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Alaska Propose Duck Hunting this Fall in the Tanana Lakes Recreation Area

Submitted by:  Backcountry Press Outdoor News 
Posted on: 06/04/18
News # -11474

Disclaimer:  The views expressed on this site are that of the authors and not necessarily that of TBC Press
“If you need a guy that knows about guns and knows about shooting waterfowl and decide you want him on this commission, the mayor’s still got my application. I’d be happy to help,” he said. 

The borough Parks and Recreation Department and the advisory commission spent much of the winter and spring re-evaluating whether waterfowl hunting should be permitted in the park. 

Last year, in response to safety concerns brought up by the parks director, the commission recommended prohibiting shotgun shooting outside the park’s gun range, in effect banning waterfowl hunting in the park.

Waterfowl hunters objected to the commission taking the vote without consulting with them. Hunters were among the volunteers who helped clean up the 750-acre park before it opened in 2014.

Last summer, Kassel asked the commission to revisit the issue. He also reopened the park to waterfowl hunting for the 2017 season with a few additional restrictions.

As it looked to the 2018 hunting season, the commission ultimately went with recommendations that are similar to Kassel’s 2017 rules.

Under the proposed rules, hunters will again be able to shoot shotguns in the park during the waterfowl season, which starts Sept. 1. By federal regulations, waterfowl hunting can only take place from 30 minutes before sunrise to sunset. Additional borough rules will prohibit shooting within 300 feet of park structures such as the picnic pavilion and will prohibit shooting from trails, across trails or down trails.  

The commissioners discussed but ended up voting down unanimously a proposal to prohibit building duck blinds in the park. The commission also rejected a restriction Kassel included in 2017 that prohibited the use of shotguns larger than 12 gauge. 

Image courtesy of ILDNR

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Duck hunting would be allowed this fall in the Tanana Lakes Recreation Area under recommendations made by the Alaska Parks and Recreation Commission.

According to a press release, the advisory committee voted earlier this month to again allow people to fire shotguns in the popular park at the end of South Cushman Street provided that they’re following state and federal waterfowl hunting rules and a few additional borough restrictions that are similar to those used for the 2017 season.

To go into effect for the 2018 hunting season, the recommendations would have to be approved by Fairbanks North Star Borough Mayor Karl Kassel, who hasn’t yet reviewed the recommendations because he’s been out of the office. 
The new rules came to the relief of a small group of waterfowl hunters who have been bird-dogging the commission meetings all winter and had been concerned the borough would ban duck hunting in the park or make major restrictions to hunting hours or locations. 

“Ladies and gentlemen. I’ve got one thing to say to you. Thank you very much,” said duck hunter Bob Coleman after the commission voted on its recommendations last week.

Coleman argued Tanana Lakes is an especially important place for Fairbanks duck hunters because its wetlands habitat is easily accessible from town. He attended commission meetings this winter and applied to join the group. 

Alaska Propose Duck Hunting this Fall in the Tanana Lakes Recreation Area