2 Mar 2009, 12:18pm
Latest Wildlife News
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Alaska Board of Game reviews hunting rules

By Kyle Hopkins, Anchorage Daily News, February 28th, 2009 [here]

Hard-core hunters, animal lovers and the factions in between are at war this week in downtown Anchorage as the state board that decides Alaska’s hunting rules returns to an ever-raging debate: predator control.

The Board of Game, which began work Friday, is meeting all week to decide on more than 240 proposals that would change where and how animals are hunted across Alaska.

The panel waded through hours of testimony Saturday, with speakers often pulling the board in opposite directions. Among the ideas:

• Allowing private hunters to use helicopters to land in hard-to-reach areas across Cook Inlet and trap black bears in snares.

• Boosting brown bear hunting in Chugach State Park — at least partly to keep them from wandering into nearby Anchorage.

• Renewing some existing wolf-kill programs and creating new ones.

• Giving the state new predator control options in the future, such as shooting wolves from helicopters, or using poison gas in dens on orphaned pups too young to survive on their own.

Supporters say such proposals are crucial to managing hunting in the state, while critics see needless killing. Other ideas before the board — such as bans on trapping wolverines in Chugach State Park and hunting brown bears in parts of the Katmai Preserve — are just as controversial. … [more]

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