This is the time of year that we can go through the Trooper Dispatches and learn from other's mistakes.....or laugh at them.
The one thing that stands out this year is the number of non-resident hunters in violation of the regulations. There are not very many as compared to past years. Used to be lots of non-res with sub legal moose, but that is not the case this year - just a few documented by the troopers. Residents with sub legal moose has appeared to increase. The GMU 13 legal bull population may be hard to find next season with all the close but not quite bulls taken this year. The Nelchina caribou control program may have backfired on the bull moose population with the 4,000 additional hunters this year over prior years.
So what is important to learn:
Leave evidence of sex naturally attached. Leave a ball on rather than the peener sheath. On a cow leave the udder. Even for spots I am not required to do this I do it anyway just to keep in practice.
Know what "50 and 4" means. It does not mean 45 and 2. If you see a moose with just 2 brow tines you might want to just sit on your hands and let it walk unless you can tell it has a really wide spread.
When you walk up to your downed animal, validate your harvest tag by cutting the day and month notches right then. Make sure you signed it before leaving home. Then stick the tag back in your pocket and keep it there until you get home.
There are maps in the GMU sections of the regulations. There are better maps on the ADF&G website for units and sub units. Review them at home before heading out. Learn what a controlled use area is and where its boundaries are. Sounds like there is a great parking lot at 0.2 miles of the Coal Mine Road near Delta. Too bad it is inside the DCUA. The good news is that the restriction is only for a short time in August. Too bad you drove in and parked there during that time. Valdez Creek Mine road hammered a lot of people. Even a guide was caught somewhere in the Clearwater Creek CUA taking a bull caribou with a motorized vehicle. The people up the Valdez creek mine road using vehicles also took sub legal moose, didn't validate harvest tags, etc. Scofflaws abound this season.
Know the difference between a cow caribou and a bull. Especially if you have a bull only drawing permit. There are some really big cows out there that have nice antlers, but they are still a cow and not legal under your bull only permit.
If you are going to haul meat back home for a buddy, or have split an animal between two people with only one notching their harvest tag, make sure you have a transfer of possession form documenting that its not your meat. Print this out before you leave home and leave it in the truck just in case. I keep two in my glove box just in case. I have handed them out to folks in the past.
If you break a bunch of rules while out hunting and you have to get home by coming through a huge obvious parking lot next to the highway, don't be surprised that a Trooper may be in that parking lot at any given time doing their job by checking hunters leaving an area through an obvious choke point. They will find your sub legal sheep, sub legal moose, un validated harvest tags, etc. Enjoy your experience in the Glennallen District Court, you outlaw you.
If you are in a bull moose only area - an any bull area at that - don't be shooting cows and trying to sneak back home with the meat. Also on this subject don't tell your under 16 teenage son to shoot a cow moose unless you have a cow moose permit in your pocket for him to tag out with. "Hey Dad, remember that time back in 2012 when you were shouting 'SHOOT', 'SHOOT HIM' like that crazy cajun guy on the History channel, and then I shot a cow, and we got busted by the Troopers? Good times Dad. Good times."
Up at Toolik we know you want those antlers from your once in a lifetime caribou trophy, but you really have to salvage all the meat. Yes walking on tundra sucks, but you still need to get all the meat out.