Thursday, August 31, 2006

GMU 20A Antlerless Moose Hunt Zone 6 Closes

From an ADF&G News Release dated 31 August 2006: The Department of Fish and Game is closing antlerless moose hunting in the eastern part of Unit 20A. The season in Zone 6, the area east of Delta Creek, will close at 11:59 pm on Monday, September 4th, 2006.

“A combination of high hunter participation and good weather resulted in high hunter success rates,” said Fairbanks Area Biologist Don Young.

The Board of Game authorized registration permit hunt RM764 for antlerless moose in 20A between August 25 and February 10, unless closed earlier by emergency order.

The quota for antlerless moose in all of Unit 20A is 700, but to distribute the harvest more evenly, the Department divided the unit into seven hunting zones and established individual quotas for each zone based on estimated moose abundance. A zone map is printed on the back of the hunt permits.

The quota of 20 antlerless moose for Zone 6 will likely be reached by Monday night.

Hunters with RM764 permits may continue to hunt in zones 2, 3, 4 and 5 of Unit 20A. Zone 1 is closed and Zone 7 does not open until October 4th. Successful hunters must report their harvest to the Fairbanks ADF&G office (459-7272) within 2 days of the kill for Zones 3 and 6 and within 5 days of the kill for Zones 2, 4, and 5. Reporting online is available at Unsuccessful hunters must report to the Fairbanks ADF&G office within 15 days of the end of the season.

For recorded hunt information call the Unit 20A antlerless moose hunting hotline at 459–7386. Hunters with questions can call 459-7206 or 459-7233 for more information.

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Alaska's Wolf Management Program Back In Court

Alaska's wolf management program has landed back in court with another challenge from the Defenders of Wildlife and the Alaska Wildlife Alliance.

The Anchorage Daily News reports that groups "asked the court last week to halt the program authorized in 2003 by the state Board of Game. A similar court challenge launched by the Connecticut-based group Friends of Animals was not successful in putting an end to the program."

Read the entire Anchorage Daily News article >>>

OPINION: In their usual tiresome refrain, the litigants claim that Alaska does not have the science and the information needed to justify wolf control programs. It is almost as if decades of Alaska's investigation of predator prey interactions counts for nothing. It makes me wonder if what is really happening is that the "wolf control card" is just a sexy way of raising funds.

Managing wolves in Alaska is done at very little environmental cost and returns benefits to Alaskans and others. When compared to the very real issues of global warming, depletion of ocean resources by over fishing and habitat damaging gear, rain forest loss and much more, wolf management ranks very low on the threat scale. There are only so many dollars in the hands of Americans concerned about conservation issues. Why waste them on legal fights over issues that have negligible environmental consequence?

David Johnson

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Federal Subsistence Board News

In recent news the Federal Subsistence Board is extending the deadline for public comment on the proposed formation of a new Federal subsistence regional advisory council to address subsistence uses of fish and wildlife on Federal public lands and waters of the Kenai Peninsula. Public comment will now be accepted through September 18, 2006.

The Board will also be holding hearings in SE Alaska on rural/non-rural designations for the Ketchikan area in late September.

ADFG Publishes SE Alaska Deer Harvest and Management Reports

Hunters interested in SE Alaska deer will be interested in a report issued recently detailing harvest statistics for the Panhandle. The report covers the 2004-2005 regulatory year.

Deer population trends are the subject of another ADFG report issued not long ago. This one covers survey / inventory activities for the 2002 - 2004 time period, and is the most recent released.

Monday, August 28, 2006

McNeil Bears: To Hunt or not to Hunt

CBS news posted a story recently, Alaskan Bears: To Be Seen, Or Shot?

"Brown bears have become symbols of a bitter culture war in the last frontier state of Alaska. The iconic animals, reports CBS News correspondent Jerry Bowen, are caught between those who believe the bears should be hunted and killed, and those who believe some are better left alone.

The battleground is the renowned McNeil River State Game Sanctuary, site of the world's largest concentration of brown bears. Hunting was banned at the sanctuary a half-century ago to allow the animals to get their annual fill of salmon in safety."

Read the entire story, with a/v components >>>

Interview: Taking the Subsistence Suit to the Supreme Court

Warren Olson is a long time Alaskan deeply involved in a lawsuit intended to force the federal government to manage hunting and fishing on its lands based on equal protection.

The suit was dismissed in the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals earlier this month. In this interview, Olson talks about the suit and how it could provide all Americans equal access to the resources on all the lands of Alaska.

For more information about this issue, Warren Olson can be contacted at 1.907.346.4440 in Anchorage. Olson reports that it is possible to contribute to this cause with a tax deductible donation to the Alaska Constitutional Legal Defense Conservation Fund, PO Box 110551, Anchorage, AK 99511.

