Local News

Wounded bears to count differently under change

The Alaska Board of Game wrapped up its Southeast meeting in Sitka on Tuesday evening. And one of the proposals to get the board’s green light has to do with brown bears.

The seven-member board approved changes to the way dead bears are counted in Unit 4, which is the area near Sitka, including Admiralty, Baranof and Chichagof islands.

Previously, bears that were wounded and then escaped were automatically counted as a dead female bear. But the Alaska Professional Hunters Association, whose members include bear hunting guides, argued that in many cases, that’s not true. They said escaped bears often survive, and are often not female. The group said counting wounded bears as dead females unfairly raises the figure on human-caused bear mortality, and limits hunting opportunities.

The board agreed, and as of July 1, wounded bears will no longer automatically count as dead females. The vote was 6 to 1, with member Teresa Sager Albaugh, from Tok, voting no.

The change doesn’t come without a condition: Board of Game officials intend to write a letter to the U.S. Forest Service, which grants permits to bear guides. The board will ask the federal agency to work with the Alaska Department of Fish and Game for better enforcement of bear regulations.

Comments

Please read our comment guidelines.

Recent News

Feds ask cruise ships, boats to stay far away from seals

Harbor seals rest on ice near South Sawyer Glacier in 2007. New federal guidelines suggest, but don't require, vessels to stay about 500 yards away from the marine mammals to lessen disturbances. (Photo courtesy NOAA's Alaska Fisheries Science Center)
Federal officials want cruise ships, tour boats and kayaks to stay far away from harbor seals in Alaska’s glacial fjords. more

KCAW News is hiring a reporter

MIC1
KCAW is hiring a full-time reporter. This individual's duties include almost everything under the sun (or under the clouds!): Schools, politics, fisheries, tourism, forests, and culture. Find a full job description here.. This job closes on Monday, August 24. more