Thursday, August 30, 2007

Interactive Alaska Outdoors Encyclopedia Launched

The Alaska Outdoors Wiki, an interactive encyclopedia has launched on the Alaska Outdoors Supersite (tm). A wiki is a set of web pages that can be added to and edited by users. The largest collection of current articles relate to Alaska hunting, although there are a few useful articles in other subject areas as well.

The concept of the Alaska Outdoors Wiki is to provide a user developed compilation of outdoor information specific to Alaska. The point of this wiki is for outdoors people to share how and why information about Alaska outdoors subjects.

The most famous example of a wiki is the Wikipedia, a huge encyclopedia with thousands of articles covering a wide swath human knowledge in multiple languages. The Alaska Outdoors Wiki uses the same software as Wikipedia.

There are 37 articles now on the Alaska Outdoors Wiki, although a few of them are just beginning stubs. Here are the current articles:

ATV / ORV trails Alaska boat launching facilities
Bear baiting Black bear hunting Boating
Boots Bowhunting Canoeing
Caribou hunting Climbing Conservation
Dog Mushing Field care Fishing
Float Hunting Flying Four wheeling
Hiking Hunting Interior Alaska Hunting
Jonesville mine, Eska Falls Jonesville mine, Eska Falls. Sutton Main Page
Maps Moose hunting Mountain Biking
Outdoors photography Rafting Road Hunting
Sitka Hunting Skiing Snowshoeing
Southcentral Alaska Hunting Southeast Alaska Hunting Tents
Where to Start Rafting in Alaska

Visitors who are not forum members can contact to obtain authorization to edit the wiki.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Vigilantes Targeting Bird Creek Bears?

Three bears shot and left to rot near Bird Creek has some area residents and biologists wondering if vigilantes are targeting bears in a population that seems to be growing, according to the Anchorage Daily News:
Area wildlife biologist Rick Sinnott with the Alaska Department of Fish and Game said the summer started with two bears being found dead and dumped off Konickson Road, off the Seward Highway. Just this weekend, the carcass of a shot-dead black bear was discovered on a beach near Bird Point. "These are ones that were found,'' he added. "There were probably others that were shot, and we didn't hear about it.''
An estimated 250 black bears and 60 grizzlies inhabit the area between Knik Arm and Portage, which includes built up area of Anchorage, the paper reported.

Monday, August 27, 2007

State Approves $400K for Wolf Control Education

Legislators have provided $400,000 to the Alaska Department of Fish and Game for educatating Alaskans about predator management in the state, a move decried by wolf management foes as propaganda, according to the Anchorage Daily News.

State Fish and Game commissioner Denby Lloyd has indicated that the funds will be used for two publications that will help Alaskans understand the science behind predator management programs. (See Understanding Predator/Prey Management in the Summer 2007 issue of Outdoor Alaska, the newsletter of the Alaska Outdoor Council.

Foes of the state's predator management programs are calling the educational efforts, requested by state senator Charlie Huggins of Wasilla, propaganda designed to defeat another effort to halt wolf control.

Read the entire article in the Anchorage Daily News >>>

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Fall Kenai Brown Bear Drawing Hunts Closed

From an ADFG News Release:

The fall portion of the drawing permit hunts for brown bear on the Kenai Peninsula has been closed by an Alaska Department of Fish and Game emergency order.

Hunts DB301, DB303, DB305, DB307 and DB309 in GMUs 7 & 15 are closed effective September 15, 2007.

The hunts were closed due to human caused mortality greater than management guidelines permit.

Read the entire news release >>>

Friday, August 17, 2007

State Offers Clinic on Moose Antlers

Alaska Department of Fish and Game staff and Wildlife Troopers are offering their second annual Moose Antler Clinic to provide moose hunters more practice on judging legal moose, the Anchorage Daily News reports.

The clinic will be 10 AM - 6 PM August 18 and 19 at the Department of Transportation lot on Springer Loop Road near the Palmer Fairgrounds.

Sheep hunters are also offered an opportunity to come and look at sheep horns to better understand what is legal.

Read the entire article in the Anchorage Daily News >>>

Fairbanks Daily News Miner Hunting Edition Online

The Fairbanks Daily News Miner has published its annual hunting edition in an online format. The special supplement covers moose hunting, caribou news, Tier II, Delta bison, grouse, hunter education, drawing and Tier II permits.

