You can donate your caribou meat to the village of Kotzebue. A “whole half” minimum is required to show respect to local natives who receive the donation. This ensures a fair distribution of prime cuts and is just more respectful.
Previously, there have been disrespectful hunters who have disposed of spoiled meat in dumpsters and outside of Kotzebue, which damaged all nonresident hunters’ reputation with the local population. Keep in mind that hunting for sport is not accepted in their culture, as they view hunting as a means of procuring food, not a means of collecting trophies. The moral argument of both sides is not the focus here. What we can all agree on is that wasting or improper handling of meat is UNACCEPTABLE.
There is a common false belief that donating caribou meat in Kotzebue is not acceptable.
A board member reported that the town elders asked why hunters don’t donate their meat to the town for the elderly who can’t hunt. They were advised to read online discussions about meat donations in Kotzebue and then discuss options. The outcome was that connecting with the city and communicating your willingness to donate meat can change attitudes towards non-local hunters and the local native population. By spreading the word, this shift in perspective can benefit both groups.
It is illegal to buy, sell or barter game meat.
Unprocessed meat and other game parts may be transferred to others permanently (given as a gift) or may be transferred temporarily for the purpose of transport. However, two requirements apply:
- First, any meat you plan to give away must be in the same or better condition as meat you would keep for yourself.
- Second, you will need to fill out a “Transfer of Possession” form (see the back page of the hunting regulations book); keep a copy and give one to the recipient of the meat. You must show this statement and the meat to an ADF&G representative if asked.
It is your responsibility to make sure that game has been legally taken before you accept or transport it. If you accept game or parts of game from someone else, either permanently as a gift or temporarily in order to transport that game, it becomes your responsibility to salvage all edible meat for human consumption.