Thursday, September 01, 2011

Fortymile Caribou Hunt (Zones 1 & 3) closes Friday Sept 2nd at Midnight

The Fortymile Caribou Hunt (RC 860) will close at 11:59pm on Friday September 2nd, 2011 in Zones 1 (Steese Hwy) and 3 (Taylor Hwy) in order that the harvest quota is not exceeded.

Federally-qualified subsistence hunters will be allowed to continue to hunt on federal land in the entire hunt area.

Hunters who have not taken a caribou will be able to continue to hunt in Zone 2.

For more information, see the ADFG emergency order:
http://www.adfg.alaska.gov/static/home/news/newsreleases/wcnews/pdfs/releases/08-31-2011.pdf

Tuesday, August 09, 2011

Nelchina Caribou Hunt - Info You Need to Know

The quota for all Nelchina caribou hunts combined is 2400 animals (550 cows, 1850 bulls).
________________________________________________________________

To all hunters with RC566 Tier 1 permit for the Nelchina caribou hunt beginning August 10th:

This caribou hunt may close by Emergency Order (EO) or bag limit changed to bull only. It is your responsibility to be aware of hunt changes and closures. Call the Nelchina Caribou/Moose Hotline at 907-267-2304 before you hunt for closure and other herd/hunt information. EO information can also be viewed online at:
http://www.adfg.alaska.gov (see News and Events).

Please note that evidence of sex must remain naturally attached to the meat if the bag limit changes to bull only.

Prior to October 1, meat from the forequarters, hindquarters, and ribs must remain naturally attached to the bone until delivered to the place where it is processed for human consumption.

Successful hunters must report their harvest within 3 days after the kill. You can report in person, by mail, or online at this link:
https://secure.wildlife.alaska.gov/index.cfm?adfg=interperm.report_greeting

Unsuccessful hunters must report within 15 days of close of season.

____________________________________________________________

Community Harvest Hunters:

For those hunting under the Community Harvest program, caribou hunters must salvage for human consumption all edible meat from the forequarters, hindquarters, ribs, neck, and backbone, as well as the heart, liver, kidneys, and fat.

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Nelchina Caribou Unit 13 Draw Permit Winners:

For those holding a DC480, 481, 482, or 483 permit, please be aware that these hunts could be closed by Emergency Order prior to the August 20th start date. Use the hotline number and web link above to keep informed on any hunt closures before you head to the field.



Sunday, April 17, 2011

Board of Game Approves Major Changes to the Kenai Peninsula

Editor's note: The following information is from Board of Game vice-Chairman Ted Spraker. We thank Mr. Spraker very much for sharing this information with Alaska Hunting News.

I am sure you have heard what was passed at the board but, if not, here is
some of what happened.

We did not close the moose season but came close. The department reported a bull to cow ratio of 9:100 for 15A and 15C and continued low calf to cow ratios. We need at least 20:100 for both just to maintain current low numbers. Starting this fall, our moose hunting season for Units 7 and 15 will be the same as last year for archery and the general season but the bag limit was changed to 50 inch or larger or “4” brow tines on at least one side. Hunters will be required to present their antlers to F&G for inspection and sealing within 10 days of take.

We also approved an intensive management plan to aerially shoot wolves in 15A and 15C but this does not include refuge lands. This is in addition to the intensive management plan to enhance habitat in 15A. The updated predator control plan will be presented and (hopefully) approved at the next meeting in November so the removal effort can begin in January 2012, in an effort to protect calves born next spring. Since we authorized a predator control plan in 15A and 15C, we closed hunting in these subunits to non-residents, following our standard procedure for control areas. We also put a sunset date on the bag limit decision so it can be reviewed at the 2013, March meeting.

My take on this effort: First, KNWR manager Andy Loranger attended the meeting and he sat conscientiously at the front table with Jeff during the entire Kenai discussion. Andy committed to helping as much as possible to increase efforts to enhance habitat in 15A. That was a huge commitment on his part and I am confident he will do all he can. I have little hope that aerial shooting will remove many, if any, wolves in 15A. I believe it will be up to the trappers to increase the take in 15A. To that end, I asked Al Barrette to come to the Kenai next fall with other interior wolf trappers to share their secrets, and he is willing to work with us.

