Optics Mag is reader-supported. When you buy via links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission at no cost to you. Read more.

What Can You Hunt in Alaska? 14 Common Game Species

Last Updated on

woman hunter in alaska

Alaska is well-known for its hunting experiences, and with so many game species in the state, it’s no wonder! Here, we highlighted 14 different common game species that you can hunt in The Land of the Midnight Sun.

Some of them are easy to get a tag and permit for, but for others, you’ll need to enter the lottery system and hope for the best.

scope crosshairs divider 1

The 14 Common Game Species in Alaska:

1. Deer

white tailed deer

Image Credit: Daina Krumins, Pixabay

Cost: Low
Season:  August 1 to December 31

Deer are among the most popular animals to hunt anywhere, and Alaska is no different. While it’s not as low-priced to hunt deer as it is turkeys, squirrels, or wolves, you’re not going to spend nearly as much as you would for much of the large game that you can hunt in Alaska.

Furthermore, it’s easy to get a deer tag, making it one of the most popular choices to hunt in Alaska. But keep in mind that you still need a permit to hunt deer and they have defined hunting seasons.


2. Bison

bison in the wild

Image Credit: WikiImages, Pixabay

Cost: High
Season: September 1 to March 30

Alaska is one of the few states where you can hunt bison, but good luck getting a tag. Each year, about 15,000 hunters apply for a permit, and Alaska only gives out about 100 permits. That’s about a 0.6% chance of selection.

However, if you do get a permit and head out for a hunt, there’s a good chance that you’ll get a bison. Of those hundred hunters, about 74 typically get a bison.


3. Elk

a Bull Elk

Image Credit: Harry Collins Photography, Shutterstock

Cost: Medium
Season:  August 1 to December 31

While elk hunting isn’t quite as expensive to hunt as bison, you’ll still need to apply for a permit and hope for the best. They’re extremely large compared to deer, and they’re also among the most popular hunting attractions in the state.

They also don’t have near the success rate as other types of animals when you go out to hunt, with most seasons ending with about a 25 to 30% success rate.


4. Black Bear

louisiana black bear

Image Credit: 27707, Pixabay

Cost: Medium
Season: September 1 to June 30

Of the two types of bears that you can hunt in Alaska, it’s much easier and more affordable to obtain a black bear hunting permit. Alaska typically gives out more than 1,000 permits each year, and this dramatically increases your chances of getting one.

Just keep in mind that while the permit might not be as expensive as one for a grizzly bear, it’s still about $450 for a non-resident. Once you add in a guide and all the travel expenses, it will still be a pricey trip.


5. Caribou

caribou in the meadow

Image Credit: M. Maggs, Pixabay

Cost: Medium
Season:  August 10 to December 31

With about a million caribou in the state, it’s one of the best caribou-hunting locations in the world. Each year, hunters bring down about 22,000 caribou, and that’s just for successful hunts.

If you’re looking for a unique hunt and want better odds with the lottery drawings, caribou hunting might be just what you need. However, keep in mind that it is still expensive, so ensure that you’re putting enough back to cover all the transportation and permit costs for your trip.


6. Grizzly Bear

grizzly bear

Image Credit: Jill Wellington, Pixabay

Cost: High
Season:  September 15 to December 31

Of the two types of bears that you can hunt in Alaska, the grizzly bear is undoubtedly the more expensive to hunt. Not only is the permit for a non-resident $1,000, but you’re also required to go out with a guide. That significantly adds to the cost of your trip.

You’ll still need to apply through the lottery system, but due to the higher price, there are typically fairly decent odds of getting a permit if you apply for a few years in a row.


7. Dall Sheep

a dall sheep

Image Credit: Roland Steinmann, Pixabay

Cost: High
Season:  August 10 to September 20

If you’re looking for more of an extreme challenge, Dall sheep hunting might not seem like the way to go. But due to the extreme altitudes that these sheep live at, it’s one of the most challenging hunts out there.

It’s also why you need a guide if you’re not a resident. That’s Alaskan hunting law. It’s also a costly permit to get. But if you enjoy a challenge, Dall sheep hunting might be just what you want.


