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Help the McNeil Bear Sanctuary off linmits to hunting

Predator/Prey Management Benefits Hunters from Here and Outside

Letters / Anchorage Daily News / September 23, 2009

The attempt by anti-hunters to derail predator/prey management because of its "benefits to trophy hunters" is based on a shallow reason at best ("Herds gaining in areas of predator control," Daily News, Sept. 13).

Alaska's trade in big-game adventures is over a century old. North America's most famous first naturalists came to Alaska on the Harriman Alaska Expedition in 1899 on a guided Kodiak brown bear hunt. You can't find another more sustainable industry in Alaska with as much longevity.

If the antis define "trophy hunters" as all nonresidents, that only adds up to between 10,000 and 15,000 annually over the last 40 years. That's a small portion of the 100,000 licensed hunters in the state each year.

Alaska hunters and nonresident hunters will benefit from predator/prey management; why not trophy hunters too? Trophy hunters still have the same laws regarding wanton waste of game meat. They have to eat it or give it to someone in good enough condition for them to eat.

Nonresident hunters supply 80 percent of the funding to operate the entire Division of Wildlife Conservation. Money spent on game management is a good return for Alaska residents who choose to gather a wild food harvest for their family and friends each year. Non-hunters don't pay for predator/prey management.

Trophy hunters spend a considerable amount of money in Alaska on both services and goods. No other sector of the tourist industry can boast as much money spent in state per visitor.

Besides that, many Alaskans receive edible meat from game harvested by trophy hunters. In hard economic times a locally grown food source would only increase in value. Alaskans may all appreciate having a moose steak in the not-too-distant future.

A number of multiple-generation Alaska families have made guide/outfitting the mainstay of their livelihood for decades. Anti-hunting advocates are way off base attacking "trophy hunters" in their attempt to disrupt active predator/prey management in Alaska.

-- Rod Arno

Alaska Outdoor Council



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