Outdoor Alaska: Sealing game - What is it and what has it taught us?

Published: Oct. 31, 2019 at 4:15 PM AKDT
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After a successful hunt, hunters who harvest certain animals are required to bring the animals hide and skull to the Department of Fish and Game for it to be sealed.

It's task that serves two important purposes - ensuring that the animal is a legal harvest, and providing valuable information for wildlife management.

Measurements are taken of the animals. A tooth is taken from bears and sheep have their nostril swabbed to test for diseases.

Over time, the data collected in the sealing process can give wildlife managers a better understanding of the status of the wild population.

"One of the really neat things that we are starting to see is if you remember back to the winters of 2012 and 2013, we saw record heavy snowfall in 2012 and then a very very late Spring and short growing season in 2013," ADF&G research biologists Tom Lohuis said. "Now we're starting to see animals showing restricted growth in their horn growth patterns in response to those two very difficult years."

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