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Wolf control on the Kenai?

Proposals touted as means to boost moose population

Posted: October 6, 2011 - 8:00am  |  Updated: October 6, 2011 - 9:25am

Skiers, mushers, snowmachiners, trappers and others recreating on the Kenai Peninsula might see a new activity this winter: airplanes or helicopters with gunner crews shooting at wolves. If the Board of Game approves two proposals on its agenda at Arctic Region meetings next month, a plan for intensive management of moose that includes aerial wolf control could start in January 2012.
Buffers would be put in so that aerial wolf control isn't done near residential areas, said Thomas McDonough, a biologist with the Homer office of the Alaska Department of Fish and Game who is helping to write the plan.
"It's likely this will be a highly visible program if it's implemented," McDonough said. "Our job is not to say if we want to do it or not, but to outline how it should be carried out and how we would forecast the success of the program."
The Kenai-Soldotna Fish and Game Advisory Committee voted 12-1 last February to support aerial wolf control, or what committee chairman Mike Crawford calls "aerial predator management."
In March 2011 at its Anchorage meeting the Board of Game considered intensive management plans but did not take action, instead directing Fish and Game to draft a plan for two areas in Unit 15 to include aerial wolf control to be considered next month.
"It wasn't done lightly," Crawford said of the board's action. "Right now our moose population is in dire need of help."
Crawford said moose calf survival rates from the spring to the fall have been low. He blamed predation.
The Board of Game will take up two proposals. Proposal 35 is for Unit 15A in Kenai and Sterling, and Proposal 36 is for Unit 15C on the lower Kenai Peninsula. The board could approve, modify, reject or table the plans.
The Board of Game meets Nov. 11-14 at the Inupiat Heritage Center in Barrow.
If approved and implemented, the plans would:
n Allow aerial wolf control in Unit 15A on 15.6 square miles of land near the Kenai Airport and another possible 49 square miles of Alaska Native land near the airport and north of Sterling;
n Allow aerial wolf control in Unit 15C north of Kachemak Bay on about 400 square miles of state land and possibly about 235 square miles of Native land;
n Allow hunters in planes to shoot wolves from the air and take killed wolves;
n Or, using Fisn and Game staff in helicopters, state employees would shoot wolves.
Use of Native land is pending permission by landowners.
Intensive management is a part of Alaska law regulating the Board of Game and is done to restore abundance of big game prey populations. A brochure by Fish and Game, "Understanding Intensive Management and Predator Control in Alaska," outlines the process for implementing the intensive management law. The brochure notes that predator control isn't done until biologists have studied the causes of declining game populations and the impact of predators and tried other methods, such as improving habitat, reducing hunting and easing predator trapping and hunting regulations.
In Unit 15A, 79 percent of the 1,314 square miles of land is the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge where aerial wolf hunting is prohibited.
According to McDonough, because most of Unit 15A near Kenai is in the wildlife refuge, aerial wolf control is unlikely to have a detectable effect on the estimated 41-45 wolves. An increase in moose or harvested moose from aerial wolf control would be difficult to detect, he noted.
"It's a difficult plan given the limitations of the available land and where the moose population is in respect to the habitat," McDonough said.
Moose populations are low in 15A, primarily because of habitat quality. Moose habitat improves with major fires, but there has not been a fire of more than 50,000 acres in 15A since 1969.
In Unit 15C near Homer and Anchor Point, the general moose population has been healthy, with a 30 percent increase from 1992 to 2010. A decline in bull-cow ratios prompted the Board of Game to impose more stringent antler tine and brow length rules and restrict the bag limit.
The intensive management objective for 15C has been 2,500-3,000 moose, with a harvest of 200-350. Those objectives have been met.
If aerial wolf control is done on the lower Peninsula, it could lead to more harvesting of calf and cow moose which would require Board of Game approval.
Complicating aerial wolf control is how to assess its success.
McDonough said there are several unknowns about the moose and wolf population in Unit 15C:
n What is the moose productivity?
"We don't even know that yet," McDonough said.
n What is the wolf population?
"There has never been a wolf census in 15C," he said.
Extrapolating from other areas, McDonough said biologists estimate Unit 15C has from 40 to 75 wolves. Wolf and pack distribution also isn't well known.
n What is the effect of all predators on calves and other moose?
The Board of Game directed Fish and Game to consider wolf control and did not mention brown bear or black bear control.
"We do know that there's too much predation going on our moose calves," Crawford said. "Our three main predators, we're taking steps to manage their numbers."
The last study on the effect of predators on moose on the Kenai was done in 1977-78 by Albert Franzmann, Charles Schwartz and Rolf Peterson. Biologists put radio collars on spring calves and then tracked them when the calves died. A 1980 report by the authors showed 34 percent of the calves that died had been killed by black bears, with 6 percent killed by brown bears and 6 percent killed by wolves.
Crawford said all three predators are an important part of the decline of moose calves.
"Who's more responsible, I'm not sure," he said.
McDonough noted that monitoring success of aerial wolf control and designing an experiment to analyze its effect will be difficult.
Fish and Game did receive funding to conduct moose studies in Unit 15A and Unit 15C and plans to do that next March, as well as wolf research. That would be after aerial wolf control starts in January, if the Board of Game approves it.
In Unit 15A in the central Peninsula, biologists have done studies on cow moose and calf productions. Research there shows nutritional stress on cow moose. Pregnancy rates are 72 percent compared to about 90 percent for cows in good condition. Ultrasound measurements of rump fat on captured cows show low amounts.
A survey of cows with twins showed less than 16 percent of cows delivered twins. A rate of less than 20 percent is a sign of nutritional stress, McDonough said. In contrast, in the late 1970s, 10 years after a series of big fires in the late 1960s, cow moose had a 70 percent twin rate.
Studies have not been done in 15C on rump fat and pregnancy rates of cow moose. Twin studies show a 30 percent rate.
Crawford said it's important to protect moose not only for hunting but for wildlife viewing.
"This is why the Advisory Committee voted to support wolf management on the Kenai Peninsula," he said. "It's a social thing to have moose here. It's an economic thing to have moose."
Written comments on the proposals made by 5 p.m. Oct. 28 will be included in board member workbooks. Comments received after that will still be accepted up to the start of the meeting on Nov. 11. Late comments can be faxed. Include the proposal number. The Unit 15A Kenai area plan is Proposal 35 and the Unit 15C Lower Peninsula plan is Proposal 36.
Send comments to:
Board of Game Comments, Alaska Department of Fish and Game, Boards Support Section, P.O. Box 115526, Juneau AK 99811-5526, or fax 907-465-6094.
Visit www.boardofgame.adfg.alaska.gov for more information.

