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Alaska Hunting

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Written by:  Devn Schumacher 

May, 10 2021

There are many hunting opportunities in Alaska, some of which you will not find in other parts of the US. Games are widely dispersed to all parts of the state. And depending on what season or month of the year it is, there are various hunting opportunities for everyone, including kids. Alaska is blessed with both big and small games and is one of the dream states for hunters nationwide.

Alaska Hunting Regulations

Alaska has a lot of regulation that includes restrictions and other laws that all hunters in the state must abide by. The law includes the following:

  • You are not allowed to discharge a firearm from a highway, motorway, or constructed roads while hunting in the state.
  • Alaska hunting regulations prohibit molestation of games through activities such as herding, harassing, or using vehicles like aircraft, motor-boats, and airboats. However, there are few exceptions to this.
  • You are not allowed to make use of motor-driven boats or land vehicles unless they have been powered off. There are also exceptions for the use of these vehicles for hunting wolves after getting a permit from the hunting department of the state. Motor-driven boats can also be used for hunting caribou.
  • You are also allowed to use snow machines to hunt games like caribou, wolves, and bears, and the state legalizes discharging a firearm from a parked snow machine, to hunt a caribou. A snow machine can also offer assistance in taking down a caribou. However, the distance it must be to the game is at least 300 yards, and the vehicle must not move past a speed of 15miles/hour, and it must not be driven in a way that makes the animal flee. Also, in the same manner, like a caribou, you can make use of a snow machine to hunt bears and wolves in the state.
  • Alaska prohibits the use of instruments like electronic Tasers to weaken games or wildlife prior to hunting. However, there can be exceptions with a permit provided by Alaska hunting and game departments.
  • The state does not allow the use of poison or similar substances to disable or incapacitate wildlife and games without permission from the Alaska Board of game or the fish and game department.
  • For archery hunters, the state prohibits the use of any type of bow that fires more than an arrow at just one shot.
  • The Alaska fish and game department prohibits the use of firearms such as shotguns, machine guns, and set guns, with more than 10 gauges.
  • As a hunter in Alaska, you are not allowed to pursue a running game or wildlife with any type of vehicle.
  • You cannot make use of a helicopter or any other type of aircraft to transport yourself for hunting, shoot at games, transport captured games or hunting equipment, instruments, or gears. An exception to this regulation is using aircraft to rescue hunters that are in a dangerous situation where lives are at stake.
  • Alaska fishing and game departments prohibit the use of crossbows for games and hunting limited to only arrow and bow. However, you may be able to use a crossbow for hunting activities that do not limit the use of weapons.
  • It is a prohibition to make use of fire, pit, instruments to enhance night vision, a remotely operated instrument, airborne device, infrared equipment, laser vision, cameras for locating games, sensory instruments to communicate wirelessly, or the use of chemicals to hunt or lure games for hunting. An exception to this regulation is made for the use of electronically generated calls for all wildlife and games except moose.
  • You are also prohibited from the use of game animals’ urine and scents as lures. The animals protected by this law are moose, reindeer, and caribou.
  • It is illegal to make use of wireless communication, or any device used for a similar purpose, to hunt wildlife and games before of the day after using the device. Hunting with a communication device in Alaska is only accepted for safety and security reasons, but not in the capturing of a game. However, there are exceptions for locating and hunting bison. Also for moose hunting, an exception is allowed for the use of ground-based wireless devices to find and hunt moose.
  • There is also the prohibition of the use of simulated or artificial lighting. An exception to this regulation is made for lights that are used to track injured games. However artificial lights from vehicles are not allowed to track injured animals. Exceptions are also made for resident hunters of the state who can make use of artificial light for hunting or capturing black bears.
  • It is a prohibition to make use of traps and snares to hunt or capture fur and big games. An exception to this regulation is the use of traps and snares to hunt animals like hares and grouses.
  • It is illegal to deliberately feed games such as bears, elks, wolves, foxes, and similar animals with human meals, animal feeds, or any type of supplements to bait these games and wildlife. Exceptions are made for wolverines, foxes, and wolves with only specific foods allowed for their baiting. Using any other type of baits from these specific ones is illegal and defined as a prohibition to wildlife feeding regulations.
  • While hunting around streams and other water bodies, you are not allowed to wear foot gears designed with fibers or textured that water can absorb.

Alaska Hunting License Permits and Tags

The Alaska fish and game department issues a number of licenses, tags, and permits to hunters. They include the following:

Big Game Locking Tags

This hunting tag is especially for nonresidents hunters in Alaska that wish to hunt big game. Alaska has a lot of hunting tags and non-resident hunters must purchase the specific ones for the games they are trying to hunt. As soon as the hunter takes down the animal, the tag will be attached to the animal and will remain on it through the processing and exportation of the animal from the state. To take certain games, some resident hunters may also need a hunting tag in addition to an Alabama hunting license issued in the state. Some big games that resident hunters need tags for include brown bears and muskox.

