I grew up hunting in Alaska and continue to hunt exclusively with trad bows. I tend to stay away from Internet forums but there are some important proposals before the Alaska Board of Game that will have real impact on anyone, resident or non-resident, who dreams of bowhunting in the 49th state. PBS recently sent an email with this information and it's really important that our comments are submitted before Feb. 21, 2020 (yep, 4 days from now)
I'll copy in pertinent info below but the gist of it is that there are 3 proposals that could have big implications for all bowhunters who come to AK:
1) Create a 10 day registration archery sheep hunt in certain units that would take place before the general rifle season. Based on many years of statistics on bowhunting for sheep this hunt would have very little impact on the total number of rams killed (archery success rates are quite low) but would provide wonderful opportunities for bowhunters to spend time in the mountains without worrying about someone lofting a bullet over their backs from 500 yards away while stalking. It would also provide an extra hunt for outfitters to sell.
2) Create an archery registration moose hunt that follows the normal closing of the season. To me the biggest benefit of this is that bowhunters can extend their hunt into cooler weather. Warm autumns have been really stressful for wilderness hunts and meat preservation in recent years. Again, this would have no negative impact for other hunters.
3) There is a proposal to introduce crossbows as legal weapons into Alaska's very limited archery only hunts. See below.
Thank you all so much for reading this. Please consider lending your voice via comments. If you live in AK, please consider attending one of the meetings if possible.
********** details from Alaska Bowhunters Association:
Your comments are urgently needed regarding proposals that will have a major impact on bowhunting in Alaska! The Board of Game is meeting in Fairbanks from 6 to 14 March 2020. If you cannot be present for the meeting, you can submit written comments here; http://www.adfg.alaska.gov/index.cfm?adfg=process.comments Written comments are due by 21 February 2020. It is extremely important that we let our voice be heard and open the doors to additional bowhunting opportunities in the future!
These proposals will affect both residents AND non-residents! If you currently hunt in Alaska, have hunted in Alaska, or dream of hunting Alaska in the future, it is definitely worth investing 10 minutes of your time to support the cause.
Local Fish and Game Advisory Committees are also taking public comments and will be considering them when they testify at the Fairbanks Board of Game meeting.??Here is a summary of proposals that will directly affect bowhunters along with ideas for what to include in your comments to the Board of Game;
Proposal 50: https://www.adfg.alaska.gov/static/regulations/regprocess/gameboard/pdfs/2019-2020/proposals/50.pdf This proposal is being made by the Alaskan Bowhunters Association. The purpose of this proposal is to establish a 10 day archery only registration hunt for bull moose that would begin at the end of all general bull moose seasons in units 12, 19, 20, 21, 24, 25, 26B, & 26C. Passing this proposal would be a win for all bowhunters in Alaska and could eventually be approved in other regions.
Ideas to submit to the Board of Game: 1. Cooler temperatures to minimize waste of game meat harvested in later season. 2. More opportunity for hunters to stay in the field longer without having a significant impact on moose populations. 3. Potential for more state revenue created by non-resident hunters booking additional archery moose hunts through outfitters. 4. Registration hunt allows for close monitoring of participation and success rates by the Alaska Department of Fish and Game. 5. Bowhunters would still be limited to the same antler restrictions outlined in the general season.
Proposal 53: https://www.adfg.alaska.gov/static/regulations/regprocess/gameboard/pdfs/2019-2020/proposals/53.pdf This proposal is also being made by the Alaskan Bowhunters Association and its purpose is to add an archery only registration hunt for dall sheep. This hunt would begin 9 days immediately preceding all general sheep seasons in units 12, 19, 20, 21, 24, 25, 26B, & 26C. If passed, this registration hunt would afford bowhunters a great opportunity to pursue dall sheep before the masses of rifle hunters hit the mountains.
Ideas to submit to the Board of Game: 1. More opportunity for hunters to stay in the field longer while having almost no impact on sheep populations. 2. Registration hunt allows for close monitoring of participation and success rates by the Alaska Department of Fish and Game. 3. Bowhunters would still be limited to the same legal animals as outlined in the general season hunts. 4. Potential for more state revenue created by non-resident hunters booking additional archery sheep hunts through outfitters.
Proposal 49: https://www.adfg.alaska.gov/static/regulations/regprocess/gameboard/pdfs/2019-2020/proposals/49.pdf This is an individual proposal made by Jim Sacket. The purpose of the proposal is to allow any resident hunter who is 60 years old or older who possesses a Senior Alaska Resident Card, to hunt with a crossbow during any archery only hunt in units 12, 19, 20, 21, 24, 25, 26B, & 26C. This proposal could create a significant negative effect on the Dalton Highway Corridor, as well as other bowhunting opportunities in the region. The Alaskan Bowhunters Association DOES NOT endorse or support this proposal. If this proposal is passed, it will have a negative effect on bowhunting opportunity in the Interior and Eastern Arctic Region and if allowed there, could easily make its way into other areas of Alaska.
Ideas to submit to the Board of Game: 1. The State of Alaska already allows individuals with disabilities to apply for a Method and Means Exemption allowing the use of crossbows during archery only seasons. 2. The average person age 60 and older has no problem handling a 50 pound compound bow with 85% let off (7.5 lbs). 3. Allowing a mass of crossbows could have a significant impact on wildlife population creating more restrictions and less opportunity for bowhunters. 4. Out of 334 general, registration, and draw hunts in the affected region, 320 are non weapon restricted and already allow the use of crossbows as a legal method of take. 5. This proposal is obviously meant for non-bowhunters to take advantage of special areas including the Dalton Highway Corridor. 6. Allowing less restricted crossbow use in this region could eventually effect our bowhunting opportunities across the state.
Links: Alaska Board of Game Home - https://www.adfg.alaska.gov/index.cfm?adfg=gameboard.main Proposal Book - https://www.adfg.alaska.gov/index.cfm?adfg=gameboard.proposalbook Comment Submission - http://www.adfg.alaska.gov/index.cfm?adfg=process.comments Proposal 50 - https://www.adfg.alaska.gov/static/regulations/regprocess/gameboard/pdfs/2019-2020/proposals/50.pdf Proposal 53 - https://www.adfg.alaska.gov/static/regulations/regprocess/gameboard/pdfs/2019-2020/proposals/53.pdf Proposal 49 - https://www.adfg.alaska.gov/static/regulations/regprocess/gameboard/pdfs/2019-2020/proposals/49.pdf
Alaskan Bowhunters Association – https://www.akbowhunters.com/ Modify message
Thanks for posting this Paul!
We have just one more day to make comments. If you ever plan to hunt Alaska, especially for moose or sheep, these season proposals could have a big positive impact on your experience. Please take a minute to submit a comment. Thanks so much!