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Old May 6, 2012, 09:07 AM   #27
Senior Member
Join Date: February 15, 2009
Location: Kodiak, Alaska
Posts: 2,118
You won't find me knocking the state of AK over their requirement for non-resident hunters to employ a guide for certain hunts (Dall Sheep, Mountain Goat, Grizzly/Brown Bear)... It serves multiple benefits, though it is not perfect for all situations.

1. It, in theory, ensures that non-resident hunters (who are, presumably, less familiar with the game and region than residents) kill the right species and gender.

2. It, in theory, helps decrease the possibility that hunters would be harmed while afield, due to hypothermia, a fall, a bear attack, etc. By requiring a guide, the strain on state (AST/ADF&G) and federal (CG) search and rescue resources is, in theory, reduced. Having been in the CG for 6 years and involved with dozens of search and rescue cases, I can tell you first-hand that they are very, very expensive.

3. Helps keep hunters from getting lost, which often leads to the situations in #2....

4. Presumably, it helps keep people legal. Though not required for getting a license, for the most part guides are a lot more familiar with the laws for hunting, fishing, sealing/packaging/shipping hides and trophies.

5. Dall Sheep, Mountain Goat, and Grizzly/Brown Bear hunts are inherently dangerous. Dall Sheep & Mountain Goats are found up high in the mountains. Anyone who has been on a hunt way up in the mountains knows just how easy it is to get yourself into a spot that you can't exactly get out of real easy... This is where the guide comes in, you guide you to the animal safely. Ditto for densely wooded areas where bears are normally found. Guides are likely to be more aware of their surroundings, normal bear routes and activities than the average Lower 48 guy.

6. It creates a barrier for hunting. I know a lot of you see this as a MAJOR problem. I don't. The wildlife in Alaska is plentiful, for now. If the state allowed any yahoo with a plane ticket and thutty-ought-six to come up and hunt whatever they wanted to, it would have a negative impact on the population of those animals. There's plenty of deer in the Lower 48, so they're not worried about that. Ditto for elk, moose (to a lesser degree, though still available for hunting in the Lower 48), black bear, etc. But to hunt Grizzly/Brown Bear? Not many chances to do that in the Lower 48, so if that opportunity were available to everyone in the country, the population of bears would decline steeply.

The state of Alaska is the best state in the country as far as management of its natural resources, to include its wildlife population levels.

Not to mention that Alaska is a sovereign state in These United States. What they do with their natural resources is left to the discretion of their elected officials, who appoint people to manage it. If the residents of Alaska didn't like the way the state ran its wildlife policies, the policies would change. If you don't like it, quite frankly, they don't care. Move up there, become a resident, and vote if you want to change it.

You don't see Alaska residents creating threads on TFL to bicker about the draw hunts in the various states of the Lower 48... Different way of achieving the same goal, only Alaska's way puts food on the table for the families of guides and outfitters across the state. The system works, though biased, it works. I don’t think Alaska should get rid of the guide requirement based on the actions of this one guide and one hunter. The system as it is works well and the only people that complain about it are the ones who can’t afford to pay to play.

Originally Posted by Jim March
So that's two different classes of cases where they say "no discrimination against visitors from another state".
They're not... Visit and travel all you want, uninhibited. But if you want to hunt the species discussed above, you have to have a guide.

Does your home state require non-residents to purchase a separate hunting license? What about out-of-state tuition? Clean out your own house before you start telling your neighbor to do so...
"To preserve liberty, it is essential that the whole body of the people always possess arms, and be taught alike, especially when young, how to use them." -Richard Henry Lee, Virginia delegate to the Continental Congress, initiator of the Declaration of Independence, and member of the first Senate, which passed the Bill of Rights.
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