Kenai-area hunters should oppose proposed moose hunt

Posted: Monday, April 25, 2005

Most Kenai/Soldotna residents probably don't realize that there is a proposed subsistence moose hunt to take place in our local area by other south Peninsula residents from qualifying subsistence areas. Please see my attached letter of opposition for details:

To: Statewide Federal Subsistence Council, April 19,2005: I am writing this letter to be accepted as testimony for the upcoming Federal Subsistence Meeting to be held in Anchorage on May 3-5. I am voicing opposition to a subsistence proposal approved by the Southcentral RAC to provide an extended subsistence moose hunt in GMU Units 15A, 15B and 15C. The proposed season would run Aug. 10 Aug. 20 and Sept. 26 Oct. 15 on all Federal land of the Kenai Peninsula except the Skilak Loop area. As a local moose hunter from the Kenai/Soldotna area I oppose this hunt for the following reasons:

n This hunt would be provided for residents of the subsistence areas of Ninilchik, Seldovia, Port Graham and Nanwalek. These areas either reside in or are adjacent to GMU 15C, which already has the highest density of moose on the Peninsula. By virtue of their proximity to this moose population they already have an advantage of harvest success. Under this proposal they would be able, and most likely, want to hunt the road accessible area near Kenai and Soldotna on the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge. Those of us that live in the Kenai area and depend on our local moose population, would greatly resent others from hunting our area with these types of priority advantages.

n The late season of Sept. 26 Oct. 15 would catch the animals when they are most vulnerable during their fall rutting period. It doesn't make any sense to harvest these animals when they are the least edible and desirable. This is the biggest single reason why the established season currently ends Sept. 20.

I am not against subsistence hunts for people with needs, however, this does not seem to be the case in this instance. This is simply another encroachment by governing subsistence agencies to create and establish a hunt for the sake of having one. It can, however, have lasting detrimental effects on our local Kenai/Soldotna moose populations while leaving populations in the mostly non-federal areas of 15C protected. This does not make any sense for anyone involved and will create hard feelings amongst neighboring Peninsula communities. I would strongly urge you to reject this proposal.

Thank you for the opportunity to provide testimony on this issue.

I would encourage all concerned local moose hunters to also weigh in on this issue prior to May 3 by writing to USFW, Federal Subsistence Council, 3601 C St. Suite 1030, Anchorage, Ak. 99503, attn: Donald Mike.

Dwight Kramer, Kenai



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