Subunit 15C is a completely different issue as far as hope to rebuild moose numbers. In the past 10 years, or so, 181 square miles has burned that is coming back in good moose browse. Remember the 1969 burn in 15A that greatly increased moose numbers and displaced black bears, resulting in high calf survival, was 135 square miles. The other important difference is moose move off the refuge during winter so the wolf packs that operate on most 15C moose are in an area open to predator control efforts. The “off-refuge” portions of 15C are heavily timbered but if the public aerial permits holders are not successful the department will be allowed to conduct wolf removal, as they did in other areas, using both fixed-wing and helicopters. Barring a severe weather event, we should start seeing positive results in improved calf numbers and recruitment in a couple years. The new “bag limit” designed to protect all yearlings and 2 year olds and many of the 3 and 4 year old bulls (that produce 3 brow tines) should increase the bull to cow ratio in two years. The 50 inch 4 brow rule will probably reduce the harvest from about 300+ to less than 100 bulls in all of 7 and 15. The sealing of antlers will at least make hunters more careful about taking a shot when they are not absolutely sure of the antler size.

The S/F-50-3 brow tine rule has failed due to low calf survival/recruitment and illegal take of mid-sized bulls. When this selective harvest was modeled, in the mid 1980s, those two parameters were clearly the Achilles Heel of the program, so this is not a surprise that even selective harvest cannot save the bull numbers. High levels of predation and poor habitat in 15A, rather than hunters, are to blame for this new restriction on hunters.

Other changes starting July 1, 2011:

The bag limit for black bear will be 3 per regulatory year starting July 1 but
only 1 for non-residents on the outer coast of Unit 7 and 15C. Non-residents
are allowed to take 3 in the remainder of 7 and 15.

The department and board made a public request to increase baiting on the
refuge.

The bag limit for hunting wolves is now the same (5 per regulatory year) on
the refuge and other lands in 7 and 15. It was 5 off refuge and 2 on refuge.

The Homer antlerless moose hunt was approved for next fall.

The Resurrection Creek moose closed area was repealed. This is the Palmer Creek area of Unit 7 near Hope that was closed in 1980 to moose hunting is now open.

The proposal to open beaver trapping on Oct. 10 instead of Nov. 10 failed with a vote of 1 to 5.

The proposal to open the Lower Kenai Controlled Use Area to motorized vehicles failed 0 to 6.

There were no changes to hunting brown bears but a great deal of conversation was put on the record concerning an abundance of bears and need to increase the harvest. The “Species of Special Concern” and lack of a population estimate still has the department ham-strung on allowing more brown bear take.

Moose population (3,000-3,500) and harvest objective (180-350) remained the same in 15A.

Ted Spraker
Vice-Chairman Board of Game

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Many Undersubscribed Hunt Permits Still Available

For the 2011-2012 regulatory year, there were many draw permit hunts that were undersubscribed, and Fish & Game is now offering these hunts again on a first come-first served fax application basis.

Hunts still available include many Unit 20 antlerless moose hunts for residents, some guided and unguided nonresident-only hunts in Unit 21, resident and nonresident disabled veteran only antlerless moose hunts in the Fairbanks Management Area, Unit 22 East nonresident-only moose hunts, and nonresident only grizzly bear hunts in Units 22 and 23.

For more information on these undersubscribed hunts, visit this link:
http://www.adfg.alaska.gov/index.cfm?adfg=huntlicense.undersubscribed

The application period began on April 11 and goes until June 10, 2011.

Tuesday, April 05, 2011

Summary of changes recently adopted by Board of Game

This is a summary of changes adopted by the Alaska Board of Game for regulatory year 2011-2012. This is not a comprehensive list of all the detailed changes. It is your responsibility to read the Alaska Hunting Regulations carefully for complete information.

These regulations do not become effective until July 1, 2011 so do not affect hunting or trapping seasons that are currently open or that open prior to July 1, 2011. (such as spring bear seasons and bear baiting)

HUNTING

BISON

BROWN BEAR

Units 9A, B, C, D and E, and Unit 10, convert general season hunts to registration permit hunts. Establish new resident registration hunts with a one bear a year bag limit within a specific distance of communities in the area, and eliminate the tag and tag fee requirement in these hunts.

