Alaskan Brown Bears: Sitkalidak Island

By Corey Jager

Sitkalidak Island is the third largest island in the Kodiak Archipelago of Alaska. These Alaskan islands are celebrated for their abundance of unscathed wild landscapes and provide fantastic hunting and fishing opportunities. Wild salmon streams are among the plentiful natural resources on the island, drawing particular interest from Kodiak brown bears. Although this brown bear subspecies has been genetically isolated on the Kodiak Islands for around 12,000 years, they persist as a robust population and are prized as trophies by hunters. The Kodiak brown bear population throughout the islands has been on the rise due to the security provided by the Kodiak National Wildlife Refuge, and sustainable harvest managed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and Alaska Department of Fish and Game.

Although population data have been collected extensively for bears throughout most of the islands, minimal data are available for Sitkalidak Island and the eastern side of Kodiak Island. Research is underway to correct this deficiency through a partnership between the Kodiak Brown Bear Trust, Alaska Department of Fish and Game and the Kodiak National Wildlife Refuge. SCI Foundation has joined this partnership by granting $50,000 to support this study, which is aimed at providing a better understanding of bear population size, density, movement and resource use patterns. This research will enhance the current management strategies for Kodiak brown bears and potentially increase the hunting opportunities throughout the Kodiak Archipelago.

Sophisticated research techniques will allow scientists to safely immobilize twelve adult female bears and place GPS tracking collars on them. Blood and tooth samples will be collected to understand the individual health and age of each captured bear. The GPS collars can be used for long-term monitoring of the individual bears and allow researchers to understand where bears move throughout the islands and how they utilize food and habitat available to them. Bears share many food resources with humans, and humans harvesting resources in bear habitat may lead to bear-human conflicts. This study will provide valuable data for mitigating unwanted, and potentially dangerous, bear encounters with local citizens and travelers. Minimizing incidental confrontations with the guidance of updated population data will ultimately benefit both humans and bears on the islands.

SCI Foundation is proud to be involved with another project that embodies the commitment to science-based management of bears. The $50,000 provided by SCI Foundation is necessary for managers to understand the population of bears they are working with. Proper stewardship of brown bears requires information in a timely fashion. Working with partners, funds available for conservation activities go farther than if any of the cooperating entities worked alone. This allows a larger conservation footprint for SCI Foundation and fosters better work to be conducted for many species where federal and state money for research and management have waned.

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Favorite Guns of SCI Member Bill B.

In recent years I have become very fond of two rifles and their cartridges. Aside from the .45-70, it has become apparent to me that I don’t need the big guns for most of my hunting. I really like my Marlin Guide Gun in .45-70 even though many of the animals I took with it could have been done just as well with my favorite .308, a Remington Model 7 Custom KS. It’s light, easy to take with, and accurate.

With the .308 I have taken all manner of African plains game, elk and deer at home; and it was perfect for my last hunt in Scotland.

My 45-70 was an engraved parting gift when my term on the AZ G&F commission ended. Though limited by trajectory, it has served me well when conditions were appropriate for it. With it I have taken muskox, elk, American bison, Argentina water buffalo, and wild boar in Argentina and the US.

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Mossberg Announces Silver Reserve II Break-Open Shotguns

Mossberg Silver Reserve II Field Over-Under Shotgun
Mossberg Silver Reserve II Field

Mossberg is perhaps best known for shotguns such as the pump-action Model 500 that are tough enough to last a lifetime but priced at a level that belies their quality.  In 2005, Mossberg applied that principle to a line of over-under shotguns called the Silver Reserve that was received well enough that side-by-side models followed in 2008.

Now, Mossberg has announced a new generation of the Silver Reserve line—the Silver Reserve II—that has features hunters and shooters expect on high-quality double guns. Those features include black walnut stocks and fine-line checkering. Blued barrels are complemented by silver-finished receivers sporting wrap-around classic scroll engraving. Functionally, the Silver Reserve II line offers chrome-plated chambers and bores, dual-locking lugs and tang-mounted safety/barrel selectors as standard features. There are a variety of barrel lengths and stock options available.

Mossberg Silver Reserve II Super Sport

Variants include:

Field Over-Under—Features vent rib barrels with single front bead. Changeable choke tubes mount flush, and cylinder, improved cylinder, modified, improved modified and full chokes are included on 12-, 20 and 28-gauge models. .410-bore guns have fixed modified and full chokes. 12-gauge models have 28-inch barrels with 3-inch chambers. Extractors are standard but ejectors are an option. 20-, 28-gauge and .410-bore guns have 26-inch barrels and extractors only. Both Bantam and Combo Field versions are available with the Bantam available only in 20-gauge and with a 13-inch length of pull to better-fit smaller shooters. Combos are 12/20 or 20/28 and come with 26-inch barrels and appropriate forends and choke tubes. Suggested retail of the Field versions ranges from $693 to $1,042.

Sporting Over-Unders—Sport and Super Sport versions feature dual beads (the front is fiber optic) and ported barrels. The Sport model has a 28-inch barrel with 10mm rib while the Super Sport’s rib is 12mm and can be had with optional 30- or 32-inch barrels. Both versions come with five extended choke tubes—skeet, improved cylinder, modified, improved modified and full–that are silver-finished and knurled so you can grasp them better. Ejectors are standard, with select Sport models featuring extractors. Super Sport models offer a choice of adjustable (height, slope and cast) or fixed high-comb stocks; higher profile, extra-wide 12mm ribs; and optional 30- or 32-inch barrels. Suggested retail of the Sporting versions ranges from $851 to $1,145.

Mossberg Silver Reserve II Field Side-By-Side
Mossberg Silver Reserve II Field Side-By-Side

Field Side-By-Side—These versions are available in 12-, 20- or 28-gauge and extractors are standard. The 26-inch vent rib barrels have a single front bead and come with flush choke tubes and cylinder, improved cylinder, modified, improved modified and full are included. Suggested retail price is $1,005.

For more information, contact Mossberg.

SCI At London Olympics

Corey Cogdell is all smiles as she celebrates her victory recently at the U.S. Olympic Trials in Tucson, Arizona. Her win there assured that she will be shooting trap on the U.S. team at the Olympics in London, England this summer. Cory, from Alaska, is also a hunter and SCI advocate.

Safari Club International will be well represented this summer at the Olympics in London, England. Both woman shotgun competitors on the U.S. team are hunters and representatives of SCI. Kim Rhode, who will set a new all-time record if she medals this year, has been an SCI Life member and staunch supporter of the freedom to hunt since she was a child. This year, Kim will be competing in women’s skeet and trap. If she receives a medal in either event,

Kim Rhode, right, will be shooting skeet and trap during the upcoming Olympics in London, England. Kim, who is a lifelong hunter and SCI Life member, is shown here with her father, Richard, after she set another world record during the World Cup shoot earlier this spring in Tucson, Arizona.

she will have medaled in five consecutive Olympics–something that never has been done before. Corey Cogdell assured her spot on the U.S. Olympic team in women’s shotgun when she placed first in the qualifying shoot last month in Tucson, Arizona. Corey was a bronze medalist at the Olympics in Beijing four years ago.

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