Caribou Hunting Ban?

N_8

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Feb 27, 2019
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59
Location
Yakutat, Alaska
Well as federally qualified subsistence user, who just spent $320 just to walk through the doors at Costco (discounted ticket), I’m not sure calling the proponents of this emergency closure selfish fX#!//s or applying appalling examples of rural hunter practices to the whole group (isn’t that the peta playbook) is helpful.

In my experience, all kinds of user groups/industry try to work the levers of Alaska’s regulatory process to their advantage.

I like Tyler, and I agree that the non-resident seasons should not be closed for such a vast area. At first, I was happy to see a lot of stakeholder interest on this proposal, after all the unit 13 closure had a grand total of 14 commentators, but from some of the comments I’ve seen around on social media, there is a danger this thing could go sideways. When testifying don’t bring your personal cocktail of political opinions to the table.

The hearing isn’t about Biden trying to shut down hunting. The proposal originated with Alaskans. The hearing isn’t about whether rural residents should have a preference or if the feds should be involved. They do and are. The hearing isn’t about whether rural limits are fair. They are not, neither is a $14 dollar six pack of Alaskan amber.

The hearing also isn’t exclusively about the caribou population although that is one of the factors they must consider.

The hearing is about whether closing the whole unit is a reasonable measure to preserve subsistence harvest. There is a good case that it isn't.

Before drawing lines in the sand and getting vitriolic, consider the rural user who just boated for two days and isn't finding game while watching bush planes on horizon all day long. His grandfather probably only saw a few planes all season. I imagine it’s a little like having a tough day in the Idaho elk woods and seeing wolf sign all over the place.
 

Ben Lamb

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Aug 6, 2010
Messages
13,769
Location
Cedar, MI
Well as federally qualified subsistence user, who just spent $320 just to walk through the doors at Costco (discounted ticket), I’m not sure calling the proponents of this emergency closure selfish fX#!//s or applying appalling examples of rural hunter practices to the whole group (isn’t that the peta playbook) is helpful.

In my experience, all kinds of user groups/industry try to work the levers of Alaska’s regulatory process to their advantage.

I like Tyler, and I agree that the non-resident seasons should not be closed for such a vast area. At first, I was happy to see a lot of stakeholder interest on this proposal, after all the unit 13 closure had a grand total of 14 commentators, but from some of the comments I’ve seen around on social media, there is a danger this thing could go sideways. When testifying don’t bring your personal cocktail of political opinions to the table.

The hearing isn’t about Biden trying to shut down hunting. The proposal originated with Alaskans. The hearing isn’t about whether rural residents should have a preference or if the feds should be involved. They do and are. The hearing isn’t about whether rural limits are fair. They are not, neither is a $14 dollar six pack of Alaskan amber.

The hearing also isn’t exclusively about the caribou population although that is one of the factors they must consider.

The hearing is about whether closing the whole unit is a reasonable measure to preserve subsistence harvest. There is a good case that it isn't.

Before drawing lines in the sand and getting vitriolic, consider the rural user who just boated for two days and isn't finding game while watching bush planes on horizon all day long. His grandfather probably only saw a few planes all season. I imagine it’s a little like having a tough day in the Idaho elk woods and seeing wolf sign all over the place.

Really solid advice all around. Thanks for this.
 

88man

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Joined
Jan 31, 2011
Messages
1,723
Location
Pa
This administration is gonna screw a sporting way of life up or at least a bunch of them have plans to
 

AlaskaHunter

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Joined
Jan 20, 2017
Messages
830
Location
interior Alaska
I oppose the Temporary Wildlife Special Action Request WSA21-01
because it will restrict non-subsistence hunters to navigable waters thru federal lands
and thus create more conflicts with subsistence hunters using boats
during the proposed closure period.

The proposed closure would also put more hunter pressure on the
Teshekpuk caribou herd since there is a large acreage of state lands
in the Teshekpuk Lake area, thus creating more potential conflicts with local subsistence
hunters.

