To the editor:
I have lived and hunted in the great state of Alaska for 50 years.
As a child I hunted the Tanana Flats area and have always appreciated and respected the bountiful moose harvest in this area. This has now gone into decline, and myself and my fellow hunters are concerned.
Fish and Game decided they needed a cow and calf hunt in this area. To date they have taken less than 50 percent of the expected antlerless harvest for 2007. Maybe the herd is less than previously thought. I believe the reason for this is that there simply are not the cows to be harvested.
The moose population in this area is in serious decline and the biologists still argue for more cow kills. This year has been the worst yet, as this cow hunt progresses. I now see only one cow per bull in the area, and I spent 20 of the 25 days of hunting season out there.
There is a horn restriction in the area. Spike/fork or many brow tines. This year I did not see a single spike/fork. Were they eliminated as calves in the antlerless moose hunt?
The last time I saw a cow hunt was in the '70s. This so devastated the moose population that the area was very restricted to all moose hunting for years before the population rebounded.
The Tanana Flats area is regarded as the largest moose population in the state.
It appears someone is intent on decimating the herd. It is critical that this issue is addressed by someone other than the Fish & Game biologists immediately.
If you, as hunters, are seeing the same results please speak up. It's up to us to protect this hunt.
Heck, for all we know our bear problems last summer stem from the reduction of moose in the area!
Loren "Shorty" Hite