Aerial wolf hunt proposed on Peninsula

• First ever proposal to kill peninsula wolves to increase moose populations
By Naomi Klouda
Homer Tribune

Photos provided by Brad Josephs - Katmai wolves were photographed near the park. Due to moose population decline on the Kenai Peninsula, a controversial aerial hunt and kill proposal will be before the November Board of Game meeting in Barrow.

Photos provided by Brad Josephs - Katmai wolves were photographed near the park. Due to moose population decline on the Kenai Peninsula, a controversial aerial hunt and kill proposal will be before the November Board of Game meeting in Barrow.

The first-ever proposal to hunt and kill Kenai Peninsula wolves from the air is one of the management options on the table for discussion when the Alaska Board of Game meets in November.
The Board of Game directed the Alaska Department of Fish and Game to devise management plans that includes aerial wolf control. Moose populations have fallen below both the state’s population size objectives and the harvest objectives for more than a decade, and this has prompted the Board of Game to call for intensive management plans, said Fish and Game Biologist Thomas McDonough of Homer.
“Part of the process is for us, the department, to write intensive management plans to present to the board and to the public for comment,” McDonough said.
Fish and Game will have the plan available for public review 30 days prior to the meeting, scheduled for Nov. 11-14 in Barrow. The Board of Game is scheduled to vote on what it considers the best management plan at its meeting.
The department conducted aerial surveys in March 2010 on a portion of Game Management Unit 15A. Some 41-47 wolves were counted at that time, McDonough said. There have not been any other surveys on the Kenai Peninsula in recent years.
“The reason we had conducted the survey was due to the chronic decline in moose numbers, which was predicted by the department based on changes in habitat. Fifteen A has a rich history in wildfires that changes the habitat. This greatly benefits moose browse and increases moose numbers,” McDonough said.
The problem is that there hasn’t been a fire of any significant size in 15A for over 40 years, he added. “Without the regeneration, moose numbers are at a relatively low density. We know it’s definitely because of the habitat.”
No matter the cause, the state’s goal is to manage wildlife to achieve population size objectives and objectives for harvest numbers.
How to enhance the population of moose in 15A is the question before fish and game biologists. Before them is a directive to look specifically at aerial killing.
“It should be clear the Board of Game asked the department to make these plans; they are the group with the authority to implement the plans,” McDonough said.
Fish and Game is at work preparing three documents for both 15A and 15B. One is an intensive management plan. The second is a feasibility assessment. The third is an operational plan for how to conduct aerial wolf control and how to assess the progress.
“All three will be made public 30 days before the meeting,” McDonough said.
The wolf was exterminated by man on the Kenai Peninsula by about 1915, primarily by the use of poisons during the gold mining era and due to trapping, according to the Kenai Peninsula Wildlife Refuge information. Wolves remained absent from the Kenai Peninsula for about 50 years (except for a few rare sightings) until they naturally recolonized in the late 1960s. By the mid 1970s, most wolf habitat was again occupied by wolves.
According to the refuge information, studies (1976-1981, 1982-1993) have focused on wolf-moose relationships, harvest, pack size and dispersal movements of wolves in the northern portion of the Kenai NWR. The Refuge supports an estimated 80-90 wolves in at least five to seven packs.
Valerie Connor, the conservation director at the Alaska Center for the Environment, said the BOG’s desire to expand aerial wolf killing shows its own agenda.
“There were some big fires on the Kenai back in the 1950s and ‘60s that resulted in an  overall increase in the moose population as new areas of browse replaced forested areas,” Connor said. “This made for some plentiful harvests over the years, but as human development has encroached on moose habitat and the inevitable progression of plant life occurred, moose populations returned to a more typical  number.”
Some on the BOG maintain that the above average population numbers can be obtained again, “if we can just get rid of those big bad wolves,” she said. Most scientists will agree that there are other reasons why those historically high numbers can never be reproduced, she said.
“Since the BOG is stacked with predator control advocates, they  floated this idea about aerial wolf control on the Kenai at the last meeting, and though the area biologist and land managers were skeptical (for many reasons),” Connor said. “Plus, due to ‘time constraints, there isn’t even a plan yet. So unless you can afford to fly to Barrow and stay there for five days, you won’t be able to participate in this decision.  This unfortunately is only one example of  BOG abuses to the public process.”
To review the management plan when it is posted, go to 

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Posted by on Oct 5th, 2011 and filed under Headline News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

38 Responses for “Aerial wolf hunt proposed on Peninsula”

  1. brad Josephs says:

    I am ashamed that our wildlife is managed by such an unbalanced system. I dont want the wilderness here to be used as a game farm, and I know I am not alone. Natural predator populations, and natural cycles are far more valuable to me than meat in someone’s freezer. Heathy habitat is the key, not predator control. Looks to me like prescribed burning/habitat management is the way to go, along with a new board of game.

