To the editor:
Moose in Unit 20A and 20B are in dire need of sensible harvest laws that provide for the utilization of the moose harvest. The cumulative effect of how the Alaska Department of Fish and Game manages this resource is flawed.
On harvesting cows or calves: When a cow is taken and the calf is as young as 90 days old, it will not survive on its own. They will quit eating and remain within a few hundred feet of where its mother was killed, waiting for her to return. Within a few days, a predator will come by, and that is the end of the calf or calves. They do not get "adopted" by other moose and it is sad to observe the rapid decline of health and energy in only a few days. The department may want to revisit their policy and adopt Delta ADFG policy: "No person may take a calf or cow accompanied by a calf."
Depletion of moose in easily accessible areas: ADFG has decimated the moose population in areas where generations of families have traditionally hunted and forced them to hunt different areas because of a lack of game. This is wrong and could have been avoided if the department had listened to a few of the 600-plus people who have signed petitions to stop the antlerless hunts. Anterless hunts in these depleted areas should be stopped immediately.
ADFG biologist Don Young has been quoted, "It's a use it or lose it philosophy." Since when have predators changed their eating habits just because there were less moose? The percent of predation increases as populations decline. Makes sense!
It is irresponsible for the ADFG to pursue an accelerated harvest objective that is questionable when they aren't able to obtain a population census every year. It is little wonder that a large number of residents in the local area are out to change the way the local Advisory Committees and the ADFG handle the issues regarding moose harvest and the public.