May 27, 2018

Intensive Management in Alaska

From the Alaska Department of Fish and Game:

Harvesting wild game is extremely important to many Alaskan families. Participating in the hunt and sharing the bounty of economical, wild-grown meat are long-standing traditions.

The Alaska Legislature recognized the importance of wild game meat to Alaskans when it passed the Intensive Management Law in 1994. This law requires the Alaska Board of Game to identify moose, caribou, and deer populations that are especially important food sources for Alaskans and to insure that these populations remain large enough to allow for adequate and sustained harvest.

If the selected moose, caribou, or deer populations drop below what the Board of Game (Board) determines is needed to meet people’s needs, the Board directs the Alaska Department of Fish and Game (ADF&G) to undertake intensive management of that population. Intensive management is a process that starts with investigating the causes of low moose, caribou, or deer numbers, and then involves steps to increase their numbers. This can include restricting hunting seasons and bag limits, improving habitat, and predation control.

ADF&G is committed to maintaining healthy populations of all our resources, including moose, caribou, deer, wolves, and bears. The department will continue to manage Alaska’s wildlife populations with the health of all wildlife, sustainable harvests, and conservation as our guiding principles.

Understanding Predator Management

Wolves and bears are very effective and efficient predators on caribou, moose, deer, and other wildlife. In most of Alaska, humans also rely on the same species for food. Predators often kill more than 80 percent of the moose and caribou that die during an average year, while humans take less than 10 percent. In much of the state, predation holds prey populations at levels far below what could be supported by the habitat in the area. Predation is an important part of the ecosystem, and all ADF&G management programs, including control programs, are designed to sustain predator populations in the future.

General Information

Press Releases

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Controlling Coyotes Saves Deer

Controlling politicians may save more deer than killing coyotes.

From Outdoors in Maine:

“We can whine and moan that the state needs to do this and that, but it may never happen soon enough due to political reasons,” he said. “We as sportsmen need to keep taking it upon ourselves to do everything we can. Why? We are the effective ones! Keep up the great work.”

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Poliquin supports, Pingree opposes bill to allow killing of denning wolves and bears in Alaska refuges

*Editor’s Note* – I find it interesting the name of this joint resolution is called “Killing Baby Animals in Alaska Act.” Also, the information provided in the article that I have linked to is incorrect – or should I say it is untruthful. If Congress can cede authority to manage animals on wildlife refuges to the states, they can just as easily take it away. Making laws to take freedom and rights from everyone is what they do best. The idea of lifting this ban is to not take away needed tools to manage and control these large predators. Those with knowledge understand that you don’t “manage” large predators. They have to be controlled at all times and should never receive blanket protection.

“The U.S. House of Representatives has passed a joint resolution (H.J. res 69 aka the Killing Baby Animals in Alaska Act) that would allow the killing of wolf pups and bear cubs, and their mothers, in their dens on National Wildlife Refuge lands in Alaska. The vote was 225 to 193.”<<<Read More>>>

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Biggest Coyote/Deer Study Ongoing

*Editor’s Note* – In the teaser I placed just below, the author of the article about the relationship between coyotes in the East and deer, says, “Shooting the occasional coyote really makes no difference in what happens to the deer herd.” In the context of the article the “occasional” coyote is described as a “transient” coyote, i.e. one looking to establish a new territory. I have to somewhat disagree with this statement. I understand the dynamics of “resident” coyotes versus “transient” coyotes, but to state that shooting a transient coyote makes no difference in what happens to the deer herd is not completely an accurate or honest statement. It would make sense if all that was being targeted were transient coyotes, but such is not the case. While targeting the resident crop of coyotes is probably more effective at protecting a local deer herd, stopping a transient from continuing its search for another territory to take over certainly has its benefits. Perhaps not a direct effect but nonetheless it could slow down or stop the progression of more coyotes in more places.

Regardless, all this reminds me of what Dr. Val Geist, in 1994, told the annual Southeast Deer Study Group meeting in Charlottesville, Virginia, as they were facing perceived problems of what to do about too many deer. Geist told them, “Enjoy your problem while it lasts, because the coyote is coming. Once he’s here, you’ll miss your deer problems.”

“Resident coyotes, Chamberlain observed, have relatively small home ranges of 2 to 25 miles. Transients, on the other hand, may roam 150 miles, presumably looking for a home range to open up. Once a resident coyote dies, a transient will settle in and claim the territory within a matter of weeks. This helps explain why trapping efforts weren’t working. “For every 10 coyotes you remove, three were just passing through,” Chamberlain says. “And if you’re removing transients, you’re not really having any effect.” Shooting the occasional coyote really makes no difference in what happens to the deer herd.”<<<Read More>>>

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As Part of a 3-Year Study, Colorado will kill bears and lions to see if it will boost deer herds

*Editor’s Note* – I changed the headline for this story to one that is quite a bit more honest as it pertains to what is actually going on in Colorado. Reading the article that is in the link, will give you understanding as to what I mean.