Units 16A and 16B, extend season year round, July 1 – June 30 (retains the shorter season around Wolverine Creek).

Unit 17, increase bag limit to 2 bears per year, extend season Aug. 20 – May 31, and eliminate tag and tag fee requirement.

Most of Unit 26B, eliminated the drawing hunt and established a registration hunt with no closed season, open to both residents and nonresidents. Also changed the season dates in the remainder of Unit 26B to Sept 1-May 31.

BLACK BEAR

Units 1 – 5, require the GPS location of black bear bait stations before a site can be established. The change will be effective for the spring bear seasons in 2011.

Units 1 – 3, beginning in fall 2012, all nonresidents not hiring a guide to hunt black bear will be required to have a drawing permit. The first application period for these black bear permits will be Nov. and Dec. 2011.

Unit 2 controlled use area was modified to continue to restrict motorized access until Oct. 31, 2012.

Unit 3 controlled use area was modified to only apply to Kupreanof, Mitkof and Wrangell Islands.

Units 7 and 15, increase the black bear bag limit for both residents and nonresidents to 3 bears per year, except nonresident bag limit remains one bear in the coastal areas south of Kachemak Bay and south of the city limits of Seward.

Units 6, 7, 9, 10, 11, 13, 14(A), 14(B), 15, 16, and 17, allow guides to establish up to 10 bait stations in total combined with assistant guides.

Units 7, 9, 10, 11, 13, 14(A), 14(B), 15, 16, and 17, allow hunters that have been airborne to take black bears at a bait station the same day, as long as they are at least 300 feet from the airplane at the time of taking. Not in effect until next spring, 2012.

Units 11, 13, 14(B), eliminate sealing requirement.

Unit 14B, increase bag limit to 3 bears per year.

Unit 17, eliminate harvest ticket requirement.

Unit 25D, legal animal is any black bear.

CARIBOU

Unit 13, modify bag limit to one caribou per household allowed to be retained under the community harvest hunt. No more than 1 (one) Unit 13 Tier I subsistence permit may be issued per household per year. Trophy destruction is no longer required. Established several drawing hunts for residents.

DEER

Unit 1(A), shorten season by closing the month of December. New season dates, Aug. 1 – Nov. 30.

Units 1 – 6, and 8 replace deer survey with harvest report. Harvest tickets for the 2011-12 hunting seasons will have the harvest report attached.

Unit 8, create archery and muzzleloader deer hunt for hunters 17 and younger, hunter education and weapons specific certification required, Nov. 16 – Dec. 31.

ELK

Unit 8, clarify that a wounded elk counts as the bag limit.

MOOSE

Unit 7, eliminated the Resurrection Creek Closed Area. The area has been closed to moose hunting since the early 80’s and will now be open for moose hunting.

Units 9A, B, C, D and E, convert general season hunts to registration permit hunts.

Unit 9(C), extend moose season by 5 days to end Sept. 20.

Unit 9(E), extend moose season by 5 days to end Sept. 25.

Unit 11, decrease any bull moose quota for the community harvest hunt from 100 to 70.

Unit 14A, establishes a winter antlerless moose hunt from Jan. 1 – Feb. 25.

Unit 14A, establish new type of permit hunt, hot-spot hunt. This type of hunt will allow hunters to sign up similar to a registration hunt, but there will be a deadline for sign up. The list will then be used if winter conditions are such that nuisance moose need to be taken. There will be a lottery drawing and hunters will be on short notice to respond to specific areas.

Unit 14C, create a new archery drawing hunt for any bull moose in the Edmonds Park/Mirror Lake area open to residents only.

Units 7 and 15, Kenai Peninsula, eliminate the spike-fork portion of all general season hunts and change legal number of brow tines. In all general season moose hunts, the legal animal is now a 50”, 4 brow tine bull. In addition, all moose taken in general season must be sealed by the department.

Units 15A and 15C, close nonresident hunting for general season bull hunts.

