I've been planning a 15 day float trip for moose this year. Eventually I'd be passing through an area open for a registration caribou hunt. I've always wondered if the registration hunt closed, but as an unaware hunter you take an animal after the closure, what would happen?
I got on the phone with Fish and Game and asked this question. They told me the biologists account for hunters taking game unaware of the closure due to the lack of the ability to communicate from the field. They also said as long as you enter the field on a day that the hunt is open, but take an animal after the hunt has closed & you had no way of being aware of the closure, there would be no repercussions.
Not too sure about this, days later I contacted the Anchorage State Troopers office and asked this same question. The public safety officer told me this is a question suited for Fish and Game. I then told her that the Troopers are the ones that write the tickets, so I'd like to speak with them on this issue. She then connected me to the Fairbanks Troopers office and I got in touch with a Wildlife Trooper.
Trooper "so & so" educated on me on how the troopers handle these situations. He told me they regularly seize people's animals, hunting gear, and vehicles for offenses such as these. I'm sure the more extreme seizures are due to harsh crimes committed but the fact is, once the season is closed, the season is closed and taking an animal out of season is an offense and there will be punishments. Basically, it's the hunters responsibility to be aware of any closures. So basically a SAT phone would be a necessity.
A little perturbed about this situation and wishy wash information I've received, I decide to call Fish and Game back. I speak with a new individual. They give me their take on this situation. According to this individual, apparently, the troopers are extremely lenient in situations where hunters are in remote locations and are unable to be informed an EO (emergency order) has been issued and the hunt has been closed, yet take an animal after the closure. Also, if you're in remote locations and an EO has been issued, the troopers will fly their helicopters or planes, either land or drop notes to hunters in remote locations. Only in rare occasions have punishments been issued to those that are practicing good hunting ethics but are unaware of the closure and take an animal. I then decide to let this AF&G worker know what the Troopers have said about this and EVERYONE needs to get on the same page. They were somewhat baffled by what I had told them.
Moral of the story, do your homework. If I hadn't contacted the troopers and gone off what the first AF&G worker told me, heck even listened to the public safety officer (that works with the troopers), a HUGE mistake could have been made and the repercussions could have been extensive. Also, I'm pretty sure AF&G & the ASTs need to get on the same page with this.