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Author Topic: Kodiak goes to 1 deer limit for Non Residents  (Read 2945 times)

Offline Karl Blanchard

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Kodiak goes to 1 deer limit for Non Residents
« on: March 22, 2023, 09:09:48 PM »
BOG reduced NR bag limit from 3 deer to 1 deer today. Big kick in the nuts for anyone who is planning a hunt for 2023.

https://www.adfg.alaska.gov/static/regulations/regprocess/gameboard/pdfs/2022-2023/sc/soa_3-22-23.pdf

Proposal 73
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Offline Born2late

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Re: Kodiak goes to 1 deer limit for Non Residents
« Reply #1 on: March 22, 2023, 09:20:46 PM »
Looks like you canít bone them out either. That stinks. 1 deer limit should greatly reduce the amount of people going up there that are on a tight budget.

Offline Karl Blanchard

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Re: Kodiak goes to 1 deer limit for Non Residents
« Reply #2 on: March 22, 2023, 09:23:04 PM »
Looks like you canít bone them out either. That stinks. 1 deer limit should greatly reduce the amount of people going up there that are on a tight budget.
that proposal didn't pass thankfully. Stupid rule.
It is foolish and wrong to mourn these men.  Rather, we should thank god that such men lived.  -General George S. Patton

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Offline Born2late

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Re: Kodiak goes to 1 deer limit for Non Residents
« Reply #3 on: March 22, 2023, 10:08:34 PM »
Good.
Apparently there were a lot of boats coming over from homer doing the boat based hunts , camping out in a bay for a month straight. I guess this was part of why the push for the one deer. They think that those are contributing to a large amount of animals taken when they are congregating on the beaches.
The caribou herd is not doing good there. My buddy flew over them to do counts and out of a herd of 70 there were only 3 calves and 3 bears in the valley with them. Bears have been putting the hurt on them.

Offline Sitka_Blacktail

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Re: Kodiak goes to 1 deer limit for Non Residents
« Reply #4 on: March 23, 2023, 08:56:57 AM »
The most likely reason to reduce the limit on Kodiak is that the deer herd is down. It's happened before and will happen again. Kodiak deer population fluctuates greatly with the biggest factor being bad snow years, not charter hunting. More deer die from starvation than get taken by hunters in a bad snow year. I have seen them extend the season a couple weeks to a month when they see they are going to have a bad winter kill.  It's better to trim the herd early so the remaining deer aren't competing for available food with so many other deer.  All areas in Alaska that have deer are subject to bad winter kill, but Kodiak especially has a problem in that there are few conifers and the the few conifers there are are mostly on the far north end of the island. Conifers create a canopy which helps keep snow off the ground, which makes it easier for deer to get around and to find food. One of the winter sources of food is Old Man's Beard, a lichen that grows on the local Spruce trees. I've watched deer pull it off of low hanging branches while feeding. Another important winter food is blueberry bushes. That might be their favorite when they can get at it, and there tends to be more blueberries where the spruce trees grow on Kodiak and especially Afognak and Shuyak Islands. The deer on those two islands generally survive a bad snow year better than on Kodiak itself.

As the deer herd fluctuates, so do limits. I've seen the limit as high as 7 deer, either sex, down to two or three deer, bucks only.  In 1981, my second year living in Kodiak, the limit was 7 and it wasn't uncommon to see a group of hunters come to town on a seiner or crabber with 40-50 deer hanging in the rigging or stacked on deck. But in the lean years following a die-off, Limits are cut and like most other States, non resident tags get cut more, to allow local hunters access to local meat.  Those deer were planted on Kodiak and in Prince William Sound so the locals would have a local source of protein in a place where groceries are notoriously high. They don't mind sharing when times are good, but when hunting is lean, the locals are favored when setting limits.  Understandably.
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Offline actionshooter

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Re: Kodiak goes to 1 deer limit for Non Residents
« Reply #5 on: March 23, 2023, 09:20:41 PM »
The most likely reason to reduce the limit on Kodiak is that the deer herd is down. It's happened before and will happen again. Kodiak deer population fluctuates greatly with the biggest factor being bad snow years, not charter hunting. More deer die from starvation than get taken by hunters in a bad snow year. I have seen them extend the season a couple weeks to a month when they see they are going to have a bad winter kill.  It's better to trim the herd early so the remaining deer aren't competing for available food with so many other deer.  All areas in Alaska that have deer are subject to bad winter kill, but Kodiak especially has a problem in that there are few conifers and the the few conifers there are are mostly on the far north end of the island. Conifers create a canopy which helps keep snow off the ground, which makes it easier for deer to get around and to find food. One of the winter sources of food is Old Man's Beard, a lichen that grows on the local Spruce trees. I've watched deer pull it off of low hanging branches while feeding. Another important winter food is blueberry bushes. That might be their favorite when they can get at it, and there tends to be more blueberries where the spruce trees grow on Kodiak and especially Afognak and Shuyak Islands. The deer on those two islands generally survive a bad snow year better than on Kodiak itself.

