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17B - Moose and Caribou numbers

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  • 17B - Moose and Caribou numbers

    I'm looking for any information on the moose and caribou numbers for unit 17B. I spoke with the assigned wildlife biologist last week but figured I would expand it audience. So far, I'm getting that moose haven't changed must over the last few years (maybe up or down a bit) and that caribou are extremely rare. I'm particularly interested in the Nushagak River drainage. I'm basing my information against the 2000 season, so I'll take any information from past seasons. Thanks in advance.

  • #2
    Caribou are indeed very rare at the moment. The Mulchatna herd is hopefully getting to the bottom of their decline but it's not what it was even 5 years ago in the slightest. Moose are about the same, if not down a little in the last year or two, depends on who you talk to. Hunting this area usually involves getting a land use permit from the native corporation in Dillingham so you may want to check into that as part of your preparations. Also, it is the preferred hunting area for many area residents and as such you will see plenty of folks on certain parts of the river, but there's a lot of river to be had as well.

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    • #3
      Thanks Catch it...

      Is there an easy way to see what part of the river is owned by native corporations? I definitely want to be legal. Thanks again.

      Originally posted by Catch It View Post
      Caribou are indeed very rare at the moment. The Mulchatna herd is hopefully getting to the bottom of their decline but it's not what it was even 5 years ago in the slightest. Moose are about the same, if not down a little in the last year or two, depends on who you talk to. Hunting this area usually involves getting a land use permit from the native corporation in Dillingham so you may want to check into that as part of your preparations. Also, it is the preferred hunting area for many area residents and as such you will see plenty of folks on certain parts of the river, but there's a lot of river to be had as well.

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      • #4
        Contact info

        you will want to contact Choggiung Ltd in Dillingham, they are who the permits come from....the areas I fish for kings in the lower river are all part of their lands, not sure exactly how far up theirs go, or whose take over from there. But contacting them should be a start.

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        • #5
          some info on 17b

          as catch states the bou #s are way down and no near bright future for them,be sure to check upcoming propsals on non-res hunting bou's,17b,starts pretty much at the Mulchatna rivers mouth,there is no open moose season for non-res on the lower part of the nush,if still interisted in the upper part one would want to get a boat or do a float trip,as for were the state lands are i go by the first cabin on the right hand side of the nush up past the split/secound rock pile/30 or so miles past the last village for there is a marker kinda buried in the trees stating the state boundery.there are a few guy's in dillingham that do fly ot float trips on the upper nush,the moose and fishing would be worth while.if looking for a power boat rental-(jet)send me a pm
          www.akbushguides.com

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          • #6
            more info

            if you are a res,the local native land owners charge a camping fee to hunt on their lands,i believe its around 800.00 for non drainage residents,also the are some restrictions on non-res on the upper nush up to the chit were one need to get a permit to hunt within two miles of the river from f&g prior to the 31st of aug
            www.akbushguides.com

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            • #7
              For the real answers contact: jim.woolington@alaska.gov
              He's the area biologist and has always answered my questions and given good information, aas I'm sure you also got from him. I've hunted over there almost every year and the caribou numbers are down. I still see them but not in the numbers like in 99 and 2000. There are still areas that are good and I'm going again this year. Some of the air taxi pilots reported large concentrations in some areas but not as many herds as in the past. Lots of transporters are not offering hunts over there since they cannot reliably put you in an area with good numbers.

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              • #8
                I am a resident and my plan is to float trip. I'm just trying to do my homework and make sure there's still some moose in the area. Thanks for your advice. I'll check with native land owners as well.

                Originally posted by gusuk1 View Post
                if you are a res,the local native land owners charge a camping fee to hunt on their lands,i believe its around 800.00 for non drainage residents,also the are some restrictions on non-res on the upper nush up to the chit were one need to get a permit to hunt within two miles of the river from f&g prior to the 31st of aug

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                • #9
                  Biologist

                  Bill S.,
                  I did speak with Jim last week about the numbers but really didn't get any specific information for the Nush area. He did confirm that caribou numbers are way down since 2000, which is consistent with all the air taxi's. Since my hunt will be focused primarily around moose that's really my biggest concern. He really didn't have much other than the numbers may be down a bit since 2000. He did mention moose surveys going on in the spring but said that where focused on other areas in the GMU. I figured I would call again in the spring to see how the moose survived the winter. Thanks for you advice.

                  Mike


                  Originally posted by Bill S. View Post
                  For the real answers contact: jim.woolington@alaska.gov
                  He's the area biologist and has always answered my questions and given good information, aas I'm sure you also got from him. I've hunted over there almost every year and the caribou numbers are down. I still see them but not in the numbers like in 99 and 2000. There are still areas that are good and I'm going again this year. Some of the air taxi pilots reported large concentrations in some areas but not as many herds as in the past. Lots of transporters are not offering hunts over there since they cannot reliably put you in an area with good numbers.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    for float trip

                    seeing your planning a float trip i would plan on hunting the upper portion to avoid the traffic,not much fun when you get boats going by you all day.
                    www.akbushguides.com

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                    • #11
                      Thanks Gusuk1. How severely is the non-resident restrictions going affect guides in this region?

                      Originally posted by gusuk1 View Post
                      seeing your planning a float trip i would plan on hunting the upper portion to avoid the traffic,not much fun when you get boats going by you all day.

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                      • #12
                        Not going to but have

                        the restrictations have been in affect for a couple yrs now and has limited the number of guides in the restricted area,as for myself i can only do one moose hunt a yr with the 11 day season,although we spent a week fishing and exploreing/glassing before hunting. because of the 31 st falling on a weekend.and now with the limiting of guides who knows what's to come..the nush is a great float trip,and suggest getting dropped off as far up as possible and getting picked up by the chit or king salmon,the fishing is some of the best around,and moose not so bad,the last couple yrs the hunting has been best at the end,global warming i guess,there is some proposals for extenteding the season by a day or two which would be nice but a long shot.there are a few aircarriers in dillingham that have done these trips although kinda spendie getting there,bay air,freshwater adventures are a couple also dan's rafting rentals,all have been doing this for a number of yrs.
                        www.akbushguides.com

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                        • #13
                          did 17b last Sep

                          5 day trip. Saw Caribou day 1 (not hunting) Day 2 (took two) Day 3 (rained out- did I say rain??? that does not say enough) Day 4 (bust) Day 5 (a few in the distance)

                          All together I would say we saw no more that 50 to 60 bou near and far.

                          NO MOOSE AT ALL - not even tracks although I would have expected plenty in the terrain.

                          Saw at least 50 wolves and a new Caribou kill every day. When we took our two, the wolves were closing in before we could finish cleaning. The next day you could barely find a trace.

                          We also saw 7 Brownies and observed they were really going after the berries although we did see a stalk on one group of bou. Probably should have spent some time on one of the bears.

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                          • #14
                            traderjon

                            sounds like you did the king,what 5 day's did you do?forgot to mention a good pair of gruduns is wise as is getting a couple wolf tags
                            www.akbushguides.com

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                            • #15
                              Trader John
                              Did you do a float or fly in hunt? What part of the unit.
                              Thanks
                              Jay

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