ALASKAS PREDATOR CONTROL PROGRAM

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Over a 12 year time frame, from 1990 to 2004 Alaska’s Predator Program was put on hold statewide. This resulted in a proliferation of Wolves by some calculations, of up to 4 times the average number which provides a healthy and stable eco system for wildlife. During this time the prey quarry of Wolves, such as the Moose, Caribou, Beavers, River Otters, Squirrels, Ptarmigan, Grouse and many more species took a huge hit and over all their numbers dropped dramatically throughout much of the State. Fortunately for both big and small game along with the hunter, the Predator Program allowing for aerial shooting of Wolves by private pilots using fixed-wing airplanes or land and shooting Wolves through permits was once again sanctioned and launched by the Alaska Department of Fish and Game in 2004. The plan was to increase Moose and Caribou populations and therefore improve the harvest throughout the state. At that time, the Alaska Board of Game approved three to start with and two of those were within the Central Kuskokwim River area of Game Management Unit 19. Fortunately for us, our Guided and Unguided hunts also take place in GMU 19. Since then a handful more of these Predator Programs have been established throughout Alaska. Due to the restoration of the Predator Management Program in our hunting areas, Moose survival is now much superior to numerous other regions within the State where the Predator Management Program has not been reestablished. We have witnessed and observed a remarkable and well-adjusted growth of Wildlife overall, as well as a healthy increase in numbers of Moose. When and where this program has been implemented, it continues to deliver additional stable and balanced Ungulate population growth. Fortunately, we are again able to appreciate the sound benefits of these sensible and effective types of Game Management agendas which afford a respectable stability for all wildlife species and deliver some great Moose hunting to boot.

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