Alaska Fish & Wildlife News
August 2007

Deer Stressed by Harsh Winter
but Hunting Season Still Opens

By Patti Harper

As deer hunting season opens in Southeast Alaska, after last winter's devastating snow and cold weather, hunters are uncertain about what to expect. Those who have been outdoors regularly this summer, such as Sitka hunter Erin Kitka, have seen disturbing signs where forest meets beach – fur and bones – the remains of deer that starved.

“It seemed there was a lot more winterkill this year than last year,” Kitka said. “There's one on every beach, just right in the trees.”

Phil ...   Deer Season Opens ArticleContinued

Caribou in Trouble
On Alaska Peninsula

By Elizabeth Manning and Lem Butler

Caribou are faring so poorly on the lower Alaska Peninsula that hunting has been prohibited this year on the Southern Alaska Peninsula caribou herd.

“Any harvest at all would be bad for the herd,” said Lem Butler, King Salmon area biologist for the Alaska Department of Fish and Game. “We can't lose any bulls. We can't lose any females. Basically there is no surplus at this point.”

Both state and federal managers closed the caribou hunt in Unit 9D by emergency order last month ...   Caribou in Trouble ArticleContinued

Fishing in Bear Country
And Staying Safe

By Samantha Oslund

It was late at night in early July. We were fishing for king salmon on a fast, loud river and I couldn't hear what my friend was yelling to me. I could only see her pointing upriver. I looked upstream to see a brown bear's head bobbing as it swam across the river right at us. We had only seconds to react. The bear emerged from the river and ran towards us. We stood together, yelling and waving. The bear ran off and we stood on the riverbank wondering, what just happened?

Fishing in Alaska ...   Fishing with Bears ArticleContinued

Plugging Sheep Horns in Alaska

By Riley Woodford

Sheep hunters are providing wildlife biologists with a wealth of information about Alaska's Dall sheep, thanks to a new method of permanently marking the horns.

The upcoming sheep hunting season, opening this month in most of the state, marks the second year for plugging sheep horns in Alaska. Last year, about 2,600 people hunted sheep in Alaska (about 80 percent were residents) and 807 sheep were harvested.

The Alaska Department of Fish and Game staff began using this method ...   Sheep horns ArticleContinued

Research Adds Eleven New Streams to the
State Anadromous Stream Catalog and Atlas

By Coowe Walker

Last summer, researchers sampled streams across the upper reaches of the major river networks on the lower Kenai Peninsula. As a result, 11 new streams were nominated to the State Anadromous Stream Catalog and Atlas, a major step toward protecting important rearing habitat for juvenile salmon.

The Kachemak Bay Research Reserve partnered with researchers from the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center and Baylor University to sample 30 headwater, or first order, streams in order to learn ...   Streams Protected ArticleContinued