Make sure you’re familiar with Alaska hunting laws before heading out for the hunt. Enjoy an exciting time of the year veteran hunters and beginners alike.
In this article:
- Brown Bear & Grizzly Bear Hunting in Alaska
- General Hunting Season
- Legal Weapons and Ammo
- Hunting Moose in Alaska
- Moose Hunting Seasons
- Legal Weapons and Ammo
- Hunting Caribou in Alaska
- Caribou Hunting Seasons
- Legal Weapons and Ammo for Hunting Caribou
- General Hunting & Trapping License and Permits
Alaska Hunting Laws | State Rules for Hunting
Hunting laws evolve on an almost yearly basis, mainly to address public safety for the benefit of the hunter and the hunted. It’s a must to keep up to date on Alaska hunting laws before heading out on your first hunt.
Studying your state’s hunting laws might be a bit time consuming, and we know you’re impatient to get out there and start shooting. But breaking the law and having to pay a fine can put a serious damper on hunting season.
Keep reading to learn about Alaska hunting laws including dates, which animals the state will allow to hunt for, which weapon is legal to use, how to get a hunting license, and much more.
Alaska is one of the most popular hunting destinations because it’s home to a variety of big game, making it an exciting place for hunters. Alaska hunting seasons begin in the month of August and September and usually ends by October.
According to records of a hunter-conservationist organization in the U.S., the most common animals hunters look for in Alaska are brown bears, moose, and caribou.
Brown Bear & Grizzly Bear Hunting in Alaska
Alaska is said to be a bear country. It’s not uncommon to come across black bears, brown bears, and even polar bears in the state.
The brown bear and the grizzly bear are of the same species (Ursus arctos) by classification. The species can be found all over the state except for the following areas:
- Islands south of Frederick Sound in southeastern Alaska
- Islands west of Unimak in the Aleutian Chain
- The Islands of the Bering Sea
General Hunting Season
For Southeast Mainland: between September 15 – December 31 and March 15 – May 31.
Legal Weapons and Ammo
- Muzzleloader, that is a shoulder mounted long gun with a barrel that is rifled or smooth bore. Use a .45 caliber or larger and discharges a single projectile.
- Bow and Arrow that at least have 50 pounds draw weight. It should have an arrow over 20” in overall length.
- Crossbow with a 100-pound peak draw and has a bolt with at least 16” overall length. The broadhead shouldn’t be barbed and can either be fixed, mechanical /retractable, and replaceable blade type.
Hunting Moose in Alaska
These heavy-bodied and long-legged creatures are the largest members of the deer family. Bull moose are the only ones that have antlers with the trophy class bulls being found in the western portion of Alaska.
It is vital that a hunter is able to identify a legal moose for hunting in accordance with the state of Alaska hunting regulations.
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Moose Hunting Seasons
- For Resident Moose Hunters: August 24 – 28 and September 8 – 17
- For Non-Resident Moose Hunters: September 8 – 17
- The hunt for antlerless moose by permit/hunt # DM413 is November 1 – December 25
- Some late winter moose hunts are open as well as the availability of Tier II and Drawing permit materials.
Get more details about Alaska moose hunting laws.
Legal Weapons and Ammo
Generally, hunters can hunt using a shotgun, muzzleloader, and bow and arrow by permit only depending on the area they are hunting in.
Muzzleloader Definition: A type of firearm that loads ammo through its muzzle.
Research about the rules on using firearms and ammunition.
Hunting Caribou in Alaska
Caribou, like the moose, are larger members of the deer family. Both sexes of caribou grow antlers, which is a distinction that sets them apart from their cousins.
Since caribou migrate on a seasonal basis, timing is of the essence. A certain area that may be a good place to hunt for caribou in August may not have the same number in September.
According to data, an average of 22,000 caribou is hunted in Alaska each year.
Caribou Hunting Seasons
General hunting season is August 10 – September 20. By permit is December 1 to March 15. There is also year-round hunting, depending on the area.
For other detailed season dates and their respective areas for hunting caribou.
Legal Weapons and Ammo for Hunting Caribou
- Rimfire firearm using .22 caliber cartridges to take out swimming caribou in Units 23 and 26.
- Bow and arrow with 40 pounds peak draw weight with an arrow that is at least 20 inches in overall length. Broadhead is fixed and not barbed.
- Muzzleloader that is a shoulder-mounted long gun with a .45 caliber or larger ammo. The barrel is either smooth bore or rifled and discharges a single projectile.
General Hunting & Trapping License and Permits
This is for all the above-mentioned game. It is imperative that one must acquire the appropriate license and whichever permits, harvest tickets and tags for particular hunt regulations.
Just click here to learn more about the proper license and permits, including the acquiring and purchasing licenses, licensing options and the available possibilities for the disabled elderly and military personnel.
There is a lot more to learn when going hunting than how to aim and shoot. If you want to become a responsible citizen it will take a lot more time, resources, and effort before you can go out and hunt.
But when the time comes that you do get all the necessary requirements and proper training, you’ll never regret taking the time to do so.
What do you think about these hunting laws in the state of Alaska? Share your thoughts with us in the comments section below!
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Editor’s Note: This post was originally published on October 4, 2016, and has been updated for quality and relevancy.