Roadkill numbers prompt bow hunt
Fish and Game gives bowhunters a week to harvest ungulates before cars get them.
The Associated Press
November 25, 2002
Fairbanks -- The Alaska Department of Fish and Game is trying to reverse a trend: motorists outnumbering hunters in killing more moose in the Fairbanks Management Area.
That's the idea behind a weeklong season that opened for bowhunters Thursday in the area.
The state would rather see bowhunters harvest moose than have them get run over by cars and trucks. Not only is it safer for drivers, but it also means more meat is salvaged.
"Although a lot of moose that get hit go to charities, they're not in as good a shape after getting hit (by a vehicle) than they are when they're shot with a bow," said wildlife biologist Don Young with Fish and Game.
Motorists usually kill about 100 moose a year in the area. In the past five years, the high is 117 roadkills and the low is 93.
"That's a lot of moose," Young said.
The most moose bowhunters have harvested in that same time span is 75.
"That's the thing we're trying to change," Young told the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner. "We're trying to get (the number of roadkills) reallocated to archery hunters."
The Fairbanks Management Area basically covers the residential areas in and around Fairbanks. Bowhunters must have an International Bowhunter Education Program certification card to qualify for the FMA hunt, which began Thursday and ends Wednesday. Archers must pass written and field tests after taking an IBEP class.
Last year, FMA bowhunters harvested seven moose during the weeklong November season. Lack of snow this year may make things tough for hunters, though they have had to deal with a similar snowless situation the past several years.
Six inches to a foot of fresh snow would make it easier to track and sneak up on animals, Young said.
While the lack of snow is a hindrance, the above-normal temperatures may make up for it by putting more hunters in the field.
"If it stays above zero, it helps the hunters because they can spend a good part of the day out there," Young said. "A lot of people won't hunt when it's real cold because it's hard on their equipment."
Jeff "Jesse" James - Owner of Jesse's Hunting & Outdoors
You can always tell who's in 2nd place by who's whining and crying the most. - Old hockey coach.
Dum spiramus tuebimur
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My friend, Rex got a nice cow on this hunt.
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