Question: Are “Red Dot” style scopes legal to use to take Big Game in Alaska?


This question has come up many times throughout the years. I have received several requests to answer this question on the forum.

5 AAC 92.080(7) states the following methods of taking game are prohibited:

(7) with the aid of a pit, fire, artificial light, laser sight, electronically enhanced night vision scope, radio communication, cellular or satellite telephone, artificial salt lick, explosive, expanding gas arrow, bomb, smoke, chemical ( excluding sent lures) or a conventional steel trap with an inside jaw spread over nine inches…

So what does this mean? Each of these individual methods above represents a method of taking game that is not allowed. The three methods listed above that deal with “red dot” style scopes are; artificial light, laser sight and electronically enhanced night vision scope.

The Board of Game specifically addressed “aim point” or “red dot” style scopes several years ago when they added laser sight and electronically enhanced night vision scopes. The board discussed that these types of scopes did not fall into the category of “artificial light”. The board concluded that in the future if aim point scopes were found to give an unfair advantage or were detrimental to the game populations, the board would address them specifically as they did laser sights and night vision. The laser sight projects a laser light down range onto the target. This type of sight is clearly prohibited. The night vision scope enhances existing light to make a dark target visible. This is also clearly prohibited. The “aim point” scope is neither of these. The “aim point” scope projects an aim point back onto the shooters eye and projects nothing downrange.

So the answer is that “red dot” or “illuminated reticule” style scopes, battery operated or not, are currently legal in Alaska as long as the scope does not project a light forward. The reason for this is contained in 5 AAC 92.075 which specifies that big game may be taken by any method unless it is prohibited in 5AAC 92.080 or 5 AAC 92.085 or other regulations.

I am not able to answer all questions posed on this forum. I have limited time available and some questions are not answerable in this setting. Please be patient, I will try to answer the questions that we get asked the most or are the most important. If you need a question answered soon, please contact any office of the Alaska Wildlife Troopers. We will be glad to help answer your questions. Thanks for the support.

Alaska Wildlife Troopers