As the deer herd fluctuates, so do limits. I've seen the limit as high as 7 deer, either sex, down to two or three deer, bucks only.  In 1981, my second year living in Kodiak, the limit was 7 and it wasn't uncommon to see a group of hunters come to town on a seiner or crabber with 40-50 deer hanging in the rigging or stacked on deck. But in the lean years following a die-off, Limits are cut and like most other States, non resident tags get cut more, to allow local hunters access to local meat.  Those deer were planted on Kodiak and in Prince William Sound so the locals would have a local source of protein in a place where groceries are notoriously high. They don't mind sharing when times are good, but when hunting is lean, the locals are favored when setting limits.  Understandably.

That was my 1st thought but it appears that's not the case.
 My understanding after reading the info today is that this had nothing to do with deer management, it was 100% people management, there were basically too many people (non residents), too many transporters and boats working the island.  There was too much pressure and the easiest way to reduce the number of NR was to lower the tags available. I think it will work, I will go again, but less likely to make it a priority with only 1 tag in my pocket.

Offline Sitka_Blacktail

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Re: Kodiak goes to 1 deer limit for Non Residents
« Reply #6 on: March 24, 2023, 02:02:18 AM »

That was my 1st thought but it appears that's not the case.
 My understanding after reading the info today is that this had nothing to do with deer management, it was 100% people management, there were basically too many people (non residents), too many transporters and boats working the island.  There was too much pressure and the easiest way to reduce the number of NR was to lower the tags available. I think it will work, I will go again, but less likely to make it a priority with only 1 tag in my pocket.

Action, I just looked at the unit 8 harvest stats for the last 20 years. (there are no harvest stats for 2004 for Kodiak so it's actually 19 years) Here's what it looks like.

2002 - 2723 deer killed - 1.1 deer per hunter - 2570 hunters
2003 - 4543 deer killed - 1.6 deer per hunter - 2864 hunters
2004 - no data listed
2005 - 5766 deer killed - 1.7 deer per hunter - 3462 hunters
2006 - 4862 deer killed - 1.3 deer per hunter - 3611 hunters
2007 - 2503 deer killed - 1.0 deer per hunter - 2465 hunters
2008 - 3200 deer killed - 1.2 deer per hunter - 2707 hunters
2009 - 3573 deer killed - 1.5 deer per hunter - 2455 hunters
2010 - 3276 deer killed - 1.3 deer per hunter - 2580 hunters
2011 - 4907 deer killed - 1.5 deer per hunter - 3351 hunters
2012 - 2794 deer killed - 1.0 deer per hunter - 2731 hunters
2013 - 3212 deer killed - 1.1 deer per hunter - 2830 hunters
2014 - 4390 deer killed - 1.2 deer per hunter - 3645 hunters
2015 - 6078 deer killed - 1.4 deer per hunter - 4237 hunters
2016 - 8137 deer killed - 1.6 deer per hunter - 5060 hunters
2017 - 4199 deer killed - 1.0 deer per hunter - 4141 hunters
2018 - 5029 deer killed - 1.2 deer per hunter - 4041 hunters
2019 - 5460 deer killed - 1.3 deer per hunter - 4234 hunters
2020 - 3484 deer killed - 1.1 deer per hunter - 3270 hunters
2021 - 4797 deer killed - 1.2 deer per hunter - 3922 hunters

