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Thread: Bow certification

  1. #1
    Moderator LuJon's Avatar
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    Default Bow certification

    I'm trying to figure out if my kids can archery hunt small game without a bow certification

    Regs say you need it for "hunting"

    Adfg website says you need it for hunting big game



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    Moderator Daveinthebush's Avatar
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    Big game only. It says it twice in the posting.
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    Way I read the langauge, if there is a small game hunt restricted to archery only, the certification is needed for that small game hunt, but only for that limited-weapon small game hunt.

    Don't know if there are any such small game hunts, but with F&G regulations, I tend to err on the side of caution.
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    Moderator LuJon's Avatar
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    My kids are all born after 1986 and I cant find a spot in the regs where it specifically says a card is required when "hunting big game". The website does say that but the actual 2017 regulations just says if you are born after 1986 you must carry the card "when hunting".

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    Moderator LuJon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Daveinthebush View Post
    Big game only. It says it twice in the posting.
    I might be going crazy but I can't find that in the regs. Doesn't mean it isn't there, I just can't find it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by LuJon View Post
    I might be going crazy but I can't find that in the regs. Doesn't mean it isn't there, I just can't find it.

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    The phrase "big game" is in both of your screenshots. Seems like the lads might need the IBEP for ptarmigan and hares in the haul road corridor since it's weapons restricted, but not in your backyard. I can't find anything specific about it in the regs either. Disclaimer: I don't know anything for sure anymore.
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    Moderator Daveinthebush's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SkinnyD View Post
    The phrase "big game" is in both of your screenshots. Seems like the lads might need the IBEP for ptarmigan and hares in the haul road corridor since it's weapons restricted, but not in your backyard. I can't find anything specific about it in the regs either. Disclaimer: I don't know anything for sure anymore.
    Skinny sounds right. I forgot about the Haul Road. There may be other "youth" only hunting areas but I am not familiar with them.
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    Moderator LuJon's Avatar
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    The first pic is from the regs.

    I don't think it's the intent of the regulation but I am reading it as everyone needs an IBEP on weapons restricted big game hunts. So me as an uncertified born before 86 hunter I can hunt small game in the corridor but not big game. I can also hunt big game in non weapons restricted hunts.

    As a separate paragraph clarifying rules for those born after 1986 it simply says they must be certified and carry proof when hunting. Then it goes on to repeat that all hunters must have an IBEP for archery only hunts.


    The second picture is of the basic ADFG bow hunting info on their website, NOT the regulations. It is very clear that the weapons certification requirement only applies to hunting big game. If this same phrasing was in the regs I wouldn't be confused at all.




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    Moderator Daveinthebush's Avatar
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    Turn to about page 4 or so and read the disclaimer too: (Basically paraphrasing) This is a partial collection of some of the regulations that have been shortened and interpreted for your use. If you want to read the whole thing, go to F&G.
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    Being archery certified is only required if participating in archery only hunts such as hunting caribou along the haul road, hunting for bears and moose in Eklutna, or hunting moose on Fort Rich. If you want to hunt during any gun season with a bow (for big game or small game), you are allowed to hunt with a bow under the same guidelines as a legal gun hunter.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bushwhack Jack View Post
    Being archery certified is only required if participating in archery only hunts such as hunting caribou along the haul road, hunting for bears and moose in Eklutna, or hunting moose on Fort Rich. If you want to hunt during any gun season with a bow (for big game or small game), you are allowed to hunt with a bow under the same guidelines as a legal gun hunter.
    They changed the regs so that people born after Jan 1 1986 must be certified even during general hunts.

    I actually did spend a good bit of time on the state statute page trying to find the codified regulations with out much luck.


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    All that said is generally true...but the one thing you should consider IMHO is that this training/testing is very simple. If you are unable to pass the certification test you should question your abilities. Like anything, you get better with practice. If you ever Draw a JBER tag, you have to re qualify each year at the military course. Take the class and prove to yourself you have the minimal skill set is my motto :-) But that's just my opinion!
    "...and then Jack chopped down the beanstock, adding murder and ecological vandalism to the theft, enticement and vandalism charges already mentioned, but he got away with it and lived happily ever after without so much as a guilty twinge about what he had done. Which proves that you can be excused just about anything if you're a hero, because no one asks the inconvenient questions." Terry Pratchett's The Hogfather

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    Moderator LuJon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Roger45 View Post
    All that said is generally true...but the one thing you should consider IMHO is that this training/testing is very simple. If you are unable to pass the certification test you should question your abilities. Like anything, you get better with practice. If you ever Draw a JBER tag, you have to re qualify each year at the military course. Take the class and prove to yourself you have the minimal skill set is my motto :-) But that's just my opinion!
    I'm not worried about my ability to pass the test. Really my 13 and 14yo boys are both shooting north of 50lb draw and are plenty capable of passing it as well. This question is specifically about kids hunting small game and if the certification is required for that.

