Alaska Closed Bear Hunting Season Statewide Citing COVID-19 Concerns
OutdoorHub Editor: Keenan Crow 04.02.20
In other shocking news, officials in Alaska also made the call to close all black and brown bear hunts statewide for both resident and nonresident hunters through the end of May.
This unprecedented effort follows along with a trend we’re beginning to see across the country where it seems officials are trying to limit the number of nonresident hunters traveling from other areas of the country.
“For the safety of Alaska’s communities, and especially individuals most vulnerable to the COVID-19 virus, Commissioner of the Alaska Department of Fish and Game Doug Vincent-Lang has directed the Division of Wildlife Conservation to close all black and brown bear hunts statewide for both resident and nonresident hunters, effective now through May 31. This decision will be reevaluated as necessary. All subsistence bear hunts will remain open as a way for residents to have an opportunity to fill freezers and provide for families,” the press release reads.
While the Department of Fish and Game mentions the closure is expected to last up to May 31, the release also says this will be reevaluated as necessary. Which likely means they are prepared to extend that date if absolutely necessary.
For what it’s worth, though, Fish and Game will work with the Board of Game to identify future options for hunters who are planning to come to Alaska this spring, or for residents who have already made arrangements, but will be unable to hunt as planned.
Expect to hear more from the department in the near future.
This announcement follows the same trend we’ve seen in Washington where WDFW cancelled spring youth turkey hunts as well as recreational fishing. Meanwhile in Michigan, the Tippy Dam Recreational Area was forced to close because of visitors travelling from all different areas of the state, crowded conditions and people not following along with the social distancing guidelines. As the weather warms up, you can only expect this to get more out of hand.
Allow this to be your wake up call now.
Hopefully these stories remain scarce, but we’ll try to stay on top of them the best we can and let you know of any additional season closures that may arise.