Waterfowl Stamps

To hunt waterfowls in Alaska, hunters need both a duck stamp issued at the federal level and another issued in Alaska. Hunters will also be required to complete a harvest information program, and they must have proof to show for this. Also, certain parts of the state require you to have a permit before capturing or hunting waterfowls in their territory.

Drawing Permits

You can apply for drawing hunting permits from November to December every year. The permit is available for residents of the state, while non-residents can get it through a lottery organized by the Alaska Board of games.

Registration Permits

To take part in registration hunts, you need a registration permit. It is available for residents’ and is also an Alaska nonresident hunting license.

Tier Permits

Tier permits in Alaska are required for subsistence hunting. There are Tier I and Tier II permits, and only residents of the state can apply for these permits. The age requirement to apply is a minimum of 10 years.

Small Game Permits

Although hunting small games in most regions of the state does not require a permit, there are still some parts of Alaska that issue a permit to hunt small games within the jurisdiction.

General Season Tickets

In the general seasons, hunters will be required to purchase tickets, tags, licenses, and permits to hunt and purchase big games in the state. All hunters will be required to adhere to the specific dates of the season and the bag limits required for the games.

Target Hunting Permits

Target hunting in the state limits situations of animals and vehicle accidents. Here, residents of the state will be able to hunt and capture animals that are a threat to the general public, or the ones that are expected to die from wounds and injuries.

Auction Permits

The fish and game department for hunting in Alaska started auctioning permits for big games in 1997. They make use of a raffle system, and only lucky applicants will get this auction permit.

Alaska Fishing License Permit and Tags

Fishing Licenses in Alaska are categorized under the following

Sport Fishing License

Alaska residents that are 18 years old or more and residents from other states that are 16 years old or more are required to own an Alaska sport fishing license before they can take part in fishing sports or other fishery use in the state. This license is the same regardless of whether the sporting activity is in fresh or marine water. You can buy your sport fishing license online via the state department for fishing and game, or purchase them from fish and good stores.

Older residents of Alaska that are aged 60 or more and disabled veterans who live in the state are allowed to take part in fish sports even without a license. But it is important that they own a valid Alaska identification card

To harvest king salmon fishes, you need a king salmon stamp. But exemptions are made for residents under the age of 18 years old that own a state identification card, and non-residents under 16 years old.

Subsistence and Personal Use Fishing License

This permit is only valid for Alaska residents that want to take part in personal or subsistence fishing. There are different regulations for Alaska subsistence and personal fishing. A resident that already owns a sport fishing license can use it for personal use fishing in the state. But sport fishing licenses are not valid for Alaska subsistence fishery.

Some of the things you should know about subsistence and personal use license in the state includes the following:

  • Some types of subsistence and personal use fisheries require permits issued by the Alaska department of fish and games.
  • Some water bodies in Alaska are restricted for personal use and subsistence fishing.
  • Subsistence fishery for Halibut fishes is under the management and care of the federal government.
  • Some species of fishes have their seasons, fishing gear, and a harvesting bag limit.
  • For subsistence or personal use fishing for shellfish or fish harvesting, reach out to the nearest Alaska department of fish and game’s office.

Commercial Licenses

Alaska's commercial fishing industry is one of the core aspects of the state’s and nation's economy, this is why it is highly regulated. Alaska manages commercial fishery with licensing and reporting, to ensure the longevity of the resources. There are many agencies for commercial fishing in Alaska, so it is important that you contact the right agency to obtain the correct license for your fishing operation.

Alaska Wildlife Game and Fish

Although there are many parts of the state where you can hunt more than one species at a go, the chances of a quality hunting session of more than one species in a particular area of the state is very low. This is why it is important to be familiar with the main games in the state.

Alaska offers more big game species hunting than other states in the US. Because most of these big games overlap in regions, multi-hunt is very possible.

Some of the most popular Alaska games include the following.

Alaska Bison Hunting

There are 2 various types of Bison in Alaska, namely, large wood and plains bison. Bison is the largest wildlife and big game hunting species in the state. Alaska issues drawing permits and licenses to hunt these animals. But there are exceptions for some private herds located on Kodiak Island. These lands are owned by farmers who will charge hunters a certain fee before they can capture animals.

Alaska Black Bear Hunting

Black bears in Alaska are well dispersed in the state, and they are only absent in about 5 regions of the state. Their availability makes them a game for both the spring and fall seasons. One of the most common methods Alaska hunters use for taking black bears is the spot and stalk method. Bears are also hunted with bait stations, but there are regulations that hunters must follow before baiting them.

Alaska Brown Bear Hunting

Brown bears are bigger than black ones. But the Alaska fish and game department does not have a distinction for both types of bears in terms of regulations, bag limits, and hunting season in some zones. But taking brown bears can be done with archeries, muzzleloaders, and rifles. The state prohibits the capture of cubs and hunters are also discouraged to not take down sows.

Alaska Caribou Hunting

Caribou is one of the most interesting big game species to hunt in the state. Because they are herd animals and wanderers by nature. They walk for thousands of miles in a year, migrating between winter and summer ranges. This means that caribou hunting Alaska is not limited to specific regions of the state.

