No aerial bear hunting: Fish and Game clarifies Alaska’s new hunting regulations
The Alaska Department of Fish and Game wants to clear up misconceptions about new hunting regulations President Trump recently signed into law.
Congressman Don Young said H.J.R. 69 was about overturning an Obama administration rule that gave the federal agencies too much control over land in Alaska.
Conservation groups around the country produced articles with headlines like “Alaska’s Wolf Pups and Hibernating Bears are Fair Game for Hunters in Trump’s America,” saying sport hunters can gun down bears from helicopters and kill wolf puppies in their dens.
Bruce Dale, the Director for the Division of Wildlife Conservation for Fish and Game said that’s not the case.
Hunting bears from helicopters is illegal; only state agents are allowed to do it as part of approved predator management programs, of which the state is not conducting on any federal land.
“Even when we do predator reductions we do them in a way that they are capable of providing sustained yield for normal hunting and trapping for subsistence and all uses. In no way do these programs jeopardize or threaten any populations of predators,” Dale said.
The department posted a list of frequently asked questions on its website and Facebook page addressing the law. Other questions included whether the state allows bears to be taken in steel-jawed traps (Answer: No) and whether the bears can be taken over bait (Answer: Yes).
Dale said Fish and Game staff take their job of managing wildlife very seriously and he hopes people take the time to see how the department is actually putting this law into practice.
“Alaskans depend on these resources for food, for jobs. Wildlife is a huge reason people live here and people stay here. So we think the State of Alaska should have that responsibility and all states should have that local responsibility.”
For a complete list of Fish and Game’s questions and answers, click here.
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