Kotzebue Alaska – Plan Ahead


First view of Kotzebue as you arrive for your Alaska caribou hunting adventure.

Kotzebue Alaska – Plan Ahead

The key to your Alaska hunting experience is in the planning and preparation. Define what you want to harvest and do enough research to identify the best locales and time periods to hunt the species you seek. Invest in good, reliable equipment and know how to use it before you come to Alaska. Alaska is not the place to break-in new equipment or experiment with new techniques. Practice at home ensures more success in the field. Hunting in Alaska is both physically and mentally challenging. Be in shape and ready to experience tough weather, traverse difficult terrain, and endure periods of isolation.

Kotzebue, Alaska is a small village by most standards. It has 3200 residents, the majority are native Inupiak people. Kotzebue is located approximately 30 miles north of the Arctic Circle – and where you’ll be hunting is even further North! It’s the land of the Midnight Sun and the most beautiful Northern Lights you’ll ever see!

Kotzebue is also the largest village in the Northwest Arctic Borough, almost half the people in the borough live in Kotzebue.
In Alaska, a Borough is roughly the equivalent of a county in the lower 48 states, except much bigger. The Northwest Arctic Borough is about the size of the state of Indiana.

Kotzebue is remote

Unlike the rest of the country, roads are scarce in Alaska. In fact, you can’t drive to Kotzebue – it is only accessable by sea and by air. Everything in Kotzebue is either locally produced, grown, hunted, or fished. Or, it’s brought in by plane or barge.

Check and double check your gear list – before you get here

For an out of town visitor, Kotzebue’s remoteness means you won’t find superstores with packed shelves. You probably won’t have the luxury of picking up something you forgot to pack.

Of course, the reason Alaska caribou hunting and Alaska moose hunting is so great up here, is there aren’t a lot of people to scare them away. And that’s why you’re coming here, right?

A note about alcohol in Kotzebue and Northwest Alaska

Like many Native American communities around the country, alcohol is regulated. Kotzebue is a “damp” Community – meaning you can have it in moderation, but you must apply for a permit through the City of Kotzebue and purchase up to the daily limit amount at the City run store.

There are strict laws about transporting as little as a bottle of spirits. Check the Kotzebue links page for more details.

We have some interesting Kotzebue links here, including a map and list of business you will find. We do have a local gun shop and lodging if you need it.