Alaska Dall Sheep Hunting

Sheep distribution in Alaska is well dispersed in the regions of the state that are mountainous. The only exceptions are the southeast part and the Alaska Peninsula. Areas notable for Dall sheep hunting in the state are the Talkeetna mountains, Alaska range, Kenai mountains, Wrangell Mountains, Brooks Range, etc. Hunting in these places is limited and is done from the road. Most hunters in these places do so via aircraft.

Alaska Deer Hunting

Only one deer species is present in Alaska, and this is the blacktail deer found in the southeast region of the state. The deer are more common in the Afognak archipelago.

Alaska Elk Hunting

There are two various species of Elk in Alaska namely, the Rocky mountain elk and the Roosevelt elk. Both species can be found in the southeast part of the state, but are more occurring in the Raspberry and Afognak islands. Hunting for elks in Alaska is done based on drawing permits.

Alaska Goat Hunting

Alaska is also popular for mountain goat hunting found in the southeast area and south central part of the state. Rocky goat mountains are huge animals to hunt in the state, and Alaska offers the best scenery for gun hunting in the nation.

Alaska Moose Hunting

The northern part of America is inhabited by four moose species, and the one in Alaska is known as the Alaska Yukon Moose found in the western part of the state. The Alaska Yukon moose is the largest of the 4 species of moose that inhabits the Northern part of the USA, and after Bison, they are the next largest terrestrial mammal in North America. Moose hunting Alaska is quite easier than other big game hunting.

Alaska Muskox Hunting

Muskoxen in Alaska has drastically reduced compared to years ago, but their numbers are still available for hunting in the state. Competition for hunting them is usually fierce because of the limited tags available and permits are issued on a drawing basis.

Alaska Wolves Hunting

Wolves are common in the state, and it is common to hear their howling noise very early in the morning and late at night. However, wolves are very smart animals, and hunting them is very difficult. They move together in packs and are very vigilant animals.

Alaska Hunting Season 2020/2021

The hunting season in Alaska is significantly different from the other states in the USA. It has the largest number of big games, and unlike most states, the season for most games can span over a year. Other varieties for the seasons can be animals, period of the year, and regions. Alaska has 26 hunting zones with varying seasons.

Alaska hunting season also varies due to residency because nonresident hunters in the state are not allowed in all seasons. In some years or seasons where there are limited games, there will be restrictions for non-residents to hunt in Alaska. Alaska fish and game department also defines bag limits for the management of games in the state.

The 2020/21 hunting season for various wildlife in Alaska includes the following:

Alaska Boar Hunting Season

  • Black Bear Season (1st of September to 30th of June)
  • Brown Bear Season (15th of September to 30th of June)

The dates for both bear seasons may vary based on hunting zones in the state. Also in some regions, the bag limits of a bear season may affect other years of hunting in some parts of the state.

Alaska Muskox Hunting Season

  • General Hunting Season (1st of August to 31st of March)

The date for Muskox season may vary from one hunting zone to another.

Alaska Caribou Hunting Season

  • General Hunting Season (1st of August to 31st of March)

The date for Caribous season varies according to zones. In some zones, open hunting season is permitted, but a minimum of only 2 caribous will be allowed per annum.

Alaska Deer Hunting Season

  • General Hunting Season (1st of August to 31st of March)

The date will vary from one zone to another.

Alaska Mountain Goat Hunting Seasons

  • General Hunting Season (1st of August to 31st of March)

Alaska Moose Hunting Season

  • General Hunting Season (1st of August to 31st of March)

Alaska Wolf Hunting Season

  • General Hunting Season (1st of August to 31st of March)

Alaska Wolverine Hunting Season

  • 1st of September to 31st of March

Alaska Small Games Hunting Season

  • Grouse (1st of August to 15th of May)
  • Ptarmigan (1st of August to 15th of June)
  • Hare (1st of September to 30th of April and open seasons for some hunting zones)
  • Crow (1st of September to 17th of November and 1st of March to 15th of April)
  • Pika (open season in some hunting zones and closed season in most of the hunting zones.
  • Snowy owl (1st of September to 1st of April and close season for nonresident hunters.
  • Pheasant, Quail, Wild Turkey, Chuckar, Crow, and feral ferrets (Open Season)

Alaska Shooting Range

The department for fish and game in Alaska provides 3 ranges for shooting and training in the state. They are:

  • Rabbit Creek Shooting Park in Anchorage
  • Fairbanks Hunter Education Indoor Shooting Range
  • Juneau Hunter Education Shooting Complex

Alaska Hunting Lands for Lease and Sale

Some hunting lands available for lease and sale in Alaska include the following:

  • 20 Acres at Point Mackenzie, across from Anchorage for duck and predator games hunting.
  • 13 pristine Alaskan acres backing up to usable 42 neighboring acres of prime hunting land for birds, moose, black bear, coyote, and small game hunting.
  • 30 acres surrounded by 1 million acres of Alaskan wilderness for elk hunting.
  • Ruger Quick Release Scope rings buy from alaskaarmsllc
  • 4,000-acre hunting club in South Alabama for turkey, hog, deer, etc.
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