Fortymile Herd

Caribou from the Fortymile Herd are seen during a July 2017 photo census. The census counted a herd population of more than 71,400 caribou, the largest the herd has been since the 1920s. 

Photo courtesy Alaska Department of Fish and Game

The fall state hunting season for Fortymile Caribou will open one day earlier this year, on Sunday, in all zones. The bag limit for residents will be one caribou (either-sex), a change from the one bull bag limit during last fall’s hunt. The nonresident bag limit will remain one bull.

The Bureau of Land Management has changed the bag limit for the federal Fortymile Caribou hunt from one bull to one caribou, which now matches the state hunt. The federal Fortymile hunt will open the day before the state hunt on Saturday, for federally qualified subsistence hunters on federal public lands only, in subunits 20E, 20F and 25C.

Hunt condition Nos. 3 and 4 (which can be found on all RC860 permits) have been modified effective immediately. Condition No. 3 now states, “There will be no closed area in Zone 3.” The area near the Taylor Highway is not being closed because few caribou are currently accessible and heavy roadside harvest is not anticipated. Condition No. 4 now states, “Evidence of sex is not required for Alaska resident hunters.” This modification was made in order to align state and federal resident bag limits.

The annual Fortymile quota for the 2019-20 seasons will be 2,180 caribou, with 1,635 allocated to the fall hunt and 545 to the winter hunt. The fall quota of 1,635 is divided as follows: Zones 1 and 4 combined is 860; Zone 2 is 200; Zone 3 is 575.

Hunters are advised to call the Fortymile Caribou Hotline at 907-267-2310 before departing for the field to obtain the most current information on the status of the hunt. Hunters with questions about federal subsistence regulations can call 800-478-1456.