How Subsistence Hunting Works

Subsistence Hunting Locations

­There ar­e subsistence hunting locations all over the world - it's a way of life in many poorer countries - but in the United States, subsistence hunters are basically limited to Alaska. And there are a few limitations within Alaska as to where subsistence hunters may go for food.

Most federally managed public lands in Alaska can be used for subsistence hunting. These include 34 "conservation system units," which include national parks, national forests, national wildlife refuges, national reserves, national conservation areas, national recreation lands, and national wild and scenic rivers [source: Subsistence Management Information]. There are a few places, however, where even subsistence hunters aren't allowed to snare a kill. Subsistence hunting is prohibited in Glacier Bay National Park, Kenai Fjords National Park, most of Katmai National Park and the pre-1980 section of Denali National Park.

In addition, after a 1992 state court decision that expanded eligibility for subsistence hunters, the Board of Fisheries and the Board of Game stepped up and took action to make sure resources weren't overly depleted. They reviewed areas that they believed to be "nonrural." Such areas were established communities in which subsistence hunting was not a necessity. These areas were around Fairbanks, Anchorage-Mat-Su-Kenai, Juneau and Ketchikan. Later, the boards added the area around Valdez to the list [source: Subsistence Management Information].

Although more people are now eligible for subsistence hunting, there are still regulations and rules -- and they vary depending on whether you're on a state-managed subsistence area or a federally managed one. Read on to find out the particular regulations of subsistence hunting.