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Moose hunt extended in Unit 17A

A map of Unit 17A for the RM575 RM576 Moose Registration Permit Hunt. February, 2024.
The Alaska Department of Fish and Game
A map of Unit 17A for the RM575 RM576 Moose Registration Permit Hunt. February, 2024.

The Alaska Department of Fish and Game has announced a two-week extension to this year’s moose hunt in Unit 17 A. The department says the moose population is over its objective, and harvest rates are below average for the hunt area. KDLG’s Christina McDermott sat down with Fish and Game wildlife biologist John Landsiedel to learn more about what this extension means.

John Landsiedel: Hi, my name is John Landsiedel with the Alaska Department of Fish and Game, the wildlife biologist in Dillingham.

Christina McDermott: There's a moose hunt extension in our area. What is that about? What's going on?

Landsiedel: We've decided to extend the moose hunt in Unit 17A because the population is over objective. We have a cooperative management plan between the Alaska Department of Fish and Game and the Togiak National Wildlife Refuge. Our most recent population survey resulted in about 2000 moose and this extension is warranted to try to increase harvest for residents of Alaska in 17A.

We've had poor travel conditions through the winter. Most winter hunts are dependent upon having frozen creeks and rivers and lots of snow that makes that resource, the moose, successful to hunters. We're below our annual harvest over the last five years and with the Mulchatna Caribou [Herd] closure, moose are really the only big game species that are available to Unit 17 residents. So, it's important to allow more opportunity where there's no biological concern.

So, due to the poor travel conditions early in the year, early in the moose season, January and February — for [Unit] 17A, there was some rain events and then we had some warm weather come through and the creeks open back up — we just really haven't been able to get people into 17A to harvest moose. Cooperatively with the [Togiak] Refuge, we've decided to extend it until March 15 to provide more opportunity for hunters in acquiring meat. That’s really where it falls.

McDermott: Are there any exceptions for people — who can and cannot hunt?

A moose in the Chugach mountains in 2011.
The Alaska Department of Fish and Game
A moose in the Chugach mountains in 2011.

Landsiedel: Those who have already harvested an antlered bull moose anywhere else in the state — either locally or elsewhere — are unable to hold the antler permit, RM575. But the two moose bag limit would allow those who have harvested an antlered bull, say in the fall, they could also go participate in this hunt and harvest an antlerless moose which could be male or female — a bull that’s dropped its antlers or a cow.

McDermott: Is there anything else people need to know generally?

Landsiedel: Just to remind people that it is important to report and that these extensions can't happen without timely reporting. We thank those that have reported already and we just like to see people continue to report. We have really good reporting success here in Dillingham and with the local communities. Even if you are unsuccessful, we still ask you to report but your timeline’s extended a little bit. You have until 15 days after the season to report if you were unsuccessful.

McDermott: Got it. Thank you.

Landsiedel: Thanks for having me.

 Get in touch with the author at or 907-842-2200.

Christina McDermott began reporting for KDLG, Dillingham’s NPR member station, in March 2023. Previously, she worked with KCBX News in San Luis Obispo, California, where she focused on local news and cultural stories. She’s passionate about producing evocative, sound-rich work that informs and connects the public.