8. Moose

moose resting on the field

Image Credit: David Mark, Pixabay

Cost: High
Season:  September 1 to November 30

Alaska isn’t the only state where you can hunt moose, but it’s one of the most rewarding. You get rugged terrain and massive animals, but you do need to be ready to spend a ton of cash.

Also, the odds of getting an Alaskan moose hunting permit are extremely low. Even if you do get a permit, the average success rate typically stays around 40 to 5%, making it a near 50-50 chance if you’ll get a moose when you head out.


9. Mountain Goat

a mountain goat in the wild

Image Credit: Raindom, Pixabay

Cost: High
Season:  August 1 to January 31

Hunting the Alaskan mountain goat is much like hunting a Dall sheep. While it might not seem like the most challenging animal to hunt at first glance, when you consider the extreme altitudes that these animals live at, it’s very much a challenge.

Not only do you need to purchase the $850 non-resident permit if you don’t live in Alaska, but you’re also required to go on your hunt with a guide. But if you’re hunting Alaskan mountain goats, you’re probably in it for the challenge and the adventure more than the goat meat.


10. Muskox

three muskox up close

Image Credit: David Mark, Pixabay

Cost: Very High
Season:  August 1 to March 31

If you’re trying to get a muskox hunting permit, Alaska is the only choice you have in the United States. It’s also extremely challenging to get a permit because it doesn’t give out many through its lottery system.

Also, with a $2,200 non-resident tag cost, it’s one of the most expensive animals that you can hunt in the state. However, if you are lucky enough to get a tag, the good news is that there’s a near 100% success rate.


11. Turkey

turkey in the field

Image Credit: elljay, Pixabay

Cost: Very Low
Season:  Open season

You can hunt wild turkey in many different states, but the difference is that in Alaska, you can hunt wild turkeys year-round.

That means no matter when you make it to Alaska, there’s a good chance that you can head out for a turkey hunt. Even better, compared to most other hunting licenses and permits in Alaska, a turkey hunting permit is extremely affordable.


12. Wolf

wolf in the forest

Image Credit: hansharbig, Pixabay

Cost: Very Low
Season:  August 1 to April 30

While you need a special permit to hunt wolves, it’s one of the lowest-priced tags on this list. For a non-resident, it’s just $60 for a wolf tag. However, if you’re looking for a classic hunt, wolf hunting is one of the hardest to pull off.

Most wolf hunters use traps and snares, which isn’t what many hunters have in mind when they’re thinking of heading out.


13. Waterfowl

Wild motley waterfowl on the lake

Image Credit: Frezi Gate, Shutterstock

Cost: Very Low
Season:  August 1 to May 15

Waterfowl hunting is one of the easiest and most affordable hunting permits that you can get in Alaska. Even better, you don’t have to worry about a complicated lottery system; all you need to do is purchase the right permits and head out.

However, since you can hunt waterfowl in most states, it’s not the most exciting destination hunt. In the end, it’s up to you whether a trip to Alaska is worth a waterfowl hunt.


14. Wolverine

wolverine staring

Image Credit: Andrea Bohl, Pixabay

Cost: Medium
Season:  eptember 1 to March 31

This is one of the most intriguing species that you can hunt in Alaska, but it’s often an overhyped target. Wolverines are not the extremely fierce fighters that most people believe them to be; instead, they try to avoid most encounters with larger animals.

They’re a member of the mink and weasel family, so if you’re going out to hunt them, there’s a good chance that you’re more interested in their coat than their meat.

scope crosshairs divider 2

Conclusion

With so many unique species you can hunt in Alaska, it’s no wonder that it’s one of the most popular hunting destinations in the country. Just know that while it’s a popular choice, it also comes with plenty of unique challenges due to its uneven terrain and cold climate.

Know what you’re getting into and how much you’ll need to spend before you purchase your permit!


Featured Image Credit: Scharfsinn, Shutterstock

About the Author Robert Sparks

Robert’s obsession with all things optical started early in life, when his optician father would bring home prototypes for Robert to play with. Nowadays, Robert is dedicated to helping others find the right optics for their needs. His hobbies include astronomy, astrophysics, and model building. Originally from Newark, NJ, he resides in Santa Fe, New Mexico, where the nighttime skies are filled with glittering stars.

Robert Sparks Profile Picture