KYUK AM

Hunting & Fishing

Stories related to subsistence/commercial/sport hunting, fishing, gathering activities.

Alaska Department of Fish and Game

Midnight on Dec. 31 brings the close of 2019 and also the close of the hunting season for Mulchatna Caribou on federal lands. The federal season, originally scheduled to end in March, is closing early because of low herd numbers. However, hunting on state land for these animals will remain open. KYUK talked with managers on both sides about their decisions.


Alaska Department of Fish and Game

Why the size of Mulchatna Caribou Herd has dramatically declined may not be known, but some things are known about how people can help conserve the herd, which has dropped to half the size it was three years ago. KYUK held a call-in show with local subsistence users and federal managers to share local knowledge of the Mulchatna Caribou and to learn how federal authorities plan to manage the hunt. These are the take-ways.


A gillnet on the Kuskokwim River on June 12, 2018.
Katie Basile / KYUK

The Organized Village of Kwethluk wants to liberalize set net regulations on the Kuskokwim River when king salmon conservation restrictions are imposed. The tribe has submitted a proposal to the Board of Fish to allow set nets of 6-inch or less mesh to be used anywhere in the river during times of king salmon conservation.

Alaska Department of Fish and Game

The Mulchatna Caribou Herd is half the size it was three years ago. The herd has dropped from over 27,000 caribou in 2016 to 13,500 caribou in 2019, according to Alaska Department of Fish and Game estimates. To help conserve the herd, state and federal managers have tightened hunting regulations, restricting the bag limit to one caribou. In Game Unit 18, on federal lands, that caribou must be a bull, and the hunt is limited to federally qualified local subsistence users. KYUK hosted a call-in show on Nov. 19 to discuss these regulatory changes, answer questions, and hear from local users about what they've learned about caribou.


Alaska Department of Fish and Game

Three years ago, there were over 27,000 caribou in the Mulchatna Caribou Herd. Now there are less than half of that, only 13,500, according to Alaska Department of Fish and Game surveys. There are suspects for the decline but no identified causes.

Alaska Department of Fish and Game

The Mulchatna Caribou Herd population has dropped to half the size that it was three years ago. To conserve the herd, the state issued an emergency order reducing the bag limit from two caribou to one. Now federal managers have released even tighter hunting restrictions. With the herd’s decreased population, some people want the hunt shut down entirely.


Alaska Department of Fish and Game

The population of the Mulchatna Caribou herd has dropped, and so has the bag limit for harvesting the animals. This season, hunters are limited to taking one caribou instead of the usual two. The bag limit applies to game units 9A, 9B, 9C, 17A, 17B, 17C, 18, 19A, and 19B.

National Park Service

The deadline to report the outcome of your Kuskokwim moose hunt has arrived. If you received a permit to harvest a moose in Zone 2 of the Kuskokwim’s RM615 hunt and never got a moose, Tuesday, Oct. 15 is the last day to report that information. However, no matter what the outcome or zone of your hunt, the Alaska Department of Fish and Game wants to know how it went. Biologists are relying more on this information as warming winters make other survey tools less reliable.


National Park Service

Moose season along the Kuskokwim River closed at the end of September, and the number of moose harvested is still being totaled. Alaska Department of Fish and Game Wildlife Biologist Patrick Jones says that his office has received reports of 220 moose harvested in the Kuskokwim RM-615 hunt. 

Two brothers were unharmed after their plane crashed on Nunivak Island on Sept. 7. The brothers live in Bethel, and were leaving the island in a private plane loaded with just-harvested muskox meat. 

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