Is Adak Trophy Hunt A thing Of The Past?


Published: October - 2006

We first told you about the super trophy caribou hunts on Adak Island back in 2002 (see Article ID 948), when a number of 400-plus point bulls were taken, including one that missed the Boone & Crockett world record of 476 by only one point.Outfitter Tim Booche of Aleutian Islands Guide Service, you'll recall, is the man responsible for those great bulls. He opened the hunting on Adak in 1999, and has operated in remarkable isolation since then, helping a relative handful of hunters each year take B & C-quality barren ground bulls.

Now, his monopoly over this great resource is over. Seems another full-time guide and two transporters have received use permits and begun to run hunts. All told, at this writing, an estimated 200 hunters may have already visited Adak Island this year. Furthermore, the Alaska Maritime National Wildlife Refuge, which Adak is part of, and the Alaska Department of Fish and Game are encouraging an even further increase in hunting pressure. Seems Fish and Game has officially implemented a year-round season and declared there is no bag limit on Adak. Meanwhile, the Refuge is actively seeking one more full time guide to award a use permit.

The reason the two agencies give for these actions is that they believe there are too many caribou on Adak Island, and they want to cut the herd back dramatically. We spoke with both the refuge manager, Kent Sundseth, and the Fish and Game biologist who oversees this region, Lem Butler. Both told us that the Adak herd is growing so quickly it will soon destroy its habitat and eat itself out of house and home. They base this decision upon an aerial survey conducted by the US Fish & Wildlife Service.

The 2005 survey counted almost 3,000 animals. That contrasts with about 900 in 1998, they say a population increase of more than 300 percent in just seven years. Surveyors also report damage to the habitat. You can read all of the details yourself by downloading the survey from our web........(continued)

 
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