Spring Bear Hunts Open to Alaska Residents Despite Initial Closure from ADF&G

After announcing there would be no bear hunting in the state this spring, the Alaska Department of Fish & Game has partially changed its mind. All NON-resident brown and black bear hunts will remain closed through May 31st; however, Alaska residents will be able to participate.

ADF&G Commissioner, Doug Vincent-Lang said via letter yesterday, “to protect public health, resident hunters participating in spring bear hunts in Alaska are required to abide by all issued health mandates, including social distancing and intrastate travel.”

Originally the Department closed non-resident and resident bear hunts until the end of May, via emergency order, in an effort to slow the spread of COVID-19 in Alaska. Even though Commissioner Vincent-Lang rescinded a portion of this closure, he emphasizes that general hunting has not been identified as a critical personal need, as defined by Governor Mike Dunleavy’s health mandates.

For Nome-ites hunting in Unit 22C, regulations allow the take of one bear every regulatory year, from April 1st to May 31st, or between August and the end of October. Hunters in Unit 22 B or 22-Remainder may take bears from August 1st until May 31st.

ADF&G says they will announce further details in the coming days on how these spring bear hunts should be conducted by residents while also complying with the Governor’s COVID-19 mandates.

Image at top: Grizzly Bear out on the tundra. Photo from the National Park Service, via Flickr (2020).