YOU still have time to email your comments by tomorrow to: [email protected]

Also telephonic public hearing scheduled for Friday:
Public Hearing Information:
Friday, April 23, 2021 from 3:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. (or until the end of public participation)
Teleconference: Toll Free: (877) 918-3011
Passcode: 8147177
 

Bambistew

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Joined
Dec 10, 2002
Messages
6,161
Location
Chugiak, AK
Well as federally qualified subsistence user, who just spent $320 just to walk through the doors at Costco (discounted ticket), I’m not sure calling the proponents of this emergency closure selfish fX#!//s or applying appalling examples of rural hunter practices to the whole group (isn’t that the peta playbook) is helpful.

In my experience, all kinds of user groups/industry try to work the levers of Alaska’s regulatory process to their advantage.

I like Tyler, and I agree that the non-resident seasons should not be closed for such a vast area. At first, I was happy to see a lot of stakeholder interest on this proposal, after all the unit 13 closure had a grand total of 14 commentators, but from some of the comments I’ve seen around on social media, there is a danger this thing could go sideways. When testifying don’t bring your personal cocktail of political opinions to the table.

The hearing isn’t about Biden trying to shut down hunting. The proposal originated with Alaskans. The hearing isn’t about whether rural residents should have a preference or if the feds should be involved. They do and are. The hearing isn’t about whether rural limits are fair. They are not, neither is a $14 dollar six pack of Alaskan amber.

The hearing also isn’t exclusively about the caribou population although that is one of the factors they must consider.

The hearing is about whether closing the whole unit is a reasonable measure to preserve subsistence harvest. There is a good case that it isn't.

Before drawing lines in the sand and getting vitriolic, consider the rural user who just boated for two days and isn't finding game while watching bush planes on horizon all day long. His grandfather probably only saw a few planes all season. I imagine it’s a little like having a tough day in the Idaho elk woods and seeing wolf sign all over the place.
Thanks for providing your take. You are right, the vitol only works if its coming from the other side.

Its just hard to fathom how a group who harvests 10-12,000 caribou a year can complain about a group who takes 3-400, and blame them for the challenges of not getting caribou. Seems logical. No one can predict caribou, not even the elders, and everyone remembers differently. Its certainly different when there is abundant game vs when its more scarce. A couple few years of high success, and then everyone remembers it always that good, and forgot about the hard times.

Those guys flying in aren't setting up a perimeter that the caribou can't penetrate on their way south. In the main core area, we're talking 3-400 hunters over the course of a month in 20,000 square miles of country. If the caribou are that smart, then wouldn't they be smart enough to avoid the water slaughter points year after year? Why does no one question if a bunch of 2-stroke motors running up and down for weeks has any effect? I mean if the planes scare them why not those 2-strokes? Has anyone questioned if caribou watching from feet away, as a dozen of their friends get shot point blank while swimming? I get it, its always other guys that are hurting their chances. It 100% human nature to blame others for lack of success.

The population of caribou is 5x higher than it was 40 years ago when grampa didn't see as many planes, yet they still killed the same amount of animals, and the population in the area was similar, and the amount of participation by non-locals is similar. We all just need someone to hate.

They are whining about the hunt being sustainable, yet its proven out for decades that it is.
 

mtnprst

Member
Joined
Jun 22, 2019
Messages
50
Location
Wyoming
Don't miss the bigger threat to hunting.

Focus not on the inter-AK, subsistence vs. non-substitence hunters, but rather the fact that the federal government, through a department-level rule, can restrict hunting on federal lands.

This happened before in Alaska, during the Obama Administration, when the Interior Department restricted predator hunting on 16 AK wildlife refuges over ethics concerns - for example, hunting bears in dens was restricted. The State of AK protested, noting that the wildlife belonged to the state and this decision was not made because of population management, and without State input.

But the restrictions endured until ,during the Trump Admin, narrow congressional legislation was passed changing it back.

Both these cases set the precedent for a federal department rule, and or Presidential Executive order, restricting hunting on federal land in the western states - think USFS and BLM. Right now, conceptually, the Secretary of the Interior could restrict hunting on BLM lands and the Secretary of Agriculture could restrict hunting on USFS for reasons not based on wildlife management and over the protests of State wildlife agencies.

Mountain Pursuit recently requested the Wyoming congressional delegation draft federal legislation making this impossible without congressional action and hope to mobilize all of the western-state congressional delegations do the same.

