Penalizing hunters for targeting female goats and creating a senior goat hunt are among the Alaska Board of Game proposals a local group will consider and develop this week.

The Upper Lynn Canal Fish and Game Advisory Committee will draft and consider proposals Friday, March 18 that were suggested by Haines and Skagway residents.

In an effort to conserve and grow area mountain goat populations, Skagway’s Adam Smith suggested a proposal that would prohibit a hunter from taking a goat for one year if they shoot a female goat, otherwise known as a nanny. The hunter would still be able to retain the meat.

“I think that having this instigated would help with folks just not trying to get the first goat before a certain (hunting) unit is shut down,” Smith said. “It’s a variable we can control. We can say no more nanny harvest. Is it still going to happen? Yeah, most likely, but can we minimize that.”

In hunting areas around Kenai, hunters are prohibited from hunting for five years if they harvest a nanny.

The Alaska Department of Fish and Game discourages shooting nannies and prohibits hunting nannies with kids. Females don’t breed until they are between four to six years old and young goats have a high death rate. Females also don’t reproduce every year. The loss of too many females could cause population decline to a level that allows little to no hunting opportunity, according to Fish and Game.

Fish and Game wildlife biologist Carl Koch told the advisory committee that such a rule could provide additional hunting opportunities if fewer females were hunted.

“If survival was consistent for other factors and hunters only targeted males, a small population could double in seven years,” Koch said. “It could provide more hunting opportunity.”

Haines resident Greg Palmieri also proposed creating a senior citizen hunt in the same area as the youth hunt in the mountains around Ripinksi and Tukgahgo.

“The parameter for that would be to allow youth to start on the fifteenth of September as usual and then seniors could join in on the fifteenth of October,” Palmieri said. “This would maybe make sure that the opportunity to take goats would be provided to those individuals as well in that particular area.”

Prior to the area being limited to youths aged 10 to 17 years old, the mountains were a “one and done” hunt, Koch said.

“You could drive out there, see a goat and run up and get it,” Koch said. “It was almost a race to get there. It was a pretty low, short season almost every year.”

The youth hunt began in 2015 and is in an area close to town that has easy access from a trail. Youths are only allowed to take a goat from the area once every four years and Koch said, because hunters have been good about only targeting males, the population has increased, along with hunting opportunities.

“Because you can take one every four years it limits the number of youths that can go up there,” Koch said. “The most permits we’ve had for a year is ten. We get four to six hunters a year. The last few years we’ve had points left over. It’s under-harvested.”

There are no senior hunts in Alaska, a possible hurdle to getting a proposal through the Board of Game, Koch said, but not insurmountable.

Board of game proposals are due by April 29. The board will meet to consider proposals in late 2022 through early 2023.