they have and would do anything to lose it or give it to someone else

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    Now if the science is sound showing that the herds are at peak levels for population growth, then Yes we have to do something? ive hunted the haul rd seveal years now and enjoy the journey north its my alaskan tradition, that now runs in my viens. To change only a regulation that allows snowmachine use for everyone, and not just the select few that live within that substinance unit and can already hunt by means of snowmachine to gain acsess, just isnt enouph! besides it weins toward a agenda of suporting one user group, not fair for everyone else, it helps for local harvest but not removal of numbers that would be needed. now since most cariubou from the road system are killed in unit 26b then this is the specific point of interest. The five mile bow only portion of the unit runs from north of the yukon to deadhorse, now if there were changes made to this district it would make a huge difference. I disagree with allowing any motorized vehicle use, it would defeat the objective of getting away from people to hunt, and enjoy the wild. not to mention what the enviromental impacts of what atv use would have on the tundra, its not good! lets keep some places free of the motors, but protect the places that are open for leagal use. There will always be fly out service for everyone not matter what they change, and this last year even though a resident can shoot 5 the transporters charge you for 2 and only allow for 2 per person, so hunting out by plane is making a impact but not enouph. hence having very liberal limits for residents or non residents only has a little impact on a population objective so far, I mean yeah I can shoot 5 bou from the road with my bou, but that takes skill and luck, or hike out 5 miles to use my riffle, in that case im only shooting 1, if I get lucky i harvest one with a bow, and I usualy go the 5 miles and shoot one, so if im aloud to take 5 and only get 2 tops a year its like pissing in the wind to make a dent, you could chane the limit to unlimited and only a few people would benifit. So IMO what needs to change if indeed some sound science shows that the herd needs to be thinned, then the blm easement must safely inmpose a riffle use on portions of the easement. there are places that the pipeline meets or parralels the rd and places that have gaps between the rd and the pipline and discharge of firearms around the pipline are not exceptable, this could lead to huge problems, so a buffer 1 mile from the pipeline during the september season with a riffle sounds like a reasonable solution to the issue. it would increase hunter harvest by alot if they kept the limit of 5, enen if the limit was 2 you would see a diference in population. The F&G would benifit if the hunts were assigned to a drawing hunt, and collect data for harvest. by decreasing the intensity of this hunt and offering a more for sure thing to the people that hunt it, hunters will do better and harvest more, if they want to realy thin the herd out at first the qouta will be high many opportunities will be available for everyone. later down the raod it will change, and if they ever got a go on a proposed change its gana take some convincing to the pipline companies to allow hunters to shoot any closer to the multi-million dallar $ maker. That again is a good reason to make it a permit hunt, the names of all hunters with a permit are on record, and bowhunters well their season is still open and they have first crack at em, but it will interfer with their opportunities, perhaps spliting it up imto segments that are open during different weeks, like fishing districts down the valley. from mile post x to post y open on this week, and then the next and so on, this would keep the bou moveing and speradic, as they are that way anyhow. I cant say that i like the idea of a change like that, but would I apply for that permit, you betcha! and it wouldnt be so bad if you still have the 5 mile line to hike out too on top of the permit hunt, just another option.

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    Vehicles, such as snow machines do little damage to Tundra, as its usually under snow.
    Using a vehicle can get you farther from civilization if thats what you want and with impuny, compared to an aircraft, which must have a plac to land. Vehicles do not take away from the hunt, they have been there, ridden and shot from in the form of Horse's, Horse and cart, reindeer sleds, dogsled, Whaling ships and boats, Elephants ect, ect, ect.

    Even Grandpa had his "Ride"

    Now a 4 wheeler used in summer will leave scars that last years, so I stick with boats, as do most around here.


    You know know what you all want.........




    you wish for,............



    ........you Need.........




    ...... but cannot admit?????!!!!????




    WOLVES




    No Caribou crash, stable #s, and plenty of FUR to run down.



