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Old 10-13-2010, 11:28 PM
 
Location: Palmer
2,517 posts, read 5,607,275 times
Reputation: 1353

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Trapping black bears is probably a good idea in areas where they are overpopulated. The problem is that grizzlies are just as big a problem in some other areas...esp on the Nelchina caribou herd. The fish and feathers have loosened the regs in those areas to allow more grizzlies to be hunted, but still they are nailing a lot of caribou. In some areas only a few calves out of every hundred survive their first month or so. They are eaten by bears and wolves.

BTW...to those who are against trapping because it is inhumane...have you ever seen the humane way a wolf kills a calf?
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Old 10-14-2010, 03:51 AM
 
Location: Barrow, Alaska
3,539 posts, read 6,130,607 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Marty Van Diest View Post
Trapping black bears is probably a good idea in areas where they are overpopulated. The problem is that grizzlies are just as big a problem in some other areas...esp on the Nelchina caribou herd. The fish and feathers have loosened the regs in those areas to allow more grizzlies to be hunted, but still they are nailing a lot of caribou. In some areas only a few calves out of every hundred survive their first month or so. They are eaten by bears and wolves.

BTW...to those who are against trapping because it is inhumane...have you ever seen the humane way a wolf kills a calf?
Bears are generally the biggest preditors of moose and caribou calves. They make a wolf kill look positively nice. Wolves to some degree work on killing things, so that it won't get up an run away. Bears have the strength to injure things easily and the claws to hang onto another animal. They just start eating, and eventually that causes death.

Animals have evolved different mechanisms to cope with wolf and bear predation. Moose calves, like most deer, do not have much scent and the usual thing is for a mother to "hide" the calf (which remains very still) and then try to draw the bear slowly away from it. But black bears in particular learn from experience, and by 3-4 years of age are well aware that the calf is not where the cow moose is. Black bears will actually do a pattern search looking for a hidden calf.

Caribou are unique as far as I know. The trick they use is to get together as a herd, and then all pregnant cows drop their calves within a few days of each other. The predators can only eat so many calves in a first week or two, and by 10 days of age a healthy calf can outrun a wolf, never mind a bear. So the predators have about two weeks of good eating, and most calves that survive that period are no longer at risk.

Of course a lot depends on how healthy the animals are. For example we always hear about "calving area" in ANWR for the Porcupine herd, but that is often not where the calves are born. What it really is, is a place where calves are always nurtured due to the food supply. When the herd drops calves before arriving at that location the calf survival rate dips down to nearly 40%, but when the herd is able to arrive on the coastal plain of ANWR in time to calve there, the survival rate climbs in to the mid 70% range (due mostly to nutritional factors).

It seems to me that I recall there was only one area of the state where wolves were actually taking more moose calves than bears.
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Old 10-14-2010, 08:33 AM
 
Location: Palmer
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Yes Floyd. I agree, bears generally eat more moose than do wolves. At least in the summer. Wolves come into their own in the winter.
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Old 10-14-2010, 01:19 PM
 
Location: Anhorage
11 posts, read 22,534 times
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Hey, I've hunted most of my life, since I was a kid in the country. Also did some trapping early on.
Worst thing I learned in New England was the toll that wildlife "management" took on wild game.
Predators are natures natural means of population control. Managing a hunting season is a reasonabe and effective way of letting man be part of that control without getting out of hand when our population increases. In Alaska since I've been here for 30 years the only thing that significantly increases are ATVs - making it much easier to hunt. Bear bating is sick enough without resorting to trapping them. Nature will balance out over time, just keep a close eye on the man with the machines. If the caribou count is down, (usually different herds at different cycles), donate some beef in the interim, or let them have the meat from the black bears that are legally harvested with firearms
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Old 10-14-2010, 08:55 PM
 
Location: Palmer
2,517 posts, read 5,607,275 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by poschulte View Post
Hey, I've hunted most of my life, since I was a kid in the country. Also did some trapping early on.
Worst thing I learned in New England was the toll that wildlife "management" took on wild game.
Predators are natures natural means of population control. Managing a hunting season is a reasonabe and effective way of letting man be part of that control without getting out of hand when our population increases. In Alaska since I've been here for 30 years the only thing that significantly increases are ATVs - making it much easier to hunt. Bear bating is sick enough without resorting to trapping them. Nature will balance out over time, just keep a close eye on the man with the machines. If the caribou count is down, (usually different herds at different cycles), donate some beef in the interim, or let them have the meat from the black bears that are legally harvested with firearms
I don't have a problem with trapping bears or with baiting them, although I don't do it. The end result is the same...dead bear. If you are going to kill them who cares how it is done as long as it's not done with intentional cruelty. Hunting doesn't do the trick because not enough people do it.