Unit 15C, shift dates for hunt for the Tier II hunt (TM549) from Aug. 10 – Sept. 10 to Aug. 25 – Sept. 30.

Unit 16A, extend general season to end Sept. 25.

Unit 16B, extend general season to end Sept. 25, open nonresident season of Aug 25-Sept 15. Also changed the dates of the winter Tier II hunts to Dec. 15-Mar 31 (this does not take effect until winter of 2012.

Unit 20A, extend antlerless drawing permit hunts Aug. 15 – Nov. 15, and extend antlerless registration permit season to Oct. 1 - Feb. 28.

Unit 20B, drainage of the Middle Fork of the Chena River, and that portion of the Salcha River drainage upstream from and including Goose Creek, establish new registration hunt for antlerless moose Oct. 1 - Feb. 28.

Unit 20B, remainder, extend bull season by 5 days, Sept. 1 – Sept. 20, and establish new registration hunt for antlerless moose Oct. 1 - Feb. 28.

MOUNTAIN GOAT

Unit 1(D), that portion between Taiya Inlet and River and the White Pass and Yukon Railroad, align archery season with rifle season, Sept. 15 – Nov. 30.

Unit 8, allow goat registration permits to be obtained throughout the season.

Unit 14A, establish Oct. registration hunt for both residents and nonresidents.

Units 13D, 14A, 14C, require guided nonresidents to have a guide-client agreement prior to applying for a drawing hunt.

Unit 14C, change nonresident drawing hunt in Twentymile/Lake George area to registration hunt. Not effective until 2012.

Unit 15C, registration goat hunt RG365, open hunt to limited nonresident participation.

SHEEP

Unit 11, convert bag limit for residents to full-curl rams only.

Statewide-prohibit the feeding of dall sheep, including the use of mineral supplements (salt licks).

Statewide-prohibit the alteration of ram horns prior to sealing.

WOLF

Unit 1(A), Unit 1(B), that portion south of Bradfield Canal and the east fork of the Bradfield River, and Unit 3, extend wolf hunting season to May 31. The change will be effective for May 2011.

Units 9 and 10, extend season to end June 30, new season dates Aug. 10 – June 30.

Units 7 and 15, Kenai Peninsula, align bag limit for hunting wolves to 5 wolves per season both inside and outside the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge.

Unit 16A, modify bag limit to10 per season, only up to 5 per day.

COYOTE

Units 6, 7, 9, 10, 11, 13, 1415, 16, and 17, increase hunting bag limit to no bag limit.

WATERFOWL

MISCELLANEOUS

Unit 1A, the Margaret Creek drainage within one-quarter mile of Margaret Creek downstream from the mouth of Margaret Lake to the mouth of the creek, is closed to the taking of black bears and brown bears;

Unit 1C, Juneau area, redefine boundary of area closed to hunting near Glacier Highway. New closed area boundary is now the northern bank of Peterson Creek, instead of mile 23.3.

Statewide-prohibit the falsifying of information on harvest reports.

If a nonresident hunter is using a resident second-degree-kindred relative as a guide, the resident second-degree-kindred relative must have in possession a valid Alaska big game hunting license and must personally accompany the nonresident hunter.

“personally accompany” means staying within 100 yards of the person being accompanied at the point where an attempt to take game is made.

TRAPPING

BEAVER

Units 1 – 5, align and lengthen trapping season for region, Nov. 10 – April 30.

Units 9 and 17, lengthen trapping season to Oct. 10 – May 31.

Unit 16, eliminate sealing requirement.

LYNX

Unit 9B, lengthen trapping season by one month, Nov. 10 – March 31.

MINK AND WEASEL

MUSKRAT

WOLF

Unit 1C, that portion west of Excursion Inlet and north of Icy Passage, allow the use of snares larger than 1/32 set out of water if they are constructed with ADF&G style noose stop/breakaway and a diverter wire;

Unit 2, wolves taken by trapping must be sealed within 14 days.

Unit 9, extend season to end June 30, new season dates Aug. 10 – June 30.

Unit 10, extend season to end June 30, new season dates Nov. 10 – June 30.

WOLVERINE

Unit 9B, lengthen trapping season by one month, Nov. 10 – March 31.

