A total of 135 regular firearms moose season permits and 25 archery moose season permits would be issued for Vermont’s 2016 October moose hunt under a proposed regulation approved by the Vermont Fish and Wildlife Board at its Feb. 24 monthly meeting in Montpelier.
The board voted on a proposal by the Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department to allocate permits in 16 of the state’s 21 Wildlife Management Units (WMUs). The proposed permit numbers must be voted on at one more board meeting in April.
The number of permits would be reduced in 10 WMUs from the 2015 number, and permits would be for bulls-only in all WMUs except B, C and E1 units. The 160 permits proposed by the department represent a 40 percent decrease from the number of permits approved last year.
Under the proposal, hunters are expected to kill about 70 moose.
“We recommended a reduction in permit numbers and a continuation of bulls-only permits in most of the units this year based on biological data we collected on Vermont’s moose, and our population estimates indicating moose densities remain below management goals in many areas,” said biologist Cedric Alexander, Vermont’s moose project leader. “The intent of the proposal to allow slow population growth in most of Vermont.”
Alexander estimates Vermont has 2,050 moose statewide with the greatest concentration in the Northeast Kingdom.
“We continue to take a very conservative approach given recent regional and national trends of moose populations and health,” added Alexander. “Moose biologists from the southern tier of moose range across North America are increasingly concerned about the effects of warming temperatures on moose health. Moose can easily become stressed by warmer weather causing them to feed less and early spring snow melt that results in higher winter tick loads the following year.”
Vermont’s archery-only moose season is scheduled for Oct. 1-7. The regular moose season is Oct. 15-20.
Moose hunting permit lottery applications, $10 for residents and $25 for nonresidents, will be available on Vermont Fish & Wildlife’s website (www.vtfishandwildlife.com) in early-April.
Two lotteries will be held, one for the regular hunting season and one for the archery season. Winners of either lottery must purchase resident hunting permits for $100 or nonresident hunting permits for $350. Hunters also will have the option to bid on five moose hunting permits in an auction to be announced later.
You can review the proposed 2016 moose hunt by going to the Fish & Wildlife website (www.vtfishandwildlife.com). Comments on the proposal can be sent to ANR.FWPublicComment@Vermont.Gov.
Three Fish and Wildlife Board public hearings also are being held to provide an opportunity for comment on the proposed moose season. The hearings will be held from 6:30 to 9:00 p.m. at the following locations:
Sunday, March 20, 1-5 p.m. Kehoe Conservation Camp, 636 Point of Pines Rd., Castleton, VT 05735
Saturday, March 26, 1-5 pm, Montpelier High School, 5 High School Drive, Montpelier, VT 05602
Wednesday, March 23, 6:30-8:30 p.m. at Lake Region Union High School, 317 Lake Region Rd., Orleans, VT 05860.
From Deer & Deer Hunting Magazine, the 2016 Whitetails Wall Calendar features the work of deer researchers Wayne Laroche and Charlie Alsheimer, who reveal the 2016 whitetail rut prediction, based on years of lunar cycle research. Utilize this deer moon phase calendar to find out which days the deer will be seeking and chasing so you can time the rut for the best time to hunt.