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Subsistence Caribou AK - Tag Question
My buddy, a fellow Bowsiter, and I are slated to hunt caribou and grizzly in northern Alaska this coming August. Our outfitter informed us that AK G&F is considering making the hunt area in question a subsistence-only area for caribou. We would like to buy our licenses and tags before the prices increase in January, but we're hesitant given the situation. Anyone been in a similar situation? If so, what did you do? If we buy the caribou tag now and G&F changes the area to subsistence-only come March/April, would we be able to get our money back? I plan to contact G&F, but want to get some insights from those on this site. Wade
Where were you going to hunt? You'd have to ask F&G if you'd get refunded. The feds changed 23 to subsistence-only last year, which was not AKF&G's decision last year and it's up to be renewed along with moose this year - decision in January. If you were planning on hunting out of Kotzebue in 23, you can still hunt on state land if the ruling is upheld again this year, which it most likely will, and that might mean no refund. If you're hunting outside of 23, then I don't know.
I doubt you'd get a refund as those tags (at least in the Brooks) aren't unit specific. Just a guess though...I'd call Fish and Game to be sure.
At least there will be someone new in charge of the "Feds" next year . Maybe Donald Jr. will help stop the managing of Alaska to the Special Interests, Politically Correct, anti hunting liberal agenda. So maybe the hunt won't be cancelled. will take time to root out the last 8 yrs of appointments and philosophy.
(I would doubt there would be any refund for a locking tag good statewide)
It's unit 26A that is under discussion & where we are scheduled to hunt
At least in 23, it has nothing to do with anti-hunting interests and everything to do with local residents not wanting any competition for resources. All of Northern Alaska has much of the same issue and that is, a large indigenous population that relies on wildlife for much of their diet that is unsympathetic to the desires of the outside world.
Couple this with a declining herd and Feds that cave to indigenous demands...
If this is indeed AKDF&G that's shutting it down for NRs, your only info is going to come from them. I have a feeling it's the same story as 23 and it's the Feds that are making the change. These decisions are supposed to be made next month.
Something that someone new to hunting in Alaska might not understand is that there is a second regulation book for Federal subsistence hunting. Depending on your unit it may or may not affect the State rules for that area.
It is important to reference both books when determining the rules where you are hunting.
The closure in 23 is not good for anyone including the subsistence hunters and residents that are no longer getting the tourism dollars in their communities. Hopefully this Federal land opens up rather than expanding into other units.
Long story short, wait to buy your tag. NR Locking Tags are not unit specific and can be used statewide on Caribou. One area closing on federal lands will in all likelihood not warrant a refund in the state's eyes as there are still hundreds of places you could have used that tag.
Don't quote me on this but even within the federal land closures, the feds don't own the water ways below high water line (AKA you can still hunt there as long as you stay within the river on the gravel bars). That technicality is one a few guys have taken advantage of to go hunt anyway, even if it would be an incredibly boring way to hunt.