hunting can best be described by regions (see clickable map at right). Hunting
opportunities throughout the state vary from deer hunting Southeast Alaska's coastal
rainforest, to muskox hunting on the windswept tundra of western Alaska, to hunting for
moose in the hills of the Interior, to high mountain Dall sheep hunting in Southcentral,
to brown bear hunting world-famous Kodiak....and much more. If you are interested in
hunting Alaska, your task is to find the combination of the species you want to hunt, the
kind of country you want to hunt in, and how you want to hunt. The resources of www.outdoorsdirectory.com are designed to help you
do that. Let's look first at Alaska's regions and what they are like. Follow the links
within the regional descriptions to find more specific information.
Alaskas geography and climate provide conditions for good habitat
for a variety of big game. Sitka black-tailed deer are found throughout the region, but in
best numbers on the "ABC islands" Admiralty, Baranof and
ABCs are also the home of the largest populations of brown bears in the region.
Black bears are particularly abundant on Prince of Wales and the islands in the central
portion of the region. Goats are indigenous to the coast mountains and transplanted to
Baranof Island. A late 1980s transplant brought elk to Southeast, and a limited
hunting season opened in 1997. Moose are not numerous in Southeast Alaska, although
reasonable populations are found on the Yakutat Forelands, in the Haines area, and smaller
populations near Juneau, Petersburg and Ketchikan. Wolves are found throughout Southeast
Alaska except on the ABC islands. Much of the guided big game hunting in this region is by
boat. Boat rentals are available in some communities for hunters wanting to roll their
own. A variety of air charter services with float planes also provide an important
Alaska regional hunting information Geography, weather, transportation, species,
seasons, & RealAudio (tm) interviews
Best known for brown bear and deer hunting
Petersburg area Black bear numbers
are good here; also deer
Ketchikan area Also good for black
bear and deer hunting as well as mountain goat.
Juneau area The region's best moose
hunting is found in this area; also some deer and goats
Southeast Alaska species information from the Alaska
Department of Fish and Game Wildlife Notebook Series and other sources
Black bears |
Brown bears | Goats |
deer | Wolves
For general Southeast Alaska hunting
information and regulations information, contact the Alaska Department of Fish and Game,
Division of Wildlife Conservation, PO Box 240020, Douglas, AK 99824-0020. Tel. (907)
465-4265, FAX: (907) 465-4272.
Alaska is more varied. This region begins at Icy Bay on the Gulf of Alaska
coast, and generally is comprised of the lands draining into the Gulf and Bristol Bay.
Climate ranges from wet along the coast to dry inland. Deer are currently abundant on
Kodiak Island and are found in good numbers on the islands of Prince William Sound. These are transplanted deer
originating from Southeast Alaska, and as is the case in Alaska, annual
abundance depends much on winter snowpack. Kodiak and the Alaska Peninsula are famous for their
brown bear populations. Further inland, many Alaskans refer to these bears as grizzlies.
There are some size and color distinctions but no clear line divides the populations.
Moose in parts of Southcentral are currently among the most
numerous in Alaska, especially in the Matanuska and Susitna valleys. Good populations
exist in suitable habitat throughout the region. There are good numbers of caribou in
parts of the region, although access is not always easy. Regulations limit the harvest of
the most easily accessible population to Alaska residents. Dall sheep are found in the
drier mountains in the region, and mountain goats nearer the coast, although there is some
overlap. Black bears are not as numerous as in Southeast, but they are widespread.
Wolf and wolverine are present. In fact, wolves tend to be
numerous where there are good numbers of moose and caribou.
Waterfowl hunting can be quite good here, although the
effective season is short as birds are moving south. Bird hunters will be pleased to see
growing ruffed grouse populations from recent transplants to the Matanuska and Susitna
valleys and to the Kenai Peninsula.
Southcentral Alaska species information from the Alaska
Department of Fish and Game Wildlife Notebook Series and other sources:
Black bears |
Brown bears |
Goats | Moose |
Sitka black-tailed deer |
For more general Southcentral Alaska
hunting information and regulations contact the Alaska Department of Fish and Game,
Division of Wildlife Conservation, 333 Raspberry Rd, Anchorage, AK 99518-1599. Tel (907)
267-2347 FAX (907) 267-2433.
and caribou are the most visible big game in Interior,
Arctic and Western Alaska. This region encompasses the huge area drained
by the Yukon and Kuskokwim rivers and draining into the Bering Sea, Kotzebue Sound and the
Arctic Ocean. This is relatively dry country, and habitats vary from the forested Interior
to the western and arctic treeless tundra.
Regulations in some parts of the state require up to four
brow tines on at least one side or 50" antler spread. The regulation
allows more opportunity, but hunters must look very carefully before
shooting. Photo by Steve DuBois
Caribou exist in more or less discrete herds,
and some of these herds are huge. Moose are most abundant in western Alaska, but are found
in good numbers throughout the region, except on the Yukon-Kuskokwim delta, where they are
just becoming established.
There are black and grizzly bears throughout the region, but bear populations
here are not as dense as in the coastal regions. There are populations of wild bison,
transplanted earlier in the century from Montana. Dall sheep are found in most of the
Four wheelers have
made much more of Alaska accessible to moose hunters, although care must be
taken to avoid long lasting damage to the land. Photo by Mike Rawalt
Muskox, extirpated from Alaska in the late 1800's. are now present in
good numbers in some areas of coastal western and arctic Alaska.
