The Alaska Department of Fish and Game is warning local waterfowl hunters to be safe after a report of someone firing shots toward the runway at the Juneau Airport.
Area Management Biologist Ryan Scott says the hunters were allegedly not on the nearby Mendenhall Wetlands State Game Refuge.
“A couple things there,” says Scott. “One, it’s obviously not very safe to be shooting that direction. Two, during the waterfowl season, waterfowl hunters can use a shotgun to hunt ducks and geese on the refuge, but you’ve got to be on the refuge.”
Scott says the incident is under investigation. He’s not aware of any pending charges at this point.
The waterfowl hunting season stretches from mid-September to the end of the year. Since 2003, Scott says the department has required a permit to hunt on the Mendenhall refuge.
“The purpose of that permit was so that we could have some time with the hunter, explain some of the issues and concerns out there, and then provide them with the information to make sure folks make good decisions out there,” Scott says. “I would say 99.9 percent of the waterfowl hunters utilizing the refuge use very good, safe hunting practices. But it could just take a couple things and it could really reflect negatively on everybody.”
Scott says about 300 people apply for permits every year, making it one of the most popular hunts in Juneau.
- A few years ago, Juneau School District gradually started cutting the travel budget for high school activities. Then the money stopped.
- Project coordinator Katharine Heumann said the decision came after hearing criticism of the proposal from Travel Juneau and members of the community.
- Wednesday is the first day of school for about 4,700 students across Juneau.
- Eight buoy tenders and their crews from Alaska, British Columbia, and the Pacific Northwest are in Juneau this week for the annual Buoy Tender Roundup and Olympics.