Michael Armstrong can be reached at michael.armstrong@homernews.com.

 

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AKMaineIac
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AKMaineIac 10/06/11 - 10:32 am
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Not a big problem

There is a very healthy, apparently, wolf population on the Kenai currently. I don't have any more a problem with some of them being culled than I do some of the moose being culled. So long as the wolf population is left sustainable, and the hides are salvaged, I can support an aerial program as well as trapping and hunting.

bobscabin
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bobscabin 10/06/11 - 02:47 pm
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Don't Blame Wolves-It Is The Vehicles

The problem is not the wolves; it is Dodge Rams, F150s, Chevys, etc. Predator/prey relationships tend to offset each other over time. If Ak Fish & Game and the Board wanted to really make an impact on the moose population, they would be promoting and constructing highway over/under passes and fencing areas of roads where high moose mortality rates occur.

Not being a moose biologist, I suspect another major factor is the loss of habitat due the large influx of humans onto the Kenai Peninsula. The loss of suitable habitat is normally the major cause of a decline in a population terrestrial game animals.

I suspect another cause is the illegal take of moose. If it is anything like I observe on the Kenai River by Alaskan residents while fishing, I suspect there is a high incidence of illegal killing of moose.

Why doesn't the Board of Game/State of Alaska contract with a group of "outside" unbiased scientific biologists to determine the real cause of the moose population decline and obtain recommendations on how to increase the population?

I wonder how much it is costing the State of Alaska to conduct the barbaric practice of aerial gunning. We all know it is not cheap to fly airplanes and especially helicopters. That money could be well spent on other more meaningful projects such as over/under passes, fencing roadway right-of-ways, or even getting more wildlife law enforcement presence on the Kenai Peninsula.

Thanks for the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge, where the Feds will not allow the State of Alaska to practice their unscientific barbaric aerial gunning of wild animals.

AKMaineIac
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AKMaineIac 10/06/11 - 04:50 pm
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Your comments betray your argument

"I wonder how much it is costing the State of Alaska to conduct the barbaric practice of aerial gunning."

