Hold on to your GMU 23/26A Shorts boys

z987k

Well Known Rokslider
Joined
Sep 9, 2020
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580
Location
Anchorage, AK
Honestly, I picked Kotz because it was the only place I could get a hunt mid September and take my wife for a once in a lifetime trip. If I had my choice, I’d hunt the 40 mile heard and do a drop hunt. That’s what I wanted to do but couldn’t find anyone to transport us. We want to do a drop hunt and experience the wilderness of Alaska and be remote and just us two. Hell, I’d gladly give up my deposit with my current outfitter and hunt the 40 mile heard if that transporter was reputable and could put us on nice caribou. If you know of anyone or want to lend a helping hand, I’m all ears. Because hunting mid September out of Kotz seems like a total crap shoot unless we hunt the north slope in 26 and that won’t be known if it’s possible until we get there and k ow the weather situation.


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People hunt the 40 mile heard with a truck and 4 wheeler every year. It's one of 2 herds there's absolutely no need for air transport for.
Air transport increases your odds, but it's not necessary. There's even the non-motorized zone, that if you're willing to put in the work, people are quite successful at.
 

WI Shedhead

Member
Joined
Oct 9, 2012
Messages
68
Lb- you have to be impressed how this thread has taken life and I’ll bet you never thought it would exceed 500 responses.

One thing all of us will know after the 2022 season, is if caribou hunting under the new format will be feasible for this herd. It is very obvious the, (imo) extra ground that was closed to the kobuk river will effectively make it really tough to make a go of it, but we will find out.

What excuse will the subsistence hunters defer to this next year if the herds don’t roll through thier towns like they apparently used too?
 

Catag94

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Mar 29, 2021
Messages
172
Speaking for myself, this has nothing to do with me not wanting people to come up and experience caribou hunting. There are plenty of caribou up here and it would be awesome for everyone to get up here once in their lives. The problem is that Kotzebue is all non-residents talk about on this public forum and treat it like it’s the only place in Alaska to hunt Caribou.

Next, hordes of hunters travel through a village to get flown out into their hunting area. This village is where people live their routine, day after day. Then August/ September rolls around and the airport is packed day after day with guys in their camo.

Next, resident hunters are priced out of hunts because the air transporters quadruple their prices because “non-residents” are willing to pay. This quote came straight from the horses mouth.

Next comes the crowding. You guys from the L48 are used to running into other hunters in the field. It’s normal down there. One of the perks of Alaska is it’s vastness. You should be able to hunt without ever seeing another human. You used to be able to float any of rivers or tributaries north of Kotz and not see a single other person. Last year we floated by groups every two miles. Golden Eagle and Ram are stacking group after group on the same gravel bars a few miles apart. I didn’t hear about a single group that didn’t have bears in their camps night after night stealing quarters.

There are those of you that complain about how F’d up the western states are becoming with hunting, so you turn around and are trying to bring that crap up to Alaska. Some of you think what I’m saying is divisive, I see it as common sense to not discuss hunting areas over the internet.


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With all due respect to you sir, I have a few thoughts on your comments.



First, you said it yourself, “there are plenty of caribou up here…”

Second, other herds and areas are discussed on Rokslide for sure. Porcupine herd areas, 40-mile, Nelchina, etc. However, I agree that broadcasting a public forum

Third, I don’t see the problem with a busy airport for a couple months. It has a lot of positive impact I imagine along with perhaps a little congestion for a time. Nonetheless, the community and many locals benefit from that traffic I’m sure.

Fourth, you can buy into the idea that air transporters quadruple their prices for Aug/Sept if you wish. However, having experience and understanding the costs per hour of flying one of the planes they use, I would suggest that doing it for 1/4 the amount they are charging nonresidents is absurd unless they need to shed profits from other sources of income.

Ram and GEO both have good reputations for avoiding precisely what you are claiming they do…drop hunter in the same area as other current hunters. GEO is urging their clients for 2022 to push to 2023 in hopes the closure is overturned. This isn’t because it’s good for them in the short term, but rather, they are doing so to ensure their clients are able to get the experience you talk about (vast Alaskan wilderness hunting without running into other hunters), because that’s what their clients get every year. Sure, they may use a gravel bar for one group after another group is gone, but to suggest the hunters they transport are bumping into each other is being disingenuous.