    My 10yo with his 25lb draw shoots great to 10 yds but he won't pass a shooting test out to 30. He wouldn't take a shot out past 10 yards but he is plenty ready to hunt small game in close. My 2 older boys and I will be taking the certification test over the next couple months but I was wanting to take them hare hunting before it warms up much further and there isn't a class for several more weeks.


    My middle son with the new bow he saved up for Hoyt Power Max

    My youngest with his birthday bow Mission CrazeII

    My first ever archery harvest.




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    Quote Originally Posted by LuJon View Post
    I'm not worried about my ability to pass the test. Really my 13 and 14yo boys are both shooting north of 50lb draw and are plenty capable of passing it as well. This question is specifically about kids hunting small game and if the certification is required for that.

    My 10yo with his 25lb draw shoots great to 10 yds but he won't pass a shooting test out to 30. He wouldn't take a shot out past 10 yards but he is plenty ready to hunt small game in close. My 2 older boys and I will be taking the certification test over the next couple months but I was wanting to take them hare hunting before it warms up much further and there isn't a class for several more weeks.


    My middle son with the new bow he saved up for Hoyt Power Max

    My youngest with his birthday bow Mission CrazeII

    My first ever archery harvest.




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    Interesting. This must be a new regulation. I didn't see it spelled out anywhere in the changes to the regs this year. If this is true and you need to have bow certification for small game, I wonder what the legal draw weight will be for small game. For Big Game I believe it is listed as 45 lbs. for black bear, caribou, and sheep, and 50 lbs. for moose, brown bear and goat. Or something like that. If your son is only shooting 25 lbs. then he could not qualify for big game at all.

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    Moderator Daveinthebush's Avatar
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    Maybe this will help from the Hunter Education page. "In 2014, the board passed a regulation requiring all big-game hunters (resident and nonresident) using archery equipment to have successfully completed a department-approved bowhunter education certification course, effective July 1, 2016. That regulation was since refined at the board's statewide meeting in March 2016 by adding an exemption for older, presumably experienced, archery hunters. The new regulation states "a person born on or after January 1, 1986, using a longbow, recurve bow, or compound bow to hunt big game must have successfully completed a department-approved bowhunter education course." That exemption does not apply to participants in archery-only hunts. In archery-only hunts, all bowhunters must have successfully completed a department-approved bowhunter education course to participate. "

    "All students must provide their own archery equipment. It is recommended that the student use the bow they intend to hunt with during the proficiency shoot. There is no minimum bow weight required to take the proficiency shoot, however, students must be knowledgeable about the current minimum draw weight requirements to hunt Class I & II big game in Alaska."
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    I'm curious on the answer as well. My 7 yo wants to hunt hate on the haul road this year. He definitely can't pass the test.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Daveinthebush View Post
    Maybe this will help from the Hunter Education page. "In 2014, the board passed a regulation requiring all big-game hunters (resident and nonresident) using archery equipment to have successfully completed a department-approved bowhunter education certification course, effective July 1, 2016. That regulation was since refined at the board's statewide meeting in March 2016 by adding an exemption for older, presumably experienced, archery hunters. The new regulation states "a person born on or after January 1, 1986, using a longbow, recurve bow, or compound bow to hunt big game must have successfully completed a department-approved bowhunter education course." That exemption does not apply to participants in archery-only hunts. In archery-only hunts, all bowhunters must have successfully completed a department-approved bowhunter education course to participate. "

    "All students must provide their own archery equipment. It is recommended that the student use the bow they intend to hunt with during the proficiency shoot. There is no minimum bow weight required to take the proficiency shoot, however, students must be knowledgeable about the current minimum draw weight requirements to hunt Class I & II big game in Alaska."
    Well that completely answers the question. Thanks Daveinthebush. So that settles it. If you were born after 1986 you have to take the test to bowhunt period. If before 1986, you have to take the test to hunt in archery only areas. Minimum draw weights only apply for big game animals. Small game does not require a minimum bow weight.

