Alaska’s Board of Game started deliberations Monday afternoon on the first of 69 proposals to change statewide hunting and wildlife-related regulations.
The board acted on the first five proposals Monday:
- Rejected Proposal 1 to change the definition of “take” of a game animal, to clarify that “take” means kill and not simply disturb;
- Rejected Proposal 2 to reduce the minimum hunting age from 10 to 8, and give young hunters their own bag limit instead of sharing a bag limit with the adult hunter supervising them;
- Rejected Proposal 3 to convert the regulatory year from fiscal to calendar year;
- Approved Proposal 4 to require that more edible meat (wings and backs, in addition to breasts and thighs) from large game birds harvested, including geese, cranes and swans; and
- Approved Proposal 5 to clarify moose antler restrictions in hunting areas, so that spike-fork regulations don’t unfairly punish hunters who shoot a bull moose with what appear to be spike antlers, but carry small points not visible. This was considered a fairness issue by BOG, to not penalize hunters trying to follow the regulation and unwittingly making a mistake.
The board meets throughout this week and began deliberation again at 830 a.m. Tuesday.
Still to come are a range of proposals, addressing topics as diverse as feral cats, regulation of domestic sheep and goats, hunter education, hunting with airplanes and cell phones, subsistence and falconry.
Alaska is unique among states in that any Alaskan or group can propose regulation changes, which the BOG reviews with department input and either rejects or approves, occasionally with modifications. In most cases the proposals are tweaks
And sometimes, as this year, there proposals on the same issue, taking directly opposing views. Such is the case with proposals to both allow feral cats to be released into the wild, and to declare feral cats as a nuisance animal that can be killed at any time.
Proposal 64 to remove domestic sheep and goats from the state’s clean list and implement regulatory oversight and permitting for all domestic sheep, has also drawn considerable testimony. The Alaska farming community which considers this unnecessary regulation, while conservation groups including the Alaska Wild Sheep Foundation consider it protection from a potential catastrophic die-off of Alaska sheep by M. ovi, carried by domestic sheep.
The complete book of proposed changes is online at:
Board deliberations are open to the public and are also streamed online at:
The board meets through Nov. 17 on statewide proposals. There are almost 100 regional proposals to be consider in future regional meetings.