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Alaska hunting: King Salmon area: GMU 9 & 10


Unit 9 offers big game hunters good opportunities to harvest moose, caribou, brown bear, and the occasional black bear. Waterfowl migrate through subunit 9D in large numbers every fall offering phenomenal hunting. Waterfowl species include Pacific black brant, two subspecies of Canada geese, and various ducks.

Parts of Unit 10, the Aleutian Islands, are populated by caribou and brown bear. Waterfowl continue their migration though Unit 10, which give bird hunters spectacular hunting prospects. Waterfowl species are the same as above. However, waterfowl hunting is limited.  See the Alaska Hunting Regulations for details.

Hunting Seasons


Moose hunting season in Unit 9 typically opens in the beginning of September and closes in mid month. Caribou seasons vary, but the majority of the hunting occurs from early August to the end of September. Historically, September has offered the best chance at a trophy caribou.  Caribou hunting in Unit 10 occurs mostly on Unimak and Adak Islands.

The caribou hunting season for Unimak Island opens to Alaska residents in early August and is open until the end of September. Non-residents may take caribou during a shorter season. Caribou hunting on Adak Island is open year-round and is without bag limit. Because of the mild climate and absence of predators, this area offers sport hunters a good chance at harvesting a trophy bull.

Brown Bear

The fall hunting season for brown bears in Unit 9 opens at the beginning of October and lasts for approximately 3 weeks. Some parts of the area may offer a September hunting season. Spring hunting season opens in early May and usually closes by the end of the month.  Brown bears can only be hunted in the fall during odd-numbered years and in the spring in even-numbered years in most of Unit 9.

Brown bear hunting in Unit 10 is limited to Unimak Island. The fall hunting season opens the beginning of October and is open until the end of December. The spring hunting season opens in early May and closes approximately 3 weeks later.

Black Bear

There is no closed season for black bears in Unit 9. However, hunting is generally limited to the northern portion of subunit 9B because of bear availability.

Migratory Birds

Waterfowl season in both Units 9 & 10 opens in early September and closes around mid December.

IMPORTANT: Hunting seasons and bag limits, permit and other requirements for all species may vary from year to year.  This brief synopsis is only intended to give a general picture.  For specific regulations, see the Alaska Hunting Regulations.


Terrain types vary widely in Unit 9.  It is nestled between the rugged Alaska Range on the north and the beautiful Aleutian Range further down the Peninsula. Forbidding coastal terrain and wildlife habitat can be found along the Shelikof Strait. Numerous lakes, rivers and streams occupy the landscape south of King Salmon. Vegetation consists of willows, alders, with mixed spruce and birch forests in some locations. Wet tundra covers much of the landscape in the lower elevations with alpine tundra in higher elevations.

Unit 10, the Aleutian Islands, is a chain of volcanic islands that are an extension of the Aleutian Range located on the Alaska Peninsula. Some of these volcanoes are still active. The islands separate the Bering Sea from the Pacific Ocean. This area has numerous reefs and very few good harbors making navigation treacherous. Nearly treeless, the islands are covered with tundra and have an abundant growth of grasses, bushes, and sedges.


This area can be accessed only with boat or aircraft. King Salmon is served by daily commercial airline flights including scheduled jet flights and charter services to and from Anchorage. Bush flights out of Anchorage, Kenai, and mostly King Salmon provide access to the more remote regions of this unit. A 4,000 foot stretch of the Naknek River is designated for float planes. A seaplane base is also located at Lake Brooks, within the Katmai National Park to the east. Four docks are available on the Naknek River. The U.S. Park Service, U.S. Fish & Wildlife, Alaska State Troopers, and the Bristol Bay Borough own these docks.

Daily scheduled commercial flights to Unalaska and Adak and charter service from South Central Alaska is also available to this region. Smaller communities and remote areas in Unit 10 can be accessed through bush aircraft flying out of Unalaska. A seaplane base is also located there. The Alaska Marine Highway operates bi-monthly service from Kodiak between April and October. Unalaska has a small boat harbor that can provide access to remote regions via smaller fishing vessels.


Click for King Salmon, Alaska Forecast

The climate in Unit 9 is mainly a maritime climate characterized by cool, humid, and windy weather. Average summer temperatures range from 42 Fahrenheit (F) to 63 F; average winter temperatures range from 29 F to 44 F. Extremes from -46 F to 88 F have been recorded. Total average precipitation is 20 inches annually, including 45 inches of snowfall. Thick fog and gusting winds are common during the summer and fall months in parts of the area.

Unit 10 lies in the maritime climate zone, characterized by persistently overcast skies, high winds, and frequent cyclonic storms. Winter squalls can at times produce wind gusts in excess of 100 knots. During the summer and fall, extensive fog blankets the Bering Sea and makes travel to this area very difficult. Average temperatures range from 20 F to 60 F, but wind chill factors can be severe. Total precipitation is 64 inches annually, with an average accumulated snowfall of 100 inches, primarily in higher elevations.

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Hunting Area Descriptions for elsewhere in Southcentral Alaska

Gulf Coast - Cordova area
Kenai Peninsula - Kenai area
Alaska Peninsula - King Salmon area
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