Tags: Gun Control | hunting in alaska

Hunting in Alaska: 3 Animals to Hunt Year-round

By    |   Friday, 22 May 2015 09:13 AM

Alaska allows hunters to hunt certain species in certain regions of the state year-round. The Alaska Department of Fish and Game maps out the state and lists season restrictions and bag limits, all in order to promote wildlife control and conservation, and sustainable and safe hunting practices. The following are three species with close to year-round hunting seasons.

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1. Squirrels
Three different species of squirrel inhabit Alaska: arctic ground squirrel, northern flying squirrel, and red squirrel. Arctic ground squirrels are the largest squirrel species in North America. They can be found in the northern, eastern, and southwestern regions of Alaska. They live in habitats ranging from lakeshores to tundra, and need loose soil to burrow and dig. Arctic ground squirrels hibernate for as long as nine months per year. The northern flying squirrel lives near lakes and rivers. Flaps of skin stretch between the front and hind legs, allowing the northern flying squirrel to glide. Its nocturnal habits, gliding membranes, and large eyes distinguish it from other squirrel species. The red squirrel inhabits Alaska's spruce forests. Reddish in color, the red squirrel builds weatherproof nests. Although it does not hibernate, it hides in its nest during severely cold weather.

Across the state of Alaska, there are no restrictions on squirrel hunting, except for in a small south-central region, where special restrictions apply. In addition, there are no season or daily bag limits. However, for ground squirrels, Alaska law requires hunters to salvage either the hide or the meat, according to the Alaska Department of Fish and Game.

2. Coyote
Members of the dog family, coyotes have pointed ears and noses. The Kenai Peninsula, Matanuska Valley, Susitna Valley, and Copper River Valley are the homes of the greatest densities of coyotes in Alaska. They are most populous in the southeastern part of the state, according to the Alaska Department of Fish and Game. The population of coyotes fluctuates in response to the population of hares, a main source of food. In the southeast region of Alaska and two small areas in the northwest, coyote hunting is legal from September 1 to April 30, with a season limit of two. In the rest of the state, coyote hunting is open and legal for the entire year. There are no daily or season bag limits.

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3. Beaver
The largest rodent in North America, the beaver has webbed feet and a rudder-like tail. Introduced on Alaska's Kodiak Island in 1925, the beaver inhabits the forested parts of the state. Its diet consists of inner bark, leaves, and plants. Water serves as a protective environment for the beaver, which transports wood through the water to construct its den. The den, which is used as a home, varies in size and type depending on the water level and strength of current. In specially designated areas of northwestern and interior Alaska, beaver hunting is permissible year-round.

In the southern part of the state, beaver hunting is not allowed at any time. In select interior regions, as specified by the Alaska Department of Fish and Game, beaver hunting is allowed from September 1 to June 10. When beaver hunting is allowed, there are no daily or season bag limits. Alaska law requires beaver hunters to salvage either the hide or meat of any kills.

This article is for information only. Please check current regulations before hunting.

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Alaska allows hunters to hunt certain species in certain regions of the state year-round.
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Friday, 22 May 2015 09:13 AM
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