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Alaska Caribou Hunting


Alaska Caribou Hunting

Available Alaska Caribou Hunts --- Search HF Aventures

Caribou herds experience significant fluctuations in numbers, and despite meticulous efforts by biologists and the Department, forecasting the rise or fall of these populations remains highly unpredictable. Within Alaska, there are 32 distinct herds of Barren-ground caribou, ranging from those in the hundreds of thousands to smaller herds where sport hunting is currently prohibited. On average, sports hunters take approximately 20,000 caribou each season, while subsistence hunters take a considerably larger number during the winter months. In times when caribou numbers are low, it is customary for non-resident hunting opportunities to be among the first to be reduced to match the sentiment of subsistence cuts. This is an important factor to consider when planning any future hunts and delaying your caribou hunt plans.

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The Western Arctic herd continues to show a steady decline in the overall herd numbers and has been the center of many special action requests and debates. Currently, a proposal is before the Board of Game to close all non-resident caribou hunting in unit 23, which would be the majority of the huntable area for this caribou populations. The push and shove between federal and state management will surely continue. If you have been sitting on your hands waiting to plan a caribou hunt, you might look to an open unit, plan a hunt, and go!

Most hunters seeking the self-guided hunt option have generally looked to the Western Arctic, Central Arctic, and Porcupine herds in the northern portion of the state. When selecting a licensed transporter, we recommend checking references and doing as much area research as possible to ensure a positive experience before sending a deposit. Most units are managed by over-the-counter permit options through general season harvest tickets. The most popular caribou units have a limit of one bull caribou per regulatory year. There are only a few units where a nonresident can harvest two bull caribou per year – 9D, 10 (Adak Island), 24A, 25A, 25B, 25D, and 26C. The two bull units typically do not have great access due to the lack of licensed transporters available in the area.

Alaska Caribou Draw & Season Dates

Alaska also offers five different drawonly permits available to non-residents this year. These hunts are listed in the table and are found in units 7, 14, 15, and 20. Hunters drawing these permits should be prepared to hire an outfitter or transporter for their hunt.

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Self Guided DIY Alaska Caribou Hunts

Self-guided drop-off hunts continue to gain popularity, and transporters are in no shortage. Most hunters seeking this option have generally looked to the Central Arctic, Western Arctic, and Porcupine herds in the northern portion of the state. A new General Season Caribou unit table is included to help hunters judge the pressure on caribou units when planning their hunts. When selecting a licensed transporter, we recommend checking multiple references and doing as much research as possible to ensure a positive experience before heading north.


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For access to all of our research and data we've collected over the last 20+ years, then join today and access the best research tools for hunting Caribou in Alaska including 3D Maps, Draw Odds, Consultations and much more. Go on more hunts with better information!

Private Land, Semi-Guided, and Guided Caribou Hunts in Alaska

Search our database of Alaska Caribou opportunities.


Application Dates for Caribou in Alaska

Alaska’s application deadline is 5 P.M. (AKST) on December 15, 2023.

Our online/print magazine has everything in one location: Application info, draw details and odds, fees, hunter requirements, point structure, age restrictions, youth information, weapon restrictions, other tag opportunities, hunt planning and much more. If you would like access to all of our research join today!

Alaska Non-Resident Caribou Hunting Fees

2023-2024 Alaska Non-Resident Fees.
Annual Hunting License $160
Application Fee (each choice) $5
LOCKING-TAG FEES (Purchase Before Hunt)  
Caribou Tag $650
Black Bear Tag $450
Wolf Tag $60
Wolverine Tag $350


Alaska Caribou Hunting Articles from Huntin' Fool Magazine