Kenai hunters required to complete moose orientation

Hunters aiming to take home some moose meat this year on the Kenai Peninsula will have to take an additional step before heading out — an online hunting orientation.

The 19-question quiz asks hunters to identify a legal moose by features of its antlers, testing them on their knowledge of the types of formations on a moose’s rack and whether they can identify a legal moose in the wild with several videos. Available on the Alaska Department of Fish and Game website, the orientation is free and is intended to make sure hunters know how to tell the difference between legal and sublegal moose.

Effective July 1, hunters in Game Management Units 7 and 15 — which together cover the majority of the Kenai Peninsula — have to finish the orientation and obtain a card certifying that they did so before they can legally harvest a moose. Once they do so, they can print it out and have it laminated at a Fish and Game office if they choose. It has to be on the hunter at all times while hunting, said Jeff Selinger, the area management biologist for the Division of Wildlife Conservation in Soldotna.

There’s another resource video on Fish and Game’s website, entitled “Is this moose legal?” that hunters can watch, which is being updated this year, he said. But it’s better to be overly cautious and lose an animal than risk the consequences of shooting a sublegal moose, which can include having to surrender equipment and the animal anyway, he said.

“The biggest thing is if you’re out in the field, and if you’re not sure … my suggestion is just don’t pull the trigger in that case,” he said. “People need to know what constitutes a legal animal in the area they’re hunting.”

The Board of Game put the requirement in place during its February 2017 meeting in Fairbanks by approving an Agenda Change Request submitted by the Central Peninsula Fish and Game Advisory Committee, a citizen group that meets to discuss issues before the Board of Fisheries and the Board of Game. The group was concerned that too many sublegal moose are being killed, particularly in the previous season.

“Hunters that take illegal moose deprive other hunters that are careful in determining whether a bull is legal from that animal in future years,” the proposal states. “When a subpopulation of moose is managed under a selective harvest program, success of the program depends on a low percentage of illegal bulls harvested.”

Last year, 57 sublegal moose were taken by hunters, or about 20 percent of the total harvest, Selinger said. In 2015, the sublegal take was about 42 animals, or 16 percent of the total harvest, according to a presentation submitted by Fish and Game staff to the Board of Game for the meeting in February. That only includes the animals surrendered to Fish and Game by hunters, though, and doesn’t take into account moose killed by cars on the roads, which is somewhere around 200 moose each year on the Kenai Peninsula, Selinger said.

Some groups were unhappy that the Kenai is the only place where this particular requirement will apply. The Homer Fish and Game Advisory Committee submitted comments to the Board of Game to that effect, saying it was inappropriate to accept the proposal out of cycle and hear it in Fairbanks, far from the affected area, and unfair to single out the Kenai. For one, all hunters are required to seal moose taken on the Kenai, which could increase the number of sublegal moose reported in this particular area while it is happening elsewhere but not being reported.

“The Kenai Peninsula is the only area of the state under a sealing requirement for moose, and due to this (it) is the only area for which data on the ‘honest accidental’ take of moose is available,” the group wrote in its public comments to the Board of Game. “Before additional onerous requirements for moose hunters are imposed on unit 7 and 15 hunters, we feel that horn sealing requirements should be instituted statewide. This regulation would shed light on whether the inability to judge moose is a local or statewide issue.”

Selinger said hunters should also remember that the moose orientation requirement also applies on Kalgin Island now, since the island was absorbed into Game Management Unit 15.

The orientation is available on Fish and Game’s website.

Reach Elizabeth Earl at

More in News

Signs direct voters at the Kenai No. 3 precinct on Tuesday, Oct. 5, 2021. (Camille Botello/Peninsula Clarion file)
Signs direct voters at the Kenai No. 3 precinct for Election Day on Tuesday, Oct. 5, 2021. (Camille Botello/Peninsula Clarion)
Local candidates report support from state PACs

Labor unions and the National Education Association are among the groups putting money into Kenai Peninsula state election races

Signs and examples on the recycling super sack at the Cook Inletkeeper Community Action Studio show which plastics are desired as part of the project in Soldotna, Alaska, on Aug. 11, 2022. Plastics from types 1, 2, 4 and 5 can be deposited.(Jake Dye/Peninsula Clarion)
Local nonprofit accepting plastics for synthetic lumber project

The super sack receptacles can be found on either side of Soldotna

This July 28, 2022, photo shows drag queen Dela Rosa performing in a mock election at Cafecito Bonito in Anchorage, Alaska, where people ranked the performances by drag performers. Several organizations are using different methods to teach Alaskans about ranked choice voting, which will be used in the upcoming special U.S. House election. (AP Photo/Mark Thiessen)
Groups get creative to help Alaska voters with ranked voting

Organizations have gotten creative in trying to help voters understand how to cast their ballot, as the mock election featuring drag performers shows

A school bus outside of Kenai Central High School advertises driver positions on Wednesday, Aug. 10, 2022, in Kenai, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
Staff shortage, gas prices change school bus routes

The changes do not apply to the district’s special education students

The cast of “Tarzan” rides the Triumvirate Theatre float during the Independence Day parade in downtown Kenai, Alaska on Monday, July 4, 2022. (Camille Botello/Peninsula Clarion)
The show goes on as Triumvirate seeks funding for new theater

The troupe has staged shows and events and is looking to debut a documentary as it raise funds for new playhouse

Aaron Surma, the executive director for National Alliance on Mental Illness Juneau and the Juneau Suicide Prevention Coalition, leads a safety plan workshop Tuesday night hosted by NAMI and the Juneau Suicide Prevention Coalition. The workshop was a collaborative brainstorming session with Juneau residents about how to create a safety plan that people can use to help someone who is experiencing a mental health or suicide crisis. (Clarise Larson / Juneau Empire)
Study shows a rise in anxiety and depression among children in Alaska

Increase may indicate growing openness to discussing mental health, according to experts

Alaska Lieutenant Governor Kevin Meyer addresses election information and misinformation during a press conference on Wednesday, Aug. 10, 2022. (Screenshot)
With a week to go, officials work to clear up election confusion

Officials provided updated ballot statistics, fielded questions from reporters and clarified misconceptions about the current election cycle

COVID-19. (Image courtesy CDC)
State reports 21 new COVID deaths; cases down from last week

20 of the reported deaths took place from May to July

A closeup of one of the marijuana plants at Greatland Ganja in Kasilof, Alaska, as seen on March 19, 2019. (Photo by Brian Mazurek/Peninsula Clarion)
Assembly streamlines process for marijuana establishment license applications

License applications will now go straight to the Kenai Peninsula Borough Assembly for consideration

Most Read