Alaska Department of Fish and Game
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Know Alaska's Regulations
Every hunter has the responsibility to know the current year’s regulations. Do not depend on a friend, guide, or family member to know the regulations. Regulations may change from year to year. You are personally responsible for knowing and following all the regulations affecting your hunt.
Alaska Hunting Regulations
The Alaska Hunting Regulations handbook is printed annually in June. The handbook contains information on general seasons, registration hunts, and bag limits. The handbook provides information on the kind of tag (e.g., harvest, registration, Tier II permit) you will need to take game. In the handbook you will also be able to find which hunts are open to nonresidents or residents only.
General Season Hunts
If you hunt in a general season hunt, i.e., a hunt that is open to an unlimited number of hunters, you will need a harvest ticket. Harvest tickets are available at no cost where hunting licenses are sold. Non-residents are required to possess a big game tag for the species they are hunting. Some remote rural areas may not have licenses available or the vendor may run out of harvest tickets. Be sure to purchase your license and game tags, and pick up harvest tickets, before you leave home or a population center.
Registration Permit Hunts
In some areas, a combination of accessible animals and hunter demand could result in overharvest of a species and/or a high density of hunters. In these areas, managers may offer registration permits. In a registration hunt, you will have to sign in or register before you hunt a specific species in a particular area. Managers often set a goal for the number of animals that can be taken during a registration hunt. When this goal is reached, registration hunts can be quickly closed down. You should consult the area biologist about the hunt conditions and requirements of the permit before deciding to go on a registration hunt.
Drawing Permit Hunts
When a population of animals is too small and/or the potential number of hunters too large to allow a general season or a registration hunt, the Alaska Department of Fish and Game (ADF&G) may offer drawing permits. A Drawing Permit Hunt Supplement is published every spring, typically in May. The drawing for permit hunts is held in early summer, and everyone who applies will be notified of the results by mail or can look up the results on ADF&G’s website.
The Supplement contains all of the drawing hunts, by number, for all big game species. Most of the drawing permit hunts are open to both resident and nonresident hunters. A hunter may apply for three drawing permit hunts for each species. A fee is charged for each separate hunt. You can pick up a Supplement at any ADF&G office, on the website, or at license vendors.
Tier I and II Subsistence Permit Hunts
Tier I and II subsistence permits are available to residents only. A subsistence permit may be issued when there is not enough game for a general season and the population of animals has historically been an important source of human food. The application process for Tier I and II hunts can be complex. A Tier I & II Supplement is available that lists species, application dates, hunt dates, Game Management Unit (GMU), and hunting specifications. For more information, see Cultural and Subsistence Harvest Permits.
Federal Hunts in Alaska
The federal government regulates hunting on some federal public lands because of differences between state and federal laws relating to subsistence use of wildlife. Regulations shown in the current Alaska Hunting Regulations are the best authority regarding hunting on state and private lands. On some federal public lands, federal regulations may be more restrictive than state regulations covering the same area. Federal hunting regulations can be obtained from Alaska Public Lands Information Centers.