Wildlife Troopers urge hunters to study regulations before entering the field

Alaska Wildlife Trooper John Simeon examines Dall sheep horns in the field. photo by Alaska Wildlife Troopers

by Alaska Wildlife Troopers

Excitement is building for Alaska hunters as seasons open this month in many regions for deer, caribou, Dall sheep, moose, mountain goat and other big game species. The Alaska Wildlife Troopers will be present in full force statewide making sure everybody plays by the rules.

“Hunting is a longstanding Alaska tradition,” said Gov. Mike Dunleavy. “As we enter this harvest season, I hope hunters will take a moment to appreciate the critical role our state hunting regulations play in conserving our wildlife resources.”

Serving as the state’s primary law enforcement agency overseeing hunting and fishing regulations, the Alaska Wildlife Troopers will be busy in August and September.

“We’ll be checking in with hunters and keeping an eye out for violations of all types,” said Wildlife Troopers Colonel Doug Massie. “One thing I can’t emphasize enough: Before heading into the field, make sure you’re intimately familiar with the hunting regulations that apply to the areas and game species you plan to hunt.”

Examples of what Wildlife Troopers will be looking for include:

HUNTING LICENSES. This almost goes without saying, but Alaska resident hunters, ages 18 years or older – and all nonresident hunters – must possess and carry in the field a valid Alaska state hunting license (see pages 9-11 of the 2019/2020 hunting regulations).

HARVEST TICKETS. Before hunting on a harvest ticket, make sure the ticket number(s) is written on your hunting license … or you risk getting another kind of ticket (page 14 of the 2019/2020 hunting regulations).

PERMIT TICKETS. You were the lucky winner of a drawing hunt permit? Sweet! Remember, though, it’s not valid until you sign it. Carry it with you while hunting (page 15 of the 2019/2020 hunting regulations).

PUNCH YOUR HARVEST TICKET. Your stalk goes perfectly, shot placement is awesome, and you’ve downed your animal. What’s the very next thing you do? Yep … punch that ticket (page 14 of the 2019/2020 hunting regulations).

TROPHIES CAN WAIT. Salvage and remove all meat from the field BEFORE or WHILE packing out the last load with horns or antlers. It’s the right thing to do ethically … it’s also the law (see page 22 of the 2019/2020 hunting regulations).

EVIDENCE OF SEX. Hunters who kill a big game animal (other than Dall sheep) where the bag limit is restricted to one sex must keep, until processed for human consumption, enough of the sex organs naturally attached to a rear quarter to show the sex of the animal (page 22 of the 2019/2020 hunting regulations).

WIRELESS COMMUNICATIONS. Calling or texting another hunter to share the location of an animal in the field is illegal. Drones also may not be used for hunting (page 18 of the 2019/2020 hunting regulations).

The rules above are just a few highlights. For more information, pick up a free copy of the Alaska State Hunting Regulations booklet at any Alaska Department of Fish and Game office or at any license vendor; or view the regulations online at https://www.adfg.alaska.gov/index.cfm?adfg=wildliferegulations.hunting.

The Alaska Wildlife Troopers wish all hunters a safe and successful hunting season.