Predator Control

Letters to the Editor / Fairbanks Daily News-Miner / April 25, 2004

To the Editor:

This is to Alaskans about predator management.

It is obvious to many that we face a pending crisis with the state's (our) game numbers.

In most areas, the moose are at half of optimum or even half of that. In a few years, we could see numbers too low to hunt.

The guided nonresident is pinched off for lack of game. The out-of-town guy is next and subsistence not far behind once there is nothing to hunt.

Bears have increased for at least a decade. We have 1,500 packs of wolves, some quite large. Moose that live a year are one-fifteenth of those born. Of 100 dead moose, humans get three. If we quit hunting tomorrow, it won't help them rebound any faster.

Improving habitat won't help. They have been declining because too many predators eat too many moose (and/or caribou) and they can't build in numbers under pressure like that but rather keep dwindling, dwindling.

What might happen once they're too few to find one another in the fall? Maybe a case of out of the pit and over the precipice.

I know we don't want to "wipe out" wolves and bears. That'd be unwise, foolish and no doubt impossible. But if we don't knock 'em back some by any and all means open to us, what kind of hunting season can we expect in say, five years or maybe 10?

Ben Franklin said, "Great famine when wolves eat wolves."


William Mosher / Eagle

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