Weather-related issues contributed to low harvest numbers in 17A, but population numbers are high. The hunt was originally scheduled to close at 11:59 p.m. September 25. It will now close at 11:59 p.m. October 3.
The Alaska Department of Fish and Game will extend the moose hunt in unit 17A by eight days. The department signed an executive order to do so Friday afternoon.
Weather-related issues contributed to low harvests in 17A. Dillingham Wildlife Biologist Bryan Reiley says that community members in Togiak requested an extension due to low water levels.
“Harvest is typically fairly low in 17A, but the population level is quite high," he said. "We’d like for more people to take moose in 17A. Of course, it’s more difficult logistically for people to get there and the people of Togiak typically are the main group that hunts in the refuge.”
Manokotak also requested an extension for the hunt in unit 17C, due to similar reasons. But Reiley says the moose populations in that unit aren’t favorable.
“Extending the season could allow more animals to be taken," he said. "We couldn’t make it specific to Manokotak -- it would have to be unit wide, and we have concerns about keeping it open unit wide longer. Also given that we don’t have all the information on how many animals were killed, extending the season seems a bit irresponsible.”
The department is still gathering reports for units 17A, B and C. Folks in Manokotak and communities without harvest opportunities will be able to harvest moose in unit 17A during the extension. The bag limit is one moose for hunters with valid RM571 or RM573 permits.
Update: The Alaska Department of Fish and Game made an error stating that two moose could be harvested this fall. Only one moose can be harvested during the extension, with a possible opportunity for a second moose this winter.
The hunt was originally scheduled to close September 25 at 11:59 p.m. It will now close October 3, at 11:59 p.m.
The department adds that there could be an additional moose hunt in 17A this winter under the RM575 for one antlered bull and one antlerless moose under RM576. That period could take place between December 1 and February 28, 2022.
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