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Emperor Goose Hunt Opens Again After 30 Years

Three white and brown emperor geese fly in a pale sky.

Alaska resident waterfowl hunters will have the opportunity to harvest emperor geese this fall for the first time in 30 years. Subsistence harvest in eligible subsistence areas was opened earlier this year.

Federal regulations for the 2017–2018 waterfowl hunting season allow a statewide harvest of 1,000 emperor geese. Registration permits, required for the fall season, are available now for seven hunt areas; the bag limit will be one emperor goose per hunter per season.

A maritime species featuring distinctive white heads and necks and pale-gray wings and body plumage, the emperor goose is exclusive to Alaska and the Russian Far East. Conservation efforts over recent decades helped the geese recover from a low population size to a harvestable level.

In Western Alaska, hunt areas include Game Management Units 22, 23, and 18. Season dates for these units are September 1 to December 16, and the hunt quota is 125 birds. Each unit requires a unique registration permit.

Successful hunters must report their harvest of an emperor goose by phone or online within 72 hours in Western Alaska areas. All hunts will be subject to closure by emergency order to avoid exceeding area harvest quotas.

Image at top: Three emperor geese flying at the Yukon Delta Wildlife Refuge. The geese will be open for harvesting for the first time in 30 years. (Photo: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Headquarters)