780 AM | 96.1 FM | “Yours for Western Alaska”

House Bill Suggesting Mandatory Hunting Guides for Nonresidents Met with Opposition

House Bill 211 proposes nonresident hunters be accompanied by a guide.

House Bill 211, sponsored by Kiana Democrat Dean Westlake, met opposition in an Alaska House session early Monday afternoon.

The act would require, through statute, that nonresident hunters have a hunting guide present to hunt caribou from the Western Arctic, Central Arctic, Porcupine, and Teshekpuk herds.

Westlake mentioned during the house session that passing HB 211 would put Alaska on par with regulations applied to the Canadian half of the Porcupine caribou herd.

Opposition for the regulation came from North Pole’s Tammie Wilson, Kenai’s Gary Knopp, Big Lake’s Mark Neuman, and Healy’s Dave Talerico.

Representative Wilson mentioned that they trust the Board of Game and that regulation for what Westlake proposed already exists.

“I just want to make it clear the Board of Game right now has tools it can use, even in this instance,” said Representative Wilson. “They can make a nonresident hunter apply for a drawing permit; the Board of Game can limit those number of permits and reduce the number of nonresidents in the field.”

Rep. Neuman added that trying to provide management of wildlife through statute is difficult because it’s not as flexible as regulations set by the Board of Game.

After the four opposing Representatives presented, the session was moved to the next day’s calendar, leaving the possibility for a vote on Wednesday or a future date.