Nelchina, Alaska is allowing a 600 count caribou hunt to take place this season due to an increase in the total number of bulls.
This year, the Alaska Department of Fish and Game states 600 caribou are allowed in Unit 13. They have broken it down by gender, allowing 300 bulls and 300 cows to be legally taken.
The caribou hunting decision was made after studies showed numbers were above the objective totals, along with the fact that a large number of calves survived through to this fall.
If you’ve ever had the opportunity to watch hunting channels on television, it’s probably safe to suggest you’ve seen caribou hunts in Alaska promoted and advertised. Caribou are a large source of nutrition for people in Alaska, especially people in remote areas such as Nelchina, which is northeast of Anchorage on Highway 1.
The population of Nelchina was only 59 in a census in 2010, which means caribou far outnumber residents in that area. It’s logical caribou are increasing in numbers due to the limited amount of humans and the lack of industry in the area. This is rare compared to most areas in the lower 48 states.
Weights of adult caribou bulls average 350-400 pounds. Mature females average 175-225 pounds. The dressed weight of a 400 pound caribou is about 240 pounds. This equates to about 100 pounds of meat for the fortunate hunters that take a caribou down.
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If hunting caribou is on your bucket list and piques your interest, contact both the Alaska Department of Fish and Game as well as one of the various guides and book your trip.