New to Alaska



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  • New to Alaska

    Hello I moved from Indiana to Wasilla in August. In Indiana I was an accomplished trapper. I am looking for information on how people go about trapping in Alaska. In Indiana I would canoe rivers and streams and set my traps. Other times I would drive roads and highways looking for animal sign and then set traps within the legal roadside right of way. Are these methods practiced here in Alaska? What are the rules surrounding the vast amount of wilderness? I know these questions may seem elementary, but like I said I am new to town. Thanks for any help.

    Mike Carpenter

  • #2
    Hi Mike,

    Well first off, you'll want to check the REGS.

    Not sure if they sell just a non-res trapping license, but the non-res trapping-and-hunting license is $250.

    Here's another link for you:

    I think there is a chapter of Alaska Trappers that meets in Wasilla. Best thing is to call your local club or attend the trapping seminar above link talks about. Alaska is vast, but most areas have established traplines, especially close to urban areas. You don't want to trap another person's line. Or set traps in areas where recreational users may have loose dogs and such. Most trapping is done after freezeup when everything is frozen, though they just extended the beaver season in a lot of units.

    Ask around, maybe someone from Wasilla area can be more help.
    Good luck on the trail,
    Mark Richards


    • #3
      The Alaska Frontier Trappers Assoc. will have a meeting Oct. 3 at the Palmer library. There is also a trappers swap Oct. 21 at the Palmer fairgrounds.
      The southcentral chapter of the ATA has a meeting Oct. 10th. Call Lynn Keogh, 333-1803.
      I would suggest joining the ATA. You'll get a magazine 8 times a year, I think, which will help get you started.
      Some years you probably could trap by canoe early in the season. But freezeup will eventually stop that.
      The Alaska Fur Exchange in Anch, on tudor, buys some fur. He may know some trappers and/or places to trap.
      I can't help being a lazy, dumb, weekend warrior.......I have a JOB!
      I have less friends now!!


      • #4
        Hey Mike (MT)

        Mike, not sure if your AC had anything to do with it in your area, but FINALLY they are gonna let us take beaver for food and fur, with rifle, after breakup (and in September as well). I've been proposing this for a while now, and glad it went through. But I don't think "five per day" is wise...I don't like to take more than two beavers from a house. Wish they'd of clarified how many per house.

        Figured someone would chime in with better info on ATA and others near Wasilla. Good deal.
        Best, Mark
        Mark Richards


        • #5
          Shooting beavers

          I have eaten beaver and many occasions and trapped hundreds of them in Indiana. In Indiana it is not legal to shoot beavers. I was wondering if it is difficult to recover the animal after it is shot? I am glad to hear that the numbers of beaver warrant this extra type of season for them. I have been very pleased with how nice people are up here. My wife and I are going to be very happy living here. Thanks for the great conversation, take care.



          • #6
            Nope, it's not too hard to recover them if you are quick. You need to have a big, strong net handy and get them with the first swoop because they sink fast.


            • #7
              The only reason I knew all that stuff about meetings was cuz I had just received my first issue of the season of the ATA mag. All those meetings were posted in there. So joining ATA is well worth it.
              I, or maybe "we"(the AC out here) spent some time pushing to open trapping for beaver in this area in the fall, as we have plenty of beaver, and there are plenty of other uses for beaver besides fur. Just in case no one else caught it, and again............from the ATA mag...........49er feeds in North Pole is buying beaver carcasses.......20 bucks per.
              Our AC didn't have any input into proposals for trapping in other areas, Mark. But I'm glad you got what you wanted. There are plenty of places in this state where opportunities for beaver should be expanded. Our AC didn't want any limits in this area. Some people don't just want to manage beaver in certain spots.............they want them removed completely. I'm more in favor of as large of harvests as possible and letting each trapper manage, or not manage, as he sees fit.
              I disagree with Kusko. Some sink, some float, some get wounded and go crazy, and some swim to the bottom and crawl into a hole or under a stick and die underwater. I like the idea of the net tho...........wonder why I never thought of that.
              I can't help being a lazy, dumb, weekend warrior.......I have a JOB!
              I have less friends now!!


              • #8
                MT is right, some do float, but they will eventually sink if you give them time. I have shot a pile of beavers, most of them in swift rivers and if you don't get on them right away, the current will push them downstream fast and they will sink. We have had them crawl in holes too......but that is why you only shoot them in the head. Body shots on the beach usually results in a lost beaver.

                Not only do we use the net, but we carry a long pole with a gaft hook on the end. If they sink in still water, we use the hook to grab them from the bottom and pull them in.


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