Elk Hunters Restricted to Cows Because of Gender Imbalance


Jay Barrett/KMXT

The Alaska Department of Fish and Game has put restrictions on the Afognak Island Elk hunt which started Sunday. The restrictions are in response to an imbalance of genders on the island, just north of Kodiak. Wildlife Management Biologist Larry Van Daele says there are too few male elk currently on the island.

(Critters 1 22 sec "We had a series of really tough … as we rebuild the herd.")

Van Daele says to help balance that ratio, hunters in the registration hunt going on now, may only take cows:

(Critters 2 27 sec "This year we’ve restricted … southwest portion of Afognak.")

The southwest area is closed to all registration hunting, while the other area that hosts an elk population, Raspberry Island, is only open to hunters who have won a hunting permit through the drawing. The one-cow-only registration hunt in the east Afognak area and the remainder of Game Management Unit 8 lasts until the end of November. Van Daele says only about 110 permits have been issued, which he says is a little below the average of 150 in a typical year, but they can be had throughout the season.

Meanwhile, the mountain goat population on Kodiak Island has been doing so well Van Daele says the Department of Fish and Game is liberalizing their harvest:

(Critters 3 35 sec "Here on the north end … a registration permit.")

He said in some areas, the goat population is doing a lot better than managers ever expected them too:

(Critters 4 25 sec "Goats are going into areas … liberally in those areas.")

He said the department is working closely with the Kodiak National Wildlife Refuge in keeping track of the goat population:

(Critters 5 22 sec "They manage the refuge … pans out on that.")

Mountain goats and Roosevelt Elk, like the Kodiak Archipelago’s blacktail deer and caribou, are introduced species. Mountain goats were brought to Kodiak in the 1950s, while the elk were brought to Kodiak in 1928 before being relocated to Afognak in 1929.


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