    Translation: If you are a millennial and you have to use your fingers to communicate via a texting electronic device, then you must take the test no matter what. But if you want to hunt big game you have to not only exercise your fingers, but your arms also to be able to pull back a bow. For small game, the only requirement is to be able to aim and see what you are looking at.

  18. #18
    Moderator LuJon's Avatar
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    Default Bow certification

    After some more digging I found the current text for 5AAC Chapter 92 on the state legislatures page @ www.legis.state.ak.us/basis/aac.asp#5.92.003

    The often used touchNgo site appears to be private and not up to date


    The specific code is 5 AAC 92.003 subsection K

    "(k) A person born on or after January 1, 1986 that is using a longbow, recurve bow, or compound bow to hunt big game must have successfully completed a department-approved bowhunter education course. "










    Below is a cut and paste of 5 AAC 92.003 in its entirety (valid at the time of posting)

    5 AAC 92.003. Hunter education and orientation requirements
    (a) Beginning August 1, 2002, a person born after January 1, 1986 that is
    (1) required to have a hunting license must have successfully completed a certified hunter education course in order to hunt in Units 7, 13, 14, 15, and 20;
    (2) not required to have a hunting license, and who has not successfully completed a certified hunter education course, must, in order to hunt in Units 7, 13, 14, 15, and 20, be under the direct immediate supervision of a licensed hunter who
    (A) is 16 years of age or older and has successfully completed a certified hunter education course; or
    (B) was born on or before January 1, 1986.
    (b) Notwithstanding (a) of this section, a resident hunter who is 10 through 17 years of age at the start of the hunt, and has successfully completed a certified hunter education course, is allowed to hunt on behalf of a permit holder who is at least 16 years of age, under the direct immediate supervision of that permit holder, who is responsible for ensuring that all legal requirements are met.
    (c) A nonresident hunter in Unit 17(B) must have attended a department-approved hunter orientation course (to include trophy recognition and meat care) before hunting for moose or must be accompanied by a registered guide or resident family member within the second degree of kindred.
    (d) A nonresident hunter in Unit 19(B) must have attended a department-approved hunter orientation course (to include trophy recognition and meat care) before hunting for moose or caribou or must be accompanied by a registered guide or resident family member within the second degree of kindred.
    (e) A muzzleloader hunter in a restricted-weapons hunt must have successfully completed a department-approved muzzleloader hunter education course that includes ballistic limitations of muzzleloading weapons and a proficiency test.
    (f) A shotgun hunter in a restricted-weapons hunt for big game must have successfully completed a department-approved hunter education course.
    (g) A person may not take a bear over bait in Unit 7 and Units 14 - 16 with a bow and arrow unless the person has successfully completed a department-approved bowhunter education course.
    (h) In Unit 23, a pilot may not transport parts of big game with an aircraft without having, in actual possession, the pilot's certificate of successful completion of a department-approved education course regarding big game hunting and meat transportation in the unit. The provisions of this section do not apply to the transportation of parts of big game between state maintained airports.
    (i) Before a person hunts sheep within the Red Sheep and Cane Creek drainages within the Arctic Village Sheep Management Area of Unit 25(A), that person must possess proof of completion of a department-approved hunter ethics and orientation course, including land status and trespass information.
    (j) A hunter 10 through 17 years of age participating in a youth hunt must have successfully completed a department-approved basic hunter education course.
    (k) A person born on or after January 1, 1986 that is using a longbow, recurve bow, or compound bow to hunt big game must have successfully completed a department-approved bowhunter education course.
    (l) Beginning July 1, 2018, a hunter using a crossbow must have successfully completed a department-approved crossbow hunter certification course.


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  19. #19
    Moderator LuJon's Avatar
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    In short the actual law on the books specifies that bow hunter certification is only applicable to big game hunting.


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    Quote Originally Posted by LuJon View Post
    In short the actual law on the books specifies that bow hunter certification is only applicable to big game hunting.


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    Awesome!! Thank you for this. You just made my 7yo happy that he can still shoot hare on the haul road

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