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The Alaska Department of Fish & Game has released an emergency order changing the bag limit for the Nelchina Caribou Hunt in Game Management Unit 13 to one caribou of either sex this hunting season.

The department says with less caribou in Unit 13 last hunting season, the expectation was that the herd would be within management objectives, therefore permits for the 2019 hunting season were printed with a bag limit of one bull in anticipation of a smaller harvest.

With a relatively mild winter, the Nelchina herd experienced good survival and recruitment rates into the spring of 2019. Additionally, parturition rates (cows giving birth to calves) were very high in 2019. The department’s July 2019 post-calving photocensus identified a minimum of 51,000 caribou, roughly 17,000 of which are calves. This leaves enough adults to allow permit holders to harvest either sex in 2019.

The department says the herd count is still being finalized, but expects hunts will likely run the duration of their scheduled seasons.

The emergency order changes the bag limit to any caribou for all Unit 13 state-managed caribou hunts which include RC561, RC562, CC001, DC485, and YC495.

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