Introducing an emotional component to a scientific argument betrays your bias and calls into question your intentions. There is nothing "barbaric" about it... if they were flying past in a helicopter with a flame thrower, barbecuing them on the run, now "that" would be "barbaric". There's nothing barbaric about shooting an animal with the intention of killing it.

ak4hunters
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ak4hunters 10/06/11 - 10:22 pm
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You can blame the KNWR

Bobscabin I suspect you are most likely employed by the refuge. The KNWR is partly blame. The only habitat enhancement the refuge has completed in the last 25 years is the Skilak Loop area were moose hunting is not allowed. How oxymoron is that? The refuge wouldn’t think of killing wolves or bears and to make it worse you have a state biologist who refuses to acknowledge that predators are part of the problem. Human influx on the Kenai…..70% of Kenai Peninsula is locked up by non-private lands.

dogfart
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dogfart 10/07/11 - 07:18 am
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Program Cost

I think that this is a good idea , in order to help restablish the moose population on the pennsula. The problem is IS THIS GOING TO BE A GOVERMENT FUNDED PROGRAM.

This is best left in the hands of the private citizen. Without the use of tax dollars.

The article is quoting very old data . You have to remeber that 1980 was 31 years ago, things have changed and wildlife populations have shifted. This year 2011 fish and game survey counted 50/50 moose to bear . In the first 2/3 of the arial study.

Does anybody else out there think that this is a brown bear problem ?

ak4hunters
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ak4hunters 10/07/11 - 08:56 am
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Brown and Black Bears are a

Brown and Black Bears are a signification factor in the decline of our moose population. Most pilots are sighting fewer moose and more bears.

wings
44
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wings 10/07/11 - 12:21 pm
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Please, someone tell me, has

Please, someone tell me, has it become the accepted American way to kill unsuspected victims from the air? It’s time to find fish and game board members who can actually understand the connection between man and beast, and to know how easy it is to lose the balance between the two.

Just because Alaska is the last frontier and seems to have “plenty” doesn’t mean it will last forever … or even 10 more years (halibut maybe less), … especially under human management. Obviously, humans tend to destroy things for pleasure, and also waste precious food (unwanted catch) at will, while people are starving around the world. Now, that’s unbalanced.

How do we decide when there are too many humans in one area that can and will negatively affect the growth of Nature? Wildlife (Nature) are the energies that sustains ALL human life on this planet, and when it ALL gets destroyed, well, there we go too. Human experiment failed.

Isn’t it the “human influence” that lowers the moose population in the first place? So now, we want to replenish what man (himself) has depleted, and, our solution is to kill the wolves? With that plan, soon there will be no Moose, AND, no Wolves either, only gun-toting humans pretending to be hungry.

Wolves are just as family oriented as humans, but they can’t raise cattle or grow gardens for food to eat … one of their most natural prey for food, is moose. When are we going to start controlling the over eager human hunting populations like we’ve managed the Wolves in this State? It’s a matter of survival.

It seems feasible to me, that we ALL just stop “bagging” moose for one season, and the moose will quickly replenish themselves. God has a way of taking care of things like this on HIS Planet, but we humans keep forgetting there is a higher power.

Has anyone ever discussed the idea of “human control?”

fineco
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fineco 10/07/11 - 12:30 pm
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I believe that this is a

I believe that this is a horrible practice, I am a hunter and outdoorsman and I see bears everywhere but I never see any wolves. I think that wolf management practices nationwide have always been majorly flawed. Shame on the 12 board members that voted for this.

AKMaineIac
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AKMaineIac 10/07/11 - 12:36 pm
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Emotion in a scientific and factual debate undermines position..

There is no emotional component to this discussion. They're wolves... animals. Humans have a vested interest in managing the population of both moose and wolves, bears too. You manage the population with a gun, and selective management of the population of any one of the three animals will have an impact on the other two. Plus, any management of all three will affect humans.

Nobody has suggested killing all the wolves, nobody that I have heard anyway. Nor has anyone suggested killing all the bears.

