WILD GAME ANIMALS (Historic Information)


All persons going into Alaska and Yukon with the intention of shooting wild game of any kind—from the moose to the migratory bird—are cautioned to secure copies of and acquaint themselves with the game laws of the various regions in these territories.

Top: Fairbanks. Middle: Fairbanks Public School Bottom: Church, Immaculate Conception, Fairbanks

Moose. This is the largest member of the deer family in the world. Moose are generally distributed throughout the timbered region except in the southeastern coast region. During August to October they inhabit the draws and valleys, the latter part of August being the mating season.

From December 1st to 25th they migrate to the willow and lake districts. The bull separates from the cows about the end of January, taking to the hills and rougher country.

The cows remain in the lake and willow country until May when the birth of the calves takes place.

Caribou inhabit the treeless and semi-treeless parts of Alaska including the bare mountain ridges of the interior and the open rolling tundras of the coast from the Arctic to the Pacific side of the Alaska Peninsula, where the so-called rein-deer. moss, on which they largely feed, is most abundant.

They scatter widely in summer and in the fall collect in large herds, but at all times roam widely. The great herds in the fall of the year perform a more or less regular movement in the nature of a migration, and within certain limits their course of travel and times of arrival at given points are well known.

Mountain sheep of Alaska are practically pure white, somewhat smaller, and with more slender horns than the big horn or Rocky Mountain sheep. They prefer the higher altitudes and are usually most abundant about the main divides and the higher or more central peaks.

Large numbers live on the Kenai Peninsula, the Endicott Mountains, where they range from coast to coast, and on the summits adjacent to Mount McKinley.

Mountain goat. This bold climber is confined in its range to the mountains of the Southeast Archipelago and the adjacent mainland, and the high coastal peaks, as far west as the western shores of Prince William Sound, or in other words, those regions not inhabited by the mountain sheep.

Strictly speaking, it is not a goat at all, having many peculiarities common to the antelope, and finds its nearest relation among the chamois of Europe and some little known Asiatic forms.

Deer. Only in the southeastern coast region are deer abundant, and in that district only one species, a small variety of the Blacktail, averaging not more than 100 pounds in weight. It ranges farther north than any other American deer, and fromsea level to timber line.


Alaska has no rival in respect to the number and variety of bears; no less than thirteen varieties being recognizad by scientists. They belong, however, to only four general types — brown, grizzly, black, and polar.

Bears generally speaking are omnivorous feeders. In berry time they largely subsist on berries, but according to season or locality they eat salmon, shellfish, kelp, and seaweed, squirrel, mice, roots, etc. The grizzlies however are very destructive and live on caribou and moose.

Brown. These are the most numerous and are more nearly related to those of the old world than to the other American species. Huge in size and larger than any others except the polar bear, they command a reputation for ferocity equal to that of the grizzlies.

Angular Gold -Bearing Gravels on Grass Gulch

The brown is found on Kodiak Island, Alaska Peninsula, in the Yakutat region, and on Baranof and Admiralty Islands. They appear to have attained their maximum size on the mainland and Kodiak Island and are more commonly known as the Kodiak.

Glacier. The glacier bear belongs to the family of grizzlies, is known as "Blue," is not shy, and is found all through the Alaska Range.

Grizzly. The grizzly bears are generally distributed through the Kenai Peninsula and adjacent regions, but most abundant in the Endicott Range on the north, and the Nusotin and Mount McKinley ranges in Central Alaska. They spend the summers chiefly above arid near the timber line and roam largely.

Black. These are fairly common all through Alaska. They are shy.

Polar. These huge fellows are the largest of all and not found south of the Arctic Circle.

Walrus. The walrus is now found occasionally south of the Arctic Circle. Those which formerly herded on Bristol Bay have been practically exterminated.

Fur Farming. Fur farming in Alaska gives promise of becoming an important industry. Efforts along this line have usually been limited to fox propagation, but reports have been received of attempts to raise marten, mink and other animals. Records are very incomplete in regard to fur-farming operations in Alaska.

The Department of Commerce has leased the following named islands off the coast of Alaska for fur-farming operations: Chirikof, Little Koniuji, Middleton, Pearl and Simeonof.

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