MISCELLANEOUS

Unit 1C, add the Treadwell ditch Trail to the list of trails with trapping restrictions.

Unit 5(A), the Yakutat area, trapping is prohibited by using snares or Conibear traps larger than 280, in the following areas:

(A) within 500 yards of permanent residences in Yakutat city limits;

(B) 500 yards inland from the mean high tide line between the intersection of Coast Guard Beach Road and the coast, and a point 1/2 mile south of the intersection of Cannon Beach Road and the coast, locally known as "the barge";

(C) 150 yards on either side of Cannon Beach Road; and

(D) 50 yards on either side of the Train Trail

STATEWIDE TRAPPING CHANGES

Define “ADF&G style noose stop/breakaway” to mean specifically that the cable is severed at a point that is 10.0 inches to 10.5 inches from the cable end stop and then reattached with a double ferrule, and “diverter wire” means a wire designed to divert non-target species that is attached to a snare so that the diverter wire extends at least 28 inches from the snare loop and is perpendicular to the loop.

PREDATOR CONTROL CHANGES

Unit 16B, update existing control plan and add brown bear control to the area. Taking of brown bears over bait and with bucket snares will be allowed under a control permit. In effect in late May at the earliest. Check with Palmer ADF&G for more details.

Unit 17, adopt new control plan for wolves.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Military Base Wolf Removal Effort Successful


- ADF&G Press Release

Cora Campbell, Commissioner
P.O. Box 115526
Juneau, Alaska 99811
Phone: (907) 465-6137 - Fax: (907) 465-2332

Press Release: No. 11-21, March 25, 2011
Contact: Mark Burch, 907-267-2387

Military Base Wolf Removal Effort Successful

Juneau – Alaska Department of Fish & Game (ADF&G) biologists, working in cooperation with military personnel, have removed nine wolves on the Joint Base Elmendorf Richardson (JBER). The wolves were considered a significant threat to public safety on the military installation and in surrounding residential areas.
“The effort was successful. We feel confident we have minimized public safety risks by removing specific wolves and significantly reducing wolf numbers in the area,” said Mark Burch, Regional Supervisor, Division of Wildlife Conservation.
Over the winter, the nine wolves were taken by joint ADF&G/JBER trapping and ground shooting efforts. These actions are believed to have mitigated risks to public safety. However, ADF&G biologists and military personnel will continue to monitor the situation and take wolves if necessary.
The wolf removal effort was in response to habituated wolves in the area that were becoming increasingly aggressive towards humans and pets. Tissue, bone, and hair samples from the wolves will be analyzed to develop profiles of dietary habits. This information could prove useful for future comparative studies. In addition, samples will be used as part of a broader genetic study of Alaska wolves.
To prevent future problems, area residents must take precautions not to leave out garbage, pet food, or other attractants that might draw wolves near homes and into neighborhoods. In addition, homeowners should take precautions to secure pets and livestock. Negligent and intentional feeding of wolves is prohibited by state regulation (5AAC 92.230).
People should enjoy outdoor pursuits, but recognize risks and take precautions when recreating in wolf and bear country. Children should always be accompanied by an adult and dogs should be on a leash. For detailed information about coexisting with wolves, preventing habituation, and staying safe in wolf country visithttp://www.adfg.alaska.gov/static/species/livingwithwildlife/pdfs/living_in_wolf_country.pdf .
ADF&G biologists and JBER officials would like people to continue to report wolf sightings or encounters on or near the military base. Please immediately report sightings to the base dispatcher at 522-3421, or call the Division of Wildlife Conservation Information Center at 267-2257 Monday-Friday from 8 a.m.-5 p.m.

Western Arctic Caribou Herd in Slight Decline, Hunter Numbers Stall Out


(Kotzebue) ADF&G conducted a photocensus of the Western Arctic Caribou Herd (WACH) in July 2009 and came up with a preliminary finding of 401,000 caribou, an increase of roughly 6% over the estimated 377,000 animals estimated in the 2007 census. Further analysis, however, determined that the numbers are actually lower than the first estimate by 53,000 head, with the count coming in at 348,000 caribou. This represents an actual drop in the WACH population of nearly 8% between 2007 and 2009. The herd has been in steady decline at the rate of 4-6% annually since it peaked at 490,000 animals in 2003, however Jim Dau, the ADF&G area biologist suggests that these numbers indicate that the herd is relatively stable, and that the decline is well within acceptable parameters, and certainly preferable to continued growth and the possibility of an abrupt decline. Dau asserts that the reduced numbers are not a result of hunting pressure.


