The Wrangell Fish and Game Advisory Committee met Monday night and discussed its continuing effort to change a moose antler regulation affecting local hunters.
Last year, the Alaska Board of Game rejected the committee’s proposal to redefine “points” for forked moose antlers for the RM038 registration hunt near Wrangell, Petersburg and Kake.
Since then, the Wrangell committee has amended its proposal in hopes of getting it passed when the Board of Game meets again in March. The new version would modify the statewide definition of a moose antler.
The new proposal states, “antler projections originating within two inches of the base of the antler and less than three inches in length will not be counted as a tine.” Those small points would not be counted in making a moose illegal.
Wrangell committee chair Chris Guggenbickler said the new version of the proposal is more specific than the one that was rejected last year.
“There was a worst case scenario put in before that had a point sticking out about eight inches from the base. And that was never our intent that something like that would pass,” Guggenbickler said. “We just don’t want a legal hunter to get a ticket for something they can’t see that’s not above the hairline or the ear.”
Committee members argue points that small can be very difficult for a hunter to see if hidden by the hair or ear of the moose, and therefore should not be counted.
More illegal moose were taken in the Petersburg-Wrangell area last year than in any other year of the hunt.
Guggenbickler said moose antlers can be more irregular in the Wrangell-Petersburg area than in other parts of the state.
“There’s always been that argument that our moose are a sub-class, or that we have different vegetation and our horns don’t grow the same,” Guggenbickler said.
Committee members are planning to talk to other advisory committees across the state about how this proposal could help hunters. The Wrangell advisory committee will continue to review game proposals later this month.