Alaskan hunting laws

Discussion in 'Hunting USA & Canada' started by FLhunter7, Apr 23, 2018.

  1. FLhunter7

    FLhunter7 AH Member

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    While looking at a DIY Alaskan hunt I noticed that non-residents couldn't hunt brown bears, mountain goats, and Dall sheep without a registered guide or a relative whos a resident of Alaska does anyone know why this is? These guided hunt prices are ridiculous are the laws just there to protect outfitters?
     

  2. Mekaniks

    Mekaniks GOLD SUPPORTER AH Elite

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    Protect the critters first and foremost... and yes the outfitters benefit as well.
    Stop by the confluence of the Russian and Kenai rivers sometime during the salmon combat fishing season and you will get a good snap shot of the need for these “controls”.
     
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  3. K-man

    K-man AH Elite

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    The official reasoning is because too many greenhorns get themselves in trouble being unprepared for weather and terrain. I have been twice, still wouldn't go without at least a resident or guide. No fun getting into trouble without help.
     
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  4. 375 Ruger Fan

    375 Ruger Fan AH ENABLER GOLD SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    +1

    Went on a coastal brown bear hunt a few years ago and most definitely need a guide!
     

  5. jeff

    jeff AH Elite

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    For many years you did not need a guide for mountain goat , the guides lobbied hard to get them included. Saying its just too dangerous , but the real reason is to line their pockets. There is no guide needed to go in the same place to take pictures or what ever else. The same way as hunting a designated wilderness in Wyoming , you can mountain climb or rock climb and tha'ts ok just not hunt.
     
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  6. Say Man

    Say Man AH Senior Member

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    I think that most people coming up from the lower 48 have no clue to the dangers that are associated with hunting here in Alaska. If the critters don't get you there may be a slide or cliff waiting for the unsuspecting hunter. Even locals get caught out in the wilderness but seem to have some idea of what they may be in for and plan accordingly. I got a sheep hunt this fall but have done several goat and sheep hunts so am a little more prepared and know what to take then someone just throwing a bunch of money to come up and go hunting. I am not saying that most hunters would fit in that category but you will always have the few that are totally not sure of what they are getting into.
     

  7. ack

    ack AH Enthusiast

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    Have done six unguided hunts for caribou and black bear in Ak with wife and son...You need a lot of outdoor xperience or you can get yourself in big trouble fast..Weather, terrain and animals..If you never have hunted there you have no idea of distances and how tough terrain can be..Packing meat in some of that country can be a nightmare along with being prepared if weather sets in for a period of time..Very enjoyable if you are fully prepared and lots of common sense..
     

  8. FLhunter7

    FLhunter7 AH Member

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    I highly doubt they did this for safety of hunters there are idiots all around an Alaskan resident could easily do something stupid while hunting while a nonresident could be perfectly fine or vice versa. Some more things that make me think is for the benefit or the outfitters (and most importantly the state from taxes) is foreign hunters must have a guide to hunt ANY big game. They also push getting an outfitter for any game at all on their website. They also made transporters ( less cost less taxes) not able to help in the hunt in anyway even providing advice like "hey I saw some moose here a week ago." This sucks it inhibits people from accessing the great outdoors just for monetary profits, if it was helping out the species most hunters would be happy with the laws but as far as I know thats not the case.
     
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  9. cmnhunt

    cmnhunt AH Veteran

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    Yes you are mostly right. A black bear hunt in the Chugach mountains can be as rough as a goat hunt as bears and goats will be in high and low areas and the weather is the same. Caribou up in the Brooks will be in areas where Dall Sheep are also. Grizzly go everywhere. The outfitters Association have a lot to do with politics of Fish and Game when it comes to cost. Remember though, Insurance company's have a very high amount of influence to. They put a lot of pilots into problems with their regulations and rates. I don't know what to say, I like that jobs will be had in Alaska but Sheep hunts in 1998 were $9000.00 with transport from Anchorage, Fully guided and outfitted. Now we are seeing the hunts go into the Mid 20's with quality not as good (Winters have been hard), some areas going to every 4 years for non residents, and you pay for transport to a lot of the areas. If you ever want to see a reason why people will quit hunting, not go into big game hunting, or feel resentment, than look to sheep hunting. Eventually, lack of interest from the majority will make way for voting it out...and so goes the rest of the story. Don't get me wrong, hunting in Alaska can be dangerous and tough. You have to be prepared if your pilot can't make it for a week or if you have horrible weather. You should utilize a guide if you have no clue about the conditions up there. But 20-30 thousand is a tad over for something someone could set up for themselves for much less.
     

  10. cmnhunt

    cmnhunt AH Veteran

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    Alaska also has low animal populations compared to land mass. You can fly over tons of area and not see squat and a lot of people from the lower 48 think animals are everywhere. When you drive from Anchorage to Fairbanks, it takes about 7 hours roughly. You may see about 5 porcupine dead on the road the entire trip. In the lower 48, you take a 7 hour drive and you see at least a herd or more of deer, a few dozen squirrels, raccoons, rabbits, etc. all dead on the side. Another reason why hunting is expensive up in Alaska, all the animals are in pockets and hard to get to.
     
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  11. Velo Dog

    Velo Dog AH ENABLER SILVER SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    I've lived in Alaska for 36 years.
    There are many places here where you could probably fly a hundred miles (if you're not grounded in bad weather lol) and not see any animal of any sort.
    I own a parcel of land on a river that was rolling with king salmon each summer when I bought it 20-something years ago.
    As far as I can tell, now there are none returning there at all.
    Haven't seen any sign of them for several years now.

