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Re: Wolverine populations up [Re: yukon254] #6507488
04/01/19 01:16 PM
04/01/19 01:16 PM
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martentrapper Offline
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Ken, no one has chimed in that they have caught a lactating female at any time of the trapping season. So far, I'm the only one who has said they caught a female with developed fetuses. Can't protect something that doesn't exist (cubs) during the normal season. I know this is a small sample of trappers but there are other trappers here who trap northern wolverine populations.
Each trapper should be able to decide for himself how late he wants to catch the species on his line. I would not support any effort to reduce season lengths based on any supposed reason of protecting litters. Anyone trapping members of the weasel family is setting for animals in which the female has already conceived, or will not conceive, during the trapping season. Any female wolverine, marten, mink, we catch during a Nov. to Feb. or March season is likely already pregnant.
mt

Re: Wolverine populations up [Re: yukon254] #6507496
04/01/19 01:24 PM
04/01/19 01:24 PM
Joined: Dec 2010
Posts: 10,557
Armpit, ak
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Dirt Offline
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I can see a real reason to manage harvest with season length where people are too dense in both definitions of dense.


Who is John Galt?
Re: Wolverine populations up [Re: yukon254] #6507504
04/01/19 01:31 PM
04/01/19 01:31 PM
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McGrath, AK
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white17 Offline

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Mike. Just to be clear......I am not advocating for a shorter season either. But there may be some other means of reducing the threat to those kits by reducing the likelihood that mom is harvested.

I was just agreeing with Dave that those females are pregnant the entire season ..........depending on how we use the term "pregnant"


Good point Dirt laugh


Mean As Nails
Re: Wolverine populations up [Re: yukon254] #6507506
04/01/19 01:36 PM
04/01/19 01:36 PM
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Armpit, ak
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Dirt Offline
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Seriously, March is flying weather. No refuge safe from the airplane trappers (gunners?),


Who is John Galt?
Re: Wolverine populations up [Re: yukon254] #6507516
04/01/19 01:46 PM
04/01/19 01:46 PM
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McGrath, AK
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white17 Offline

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That's true ! So are you saying we could reduce that potential illegal harvest by eliminating March as part of the season ?


Mean As Nails
Re: Wolverine populations up [Re: white17] #6507519
04/01/19 01:57 PM
04/01/19 01:57 PM
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Armpit, ak
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Dirt Offline
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Originally Posted by white17
That's true ! So are you saying we could reduce that potential illegal harvest by eliminating March as part of the season ?


Only the legal harvest. There is no March season here. Probably for a reason. The wolverine density here is nothing like it was before the oil thing according to the old timers. It never will improve, it is the new norm.

Of course, if they are not flying to trap wolves and wolverine in March, they probably won't fly just to specifically gun one. Target of opportunity.

The bigger problem is planes can access the high ground in March and set anywhere. Not a problem if their wasn't 400,000 people 1 hr or less away by plane.


Who is John Galt?
Re: Wolverine populations up [Re: yukon254] #6507523
04/01/19 02:01 PM
04/01/19 02:01 PM
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McGrath, AK
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white17 Offline

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so if I understand what you are saying you think maybe a restriction on airplane trapping in March, statewide, would be helpful ?


Mean As Nails
Re: Wolverine populations up [Re: white17] #6507527
04/01/19 02:10 PM
04/01/19 02:10 PM
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Armpit, ak
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Dirt Offline
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Armpit, ak
Originally Posted by white17
so if I understand what you are saying you think maybe a restriction on airplane trapping in March would be helpful ?


If you want to provide some refuge and you have airplane trappers and you want to try an increase your wolverine population it should help. Sealing data tells you who trapped wolverine and got there using an airplane and when they harvested those wolverine and if they are females or males. This should tell you if you have a significant March airplane harvest.

Last edited by Dirt; 04/01/19 02:17 PM.

Who is John Galt?
Re: Wolverine populations up [Re: yukon254] #6507528
04/01/19 02:10 PM
04/01/19 02:10 PM
Joined: Aug 2008
Posts: 1,591
alaska
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3 Fingers Offline
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alaska
Itís always been my impression that young are born late winter early spring. I agree with Dirt in that with such a large home range they are more susceptible where traplines/humans are denser. Low reproductive rates and relative ease of trapping are a factor. My opinion is that rugged inaccessible habitat is productive for the population. How about correlation with hare cycles ??

Re: Wolverine populations up [Re: yukon254] #6507534
04/01/19 02:26 PM
04/01/19 02:26 PM
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Posts: 4,421
Yukon
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yukon254 Offline OP
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Yukon
My problem with them shortening the season is that it takes wolverine off the table for some trappers. As an example, a few years ago I traded my old trapline up in the Logans for a trapline with easier access. My old line was excellent wolverine country but marginal for marten. The fellow that I traded with had had that line for many many years. His average over the years was about one wolverine every other year or so. Then he started doing wolf hunts in late Feb. early March and his wolverine catch skyrocketed.

When I got the line I was doing the guided trapping thing so I was out there all season. I wouldnt see a wolverine track until mid Feb. or so, then I would see sign everywhere. I would routinely take 3-4 every season there, all of them late in the season, and most of them males. My son has that line now and it hasn't changed. For whatever reason wolverines dont frequent that area until later on in the winter. There are a lot of trappers in the same situation, so next year when our season is shortened there will be some trappers that wont have an opportunity to catch them, even though the population is in great shape by all accounts.

Luckily for me, the trapline I have now has an excellent wolverine population and they are there all year so it wont effect me. Does anyone else notice that they seem to favour lower elevations later in the season??

Interestingly northern California has a decent wolverine population, or so I have heard...not sure that fits with the dense human population theory.?

Last edited by yukon254; 04/01/19 02:28 PM.

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Re: Wolverine populations up [Re: yukon254] #6507539
04/01/19 02:35 PM
04/01/19 02:35 PM
Joined: Mar 2007
Posts: 34,667
McGrath, AK
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white17 Offline

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I agree completely about the lower elevation thing !! But........."lower" is a relative term. Where I trap the difference between lower and higher may be only a couple thousand feet over a large horizontal distance


Mean As Nails
Re: Wolverine populations up [Re: 3 Fingers] #6507545
04/01/19 03:01 PM
04/01/19 03:01 PM
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McGrath, AK
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white17 Offline

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Originally Posted by 3 Fingers
Itís always been my impression that young are born late winter early spring. I agree with Dirt in that with such a large home range they are more susceptible where traplines/humans are denser. Low reproductive rates and relative ease of trapping are a factor. My opinion is that rugged inaccessible habitat is productive for the population. How about correlation with hare cycles ??



There COULD be a relationship to hares but I'll bet it is very tenuous. The population dynamics of a wolverine population is apparently pretty 'weak'. By that I mean that reproductive rates are low. About 50% pregnancies on average and a less than one kit per mom survival rate...again on average. So a boom in bunny populations may not be accessible to solitary wolverines because the bunny boom might be localized in areas where wolverines are not available to take advantage of it.


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Re: Wolverine populations up [Re: yukon254] #6507567
04/01/19 03:39 PM
04/01/19 03:39 PM
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alaska
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Makes sense. Hare cycle is pretty fast whereas it would seem to take longer for wolverine populations to grow. I trap mostly lower elevations and also see more activity in February March. I always figured it was due to more moose/moose kills down low that time of year.

Re: Wolverine populations up [Re: yukon254] #6507572
04/01/19 03:47 PM
04/01/19 03:47 PM
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McGrath, AK
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white17 Offline

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I think you are right about moose kills Jarl.

When you think about it, the river systems are easier travel by that time of year and moose...at least in my area....are congregated on the willow bars.


Mean As Nails
Re: Wolverine populations up [Re: white17] #6507595
04/01/19 04:16 PM
04/01/19 04:16 PM
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Yukon
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yukon254 Offline OP
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Originally Posted by white17
I think you are right about moose kills Jarl.

When you think about it, the river systems are easier travel by that time of year and moose...at least in my area....are congregated on the willow bars.



Good point Ken. Maybe they move into these areas BECAUSE they can travel much easier/ further at that time of year? I've always assumed that they moved more late in the season because of mating season. The fact that my catch ratio is heavy on the male side at that time of year would seem to indicate that is true, at least to some degree, but it certainly could be a combination of both.


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Re: Wolverine populations up [Re: white17] #6507601
04/01/19 04:24 PM
04/01/19 04:24 PM
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alaska
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3 Fingers Offline
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Originally Posted by white17
I think you are right about moose kills Jarl.

When you think about it, the river systems are easier travel by that time of year and moose...at least in my area....are congregated on the willow bars.

And there we get into the wolverine/wolf relationship. Donít know if my increased numbers are just animals pushed down due to higher than normal snow depths from areas they would have stayed at .

Re: Wolverine populations up [Re: yukon254] #6507628
04/01/19 05:23 PM
04/01/19 05:23 PM
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McGrath, AK
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white17 Offline

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I think both are significant factors but I have noticed too that when wolf numbers are up, so are wolverines.....at least for a few years. I especially noticed it around 1990 when the Mulchatna herd was so high and the wolves came with them.


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Re: Wolverine populations up [Re: yukon254] #6507644
04/01/19 05:49 PM
04/01/19 05:49 PM
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SW Alaska
otterman Offline
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Not sure what it is but we are seeing more the last few yrs especially late season males when the females are denning not just overall numbers but seeing them coming in closer to town. Our conditions have been less than stellar to trap them the last few yrs and am thinking that may have something to do with it


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Re: Wolverine populations up [Re: yukon254] #6507686
04/01/19 06:49 PM
04/01/19 06:49 PM
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Northwest Territories
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muskrat411 Offline
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Could the wolverine be hunting denning bears and beaver early on and later in the season these food sources are no longer available so they have to move?

Re: Wolverine populations up [Re: yukon254] #6507786
04/01/19 09:03 PM
04/01/19 09:03 PM
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martentrapper Offline
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Dirt, have you looked at sealing data for wolverine in your area? Is there really a significant airplane trapper take? Or did there used to be? Otterman, when access conditions were better, were there that many more trappers out? Did they get farther away than now? If so, does sealing data show anything?
I'm thinking that even when conditions were better and us Alaskans could be out on our snogos in to April, how many trappers were out? Were they spread out or concentrated in to areas with in economical reach of town? How many of the trappers out were significantly targeting wolverine? When marten/lynx paid your bills how much time did a guy put in to wolverine? When the marten/lynx season ended, how many trappers stayed out and concentrated on wolverine? Maybe some years when beaver were paying some of the bill a guy would still be out and could up his wolverine take. I'm just really skeptical that over most of Alaska and in to Canada, trappers have any significant effect on a wolverine population!
mt

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