Closure of Caribou and Moose hunting in NW Alaska - again...

Backofbeyond

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What a dumb way to take public comment. Sorry guys, one more question—the hearing is from 4:00 to 6:00 pm on the 17th, but I didn’t see a listed time zone anywhere. Anyone know?

Yup.

Dumb, if your aim is to actually take public comment. However, if your goal is to limit the amount of actual public comment, while still covering your ass… well… then it’s not so dumb.
 

wllm

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"The herd is down from 490,000 to 188,000"

So -302,000
The entire CO elk herd is ~293,590

The fact that the crux of this conversation, why it's in the news, etc. is 250 bulls being taken by non-locals is absolute insanity.

That's a rounding error and bulls not cows ... ridiculous.

The fact that there isn't a moratorium on subsistence hunters taking cows is crazy.
 

neffa3

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Wenatchee
"The herd is down from 490,000 to 188,000"

So -302,000
The entire CO elk herd is ~293,590

The fact that the crux of this conversation, why it's in the news, etc. is 250 bulls being taken by non-locals is absolute insanity.

That's a rounding error and bulls not cows ... ridiculous.

The fact that there isn't a moratorium on subsistence hunters taking cows is crazy.
There is plenty of hypocrisy in native rights and their self proclaimed "environmental" stewardship that certainly not limited to AK.
 

Bambistew

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Chugiak, AK
"The herd is down from 490,000 to 188,000"

So -302,000
The entire CO elk herd is ~293,590

The fact that the crux of this conversation, why it's in the news, etc. is 250 bulls being taken by non-locals is absolute insanity.

That's a rounding error and bulls not cows ... ridiculous.

The fact that there isn't a moratorium on subsistence hunters taking cows is crazy.
The bag limit was any caribou for locals is 5x day. It will likely change to bull only.

Something to note that no one has a clue what will happen, or if management will even do anything. There is zero evidence that it will do anything. Case in point. The Mulchatna herd was over 200,000 animals in the 90s its down to about 13,000 today. Caribou are declining everywhere in the world, for what ever reason, or maybe have done so since there was caribou. The WACH was 20-30,000 animals in the 1930s. Imports of reindeer for herding were brought in as a way to sustain the lifestyle, many/most escaped or were eventually released. Brucellosis is also very high.

The herd dynamics and management of caribou is a dart throw at best. Blaming one or the other isn't going to solve anything. If I was to look into my crystal ball, I will bet this population is going to drop even further, with or without additional harvest restrictions. I sat through a board of game meeting, where many of the members, stated that we need to kill animals when the killing is good, so we don't have another Mulchatna herd crash and keep the population in "check." This was in relation to issuing NR permits for Nelchina caribou. The opposition was stating, if it there are too many give out more RESIDENT tags.

Its the never ending battle of who gets to kill what first. It has been waged since the beginning of time.
 

SaskHunter

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Saskatchewan
Good luck with your Caribou, Alaska.

Quebec's debacle should be a lesson for you:

Leaf River herd went from 600,000 to 190,000 over 20 years;
George River herd from an all-time high of 750,000 to 8,100;
Charlesvoix woodland herd is down to 20 (construction underway to completely fence-in the herd);
Val d'Or woodland herd is down to 7 (they are now all enclosed and guarded against predators); and
Gaspé woodland herd is down to 50 (pregnant cows are caught and released in an enclosure until their calves are ready to leave).

Some non-regulated hunters/First Nations group continue to hammer some of the herds killing hundreds of cows every year. We're reaching a point where there will be no going back.

Protecting birthing grounds from pressure, maintaining and preserving habitat and regulating "non-regulated" hunting are a few of the things WE can do to help the herds. Governments are slow to act and Quebec's woodland herds are a great example of that. Let's hope they won't drop the ball any farther on the Northern herds but I won't be holding my breath.
 
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Oak

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Colorado
The bag limit was any caribou for locals is 5x day. It will likely change to bull only.

Something to note that no one has a clue what will happen, or if management will even do anything. There is zero evidence that it will do anything. Case in point. The Mulchatna herd was over 200,000 animals in the 90s its down to about 13,000 today. Caribou are declining everywhere in the world, for what ever reason, or maybe have done so since there was caribou. The WACH was 20-30,000 animals in the 1930s. Imports of reindeer for herding were brought in as a way to sustain the lifestyle, many/most escaped or were eventually released. Brucellosis is also very high.

The herd dynamics and management of caribou is a dart throw at best. Blaming one or the other isn't going to solve anything. If I was to look into my crystal ball, I will bet this population is going to drop even further, with or without additional harvest restrictions. I sat through a board of game meeting, where many of the members, stated that we need to kill animals when the killing is good, so we don't have another Mulchatna herd crash and keep the population in "check." This was in relation to issuing NR permits for Nelchina caribou. The opposition was stating, if it there are too many give out more RESIDENT tags.

Its the never ending battle of who gets to kill what first. It has been waged since the beginning of time.
I was looking at this info about the Bathurst Herd in NWT a few days ago. It numbered about 470,000 in the mid 1980s and has dropped to about 6,240 animals today. The future does not look bright for caribou.
 

Bambistew

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Good luck with your Caribou, Alaska.

