Increase In GMU 26B Moose Numbers Prompt Bull Hunt Opening In April

The following press release is courtesy of the Alaska Department of Fish and Game:

Moose General Harvest Ticket Season hunt to open in Unit 26B

(Fairbanks) – The moose population in Unit 26B has been steadily increasing since a decline in 2014 and has now surpassed the management objective of 200 moose. The 2023 population estimate was 359 moose and is sufficient to open a general hunting season. Therefore, we have issued an emergency order to open the hunt from April 1–14, 2024. The bag limit is one bull under a Harvest Ticket in Unit 26B, excluding the Canning River drainage.

The moose population in Arctic Alaska expanded in the early 1950s into the limited riparian habitats along river drainages and reached a peak at an estimated 1,400 in the 1980s. The population continued to fluctuate into the 1990s when the population went below the management objectives and the hunting season was closed. In 2006 the population rebounded enough to re-open the hunting season until 2014 when the population once again declined. The same hunt structure was reinstated in 2023 with a fall drawing permit hunt and a 14-day late winter general season harvest ticket hunt.

The general season harvest ticket (HT) hunt will occur in all of Unit 26B, excluding the Canning River drainage.

The hunt area includes part of the Dalton Highway Corridor Management Area (DHCMA). Moose may be taken in the DHCMA by bow and arrow only, and bowhunter education certification is required. One bull moose can

be taken between April 1, 2024 – April 14, 2024 with a harvest ticket, and hunters must possess a valid 2024 Alaska hunting license. This is a resident only hunt. All hunters who obtain a harvest ticket are required to report either within 15 days of taking the bag limit or within 15 days after the close of the season, even if you did not hunt or did not take an animal.