  2. Nina Faust says:

    To discuss controversial aerial wolf gunning plans in Barrow rather than in southcentral Alaska is ridiculous. Furthermore, it should not even be on this agenda if the full plan is not available in the proposal book that is sent to the public. This is not proper public process.

    I strongly object to aerial wolf gunning. This type of management harkens back to the dark days in Alaska and elsewhere when predators were mercilessly slaughtered. In an era of new scientific evidence of the importance of predators to a healthy ecosystem, we should not be so quick to simply kill the predators. Good management has to consider the habitat, careful bag limits, cycles of weather, and more. Harvest of too many moose by hunters is a very important factor. With more people on the Peninsula, there are not enough moose for everyone who wants to kill one, and realistically, there never will be. Jumping automatically to aerial gunning of wolves to provide more moose is really going too far in this drive to make Alaska into a moose farm.

  3. Gannon says:

    Aerial hunting is a cowardly and hateful way to engage with another species and an absurd way to “manage” wolves.

  4. Scott Van Hoozer says:

    If the reason for declining moose population are ( by the Board of Games’ own admission) is unfavorable habitat, why propose aerial gunning of wolves? Why not habitat improvement? Controlled fires to improve browse seems like a more logical course of action.

  5. Maka says:

    Please, someone tell me, has it become the accepted American way to kill unsuspected victims from the air? It’s time to find fish and game board members who can actually understand the connection between man and beast, and to know how easy it is to lose the balance between the two.

    Just because Alaska is the last frontier and seems to have “plenty” doesn’t mean it will last forever … or even 10 more years (halibut maybe less), … especially under human management. Obviously, humans tend to destroy things for pleasure, and also waste precious food (unwanted catch) at will, while people are starving around the world. Now, that’s unbalanced.

    How do we decide when there are too many humans in one area that can and will negatively affect the growth of Nature? Wildlife (Nature) are the energies that sustains ALL human life on this planet, and when it ALL gets destroyed, well, there we go too. Human experiment failed.

    Isn’t it the “human influence” that lowers the moose population in the first place? So now, we want to replenish what man (himself) has depleted, and, our solution is to kill the wolves? With that plan, soon there will be no Moose, AND, no Wolves either, only gun-toting humans pretending to be hungry.

    Wolves are just as family oriented as humans, but they can’t raise cattle or grow gardens for food to eat … one of their most natural prey for food, is moose. When are we going to start controlling the over eager human hunting populations like we’ve managed the Wolves in this State? It’s a matter of survival.

    It seems feasible to me, that we ALL just stop “bagging” moose for one season, and the moose will quickly replenish themselves. God has a way of taking care of things like this on HIS Planet, but we humans keep forgetting there is a higher power.

    Has anyone ever discussed the idea of “human control?”

    • EMJ says:

      Actually Maka, it is accepted to kill/control animals from the air. Espically where I’m located. Sure humans have played a roll in depleating the animal population; however, that doesn’t mean that it can’t be recognized and or accounted for. Its the fastest way to controll a predator population. The animals also know its coming when the helicopter is >100 ft over head as they’re running for cover.

      As far as humans are concerned the population is being controlled much like animals! You can laugh but its true, gangsters shoot each other often and reguarely, while natural disasters and disease controls the majority of the other population. We as humans are just rapidly reproducing faster then our death process. But what do you expect when kids are having kids these days cuz insurances consider bc not to be covered. Umm isn’t it cheaper for bc then paying for the delivery of a baby and all its future visits? Also if you work at a religious hospital some won’t perscribe bc cuz of religious beliefs! Really isn’t it the choice of the person taking it, appose the an organization perscribing it or not? And you may think there is a higher power; however, some people are athiest and don’t believe in it at all.