“We remain well below where we would like to be in terms of overall mule deer numbers,” said Northwest Regional Manager Ron Velarde. “There is no one reason and no silver bullet solution to this problem, but many in the public identified predator management as one factor that could yield positive results, and we agree.”<<<Read More>>>

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Rational Predator Control for Sensible Wildlife Management

Steve Alder, executive director of Idaho for Wildlife, was quoted in the Lewiston Tribune:

Steve Alder of Lewiston, executive director of Idaho For Wildlife, said elk have no other relief from wolves in remote areas such as the Lolo zone. He contends wolves in areas closer to rural populations are exposed to higher hunting pressure and are also killed when they prey on livestock.

“Anywhere in the state we have backcountry areas, the elk numbers have plummeted,” he said. “We can have a lot of nothing, or we can do control measures to have a few elk and a few wolves.”

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Hunter gives high praise to West Forks hunting lodge

I am an 80-year-old deer hunter, and I remember when there were deer in Maine, especially up north, like these 200 pounds and up. I have many 200-plus patches and two beauties, 8-point and 10-point, on my wall. Then came the coyote problem, which was never addressed or recognized by the fish and game department. Before 1985, we did not see a coyote track any where up north. Then they appeared, and the deer disappeared.

Source: Hunter gives high praise to West Forks hunting lodge – Central Maine

WestForks

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Bill Hoppe: Eye of the Hunter (Video)

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Maine’s Deer Harvest Data Missing, Something Going on With Moose?

The last of the Maine deer hunting for 2013 ended on December 13, 2013. It is now March 11, 2014 and not one breath of information coming out of the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife (MDIFW) about harvest data. And as is always the case, the longer we wait the more reason we have to believe there must be something to hide. I mean seriously, how long can it take? Or am I the only one who cares enough about factual information to make my own assessments as to what is and what is not going on with the state’s deer and deer management (or lack thereof)? After all, there was all this pre-season hype about a restored and surging deer herd with projected increases in deer harvest expected.

Maine counts about 20,000 deer of late, most all of that information being collected from tagging stations spread out across the state. I hate to make this comparison but New Jersey counted just shy of 50,000 tagged deer in their harvest and the last of their deer hunting, winter bow, didn’t end until January 31, 2014.

Not to pick just on the deer harvest, where’s Maine’s bear harvest data? Gee, the newspapers are always full of bear stories, of the great work the bear biologists are doing studying bears etc. but no bear harvest data.

So what’s new with whitetail deer management in Maine? Nothing, I guess, unless it’s a really well kept secret. Hoping for some more serious global warming I guess. And where’s that increased communication we were promised in Maine’s Plan for Deer?

There is some good news about deer management coming from Downeast Maine. Sorry, but this management has nothing to do with MDIFW. Downeast, they kill coyotes, they kill bears, they kill bobcats, that kill deer. Oh, don’t worry. They aren’t going to kill all the coyotes, bears and bobcats. They just MANAGE them. Instead they are going to prevent the extirpation of whitetail deer.

Unofficial reports I have just received show deer harvest numbers are great. Coyote tracks and other signs are at minimum levels compared with previous years and with a spring bear hunt on Indian Reservation lands, over 50 bears were taken last year.

And by the way, with a continued abundance of snowshoe hare, the Canada lynx, supposedly in danger of extirpation, is thriving Downeast.

But there is something going on with moose Downeast. One observer says he doesn’t believe it to be winter ticks, as the usual signs of tick infestation aren’t showing up.

I also have an unconfirmed report that 4 of the 40 moose officials collared, as part of their moose study, have already died. I believe those 4 dead moose were yearlings. No cause given yet but it is being reported that when those 4 moose were collared, officials knew they were sick then. But what were they sick with?

Maine has already determined how many moose permits they will issue for the 2014 hunt by lottery. Was this decision made knowing that there may be disease running its course? Should MDIFW reconsider moose permit allotments. If only there was better communication. I think sportsmen and others would be more concerned if they actually knew what was going on. Or maybe that’s the plan.

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Wolf Management and Hunter Manipulation_ The Cause of the Destruction of Our Herds.

The following video clip is from a work in production by Rockholm Media, “Ghosts of the Rockies.” Whether intended by the author or not, what I find inexplicable is the contrasting care and attention being given to a nasty, disease ridden, useless wild dog, and that of the elk, what’s left of them, left to rot and be destroyed. The elk is a useful creature for many things including a food source to thousands of people and human beings. With mixed-up priorities, valuable money and resources are being spent to protect a useless creature, where life existed just fine for many, many years without it, allowing for the destruction of the elk, deer and moose.

Talk about screwed up in the head.

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