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 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:
The Alaska fish and game department issues a number of licenses, tags, and permits to hunters. They include the following:
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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 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.
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.
Fishing Licenses in Alaska are categorized under the following
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.
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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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:
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.
The date for Muskox season may vary from one hunting zone to another.
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.
The date will vary from one zone to another.
The department for fish and game in Alaska provides 3 ranges for shooting and training in the state. They are:
Some hunting lands available for lease and sale in Alaska include the following: