The Alaska Department of Fish and Game has issued an emergency order to close the Northeast Chichagof Controlled Use Area of Chichagof Island in Game Management Unit 4 to the taking of female deer this fall. The closure takes effect at 11:59 p.m. on Sept. 14 and will remain in effect for the remainder of the season through Dec. 31.
The Department states the deer population has been substantially reduced as a result of several consecutive hard winters. This closure is to allow population recovery.
Record snowfall during the winter of 2006-07 that persisted into late spring resulted in a substantial winter deer die-off. Similar winter weather occurred again the following two years, disallowing a substantive recovery in the deer population.
Staff from the Alaska Department of Fish and Game’s Division of Wildlife Conservation conducted deer mortality and condition surveys throughout much of Southeast Alaska during late winters and springs of 2007-11. These surveys indicated parts of northern Southeast, including NECCUA and adjacent islands, retained and manifested the effects from the three consecutive hard winters and the associated weather-related deer mortality. Field surveys and ongoing deer research in NECCUA continue to indicate a substantial reduction in the deer population as compared with previous years.
Those portions of Unit 4 not affected by this emergency order, and not previously closed by emergency order, will remain open. Hunters should consult the 2011-12 Alaska Hunting Regulations for descriptions of hunt areas, boundaries and season dates. Hunters with questions about deer hunting in Game Management Unit 4 can contact the Alaska Department of Fish and Game’s Sitka Area Office at 747-5449.