Great news for all Alaskans who harvest caribou from the Fortymile herd. After several years of minimal success in the approved predator control project in Game Management Unit 20E, the Department of Fish and Game has authorized additional work this spring. The early loss of spring snow and the totally uncooperative posture of the neighboring federal land managers has held recent-year predator harvests to minimal levels. The best year's calf survival barely maintained the population.
Previous efforts prove that reducing predators on this herd can have significant benefits for calf survival. The earlier work resulted in growth of the herd, and now it's time to take the next step. If wolves and bears can be harvested at the maximum project target levels, the calf survival will again soar and the population will increase toward the goal of its historical averages. Thanks to Commissioner Lloyd and his crew for the planning and extra efforts.
We should expect the "never have spent a dime on Alaska wildlife management" cry-babies from Defenders of Wildlife to yell and scream about these extra efforts. After all, maybe they can have another fundraiser at our expense.
For Alaskans who hunt to eat these caribou, like to look at them along the Steese and Taylor highways, or just like to know the state is actively managing our wildlife, the latest addition to the predator control efforts is one big step in the right direction.
Mike Tinker, Ester