Hunting and Trapping

Hunting on Kenai Refuge


Hunting is an important wildlife management tool that we recognize as a healthy, traditional outdoor pastime, deeply rooted in America’s heritage. Hunting can instill a unique understanding and appreciation of wildlife, their behavior, and their habitat needs. As practiced on refuges, hunting, trapping and fishing do not pose a threat to wildlife populations, and in some instances are necessary for sound wildlife management. 

With nearly 2 million acres of habitat, Kenai Refuge provides ample area for a variety of hunting opportunities for general, subsistence and special permit hunts as well as black bear baiting and trapping of several species. 

Areas on the Refuge that are closed to hunting and trapping are the areas around our Administrative, Visitor Center, educational facilities and hiking trails on Ski Hill Road and the Moose Research Center on Swan Lake Road. Discharge of firearms is not permitted within ¼ mile of all Refuge facilities, including trail heads, parking lots, cabins, campgrounds, roads, waysides and buildings. 

Skilak Wildlife Recreation Area is open only to bow and arrow and falconry hunting of small game from October 1 to March 1; and moose by special permit only. During weekends in November (includes Friday after Thanksgiving) and December, youth-only hunting of small game is allowed west of Seven Lakes Trail (shotgun and .22 rimfire only). See regulations for age and hunter education requirements. Firearms may not be discharged within ¼ mile of any trailhead, campground, road or other facility. Skilak WRA is closed to all other hunting and trapping.

Trapping is permitted under special use permit after completion of the refuge approved trapping class offered in the fall of every year. The refuge will post the date once the class is scheduled. 

Both State of Alaska and Refuge specific regulations apply, so please insure you know the rules before venturing out on your hunt. For Subsistence Hunting information, please visit USFWS Office of Subsistence Management.

For more information on regulations, maps, or other specific questions, please contact us at or call the Refuge Headquarters at (907)262-7021.