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Alaska Department of Fish and Game


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Hunting Licenses and Permits
for the Disabled and Elderly

For Non-Residents and Residents

Hunting Methods and Means Disability Exemption

Disabled hunters may be eligible for Methods and Means Disability Exemptions. These exemptions excuse disabled hunters from some restrictions placed on able-bodied hunters by ADF&G regulations. We cannot exempt hunters from regulations of other agencies. Examples of common exemptions include allowing use of a crossbow in archery only hunts and allowing motorized access to some vehicle-restricted hunts. The goal of this program is to offer disabled hunters meaningful access to hunting opportunity, not an advantage over able-bodied hunters.

Effective July 1, 2010 the Alaska Board of Game authorized ADF&G to issue Methods and Means Exemptions allowing "wheelchair-bound or similarly disabled" hunters to hunt brown bears with the use of bait or scent lures. This exemption is available to resident and non-resident hunters. Hunters who qualify for this exemption will be authorized to hunt at any legally established bait station registered with ADF&G during any open season for brown bears provided they possess a valid hunting license and big game locking tag, obtain any necessary permits, record their license number on the posted bait station sign, and otherwise qualify to participate in the hunt. There is a separate application for this type of exemption available below.

Whenever hunting under this exemption, wheelchair-bound hunters must be accompanied by a licensed and able-bodied companion hunter. Companion hunters may serve as a back-up shooter, pursue wounded bears, and assist with processing and removing game from the field. Non-resident hunters must be accompanied by a licensed big game guide or relative within the second degree of kindred who possesses a resident hunting license. Only the exempted hunter may take a brown bear using bait or scent lures.

In areas where baiting black bears is allowed and during established black bear baiting seasons, exempted hunters may hunt brown bears at any black bear bait station registered with ADF&G. Exempted hunters may also hunt brown bears using bait outside of areas and/or season dates for baiting black bears. However, the individual operating the bait station must first successfully complete the ADF&G Bear Baiting Clinic and obtain a bear bait station permit from ADF&G that authorizes operation of the bait station outside of black bear baiting regulations. Permits are available from ADF&G area offices.

Landowner permission is also required to operate a bait station. Before setting up a bait station be sure to obtain permission from the individual or corporate landowner, or government agency that administers the land.

To learn more about Hunting Methods and Means Disability Exemptions, please contact ADF&G Permits Section at (907) 465-4148 or dfg.dwc.permits@alaska.gov.

Permit to Hunt from a Boat in GMUs 1-5, 6D

It is unlawful to take big game from a boat in Game Management Units (GMU) 1–5 (Southeast Alaska) and to take black bears from a boat in GMU 6D (Prince William Sound). However, hunters with physical disabilities may qualify for a special permit allowing them to hunt from a boat in these areas. To legally hunt from a boat under one of these permits the engine must be switched off and progress from the engine’s power must have ceased. Please see the Applicant Instructions for more information on who qualifies for these permits and how to apply.

Completed applications including documentation of disability may only be submitted to ADF&G offices in Anchorage, Palmer, Cordova, Douglas, Sitka, Petersburg, Wrangell, Ketchikan, and Craig. If you have questions about this program, please contact the Permits Section at (907) 465-4148 or dfg.dwc.permits@alaska.gov.

Note to Alaska Physicians: To be consistent with disability ratings issued by government agencies Alaska physicians rating a patient’s percentage of physical disability should base their rating on the patient’s ability to perform life functions, rather than on their ability to hunt.

Definitions: A "person with physical disabilities" is defined in Alaska Statute 16.05.940. (Scroll down to view the definition — terms are listed in alphabetical order.)


For Residents Only

Proxy Hunting & Fishing

Alaska residents who are blind, 65 years of age or older, or who are physically disabled may be eligible to have another Alaska resident hunt or fish for them. To acquire a proxy hunting and fishing authorization please have your physician complete a physician's affidavit (PDF 284 kB) attesting that you are at least 70% physically disabled and bring that form to your local Fish and Game office. Fish and Game staff will issue the proxy authorization and discuss any restrictions to proxy hunting or fishing in your area.

You can find more information about Proxy Fishing or Proxy Hunting. We encourage you to contact your local Fish and Game office for the proxy hunting or fishing authorization form and current restrictions to proxy hunting or fishing.

Alaska Senior Residents

Alaska residents who are 60 years of age or older and meet the Department of Fish and Game’s residency definition are eligible for a senior identification card in order to hunt, sport fish, or trap for free. Also, you are not required to purchase a king salmon stamp to fish for king salmon or an Alaska state conservation stamp to hunt waterfowl.

Applicants must be physically present in the State of Alaska to apply.

If at any time a senior resident card holder is no longer a resident of the State of Alaska, their card is immediately void.

The following situations disqualify applicants from receiving the senior resident card; there may be others:

  • Having a resident hunting/fishing license in another state.
  • Being registered to vote in another state.
  • Receiving a tax break on property tax in another state (homestead exemption).
  • Receiving benefits under a claim of residency in another state, territory, or country.

The number printed on your card should be used in lieu of a sport fishing, hunting and trapping license number in all instances where a license number is required (e.g., draw applications, resident big game tags, harvest tickets, etc.). Holders of senior resident card must still obtain permits and harvest cards to participate in any personal use fisheries and hunts that require a permit. Alaska senior residents planning to sportfish for species with annual limits must obtain a free Sport Fishing Harvest Record Card (PDF 90 kB), available online, at license vendors, and at Fish and Game offices, in order to record their harvest of those fish.

Senior Alaska Resident Card Application (or apply for replacement card)

Applicants who meet age and residency requirements will receive a card within 1 day to 4 weeks.

Alaska Resident Disabled Veteran Licenses

The State of Alaska honors our resident disabled veterans (DV) by providing a complimentary hunting and fishing license/card to those who meet the Department of Fish and Game’s residency definition and who are certified 50% disabled or greater. See the Alaska Resident Disabled Veteran License section on the Military Licenses page.

Visually Impaired Hunters and Anglers

If you are an Alaskan resident and legally blind, Alaska's laws allow other Alaska residents to harvest game, fish, and shellfish for you.

Alaska Statute 16.05.403 defines a person who is blind as someone who can present either a self-affidavit stating she or he cannot distinguish light from darkness, or an affidavit signed by a licensed physician or a licensed optometrist stating that the beneficiary's central visual acuity does not exceed 20/200 in the better eye, with correcting lenses, or that the beneficiary's widest diameter of visual field subtends an angle no greater than 20 degrees.

Affidavit of Blindness (PDF 84 kB)