Friday, March 31, 2006
Thursday, March 23, 2006
- alwaysgoing wants to know about the bugs north of the Brooks Range!
- AlaskaCub would like to know if there is any special tricks to care for guns in the saltwater environment on the Alaska Peninsula.
- Jake_65_65 wants to get practiced in the event of a bear charge as far shooting techniques.
- Michael Strahan has some inside information on Adak caribou hunting.
- 9point needs some pointers on how to dry hip boots on a drop hunt.
- LaneW would like recommendations for equipment to take digital pictures through a spotting scope.
- Mr. Grayling is planning a hunt in the Wrangells and would like to know where he can hunt for sheep.
- bizymocha needs a good bannock recipe for in the field.
- 375ultramag is addressing the changes to moose hunting in unit 21D.
- ward17 would like some feedback regarding Joe Want's bear hunting seminars.
- Mr Grayling is going sheep hunting in fall; what exercise and training tips would you give him.
- FALCON would like to know which Cabela's Alaskan Meindle boot he should purchase.
- RANGER RICK is looking for recommendations on what GPS would be good for his son.
- Jeff L is looking for thoughts about exit wounds or no exit.
- niceguy0777 needs help deciding between a .338RUM and the .375H&H.
- AK375HH is going hunting in PWS and would like some meal recommendations.
- blackfoot is curious how brown bear hunters and guides sight in their rifles, and for what range.
Thursday, March 16, 2006
The Great Alaska Sportsmans Show starts Thursday, April 6 in Anchorage. They have also provided us a printed schedule of events for the 2006 show. This is also a PDF.
We're working on obtaining a schedule for the Fairbanks show, and we'll post it here when we get it.
"Proxy hunts have increased sharply in recent years, Fish and Game officials say. Some hunters reportedly abuse the practice, though they're not breaking the law.
They collect multiple proxies from senior citizens who don't need caribou or moose meat and keep the meat for themselves. Other hunters acquire proxies so they can kill more animals, thus increasing their chance of nabbing trophy game, said Fish and Game spokeswoman Cathie Harms."
The abuses are apparently wide spread, but mainly concentratred in the Nelchina country. Under the new rules, only people qualified to hunt in the area will be allowed to do so. The board also ruled that antler trophies must be destroyed to make sure the game is really being harvested to benefit those for whom the regulations where originally enacted.
"Instead of flying a moose survey every two years, we're flying them every three or four years," he said. "We've pulled back on sheep and goat surveys. "
"Our information for some populations isn't as up-to-date as we'd like it. We're doing less survey and inventory work than we feel we need to."
Robus was talking to the Alaska Board of Game at the beginning of its ten-day spring regulations meeting now going on in Fairbanks.
Sunday, March 12, 2006
- niceguy0777 would like to know the difference between the .338 RUM and the .338 Lapau Mag.
- Gordo is flying to Alaska in September for a moose hunt and is looking for more information on guns as checked baggage.
- Ak Steve is comparing tents, specifically the Hilleberg Nallo II and the Bible I-tent.
- homerdave provides a link to the proposed new outfitter / guide requirements.
- Josh_AK is purchasing a gun for hunting/back-up protection, he's deciding between a .44 and .480, any suggestions?
- How do you get a fire going, Michael Strahan wants to know.
- David Johnson announces that Alaska's wolf population has doubled from what it was about 20 years ago.
- turner1978 is going on an unguided drop hunt this fall. What should he tip the pilot?
- Michael Strahan wants to know where you go for your outdoor information online.
- blackfoot is curious about Nosler Accubond's performance?
- Michael Strahan starts a valuable thread about the top three tips you'd offer when it comes to surviving a remote Alaska hunt.
- blackfoot wants to know about calling grizzly bears.
- AlaskaCub believes that there may a "Big Caliber Obsession" in Alaska.
- Michael Strahan consolidates the previous threads on guide - client relationships.
- twodux starts a thread on ethical hunting for guides and the expectations clients have about guided hunts.
- waterrat defines subsistence hunting.
- Barron starts a hot discussion on residents and non-residents and how locals in Alaska effect their hunting resources.
- Jasper's wife is going to join him hunting; what's the best rifle for her?
- Kusko is comparing the Ruger 77 Mark II lightweight and the Tikka T3 Lite and wants to kow some opinions on what people prefer.