This "balance of nature" we hear so much about? The so-called "balance" between prey and predators? It's a bunch of hogwash and has never existed but for a few short intervals of time between periods of starving moose or starving wolves and bears. Because nature swings wildly from one extreme to another when left to its own designs. And sometimes, entire species die out all by themselves without any help from man. Fact is... most of the species that are extinct today became extinct long before man ever became a factor in it, if he is even today.

wings
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wings 10/07/11 - 01:26 pm
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AKMaineiac, have you ever

AKMaineiac, have you ever heard of a place called Easter Island? There is no life there, but evidence that humans DID live on that island at one time, exists. You are correct, there are no emotional components to this discussion, only facts.

The fact is, no one made you the controller of wildlife any more than they made me ... but I take offense to unnecessary killing, and so should you. It isn't for you to decide what's right, as in your own words, "nature swings wildly from one extreme to another when left to its own designs." Nature becomes unbalanced with human interference, because it is no longer left to its own designs. Artificial control is what has caused humanity the greatest price of all ... NUCLEAR invention. Leave the wolves alone.

AKMaineIac
14
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AKMaineIac 10/07/11 - 01:35 pm
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Nature has never been in balance.

Been watching too many Disney movies... nature is never in balance. There's either too much, or not enough, in nature.

Nuclear invention resulted from artificial control? What are you talking about? Nuclear invention resulted from Albert Einstein determining how to split the atom.

The wolves will either be shot or not, and it won't have anything to do with either one of us. Thankfully. Hopefully, it will be in an organized manner planned on the basis of science to "balance" an out of balance wolf, bear, and moose population.

Nature is never balanced... if nature was balanced, it'd be spring year round, or fall... It'd never really be dark... and there would have been no Ice Ages or interval periods.

wings
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wings 10/07/11 - 06:53 pm
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The Alaska Board of Game

The Alaska Board of Game makes most wildlife decisions in Alaska. The board is comprised entirely of trophy hunters with ties to the sport hunting industry and NRA. Not a single wildlife biologist or scientist is a member. For years Alaskans have been asking for representation on the board of game from non consumptive wildlife industries such as wildlife viewing. There has never been any representation from Alaska's huge wildlife viewing and tourism industry. The most important decisions about wildlife in Alaska are decided by ignorant sport hunters with a total disregard for science. Palin even appointed her former middle school basketball coach to the board. In 2009 Palin appointed Teresa Sager-Albaugh, 45, of Tok. "Sager-Albaugh is a former president of the Alaska Outdoors Council, a federation of outdoors' clubs and the official state association of the National Rifle Association." (Anchorage Daily News).

Are there too many wolves in Alaska?

No! Boosting the moose population is the official justification for aggressive predator control policies such as aerial shooting. However, in 2005 124 biologists contacted then Governor Murkowski expressing multiple concerns over predator control in Alaska, and that it was not based on sound science.

Alaskan wildlife biologist Dr. Stephen Stringham describes the situation in Alaska. “Predator-prey management decisions are governed less by rigorous science than by politics. Those politics are controlled by people with a comic book biology belief that reducing predation pressure by bears and wolves will automatically maximize the number of moose and caribou available for people to harvest. In fact, moose and caribou are adapted to predation pressure and may not fare well without it — a pressure that hunter harvest does not adequately mimic. Ill-conceived predator control could do more harm than good even from the perspective of people whose only interest in wildlife is killing it, not enjoying live animals living free from fear of every human they detect.”

Wolves actually boost moose populations by limiting hares and rodents which eat vital food source for moose. Dr. Stringham explains, " Snowshoe hare and rodents compete with moose for willow stems, a food especially crucial during winter. These competitors sometimes girdle so much willow that they limit the supply for moose. Wolf predation on hares and rodents could increase food supply for moose." Read the full article on why predator control is junk science.

The unscientific practice of slaughtering wolves escalated under Governor Palin. Public safety is also touted as a reason to limit wolf populations, even though there has never been a documented case of a wolf attacking a human in Alaska– ever. Alleged “large” numbers of wolves are never a threat to human safety. Read wildlife biologist Dr. Steven Stringham's articles on why Alaska's wildlife management decisions are in direct contradiction to scientific evidence.

AKMaineIac
14
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AKMaineIac 10/07/11 - 08:02 pm
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Is that so?

"Public safety is also touted as a reason to limit wolf populations, even though there has never been a documented case of a wolf attacking a human in Alaska– ever. "

Not one? Ever?

"ANCHORAGE, Alaska — State biologists have killed two of the wolves they believe fatally mauled a teacher who was jogging along a remote road just outside of Chignik Lake.