Eastern/Southern hunters aren't as threatened by this, as much less hunting occurs on federal lands back East and down South. This is a western-states issue.
 

Ben Lamb

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Joined
Aug 6, 2010
Messages
13,769
Location
Cedar, MI
Don't miss the bigger threat to hunting.

Focus not on the inter-AK, subsistence vs. non-substitence hunters, but rather the fact that the federal government, through a department-level rule, can restrict hunting on federal lands.

This happened before in Alaska, during the Obama Administration, when the Interior Department restricted predator hunting on 16 AK wildlife refuges over ethics concerns - for example, hunting bears in dens was restricted. The State of AK protested, noting that the wildlife belonged to the state and this decision was not made because of population management, and without State input.

But the restrictions endured until ,during the Trump Admin, narrow congressional legislation was passed changing it back.

Both these cases set the precedent for a federal department rule, and or Presidential Executive order, restricting hunting on federal land in the western states - think USFS and BLM. Right now, conceptually, the Secretary of the Interior could restrict hunting on BLM lands and the Secretary of Agriculture could restrict hunting on USFS for reasons not based on wildlife management and over the protests of State wildlife agencies.

Mountain Pursuit recently requested the Wyoming congressional delegation draft federal legislation making this impossible without congressional action and hope to mobilize all of the western-state congressional delegations do the same.

Eastern/Southern hunters aren't as threatened by this, as much less hunting occurs on federal lands back East and down South. This is a western-states issue.

I recommend you re-read post #21 from @N_8
 

Big Fin

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Dec 27, 2000
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15,069
Location
Bozeman, MT
I'm on this call, waiting to comment. I wonder how long the cue is?

A very compelling case was presented by AK F&G to oppose this Special Action Request. This strong case was made on legal and scientific grounds.

 

Big Fin

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Messages
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Bozeman, MT
Opposition to this is far into the majority and the cases are being made very well and with full respect for subsistence hunting.

If the "call in only" process is to add hurdles for some to comment, it is about to be effective in my case. I'm nearing 75 minutes on hold and will have to move along shortly.

It is frustrating that my email comments were returned with the notice that I must comment on this call to be considered. I suspect many are in that boat.

Good news is that those opposing are by far the majority and the case supporting is very anecdotal and seems to be avoiding the science/population numbers.
 

N_8

Active member
Joined
Feb 27, 2019
Messages
59
Location
Yakutat, Alaska
I’m also in the cue. Some very good articulate opposed testimony. Including some from rural Alaskans who live in the area. In a somewhat ironic twist my remote Alaska cell phone network keeps dropping me from the call.
 

buffybr

Well-known member
Joined
Oct 3, 2009
Messages
603
Location
BozAngeles, MT
I was one of the last nonresident sport hunters to hunt caribou in Quebec just before they closed all caribou hunting to us at the end of the 2017 season. As a fly-in hunter I didn't take any meat home because of the hassle and expense. However, other than the meat that we ate in camp, I did the paperwork and donated the rest of my caribou meat to my guide who lived in Montreal and flew back there with us.

My point here is that my hunt, which included two flights from Montreal to the camp, paid a number of Quebec residents, some of which were of "first nation" ancestry, and provided free meat to at least one Quebec resident.

Yes the caribou numbers have gone down in Quebec, but my one bull or the 12 bulls that the nonresident hunters in our camp shot that week wasn't a drop in the bucket to the thousands of caribou that we saw there that week.

And as for substance hunting, my guide told me of one "first nation" member that shot 15 caribou that year just for meat to feed his dogs!
 

Bambistew

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Joined
Dec 10, 2002
Messages
6,161
Location
Chugiak, AK
Any update on this?
There was a lot of opposition that called in and a fair number in support. I don't think they will make any decisions for a while. I want to say early June.

This worn out song and dance has been going on for decades. One thing that many of the proponents overlooked, is that if you don't live in that area you are SOL, regardless of being qualified or not. Of the 3-400 caribou shot each year by non-locals, about 25% of those were taken by previous residents of that area. Meaning your kids move away, and want to come back and hunt with you... too bad.
 

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