While on the remote lower Kenai Peninsula this summer I had the delight of conversing with some of the local Native population. The men I met one day were out tracking down a moose for a future hunt. I asked questions concerning the how, when, where and why of moose hunting in their area. According to the older resident the moose population has been declining in the last five years. When asked if they needed a license, he explained to me about the permit lottery and how the young man with him was a recipient.
I asked if in addition to the salmon harvesting if someone didn't get a moose tag, was that enough food for families in the winter. No, was the reply, and in addition he volunteered that most of the villagers would just go out and get a moose anyway. They told me they don't worry about getting caught because the law is rarely around and most everyone does it.
In Unit 19A is it really the wolf pups that need to be blamed? Before we see new laws passed that would affect a wildlife population inherently important to Alaska ecology, shouldn't we investigate all sides of a story? Perhaps instead we need to find a way to stop local poaching and get people fed.
-- Hope Jeska