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1 Week Ago #1
Caribou Closures on Alaska Federal Public Lands (WSA 16-01)
Hey y'all, this project was produced for Alaska Backcountry Hunters & Anglers in regards to WSA 16-01.
We've been trying to get our website updated to include this project with video embeds. But we know the next round of closures is coming any day now.
So, we're invting you to watch this 2.5 hour project if you're interested in hunting caribou on federal lands in Alaska's Brooks Range.
Here's a link to our Vimeo channel:
Starts with this WSA 16-03 public meeting
Intro video to project
The Hunt for Caribou Part 1:
The Hunt for Caribou Part 2:
Preserve and Transport Caribou Part 1:
Preserve and Transport Caribou Part 2:
If you guys have any questions about each episode, let me know.
This site is the first one to receive this invitation. Watch the project and pass it on to social media channels where appropriate, please.
Here's text that explains each episode:
WSA 16-01 This Wildlife Special Action was approved by the Federal Subsistence Board (FSB) on April 18, 2016, which closed Federal public lands to caribou hunting to all non-local hunters for at least one year. The Board cited “sufficient evidence” indicating that the closure was necessary to allow for the subsistence priority AND for the conservation of a healthy caribou population. The only evidence they or anyone has offered is local opinion, not science-based reasoning for the closure.
Natives claim non-local hunters and airplane traffic are causing the herd to disperse, stall and avoid traditional byways during the early migratory period. Locals used the Regional Advisory Committees as the strength to motivate the FSB to action. The FSB also bypassed the state’s game management plan for this herd, which reported that the herd has not yet reached the population threshold that warrants restricting non-local hunters. We agree with the Alaska Department of Fish & Game on this, and our goal is to collect the facts from the field and present our position as backcountry hunters. Along the way, we’ll demonstrate how to effectively and responsibly hunt this region for caribou, despite the closures.
Episode 1: Public meeting footage obtained in July, 2016 concerning WSA 16-03 and its relation to WSA 16-01. Sounds confusing I admit, just trust us enough to check it out. This video gives an overview of the state’s position and public/native opinion. Sets the stage for the project, so while it’s not a sexy video, it’s worth the time investment as an orientation to the issues.
Episode 2: Intro to the Problems
Introduction of the facts surrounding WSA 16-01. This segment was filmed at the Fairbanks Public Library, sorry for the reverb. It’ll get better in episode 2.
Episode 3: The Hunt for Caribou (Part 1 of 2)
This segment follows Larry from his arrival to Kotzebue, AK through to late morning of day 4. You’ll witness how caribou behave around non-local hunters and airplanes, and you’ll also become acquainted with the role of ambient temperature in our environment. As a bonus, you’ll get to see what an ancient fire ring looks like, as well as how to build one like it in the arctic.
Episode 4: The Hunt for Caribou (Part 2 of 2)
This segment covers the events from midday of day 4 through day 6 on the search for caribou and dodging weather and climate. The drama builds as weather improves and caribou show up. We’re closer to the harvest but not yet there. Climate change and caribou behavior are important lessons in this segment. Oh, and Larry locates an ancient hunting community site and shares the experiences along the way.
Episode 5: Salvage a Western Arctic Herd Caribou
The title says it all, and this segment covers the events that took place at the kill site on Day 7. Bartlett demonstrates how to render a caribou from hoof to game bags, and then delivers some interesting facts about the current health of these caribou. If you want to brush up on your salvage skills or what you think you know, check out this video. You won’t be disappointed.
Episode 6: Preserve and Transport a Western Arctic Caribou (Part 1 of 2)
This segment covers the action from Day 7 to Day 9. Learn the hands-on skills required to effectively preserve game meat in a challenging arctic environment. Every non-local hunter should watch this video for the wealth of knowledge presented.
Episode 7: Preserve and Transport a Western Arctic Caribou (Part of 2 of 2)
This segment follows Day 9 to the end of the road for meat care strategies, which means the final push from the field to the commercial exit strategy back in Kotzebue, then back to Fairbanks with the game meat. This is strong content, and the conclusion discusses our position as non-local hunters who want our rights to hunt caribou in GMU 23 restored.
1 Week Ago #2
Awesome work as usual Larry!! Thanks for sharing this important information with us.
1 Week Ago #3
1 Week Ago #4
Great videos and information. Thank you for speaking out and drawing attention to this important issue.
1 Week Ago #5
I liked the statement about discriminating against me based on my zip code... That's so true.
1 Week Ago #6
Very good content as usual. Thanks for being an advocate for public lands, public land hunting, and everything you do Larry.
At the end of the 5th video you mention Brucellosis... do you know if this is a contributor to the herds decline, or if any research has been done around this?
1 Week Ago #7
I do know that approximately 80% of caribou in the Western Arctic Herd is proved to have brucellosis. Caribou live with this bacteria, and have for hundreds of thousands of years. It's an ancient bacteria, living on ancient land dwellers. Brucellosis doesn't have predictable bio markers that influence overall herd size and health. They seem fine, even when the herd has reached it maximum population size, roughly 80% of them had brucellosis.
