Moose season is less than a month away. As hunters begin applying for permits for the Kuskokwim, here are some changes to know about.
RM615 is the area where most Kuskokwim residents go to hunt. It includes the Kuskokwim River from just below Kalskag, down to Eek, and all the tributaries.
This year, instead of dividing the area between state and federal lands with different harvest quotas, the area will be divided into two zones and only one will have a quota.
Zone 1 is the Kuskokwim main-stem and Gweek River. Zone 2 is between the Kilbuck Mountains and the Kuskokwim tributaries.
The state has chosen popular landmarks on the tributaries to mark where Zone 1 ends and Zone 2 begins: Fog River on the Tuluksak River, the lower cut-across on the Kisaralik River and Kasigluk River, Magic Creek on the Kwethluk River, and the forks on the Eek River.
Zone 1's harvest quota is 170 antlered bull moose. Zone 2 has no quota.
The hunting season opens on September 1.
Once Zone 1's quota is reached, the area will close. Zone 2 will remain open until September 25. Hunters are allotted one moose total regardless of which zone it is harvested from. Once Zone 1 closes, they will have to hunt in Zone 2.
Another change this year is that permits will be available through the end of the hunting season. Paper applications are available now at the state Fish & Game office in Bethel, Swanson’s Hardware, and in the villages through August 25. After that, applications will only be available online.
Like last year, hunters have 72 hours to report a harvest. Permits are free, but hunters must pay for a hunting license.