(Photo provided by Kenai National Wildlife Refuge)

(Photo provided by Kenai National Wildlife Refuge)

Applications to bait refuge black bears now available

Application requests and submissions will be done via phone or email due to COVID-19

Permit applications from individuals interested in baiting black bears in the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge are now being accepted.

Black bear baiting permits are issued for exclusive 1-square mile areas within that portion of the refuge open to baiting and are issued for the harvest of only black bear over bait.

The order in which bait areas are selected will be determined via a virtual random drawing, which will be held at 10 a.m. on April 17. In order to participate in the drawing, permit applications must be received between March 1 and April 16 at 4:30 p.m.

Applicants must be available via phone when their name is drawn to select a baiting area, which will be chosen, as well as permits issued, in the order drawn. After the drawing, remaining sites will be available on a first-come, first-served basis. Applicants who cannot be reached during the drawing can pick from those remaining sites.

Requests for permit applications and submissions will be done via phone or email due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

All bait stations, regardless of whether or not they are located on the refuge, must be registered with the Alaska Department of Fish and Game. Hunters must have a valid Alaska hunting license and have completed a state-approved bear baiting clinic in order to receive a bear baiting permit for the refuge. Archers must have completed a state-approved bow hunter education course.

Questions can be directed to Todd Eskelin between 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. on weekdays at 907-398-9553.

Reach reporter Ashlyn O’Hara at ashlyn.ohara@peninsulaclarion.com.

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