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JeffA Offline OP
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November 15, 2023
Registration for the winter season’s moose hunt in Bristol Bay opens on November 15. KDLG’s Christina McDermott sat down with Department of Fish and Game biologist John Landseidel to learn more about where people can hunt and the reason for closing certain areas.


Christina McDermott: Thank you for coming into the studio.

John Landsiedel: You're welcome. It's good to be here.

McDermott: I know there's some changes happening with the moose hunt in units 17B and17C, which is [the] Bristol Bay area. What's going on with that?

Landsiedel: We decided to open the winter moose hunt in both 17B and 17C this year. The last couple of years it's only been open and available in 17B, but our most recent population survey that was conducted in February of 2023 showed that our moose population was exceeding our population objective. Therefore, I believe we have the surplus moose to open the winter hunt in 17C as well.

McDermott: What does that mean for hunters? What do they need to know?

Landsiedel: There's some changes that we've made to the open or closed areas. You can look at it one of two ways. The open area is east of the Wood River, or west of the Weary River. So both of those are going to be open in 17C: east of the Wood River and west of the Weary.

The other way to look at it is popular areas that are closed: Sunshine [Creek] and Icy [Creek] up on [the] first lake [in Wood-Tikchik State Park], Warehouse Mountain, Big Valley, and Land Otter Creek are also in this closure area, including Snake Lake and the Snake River, Killian Creek and the lake road [Aleknagik Lake Road]. Those are all within the closure area.

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McDermott: Why are they closed?

Landsiedel: The reason for closing those areas [is] as moose move into those areas in the winter, and they start to yard-up, they become very susceptible to Dillingham residents, as it's kind of the closest area to town [and] if we get the conditions for good snow machining, those populations will be susceptible to overharvest.

So those areas receive a disproportionate amount of hunting pressure relative to the number of moose that reside in those areas across the unit. As we did our population survey in February, most of the moose are along the Nushagak River, that 3600 number. Again, it just receives a disproportionate amount of hunting pressure.

McDermott: The objective for closing [the areas] would be making sure [they're] not overhunted.

Landsiedel: Correct. We don't want to remove all the bulls out of there, or a high percentage of the bulls, in the winter because we want bulls to be available in [those areas] next Fall for harvest because it's a popular fall hunting spot as well.

McDermott: When are permits available?

Landsiedel: We're offering permits starting in Dillingham November 15. I'll be traveling to various communities to issue permits in Koliganek, New Stuyahok and Manokotak this week.

McDermott: Is there anything else people need to know about the winter harvest?

Landsiedel: Reporting is really key. I want this to be an opportunity that extends into the future. These opportunities can only exist if we have strong participation and buy-in from the locals in reporting. I would like to continue to offer these opportunities if we can get people to report on time.

This year, there will be three days to report if you harvest a moose during the winter. If you're unsuccessful, you still have the normalized 15 days of reporting within the close of the season.

The winter moose hunting season opens December 1. You can find the Department of Fish and Game's announcement on the hunt HERE. If you would like more information, you can contact the Department of Fish and Game in Dillingham at (907) 843-2334.


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We have a regular winter season here every year. We have to have a good freezup to access the area's the moose inhabit. There seems to be a few moose around but every 9 or 10 days a pack of wolves passes through and lots of ravens and magpie's seem to be about,,in a few days we may have our ice!


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JeffA Offline OP
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It's just nice to read a positive review regarding the Moose population in areas 17B and 17C.

They've suffered from the over population of Wolves in the past.

I always preferred the late hunt when you can get around on the snow machines.
In the Bristol Bay region it was if'y at times if we were going to get enough snow early enough to be able to hunt.

Being a basically roadless region there has to be enough snow at the lowest of elevations just to be able to make it from the surrounding low laying villages along the rivers and coast line to the higher country to hunt.

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First winter hunt there in a few years and there’s zero snow. Might still be able to take a boat out.

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It's always a waiting game.

Getting out of the coastal villages on a snow machine, especially Dillingham might not happen.

But up by the lakes around Aleknagik there might be some snow before the end of the month when the season normally closes.

It's never good snow and it's slow going and bumpy as hell until you reach higher elevations but at least if you can get a sled to the kill sight it makes bringing home those quarters easy.

I've waited it out down to the last 4 or 5 days before I could zigzag my way through the nig_gerheads to make my way out and back.

If you can get out its seldom a problem finding moose being no ones been out stirring them up for a good while.

Tough on the equipment but easier than carrying a moose out on your back if you're not fortunate enough to catch a bull along a lake or river shore during the early season.

Another down side is there seems to never be any of any fat on those bulls in late December after the rut.

IC B2


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