While the bulk of moose hunting season has yet to open, some early season hunting activities are underway in the game management units around the Upper Valley. Todd Rinaldi, area biologist for the Alaska Department of Fish and Game, says one completely new hunt in Hatcher Pass is specifically for young hunters.
“What this does is it has a youth only area from August 10th through August 25th. What that means is the area is closed to small game hunting, except that small game can be taken by hunters sixteen years old or younger when they are accompanied by a licensed hunter at eighteen years [or older]. We’re pretty excited about this. This is a proposal that went through the Mat-Valley advisory committee, and basically what it’s going to do is provide an opportunity for young hunters—for families—to get out and actually get an opportunity to take some small came and instill some hunting safety practices.”
In this case, small game means rabbits, ptarmigan, and grouse. Todd Rinaldi says bowhunting for moose, which began on August 10th in game management unit 14, will be allowed in the area, but adults will have to wait one more week if they intend to take small game in the Hatcher Pass area.
Also new this year are custom hunting maps. Todd Rinaldi says the new map tool, which is available on the Fish and Game website, lets hunters create a map that is specific to their needs.
“Typically, most of the maps that are produced online are either an entire game management unit, which someone may or may not want, or it’s the entire draw unit or hunt zone. Sometimes those maps are bigger than people want; sometimes they don’t contain as much information or as much area as someone would want. So, you can go online, and you can customize. Maybe [you] have a map that includes both game management units. Maybe you want to zoom in to a specific drainage in a sheep hunt area. It just gives you a lot of flexibility…”
Keep listening to KTNA this week to hear about changes to hunting regulations in and around the Upper Valley.