With several herds spanning the vast state of Alaska, Caribou hunting opportunities are numerous for residents and non-residents alike. Some hunts are “over the counter”,  or what we call “Registration” hunts in Alaska, and some are “Draw” or lottery hunts with entries made between November 1st and December 15th annually for $5.00 per entry. Results are usually published before the end of February.

Caribou Hunting Alaska – The Alaska Department of Fish & Game provides a great collection of information on all aspects of Caribou hunting, including open Registration hunts, Draw hunts, Youth hunts, and more. Caribou statistics across the Greatland, biology, videos on legally sizing and field dressing Caribou, and much more. Check this out as your first stop for Alaska Caribou hunting.

Alaska Resident License & Tag Fees – For most Alaska caribou hunts, an Alaska Resident needs a current hunting license ($45 in 2017) and the appropriate harvest card, registration tag, or draw tag (some hunts may include a locking tag as well). There is no cost to Alaska residents for any of these tags.

Non-Resident License & Tag Fees – For most Alaska caribou hunts, non-residents should plan for a $160 annual hunting license fee (must be purchased in advance for making a “Draw” entry in Nov/Dec as well), and a $650 caribou harvest tag fee. Nonresident hunters must buy appropriate locking-tags to hunt big game in Alaska — this tag is locked on the animal immediately after the kill and must remain there until the animal is processed or exported.

Types of Permits/Harvest Tickets for Caribou Hunting:

The ADF&G website permits page details all of the types of moose hunting permits, tags, and harvest tickets available for different types of moose hunts across Alaska. We won’t repeat that information here, other than to list the types for your general familiarity:

Available to Alaska Residents & Non-Residents alike:  General Season Harvest Tickets, Drawing Permits, Registration Permits

Available to Alaska Residents only:  Tier I/Tier II Registration Permits, Target Hunt Permits, Cultural & Subsistence Harvest Permits

Below we’ll provide a sampling of some specific resident/non-resident caribou Registration hunting opportunities in Alaska that are available and accessible, with links to the ADF&G website for details–please scroll down!

Hunt Type:  
Registration:  Resident & Non-Resident
Hunting Dates:
  Opens August 29th; BUT, Zones 1 and 3 Alaska residents: Aug. 29 – Sept. 30 Nonresidents: Aug. 29 – Sept. 20; Zones 2 and 4 Alaska residents: Aug. 10 – Sept. 30 Nonresidents: Aug. 10 – Sept. 20. Unless season is closed by Emergency Order.
Hunting Area: Huge unit spanning from the Canadian border on the east to the the Steese Hwy area north of Fairbanks.
Non-Resident Hunting Tags/License: Non-Resident Hunting License:  $160  (good for 1 year) Non-Resident Caribou Tag:  $650
Herd Stats: Pushing 45,000 Animals, read ADF&G Story: “Caribou Comeback“, indicating this herd has doubled in last 8 years.
Hunting Access:  The two main options to access this hunt are fly-out drop off by an outfitter like “40-Mile Air” out of Tok, Alaska (400 miles north of Anchorage, 100 miles east of Fairbanks), or access with ATVs off the road system of the Taylor Highway (aka Top of the World Highway) as well as the Steese Highway north of Fairbanks. Our boys took their first caribou off the Taylor Highway, making base camp in Chicken, Alaska with at one of two RV Parks with services, then traveling by ATV 20+ miles into the high country on well established trails.

General Season Caribou Hunts (Non-Draw, Harvest Ticket Hunts by Unit)
Hunt Type:  General Season Harvest Ticket, Resident & Non-Resident (depending on Unit)
Hunting Dates:
  Vary by unit.
Hunting Area: Diverse units across the State, many units are remote.
Alaska Resident/Non-Resident Hunting Tags & License: Alaska Resident Hunting License: $45 (no charge for tag). Non-Resident Hunting License:  $160  (good for 1 year) Non-Resident Caribou Tag:  $650
Hunting Access:  Many units are remote and may only be accessible from villages, or by airplane or river boat.