    The State in its infinite wisdom let commercial clammers and private individuals over-harvest razor clams here for decades.
    The sad story goes on for moose, caribou, halibut, rockfish, crab, etc., etc.
    The only happy note for Alaska is that predator numbers are up right now.
    So, if wolf and/or bear hunting interest you, now is the time (before those become scarce as well).
    Sorry about the price of guided hunts here.
    I agree, they are very expensive.
    However, for that same reason I cannot afford to hunt lord derby eland and I'd truly love to do that.

    At any rate, do visit Alaska if you get the chance, it is a beautiful place, no fences, millions of acres of public land and not many people (by today's standards).
    Don't risk a leaking bottle of mosquito repellant in your luggage.
    It is available in almost every store and gas station up here.
    Cheers.
     

  12. fourfive8

    fourfive8 AH Enthusiast

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    Heavy lobby effort by the guides/outfitters for guaranteed piece of the action when the regs were first passed in Juneau. Simple as that. A major percentage of the combat fishing population, as seen on the various rivers within striking distance of Anchorage, are those with AK zip codes- has nothing to do with outsiders needing or not needing to be guided. It's a social feeding frenzy mostly my locals. And no, "Kraut Bank" on the Kenai just below the Russian is just as populated by local snaggers (er-rra I mean fishermen) as by outsiders or Germans. Same goes for the dip net seasons.

    A remote moose hunt or even a remote float fishing or hunting trip or even just a remote trip of any kind where a non-resident does not need a guide can be as or maybe even more dangerous than those hunts listed for guided non-resident requirement hunts. :)
     
    Last edited: Apr 25, 2018
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  13. Say Man

    Say Man AH Senior Member

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    What He Said!
     
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  14. tbonettt

    tbonettt New Member

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  15. tbonettt

    tbonettt New Member

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  16. FLhunter7

    FLhunter7 AH Member

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    While I don't doubt guides are very helpful I feel that meeting the right local could do just as much, I just have a hard time seeing the justification of the prices. Does anyone know if this will change their job is to protect animals not businesses as far as I know Alaska's the only place dong this to US citizens.
     

  17. cmnhunt

    cmnhunt AH Veteran

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    I doubt anything will change as in needing a guide. You'd be better to move up and get a job up there. I did that back in the 90's and it makes a difference for price for sure. The combat fishing is a result of fish and game regulating where you are allowed to fish on the rivers as not to screw up the river banks and hence spawning habitat. Access to spots is limited due to no roads in lots of areas. Dip netting, when I was there, was Residents only and in a few areas like Kasilof, Kenai, one spot on the other side of Homer, Fish creek, and Copper River. Talking about this makes me want to sell everything and move back up there. Alas, I'll just suck up the costs and visit.
     

  18. ack

    ack AH Enthusiast

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    I hate to say this but if you hire a guide be sure to check them out very carefully..I have had good and bad experiences in Ak. and the bad are not only expensive but a vacation is ruined and possibly your life too..
     
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  19. cmnhunt

    cmnhunt AH Veteran

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    Yeah, you'd be better to go through a booking company that is good. Alaska has a fair amount of horrible outfitters (and transporters). You want to make sure you will get picked up when dropped off. If you go with a buddy, you may want to rent a satellite phone and a distress beacon.
     
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  20. 1dirthawker

    1dirthawker AH Veteran

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    flhunter,

    i kind of understand the concern about costs. also, some guides charge more than others. i have been a resident since 1983, and became a assistant guide in 2001. i still work for the same outfitter/master guide.

    there are several factors in the costs of the hunts, maybe you have or have not thought of. first, supply and demand. there are only so many places in the world to hunt brown bear. there are only so many guides that can take out a client. and only a few places have truly giant bears. lion and elephant hunts are expensive for the same reasons.

    second, logistics to the hunting grounds. almost all of the places to hunt the "guide required animals" are in VERY remote places. it costs a lot to move a camp out there, pay the state for the permitting. in our case, pay a hefty trespass fee to the native corporation that owns the land. the cost of food, fuel and housing (building a cabin or camp) is expensive either boated in or flown in by aircraft.

    third, the cost of doing business. you have to pay an assistant guide and maybe a packer. the cost of the boat that we hunt off of is significant. (we lease a boat for the bear season, 65 footer, to house the clients on) etc.

    all this costs money. this is not hunting a common animal, like a white tailed deer, from a lodge on a road system. heck, even that can be a bit expensive.

    im not trying to justify the costs that guides charge really, just helping you understand some of the reasons that it does cost more than your average turkey hunt in florida.

    is it dangerous to hunt up here, not always. but definitely can be. i have heard all the reasons noted above for the state requiring a guide for sheep, goats and grizzly. i think the guide lobby has had some impact on that rule as well.

    also, mekanics comment above is not wrong: if unlimited access to those animals was allowed, although it might not look like the russian river sockeye salmon gauntlet, it might be pretty congested for a few years, and then screwed up and permit only for everyone, residents included. that seems to be where sheep hunting up here is headed. to many hunters, not enough sheep. by the way, the guided hunter success rate is much higher than the average resident going out hunting on his own.

    so c'mon up and enjoy hunting for moose and caribou and have a great time on a DIY hunt!
     
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