Outdoors

Posted: Wednesday, July 11, 2007

It was a quiet day at the Homer Lagoon as more then 30 people tried a large variety of methods to hopefully catch or snag a King salmon. There were 11 in my group that day and snagging was also allowed at that point but I never saw one fish caught all afternoon. The wind was brisk and the air was cold, as it sure did not feel much like July weather even for Alaska.

Perhaps I was just too late for fishing there this year or maybe they had a real poor return this year. Whatever the reason the fishing was terrible to say the least. The rumor around Homer was that the king salmon fishing in the Lagoon has been very poor there all year.

Dip netting is scheduled to open soon on the Kenai River so hopefully I will do better there then we did at Homer. Just imagine if you had all the fish ever caught out of the Kenai River threw in one big pile! It would be by far taller then any building on earth! Just think how many bears that pile of fish would attract too!

On the way home we spotted two young moose along the road, one had clubby looking spike antlers but had a very small body. He looked like he had not grown a bit since last fall but yet he was growing horns. Funny how sometimes things like this happen that every now and then we see a midget type of animal in a lot of different species.

One of the reasons I think we are having more bear problems this year besides the fact that we do have more bears on the Kenai Peninsula is the big fire in the caribou Hills area. All of these animals had to move some place, as I am sure they are not living in the burned area any more. So when you burn over 50,000 acres that is over 50,000 acres of habitat that we also lost. That means in my opinion that these bears had pack up and move some place else.

Numerous people have spotted bear this year at several locations inside of the city limits of both Soldotna and Kenai. One thought that really bothers me is the fact that I work on the slope and the possibility of bears tearing my rabbit cages and buildings apart trying to get after my animals or birds. Despite problems us Alaskans have to endure here in Alaska caused by predator animals there are other states that are also having serious problems with other animals too.

In Wisconsin the reintroduced wolf is not getting a very positive welcoming from the majority of the people in that state. Wolves are killing farm animals, pets and hounds at an alarming rate. Several bear hunters have lost their bear dogs that were attacked and eaten by wolves that have learned the baying dogs are a free meal. The state is offering to pay $2500 per dog to bear hunters who have lost dogs. They used to pay bounty on these animals in Wisconsin but now there are trying to pay for the damages they cause instead. One guy is currently suing the state over losing a dog valued at more then $6000 that was killed and eaten by wolves while hunting bear.

It seemed real strange to me that the state of Wisconsin was real successful in getting a herd of elk started then brought in wolves to eat them. I have hunted and roamed in the outdoors all my life but yet personally know of nothing that Mr. wolf brings to the outdoors that we can’t live without. Especially after people went to great efforts to get rid of these killing machines to start with, then many years later bring them back? Hello out there am I missing something here?

I have read tons of documents about wolves and studied their behavior for years but fail to see the value in reestablishing these animals any place. I have read several articles about wolves killing large groups of animals like caribou and not eating one bite. Pretty well documented that wolves do kill just to kill not just to eat. Then people in the lower 48 feel it is inhuman to shoot them from an airplane?

But then again you also have those who think we are poor sportsman to hunt bear over bait. Please allow me to take a few of these people to some of the thickest most heavy populated bear infested areas of Alaska and you show me how your going to harvest a few of these animals without bait. I can pretty well guarantee you in some areas bait is the only way your ever going to see a bear in some of these areas. I also know that some of these people made those comments about how unsportsman it is to hunt over bait from a bar stool not from information they gathered by being out in the woods.

Just so you don’t misunderstand me, wolves are fine here in Alaska as long as we control their numbers, same as bears. But to put wolves in a place like Wisconsin, and Yellowstone after they have been gone for what something like 50 years is just plain wrong. I simply don’t see what anyone hopes to gain by doing this. Most people never even see a wolf at all in their lifetime so why are we putting them out there? Yes many have heard the wolves howl at night but is this reason enough to reestablish them? Trust me city people can’t tell the difference in a wolf howling from some clown howling from the roof of a motor home or should I say a houseboat. Please educate me if I am missing something here. See you next week!



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