Monday, May 29, 2006

Federal Subsistence Wildlife Regulations Approved

The Federal Subsistence Board approved changes in wildlife regulations at a mid-May meeting in Anchorage. The regulations are for the 2006/2007 regulatory year and apply on federal public lands. Among the changes:
  • # The Board adopted a proposal to provide for the sale of handicrafts made from the nonedible byproducts of most wildlife harvested for subsistence uses from Federal public lands. The change was made to accommodate existing subsistence uses and to align Federal regulations with State regulations.
  • # The Board adopted a proposal to remove the two-week closure to non-Federally qualified users in the southeast portion of Prince of Wales Island for the harvest of deer. The change will allow non-Federally qualified deer hunters additional opportunities to harvest deer without impacting Federally qualified subsistence users.
  • # The Board closed that portion of Unit 7 near Seward, draining into Kings Bay, to moose hunting for all hunters, due to extremely low moose numbers. Another moose survey is planned for the fall. If the numbers are considerably higher the Federal season could be reopened.
  • # The Board adopted a proposal to provide for a late-season moose hunt for Federally qualified hunters, from Oct. 20 to Nov. 10, in Units 15B and 15C on the Kenai Peninsula. This proposal provides additional subsistence opportunities when the weather is cooler and the meat is less likely to spoil.
  • # The Board eliminated the caribou cow hunt in Unit 9D on the Alaska Peninsula. The change is expected to help slow the population decline of the Southern Alaska Peninsula caribou herd.
  • # The Board adopted a proposal to broaden the eligibility for moose hunting in portions of Unit 12 in the Eastern Interior. The change recognizes the customary and traditional use of moose in Unit 12 by those living in Unit 13C.
Read the entire US Fish & Wildlife Service news release >>>

Thursday, May 18, 2006

May 31 deadline for most drawing permit apps

May is the month when applications for most Alaska drawing permit hunts must be submitted. Applications are due on May 31.

It is possible now to apply for these hunts online or by mail. You can read more about these hunts in a special regulatory supplement. Applications must be accompanied by payment.

Alaska predator control programs expand

The Alaska Board of Game voted unanimously to continue predator control programs in the state, and expand effort in one of the areas.

The board met to consider whether to make permanent emergency regulations adopted in January to allow the programs struck down by the court to continue. The programs were halted because of technical flaws in the process of adopting the regulation.

The programs are designed to improve moose and caribou populations in areas where their numbers have been reduced by wolf predation. Read the entire ADFG news release >>>

The state's wolf control program is now the largest in recent decades, the Anchorage Daily News reported, and the board's decisions now allow relaxed regulations for taking bears.

State to burn part of Nenana Ridge for grouse

The Alaska Departments of Fish and Game and Natural Resources and the Ruffed Grouse Society are working together to burn portions of Nenna Ridge to benefit grouse. The 46 acre burn must occur after snowmelt but before leafout, so the window is very short.

The project is designed to kill the older aspens so as to allow new stands of young aspens needed by young grouse. Read the entire news release >>>

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Are fishers moving into Alaska?

Alaska Wildlife News (AWN) reports in the May issue that fishers, a large cousin of the familiar Alaska marten, appear to be moving into SE Alaska.

AWN reported that ADF&G Juneau Area Biologist Neil Barten said he’s learned of three more fishers that were trapped in recent years, including a second animal trapped by Nelson. Barten now has one animal in the freezer at the Douglas Fish and Game office that came from the Taku River, near Grizzly Bar, and Barten hopes to take some genetic information from that animal. Others came from the Eagle River area.

“It would be interesting to see what the source population is, and if the fishers moving into Southeast are from the same source population,” Barten said in the AWN article. “I don’t doubt there are a few more around.”

Blue grouse hunting going in SE Alaska

"Blue grouse are chicken-sized birds closely related to ptarmigan. Weighing about 3 pounds, they are the largest of the four species of grouse in Alaska and they are the only grouse found in the Juneau area. They are year-round residents of Southeast Alaska, and although they don't migrate, they do move up and down the mountain slopes."

ADF&G writer Riley Woodford writes regularly for the Juneau Empire, and this is part of what he wrote about this largest of Alaska's game birds, and their spring habits. The spring hunting season is open until 15 May.

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

State wolf control efforts fall short

The Fairbanks Daily News-Miner reports that the efforts by private gunner teams to take up to 400 wolves only resulted in 153 reported wolves.

The paper cited state officials as saying that high fuel prices, a court ordered cessation of the program for a week in January, and a temporary closure because of the Iditarod sled dog races were all factors in the smaller than hoped for take of wolves.

Still, state officials say that the program is already having an effect in reduced wolf numbers and improved moose survival.

Dalton Highway ORV bill killed in committee

A bill which would have opened the Dalton Highway (Haul Road) corridor to off road vehicle use has died in the House Transportation committee, according to the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner.

"The legislation sponsored by Fairbanks Republican Sen. Ralph Seekins would remove a prohibition on the use of snowmachines and four-wheelers in a five-mile corridor along the Dalton Highway that's been in place since the road was built," the News-Miner reported.

The vote was 3-2 opposed. Senator Seekins, the bill's sponsor has vowed to bring the bill up again next session.

Revised hunting forum now online

New forum software is online now for the Alaska hunting forum and other forums on The new forum software is in a separate location from the long standing Alaska outdoor forums. Both the new and existing forums will be allowed to run concurrently for a time while the new software is being evaluated.

The new software is much more flexible for users, providing three different views of forum messages, among other new features. There are also now additional forums, including a bowhunting forum under the main hunting forum, and forums for mountain biking, hiking, and various types of Alaska boating.