Subsistence Hunting

Denali National Park has two areas designated as National Preserves. Both federal subsistence and State of Alaska hunting and trapping are permitted in the preserves. State harvests are regulated by State game laws passed by the Alaska Board of Game. Federal subsistence harvests are regulated by federal regulations passed by the Federal Subsistence Board.

Often there are federal subsistence hunts and state hunts occurring simultaneously in the preserves. In those cases, you may not add harvests from the federal hunt and state hunt to increase your total harvest limit. Regardless of the type of hunt you participate in, an Alaska hunting license is always required, unless you are under the age of 16. Wildlife harvest tickets or wildlife tags are generally required for the harvest of all large mammals.

To be eligible to hunt in the preserves under federal subsistence regulations, you must be a local rural resident. Local rural residents include Denali’s subsistence resident zone communities of Cantwell, Lake Minchumina, Telida and Nikolai, as well as other neighboring communities and areas near the park and preserve. In addition to being a local rural resident, the community or area where you live must also have a positive customary and traditional use determination for that area, and the species you intend to hunt or trap. The Federal Subsistence Board makes these determinations, which are published in the Federal Subsistence Regulations along with the seasons and harvest limits for the wildlife species.

ANILCA provides a preference for local rural residents over other consumptive users should a shortage of subsistence resources occur and allocation of harvest becomes necessary. This is particularly important for National Parks where state hunting and trapping is allowed. When the harvest must be limited, state hunting opportunities must be restricted first before any reduction in the harvest for federal subsistence users occurs.

“Subsistence is the very blueprint within our souls … ” —Carol Jorgensen

To hunt on Federal public lands you must:

• Be a rural Alaska resident, and

• Have a positive customary & traditional use determination for the species and wildlife management unit where you want to hunt.

To hunt in Denali National Park you must also:

• Live in a designated resident zone community (Cantwell, Minchumina, Nikolai or Telida), or

• Live within the park boundary, or

• Have a special subsistence use permit (13.44) issued by the Superintendent of Denali National Park and Preserve.

Customary and Traditional Use Determinations for Use of Fish and Wildlife Species on Park and Preserve Lands

In some locations where there are concerns about the health of a wildlife population, a federal registration permitting system may be required. This allows managers to closely track the harvest of a wildlife population. Sometimes a harvest quota is set and when the number is reached, the hunt will be closed.

The Federal Subsistence regulations list which species and what areas have established federal registration permit hunts. This information can be found in the harvest limits section of the regulation booklet. For Denali, it is moose and caribou in wildlife management unit 13E, moose in wildlife management unit 16B, and moose in wildlife management unit 19C.

When Federal registration permits are required, subsistence users are not required to have State permits, harvest tickets or tags.

Be aware that some Federal registration permits issued for hunts in Denali are also valid on Bureau of Land Management (BLM) lands to the east of the park.

Federal registration permits for hunts occurring in Denali National Park may be obtained by contacting the subsistence manager in Denali National Park.

If the regulations indicate that a State registration permit is required, you may obtain your permit from the local ADF&G office. Details about State registration permit hunts and applications can be found in the State Registration Permit Hunt Supplement which is available at hunting license vendors and ADF&G offices.

Permits, harvest tickets and tags are important tools used by wildlife managers to monitor and protect wildlife populations. Subsistence users are required to follow harvest reporting rules.

Last updated: January 21, 2016

Contact the Park

Mailing Address:

PO Box 9
Denali Park, AK 99755


(907) 683-9532
A ranger is available 9 am—4 pm daily (except on major holidays). If you get to the voicemail, please leave a message and we'll call you back as soon as we finish with the previous caller.

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