Subsistence hunters in Unit 22D remainder will be limited to one antlered bull for the rest of the season, which closes at the end of this month. That means cow moose may not be harvested.
The Federal Subsistence Board announced that change through an Emergency Special Action on December 1. According to the Board, without the action, estimated harvest would exceed the sustainable harvest level. Chris McKee, Wildlife Division Chief at the Office of Subsistence Management of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, says:
“The moose population in that hunt area is below state management goals, and it’s been declining at a pretty significant double-digit percentage rate since 2011, so not only the Federal Subsistence Board but also the state removed the antlerless hunts as an attempt to stave off any further declines.”
McKee explains why the Board moved to prohibit harvesting female moose in the declining population:
“Typically, antlerless hunts, so hunts with a cow season, are used to reduce populations that are increasing or above what are seen as sustainable levels. Harvest of cows can exacerbate a problem if you already have a declining population.”
The request to close this month’s cow moose hunt in Unit 22D remainder came from the Bureau of Land Management, but McKee says anyone can submit a special action request to the Office of Subsistence Management, as well as proposals to change regulations.
Image at top: photo credit: Douglas Brown via Flickr / Creative Commons.