Yeti

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

RobertD

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Not speaking as a caribou guy; I would like to hunt them one day but I'm not as invested as some of you. That said, I've paid attention to this at least passively, and it's hard to stomach.

First, because the decision is wholly unscientific to the point of comedy. The idea that the minimal non-subsistence harvest has a tangible impact on caribou numbers in comparison with both the scale and method of take employed by many subsistence hunters is a joke.

Also, it's offensive to read transcripts of meetings where the opposition presents (unproven) claims of hunters throwing meat away or any of a host of unsubstantiated claims that go mostly unchallenged, while knowing a major complaint non-subsistence users have towards subsistence users is that their methods of take and meat utilization are often the kind of thing that'd get you put under the jail in many lower 48 states.

But the dust has settled and this has gone the way I expected. I remember when Rinella first piped up offering some trepidation towards the Biden Dept. of Interior regarding the intersection of cultural identity and land use. At risk of starting a Red v Blue pissing contest, I'll just say this looks like those fears made manifest, and, echoing @Bambistew, it sets an incredibly troubling precedent for both Alaska and the Lower 48.

Note, also, I'm not completely insensitive to the role cultural identity plays in how different groups use the land and its resources, nor am I insensitive to certain cultural groups claims on exclusive or unique treatment. I am very sensitive to the tension between cultural identity-driven land use practices and science-based management, which is what this situation concerns IMO.
 

TheTone

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The subsistence lifestyle isn't sustainable, they will run out of animals sooner or later.
Local mooch/loser I know just moved up there partially because of the subsistence and permanent fund payments. They’ll fit nicely with his disability payments he receives for being too hurt/lazy to work but able to pack out multiple deer and elk each fall
 

Cody.Carroll

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Who are you booked with? We’re booked with Golden Eagle, e-mailed Jared this morning, haven’t gotten a response back yet.
We are booked with Golden Eagle as well. Waiting to hear back from Jared, but I'm sure he's getting bombarded with emails/calls. From everyone I've talked to though, Jared is supposed to be one of the best up there and will hopefully be working backup plans.
 

Dirthog67

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The subsistence lifestyle isn't sustainable, they will run out of animals sooner or later.

This is sad. If the native Alaskan are at risk of running out of animals shouldn't hunting by non natives be restricted?

If a subsistence lifestyle isn't sustainable how should native alaskans eat? Use fossil fuels to ship food up from the mainland?

Seriously. I dont have time to research the closure and reasons but saying a subsistence lifestyle isn't sustainable is pretty nuts. Its not sustainable to live simply? There aren't enough fish and game to feed Alaskan natives so they should be eating cow and farmed fish so you can go up there and shoot a Caribou and a moose?
 

glass eye

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I doubt that it's about eating caribou and moose. Most hunters only take home a small portion of the meat because it's so expensive to ship it home so they donate the meat.
 

Bambistew

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This is sad. If the native Alaskan are at risk of running out of animals shouldn't hunting by non natives be restricted?

If a subsistence lifestyle isn't sustainable how should native alaskans eat? Use fossil fuels to ship food up from the mainland?

Seriously. I dont have time to research the closure and reasons but saying a subsistence lifestyle isn't sustainable is pretty nuts. Its not sustainable to live simply? There aren't enough fish and game to feed Alaskan natives so they should be eating cow and farmed fish so you can go up there and shoot a Caribou and a moose?
A little thing called population growth, and climate change. Caribou are vanishing all over NA. I think we've lost something like 60% of all NA caribou in the last 20 years. The locals are the first at the feed trough, but will run out of food sooner or later. Many of the younger population don't want to live in poverty and move out of the bush, so they got that going for them. Sadly sooner or later they will run out of animals, as we all will.

The WACH is 10x bigger today than 100 years ago. There were no moose in that country 50 years ago. Subsistence is an idea that constantly changes in definition and memory.

Non-locals take 3-400 caribou a year out of an estimated 12000 harvested. Estimated... because they don't have tags and there is no tracking of harvest and many falsely report harvest. Locals also shoot whatever, cows, calves, bulls. No season just a daily bag limit of... 7. Non locals shoot bulls, one if you're a NR, and maybe 2 if you're Alaskan. Which do you think has a bigger impact? A group of loacals rounding up a herd and gunning down a couple hundred cows with an AR off snow machines in November (of course they never wound any) or some dude on a OIL hunt?

Not taking the meat by non locals is a red hearing. If it is donated it still gets eaten by...guess who, locals. I've seen plenty of wasted meat and carcasses around villages. Dog food and such.

Look up Point Hope caribou slaughter if you want to read up on the subsistence lifestyle. This isn't a one off occurrence there are many other instances. That particular one they all got off. 8 POS poachers killing and wasting 180+/- caribou claiming they were "sick." They were literally heralded as heroes for not bring the meat back. That's what you're up against.

Of course the locals will have you belive that wonton waste is rampant by non locals, yet there is zero evidence or even citations issued for it. Many hunters are checked for meat salvage. No one checks locals... they don't even know how many they kill a year let alone if they leave a pile of carcasses out under a tap all winter. Come breakup, they aren't putting that meat in a freeze its going to sit and rot or feed to the dogs. Wonton waste? Naw. SUBSISTENCE! It's them non locals who allegedly leave some meat on the bones and don't pack it out.