Among other news, the paper is reporting that 30% or more of Alaska's moose harvest may come from Interior Alaska Game Management Unit 20.

Thursday, August 09, 2007

ADFG Releases Brief Upland Game Status Report

The Alaska Department of Fish and Game has released a brief status report on upland game in Alaska.

The report covers three species each of grouse and ptarmigan (but not blue grouse) and snowshoe hare.

Generally, populations are cyclically down. The bright spot in the picture painted in this snapshot is increasing populations of ruffed grouse translocated to SC Alaska in the late `80s and early `90s.

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Southern Alaska Peninsula Caribou Herd in Trouble

The Southern Alaska Caribou herd is faring so poorly this year that all hunting there, including subsistence hunting, has been prohibited, according to Alaska Wildlife News. The agency believes that any harvest of either bulls or cows would be detrimental to the herd. The herd could now be as small as 600 animals, a drop from 4,200 animals in 2002.

Read the entire article in Alaska Wildlife News >>>

SE Alaska Deer Winter Stressed but Season to Open

Last winter's record breaking snowfall was tough on SE Alaska's Sitka black-tailed deer, but the hunting season is opening as usual, according to Alaska Wildlife News. The Department of Fish and Game is asking hunters to concentrate on bucks and fawns to protect the reproductive capacity of the deer.

Not only was snow early and deep, but it persisted longer than usual. Deer are able to find shelter in old growth timber stands where the trees hold much of the snowfall. But if the snow keeps falling, the browse plants they require are eventually covered. When this happens deer move to the beaches where there is little food but the ability to move about.

The agency is asking hunters to target bucks and fawns and to avoid taking does.

Read the entire article in Alaska Wildlife News >>>

Friday, August 03, 2007

USFWS Releases Waterfowl Hunt Summary

From a USFWS news release:

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service recently issued a new report summarizing sport hunter activity and harvest for the 2006 waterfowl season. The reports shows more than 13.8 million ducks were harvested, up more than a million ducks from the previous season. Hunters also harvested nearly 3.6 million geese, down slightly the previous season.

Managing migratory bird populations and providing opportunities for people to enjoy nature are each among the six priorities the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has established to guide its actions. Sport-hunting surveys like the current report, which gauges the health of waterfowl species and provides data for setting hunting seasons and bag limits, serve both of these goals.

The Service bases the estimates contained in the annual waterfowl harvest report upon hunting diary surveys maintained by selected waterfowl hunters, through the cooperative State-Federal Harvest Information Program and the Waterfowl Parts Collection Survey. These surveys provide critically important information used by state wildlife agencies and the Service to establish the next hunting season and maintain healthy waterfowl populations.

In Alaska, more than 65,000 ducks were harvested by sport hunters, down from nearly 75,000 in the previous season. The sport-hunted goose harvest, at 7,500, was up from 5,500 in 2005.

Nationally, duck hunters spent about 6.8 million days in the field, compared with 6.5 million days of duck hunting the previous season. Hunters spent more than 4 million days hunting geese, which is similar to the previous season. Mallards were the most prevalent duck in the bag for hunters in the United States, with nearly 4.7 million birds harvested last season. Other species popular among waterfowlers were green winged teal with nearly 1.7 million birds harvested; gadwall with more than 1.5 million harvested; wood duck, at more than 1 million harvested; and blue winged teal, with more than 940,000 harvested.

The waterfowl hunter activity and harvest estimates for the 2006 hunting season are available on the Service's web site. Recent survey data on the subsistence harvest of waterfowl in Alaska can be seen as well.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is the principal Federal agency responsible for conserving, protecting and enhancing fish, wildlife and plants and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people. The Service manages the 97-million-acre National Wildlife Refuge System, which encompasses 547 national wildlife refuges, thousands of small wetlands and other special management areas. It also operates 69 national fish hatcheries, 64 fishery resources offices and 81 ecological services field stations. The agency enforces federal wildlife laws, administers the Endangered Species Act, manages migratory bird populations, restores nationally significant fisheries, conserves and restores wildlife habitat such as wetlands, and helps foreign and Native American tribal governments with their conservation efforts. It also oversees the Federal Assistance program, which distributes hundreds of millions of dollars in excise taxes on fishing and hunting equipment to state fish and wildlife agencies.