The following press release is courtesy of the Alaska Department of Fish and Game:
(Glennallen) — Nelchina caribou hunt DC485 has been closed by emergency order for the remainder of the fall hunting season and began on Sunday, August 26, at 11:59 p.m.
As of Friday, DC485 hunters in Game Management Unit 13 had reported taking 121 bull caribou. Hunters currently remain in the field, therefore it is likely additional caribou have been taken and not yet reported. This closure is necessary to prevent exceeding the DC485 harvest allocation of 250 bull caribou.
The Alaska Department of Fish and Game’s July 2018 post-calving survey estimated the Nelchina herd at approximately 35,700 caribou, near the lower end of the population objective of 35,000–40,000. To prevent overharvest and maintain the population objective, the department issued an emergency order earlier this month limiting harvest to bulls-only for all Unit 13 state-managed caribou hunts (RC561, RC562, CC001, and DC485). The emergency order also established a harvest quota of 1,400, allocated as follows:
- RC561 — 500 bulls
- RC562 — 500 bulls
- DC485 — 250 bulls
- CC001 — This hunt will also be bulls only, but is managed under a separate cap.
The early-season RC561 Tier I hunt closed by emergency order on August 18 when the quota of 500 bulls was met. The second Nelchina Tier I caribou hunt RC562 is scheduled to open September 1–Sept. 20 and will be subject to early closure once the quota is reached.
In addition to the bulls-only restriction and harvest quotas, a three-day harvest reporting requirement applies to all state-managed Unit 13 caribou hunts. Successful hunters can provide wildlife managers the information they need to closely track in-season harvest by filing hunt reports online at https://secure.wildlife.alaska.gov/index.cfm?fuseaction=interperm.enter_report_hunterid, by phone at (907) 822-3461 (24/7), or in person at the Glennallen or Palmer Fish and Game offices.
For hunt updates and additional information call the Nelchina Hotline at 907-267-2304 (24/7).