Tot. - 82,933 deer                                       64,176 hunters

Avg. - 4365 deer killed - 1.28 deer per hunter - 3378 hunters

As you can see, the harvest goes up and down as do the number of hunters. The number of hunters slightly follows the number of deer and also the number of tags available in a given year. After a hard winter fewer hunters come down as a result of less tags allowed and less animals to find. As the herd builds back up, and there is more opportunity, more hunters show up. The numbers of deer harvested looks pretty steady the last 5 years. as does the deer per hunter take. I don't see anything that would make ADF&G panic and reduce the number of tags available for non residents who make up a very small % of the hunters on Kodiak.  By far and away the largest number of hunters are Residents, first from Kodiak, and the next largest group would be the Anchorage, Mat Valley, and Fairbanks hunters. These are the hunters that will swarm in when deer numbers and tag numbers are up and stay home and look for other game when deer numbers are down. It costs these guys a lot to travel to Kodiak also and then rent a charter boat or plane to get off the road system where bag limits are higher. Only your first deer can be taken off the Kodiak road system. Once you have taken a deer anywhere, you can't hun off the road system.  So these off island residents weigh the cost against how much meat they can bring home and skip the lean years. The number of deer taken by non residents barely registers a blip in the whole of things.  But just like every where else, it makes ADF&G look good in the eyes of the locals when they restrict non residents before they restrict residents. I don't know about last winter, but this winter has brought a lot of snow to southcentral Alaska.  So they may be expecting or are seeing signs of a bad winter kill this year and are setting up to compensate for it.

Here's a photo from Whittier in Prince William Sound from a few days ago.



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Offline Sundance

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Re: Kodiak goes to 1 deer limit for Non Residents
« Reply #7 on: March 24, 2023, 07:08:17 AM »
A lot of locals have been calling for this for awhile.

Offline Sitka_Blacktail

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Re: Kodiak goes to 1 deer limit for Non Residents
« Reply #8 on: March 24, 2023, 12:44:59 PM »
A lot of locals have been calling for this for awhile.

It's not going to do a thing about the Railbelt hunters coming down from Fairbanks, The Mat Valley and Anchorage though and that is where most off island hunters come from, not non residents.
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Re: Kodiak goes to 1 deer limit for Non Residents
« Reply #9 on: March 24, 2023, 12:52:08 PM »
We were stuck at Kodiak for almost 3 days this last Nov waiting for the wind to die down. Talked to a lot of guys there and most were out of state.
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Offline Karl Blanchard

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Re: Kodiak goes to 1 deer limit for Non Residents
« Reply #10 on: March 24, 2023, 12:57:17 PM »
I don't know enough on the subject to speak intelligently on it. From my limited kodiak experience it seems a bit silly. Last we time we hunted it was supposed to be a lean year and we saw an absolutely absurd amount of deer. We weren't on the coast though and not near any villages where residents would be trying to acquire meat for the year.  A simpler idea may have been to limit NR take in those regions (like they do in the road system) or eliminate NR hunting in those areas all together?

I know personally I'm not flying up there and flying into the bush for 1 buck.  If I can ever get back up there with a goat tag in my pocket I'll shoot another deer though for sure.
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Offline actionshooter

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Re: Kodiak goes to 1 deer limit for Non Residents
« Reply #11 on: March 24, 2023, 03:55:17 PM »
A lot of locals have been calling for this for awhile.

It's not going to do a thing about the Railbelt hunters coming down from Fairbanks, The Mat Valley and Anchorage though and that is where most off island hunters come from, not non residents.

Might not, but the the BOG was very clear that this was not a deer management issue.... the numbers didn't matter. They were specifically trying to reduce the number of boats and planes accessing the island. It was in the news the last time I was up there and the locals are telling (friends who live there) me this is what it was about. There is a Kodiak newspaper article floating around that I saw  also. The locals have been complaining for quite a while about the numbers of NR on the island during deer season.....

If Alaska is really good at one thing, it's taking care of the residents 1st.

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Re: Kodiak goes to 1 deer limit for Non Residents
« Reply #12 on: March 24, 2023, 04:30:38 PM »
Most of my local Kodiak friends hunt the Shelikof side and few out of Old Harbor. The last five years theyíve been complaining about 5-8 boats in a bay where there used to only be 1-2. Not sure if Iíll go back there for 1 deer but I know this will make certain locals very happy. Guess itís time to go back to POW or Cordova.

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Re: Kodiak goes to 1 deer limit for Non Residents
« Reply #13 on: March 27, 2023, 09:08:40 AM »
This has been a hunt I have been thinking about doing. Definitely not worth it for 1 buck. Seems more and more hunting is trending towards local only. At least we have strong blacktail numbers I guess.

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Re: Kodiak goes to 1 deer limit for Non Residents
« Reply #14 on: March 27, 2023, 09:15:41 AM »
At least we have strong blacktail numbers I guess.

Lol, you're still a few days early for April Fool's Day.

 


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