Unit 23 Pilot Orientation

Regulation (5 AAC 92.003)

In Game Management Unit (GMU) 23, a pilot may not transport parts of big game with an aircraft without having, in actual possession, a certificate of successful completion of a department-approved education course regarding big game hunting and meat transportation in this Unit. However, this provision does not apply to the transportation of parts of big game between state-maintained airports.

Purpose of This Requirement

As noted in the Unit 23 Hunter Orientation, fall caribou hunting in GMU 23 has been contentious since the early 1980s. The Board received numerous proposals to expand or add new controlled use areas to further prohibit the use of aircraft associated with hunting activities. The GMU 23 Working Group proposed this pilot orientation requirement as an alternative to increased restrictions on non-local hunters. With your cooperation, this program will succeed. If conflicts are not reduced, more restrictive regulations may be required.

The Unit 23 Pilot Orientation and Quiz were designed to minimize user conflicts among local subsistence hunters, visiting hunters, guides and transporters. The purpose of these materials is to minimize the disturbance that aircraft may impose on the landscape, wildlife, and local people. Educating pilots who are either hunting or transporting hunters about ethics for operating aircraft, establishing camps, and hunting game animals is an important step in decreasing conflicts in GMU 23. This orientation deals only with the use of airplanes in off-airfield operations conducted for the purpose of hunting big game animals. It does not address Federal Aviation Administration requirements regarding flight operations.

Pilots who are not transporting big game are not required to obtain certification. However, pilots and anyone else visiting GMU 23 for any outdoor activity are encouraged to complete this orientation. The information we provide here ensures people are knowledgeable about customary practices in GMU 23 and are familiar with ways to minimize user conflicts.

What Do I Have to Do?

The law requires every pilot transporting big game by aircraft outside of state-maintained airports in GMU 23 pass the quiz found on this website with a score of 90% or higher. Once you pass, you will be able to download and print a certificate from a computer. You must sign and date this certificate. The certificate of completion must be on your person when transporting big game by aircraft in GMU 23. Once you have passed the quiz, you will not be asked to take it again. The certification will not expire.


This regulation will be enforced by Alaska Wildlife Troopers and by Federal law enforcement officers. Hunting on federal lands requires hunters to have all necessary licenses and tags required by the State of Alaska. NANA/Purcell security officers enforce trespassing and land use permit requirements on NANA and Borough lands.

Enforcement staff members routinely check licenses, tags, salvage of meat, antlers, cleanliness of camps, land use permits for commercial operators, and trespassing. They can also issue citations for harassment of wildlife or interfering with other hunts.