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Help the McNeil Bear Sanctuary off linmits to hunting

Worst Predators are Two-Legged Ones: Impose Controls on Them

Letters / Anchorage Daily News / March 8, 2009

I have lived in Alaska most of my life and have made a living as a guide outfitter for most of my 58 years. My father was also a guide outfitter and raised a family from hunting, trapping and fishing for over 70 years.

Yes, the bears and wolves need to be controlled, but they are not the reason for the lack of game populations.

The reason for the lack of game is the regulations for the guiding industry. The guides, for the most part, do not break the law. The law lets them have three guiding areas a year. They can kill as many as they want and then next year, when most all adult males are gone, they can apply for new areas and move to three new areas.

If a guide only got one area, he would be forced to take care of it.

I know the state makes money from licenses and tags. So what? If guides took less game, they would have to charge more per hunt, bring in more money with less cost and pay more taxes.

For example, where my family hunted and guided, since before Alaska was a state, the game was abundant, until regulations allowed unlimited guides to enter. Where we took 10-12 rams a year, 20 guides flew in. If each one took one ram, that would be too many. Do you think they only took one each? Also, they took bull moose and to this day, if one is in the open, they kill him. Now there is nothing for the resident hunters and now they are hollering predator control. To all you well-schooled, sit at a desk and make up the rules, wake up or at least show some intelligence. Change the guiding regulations. If you don't, then you are the biggest predator.

-- John E. Luster

Master guide and outfitter

Wasilla AK

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