Wolves are also numerous in places in this region.
It is not uncommon to hear wolves howling on fall evening while sitting
around the hunting campfire. Wolverine are
distributed across the region.
Waterfowl hunting is locally good, but again, only for
a short time. Waterfowl begin moving out of the Interior as early as mid-August, several
weeks before the beginning of the hunting season.
Some of the best Interior
waterfowl hunting occurs on broad river flats, like the Minto Flats west of Fairbanks,
shown here. Photo by David M. Johnson
There is a wide variety of game birds here, and populations
can be quite good at the high point of their cycle of abundance. Grouse species include
ruffed, spruce and sharptail. In the hills and mountains, hunters may find willow, rock
and whitetail ptarmigan.
Interior, Arctic and Western Alaska species information
from the Alaska Department of Fish and Game
Wildlife Notebook Series and other sources
Black bears |
Brown bears |
Goats | Moose |
grouse, like this Interior Alaska bird, and other game birds, including spruce,
sharp-tailed, and blue grouse, as well as willow, rock and white-tail ptarmigan are
cyclically abundant in Alaska. Photo by David M. Johnson.
For more Interior Alaska information contact the Alaska
Department of Fish and Game, Division of Wildlife Conservation, 1300 College Rd,
Fairbanks, AK 99701-1599. Tel (907) 459-7313 FAX (907) 452-6410.
For more Western and Arctic Alaska information contact
the Alaska Department of Fish and Game, Division of Wildlife Conservation, Pouch 1148,
Nome, AK 99762, Tel. (907) 443-2271 FAX (907) 443-5893.
Alaska Hunting Information
Many hunters like to take large
antlered moose, but smaller bulls are more portable and often more tender. Photo by David
The Anchorage ADF&G Wildlife Office has an automated
telephone that provides information about a variety of wildlife and hunting related
topics. The main access number for this system is (907) 267-2347. You can break out of the
automated system to speak to a real person during normal state office hours if you
dont find what you need.
The Alaska Hunting Bulletin
was published by the Division of Wildlife Conservation for several years
in the late 1990's as a tabloid newsletter for hunters. 10 issues
are still available on the internet.
The Alaska Department of Fish and Game has begun seasonally
providing caribou hunting information via recorded "hot lines." Click here
to read more about some Alaska caribou hunting opportunities, and for the
Fish and Game has also put together a number of small
publications on various hunting topics. Here are a few that are available on the web:
An Introduction to Big Game Hunting in Alaska
An Introduction to Moose Hunting in Alaska
Black Bear Meat Care & Preparation
Care of meat in the field is an important issue for
hunters. Doug Drum of Indian Valley Meats (Anchorage area), an experienced hunter and
long-time meat processor has prepared an excellent summary
of how to preserve the table quality of meat between the time the animal dies and its
Hunters with more meat than they can use can donate to two
Alaska programs that provide game meat for needy families. Alaskan
hunters fighting hunger in Anchorage and Hunters for the Hungry in Fairbanks provide
opportunities to share meat within the community.
If you have an interest in Dall sheep hunting, don't miss
Chris Conway's Alaska Sheep Hunting.
Chris is an experienced Alaska sheep hunter and wildlife
conservationist. We have also included
first chapter of Tony Russ' excellent
Hunting in Alaska. Tony is a passionate sheep hunter and a fine
writer. I am impressed with what he knows about sheep and sheep hunting. You
buy the book at less than retail
on-line on this website. Tony now has a second book about North American
hunting techniques. It's called Manual
for Successful Hunters. He did a nice job with it.
I think you will find it a helpful addition to your hunting library.
Being in the field with bears makes Alaska hunting and
fishing much more....well.... interesting. The Department of Fish and Game's "Bear Facts" tells how to improve the odds for keeping the peace.
A book that you may find helpful is Steve Herrero's Bear Attacks:
Causes and Avoidance. Herrero is a biologist and one of the continent's
best experts on this subject.
Alaska Hunting Bibliography was originally compiled by the Alaska
Department of Fish & Game. We try to keep this up to date so you will have a good
listing of what is available on the subject, as well as older books.
Forum is an exceptional source of Alaska hunting information. The forum is quite busy, and boasts several guides who
regularly post high quality information. If you are looking for
answers, we suggest you check out these resources. You can
search all of the forum messages with either our
in-house search system, or Google.
Finally, as you plan your travel to Alaska, one of the handiest
books out there is The Milepost. I have bought numerous editions of this
book during the 30+ years we have lived in Alaska because it has in one spot all the
travel information we need. The Milepost started out as a guidepost to the
Alaska Highway, but it has grown to encompass nearly everything you need to know about
traveling in the North country. Click here
to order a copy.
Click here for
a list of additional hunting-related links that you may find helpful.
Alaska Hunting News
Search the Alaska Outdoors Supersite
next on www.outdoorsdirectory.com?
and more. Hundreds of listings throughout Alaska.
Outdoors Alaska Bookstore
If you are in the planning stages of
an Alaska hunting trip.....or even if you live here and want to hone
your skills, there are some good books available today. We
have a large selection of
Alaska hunting books right here. We use a secure server for credit card transactions.
Alaska Hunting Forum and Alaska Fishing Forum
Read what people are saying about
hunting in Alaska. Post your own comments.
Alaskas outdoors on-line magazine
Stories and information about
fishing and hunting in Alaska.