Alaska Department of Fish and Game
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(Cervus elaphus roosevelti)
Hunting seasons on Afognak and Raspberry islands were quite liberal during years of peak elk abundance in the 1960s, but even with a bag limit of two elk, the kill never exceeded 150 animals. After the extensive die-off in the late 1960s and early 1970s, some areas were closed to hunting and a more restrictive permit hunting system was imposed. These protective measures contributed to the recovery of the elk herds and by the late 1970s, all of Afognak and Raspberry islands were again open to hunting by permit. Hunters took a record 271 elk in 1984. By the late 2000s all elk hunts on the islands were by permit only and annual harvests were typically around 100 elk.
Elk on Etolin and Zarembo Islands have been hunted for food and trophies since 1997, with a bag limit of one bull. The number of draw permits issued has increased steadily from 27 in 1997 to 175 in 2007, but harvest remained fairly stable through 2005, fluctuating between 8 and 19 bulls per year. Harvest dropped to a record low of 1 bull in 2006. Six bulls were harvested in 2007, the second lowest harvest since the area opened to hunting in 1997.
Steep terrain, heavy timber and harsh weather make Alaska elk hunting a difficult and challenging pursuit. The challenge of packing up to 700 lbs (320 kg) of meat from a remote kill site back to camp is often heightened by brown bears that may lay claim to elk meat that remains in the field.