Regulations Increase Kenai Peninsula Brown Bear Hunting Opportunities
(Soldotna) – Spring hunting for brown bears on the Kenai Peninsula is in full swing and with regulations now allowing brown bears to be taken at registered black bear bait stations on lands outside the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge, opportunities for success should be good. Before stepping into the field, however, hunters should review regulations and recent brown bear management decisions that could affect hunting plans.
To promote conservation of Kenai Peninsula brown bears, hunters are encouraged to take mature boars. In March after considerable discussion, the department announced that the Kenai Peninsula (Game Management Units 7 and 15) brown bear management goal is to ensure that human-caused mortality of adult sows does not exceed 17. The cap includes adult sows taken by hunters as well as those killed in defense of life or property and road kills. Adult sows are those determined to be at least five years of age. To learn how to tell mature boars from sows at a distance, see the video “Take a Closer Look” on the department’s website at http://www.adfg.alaska.gov/index.cfm?adfg=brownbearhunting.resources
Before entering the field for brown bear hunting in units 7 and 15, hunters must first obtain an RB300 registration permit. These permits are free of charge and available online at http://hunt.alaska.gov or in person at department offices in Anchorage, Homer, Palmer and Soldotna. Licenses and metal locking tags are valid for a calendar year, while RB300 permits are based on a regulatory year. Brown bear hunters must have a 2014 Alaska state hunting license and a 2014 metal locking tag before going afield this spring.
Brown bears may be taken over bait in units 7 and 15, but only at black bear stations registered with the department – and only until the brown bear season closes on May 31. Hunters who take a brown bear over bait this spring must salvage all edible meat for human consumption. This includes all of the neck, brisket, and rib meat, the front- and hindquarters, and all of the meat along the backbone between the front- and hindquarters.
By federal regulation, brown bears may not be taken over bait on Kenai National Wildlife Refuge lands. Hunters planning to hunt on the refuge or other federal or private lands should check with the landholder in advance.
Have a safe and productive hunt.
Kenai Peninsula Brown Bear Hunter’s Checklist
Consider the following prior to going hunting:
- Hunters must have in possession a valid 2014 Alaska state hunting license. These can be purchased on line at https://www.adfg.alaska.gov/store/, at many ADF&G offices, or any license vendor.
- Brown bear hunters must have in possession a 2014 metal locking brown bear tag, available at some Fish and Game offices and from licensed vendors.
- Brown bear hunters must have in possession a valid RB300 registration permit; this hunt closes May 31 (including with use of bait).
- Nonresident brown bear hunters must employ a registered Alaska hunting guide or be accompanied by an Alaska resident family member within the second degree of kindred.
- Sows accompanied by cubs and their cubs are not legal game and cannot be taken
- To take a brown bear over bait, a black bear bait station registration is required (hunters may register up to two stations) and baiters are required to successfully complete a bear bait class. See http://www.adfg.alaska.gov/static/regulations/wildliferegulations/pdfs/bear_baiting_regs.pdf
- All hunters who harvest a brown bear must report within five days of the kill by calling (907) 260-2905 or report in person at a Fish and Game office in Soldotna, Homer, Anchorage, or Palmer.
- All hunters who harvest a brown bear must salvage the skull and hide with proof of sex attached and present these items for sealing to a Fish and Game office in Soldotna, Homer, Anchorage, or Palmer within 10 days of killing the bear.
- Hunters who take a brown bear over bait must salvage the skull, the hide with proof of sex attached, and all edible meat (see pages 24-29 of the 2013-2014 Alaska Hunting Regulations Summary booklet for more information).
- Copies of the 2013-2014 Alaska Hunting Regulations Summary booklet are available at department offices and most sporting goods stores and supermarkets. Find them online at http://www.adfg.alaska.gov/index.cfm?adfg=wildliferegulations.hunting