A Way of Life
Hunting and trapping are central to the Alaskan way of life. These activities symbolize the spirit of independence and self reliance that characterizes Interior Alaskans.
The changing seasons guide hunters and trappers in their pursuit of food and fur. In the fall, moose and other large game have accumulated fat reserves in preparation for the long winter. In mid-winter, furbearing animals’ coats are at their prime. For 14,000 years, hunters and trappers have pursued game in Interior Alaska, but changes in technology have affected the way today’s Alaskans carry out these activities. Most have shifted away from a semi-nomadic lifestyle, as modern conveniences such as snow-machines, bush airplanes, riverboats and roads have increased access to game animals.
As commercial and industrial activities continue to transform Interior Alaska, trappers and hunters are faced with new challenges. Changes in the economy and politics have led to higher fuel costs, new regulations, and more restrictions for this frontier way of life. A warming climate and a renewed emphasis on sustainability have altered the way Alaskans think about the management of animals and our environment.