The wolves were spotted in the Chignik drainage on Monday, a week after the March 8 death of Candice Berner, 32. Troopers believe the special-education teacher was set on by at least two wolves in what would be an extremely rare attack by wolves on humans."

I'll stop there, because the rest of your postings are emotionally based Disney Movie type reasoning and it's not worth my time or consideration. You're too busy running down hunters and other conservationists to see the forest for the trees. Your anti-hunting and anti-human bias is showing.

I don't have an anti-animal bias in my body. I think animals have their place, right beside the vegetables and the potatoes. They have rights too... to be eaten and worn.

AKMaineIac
14
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AKMaineIac 10/07/11 - 08:22 pm
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Antihunting bias and emotional drivel

"Ill-conceived predator control could do more harm than good even from the perspective of people whose only interest in wildlife is killing it, not enjoying live animals living free from fear of every human they detect."

Where do they find these "biologists" anyway? Down to the local PETA office? Yeah, this guy is a true "scientist"... unbiased, looking exclusively at the data, the facts.

Easter Island?

Here is what Hunt had to say about Easter Island... I hope you've read his work if you're going to banty this about as some example of humans and nature being "out of balance".

"I believe that the world faces today an unprecedented global environmental crisis, and I see the usefulness of historical examples of the pitfalls of environmental destruction. So it was with some unease that I concluded that Rapa Nui does not provide such a model. But as a scientist I cannot ignore the problems with the accepted narrative of the island’s prehistory. Mistakes or exaggerations in arguments for protecting the environment only lead to oversimplified answers and hurt the cause of environmentalism."

See: www.anthropology.hawaii.edu/Fieldschools/Rapa.../hunt_2006.pdf

Very educational regarding the silliness that's been foisted about as "fact" regarding the downfall of Easter Island's foliage and human occupants. Seems they should have had some "rat hunters" among them...

lagopusmutus
31
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lagopusmutus 10/08/11 - 06:01 am
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Cause of moose decline

Seems decline in moose numbers may be more of a food/nutrition problem (calf production) than a predation problem (wolves/bears).

ak4hunters
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ak4hunters 10/08/11 - 09:01 am
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Know your facts before you start spouting off nonsense!

Wings- know your facts! You claim "The Alaska Board of Game makes most wildlife decisions in Alaska. The board is comprised entirely of trophy hunters with ties to the sport hunting industry and NRA. Not a single wildlife biologist or scientist is a member.” Not True.

One of the most longtime knowledge wildlife scientists sits on the Board of Game, Ted Spraker. He worked for the State of Alaska for 30 years and is the architect of many successful game management programs. If Mr. Spraker supports predator control on the Kenai, no doubt the program is scientifically justified.

I love how people think they know it all and have never attended a Board of Game meeting to gather the accurate information.

mcg123
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mcg123 10/08/11 - 09:17 am
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Let's Be Honest About It

There are more bears around here than have been for some time. And there are less moose. I have lived outside of town for 21 years and I can see the difference.

However, before we start shooting wolves from helicopters let's demand the Game Board present the causes, effects and major influences behind the decision. And then let's give the public time to respond after hearing the full story.

Some things to consider:

* Vehicles kill a siginificant number of moose. Increasing the speed limit between Kenai and Anchorage to 65 mph killed additional moose in that area.
* Hunters take a significant number of moose. The majority of peninsula hunters are not true subsistence hunters, rather a more accurate description of most is sport hunter (myself included), and even some guided out-of-state hunters
* Hunting groups and commercial hunting guides stand to benefit substantially from this economically
* Each additional predator killed translates into some additional number of moose, which is worth some economic value. Let's admit that each predator killed is in many ways is based on this economic value
* How does that value compare with the cost of predator control?

That all said, what is a wolf or a bear worth? Once we frame the debate honestly, then it also becomes an ethical decision to make, especially by sport hunters. How much money must it generate to justify killing a predator? How many should we kill in order to keep increasing sport hunter bag limits? Is there any limit to it?

Please respond in writing to the Game Board before Oct. 28.

wings
44
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wings 10/08/11 - 02:34 pm
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Thank you for all your

Thank you for all your common-type thinking, but you don't make much sense with your meat and potatoes brain. First off, I'm not anti-hunting, but if I do have to hunt, I hunt only for food that I need, and only when I have no other means of feeding myself. We live in Alaska where there are plenty of natural resources for the current population, but at the rate we are destroying the Alaska wildlife and nature, there won't be enough left to serve my grandchildren. Apparently you don't have children.

