Deer Shortage Leads to Diet Change

[u]Deer shortage leads to diet change[/u]
HOONAH: More fish to be eaten after poor subsistence hunt.
JUNEAU – A dwindling deer population around Hoonah means residents will be eating a lot more fish this winter.

Deer numbers were hard hit by last year’s heavy snowfall in the Southeast Alaska community.

Local hunter Ben Botts said he knew the deer population was hurting when he saw piles of bones and tufts of deer fur in bear scat.

“You could see signs of total wipeout of deer because their food source had been covered up (by snow),” he said.

With survivors staying higher in the mountains, hunters couldn’t bag anything when hunting season opened in September. In past years, they’ve shot from roads or on the beach.

Botts, a hiker, didn’t change tactics this season, except he spent more time in the woods.

Some residents anticipated a poor season for deer hunting, so they canned and dried fish in preparation.

Instead of hunting for deer, Hoonah Mayor Dennis Gray caught halibut. He plans to hunt for seal this winter.

But many in the community of 650 feed their families by subsistence, an economic lifestyle characterized by living off the land.

“People definitely utilize deer for meals. It’s a good part of their protein in the winter,” Gray said.

About 70 percent of Hoonah residents hunt and gather food, said Johanna Dybdahl, tribal administrator for the Hoonah Indian Association.

Last fall, residents asked state and federal agencies to close parts of the hunting season to help the deer numbers rebound. Agencies shut down the doe season.

The regular hunting season was set to close last Monday.

A monthlong subsistence hunt started Tuesday. The Federal Subsistence Board said last week the hunt would be closed to doe hunting.

Not to be to much of a jerk and not knowing hunting conditions up there, hunting from roads and beaches will get you arrested in Pa. I know we don’t have beaches here, but it would be a good idea to get in the woods.

[quote]tom63 wrote:
Not to be to much of a jerk and not knowing hunting conditions up there, hunting from roads and beaches will get you arrested in Pa. I know we don’t have beaches here, but it would be a good idea to get in the woods.[/quote]
I wondered about that also…Seems they are a bit more relaxed up there…

[quote]Blacksnake wrote:
tom63 wrote:
Not to be to much of a jerk and not knowing hunting conditions up there, hunting from roads and beaches will get you arrested in Pa. I know we don’t have beaches here, but it would be a good idea to get in the woods.
I wondered about that also…Seems they are a bit more relaxed up there…
[/quote]

It might be different if they are eskimo. Game laws don’t apply in the same way to them.

Deer hunting has been tough in my neck of the woods, too. I saw one deer all year long. Next week is my last chance to get some meat.

This post was flagged by the community and is temporarily hidden.

[quote]pushharder wrote:
tom63 wrote:
Not to be to much of a jerk and not knowing hunting conditions up there, hunting from roads and beaches will get you arrested in Pa. I know we don’t have beaches here, but it would be a good idea to get in the woods.

Alaska is a whole different ballgame. I’ve lived and hunted there. Access to prime hunting areas is by plane or boat. Often times you don’t just “get in the woods” otherwise.[/quote]

Okay, that makes sense. here in Pa., people say they don’t see deer, but generally don’t hunt very hard. I’m pretty lucky, I hunt on my uncle’s farm which is a pretty good spot.