    Get the snowgos leagal and get to it boys!!!!
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    Member akfishfool's Avatar
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    ok so we give the state two choices. the caribou have to be managed its either snowgos or import lots of wolves!!!
    60% of men don't know what they have until they lose it
    15% aren't sure but figure it's better than nothing
    25% know exactly what they have and would do anything to lose it or give it to someone else

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    You can have our Caribou and eat 'em too!!


    Use the Wolves to keep it 'em in check with the habitat and healthy,...........


    Use the snowgo to take your bite outta the herd ..............


    As well, use the snowgo to keep the Wolves in check,(when you cross fresh track, stop, piss, top off the gas and keep scanning) and then when there is a dip in population, as is naturally gonna happen at some time in space, there will be the Wolves to blame!!!

    YaaaaHooo, Winners all around!!!

    Unit 23 WACH, 400,000 strong and stable, brought to us by Wolves, the use of snowgo's and 5 per day limit for resadents.......yaaaaaaaaaaaa, ita all good, ('cept point Hope maby )~~LOL!!~~

    .....Ya, you guys over there can do it!!!!!!!
    If you can't Kill it with a 30-06, you should Hide.

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    why would we leave it to the wolves, we already have a huge problem with them, years down the road well have to go in and cull the wolf population to keep them in check. besides whats wrong with the wolves that are there already? ive seen them plenty of times, and some of them follow the herds right off the tundra to their winter destinations. so more wolves will end up in places we dont even need em, we as humans have a roll in the game population reguardless of how you feel about it, we are stewards of the lands and must balance as we deam fit for us and other species. this is why we have a fish and game dept, to regulate use and harvest and find sound science to back it, for the benefit of all users. cant find reason in using biolgical remidies for this, nor is it right to let the use of snowmachines or other motorized means be used to take away from users that dont want the pressure or scars they bring and leave.

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    The Wolves were here before us~~LOL!!~~an without mans competition, they failed to wipe them out, hence, Caribou galore ,even today.

    Fact is , the number of Caribou rise and fall, its just a fact.
    Wherever theres Caribou , there are Wolves. Loss of habitat is the #1 reason for Caribou numbers to plummet, they will eat themselfs outta range, sometimes it rains in January and puts ice 3 inches deep over their food, and they have to walk for a few days without eating to find a place to graze.....either way, they get skinny and sick or freeze. They cannot go long without eating.


    " cant find reason in using biolgical remidies for this, nor is it right to let the use of snowmachines or other motorized means be used to take away from users that dont want the pressure or scars they bring and leave."

    What pressure does a snowgo bring? Too many Humans???

    Why would you call for sound science, managment but not a biological remedy? Your FnG dept is currently being managed by Biologists, and their science.

    Why not shoot Wolves AND Caribou too? Why let the population of ethier rise beyond its Carrying Capacity??

    Meat and Fur, thats what I try and fill my sled with, all the doooo long day
    If you can't Kill it with a 30-06, you should Hide.

    "Dam it all", The Beaver told me.....

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    Member algonquin's Avatar
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    Well if you are going to open it up to snow machines , land and shoot should also be open. The land and shoot wouldn't really change harvest numbers to speak of as it would still be flying in and out. The big diference would be ease and expense of not bringing in a camp. This isn't my idea of hunting but for many its a meat harvest all about time and money and feeding the family. I'm all about the camping and being out in the bush, but it would make it possible to harvet an animal and have no meat spoilage. To my thinking using a snowmachine would be a higher probility of a kill than a plane by a long shot. There even faster than a lot of small planes!

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    Member willphish4food's Avatar
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    Allow hunting within the corridor with shotgun for a limited season. Since shotgun slugs do not travel as far as modern rifle bullets, it would be a safer option in this high density area. (I have to disagree with montana on snowgo damage to tundra: when the snow cover is there they have very little impact. Remember, the slope exists as an oil producing region because they are able to make ice roads all over the tundra, driving dozers and diesel trucks up and down them, only to have them disappear to spring thaw.) Right now its neat to have an archery only area: its unique to this state. But as a management tool, its working too well at keeping too many animals from being killed. Find ways to allow hunters to be more successful hunting this herd!

