Proposal 141 (by the National Park Service) was just recently approved for hearing at the Board’s statewide regulations meeting in Fairbanks from March 18-28th. Proposal 141 asks the Board to shorten the wolf hunting season on lands north of Denali National Park. Currently, the wolf hunting season runs from August 10-May 31st. Proposal 141 shortens it to run from Aug 10 – April 15th.
This Proposal is intended to protect Denali wolves when more hunters are on state lands north of the park for bear baiting (season starts April 15th). It also seeks to protect wolves during a time when more pregnant females are afield. The risk to the wolves is not theoretical. Two wolves from the East Fork Pack were killed near a bait station last spring, one of them a pregnant female. These deaths resulted in an emergency hunting closure by the Alaska Department of Fish and Game.
We at DCC tried twice over the past year to get a more comprehensive solution before the Board of Game, in the form of a buffer, but our efforts were rebuffed. Somehow, Proposal 141 got through the restrictive process. Adding to its momentum, the Middle Nenana River Advisory Committee has voted to support it.
- The international importance of these wolves for tourism and scientific study.
- The specific risk these wolves experience in spring, when more hunters are on state lands nearby.
- The heightened risk for disruption of packs if pregnant females are killed.
- Any personal interest or expertise you have.
- The advisability of adopting the regulation for the 2016 hunting season.
- Ending hunting season earlier – April 1, or March 15th, to better protect pregnant females.
- Enlarging the area where the regulation would be enforced.
- Ending trapping season on the same date as hunting season. Currently trapping season ends April 30.
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