Alaska Closes Some Brown Bear Units

Alaska DFG, Bear Hunting Magazine

Both drawing and registration permitted brown bear hunters in Game Management Units 7 and 15 will have to stop hunting until October 25th, per Alaska DFGs emergency order.

“We are at 11 right now confirmed (reproductive-age female deaths),” stated a Kenai area wildlife biologist. “We’ll see what else comes in, we’ll open that late season hunt and we’ll determine after we get all that information... how long we’ll let that late season run.”

As of October 9th biologists confirmed 11 brown bear reproductive-age female deaths, exceeding its management objective of 10. By delaying the hunt until October 25th they are anticipating many of the sows will be in their dens already and will not be available for the harvest.

Alaska Fish and Game will also take this time to reflect on data from the first portion of the hunting season, so when the season starts again, it will have a better idea of the number of bears hunters can harvest.

The harvest numbers do not close the season for the year though. The Board of Game voted to enact a three-year running average to manage the reproductive-age female deaths. The three-year running average gives a greater margin of error to reproductive-age female deaths and allows for 30 reproductive-age female brown bear deaths over a given three-year period.

Last year hunters harvested six reproductive-age female brown bears; the year before that was five. This leaves 19 reproductive-age female bears available this year, giving hunters more opportunity this season to harvest more bears.

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