Quebec's debacle should be a lesson for you:

Leaf River herd went from 600,000 to 190,000 over 20 years;
George River herd from an all-time high of 750,000 to 8,100;
Charlesvoix woodland herd is down to 20 (construction underway to completely fence-in the herd);
Val d'Or woodland herd is down to 7 (they are now all enclosed and guarded against predators); and
Gaspé woodland herd is down to 50 (pregnant cows are caught and released in an enclosure until their calves are ready to leave).

Some non-regulated hunters/First Nations group continue to hammer some of the herds killing hundreds of cows every year. We're reaching a point where there will be no going back.

Protecting birthing grounds from pressure, maintaining and preserving habitat and regulating "non-regulated" hunting are a few of the things WE can do to help the herds. Governments are slow to act and Quebec's woodland herds are a great example of that. Let's hope they won't drop the ball any farther on the Northern herds but I won't be holding my breath.
Alaska has had its share of mismanaged caribou as well. Sad to see what's happened in Canada. The Lief River hunt was a dream of mine as a kid.

It would be interesting to see what the effects of trapping and killing wolves in the past did for the caribou population, but I think there are just too many other variables. The Nelchina herd here north of Anchorage is probably the most studied and managed herd on NA. It was at one time over 100k, and down to as few as 15k, but they have managed to keep it between 30-45 for about 30 years now, via hunting predator control, etc.

The 40-Mile herd is probably going to crash in the next few years it's (mis)managed by both AK and the Yukon. The harvest has been super liberalized the last 2 years and there are still too many. Reports I've heard include stunted antlers and no fat on animals last fall. They ate themselves out of house and home. The lichen they eat takes decades to grow, as I understand it.
 

F250

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Messages
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Vermont
Good luck with your Caribou, Alaska.

Quebec's debacle should be a lesson for you:

Leaf River herd went from 600,000 to 190,000 over 20 years;
George River herd from an all-time high of 750,000 to 8,100;
Charlesvoix woodland herd is down to 20 (construction underway to completely fence-in the herd);
Val d'Or woodland herd is down to 7 (they are now all enclosed and guarded against predators); and
Gaspé woodland herd is down to 50 (pregnant cows are caught and released in an enclosure until their calves are ready to leave).

Some non-regulated hunters/First Nations group continue to hammer some of the herds killing hundreds of cows every year. We're reaching a point where there will be no going back.

Protecting birthing grounds from pressure, maintaining and preserving habitat and regulating "non-regulated" hunting are a few of the things WE can do to help the herds. Governments are slow to act and Quebec's woodland herds are a great example of that. Let's hope they won't drop the ball any farther on the Northern herds but I won't be holding my breath.
I have hunted the Quebec Caribou many times from late 80's to early 2000's. The habitat devastation from Hydro Quebec flooding thousands of square miles of tundra, creating barriers for the migrating caribou herds is astonishing ! Certainly, this has to be one of the main contributing factors.
 

Cody.Carroll

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Joined
Mar 6, 2019
Messages
23
Just wondering if anyone has heard when the decision is going to be made? I believe someone told me the meeting would be held in April, but not sure if it has been announced.

Myself and 2 friends booked a DIY hunt in the brooks range for this fall, prior to when the originally announced the potential closure back in early 2021. Hoping we can still go.
 

Backofbeyond

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Location
Boise, ID
Just wondering if anyone has heard when the decision is going to be made? I believe someone told me the meeting would be held in April, but not sure if it has been announced.

Myself and 2 friends booked a DIY hunt in the brooks range for this fall, prior to when the originally announced the potential closure back in early 2021. Hoping we can still go.
I believe final decision will be made at the Sustenance Board meeting next month.

I’m in the same boat, been booked for quite a while, fingers crossed I get to go.
 

Cody.Carroll

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Mar 6, 2019
Messages
23
Looks like the DOI announced a public meeting on March 21st, and final board meeting to decide the proposal is March 30th.

See GoHunt's article here https://www.gohunt.com/content/news/public-hearing-for-deferred-alaska-caribou-and-moose-hunts

Article does not make it sound promising that the hunt won't be cancelled. Need everyone possible, including @Big Fin, to speak up on this!

Points to Remember:
  1. Non-qualified hunters (which includes Alaska residents and Non-Residents) since 2016 contribute only 2-3% of the total caribou harvest.
  2. With the number of animals harvested by non-qualified hunters typically ranging between 250 to 800 animals, compared to 10,000 to 15,000 harvested by subsistence hunters, the impacts on the herd are not comparable between the two groups.
  3. The original proposal claimed air traffic and pressure from non-subsistence hunters was impacting/delaying the migration, causing hardship on the subsistence hunters to harvest their animals. However, there has yet to be any scientific data demonstrating any "perceived" delays/changes in the migration having been caused by the limited impact of transporters and non-subsistence hunters.
  4. The almost 60 million acres of public land is meant for all of us to use.
  5. Limiting the total number of cow tags, and total number of tags for subsistence hunters would have the greatest impact on herd population, if that is now the concern rather than a delayed/changing migration as previously proposed.
  6. More points down below in a well drafted Wild Sheep Foundation Article.
Remember, be respectful and represent the hunting community in a positive light.

If you want to participate in the hearing, the information is below:

Monday, March 21 from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. PST (or until the end of public participation)
Teleconference: Toll Free: 1-800-779-2712
Passcode: 5653753
 

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