I do like the idea of using the meat. Black bear meat is good. It should be salvaged when possible and not wasted.

I don't buy into the "leave them alone and the population will manage itself" idea. That's like planting a garden and not touching it until harvest season. You will still have a harvest but not necessarily a good one. If we have the ability to manage wildlife...we should do so. Mistakes will be made, just like they are in your own garden, but we learn from them.
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Old 10-29-2010, 03:35 PM
 
Location: Anhorage
11 posts, read 22,534 times
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Your point is well taken but ----these are wild animals, you plant your garden. When we try to manage wildlands, the only thing that really works is keep man from disturbing it i.e. national parks.
I've seen what wildlife management does as with fish management in New England where i was brought up. Only commercial fish left are eels and most predator animals are long gone. Therefore I say your msg is good except we don't learn from our mistakes - we just keep moving them to new places, and this is the best and last.
[RIGHT][SIZE=3]"We of an older generation can get along with what we have, though with growing hardship; but in your full manhood and womanhood you will want what nature once so bountifully supplied and man so thoughtlessly destroyed; and because of that want you will reproach us, not for what we have used, but for what we have wasted...So any nation which in its youth lives only for the day, reaps without sowing, and consumes without husbanding, must expect the penalty of the prodigal whose labor could with difficulty find him the bare means of life."
[/SIZE]
[SIZE=2]"Arbor Day - A Message to the School-Children of the United States" April 15, 1907[/SIZE][/RIGHT]
Teddy Roosevelt
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Old 10-29-2010, 04:03 PM
 
941 posts, read 1,400,385 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Marty Van Diest View Post
I don't buy into the "leave them alone and the population will manage itself" idea. That's like planting a garden and not touching it until harvest season. You will still have a harvest but not necessarily a good one. If we have the ability to manage wildlife...we should do so. Mistakes will be made, just like they are in your own garden, but we learn from them.
Man's ability to manage game animals is disrupted by laws such as ones where it is mandated that the management be for maximum harvest for a certain population of predators. In Alaska's case the predator is not a natural one but one which selectively removes that portion of the population that would be left intact under the rules of natural selection. This brings about the lack of predation on the unfit portion of the population and the overall weakening of the population as a whole. Natural predation removes the sick and unfit first and leaves the best suited, which simply wont happen when selection is for the biggest and best, which is the human way of doing it. Management must depend first on a natural method for it to be effective.
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Old 10-29-2010, 04:19 PM
 
Location: Palmer
2,517 posts, read 5,607,275 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by richelles View Post
Man's ability to manage game animals is disrupted by laws such as ones where it is mandated that the management be for maximum harvest for a certain population of predators. In Alaska's case the predator is not a natural one but one which selectively removes that portion of the population that would be left intact under the rules of natural selection. This brings about the lack of predation on the unfit portion of the population and the overall weakening of the population as a whole. Natural predation removes the sick and unfit first and leaves the best suited, which simply wont happen when selection is for the biggest and best, which is the human way of doing it. Management must depend first on a natural method for it to be effective.
Actually, natural predation removes the most vulnerable prey first. Sometimes that is the sick and unfit but sometimes it is the young and vulnerable. Bears especially are a lot smarter than many people understand and learn to attack the young moose and caribou almost immediately after they are born. Currently in some area almost all the young moose are killed by bears before they are a month old. These are perfectly healthy moose...they are just young.
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Old 10-29-2010, 04:30 PM
 
941 posts, read 1,400,385 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Marty Van Diest View Post
Actually, natural predation removes the most vulnerable prey first. Sometimes that is the sick and unfit but sometimes it is the young and vulnerable. Bears especially are a lot smarter than many people understand and learn to attack the young moose and caribou almost immediately after they are born. Currently in some area almost all the young moose are killed by bears before they are a month old. These are perfectly healthy moose...they are just young.
You may not understand the predation situation because what you're describing is actually a form of predation which is very effective in its own right. That is poor parenting leads to the demise of the offspring of a poor parent. If the parent is an effective parent the situation is they are able to raise more young to sexual maturity than the poor parents. So look at predation as a factor that does exactly what I said in my previous post. The marvel of parenting is due in part to swamping the predators with so many young at one time that many young survive over time which leaves the best suited to be the future parents. Understand now?
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Old 10-29-2010, 04:33 PM
 
11,835 posts, read 24,009,223 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Xinoeph View Post
But this trapping is wrong. Deeply, horrifically wrong.
I agree they should be shot from planes like wolves.
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