  14. #14

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    I wholeheartedly disagree with opening up anything immediately adjacent to the road to any kind of gun, whether it is rifle or shotgun, even for a limited season. Actually, a limited season such as this would make it far worse than being open the entire season. It would invite exactly what we see every year with the 40-mile herd and what we saw recently with the unit 13 Tier II hunt. Road hunters blasting away right over other people's heads, shooting from their trucks, etc... What I would support, if the intent was to up the take on the herd to keep the hern numbers in check, would be to reduce the bow-only corridor to something like 2-3 miles or maybe 1-mile for a reduced portion of the season. This would make the hike out a lot more doable, while not encouraging people to "road hunt" which would open up a whole other issue with safety of both the hunting and the road itself.

    As others have said in other threads, the issue with the corridor isn't an issue of safety of the pipeline. It is perfectly legal to rifle hunt right next to the pipeline in many other places in the state far more accessable than the haul road. If it was just the pipeline, they wouldn't make it a 5-mile wide corridor, they would make it maybe 1/4 mile.

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    If anyone wants to know why opening up the North Slope to snow machines or 4 wheelers is a bad idea just have to go to Chicken during the bou season. Hunters everywhere, trails everywhere, TRASH everywhere. I floated up north agin this past year, never seen so many hunters outside the corridor. Jet and Airboats all over the place, there was a camp every 3 or 4 miles, the airboats are hauling in 4 wheelers, with a any 5 bou limit there are lots of animals being harvested. The only change I would agree with is to change the corridor from 5 Miles to 3 or even 2 miles

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    Quote Originally Posted by strangerinastrangeland View Post
    Fact is , the number of Caribou rise and fall, its just a fact.
    Wherever theres Caribou , there are Wolves. Loss of habitat is the #1 reason for Caribou numbers to plummet, they will eat themselfs outta range...
    points to stranger... but i gotta spread some around first
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    Member bushrat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by akfishfool
    To be clear the science says more bou need to be harvested or the herd may crash...
    Andrew, with all due respect, this is a really uninformed thread. The Central Arctic Herd harvests don't need to be increased beyond implementation of the new bag limits that the board passed last spring. Those bag limits are brand new and many hunters took advantage of them this past season, and many more will this winter too.

    Anything having to do with motorized access via the Dalton corridor is a legislative issue. You and others may recall that Mike Kelly (he was just defeated in the election btw) sponsored HB 267 last session to open the DHCMA to snowmachine access. It did not get much support. The org I co-chair (Alaska Backcountry Hunters) opposed it and we will oppose it again if it comes back.

    FYI, there are other means of access through the corridor than flying or hiking. We have a few members who use dogteams to hunt caribou via the corridor, and others who use boats or canoes in summer/fall to get beyond the five-miles.

  18. #18

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    Don't worry about it. Let it go through it's Natural Cycles. A good Crash is what is needed to get the attention of the locals up there that demand exclusions. Why would we as a fraternity want to alter the course of Nature? Let'er slide. Less to argue about in the long run, and that could be a good thing.
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    Quote Originally Posted by bushrat View Post

    [SIZE=4][FONT=Times New Roman]Andrew, with all due respect, this is a really uninformed thread. The Central Arctic Herd harvests don't need to be increased beyond implementation of the new bag limits that the board passed last spring. Those bag limits are brand new and many hunters took advantage of them this past season, and many more will this winter too.

    Anything having to do with motorized access via the Dalton corridor is a legislative issue. You and others may recall that Mike Kelly (he was just defeated in the election btw) sponsored HB 267 last session to open the DHCMA to snowmachine access. It did not get much support. The org I co-chair (Alaska Backcountry Hunters) opposed it and we will oppose it again if it comes back.

    FYI, there are other means of access through the corridor than flying or hiking. We have a few members who use dogteams to hunt caribou via the corridor, and others who use boats or canoes in summer/fall to get beyond the five-miles.
    +1 what he said.

  20. #20

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    Quote Originally Posted by iofthetaiga View Post
    +1 what he said.
    Gotta disagree. It is just to exlcusionary to accomodate but a few hunters. We need to recognize greed when we see it and call it for what it is.
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