The government of Alaska seems to pride itself on comically stupid ideas, and this next one is no different:
The Alaska Board of Game has approved a plan for state wildlife biologists to shoot black and grizzly bears from helicopters in the middle Kuskokwim River region starting next spring. The goal is to increase the moose population for local hunters.
Yes, in an effort to increase the moose population, the Board of Game has voted to “remove” all the bears from Game Management Unit 19A, an area southeast of Fairbanks that includes several small villages. Ostensibly, the reason for this removal is to increase the moose population for subsistence hunters; right now, the moose population is estimated to be between 2,800 and 5,800 moose. The bear population is somewhat lower, at 135 to 150 black bears, and 10 to 15 brown bears. That’s roughly 35 moose per bear at maximal estimates; personally, I doubt the bears are that hungry.
Of course the bears do not prey upon the full-grown moose all the time; often they take calves and thus harm the breeding potential of the moose population. That, in turn, does threaten the future of subsistence in Unit 19A. Moreover, the moose must contend with wolf populations; however, those wolf populations have been successfully curbed by aerial wolf patrols. But interestingly, the moose population has not risen.
In case you were wondering, the primary logic behind killing all the bears was based on the non-success of past predator management:
An aerial wolf control program has been in place in Unit 19A since 2004. Private pilots and gunners with state permits have reduced the wolf population by at least 60 percent each year since 2005 but moose numbers have not recovered, according to the department’s proposal to the board.
“Adding bear removal to the predation control program should help address this issue,” the department wrote.
Perhaps killing the residents near Game Management Unit 19A would also work, Board of Game! After all, the logical next step in predator management would be to take out the next predator in line. Sorry, Aniak residents!
The option to move the bears (a plan that has been utilized in the past) was nixed; apparently no one else wants the bears around:
Moving bears was not approved in unit 19A because the program is costly and residents from other parts of the state said they didn’t want bears moved to their areas, the department said.
The Board also adopted a measure that would allow pussies to fly in, hop out of their plane, jog about 300 meters–oh, wait, feet–and shoot at black bears who’ve been tempted by bait stations. Yes, nothing says “primal scream of nature” like shooting an unsuspecting bear while it chows down on some bait. You didn’t even have to muss your Carhartt’s, you total badass!
I would like to point out that I’m absolutely in favor of game management. I see no reason not to control populations in humane ways so that a balance can be attained between the needs of the residents and the natural order of the Alaskan Interior. Yet something about this plan twists my balls.
Why not expand the hunting season and sell more bear permits? People would snap those up like a new toy from Apple; moreover, the state would generate revenue for that particular game management area.
Also, if aerial wolf control failed, why the hell would you expect aerial bear control to succeed? Is it really necessary to kill every single bear? That doesn’t seem like balance; rather, it seems like short-sighted bullshit shenanigans perpetrated by political appointees.
Plus, if you’re such a Goddamn nutless turd that you can’t hike into a hunting area, set up camp, and stalk and kill your prey like nature intended, then you have no business hunting. Bait stations are for bitches, and so is aerial hunting. Go back to your Call of Duty, pussy.