Alaska Announces Closure of Bear Hunts to Non-Residents
The Alaska Department of Fish and Game initially ruled earlier this week that all bear hunts would be closed through May 31. One day later, the department changed that ruling and the season is now closed only to non-residents.
From their press release on the decision from Commissioner Doug Vincent Lang:
“Upon further consideration, the Department has decided to rescind the resident portion of this closure. The non-resident hunts remain closed. To protect public health, resident hunters participating in spring bear hunts in Alaska are required to abide by all issued health mandates, including social distancing mandates and intrastate travel mandates.
Specific to intrastate travel mandates, all instate travel between communities is prohibited unless travel is necessary to support critical infrastructure, or for critical personal needs. General hunting has not been identified as a critical personal need. As such, all hunting activities, other than subsistence, must conform with the intrastate travel health mandate. ADF&G will be issuing additional details in the coming days regarding conduct of these hunts in context of the issued mandates.
Protection of public health is critical at this time. Abide by the issued health mandates. It is our hope to flatten the curve by keeping people hunkered down, and not traveling for non-critical reasons. We will get through this together.
I, like all of you, hope we can get control of this situation and get back to more normal lives. But until then, I ask for your patience and understanding as this situation evolves. These are unprecedented times and we are taking uncharted steps to protect the well-being of
Alaskans. I’d rather err on the side of caution and take a step too far, rather than come up short and cost fellow Alaskans their lives.”