      • Maka says:

        Thank you EMJ for your thoughtful comments. I don’t agree that aerial hunting is “accepted.” I’m human too, and I DON’T ACCEPT IT. Humans ARE the worst of the predator population, and we wouldn’t accept being shot from the air, with or without a reason. Who are we to play God? There’s nothing wrong with being Athiest, but that doesn’t make you right, and there are higher powers whether you understand them or not … we witness the higher powers every day of our lives. Just because you can’t see the higher powers, doesn’t mean they aren’t there.

        There are many injustices in our world today, concerning depopulation of the planet, but to kill an animal without using it for food (out of necessity) is wrong. There is no balance in controlled killing.

        • EMJ says:

          Thank you for your reply Maka, The animals may not be used in a way we may think to use them however, just cuz they die and aren’t eatten by humans doesn’t mean they don’t play a vital role in the food web. There are other carnivores that will consume these animals, allowing more moose to live in the “god” role the human has attemped to take over. Many detrivores will consume these and turning the organic molecules into inorganic molecules that primary producers need to feed primary consumer to continue the food chain/web. Where I’m at in Texas, its widely used and accepted to kill many animals by helicopter and need as texas land is 97% privately owned. In order to just assist in overgrazing for livestock and wildlife it is a must. However, majority of the animals are then picked up and donated to indigent familys who live off and expect the meat every year. I do respect and have a feeling for both sides, however, until i seen it in person I never understood the reason and rational behind it. Just like I never use to understand a high fense game ranch, but I do now and it makes complete since.

  6. reality22 says:

    We cannot let these bleeding hearts be part of the North America wildlife decisions. The renewable resources on Peninsula are affected by wolves & wolves are not endangered. It boggles the mind that it is OK to these people for the wolves to rip apart a renewable resource the moose after moose after moose (which suffers slow hideous death from the wolf). The say how awful and cruel the hunter is as they run to McDonalds for a double cheese burger.

    The local people from Wisconsin to Michigan to Montana and New Mexico, Idaho to Oregon are getting fed up with these environmental obstructionists.

    • brad Josephs says:

      you have a 1900’s mentality. why dont you go to Ohio where the deer are overbrowsing, and there hasnt been a wolf since the turn of the century and let people who appreciate intact wilderness stay here and manage it like it should be. This isnt a game farm. You might also want to read up on wildlife and habitat management techniques.

    • djong says:

      Humans are the most dominant predator on the planet and have used, taken, and destroyed more resources than any other creature on the planet. It’s absolutely hilarious that someone would chime in and complain that wolves need to be shot and killed because they are ripping apart a renewable resource and there are not enough moose for hunters to shoot at. It’s also incredible that we have people managing our resources that refuse to take scientific evidence into their decisions. Science people! It’s what helped humans create what you are wearing, what you are staring at and typing on now, what you drive, eat, live in, and what you take when you get sick.

      • Maka says:

        Do you think that if wolves and bears had airplanes and guns, they would go for humans? NOPE … I believe, they would be better stewards and take what Mother Nature has provided them. We humans live in a virtual garden, but we cannot be satisfied with what is given us for free, we always want more.

      • reality22 says:

        djong, whose science! Is it the science of the Center of Biodiverity that says its OK for the moose of Yellowstone to go from 1200 to zip!. Or the science of the states around Yellowstone that say management will allow moose to recover! Don’t go blowing your science garbage around this blog, you only like science when it’s protecting wolves!

        • Good Science=Fact says:

          Moose aren’t struggling because of wolf predation….Man, if it was that simple, you should have had a job in wildlife management, reality22. Nature is highly complex and variable, whether we choose to understand it or not. Looks like you choose not to understand it like so many others. That’s unfortunate. There is plethora of factors at work that are dwindling numerous ungulate populations, and in most cases (as in this one on the Kenai) it is due to habitat, weather and nutrition – not predators. The AK Board of Game refuses to accept sound science, mostly because they’re gang of bigots shooed into their positions by politicians who know absolutely nothing about wildlife management. I’m ashamed of our species and the way we treat the environment we live in. People act like we’re on another level apart from the environment….Well, we’re not, and it’s on its way to biting us in the ass.

