Last fall was the first time in decades Alaskans were allowed to hunt emperor geese. After reviewing how last year’s season went the Alaska Department of Fish and Game is preparing for the 2018 hunting season.
After almost 30 years, Alaskans were able to hunt emperor geese last fall across the state. 1000 geese were up for grabs statewide, but only about 200 hunters participated in the season.
“And of those 128 reported harvested an emperor goose. So, in Kodiak 33 emperor geese were harvested and the most were harvested in the Cold Bay area.”
Jason Schamber is the waterfowl program coordinator for the Alaska Department of Fish and Game. He says ADF&G is planning on using the same quotas for the 2018 hunting season. There will be one change though, non-Alaska residents will be allowed to participate in this year’s hunt.
Over two hundred people applied for nonresident permits and ADF&G gave out 25. These hunters will be limited to hunting in four areas, one of them being the Kodiak Archipelago. The emperor geese harvested by nonresidents will count towards a region’s quota. Kodiak’s limited is 175 emperor geese in the upcoming season.
There are some local hunters that don’t like the idea of outsiders coming in for the hunt, but Schamber says most are okay with it since it’s such a small number of people.
“It’s only 25 individuals and certainly it’s a shared resource and hunters, lower 48 hunters, contribute a lot of conservation dollars that help conserve and manage this species.”
The 2018 emperor goose hunting season will be the second year of a three year trial period. Schramber says the only thing that’d stop the hunting season from continuing after 2019 though is if the emperor goose population drops to an unhealthy level. But Schamber says ADF&G estimates the emperor goose numbers are going strong at around 150,000 birds.