There are four days left to send in written comments to the Board of Game for the upcoming Region IV meeting in Wasilla.
The final vote on the new Bear, Conservation, and Management Policy will happen at this meeting.
I just wanted to inform everyone the gist of what this new policy will allow for, and why the Policy is being revised, is this part:
To comply with AS 16.05.255 (“Intensive Management Law”), to maintain sustained yield management of wildlife populations, or to prevent populations of ungulates from declining to low levels, the Board may selectively consider changes to regulations allowing the public to take bears, including allowing the following:
• Baiting of bears
• Trapping, using foot-snares, for black bears under bear management or predator control programs.
• Incidental takes of brown or grizzly bears during black bear management or predator control programs.
• Use of communications equipment between hunters or trappers.
• Sale of hides and skulls as incentives for taking bears.
• Diversionary feeding of bears during ungulate calving seasons.
• Use of black bears for handicraft items for sale, except gall bladders.
• Use of grizzly bears for handicraft items for sale, except gall bladders.
• Taking of sows accompanied by cubs and cubs.
• Same-day-airborne taking.
• Aerial shooting of bears by department staff in moose and caribou calving areas
• Suspension or repeal of bear tag fees.
• Use of helicopters for transporting hunters and their equipment.
Basically, the Board is moving to in the future allow various methods and means to take bears that were only previously associated with bear "control" as part of a formal bear control implementation plan. So some of these methods and means, when and if they are allowed, like the taking of sows with cubs and cubs, helo transport of "hunters," trapping of both black and grizzly bears using foot snares, baiting of grizzly bears etc, can be done under a general hunting management scenario.
Everyone has opinions on this new Policy. I personally think it is a bad move, and opens the door too wide for any future Board to do a lot of things that will in the end hurt hunting and hunters and the perception of who we are and what we stand for. The Board has had absolutely no problem instituting bear control programs under the existing framework using a formal bear control implementation plan submitted by the Department and approved by the Board. And the Board has in the past been very clear that many of these methods and means have nothing to do with fair chase "hunting," that they did not want the public to confuse what was hunting and what was control.
This new policy completely goes in the other direction if these things are allowed under a general hunting mgmt scheme outside a formal bear control implementation plan.
Okay, the full Policy can be found in the proposal book. It is the very last proposal at the end of the book. You can download the full file here:
If you would like to comment on this and other proposals, you can mail or fax comments:
ATTN: Board of Game Comments
Alaska Department of Fish and Game
Boards Support Section
P.O. Box 115526
Juneau, AK 99811-5526
Best to all,