Brucellosis is a zoonotic infection caused by the bacterial genus Brucella. The bacteria are transmitted from animals to humans by ingestion through infected food products, direct contact with an infected animal, or inhalation of aerosols. The disease is an old one that has been known by various names, including Mediterranean fever, Malta fever, gastric remittent fever, and undulant fever. Humans are accidental hosts, but brucellosis continues to be a major public health concern worldwide and is the most common zoonotic infection. 
Brucella organisms, which are small aerobic intracellular coccobacilli, localize in the reproductive organs of host animals, causing abortions and sterility. They are shed in large numbers in the animal’s urine, milk, placental fluid, and other fluids. To date, 8 species have been identified, named primarily for the source animal or features of infection. Of these, the following 4 have moderate-to-significant human pathogenicity:
Brucella melitensis (from sheep; highest pathogenicity)
Brucella suis (from pigs; high pathogenicity)
Brucella abortus (from cattle; moderate pathogenicity)
Brucella canis (from dogs; moderate pathogenicity)
1 Week Ago #8
Many native hunters today will leave an animal to rot when they note those leg lumps (classic brucellosis). But we are required to salvage, preserve, and transport that meat out of the field. Stringent hand washing and well cooked consumption is plenty effective.
Thought about getting blood tested to see if my brucellosis tracers bumped up after that trip...
1 Week Ago #9
Thanks for the info Larry. We've been following this on AOD a bit as we have a hunt planned for August. It would suck if we had to cancel but it's even worse having to keep waiting for a decision to be made.
1 Week Ago #10
Thank you Larry for your never-ending efforts on behalf of all sportsman. Individuals such as yourself are sincerely appreciated by us all. Great video compilation as always
1 Week Ago #11
Hey Colonel, man I'd still do your hunt even if it closes. You can legally land, hunt, and legally harvest your bull below the mean high water mark. That region has wide gravel bars and we've never had to shoot one above mean high water.
That's what WSA 16-03 reminded Alaska hunters about state land/federal land ownership. As long as the BOG does not close caribou hunting, it's legal to harvest caribou as long as you're on state land within federal land boundaries.
I've said that before, but it's an important loop hole for guys like us who will hunt be damned.
1 Week Ago #12
Interesting point Larry. We'll probably wait and see what happens in early May with the decisions but I'll probably reach out to you at some point. That or we can chat at the packraft rondy if you are making it this year. We've got 2 PR-49's and one buddy just picked up a Kork so we're definitely ready to hunt close to the water. I think it's then more a matter of maximizing our odds of finding bou crossing the streams so we can harvest them below the high water mark.
1 Week Ago #13
Thank you Larry for your efforts
Sent from my XT1585 using Tapatalk
2 Days Ago #14
Check this shit out.
I'll be there in Barrow for both meeting to testify on our behalf.
WSA17-03: Public Hearings announced for Wildlife Special Action Request WSA17-03 to close Federal public lands in Unit 23 to caribou hunting by non-Federally qualified users.
Nome 6:00-8:00 p.m., May 3 Aurora Inn 302 Front Street, Nome, Alaska 99762 Teleconference: TOLL FREE (888) 455-5897 Passcode: 3344290
Kotzebue 6:00-9:00 p.m., May 4 Northwest Arctic Heritage Center 171 Third Ave., Kotzebue, Alaska 99752 Teleconference: TOLL FREE (888) 455-5897 Passcode: 3344290
Utqiagvik (Barrow) 6:00-8:00 p.m., May 9 Inupiat Heritage Center 5421 North Star Street, Barrow, Alaska 99723 Teleconference: TOLL FREE (888) 455-5897 Passcode: 3344290
WSA17-04: Public Hearing announced for Wildlife Special Action Request WSA17-04 to close Federal public lands in Units 26A and 26B to caribou hunting by non-Federally qualified users
Utqiagvik (Barrow) 6:00 – 9:00pm, May 10 Inupiat Heritage Center 5421 North Star Street, Barrow, Alaska 99723 Teleconference: TOLL FREE (888) 455-5897 Passcode: 3344290
2 Days Ago #15We do not go to the green woods and crystal waters to rough it, we go to smooth it. We get it rough enough at home; in towns and cities; in shops, offices, stores, banks anywhere that we may be placed—with the necessity always present of being on time and up to our work; of providing for the dependent ones; of keeping up, catching up, or getting left. “Alas for the lifelong battle, whose bravest slogan is bread.
21 Hours Ago #16
What is your sense on the importance of NRs testifying? Between these WSAs and HB 211, I'm not feeling very good.
21 Hours Ago #17
Example..Currently, the House had passed a huge tax package which has everyone up in arms, while the Senate has already called for a complete block.We do not go to the green woods and crystal waters to rough it, we go to smooth it. We get it rough enough at home; in towns and cities; in shops, offices, stores, banks anywhere that we may be placed—with the necessity always present of being on time and up to our work; of providing for the dependent ones; of keeping up, catching up, or getting left. “Alas for the lifelong battle, whose bravest slogan is bread.