Alaska Deer Hunting Season 2024 New Dates & Rules!

Big game hunting in Alaska includes Sitka black-tailed deer and Caribou. Bag and firearm restrictions differ each area. This post provides detailed information on the dates, regulations, and tips for a successful hunt here.

Alaska Deer Hunting Season

The season usually runs from early August until late December to early January. Some units may open in October.

Only hunters between the ages of 10 and 17 can participate in youth hunts in some areas. A local licensed hunter who is 21 years of age or higher must accompany young hunters during these excursions. The youth and the escorting adult must have finished a hunter instruction training, and bag restrictions during these trips.

Sitka Black-Tailed Deer

UnitSeasonBag Limit
1AAug 1 – Dec 31Four bucks
1BAug 1 – Dec 31Two bucks
1CAug 1 – Dec 31Four on Douglas, Lincoln, Shelter, and Sullivan Islands; two bucks on the remainder of Unit 1C
1DAug 1 – Dec 31No open season
2Aug 1 – Dec 31Four bucks
3Aug 1 – Dec 31Two bucks on Mitkof Island, Petersburg Management Area (bow and arrow only); one buck on the remainder of Mitkof Island, Wojewodski, Butterworth Islands; two bucks on the remainder of Unit 3
4Aug 1 – Dec 31Three on Chichagof Island east of Port Frederick and north of Tenakee Inlet; four on the remainder of Unit 4
5AAug 1 – Dec 31One buck
5BAug 1 – Dec 31No open season
6Aug 1 – Dec 31Five for residents; four for non-residents
8Aug 1 – Dec 31Three; one buck on Kodiak Island north of a line from the head of Settlers Cove to Crescent Lake (bow and arrow, crossbow or muzzleloader only); one for youth hunt

Caribou Seasons

AreaDatesGame TypeArea Hunt NoNumber of Permits
7, Kenai MtnsAug 10 – Sept 20Either SexDC00115
15B, Killey River DC60860
15C, Fox RiverDC61810
14A and 14BDC590100
 Dec 1- Mar 15
20A, Central AlaskaAug 10 – Sept 20BullRange DC827150
20B, 20E, and 25C,(Zones 1 and 3)Youth HuntersFortymileWhite Mountains

Elk Season

AreaDatesElk TypeHunt NumberPermits Qty
3, Etolin Island and smaller associated islandsSept 1 – Sept 30BullDE31825
 Oct 1 – Oct 15DE32150
 Oct 16 – Oct 31DE32350
3, Zarembo IslandOct 1 – Oct 31DE3241
8, Raspberry IslandOct 1 – Oct 12DE7026
 Oct 11 – Oct 22DE7046
 Oct 23 – Nov 30CowDE70610
8, SW Afognak IslandSept 25 – Oct 9BullDE71115
 Oct 8 – Oct 22CowDE713120
8, East Afognak IslandSept 25 – Oct 9Either SexDE72131
 Oct 8 – Oct 22DE72331
8, RemainderSept 25 – Oct 9DE71546
 Oct 8 – Oct 22DE71746


  • Drawing Permit Hunt (DM514):
    • GMU/Area: 14C, JBER Qualified Disabled Veterans.
    • Season Dates: September 1, 2024, to January 15, 2025.
    • Legal Animal: Either sex; calf moose are also legal in this hunt.

Harvesting a Deer in Alaska

  • Once it is brought to the processing facility, retain the paper harvest ticket you used to validate it, noting the month and day.
  • Even if you did not shoot or capture a deer, you must still report your catch to the ADF&G within 15 days of reaching your bag limit or the end of the season.
  • On the ADFG website , you can submit your take report and get a validation number immediately.
  • As heat is the greatest danger to the flesh, learn how to field dress your venison correctly to keep the meat cold, clean, and dry.
  • Field dress and remove the skin as rapidly as possible if you are in an isolated location without refrigeration. Consider quartering and removing the usable flesh in the field to keep it cold.
  • Put the flesh in cold water to calm it off if the temperature exceeds 60 degrees for about 30 minutes.
  • Put the meat in cloth game bags, suspend them off the ground, and cover them with a blanket to keep the weather off when travelling.
  • After suspending the meat, spray it with a citric acid and water solution to inhibit bacterial development and produce a black exterior coating that makes it challenging for flies to deposit their eggs on the meat.

