Friday, June 30, 2006

Tularemia Hot Spot Noted in Interior

Tests have confirmed that a snowshoe hare from the North Pole area died of Tularemia last week, according to an ADF&G news release.

“Hares die of this infection every spring and summer in the Interior,” said wildlife veterinarian Dr. Kimberlee Beckmen. “This is the first hare we’ve found this year, but we expect to see more.”

A local resident of the Pheasant Road area reported to the Alaska State Troopers dispatch that there were a number of dead hares in the area. Personnel from the ADFG Regional Office investigated and collected a freshly dead hare for postmortem examination. Lab tests returned today confirmed the presence of Franciella tularensis, the bacteria that causes the disease known as Tularemia.

Tularemia is a bacterial disease that typically affects hares, beavers and muskrats. Predators and scavengers including dogs and cats that bite into a sick or dead hare as well as people who handle infected hares can become infected. Ticks, which are common on hares, and water contaminated with a dead animal can also spread the bacteria to animals and people. The most common symptoms in people include skin ulcers, swollen and painful lymph glands, inflamed eyes, sore throat, mouth sores, fever, flu-like illness, diarrhea or pneumonia. Tularemia can be fatal if the person is not treated with appropriate antibiotics. However, human cases in Alaska are rare and one case is reported about every two years.

Beckmen encouraged people to contact ADF&G at 459-7206 if they notice hares that appear to be ill. Signs that a hare is infected include lack of fear of people, “tameness,” lethargy, and sudden death. People can protect themselves by using gloves or a plastic bag if they have to touch a dead hare, and washing their hands afterwards. Don’t drink untreated water from areas where muskrats and beavers occur. Double bag and dispose of dead hares in trash or bury where dogs and scavengers can not get to them.

Dog and cat owners can protect their pets by keeping them away from snowshoe hares. Dogs or cats that become infected may show fever, lethargy, lack of appetite and swollen lymph nodes. Infected animals can be successfully treated by veterinarians with antibiotics. It is important to treat pets promptly not only for their sake, but because tularemia can be contracted though the bite of an infected pet.

For more information about Tularemia see the Alaska Department of Health and Social Services Division of Epidemiology Website.

Thursday, June 29, 2006

Montana Outdoors Directory online

While not specifically Alaska hunting news, this is an important announcement for the Outdoors Supersite (tm) network, now grown to three states.

Aaron and Jill Bork have been working hard for months now to prepare an outdoors website
for Montana. While they would be first to say that there is much yet to do, I think you'll find that there is a LOT of quality information on
Montana Outdoors Directory about Treasure State hunting and fishing even at this early stage in the website's development. Subject areas right now include hunting, fishing, forums (they use the same vBulletin software that Alaska Outdoors Directory uses), services, and bookstore. They plan to continue adding quality information about Montana hunting and fishing, but also expanding to other outdoor activities in "Big Sky Country." Take a look at Montana Outdoors Directory today. If you're quick, you can take first post on the new forums.

Meanwhile, Dan Schwartz at Colorado Outdoors Directory continues to work on his website, announced earlier here. His next move is to add vBulletin forums too. We'll announce that here as soon as the new forums are online.

We look forward to continuing to work together with the Borks and Dan as they develop their Outdoors Supersites™ websites.

Monday, June 19, 2006

Kenai Grizzlies On The Increase

Kenai Peninsula brown bear populations seem to be increasing, and as a result more homeowners, hikers, anglers and outdoor people are running into the bruins. Not everyone is happy with the increasing numbers of bear encounters, and defense of life and property bear killings - reported and unreported - seem to be growing.

Read the entire Anchorage Daily News story >>>

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Predator War Foe Jim Brooks Died

Former ADF&G Commissioner and ardent foe of indiscriminate wolf killing Jim Brooks died May 19 in Juneau.

In Territorial days, wolves were killed indiscriminately statewide, using traps, snares, poison and aerial gunning. When Alaska became a state, those practices were ended, and Brooks was an important part of this.

But later, as commissioner of the Alaska Department of Fish and Game, Brooks permitted selective wolf control.

Anchorage Daily News writer Craig Medred tells the story in the June 11, 2003 edition.

Brooks' book "North to Wolf Country - Stories of an Alaska conservationist" tells more about the former ADFG commissioner's life.

Alaska Challenges Feds Over Subsistence Process In Court

The State of Alaska is challenging a US Government decision to extend subsistence priviledges over a broad area where no subsistence history is found. The ADFG press release put it this way:

On May 3, 2005, the Federal Board expanded the customary and traditional use determination for residents of Chistochina for moose to include all 10,000 square miles of Game Management Unit 12. The decision was made despite harvest data that provided evidence of customary use of only a very small portion of the unit (approximately 206 square miles). The State had requested the Board extend the determination to only those parts of the unit where customary use was documented.

“This lawsuit is neither pro nor anti subsistence. We are not challenging the federal government’s responsibility for implementing a rural subsistence priority on federal lands,” said McKie Campbell, Commissioner of the Alaska Department of Fish and Game. “This lawsuit is about the need for the Federal Board to follow its own regulations, to develop written policies, and to use data to make decisions.”

Read the entire press release >>>

Thursday, June 08, 2006

Recent Threads on the Alaska Hunting Forum

Friday, June 02, 2006

Managers Crush Copper Valley Trees For Moose

State, Federal and Native managers in March cooperated to crush 50+ acres of moose habitat in the Chistochina area. According to the Alaska Wildlife News, "willow, aspen and poplar are nutritious, high-quality forage for moose. These plants can regenerate and thrive after certain kinds of physical trauma, such as fire or crushing. Lush sprouts emerge from the ground level – gardeners refer to them as suckers – and quickly grow."

The project may be repeated in future years to provided staggered areas of regrowth for moose.

Read the entire article >>>