Nushagak Peninsula federal hunt returns indicate a slightly larger hunt than the long-term average. So far, 95 caribou have been recorded harvested.
Hunters did not come remotely close to reaching the harvest limit of 218 caribou during the Nushagak Peninsula federal caribou hunt. The hunt closed on March 31, and so far the hunt reports show that 95 caribou were killed.
“It’s actually probably a little bit above average if you look at the long term,” said Andy Aderman, a refuge biologist at the Togiak National Wildlife Refuge. “We’ve had a couple years with zero. That was kind of at the low point of the herd, and people didn’t even bother to go hunting. On the other end of that, last season was far and away the greatest harvest.”
Last year’s harvest of 378 caribou set the record for this hunt.
According to Aderman, hunters’ reports indicate that the herd is generally healthy.
“Some caribou had more warble flies under their skin. That’s typical with caribou this time of year. Nasal bots is another affliction that caribou get. I think some people just noticed it for the first time.”
Refuge staff will fly surveys to count the Nushagak Peninsula herd’s population in late June and early July. The population count will inform the harvest limit and bag limit when the hunt opens again in the fall.
The Togiak National Wildlife Refuge, which manages the hunt, is still waiting on about 170 hunt reports that are now two weeks tardy. All hunters are required to submit a harvest report regardless of whether or not they hunted.
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