Alaska Fish & Wildlife News
October 2007

Hunting Season Proceeds Despite Lower Deer Numbers

By Riley Woodford

Doe season opened in mid-September across Southeast Alaska, and wildlife biologists are keeping an especially sharp eye on deer this fall.

Cold weather and big snow storms last November and March took a toll on deer in parts of Southeast Alaska – especially northern Southeast. This summer, wildlife managers assessed the situation and before buck season opened in August, they talked about the possible need to curtail hunting this season.

“We know we had a fair bit of winter mortality ...   SE Deer down in 2007 ArticleContinued

Deer: Southern Southeast Alaska
is a Different Story

By Riley Woodford

Predators and weather make the southern part of the Alaska Panhandle a very different place for black-tailed deer than the northern half of the region.

Although deer were hit hard on some mainland areas and on the very northern portion of Prince of Wales Island, overall the effect of the winter was relatively mild.

“It's very different here,” said Ketchikan-based Area Biologist Boyd Porter. “We're looking at the mild effect from a moderately severe winter.”

Snow depth ...   Southeast Deer ArticleContinued

Keeping Track of Deer
Biologists Look at Habitat and Animals

By Riley Woodford

When it comes to monitoring Sitka black-tailed deer in the dense rainforests of Southeast Alaska, biologists look at deer sign as well as deer.

In late spring, deer pellet surveys are done in 24 watersheds in Southeast Alaska. As might be expected, the amount of deer poop in the forest is related to the number of deer. Biologists and Fish and Game technicians walk an established line through the forest, from the beach to about 1,500 feet in elevation, counting groups of deer pellets. Many ...   Deer: Keeping Track ArticleContinued

Harbor Seal Researchers
Part 1

By Riley Woodford

In the 1960s, more than 15,000 harbor seals could be seen hauled out on the beaches of Tugidak Island, south of Kodiak. Today, fewer than 1,000 can be counted. Harbor seal numbers have declined in many parts of Alaska, and biologists with the harbor seal research program at the Alaska Department of Fish and Game want to know why.

Researchers hope to answer key questions. Why are numbers declining in some areas and increasing in others? How does their diet and behavior compare in different ...   Seal Research 1 ArticleContinued

Harbor Seal Researchers in Alaska
Part 2

By Riley Woodford

GAIL BLUNDELL is the leader of the harbor seal program and serves as the principle investigator. She's based at ADF&G's Region 1 (Southeast Alaska) office in Douglas. Blundell graduated from the University of Alaska Fairbanks with her PhD in wildlife biology, and did graduate work on coastal river otters in Prince William Sound.

Blundell is an avid scuba diver, which proves useful at work. When she's not underwater she may be airborne, she is one of Juneau's cadre of paragliders. She ...   Seal Research 2 ArticleContinued

Traditional Uses of Steller Sea Lions
Archaeologists Document Importance of Stellers

By Mike Turek

Archaeological digs at prehistoric sites in Alaska are revealing that Steller sea lions were profoundly important to Alaska's Native people.

Sea lions were harvested for meat, oil and blubber. Bone and whiskers were used for tools, sinews for cordage, intestines and stomachs for waterproof containers and clothing, and the skins were used for baidarkas (kayaks). Unalaska sites have yielded implements and decorative pieces fashioned from sea lion bone.

In prehistoric archaeological ...   Steller Sea Lions ArticleContinued

A Moose Hunt Adventure

By Mike Romine

During a hunting discussion a few seasons ago one of the guys said, “Just go out to the Palmer Hay Flats, get up in a tree and you might get lucky enough to have a spike/fork run by, scared by other hunters.” My friend Dave was home from fishing in the Bering Sea and I asked him if he'd like to try the Flats for a moose. We decided it just might work. On the appointed day we loaded my canoe in the back of the pick-up and we were off.

We put in at Rabbit Slough, also known as Wasilla ...   Moose Hunt Adventure ArticleContinued

Salmon and Corn Soup

By Riley Woodford

“Nothing goes with salmon like corn,” says my friend Flash.

This recipe evolved over time, and Flash inspired the addition of corn. For Alaskans that eat a lot of fish, this is a great alternative to grilling. The best part is that the leftovers improve with age. You make it for dinner on Sunday, and eat it for lunch during the week. It's noticeably richer after sitting for a few days in the fridge, and it microwaves well.

It's great with fresh salmon, of course, ...   Salmon and Corn Soup ArticleContinued