Nonlocal hunters pursuing WACH animals have seen decreased opportunities in recent years as a result of lower bag limits and limited air charter availability due to regulatory reductions on the number of hunters each charter can haul to the field.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Porcupine Caribou Herd Numbers Higher than Last Census


(Juneau) –Counts have not been completed, but Alaska Department of Fish and Game (ADF&G) biologists say that the Porcupine Caribou herd numbers are significantly greater than 123,000 animals, the number estimated in 2001.
The herd ranges in the northeastern part of Alaska and into Yukon, Canada, and is an important resource for residents of both areas. Alaska and Canada cooperatively manage the herd.
An ADF&G photocensus of the Porcupine Caribou herd was conducted in July 2010, and the photographed caribou are now being counted. “We’ve counted more than 123,000 caribou so far, and we haven’t finished,” said Beth Lenart, ADF&G Area Biologist. “This is good news for people who value this herd.”
Five photocensuses that occurred from 1989 to 2001 indicated a decline in the herd from 178,000 to 123,000 animals. Alaskan and Canadian biologists thought it was possible that the herd may have continued to decline since 2001. However, concerns of a declining herd have faded as counting of the 2010 photos progressed.
Alaskan biologists do not expect to finalize the herd estimate until early March. Canadian managers will be meeting in early February to establish hunting regulations in Yukon. ADF&G biologists will decide whether to recommend changes to Alaska’s hunting regulations before the next meeting of the Board of Game that will consider Porcupine Caribou in March, 2012.
Lenart said the quality of the photocensus is very good. “The photos are of high quality, caribou were well aggregated, and we located all of the radio collars,” said Lenart. “Conditions were excellent for a photocensus. Numbers are higher than we expected to find, and we’re confident the herd has grown since 2001.”
Official estimates of Porcupine Herd size will be released after counting and verification are completed.

Source: ADFG

Wolf Taken on Military Land Due to Public Safety Concerns


(Juneau) – Department of Fish and Game (ADF&FG) staff killed a wolf in the area of Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson (JBER) near Eagle River and Chugiak on Wednesday afternoon.
ADF&G and Military officials have been working cooperating to reduce the number of wolves on the base after reports of wolves approaching and threatening people. ADF&G and JBER biologists are using progressively more intense methods beginning with opportunistic shooting and then trapping. Officials will reevaluate the approach at the end of January.
Wolves in the area have displayed increasingly habituated and aggressive behavior towards humans and have killed or injured dogs and other livestock.
“It’s not common for wolves to become aggressive toward people, but when they do, it’s a public safety issue,” said Regional Supervisor, Mark Burch. “While wolf attacks on humans are rare, this lack of fear and aggression is the kind of behavior seen by wolves that have attacked people in the past so we are doing what we can to minimize the risks.”
People on the military base can minimize their risk of a wolf encounter by walking dogs in the populated areas. People should travel in groups, stay on well-used roads and always keep dogs on a leash. If approached by a wolf or wolves, stay calm, and don’t run, but do act aggressively toward the wolf. Air horns or bear spray can help deter advancing wolves. Always be alert when traveling in wolf habitat; do not wear ear plugs or head phones. Children should always be accompanied by an adult when walking in areas where wolves are known to roam.
Officials would like people to report wolf sightings on base or near homes or in neighborhoods or wolf encounters. Contact a base dispatcher immediately, 522-3421, or call the Division of Wildlife Conservation Information Center, 267-2257 Monday-Friday from 8 a.m.-5 p.m. For information on Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson contact 907-552-8143.
For detailed information about coexisting with wolves, preventing habituation, and staying safe in wolf country, visitswww.wc.adfg.state.ak.us/management/wolves/living_in_wolf_country.pdf .

Source: ADFG