Alaska Lengthens Grizzly Bear Season - Now Opens Aug 10th

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In an effort to help slow the decline of North Slope muskox populations, the Board of Game voted yesterday to extend the grizzly bear season and waive a permit requirement for resident hunters in Unit 26B.

The Board of Game met in an emergency meeting on Wednesday to consider changes to bear hunting regulations in Unit 26B on the North Slope.

The muskox population on the Slope is rapidly declining, and grizzly bear predation has been identified as a primary cause. ADFG staff requested the Board to take measures to increase the bear harvest to help reduce predation on the muskox herd.

"We know bears are having a negative effect on the muskox herd. We'd like to increase the bear harvest this year to give the muskoxen a chance to stabilize," said Regional Supervisor David James.

The Board voted unanimously to open the resident grizzly bear hunting season on August 10 instead of August 25.

The Board also voted to replace the resident drawing permit hunt (DB990) for grizzly bears within the Dalton Highway Corridor Management Area (DCHMA) with a general season for grizzly bears to allow an increased harvest.

All resident archery hunters who possess a hunting license, and an Alaska bow hunter education card or an International Bowhunter Education Program card may take a grizzly bear within the DHCMA between August 10 and May 31, and must have it sealed within 30 days of kill. No additional permit, nor a $25.00 bear tag is required.

All resident hunters who applied for a DB990 drawing permit will receive a refund of their application fee.

The nonresident drawing permit hunt (DB987) remains intact. A total of 10 permits out of 20 to be allotted have been issued, and the remaining 10 permits will be issued beginning on August 6 on a first come, first served basis to nonresidents who apply. Instructions and application forms are available on-line at http://www.wildlife.alaska.gov or contact Jessica Mitchell at 459-7272.