Welcome to episode #3 of the do-it-yourself Alaska Hunting video series. In this blog article, we’ll take a look at the issue of how to decide, specifically, what game animal you want to hunt, and where. In many cases, however, the “what” will dictate the “where,” as certain species of game animals reside in specific regions (referred to as “game units”) of the state.
- Learn what game animals are available to hunt in the different regions (game units) of Alaska and what the options are for nonresidents VS residents.
- Make a list of the best options.
The Alaska Department of Fish and Game website is a place that you’ll want, and need, to get very familiar with while planning your trip. There you’ll find up to date, detailed information about the various hunting opportunities throughout the state. You’ll want to learn all you can about the game animal you wish to pursue and make a list of the best possible locations for a potential hunt.
The determining factors for any potential hunt will include the following: If you’re a non-resident, you’ll need to know if you can even hunt a particular species of game animal in the first place. For example, in order to legally hunt grizzly or coastal brown bears, Dall sheep, or mountain goats, nonresidents must hire a guide, or, be personally accompanied by an Alaskan resident 19 years or older who is within the “second degree of kindred.” Also, there are rules and regulations for certain animals and locations that apply differently to residents VS nonresidents. The annual hunting regulation booklet has all the specific details…which again…is something you’ll need to become very familiar with and research well ahead of time. You can order a printed copy of the booklet for yourself or access it online at the Alaska Department of Fish and Game website. As a side note…Alaska law enforcement DOES NOT MESS AROUND with those who break game laws, either intentionally or unintentionally. So I can’t stress enough how important it is to thoroughly study and obey hunting rules and regulations in Alaska, and of course, in any other state you hunt in as well.
Another factor to be aware of is that certain animals and hunting areas are available to hunt only by means of drawing a permit/tag to do so. The time to apply for a draw permit/tag is November 1st through December 17th. So again, start planning your trip as far in advance as possible, especially if you plan on putting in for a draw hunt.
- Further investigate your top hunting location picks by talking to Alaska Department of Fish and Game Staff
An additional step that I highly recommend in your discernment process is to talk to the wildlife biologists for the areas (game units) you’re interested in hunting. Contact information for Fish & Game Dept. staff for the various regions of Alaska are available at, once again, the Alaska Dept. of Fish and Game website. A relatively short conversation with a biologist or other staff member about your proposed hunt can save you hours of time and trouble in researching things yourself. They’re usually very happy to help, have a wealth of information to share, and will get you on the right track fast. So don’t be bashful! Make a list of your most important questions ahead of time, pick up the phone and call.
Once you spend the time thoroughly discerning and deciding on what game animal you’ll be pursuing in Alaska and where, the next step is to decide how to get there, which will be the topic of the next episode in this series, so stay tuned. Check out the video below to see more…