JUNEAU — Biologists with the Alaska Department of Fish and Game in Douglas announced in a press release this week an early closure to the mountain goat hunting season under the state registration permit hunt RG012, for the portion of Unit 1C from Eagle Glacier and Eagle River to Sawmill Creek.
According to the release, an aerial survey conducted on Sept. 25 in the area between Eagle Glacier and Sawmill Creek resulted in low goat counts; a total of 30 goats were observed. Surveys in the same area in 2011 resulted in 74 goats, and 60 goats in 2012. In addition to the low goat numbers, there were also few kid goats observed; 14 in 2012 and four in 2013, the release stated.
Goat numbers began declining in the area after the severe winter of 2006-07.
“Since then (the area) has had several additional winters with above average snowfall likely leading to additional mortality and the continued decline in goat numbers,” the release stated. “While goats are not isolated in these areas, historical survey data and recent GPS radio collar information suggests little movement between drainages, which causes concern for taking goats from the area given the declining numbers.”
Because of these reasons, area managers have decided closing the season in this area is needed to prevent any harvest of mountain goats.
The release stated an Emergency Order (01-06-13) was issued that closes the mountain goat season in this area at 11:59 p.m. on Monday, Sept. 30.
The remaining area of registration mountain goat hunt RG012, the area east of Sawmill Creek to Antler Lake, and all other mountain goat hunting regulations in Unit 1C remain unchanged and are not affected by this Emergency Order.