Friday, March 10, 2006
"As we take these precautionary measures it is important to remember that there is no reason to think that HPAI has reached Alaska, and that it is not certain that it will be brought here by wild birds. In addition, we know of no case where a person has become infected with HPAI from a wild bird. Our best advice is that Alaskan hunters should not be overly concerned about avian flu, but should practice common sense precautions while handling and preparing wild birds. Do not use any birds that are obviously sick, wash up after handling birds and clean your tools and work surfaces, use rubber gloves while dressing birds, and cook the meat thoroughly to kill disease and parasite organisms—all practices that should be used whether or not HPAI makes an appearance here."
More detailed information is available in an ADFG fact sheet on Avian Influenza.
Wednesday, March 08, 2006
"I don't think it's going to mean much of a change," said Pat Valkenburg, Interior spokesman for the Alaska Outdoor Council, in the News-Miner article. "He's pro-hunting. He's pro-intensive management."
Burley replaces Alaska guide Sharon McLeod-Everette. Murkowski also reappointed Cliff Judkins of Wasilla for another term.
Monday, March 06, 2006
It is tempting to think that more wolves taken in control programs means fewer wolves in the state. However, just the opposite has actually occurred. From the News-Miner:
"The increase in wolves is likely due to an increase in the number of moose and caribou from the early 1980s to the mid-1990s, a time during which the state was actively conducting wolf control in several areas, said [ADF&G biologist Mark] McNay.
"Ungulate populations around the state were increasing" said McNay, citing the Mulchatna and Fortymile caribou herds, as well as the Tanana Flats moose population, as three examples.Is wolf control therefore good public policy? This long term demonstration of the effectiveness of the policy leaves little room for doubt that it works, and that wolf populations can actually benefit. There may be arguments that can be marshalled against wolf management as the right policy for Alaska -- and other wolf jurisdictions -- but the extirpation argument is clearly not one of them.
Saturday, March 04, 2006
Dear Commissioner Tandeske:
Both the Board of Game and Board of Fisheries have recently held some of their annual regulatory meetings at which the issue of fish and wildlife enforcement has been a major topic. Quite frankly, public testimony has pointed directly at an obvious decreasing fish and wildlife enforcement presence -especially at some of the more remote areas of the state.
Both boards realize that fish and wildlife enforcement priorities have always shifted depending on the fish and wildlife seasons at hand. In addition, legislative priorities have resulted in vacillating budgets for both the Troopers and Fish and Wildlife Enforcement personnel. However, we are concerned that the recent combination of the two divisions has resulted in less emphasis on our fish and wildlife resources.
Considerable emphasis has been made by this administration concerning the maximum utilization of our fish and wildlife resources to benefit Alaskans. As instructed, both boards have attempted to implement this strategy, along with addressing the ever-increasing social conflicts over resource allocations such as subsistence, sport, commercial, and personal uses. All of our efforts are futile, however, if inadequate enforcement is present to assure that the boards' regulations and plans have a reasonable chance of being properly implemented.
The Board of Game and the Board of Fisheries respectfully request activity statistics from the Department of Public Safety so that we can proceed with our busy regulatory schedule beginning early next year. If enforcement efforts have diminished significantly since the reorganization in August 2003, then it will behoove both boards to examine the enforceability of our specific regulations much more closely.
We request the following data:
1. All Alaska Public Safety Information Network (APSIN) activity statistics for the Division of Fish and Wildlife Protection troopers from July 1, 2000 through June 30, 2003, provided in monthly printouts.
2. All APSIN activity statistics for all Alaska Bureau of Wildlife Enforcement (ABWE) troopers from July 1,2004 through June 30,2005, provided in monthly printouts.
3. All APSIN activity statistics for the Wildlife Investigations Unit from July 1, 2000 through June 30,2003, provided in monthly printouts.
4. All APSIN activity statistics for the Wildlife Investigations Unit from July 1, 2004 through June 30,2004, provided in monthly printouts.
5. An annual budget summary for the Division of Fish and Wildlife Protection and Bureau of Wildlife Enforcement from July 1,2000 through June 30,2005.
6. All APSIN activity statistics identified in 1 & 2 above for the following posts: Fairbanks, Palmer, Wasilla, Bethel, Kotzebue, Nome, King Salmon, Kodiak, Soldotna, Homer, and Sitka.
7. A comparison of personnel location assignments and filled trooper positions for the Division of Fish and Wildlife Protection and the Bureau of Wildlife Enforcement from July 1,2000 to June 30,2005.
If possible, we would request this information by early January of 2006 so that it can be provided to the separate boards at their January meetings. It will be extremely beneficial in helping us in establishing our regulatory priorities and in making recommendations concerning our fish and wildlife management and conservation responsibilities to the governor and legislature.
