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Help the McNeil Bear Sanctuary off linmits to hunting

State's Wildlife Management Relies Too Much on Dead Animals

Letters / Anchorage Daily News / March 28, 2009

The letter by well-known Wasilla master guide and outfitter John E. Luster ("Worst predators are two-legged ones: Impose controls on them," March 8) validates what I have been trying to say for years: The state measures wildlife management successes by the numbers of dead animal bodies -- not by thriving, living populations.

It's not just permissive guiding regulations. Moose were easy to shoot and the state facilitated their massacre by allowing personal motor vehicles to chase them down.

Like so many Alaskans, the state considers it very Alaskan to kill wild animals, pretend everyone lives a "subsistence lifestyle" and then blame wolves and bears for the inevitable population crashes. Just like the shrinking size of tuna in the sea, the once magnificent, mature, muscular moose in Hatcher Pass are fewer in number, smaller in size and extremely wary -- classic signs of human overhunting.

Alaska imports 95 percent of its food, yet Alaskans are suckers for slogans like "living off the land." Now it's "abundance-based" management ("Abundance-based fish, game management can benefit all," Corey Rossi, F&G, Compass, Feb. 21).

Alaska could support more moose, caribou, bears and wolves -- if it didn't allow so many to be shot! But all we get from Gov. Palin's wildlife death squads are inaccurate body counts and an "abundance" of bull.

-- Rudy Wittshirk

Willow AK


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