          • reality22 says:

            bad science, you lose all credibility when you say “moose aren’t struggling because of wolf predation”. The evidence is as black and white as it gets in the northern Yellowstone ecosystem! The only science you believe is the bias put forth by wolf loving environmental obstruction groups. Science says remove wolves that have proven to depredate a second time….. In Oregon your ilk again for goes science & sues to prolong the removal of depredating wolves. I’m sure the local ranchers in that area of Oregon are fit to be tied.

  7. reality22 says:

    Gannon, Is there a good way and a bad way to kill a wolf? Please enlighten me! Maybe, the best way is for the hunter to continue to shoot at its flanks until it can run any more, and then rip at its neck and abdomen until the wolf bleeds to death. That’s how the wolf kills wild animals & the domestic ones that come along. That’s how it kill my friends Laura family pet!

  8. Maka says:

    Reality 22 … You should go back to Kansas, or wherever it is you came from, but, before you go, you should get down on your knees and thank God for the Peacemakers (bleeding hearts) on this Planet, that they have slowed the likes of you down to a minimum damage of the wild, so there are still enough wild animals left for my grandchildren to appreciate. I bet you have wild animal trophy heads hanging on your walls, don’t you?

    Moose is much better for the human body than McDonalds (if that’s anyone’s choice of meat), but how many of us humans live in the wild, and are really so starving that we need to wipe out another species (whether on endangered list or not) just to survive? Why not leave nature to replenish itself the natural way, and human kind just back out of the equation until that happens? Don’t you have that kind of time, or are you in such a hurry that you think you can fish off a jetski too?

  9. Maka says:

    reality 22, here’s some more info for you. REAL ALASKANS, don’t want to see the Wolves killed from the air, but that doesn’t count the politicians who are in the game for the money. That’s the cowards way to hunt, btw, as no other species carries guns.

    Alaska have difficult times when politicians come to the “Last Frontier” to take the resources, then leave. Who put a price on the wolves heads in in the first place? How many times have you actually seen a wolf take down a moose (maybe on TV)? How many hunters have you seen “bag a moose?”

    Alaskans don’t want to see regulations put on animals, anymore than we want regulations put on ourselves, but WE can speak for ourselves. We want to see the animals protected well enough from humans that they might continue to exist through the next generation. Is that so wrong?

    Who knows who was backing her, but the person that thought wolves should be murdered from the air, obviously still doesn’t know what she’s doing:

    1) Palin offered a bounty of $150 for each left front leg of freshly killed wolves

    2) Palin promoted aerial hunting of wolves even though Alaskans voted twice to ban it

    3) Palin used $400,000 of state money to fund a propaganda campaign in support of aerial wolf hunting

    Do you see my point? Alaskans, wolves, Polar Bears, Beluga Whales, and other protected species (protected by those who care) are still here, and still being “watched.”

    • reality22 says:

      Looks like Palin has her priorities in the right order….she put the people of Alaska before wolves! Where is it said that controlling the popluation of wolves is going to “wipe them out” You need to get real! The moose on that island are a resource to the people on that island ….. Quit mettling in their affairs! Like I said above the local people are fed up with you & your save the wolf at all cost mentality!

      • Maka says:

        What priorities? Palin is a fluke who used the peoples money then flew the coup. Thank you for all your common-type thinking though, reality22, but you don’t make much sense with your meat and potatoes brain. First off, I’m not anti-hunting, but if I do have to hunt, I hunt only for food that I need, and only when I have no other means of feeding myself. We live in Alaska where there are plenty of natural resources for the current population, but at the rate we are destroying the Alaska wildlife and nature, there won’t be enough left to serve my grandchildren. Apparently you don’t have children.

        We shouldn’t kill just because we like that kind of meat, or because we just like to hunt. There should be a real “need” to kill the animal, especially, when we live in communities that carry food in supermarkets. If we are in the “bush” using the animals for food and survival is definitely acceptable, but even then we should first make “peace” with that animal and thank them for allowing us to use them to “favor” our human needs further. You probably won’t understand anything I’m saying, but whether you understand it or not, it’s the right way to live. That’s the balance.

        • Good Science=Fact says:

          Well said, Maka – couldn’t agree with you more. We could argue with these slow-thinkers all day….They don’t seem to understand the notion of “respect”, in ANY sense of the word.

