ADF&G’s July post-calving photo-census identified a minimum of 53,500 caribou for the Nelchina caribou herd. Roughly 35,850 caribou are adults and 17,650 are calves. This leaves enough adults to allow permit holders to harvest either sex in 2019, and quotas for each hunt are not likely to be reached during the fall season, allowing all hunts to run the duration of their scheduled seasons.

The department has determined an initial 2019 quota of 3,950 caribou harvested from the Nelchina herd. With an expected federal harvest of 500 caribou, this leaves 3,450 caribou for state-managed hunts. Initial 2019 quotas for state-managed hunts are as follows: for YC495, 200 permits and 100 caribou; for DC485, 400 permits and 250 caribou; for CC001, 811 permits and 400 caribou; for RC561, 2,788 permits and 1,350 caribou; for RC562, 2,884 permits and 1,350 caribou.

Harvest will be evaluated after Sept. 20 to determine if all hunts will reopen for the regularly scheduled winter season on Oct. 21. At this time, it is expected that all hunts (except YC495) will reopen for the winter season.

Hunt updates and additional information will be available on the Nelchina hotline at 907-267-2304.