The results? No one has exact figures, but depending on who you speak to, as many as 300 hunters hit Adak Island in 2006. If each of them took at least two bull caribou, the harvest could be 600 animals or more. Alaska Fish & Game Biologist Lem Butler thinks those numbers are way too high, but he could not say for certain how many hunters went to Adak Island or how many caribou were harvested. That's because hunter harvest reports submitted by hunters are the only way the department has to track this, and not all hunters have sent in their harvest reports, despite being mandatory. At press time, Butler said he had a total of 135 harvest reports, of which 89 percent reported taking at least one bull. Even if hunters did take upwards of 600 animals, Butler says the herd is still too large.
The good news is, wildlife managers have come to recognize that most hunters are not going to travel all the way to Adak Island in the Aleutians to shoot small bulls or cow caribou. So, the Refuge and Alaska Fish & Game have changed........(continued)