The salmon run was so bad on the Yukon last year, that the feds allowed locals to shoot moose to fill their freezers instead. How long will that be sustainable? The winter kill in that area this year will likely be terrible. I guess it was a good thing they shot a bunch extra last year they would have just starved ro death anyway. Or maybe a surplus would have helped? Where do you think the next restrictions will be? Lots of moose hunting on the Yukon. Highly sought after tags for trophy bulls. Give it a year or two, I'm sure they proposals are already drafted.

70% of AK is federal land which if I had to bet, my grandkids won't get to hunt any of it. The only way unit 23 will get opened again is through a lawsuit or some miraculous rebound of the caribou. We lost 5M acres of BLM just 100 miles NE of us here in Anchorage 2 years ago. Only open to hunting by locals, reason being "safety" It will never open again. Nothing stopping them from doing that on all federal lands and the groups are licking their chops over it.

Live it up because our days are numbered. It's a fallacy to believe that wildlife is held in trust by the states. The feds ultimately hold the strings because they own the land. Not only in AK but the L48. Public land animals will be "managed" primarily for locals and tribes before I'm dead. I'd bet on it.

You should spend some time to research it it's pretty important stuff, I think. At least it's good to know how well get screwed vs blinded. It's going to be interesting to see what happens in MT and WY in the near future.
 
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wllm

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Seriously. I dont have time to research the closure and reasons but saying a subsistence lifestyle isn't sustainable is pretty nuts.
But you have time to form a strong opinion? One word, Lazy.

If a subsistence lifestyle isn't sustainable how should native alaskans eat? Use fossil fuels to ship food up from the mainland?

Subsistence hunting lifestyles haven’t been sustainable ever… think of all the species that have been pushed to extinction by subsistence hunting. That’s basically how we lost deer/turkey/elk/Canada geese etc from much of the lower 48. They were only brought back after massive conservation efforts and eliminating hunting.

Humans are like any other predator when it comes to population dynamics, with the caveat that due to our technology our population doesn’t crash when our prey population declines. If rabbits crash, lynx crash and then the rabbit population can recover.

Since European contact the population of the North Western Arctic Borough has doubled, and as @Bambistew posted there have been major changes in prey populations.

In your mind what is the end game, should any group of humans, anywhere on the planet be able to use the term subsistence as an excuse to eliminate species? Does traditional subsistence trump conservation.

That’s the question, the federal government has pulled management from the state in this part of AK, the state manages for sustainability. If the state said, we are getting rid of NR hunting, but locals are only allowed to shoot bulls and have to report them, and if this was enforced I think most of us would have a different perspective.
 

TheTone

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Local loser I mentioned earlier was celebrating this on Facebook as a great example of a state taking care of its residents before catering to non residents to make money. I’m guessing he will fit right in with the social outcast/misfit type that tends to move up there
 

wllm

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Local loser I mentioned earlier was celebrating this on Facebook as a great example of a state taking care of its residents before catering to non residents to make money. I’m guessing he will fit right in with the social outcast/misfit type that tends to move up there
Does he realize it’s locals versus non-local residents?
 

Dave N

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I'm with @Bambistew on this. The amount of animals harvested by NRs and NR residents is so small compared to the UNLIMITED number taken for subsistence users. 7 per day? Per person? No season limits? Wow. Sounds like hunt til extinction. :(
 

Akcabin

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As Dave N wrote. Hunt till extinction. The federal management system is considered passive management. With 0 being acceptable. Let nature be nature. But that is not reality as humans are part of the picture. Look towards Anatuvik Island where caribou are facing extinction by wolves which will also die off . Federal plan says 0 is ok. As they are considered evasive, swimming on their own naturally thousands of years ago. Guess horses are different.
Ak state management plan is for active management. Or maximum use of wildlife. Including feeding families or economies. Using the North American Model for Wildlife Management systems. Pittman-Robertson, Dingle-Johnson acts. And require equal access for all on state land. With no particular group getting any special rights.
Kinda just American to me. State regulations require that local residents get a priority during times of shortage now. And the law applies equally at the local level. I can agree with this.
Because it hasn't been mentioned. According to biologists I've spoken with caribou crash quickly. And recover slowly. As lychen their main focus source take a long time to grow.
Why is it closed, politics. Special interest groups with lots of political weight and lobiests. Local native population, guide concessions groups opposed to hunting. While the regular ol Joe who wants to just have an equal opportunity to use those resources is busy trying to feed their families. Dreaming about the day that they can go use public lands. Everyone has the same rights. And spend quality time with family n friends.
Next election, ask if they support equal access for all, period
 

wllm

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Equal access to all for elk in montana, too?
There isn't a comparative example to this in the lower 48.

This would be like if the Federal government, (Fed not state, not MFWP), said only people whose primary residence is in Teton county are allowed to hunt the Bob. Those residents are allowed to hunt elk and deer year round with a 7 a day bag limit. All other residents of Montana are restricted from hunting those public lands. So folks from Choteau can kill 100+ elk a year in Montana, but those from Bozeman have to follow the bag limits set by MFWP, and on those federal lands where Teton residents can hunt there is no management plan killing all the elk and deer is acceptable. It's the federal government usurping management from the state.


Notice I didn't mention dudes from Boston being not being able to hunt, because that's irrelevant to the issue. Out of state NR hunters are effected, but it's not the important part of the conversation. It's that the federal government is picking which Alaskans get to hunt Alaska, and telling the state they can't sustainably manage herds.
 
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