Marine Mammals Management
Alaska Region


Polar Bear

Harvest Monitoring

Harvest monitoring has been conducted in Alaska since 1980. Harvest monitoring involves recording the number, age, and sex of polar bears taken for subsistence purposes in Alaska, as well as the location they were taken.Skinning a Bear


From 1980-2002, the average number of polar bears recorded in the harvest has been 103.5, including 65 % from the Chukchi/Bering seas population, and 35% from the southern Beaufort Sea population.

During 2002/2003, 58 polar bears were harvested: 38 males, 11 females, and 9 bears of unknown sex. Polar bears were harvested in every month except July and December. Hunters in western Alaska, from Point Lay to St Lawrence Island, typically harvest bears after December. This is probably a result of bears being less available for hunting until later when the southward advance of pack ice moves into this area. The sex ratio of known-sex bears harvested during 2002/2003 was 77% males and 23% females.

Last updated: September 10, 2008