          • Prohuman says:

            It truly funny reading these armchair experts on wolves. So Experts tell us why in Wyoming the moose herd is getting wiped out. In the Jackson Area 425 moose tags use to be issued. Today after 16 years of lies myths and wolves balance nature (LMAO) no hunting tags issue why cause there is not enough moose left due to the wolves killing them all off. Plenty of scientific studies to prove you must control predators. The Native Americans always controlled wolves in their area. They hunted them, and they trapped them. To say this fairy tale that man is not part of nature is unnatural and scientifically wrong.

          • Good Science=Fact says:

            Prohuman: Here, read this since you think you know population dynamics about moose in the Jackson area (PDF is available by doing a simple google search):

            Becker, Scott A., Habitat selection, condition, and survival of Shiras moose in northwest Wyoming, M.S., Department of Zoology and Physiology, December, 2008

            If you don’t have the time to read it or don’t care to, I’ll give you the abstract: Shiras Moose decline in NW Wyoming has been speculatively tied to predators for many years. The study concluded that decline in recruitment was due to habitat condition, drought/harsh winters, and nutritional condition. It also concluded that “effects of predators appeared to be less important” on the overall population trend of moose in the area.

            That is just one of several similar studies. And for your information (as well as reality 22’s…), I’m actually a field biologist. I’ve held numerous field technician positions relating to carnivores and ungulates, but currently I study predation behavior of wolves on Elk during the winter in Yellowstone National Park, and perform necropsies on Elk and other ungulates to determine their condition at the time of death. So I’m not really an “armchair expert”, as you speculated.

            I also contributed data on the winter 2010/11 Elk count in the northern range of YNP. Those counts were done from the road (due to budget cuts, the park couldn’t afford to do counts from the air, as they had done in the past, but had to do them by order of the USFWS). Needless to say, we missed MANY elk in those counts, as the fire in ’89 has opened up vast stretches of regeneration and grasses that elk depend on, and that are NOT located next to the road. Record snowfall in ’10/11 also filled up much of the valley floors, and we observed some elk taking to the windswept ridges at higher elevations to eat whatever nutrient-deficient shoots they could find. Where do you think those elk are that we missed? Just because they’re not visible from the road doesn’t mean ‘the wolves have eaten them all’. And wolves are not the only predators out there….Black and Brown Bears, Cougars all prey on elk calves in this system, which are most vulnerable during calving season in the spring/early summer, when many hungry bears have awaken from their denning season.

            I’m happy to discuss predator-prey ecology with you, but please do your homework before spouting off dumb, unfounded anti-wolf sentiment.

            Your friendly neighborhood field biologist

    • Recreational Angler says:

      MAKA you seem to be the angry person in this room because you’re not getting your way by allowing a petting zoo on the Kenai Peninsula. If you read the article you’d see that there are steps that the ADFG has to take PRIOR to doing anything. They are not going to just start aerial hunting tomorrow morning. The problem with you liberals is that if things aren’t going your way, you start to foam at the mouth and rant and rave. Just chill out and let the public process work its course.

      • Maka says:

        Yes, I am angry about killing wolves unnecessarily. What’s wrong with you? You should be angry too. Are you retarded? Petting zoo? I’m an Arctic homesteader … not a child who doesn’t know basic steps in survival. The reason I’m commenting is because I READ THE ARTICLE. The people on the Fish and Game Board were all appointed to be there, not voted in by the Public, not even that experienced in knowing who the resources actually belong to.

  10. Debra Spencer says:

    I have obtained more than enough evidence that our Alaska Department of Fish and Game is out of control and unethically sound. If anyone is interested in protecting our habitat I cannot do it myself contact me anytime at I am tired of the department of the state not being held accountable for their decision making and I am ready to fight.

    • Maka says:

      Thank you Debra … it’s takes people getting mad and hurt, to understand we aren’t deemed intelligent enough to control our own affairs for our own survival. People who are in control of the natural resources (AFGD) should all be voted into position by the people of the state, NOT APPOINTED by political people who have no clue the difference between right or wrong without a hefty paycheck. THE PUBLIC NEEDS TO BE A PART OF THE DECISION MAKING IN FISH AND GAME DEPARTMENT.

