Regional Reports-West

Matanuska Valley

You'll have to dress warmly, but you'll wrap yourself in rabbit fur next year if you track snowshoe hares this winter in the alder and willow thickets and in the spruce trees of the Matanuska Valley between Sutton and Chickaloon. Current populations are slightly under peak numbers (snowshoes run in 7- to 10-year cycles), but hares are still plentiful in a good number of areas. Much of the region is private land, so if you are not sure about land status, ask permission. There is, however, a fair amount of public hunting land scattered throughout the valley. Nearby Chickaloon tribal land can be hunted with permission. Target areas with early growth, edges of alder stands and old agricultural areas. This portion of the Matanuska Valley is in GMU 14A northeast of Anchorage, where the snowshoe season is yearlong and the daily limit is five. A resident hunting license is $25 and a nonresident small-game-only license is $20. Contact: Alaska Department of Fish and Game (907-465-4190); Chickaloon Tribal Council (907-745-0707).