Wildlife professionals to host hunting workshop

Hunters gearing up for this year’s moose season will have the chance to refresh themselves on the latest regulations, as well as trade techniques and advice when it comes to one of Alaska’s big game animals.

The Kenai Peninsula Chapter of Safari Club International will sponsor a hunting workshop at 5:30 p.m. Friday at the Snowshoe Gun Clubhouse in Kenai. An alarming number of illegal moose taken during hunting last year spurred the need for the class.

“The main reason was (that) last year we had 42 illegal moose turned in,” said Ted Spraker, chair of the Alaska Board of Game. “That’s unacceptable as far as any sort of management program on the Kenai (Peninsula).”

The data on moose hunts comes through the Alaska Department of Fish and Game, where moose have to be turned in for measuring, and are forwarded to the Board of Game, Spraker said. A career biologist and a former area wildlife biologist on the peninsula, Sparker will be a guest speaker at the workshop. Also present to answer questions will be an Alaska Wildlife Trooper and a member of Fish and Game, he said.

While a range of 15–20 illegal moose taken in a year is not unheard of, and the department even saw as many as 32 a number of years ago, Spraker said 42 illegal moose is unusual.

“With some understanding of how to judge a moose, it’s not difficult to determine whether its legal or not,” he said. “Hunters just need to take their time and look them over carefully, and let the moose move so you can look at it at different angles and so forth.”

The workshop will address techniques for making sure a moose is legal before taking it. While hunters don’t intend to take illegal moose, it’s easy to make mistakes when hunting in dim light at dawn and dusk, Spraker said.

“The most often heard is, “I hurried,” (or) “I didn’t take a second look,” he said.

In addition, topics like bear hunting, field dressing big game animals, good equipment to have along for a hunt, meat care and hunting ethics will be addressed at the workshop. Spraker said he hopes for a good turnout that includes women and young hunters, as hunting tends to be more of a family affair in Alaska.

Spraker will also address new regulations that have been adopted for big game hunting. In addition to pushing back the start date for the regular and archery-only moose seasons, the Board of Game has made some additional changes Spraker said he will go over with hunters.

“Hopefully it’ll be a good showing and people will go away with some new tips,” he said.

 

Reach Megan Pacer at megan.pacer@peninsulaclarion.com.

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