Caribou hunting limited in eastern Interior

(Photo courtesy of Alaska Department of Fish and Game)

The state will limit caribou hunting in the eastern Interior, along the Taylor and Top of the World Highways. An Alaska Department of Fish and Game announcement says the no-hunt corridor prohibits harvest of caribou within a hundred feet along both sides of the road during a state hunt for Forty Mile caribou, which opens August 29th.

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Fish and Game spokeswoman Doreen Parker McNeil said the corridor addresses safety and conservation issues.

”Members of the public, as well as some law enforcement officials, have voiced a lot of concerns about hunters shooting from and across the highway, particularly on or near curves in the road and in areas with houses and campgrounds,” McNeil said. “And we’ve had a lot of reports documenting hunters shooting into groups of caribou from the edge of the highway and that results in wounding loss.”

McNeil said the restriction is also aimed at limiting harvest when a large portion of the herd crosses the highway.

”It becomes difficult to manage the hunt in such a way that the hunt is open long enough for people to have the opportunity to hunt without exceeding our harvest quota,” McNeil said.

McNeil said it’s also hoped that the restriction will reduce the illegal dumping of gut piles and other caribou remains along the roads. The no-caribou harvest corridor runs the entire length of the Top of the World Highway, and along the Taylor from milepost 75.5, at the South Fork Bridge, to mile 115.4, at the Alder Creek Bridge.

Dan Bross is a reporter at KUAC in Fairbanks.

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