Your assistance is greatly appreciated. If you need any additional clarification, please let us know as soon as possible.
Mike Fleagle, Board of Game / Art Nelson, Board of Fisheries
Riley Woodford has written about his blue grouse hunting experiences in the most recent issue of Alaska Wildlife News:
"Blue grouse or hooters are sometimes dismissed as ÂdumbÂ birds, but thatÂs not my experience. My first attempt at spring hooter hunting a few years ago left my buddy and I feeling dumb, while the hooters mocked us from the trees."
Friday, March 03, 2006
One to Two Years Out
Select a guide / air charter service. The good ones book early. So should you.
January - February
Everyone wants to hunt Alaska until it’s time to get out the wallet. Get some deposit money down from your partners now. It will reduce the flake-out factor. If you’re renting a raft or camping gear, make your reservations now. Same goes for airline reservations and lodging / rental car if you need it.
February - March
Research a primary and secondary hunt area. The secondary is your backup plan in case things don’t go well with Area One. Get 1:63,360,000 series maps for both.
March - April
Take a second deposit from your group members, so they don’t have to come up with all of it at once. Confirm your hunt locations and firm up your air charter arrangements. Until you send some money to your charter, it’s just a nice conversation on the phone. Send them some money or you don’t have a reservation. Make a deposit on your rental raft. Reserve a satphone or VHF radio if you plan to rent one. Check ADFG harvest stats and start going through your gear inventory.
Get the final payments from your hunters, confirm costs for meat and trophy transport / processing, purchase remaining gear, practice with your weapon of choice, do a shake-down cruise with your raft (new raft purchases) and start your physical conditioning. I put this last because I know you’re not going to do it anyway, but it should be on the list somewhere.
Two Weeks Out
Purchase and repack all food, ship dry goods via air cargo to air charter, confirm ship date for rental raft, prepare float plan and give it to emergency contacts (float hunts), confirm air charter details one more time, make meat / trophy expediting arrangements.
Pack frozen / perishable foods and check in with luggage.
Arrival in Alaska
Give a copy of float plan to air charter, collect satphone or VHF radio if renting, make last-minute purchases, check in with air charter / guide.Give a copy of float plan to air charter, collect satphone or VHF radio if renting, make last-minute purchases, check in with air charter / guide.
Tip Author Michael Strahan has been an Alaska Hunting Guide, and is a frequent contributor to the Alaska Hunting Forum. He has written a book on Alaska Float Hunting now in press.
Wednesday, March 01, 2006
On Sunday March 5, 2006 at 1:30 p.m. the House Transportation Committee will be taking up HB 85. When passed into law HB 85 will repeal the ORV ban in the Dalton Highway Corridor Management Area, allowing motorized access to millions of acres of public lands in GMU 20, 24, 25, and 26, north of the Yukon River. The members of the House Transportation Committee are listed below along with their contact number and e-mail address. Please respectfully contact their offices to convey your support for this piece of legislation. Information regarding SB 85 is listed directly below. If there are any questions regarding this piece of legislation please contact Senator Seekins Office at 907-465-2327.
Background: A substantial portion of Alaska's landmass lays on the north side of the Yukon River, served by only one road in the entire area -- the Dalton Highway. With very limited exceptions, current law entirely bans the use of off-road vehicles within five miles of the highway's right-of-way starting at the Yukon River crossing at mile 57 and extending 357 miles north to the Arctic Ocean.
Summary: SB 85 Removes the prohibition on the use of off-road vehicles within five miles of the right-of-way of the James Dalton Highway; beginning 12 months after the bill becomes law.
What does SB85 do?
- Provides access for average Alaskans to recreate on tens of millions of acres of public land
- Allows the State of Alaska & BLM to create and implement land use plans to provide for recreational development within the Dalton Hwy Corridor.
How ORV use is regulated within the Dalton Highway Corridor Management Area, after the passage of HB 85, depends on who participates in the planning process.
House Transportation Committee Members:
Jim Elkins 465-3424 Rep_Jim_Elkins@legis.state.ak.us
Carl Gatto 465-3743 Rep_Carl_Gatto@legis.state.ak.us
Vic Kohring 465-2186 Rep_Vic_Kohring@legis.state ak.us
Mark Newman 465-2679 Rep_Mark_Newman@legis.state.ak.us
Bill Thomas 465-2679 Rep_Bill_Thomas@legis.state.ak.us
Woodie Salmon 465-4527 Rep_Woodie_Salmon@legis.state.ak.us
Mary Kapsner 465-4942 Rep_Mary_Kapsner@legis.state.ak.us