• ADF&G offers basic hunter education course July 22-23 in Sitka

A Sitka black-tailed deer feeds on one of the barrier islands near Sitka

A Sitka black-tailed deer feeds on one of the barrier islands near Sitka

The Alaska Department of Fish and Game is offering a two-day basic hunter education class July 22-23 in Sitka. The class takes place from 6-9 p.m. on Friday, July 22, and from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, July 23, at the Sitka Sportsman’s Association building toward the end of Halibut Point Road (by the shooting range next to the ferry terminal).

To register, students must purchase a $10 study packet that is available at the Sitka ADF&G office, 304 Lake St., Suite 103. The packet workbook must be completed before the start of the first class. The course is open to anyone, but it is designed for students ages 10 and older. A minimum of six students is needed for the class to take place.

For packet workbooks and additional information, contact the Sitka office of ADF&G at 747-5449. More information about the basic hunter education class also is available online at this link.

This class is required before hunters are allowed to get permits for some of Alaska’s game management areas. Successful completion of the class earns the hunter a certificate recognized by all other states, Canadian provinces and territories, and in Mexico.

Advertisements

• ADF&G offers basic hunter education course this weekend in Sitka

A Sitka black-tailed deer feeds on one of the barrier islands near Sitka

A Sitka black-tailed deer feeds on one of the barrier islands near Sitka

The Alaska Department of Fish and Game is offering a two-day basic hunter education class this weekend in Sitka. The class takes place from 6-9 p.m. on Friday, July 9, and from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, July 10.

To register, students must purchase a $10 study packet that is available at the Sitka ADF&G office, 304 Lake St., Suite 103. The packet workbook must be completed before the start of the first class. The course is open to anyone, but it is designed for students ages 10 and older. A minimum of six students is needed for the class to take place.

For packet workbooks and additional information, contact the Sitka office of ADF&G at 747-5449. More information about the basic hunter education class also is available online at this link.

This class is required before hunters are allowed to get permits for some of Alaska’s game management areas. Successful completion of the class earns the hunter a certificate recognized by all other states, Canadian provinces and territories, and in Mexico.

• Wanton waste of deer meat, a record high herring quota and other local foods stories in the news

Over the past couple of weeks, at least 10 Sitka black tail deer corpses have been found in Sitka with lots of edible meat still on the bone but the prime cuts missing. According to the Anchorage Daily News, state wildlife officials are searching for the hunters, and wanton waste charges may be coming for those involved. There were six deer found off Green Lake Road, then four deer were found near Harbor Mountain Road five days later.

The Sitka Local Foods Network encourages the responsible and sustainable harvesting of traditional subsistence foods, such as deer, but we must respect the resource and use the entire animal. Not only is leaving edible meat in the field wasteful, but the last couple of years have been down years for deer survival and the actions of these wasteful hunters may mean fewer hunting opportunities next year for hunters who need the deer to feed their families. Anyone with information about the cases is asked to call Alaska Wildlife Troopers at 747-3254 or, to remain anonymous, Wildlife Safeguard at 1-800-478-3377.

In other local foods news, the Alaska Department of Fish and Game established a record sac roe herring quota for the 2010 season, a quota of more than 18,000 tons (more than 4,000 tons higher than last year’s then-record quota). The commercial herring fleet is very happy with the higher quota, but KCAW-Raven Radio reports local subsistence gatherers worry that the record quota will harm their ability to gather herring eggs on hemlock branches, a popular subsistence and barter food for local Tlingít and Haida residents. They also worry two straight years of record quotas will hurt the resource, since herring also serves as a key forage food for salmon, halibut, whales, sea lions and other species in the region.

The Juneau Empire reported that the State of Alaska asked for an extension to reply to an inquiry on subsistence management from the federal government. The federal government took over some management of subsistence in Alaska more than a decade ago because state laws weren’t in compliance with the Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act (ANILCA), which calls for a rural preference on subsistence in times of shortage, and the federal government may be expanding its role in subsistence management.

The Anchorage Daily News reported on Alaska pork being ready for the freezer at A.D. Farms, and that pork will be sold at the indoor farmers market at Anchorage’s Northway Mall. The story included a wrap-up of other local foods available at the market, and it had a recipe for crock-pot cod.

Laine Welch’s Alaska fishing column was about how more local fish is appearing in school lunch menus.

The Anchorage Daily News Alaska Newsreader feature reported on several Arctic travelers getting trichinosis from eating undercooked bear meat. The National Post of Canada also had a story on travelers eating undercooked bear meat, while the New York Times had an article about how trichinosis is common in bear meat that isn’t cooked properly.

The Anchorage Daily News had an article about how Alaska’s rhubarb probably first came from Russia.

Miller-McCune magazine had an article about how Alaska’s complex salmon politics can serve as a model for sustainable fisheries elsewhere in the world.

The Alaska Public Radio Network reported on a woman from Aniak, Dee Matter, who has taken freezing her food to a new level. The story also was on APRN’s Alaska News Nightly show.

The Fairbanks Daily News-Miner had a feature article about Kotzebue hunter and trapper Ross Schafer and the “Eskimo” way of life.

The Fairbanks Daily News-Miner had an article about a conflict between farmers and hunters over the future of the Delta bison herd.

The Juneau Empire ran a story about glaciers providing an important food source.

Anchorage Daily News garden columnist Jeff Lowenfels wrote about magazine gifts for gardeners.

The Seattle Post-Intelligencer ran an Associated Press article about Monsanto’s role in the business of agriculture, especially the way it squeezes out competitors in the seed industry.

Finally, the University of Alaska Fairbanks School of Natural Resources and Agricultural Sciences blog featured an article about a new study about food security challenges in Alaska.

