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Board Establishes Drawing Permit Hunt for Some Nonresident Black Bear Hunters

(Juneau) - Citing concerns about black bear numbers in some parts of Southeast Alaska, the Board of Game adopted a drawing permit hunt for nonresident black bear hunters who do not hunt with guides.

Resident hunters and nonresident hunters who employ a guide are not affected by the new regulation.

Department of Fish and Game staff provided data that showed a significant increase in black bear harvest over the past decade was attributed to nonresident hunters. In a few parts of Southeast, harvests, and sightings of black bears have declined, possibly indicating local declines in populations.

Although the drawing permit hunt applies to all of Southeast, except Units 4 and 5, the Board’s action allows the Department to restrict harvest only in those areas where conservation concerns exist.

The drawing permit hunt will go into effect in 2012 – 2013 hunting season.

In other actions, the Board voted to close an area within ¼ mile of Margaret Creek to bear hunting.

Acting Board Chairman Ted Spraker said the Board was not in favor of uniformly restricting hunting to enhance viewing, but that each situation needed to be considered on its own merits.

“Although this action will affect some hunters, I think it helps preserve hunting in the long run because the hunting taking place there worked against hunting and the image of hunters,” Spraker said. “In light of the facility and numbers of viewers at Margaret Creek, it makes sense to use that area for viewing.”

The Board of Game met in Ketchikan beginning on Friday to consider proposals about hunting and trapping in Southeast Alaska and ajourned on Nov. 9..

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