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To Help Moose and Caribou Numbers, Manage Hunters, Not Predators

Letters to the Editor / Anchorage Daily News / December 7, 2004

I feel compelled to voice my opposition to the increased predator control programs by the state ("Board expands its wolf control," Nov. 30). I'm not opposed to hunting for food needed to feed families in many villages and rural communities. I am opposed to urban Alaskans from Anchorage and Fairbanks who go out to rural areas with their shiny new pickups and a trailer full of four-wheelers, feeling they have an inalienable right to "fill their freezers," needlessly depleting a resource.

Hunting in Alaska is a privilege, not a right. The Board of Game should be looking at other measures to help moose and caribou populations recover. I suggest they use the strategy in the Alaska Department of Fish and Game Hunter Education manual. It says, "Wildlife biologists believe when prey species have adequate habitat, populations will provide more prey for wild predators and hunters to share. When habitat is damaged, when hunters are too efficient, or when access to prey is too easy, then hunting seasons are likely to be shortened, made into permit hunts, or even closed."

The above approach makes sense, but killing up to 80 percent of the wolf population and 60 percent of the grizzly bear population in any area does not! The board shouldn't be trying to farm moose and caribou by killing wolves and bears; they need to be managing the hunters.

Dave Bachrach  / Homer

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