We shouldn't kill just because we like that kind of meat, or because we just like to hunt. There should be a real "need" to kill the animal, especially, when we live in communities that carry food in supermarkets. If we are in the "bush" using the animals for food and survival is definitely acceptable, but even then we should first make "peace" with that animal and thank them for allowing us to use them to "favor" our human needs further. You probably won't find that on the Disney channel (I don't have TV), but whether you understand it or not, it's the right way to live. That's the balance.

wings
44
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wings 10/08/11 - 02:40 pm
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People who are in control of

People who are in control of the natural resources should all be voted into position by the people of the state. THE PUBLIC.

Ted Spraker was appointed to the Board of Game by Governor Murkowski in 2003 and has served as the board''s representative on the Big Game Commercial Services Board since 2004.

Cliff Judkins was appointed to the Board of Game by Governor Murkowski in 2003. Cliff lives in Wasilla and owns and operates a building inspection and energy rating business.

Stosh Hoffman was appointed to the Board of Game in 2008 by Governor Palin.

.... and so on.

Don Norton
31
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Don Norton 10/08/11 - 04:07 pm
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Wolve population

Why not put a bounty on the wolves. Let the normal John Doe hunter buy a wolve hunting permit. John Doe kills a wolve brings it to a check station Fish and game checks it John Doe submits his tag and they pay him a small bounty for the kill or no bounty at all. This way by checking them in they can keep a count on the wolves killed and it is more sportsman like.

wings
44
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wings 10/08/11 - 05:04 pm
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A bounty might be a good way,

A bounty might be a good way, but why not first determine whether or not the moose population is declining because of the Wolves or the humans? Why kill anything without good reason?

AKMaineIac
14
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AKMaineIac 10/08/11 - 05:15 pm
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Reasons I hunt

1. Organic food. Just as I was intended to eat. No drugs, no hormones. No omega 6 fatty acids. It's healthy.

2. Photography. It might come as a shock to someone who quotes anti-hunting authorities, though claiming to not be anti-hunting themselves, that I photograph hundreds of animals to every animal I shoot to eat.

3. Exercise. I love it outdoors, and the animals and scenery. I spend as much time as I reasonably can between my work and studies in the woods. Sometimes I bring a gun, and sometimes I don't.

"Kill them all!", is not something that will ever cross my lips and I will correct vehemently anyone I hear say it. I love seeing and hearing wolves, and seeing bear, moose as well. If we're careful about all three, we'll continue to have all three. But Hunt was right. Wild exaggeration only discredits the environmental movement and people who refer to hunters as "people whose only interest in wildlife is killing it, not enjoying live animals living free from fear of every human they detect.” don't bring much to the table that is going to be well received by anyone. Because it's "BS" of the highest order and displays at the very least ignorance on the part of the speaker. We are free to see where "tolerance" of other viewpoints gets us. Moved to the "not tolerated" column.

You don't seem like a "bad" person, and certainly not an idiot. But you're quoting of those who condemn hunters and shooting animals, and your general demeanor toward hunting and hunters, indicates that you generally don't like it. And the normal assumption would be that you don't like hunters either. Because most of the time folks who don't like something can't separate the something from those doing it.

wings
44
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wings 10/08/11 - 06:04 pm
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It's good to know you eat

It's good to know you eat right and get plenty of exercise in the woods. You would probably like me as a person, but I am against killing anything unnecessarily. I'm not calling you anything ... or any other hunter that is reasonable with the animal kingdom. I'm not with any anti-hunting group, but I do understand that we American humans seem to be out of control when it comes to killing animals (and other humans, ie, killing to occupy other countries), and there is a balance whether YOU see it or not.

I wouldn't want to be the one that caused you to get sick from not being able to eat the foods that keep your system healthy ... but just how much moose can you eat? Will you eat an entire moose by yourself over the course of a winter season? A moose should last a family of four for two-three years, eating moose on a fairly regular diet, once a week. We all know, we don't eat moose every day (or we shouldn't), so that means a moose will even last longer in the freezer or canned, or whatever your pleasure for preserving your foods ... so definitely your problem is not starvation.