Sunday, August 27, 2006

Feds Open Brooks Range Sheep Hunting Area to Non Rural Hunters

The Federal Subsistence Board has approved a temporary Special Action, to open sheep hunting in the Red Sheep Creek and Cane Creek drainages of the Arctic Village Sheep Management Area to non-Federally qualified hunters from August 10 to September 20. This area has been closed to nonrural hunters since 1995. The Board approved lifting the closure at a public work session in Anchorage on Tuesday, July 18. The remainder of the Arctic Village Sheep Management Area remains closed to nonrural hunters.

Read the entire USFWS news release >>>

Fed Subsistence Board Accepting Kenai Proposals

The Federal Subsistence Board is accepting proposals through October 20, 2006 to change subsistence hunting and trapping regulations on Federal public lands and waters on the Kenai Peninsula for the 2007-2008 regulatory year. In addition, at the request of the Southcentral Alaska Subsistence Regional Advisory Council, the Board is extending the deadline for proposals to change Federal subsistence fishing regulations on the Kenai Peninsula through October 20.

Read the entire news release >>>

Saturday, August 26, 2006

Alaska State Parks Improves River Access Sites

Just in time for hunting season, Alaska State Parks has improved four river access sites in two of the nearby state parks used for hunting access. Visitors to any of the four sites will find the roads graded and leveled, parking space expanded, and new directional signs in place.

Three locations along Chena Hot Springs Road now provide improved access to Chena River gravel bars where trailered boat launching is allowed in the Chena River State Recreation Area. These three sites are strategically located at mileposts 27.9 (the west end), 37.8 (the middle), and 44.1 (the east end of the recreation area). At MP 27.9, the two-mile access road has been graded and leveled in the worst spots and a parking area cleared near the gravel bar. At MP 37.8, also called the First Bridge, the short road to the gravel bar has been graded and leveled and widened along one side for extra parking. At MP 44.1, also known as Third Bridge, the small parking area has been graded and leveled and brush cleared to make more room for vehicles with trailers to park. By providing more parking away from the river access point, State Parks hopes visitors will keep the access to the river open for others to launch. All boat launching, trailered or hand-carry, is allowed at these three sites. Trailered boat launching should occur only at these three sites to protect the Chena River salmon spawning habitat.

The other river access improvements have occurred at the Salcha River State Recreation Site, on the Richardson Highway at Mile 321.4. The rutted roadway has been graded and several new parking spots have been added along the exit road. We expect overcrowding again this hunting season at this parking lot and barrier rocks have been added to protect the grassy mounds from damage. Signs were added to clarify where parking is allowed. Overflow parking is also encouraged on the gravel bar, water level permitting. If there are questions or problems, the volunteer campground host will be available at their campsite near the parking lot entrance.

From Alaska State Parks Current News

Alphabet Hills Prescribed Fire Produces Results For Wildlife

Like the Interior Alaska ecosystem, the boreal forest in the Copper River Basin in Southcentral Alaska is adapted to periodic wildfires. But wet weather conditions and years of fire suppression have deprived many areas of the natural burns that benefit wildlife and the forest. Land managers set a fire in one of these areas, in the Alphabet Hills northwest of Glennallen in August 2004, and biologists are excited to see the benefits of that prescribed burn.

“Prescribed burns are a wonderful tool to turn back the clock on years and years of fire suppression,” said wildlife biologist Becky Kelleyhouse. “A lot of natural fires have been put out in the last several decades, to the detriment of the ecosystem. Though prescribed burns mimic natural processes, prescribed burning is an expensive tool, and these projects are very difficult to pull off.”

It is well known that moose thrive in the early successional stages of the boreal forest, where willows are dominant. The new growth is beneficial to many wildlife species. In addition to the new shrub sprouts, fire promotes the growth of forbs and sedges, which are also used by caribou and grizzly bears during the summer.

Read more in Alaska Wildlife News>>>

Big Game Tag Auction and Raffle Program Applications Accepted Now

The Division of Wildlife Conservation is accepting proposals from qualified non profit organizations to auction or raffle big game harvest permits for the 2006-2007 season. The auctions or raffles benefit wildlife conservation and the organization.

Applications must be submitted by September 29, 2006, and results will be announced by November 1, 2006.

Alaska Game Board asks GMU 11 & 13 subsistence comments

The Board of Game is requesting comments on subsistence proposals to be considered at a special meeting in Anchorage on October 7-9, 2006. The focus is moose and caribou hunting in units 11 and 13.

The agenda for the meeting indicates the meeting starts at 8.30 AM at the Howard Johnson Hotel in Anchorage.

Friday, August 25, 2006

New Alaska hunting forums online, already popular

There are now three new forums on the Alaska Outdoors Supersite just for hunters and a fourth for trappers.

The new hunting forums are Alaska Muzzleloader Hunting, Alaska Small Game Hunting, and Alaska Waterfowl Hunting. In the first few days of operation, the new forums have already logged well over 100 posts.

The Alaska Hunting Forum was one of the Alaska Outdoors Supersite's first two forums (hunting and fishing). This year, a bowhunting forum was suggested by users and it was added when the new forum software was put into use. All of the new forums are a result of user suggestions as well.

Saturday, August 12, 2006

Hot threads from the Alaska Hunting Forum