Hunting License

Resident License Fees

Resident licenseFees

Nonresident License Fees

Nonresident licenseFees
Hunting (All game)160
Alien hunting630
Nonresident locking-tag fees
Caribou $850
Nonresident alien locking-tags fees
Caribou $650


  • No crossbows. Alaska’s “Bow and Arrow Only” zones allow compound bows, longbows, and recurve bows. Arrows must be 20 inches long and topped with a broadhead, and the bow must have a peak draw weight of at least 40 pounds. No spiked broad heads are allowed. The dart must weigh 300 grams. Crossbows and other weapons are prohibited.
  • Muzzleloading guns ar allowed. These guns feed powder and bullets from the barrel. The shoulder-mounted long gun must be at least.45 calibre, rifled or smooth bore, and fire a single bullet.
  • These hunts only allow muzzleloaders. Muzzleloaders cannot use smokeless powder or scopes. Archery and crossbows may be permitted with muzzleloaders.
  • Season allows modern guns, archery tools, crossbows, and muzzleloaders. Centerfire rifles, shotguns, pistols, and PCP airguns can be used. PCP air guns must be, at least.35 calibre and arrow-firing air guns must create 250 feet per second with 7/8-inch broadheads.
  • Hunting across roads or highways is illegal. Additionally, firing on drivable roads is prohibited. These laws protect hunters, non-hunters, and commuters. Shooting on streets is hazardous and should be avoided.
  • Pursuing from a moving car or boat is also illegal. Halt the motor and halt moving. Hunters can use snow tools in certain spots. It reduces wildlife disruption.
  • Any motorized vehicle—aircraft, boat, snow machine, or car—cannot stalk or herd deer. Animals should be allowed to roam openly in their native settings.
  • It is against the law for hunters to use technology for harvesting, including wireless communication to aid in wildlife capture. It is also prohibited to use cervid urine in hunting, including smell attractants.
  • Hunting safety must always come first and the legal limit is crucial. Respect your tool and know your goal and what lies beyond it. Use a tree stand or high spot safely. A safety band can avoid severe harm from falling.
  • Deer, Elk, and moose can contract CWD, an infectious illness. It causes severe weight loss, profuse salivation, tripping, and shaking in animals but not humans. CWD is found in the mainland US but not in Alaska’s free-ranging animals. Protecting animals from CWD requires diligent detection and reporting.

Alaska Deers
Alaska Deers/Photo Credit:

Hunting Penalties and Fine

The gravity and position of the violation determine the penalties. In Alaska, unjustly slaying deer can lead to fees, jail time, and loss of hunting rights. Convicted parties may also have to pay the court, legal, and other court costs. Ignorance of the rules is no reason for non-compliance. Every hunter must comprehend the local laws and call the ADF&G with any queries.

State payment$1,600
Probation1 year
Hunting privileges revoked2 years
Court costs and lawyer feesVaries


Is it expensive to hunt in Alaska?

The costs for non-residents range from $175 to $235 or more. For non-residents, several species need a licensed guide or citizen. It costs $5,000 to $28,500 to go hunting. High expenses are a result of a number of factors, including a remote location, difficult terrain, specialized transportation and equipment, license and permission fees, the need for knowledgeable guides, and expensive products and services.

Can non-residents hunt deer in Alaska?

Yes, non-residents are allowed to hunt deer, but specific regulations apply. The ADFG requires non-resident hunters, particularly non-U.S. citizens, to hunt large game with a licensed guide. Non-residents must be accompanied by an Alaska-licensed guide or a close relative to see brown/grizzly bears, Dall sheep, or mountain goats. Nonresidents pursuing with a 19-year-old resident relative in the second degree are free from the guiding requirement.

When does the deer hunting season begin in Alaska?

It typically begins in the middle of August and lasts until the end of December.

Do I need a license to hunt deer in Alaska?

Alaska requires a hunting license for deer and other games. Non-residents can buy yearly license and sport fishing licenses for 1–14 days. Disabled and under-18 hunters can hunt it without a license.

James Ellis

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