Grizzly bear on Swan Lake Flats; photo credit: Jim Peaco, NPS

Alaska Cancels Early-Season Bear Hunts

To mitigate the spread of COVID-19, Alaska canceled all early-spring bear hunts.

Spring bear hunts were scheduled to start next week in Alaska. But even America’s last frontier isn’t immune to COVID-19. Alaska Fish and Game shut down both black and brown bear seasons through May 31 in an effort to curb the transmission of the virus.

The shutdown affects both resident and nonresident tag-holders. However, the hunt remains open to resident subsistence hunters that depend on spring bear meat to fill their freezers. Alaska Fish and Game plans to identify future opportunities for hunters that hold tags and have made accommodations.

According to the Kodiak Daily Mirror, the loss of the hunting season could cost the region more than $3 million.

The COVID-19 pandemic has affected several other hunting and fishing seasons in the U.S. already. Other seasons affected include Nebraska’s turkey hunt and Washington’s spring bear and turkey hunts and fishing season.

Nicole Qualtieri
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Based in Montana, Nicole Qualtieri is GearJunkie's Hunt + Fish Editor. When she's not writing or editing, she's likely hunting, fishing, or on the back of her little brown horse with a border collie named Butch Cassidy on heel in the mountains. Find her on Instagram at @nkqualtieri.

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