Troopers give tips for 40-mile caribou herd hunt

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FAIRBANKS, Alaska - Hunting season for the 40-Mile Caribou herd opens Sunday and wildlife troopers are encouraging hunters to know and follow the rules during the hunt.

There are four zones that can be hunted, including road access from the Steese Highway and Taylor Highway. All four zones open on Sunday but they have individual quotas that will close once that number of animals have been killed.

Zone 1, along the Steese Highway, sees hundreds of hunters each year trying to get an animal.

Sergeant Dan Valentine with the Wildlife Troopers encourages hunters to wear at least some type of orange clothing so they are visible.

He said that the main thing they want to encourage is safety knowing what you are shooting at.

"Make sure of your target, which is going to be your caribou, and what's beyond that. Each year we get complaints of people hearing ricochets near them, people shooting over the top of other people at caribou," Valentine said.

He also says hunters need to make sure they don't accidentally shoot two caribou with one shot, and that if they do to report it immediately. The first animal a hunter shoots will still be legal and they will be allowed to keep it.

Valentine also encourages hunters to keep track of when the season closes. Information about the hunt can be found by calling, (907) 267-2310 and there will be signs posted along the highway.