The Alaska Board of Game on Monday (1-14-13) rejected – once again – calls to open big game hunting seasons earlier for residents than for non-residents.
A total of six proposals restricting non-resident access to hunting were before the board at its Sitka meeting. The board considered two, and took no action on the others, due to their similarity.
According to board chair Ted Spraker, variations on this proposal have been sent four or five times to the board at its last few meetings by “the same group of folks.”
He said he could not support proposals, mainly because they were too broad. The board preferred to look at hunting seasons on a case-by-case basis, and to take into consideration species differences and scientific information.
Board member Bob Mumford had reviewed the comments submitted with the proposals, and understood the implications.
“This board is made up of residents. We’ve made an effort to protect residents. We all have a feel for that. I’ve seen some hints in there that we’re trying to take care of the guiding industry too much, and not protecting residents, and I don’t accept that as being accurate.”
Mumford went on to say, “We are a conservation board.”
Board member Nathan Turner noted that non-residents are the only people who hunt some areas of the state, typically far from communities. He said that the license fees they paid were significant; giving them up would be “a devastating blow to wildlife conservation.”
The Southeast meeting of the state Board of Game runs through Tuesday, January 15, in Sitka. Tuesday’s agenda begins at 8:30 AM with Sitka area proposals. Arctic and Western Region proposals will be taken up in the afternoon.