Alaska Hunting Regulations
Understanding the rules, regulations and license requirements for hunting in Alaska can be a daunting task. The Alaska Department of Fish and Game publishes a guide each year with a complete list of Alaska's hunting regulations for all species, which should be consulted before any seasonal hunting begins.
They align with the "Fair Chase Code" set by the Boone and Crocket Club, which dictates that hunters not use technology to gain an improper advantage over prey. Follow the link to learn more about this important policy.
Alaska hunting regulations, licensing and tag requirements differ depending on whether or not you are an Alaskan resident, and there are even a few separate regulations and costs for non-U.S. residents or, "alien hunters." Residents get first priority, so if the herd counts are low, non-residents arethe ones who are restricted first.
Beyond this, there are four types of hunts, which may be open to both residents and non-residents or to just one or the other. Draw hunts, which limits the number of hunters, and registration hunts, which closes a season once a harvest limit is met, are used when the number of a certain species harvested needs to be restricted. The last type is called Tier II and allows hunting when there isn't enough game to fulfill subsistence hunting. Subsistence hunting is for the sole purpose of survival and providing for a family and is often economically and culturally important for many Alaskan families and communities.
There are several general hunting regulations for the state that pertain to all of the 26 Game Management Units. Understanding the role of emergency orders is an excellent starting point. Emergency Orders contain new information on hunting and trapping seasons that take precedent to the regulations published in the state guide each year. One important guideline is the first step a hunter needs to take after killing a big game animal is to tag it with an approved locking metal tag before harvesting the meat. Different tags are required for each animal and are different for different species. Nonresidents must be accompanied by a licensed guide or immediate family member over the age of nineteen to hunt bear, Dall sheep or mountain goat. All meat must be packed out of the field and cannot be sold to another hunter in the field. A hunter cannot herd or pursue game with the use of a motorized vehicle, hunt from a helicopter or hunt from a constructed highway or road. Finally, a hunter cannot negligently or intentionally feed food or garbage to wildlife in such a way as to attract the animals for hunting purposes.
The complete regulations for each species and hunting style, from big game, to bowhunting and waterfowl, should be understood by the hunter prior to setting out on a hunting trip.
Remember, licenses and permits can be purchased online.
The following is a list of nonresident hunting license and tag options (the list may change periodically):
- Hunting and Sport Fishing License
- Hunting and 7 Day Sport Fishing License
- Hunting and Trapping
- Hunting (Small Game)
- Brown/Grizzly Bear tag
- Black Bear tag
- Caribou tag
- Deer tag
- Elk tag
- Goat tag
- Moose tag
- Sheep tag
- Wolf tag
- Wolverine tag
The tags must accompany the license and must be carried with the hunter in the field. It must also be attached to the antlers or cape in a way that it cannot be removed.