In this episode, I talk with Rick Merizon, statewide small game coordinator for the Alaska Department of Fish and Game, about the science of small game hunting in Alaska. Rick covers the range of small game species in Alaska with a focus on ptarmigan. Rick and I have collaborated on ptarmigan research in Alaska for almost 10 years now and I have really appreciated his insights about these birds and many other small game species in Alaska.
2:30 Rick talks about his background.
6:45 Rick considers his favorite hunt, hunting background, and a hunt that almost costs him his life.
12:30 I ask Rick why he hunts.
14:35 Rick reviews the 9 small game species in Alaska.
19:15 We discuss hunting tactics, season lengths, and bag limits. Find out why you should go higher for ptarmigan.
35:45 Rick talks about the data they use for small game management and the role of the hunter in this process.
43:50 We discuss the process for setting harvest regulations and how in Alaska the state constitution recognizes hunting. We conclude with a discussion of the role of social media in the management process.
57:15 I ask Rick what he sees for the future of small game hunting in Alaska. He again talks about the role of the hunter in the North American Model of Wildlife Management.
- ADF&G site on small game hunting (http://www.adfg.alaska.gov/index.cfm?adfg=smallgamehunting.main)
- Individual species accounts from ADF&G like this one on Willow Ptarmigan (http://www.adfg.alaska.gov/index.cfm?adfg=smallgamehunting.willowptarmigan)
- Facebook site on Rock Ptarmigan in Alaska (https://www.facebook.com/Ptarmigan-of-Alaska-223460308588686/?modal=admin_todo_tour)