• Hunters, do you know what’s in your ammo and how it affects your meat?

Sitka black-tailed deer (photo by U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Tongass National Forest)

Sitka black-tailed deer (photo by U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Tongass National Forest)

Hunting for wild fowl and game is a part of normal life in Alaska. It’s the way many of us fill our freezers, and it’s been part of the traditional subsistence lifestyle for centuries. Many of us feel the natural, wild fowl and game we hunt is healthier for our families than store-bought poultry, beef or pork.

In many cases the fowl and game we hunt is healthier, but our choice of ammo can negate that. Using non-toxic shot, in other words using steel shot instead of lead, has been a regulation in waterfowl hunting for many years. The Alaska Department of Fish and Game has an informational page about using non-toxic shot. The Institute for Wildlife Studies has informational pages about alternatives to lead and the California non-lead awareness program.

The reason lead shot has been banned from waterfowl hunting is because it gets into the food chain, including humans, and lead can cause major health problems if it gets into our blood streams. In November 2008, a study released by the North Dakota and Minnesota health departments detailed the affects of lead fragments in venison. The study was done after food pantries in North Dakota in March 2008 were told to no longer accept donated ground venison because of lead fragments.

Many older bullets were solid lead, or lead covered by a thin covering of copper. But there are many newer alternative types of ammo that don’t use lead, including bullets that are solid copper, copper with a tungsten alloy core and a polymer tip, and copper alloy with a polycarbonite tip. So if you’re one of those folks who have gone hunting for our local Sitka black-tailed deer in recent weeks, do you know what’s in your ammo?

• Alaska Local Food Film Festival featured on Alaska Public Radio Network and other local food news

AlaskaLocalFoodFilmFestivalPoster

The Alaska Public Radio Network’s Alaska News Nightly show on Friday night had a feature story about the inaugural Alaska Local Food Film Festival that runs Oct. 2-8 at Anchorage’s Beartooth Theatrepub and Grill. The story included discussion about the movie “Eating Alaska” by Sitka filmmaker Ellen Frankenstein, which will be shown on Sunday and feature a post-movie discussion with Ellen. The feature story link has streaming audio. Here’s a link to more information about the film festival.

Earlier this week, former Fairbanks Daily News-Miner editor Sam Bishop wrote an article about hunting and gathering in the season of the moose hunt. While centered on a September moose hunt Sam took with his parents, the story discusses the role of local foods and how people make their food choices.

Also in the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner this week was a letter to the editor from Barry Brown about how to properly take care of the meat after a successful hunt.

Anchorage Daily News garden columnist Jeff Lowenfels writes a column about getting the garden ready for a long winter’s nap.

Finally, an article from a paper in Ontario, Canada — the Peterborough Examiner — about “Yes, they garden in Alaska.” The article is by Joan Harding, a master gardener for Peterborough Gardens, who took a trip through Southeast Alaska where she visited gardens along the way.

• Capital City Weekly features Sitka Farmers Market Table of the Day, Running of the Boots fundraiser for Sitka Local Foods Network

Screenshot of Capital City Weekly page about Mike Wise winning the Table of the Day Award at the final Sitka Farmers Market of the summer

Screenshot of Capital City Weekly page about Mike Wise winning the Table of the Day Award at the final Sitka Farmers Market of the summer

Click here to see this week’s Capital City Weekly coverage of Mike Wise of Raven’s Peek Roasters and Sailor’s Choice Coffee winning the Table of the Day Award for the final Sitka Farmers Market of the summer on Sept. 12.

Click here to read a notice in this week’s Capital City Weekly about the Running of the Boots on Saturday, Sept. 26.

For those of you who will be in Juneau and not in Sitka on Saturday for the Running of the Boots, click here to read about the Autumn Garden Party and Wine Tasting event on Saturday at the Jensen-Olson Arboretum up in Juneau.

In a local foods story from the Northwest Arctic, Kotzebue author/photographer Seth Kantner (author of “Ordinary Wolves” and “Shooping for Porcupine”) writes an essay for the Alaska Dispatch Web site about hunting caribou to provide meat for his family.

Finally, we have two stories about the role salmon played in the development of two Southeast Alaska communities — Ketchikan and Pelican. Ketchikan’s Dave Kiffer writes one of his regular history columns for the Stories in the News Web site about how Ketchikan became “the canned salmon capital of the world.” In the Capital City Weekly, Norm Carson writes a story about how a cold storage plant helped Pelican “settled closest to the fish.”

• ADF&G hunter education safety courses offered in Sitka

The Alaska Department of Fish and Game is offering an Online Basic Hunter Education Field Day and a Basic Hunter Education class this month in Sitka.

The Online Basic Hunter Education Field Day will be held from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 19. This field day course is only for students who already have successfully completed the electronic portion of the Online Basic Hunter Education class. Upon passing the online exam, students will receive a field day qualifier certificate, which grants admission to the field day. Students must have their field day qualifier number before registering for the field day. Register online at http://www.hunt.alaska.gov (click the “Hunter Education/Shooting” link at the bottom-right corner of the grid listing services). Detailed information about each course can be found on the Hunter Education/Shooting link.

The three-day Basic Hunter Education class will run from 6-8 p.m. on Friday and Saturday, Sept. 24-25, and from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday, Sept. 26. To register, students must purchase a $10 study packet available at the Alaska Department of Fish and Game office in Sitka. The packet workbook must be completed prior to the start of class.

Classes will be held at the Sitka Sportsman’s Association building located at 5211 Halibut Point Road. For additional information, please contact the Sitka office for the Alaska Department of Fish and Game at 747-5449.