      The Wolf “aerial shooting” idea was created during the Murkowski administration, by appointing his “friends” to control the resources. The “appointment” practice has been continued by Palin and Parnell … it’s a real money maker for all the cronie friends who own hunting lodges, sports fishing and trapping businesses. The culprits are mainly the politicians who live off the backs of taxpayers.

      Ted Spraker was appointed to the Board of Game by Governor Murkowski in 2003 and has served as the board”s representative on the Big Game Commercial Services Board since 2004.

      Cliff Judkins was appointed to the Board of Game by Governor Murkowski in 2003. Cliff lives in Wasilla and owns and operates a building inspection and energy rating business.

      Stosh Hoffman was appointed to the Board of Game in 2008 by Governor Palin.

      …. and so on and so forth through all the appointed board members of the Fish and Game Department in Alaska.

      The fish and game resources belong to all Alaska residents to use as needed for survival … real bush people, with real hardcore Alaska experience should hold these seats (not politicians with money). Board members should be people who have been voted in to do the job, not people “appointed” because of the good old boys buddy system. People with scientific credentials other than trapping, hunting, and fishing for sport should be considered … people with real scientific knowledge of animal and habitat (and care of the animal kingdom in general) should be the ones that serve the publics needs. We should all be angry for the deceptions.

    • Wolf man says:

      Debra, please read the article again. It is the Board of Game that directed the Fish and Game to write the wolf reduction plan. The Board of Game, not Fish and Game, makes the laws and authorizes wolf reductions. Fish and Game does not have the authority to do either of these things. Why would you ‘fight’ Fish and Game if it is the Board of Game making the decisions?

      • Good Science=Fact says:

        Contact US Fish and Wildlife Service ( If there’s substantial, legitimate evidence that AK Board of Game has violated laws, USFWS should be able to intervene legally. Plan B, which is much less desirable because of polarization between the right wing and left wing, is to use environmental non-profits to sue the state for mismanagement of wildlife. I’m not sure what your evidence is, but I wouldn’t be surprised if AK BOG overstepped their bounds – read my previous posted reply to reality22 about moose population…

  11. akmk says:

    Manage the people. Manage the habitat. Leave the wolves alone.

    Alaska Department of Fish and Game is so backward.

  12. Yep says:

    The principles of wildlife management can only be understood after years of higher education. Simply perusing the internet, even for a lifetime, will never make you an expert on the science of WM. Only a college degree will enlighten somebody to the processes and intricacies that managers concern themselves with when dealing with an issue such as declining moose populations in the presence of wolves and people.
    It seems that the best available science contends that moose populations are in decline because of habitat degradation due to fire suppression. The obvious remedy has already been stated, but this is a remedy that won’t have immediate benefits. The transition period between burning and seral rejuvenation will last at least a couple years, during which time the moose populations will continue to decline. To cushion this downward trend, managers have proposed culling wolves, in an effort to alleviate some stress on moose until primary management practices have a chance to fully develop. Obviously, 25 wolves will impact moose much less than 75 wolves.
    Nobody is talking about “wiping out” wolves, but a reduction in wolf density will alleviate pressures while the seral stages are set back.
    Alaska is a subsistence community, and with the antler restriction in place on the Peninsula, I know a great number of families that don’t have the traditional “full freezer” that they depend on over the winter.
    The proposed wolf measure may sound brutal, inhumane, cruel and unnecessary but in reality its a measure aimed at promoting viable moose growth, in conjunction with other management practices, which have been proven time and time again.

    Fortunately, the professionals will do their job and will not let the unenlightened and ignorant sway their decision making process. Logic will prevail here on the Peninsula.

    • Good Science=Fact says:

      Yep, I completely understand your sentiment. If habitat evaluations and improvements would ever be implemented by AK DNR, I might be on board with temporary wolf reduction to increase moose #’s. Before I go further, could you provide me with proof that the AK DNR has remarkably improved habitat for Moose and/or Caribou during or after predator removal treatments? If not, then I rest my case. However, if yes, please continue reading below:

      This recent study by AK DFG correlates predation rates of Moose with different predators in the interior of the state: Black & Brown Bears (summer), and Wolves (Autumn). “Effects of Predator Treatments, Individual Traits, and Environment on Moose Survival in Alaska”. Journal of Wildlife Management:

      “we recommend managers implement programs that include collecting comparative data on 1) the relative abundance and take of moose and predators, 2) basic information on moose nutritional status and population composition, 3) the frequency of deep snowfall winters, and 4) the relative effects of different predators on moose survival, because the effects vary considerably among study areas (Boertje et al. 2009: Tables 4 and 5)”.