I'm a homesteader and lived with a trapper in the Arctic for several years ... his attitude and appetite for killing became more that I could handle. I'm not saying you are an "over" killer, but that you shouldn't treat animals as if they have no other reason to be on this planet other than a dish on your table. Wolves, especially. Wolves are a very interesting family oriented species, and only take when they are hungry. Humans tend to "take" simply because they can. We call it Freedom. Our freedoms will wipe us out if not kept in check. Humans tend to be selfish and greedy, without much common sense.

By all means, hunt your moose if you are hungry this winter, and share your scraps with the wolves. Try to understand, you are hunting their food too.

Don Norton
31
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Don Norton 10/09/11 - 12:19 pm
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Bounty on wol

I guees I assumed most people would have understood the bounty. Yes for the people who think we should just go kill something for the hell of it I will spell it out. If the wolves are the problem for the decrease in the moose population and the decline in other wild game. The best and most sportsman like way would be the bounty then every John Doe hunter could it and do it in a sporting way.

Don Norton
31
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Don Norton 10/09/11 - 12:24 pm
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Bounty on wolve

I guees I assumed most people would have understood the bounty. Yes for the people who think we should just go kill something for the hell of it I will spell it out. If the wolves are the problem for the decrease in the moose population and the decline in other wild game. The best and most sportsman like way would be the bounty then every John Doe hunter could it and do it in a sporting way.

RoadClosedToKenai
24
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RoadClosedToKenai 10/10/11 - 11:05 am
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Maybe we will see an accurate Bear count!

Hopefully, while they are spending thousands on the Wolf kill, they will count the Brown Bear population. This count needs to be updated.

regina
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regina 10/10/11 - 11:43 am
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0
Aerial wolf population control

I saw a 2year old moose in the dumpster in Kenai last spring, the dump over seerer told me that the moose was killed due to starvation by Troopers oddly it did not look to thin to me. I was just stunned,I have seen thinner or leaner moose this year and I believe they are out of the good browse they use to be able to eat. I also feel it is more of a Bear problem than a wolf problem. I know we all must eat and most do enjoy the wild foods of Alaska, but I do not see the off balance of nature and a low Moose population due to wolves. I feel it is stress due to motor vehicles and collisions , poaching, and just the age of our moose and the bulls, this should be studied. I saw a bull chasing a cow the other day so the rut is still on, just maybe more studies have to be done before we fly in the skies and shoot wolves who just wish to supply a family a meal. I do not watch Disney or TV. I watch our nature here in Alaska and I hope it can be enjoyed, not hampered by planes and hunters from the planes.

AKMaineIac
14
Points
AKMaineIac 10/10/11 - 12:10 pm
0
0
Opposition to shooting wolves from planes

The opposition to culling some of the wolf population because there are other factors influencing the moose population erroneously discounts the wolves as part of the problem. This is just willful ignorance based on the opposition to shooting them from a plane, or hunting generally.

You don't like it. Fine. That's your opinion, and you're entitled to it. But the plain fact is that wolves eat moose, and bears eat them as well. Fish and wildlife claims there isn't enough bulls. Okay, limit the bull harvest for awhile and let the numbers build up.

Saturday, I saw a moose and a calf by Seggy's down toward Kasilof, another cow and calf off Reflection Lake Road, near Auburn Court, and a different cow and calf further down toward Tote Road... all within five minutes of each other and they were different cows and calfs. Within a mile of one another, three cows and three calfs. I'm not seeing the crisis with the moose numbers.

If fish and game decides some of the wolves have to go, some have to go, brown bear as well. If fish and game says the numbers are appropriate, they're appropriate. Let the biologists decide these things... and not the biologists who moan and cry about "beastly practices" and express anti-hunting sentiments.

It's like listening to a "criminal justice expert" discuss the death penalty... if the person is a radical opponent to the death penalty, you're not going to get anything resembling a balanced approach. If they're a "kill em all and let God sort em out" type, you're not going to get a balanced approach. A biologist should be retained who has a pragmatic view of the issues, and really wants what is best for the herd.

Kenai
65
Points
Kenai 10/26/11 - 06:11 pm
0
0
Except...

AKMaineIac, except in this case it's as cut and dry as the the Fish and Game deciding some of the wolves have to go. State biologists have said wolves are not an issue, it is habitat. The administration put a proposal out for the next Board of Game meeting anyhow. A board of appointed individuals will be making the decision in Barrow.

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