You’re painting this like the problem is over-crowding of the vast lands of units 23 and 26a, as a result of public forum info sharing. But I believe you know better. The real issue boils down to locals, particularly RAC members (and a very small handful at that) don’t want non-locals coming there. They try incessantly to use the FSB to accomplish this and this time, with a fairly significant amount of guidance from the OSM, they have been successful. They continue this with complete disregard of facts, research, and evidence that contradicts their claims and reasonings in an effort to keep the vast lands for themselves. It is truly sick. Furthermore, your finger pointing at the people who are actually being disenfranchised in this is sick too.


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CGSwimmer25

Well Known Rokslider
Joined
Mar 28, 2014
Messages
151
Location
Alaska
With all due respect to you sir, I have a few thoughts on your comments.



First, you said it yourself, “there are plenty of caribou up here…”

Second, other herds and areas are discussed on Rokslide for sure. Porcupine herd areas, 40-mile, Nelchina, etc. However, I agree that broadcasting a public forum

Third, I don’t see the problem with a busy airport for a couple months. It has a lot of positive impact I imagine along with perhaps a little congestion for a time. Nonetheless, the community and many locals benefit from that traffic I’m sure.

Fourth, you can buy into the idea that air transporters quadruple their prices for Aug/Sept if you wish. However, having experience and understanding the costs per hour of flying one of the planes they use, I would suggest that doing it for 1/4 the amount they are charging nonresidents is absurd unless they need to shed profits from other sources of income.

Ram and GEO both have good reputations for avoiding precisely what you are claiming they do…drop hunter in the same area as other current hunters. GEO is urging their clients for 2022 to push to 2023 in hopes the closure is overturned. This isn’t because it’s good for them in the short term, but rather, they are doing so to ensure their clients are able to get the experience you talk about (vast Alaskan wilderness hunting without running into other hunters), because that’s what their clients get every year. Sure, they may use a gravel bar for one group after another group is gone, but to suggest the hunters they transport are bumping into each other is being disingenuous.

You’re painting this like the problem is over-crowding of the vast lands of units 23 and 26a, as a result of public forum info sharing. But I believe you know better. The real issue boils down to locals, particularly RAC members (and a very small handful at that) don’t want non-locals coming there. They try incessantly to use the FSB to accomplish this and this time, with a fairly significant amount of guidance from the OSM, they have been successful. They continue this with complete disregard of facts, research, and evidence that contradicts their claims and reasonings in an effort to keep the vast lands for themselves. It is truly sick. Furthermore, your finger pointing at the people who are actually being disenfranchised in this is sick too.


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I don’t pay any attention to the politics up there or what the FSB is doing. My comments are based on my experiences hunting up there every 2-3 years since 2009. Last year was the last year I’ll do a float in that area given the experience I had. I stand by all my comments and wish you the best of luck if you decide to give it a try.


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ppumil

Junior Member
Joined
Apr 7, 2021
Messages
46
Location
Transplant to PNW from the South
I have to laugh at the fact there is such an issue with me coming to hunt. You do realize I am the minority of your visits. You better stop Eco tourism, fishing and OH! the one that is destroying the area the most but brings and has the most money natural resource utilizers(take your pick to fill in what they are getting!). There has been dynamite set off across all of Alaska to find this and they have way more influence than you can imagine so my point remains it is best to find a way to agree as hunters and move ahead united.
The reality is there will never be enough for those who want to go and there must be a way to allocate it in a manner that is equitable. I do not have the answer and am just making an observation on a site where it is obvious there is divide in our ranks. I hope to be able to take my daughter up and hunt with friends that live in Alaska for I admit I will not be moving there. I like to take them to states in the West and South also that I don't live in. I want to go as a hunter not a eco tourist or such but I will show them the natural wonders our country has to offer. Believe me I am not trying to be fuel to a fire here and this will be my last post on it. I wish you all well and hope you do get to see the what is out there. It is always amazing to me!!!
 
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Larry Bartlett

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Air taxi operators CANNOT legally increase their rates from summer fishermen/eco tours to hunting in the fall. So that doesn't happen. Air transporters can do so legally. That's just the way it is here. Regardless of price, we'd probably pay it to get into the bush safely and timely.

Crowding is not the issue despite an obvious claim by locals.

This issue is Native movement and their federal authority to methodically reclaim local control over locally available resources. This is not a state vs fed fight, just the bounce back from each side reacting to the traction applied using the federal powers as a way to get what they want while using anecdotal claims not science to achieve it. It's a mechanism and method that if unchecked will disrupt other popular regions with caribou and moose.

