Hunts for Free-Range Exotics in Alaska, Hawaii and California


Published: March - 2013

While this story is about free-range hunts only, let me state right up front that I have no problems with high-fence or estate hunts where enough property exists to give the animal a reasonable chance to escape. Estates in this country have been responsible for saving a number of species from extinction and there are many species that today may only be hunted behind high fences. But many of us prefer to hunt free-range animals if we can, and here are some opportunities I've uncovered. ALASKA The notable exotic in Alaska is the reindeer, technically the same species (Rangifer tarandus) as native caribou, but with much larger horns. Between 1891 and 1902, 1,208 reindeer were imported from Siberia by the US government and about 65 herds were started for use by Alaska natives. There is even a federal law, the Reindeer Act of 1937, which limits ownership of reindeer to native Alaskans. While the effort largely failed, herds of reindeer still roam freely on Umnak and Atka islands in the Aleutian Islands. With no natural predators on the islands, these wild reindeer have been very successful and grow impressive antlers. The SCI record book minimum for the sub-species is 264, but bulls over 400 are taken regularly! While the quarry is exotic in the literal sense of the word, the hunt is also exotic. Just getting to the islands requires several connections and, potentially, a great deal of patience. This area, stretching out into the Bering Sea, is as remote as any on this continent. Plan on extreme weather, especially wind and rain. Flight delays are the norm. Hunting Report subscribers may recall a detailed article by Editor Barbara Crown (Article 2542) on this opportunity and her two-part hunt on the islands. An additional report (8453) is available on a 2011 hunt by subscriber John Powers. Both booked through Dan Goodenow at Jim Shockey's Hunting Adventures (888-826-1011). [Editor note: We called Goodenow at press time to see about availabilities for 2013. As of this writing he has three openings for 2013  thanks to two cancellations. He also noted that, out of 24 possible........(continued)
 
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Facilitators: Jim Shockey's Hunting Adventures; Hawaii Safaris; Maui Hunting Safari; Hawaii Department of Land and Natural Resources; Anderson Taxidermy and Guide Service;

  


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