Hunting below mean high tide definition in Prince William Sound?
We will be hunting Prince William Sound the last week of May but live in North Carolina.
I am trying to understand the land status issues, subsurface rights only, and the legality of hunting "below mean high tide" on native Indian land.
Could someone give me a quick short course?
We are planning on hunting from Valdez to Cordova region.
It's a private property thing.
Native land is private property.
So if you don't have permission to hunt it, you can't hunt it.
Some Native corporations issue trespass permits for a fee. Some say only their shareholders can hunt their land. And no, you can't just go buy shares. I'm told that there are a couple that don't even let their shareholders hunt corporation land, but I haven't researched it. I'm getting out of my zone, but I believe the largest Native corporations with landholdings in that area are Chugach and Eyak.
The bottom line here, as in North Carolina, is to learn who owns the land you're thinking about hunting, and get permission before you hunt it.
So what's the high tide line about? In Alaska, all land between the two normal tide lines--mean higher high water and mean lower low water--is public, not private. You can hunt public land, with the exception of military bases and some parks.
The notion of hunting between the tide lines is tricky. It takes an uncommon discipline not to shoot that big, beautiful animal standing one foot above the high water mark. And if you shoot an animal that runs up to the trees before expiring, you have to step onto the private property to retrieve it. So the safest policy is to buy a trespass permit (where available) or limit yourself to public land.
You also mentioned "subsurface rights only." That one's unfamiliar. Most land ownership in Alaska is surface only. The state retains rights to the subsurface estate because mineral resources belong to all Alaskans. Resource extraction companies may lease the subsurface from the state, in which case I believe you're OK to hunt above the oil field, coal seam, or gold vein, as long as there isn't a surface lease granting exclusive use to the company for use as a drill pad, mine facility, etc. Odds are, you wouldn't find loads of game right at the mine facility anyway.
I hope those thoughts help. Search the state website for the Alaska Public Lands Information Center covering the area you plan to hunt. They'll help you out with specifics.
Originally Posted by tr0ut123
I sent you a PM...