      “black bears were the dominant source of predation mortality during all years except 2007 (Fig. 2)….”Wolves and brown bears were largely secondary predators compared to black bears.”

      While the above statements were in reference to the study area located in the interior of AK, I included it to reinforce my point below.

      I would prefer the AK BOG to adhere to the scientific process and research the above factors rather than just pull the trigger on wolves and pray. To my knowledge, AK DFG hasn’t done a study evaluating the above factors on the peninsula. If they have, I’d like to see proof. Personally, I don’t feel it’s ethically justifiable to manipulate predator densities for our benefit, especially when we screwed up in maintaining/destroying the habitat. Why should the predators be punished? I think it’s pretty obvious who should be punished.

      By the way, I’m on my way to grad school for a M.S. in wildlife biology in the next year…

    • Maka says:

      It’s good to see we have some REAL college educated experts in this lowly crowd of online ignoramuses, however, I strongly disagree with your theory on Wildlife Management “needing years of higher education to understand the reason for the decline of moose in Alaska” … it only takes one soul with common sense to realize the efforts to change the nature of things (costing the taxpayer an arm and a leg in expense – like when the BOG culled the wolves in Yellowstone National Park). Not only does it repeatedly backfire on humans, but it creates a larger problem in the unforeseeable end game.

      The most logical step would be #1) to stop humans from killing moose for two years while the moose repopulate. #2) If you are going to kill them, learn how to eat the wolf. #3) Science “lies” for the right price, just like any other business, and we’re all learning that.

      Any good logician can look at this picture and tell us moose are in decline from the “human element,” and not the wolf or bear.

      When all the new “hunting” residents fill their freezers with moose this year, plus, “the great number of families that don’t have the traditional “full freezer” that they depend on over the winter” ALL, bag their moose this year, your scientific logic will most CERTAINLY be, to start culling the bear too. Have you ever thought of culling the hunt? One hundred hunters will impact the moose more than 200 wolves (who btw eat many other sources of food than moose) while hunter’s hunt ONLY the moose. Who impacts the moose more from this logic?

      The proposed wolf measure IS brutal, inhumane, cruel and unnecessary. No amount of scientific mumbo-jumbo can configure the “bush” life in a lab, or on a hunting expedition, or from an airplane without having lived with, and known first hand how to respect the wild bush elements. Then, like you say, in the end “science” will create unforeseen problems in Nature, as human kind always “manages” to do.

      With something as important as the survival of “man” AND “nature,” the “professionals” need to be selected by a higher authority of intelligence other than appointed by nefarious agencies, such as gun clubs, trapping clubs, sports hunting clubs, and other unscientific agencies. IMHO, Alaska’s fate hangs with the more personal “good ole boy” agendas than it does with sound scientific awareness. Sad how fast money talks. Please, let the Wolf walk.

  13. coyras says:

    This comment area is not going to be read by any agency connected with Alaska. It’s just a good place for the Humans to rant about their hate for any type of hunting/killing of animals. Buy your meat in the store where you don’t see any killing, unless you don’t eat meat. If your truly worried about arial gunning of Wolves, the simple thing to do is find out where they are going to fly over, grab a Wolf and hug it so it’s not a target. Well that is a dumb idea now isn’t it. I do know of a woman who I watched in the woods of Alberta, tried to coax a Wolf to her car and pet it from her window until the wolf got on top of her car putting a large dent into the hood. Another dumb idea. So you see if any of the Wolf loving population care to protect wildlife, protect all of it and not just one type. Predators eat all of those good tasting animals, even your pets if you encounter a Wolf in the Woods. BTW 26 states now have a Wolf population, even a few states that had none to begin with. The larger Canadian Wolf (av weight 135 lbs) in the Northwest is much larger than the Timber or Gray Wolf ( av 65 lbs) found there originally.
    Go ahead and reply all you want, I’ll not be here again.

  14. mikeschair says:

    That certainly is your speed huh!!!

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