Alaska Fish & Wildlife News
July 2019

Making Your Hunt Count
How harvest reporting supports wildlife

By Heather Jameson
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Glassing for sheep. Photo by Mike Taras.

Information from harvest reports provide biologists and wildlife managers with valuable information to help understand if game populations are increasing, decreasing or staying the same. When harvest reports are submitted, they provide a crucial step in the management process. Hunters are the only source of information on where and when harvests happen. The process of harvest reporting demonstrates the collaborative investment and management role hunters have for Alaska’s game species and is a critical part of the process that informs management decisions of game populations.

What type of information is collected?

Information collected from harvest reports informs biologists on how many people hunted and how many animals were removed from a specific population. Annual harvest reports capture the level of use throughout the state. Tracking use and access through harvest reports gives researchers an on-the-ground view of the current status of game species and enables them to track changes over time. For example, the number of days spent hunting can indicate the strength of the population and can be used to adjust seasons or harvest limits. By knowing where people hunted, and how long they hunted, helps biologists determine which areas are used by hunters. Even if your hunt was not successful or you did not hunt at all you can provide insight for policymakers to make sure that regulations are in line with what the game populations are doing.

Why reporting your harvest efforts matters?

Harvest reports illustrate the relationship between game species and hunters. Information provided on the harvest report includes where hunters are from, which shows how different communities use different areas. As times change so do our means of transportation for accessing hunting areas. By submitting a harvest report, those changes can be tracked to help document accessibility and amount of wildlife needed for subsistence and other uses. By sharing your harvest story through harvest reporting, you are connecting your experience to the larger picture of how game species are used throughout the year and the state.

Do your part and report your harvest

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A successful hunt in the Copper River Delta. Photo by Milo Burcham

More complete information helps managers make better-informed decisions. Report your harvest so managers have good information on levels of use, and can form and plan actions to try to meet those needs. Show your care for Alaska’s game species by reporting your harvest in person, online at or by telephone at your local ADF&G area office.

Reporting your harvest

We urge you to quickly report your harvest on the appropriate form. Most general season hunts are reported on a "harvest report" postcard issued along with the "harvest ticket." Permit hunts are reported on a similar form that ADF&G issues along with the permit. In some hunts, your harvest must be reported within a day or two so wildlife managers can ensure harvest quotas are not exceeded. Recognizing the importance of this information, the Alaska Board of Game authorized ADF&G to implement penalties for those who fail to report. Penalties for failing to report include being ineligible to receive any permits the following regulatory year, and may result in being issued a citation by the Alaska Wildlife Troopers.

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Stalking caribou.Photo by Jeff Jemison.

Filing your hunt reports electronically has many advantages over reporting by mail.

  • Confirmation that we have your report! If we do not, you may not be eligible for future hunts.
  • Online reporting lists the reports you have filed and which you have not.
  • Prove you have filed your report! When you file online you will receive a certified receipt for your report by email. If there is ever a question, we will accept this receipt as proof that you filed your report.
  • Save postage money! For most hunts reported online there is no need to mail in a paper report.
  • Help reduce the cost of managing these hunts! When you file electronically, you will help save printing, postage, and labor costs.

NOTICE: Harvest Tickets and Permits are issued on a regulatory year basis, rather than a calendar year. For example, a Harvest Ticket for regulatory year 2018 is valid fromJuly 1, 2018 - June 30, 2019.

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