All other points of blame are futile and moot. We are not enemies of one another. We are all affected the same way regardless of our residency. It costs me the same as it costs a Non-res hunter to hunt that herd.

I agree that we should all stand side by side on this issue, not divided by a single distractive or discouraging comment from the depths between a keyboard and the desk chair.
 

WalterH

Junior Member
Joined
May 14, 2020
Messages
16
The real issue boils down to locals, particularly RAC members (and a very small handful at that) don’t want non-locals coming there. They try incessantly to use the FSB to accomplish this and this time, with a fairly significant amount of guidance from the OSM, they have been successful.


They continue this with complete disregard of facts, research, and evidence that contradicts their claims and reasonings in an effort to keep the vast lands for themselves.

Bingo. That is the part that doesn't sit well for me. The closure has everything to do with politics and nothing to do with science and sound management and decision making. Not the way it should be.
 

Forrest1

Newbie
Joined
Oct 18, 2021
Messages
6
How realistic do you guys think this will be lifted by 2023? GEO pushed us all back till next year. I was trying to book a hunt for 2024 but I'm wondering if this caribou hunt will get pushed back again until the that year!
 

207-12A

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Joined
Nov 12, 2017
Messages
158
To clarify, I haven't seen ADF&G so vehemently oppose any issue quite like they have spoken against this one in my 4 years as a resident up here. That includes various sheep issues, halibut and salmon harvests, wolves in SE AK, etc. They've been adamantly and publicly against this from the start. The science just doesn't support the closure - it's purely an emotional argument from the small interest group of local residents which caught the ear of the Feds.
 
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Larry Bartlett

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Nick I know you're an avid and professional hunter, at least your reputation precedes you in that way. However, while there are other (and cheaper) caribou herds to hunt and enjoy, the western arctic is a special place that has beautifully gin-clear tributaries, abundant fishing for trophy char, incredible scenery, isolation, grizzly up cycles, and incredible archeology beyond a successful caribou harvest. I guess my point is the fight for this issue is all about all of theses things but more importantly the fight is about headbutting the precedent of this movement or political mechanism affecting that region, then another, then the ones you and I rely on the most for convenience and budget (GMUs 26B, 20 and 12/13).

There are plenty of other caribou destinations, but this one is the herd that needs our stance to be strong and defensive, IMO. ADFG and non-locals agree there's no scientific validity of the closure, and that is a disturbing impotence for call to action.
 

Nick Muche

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Mar 21, 2012
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3,721
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Alaska
I’m all for the fight Larry. This closure is horse shit in all regards.

Just saying that people worrying about if they can go there next year or after could plan to go somewhere else just as easily, while relieving any unnecessary stress.

That was all.
 

z987k

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Sep 9, 2020
Messages
580
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Anchorage, AK
If I remember right from reading the reason the locals wanted the feds to close to out of the area hunters, it was aircraft and other motor powered things supposedly disturbing the normal migration route of the caribou no?
If that's the case, why doesn't the state go ahead and make all of 23 and 26A non-motorized year round for all hunting until the locals have seen the caribou return to their normal migration routes? That's the logical change you would make under that assumption. Not closing it to non-locals.
 
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Larry Bartlett

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because the locals hunt caribou with motorboats in September to October and then on snow machines winter to spring. Without motors subsistence wouldn't exist beyond rural communities. Supports the way of life in search of....
 

z987k

Well Known Rokslider
Joined
Sep 9, 2020
Messages
580
Location
Anchorage, AK
because the locals hunt caribou with motorboats in September to October and then on snow machines winter to spring. Without motors subsistence wouldn't exist beyond rural communities. Supports the way of life in search of....
But I'd argue the locals with their motorboats are altering the normal migration route of the caribou.

We know that's not likely true, which is why the closure is BS, but if we're going to close it for that reason, lets actually close it for that reason.
 

thinhorn_AK

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Joined
Jul 2, 2016
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7,128
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Alaska
The most excessive cases of wanted slaughter and massacre of animals I’ve ever seen were done by “locals” on snow machines.

But you know….subsistence.
 

z987k

Well Known Rokslider
Joined
Sep 9, 2020
Messages
580
Location
Anchorage, AK
The most excessive cases of wanted slaughter and massacre of animals I’ve ever seen were done by “locals” on snow machines.

But you know….subsistence.
I've also witnessed that in Kotz on many occasions. And most of it thrown in the dumpster.
 
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