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The Shotem' and Caughtem' Blog is the place to find the latest reviews and commentary on gear, destinations, conditions, events, and general knowledge to inform our readers and give our opinions to anyone listening.

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We at Shotem and Caughtem have talked in not only the discussion board but also blogged about the predator vs prey debate.  It definitely is a heated topic between many groups.  However, many people of Alaska live from the land and need certian animals to sustain their needs.  Moose is definately a large part of the needs associated with feeding Alaska families through the winter.  Due to this reason Alaska wildlife officials are doing their best to try and create a sustainable Moose and Caribou population so that hunters can stock their freezers for the harsh conditions.  In order to try and accomplish this they opened a short window so that they could harvest part of their large bear population.  It will not only benefit the prey populations but the meat was then destributed to Alaskan residents to help feed families.  Here are the details.

A predator control program has resulted in the killing of nearly 90 bears in Western Alaska.

The Fairbanks Daily News-Miner (http://is.gd/BEAihS) reports that the program designed to increase moose in the area is operating in game management unit 19A along the Kuskokwim River.

According to the Alaska Department of Fish and Game, agency staff shot 89 bears between May 13 and Monday, when the two-year program ended for the year. Officials say 84 black bears and five grizzlies were killed.

Biologists shot the bears from a helicopter in a 530-square mile area of state land that is a small part of unit 19A, which encompasses nearly 10,000 square miles east of Aniak. 

The meat was then distributed to local residents.

Let us know your opinion on the subject in the comment section below or on the discussion board http://www.shotemandcaughtem.com/groups-main/viewdiscussion/8-predator-prey-balance-hunting-and-conservation.html?groupid=2.  As always post your photos to the galleries and tell us about your adventure.

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We at Shotem and Caughtem had an interesting conversation on twitter last night with one of our followers.  He had taken a picture out of his back window of a wolf standing by a pond on his property.  We commented on what a beautiful animal it was and he commented back about how they have effected the Elk populations in his area.  This started the discussion on hunting predators as a need to maintain a balance.  It was a great debate so we felt we would get others input on their thoughts regarding the predator and prey balance.  He is from Idaho where the increase in bear and wolves have had there effects on deer and elk populations.  We are from Kansas where coyotes and hawks have had an effect on our rabbit, turkey, quail and pheasant populations.  However, the lack of apex predators such as mountian lions and wolves has caused an increase in our deer populations.  Their has also been pressure from the drought conditions we have experienced in the Midwest.  So we have not only done a little research as to the nature selection process but we have also set up a forum discussion to get more peoples input.  We hope that it gets both sides of this age old debate to think about our involvement as hunters and conservationists.  We always want to make sure that we have hunting available for not only ourselves year to year but also for future generations.  It is striking that balance that has been debated across the world.  We hope you leave your thoughts in the comment section below or join our discussion in the forum section  http://www.shotemandcaughtem.com/groups-main/viewdiscussion/8-predator-prey-balance-hunting-and-conservation.html?groupid=2



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We at Shotem and Caughtem believe that without a healthy and robust sport hunting and fishing industry that the economy would lose yet another valuable resource in the fight to conserve our natural resources.  We searched the web to help find valuable facts that show just how great these industries are not only for their economic value but in their efforts to help sustain and conserve our natural resources.  Here is just a short list of all the great things these industries provide and just a few of those that help make sure the sport continues for future generations.  If you feel we missed a vital part or aspect to these industries please leave us a comment in the section below.

State natural resource agencies manage fish and wildlife for the benefit of all citizens, regardless of whether they hunt or fish. Yet, sportsmen who buy licenses and purchase equipment provide most of their budgets. Despite the significant contributions by sportsmen and their supporting industries, wildlife agencies constantly hear the old, worn-out argument about “jobs versus the environment.” The fact is, employment, economy and environment all start with “E.” Healthy natural resources create jobs, enhance the economy and support both rural and urban communities that properly manage those resources.

In 2011, 90.1 million U.S. residents 16 years of age and older, roughly 38% of the population, participated in wildlife-related recreational activities.  The recreationial sport lovers spent 145 billion dollars on their fishing, hunting and wildlife watching.  This includes permits, expenditures, passes etc.  Overall hunting, fishing and other outdoor-related activities contribute an estimated $730 billion each year to the U.S. economy and one in 20 jobs.

The fisheries program of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, state agencies and other conservation groups, contributes $3.6 billion to the nation’s economy and supports 68,000  jobs.  The federal agency’s National Fish Hatchery System generates $900 million in industrial output and $550 million in retail sales. Hatchery programs generate 8,000 jobs and $256 million in salaries and wages.  The National Fish Passage Program works with partners to reopen an average of 890 miles of river habitat annually, which has an economic value of $483 million and supports 11,000 jobs. That is more than $542,000 in economic benefit per stream mile restored.  

We had trouble finding the overall stats that show the money invested in land and wildlife conservation measures by many of the groups that do so much to make sure we sustain these sports and our industry.  Organizations such as Ducks Unlimited, Quail Unlimited, Pheasants Forever, Fishery programs both private and public, and governmental programs such as allocations in the Farm Bill, and the National Wildlife Federation just to name a few. 

Unfortunately due to the economic downturn and the recent decisions in Washington many of the conservation efforts provided by the revenue generated by this industry will have an impact on these types of conservation efforts.  It will be up to us as an industry to stand up and support these organizations so that we can continue to enjoy the sports we dedicate so much of our hard earned money.  We hope that one day Shotem and Caughtem might be added to the list of organizations that help provide support to the cause we all love........the great outdoors!

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