By Mike Bodenchuk, Editor-at-Large
Back in Oct. 2016 (Article 3896
) we informed subscribers that the US Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) amended the regulations regarding predator take on national wildlife refuges in Alaska. The amendments prohibited "certain particularly effective methods" of taking predators, including baiting for brown bears. Because the refuge system in Alaska is well over 54 million acres, the rules affect many hunting opportunities. We noted that the immediate casualty of the rule would be bait hunts of brown bears but that long-term negative effects on ungulate populations would follow. Caribou and moose populations in many areas cannot take the current level of predation that they are experiencing, and the new rules favor predators at the expense of prey and hunters, both tourist hunters and subsistence users.
The US House of Representatives, under the leadership of AK Congressman Don Young, drafted and approved House Joint Resolution 69, which nullified the FWS rule....