2001 Moose Harvest Results
State and tribal hunters harvested a total of 186 moose in northeastern Minnesota during the 2001 fall season. State licensed hunters killed 125 moose. Fond du Lac Band licensed hunters killed 38 moose, and 1854 Authority licensed hunters (Grand Portage and Bois Forte Bands) killed 23 moose.
Moose hunting in Minnesota is limited to residents only, by permit. Beginning with the 1991 season, moose hunting has been a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity in Minnesota.
This year 3,164 parties applied for the 182 available state permits. Since 1989, tribal hunters have also harvested moose in the 1854 Ceded Territory of northeastern Minnesota as part of a negotiated settlement for the 1854 Treaty. In the 2001 season, the Fond du Lac Band issued 65 permits and the 1854 Authority issued 44 permits.
In this year's hunt, the vast majority of hunters harvested bulls. State licensed hunters killed 108 bulls and 17 cows, for a party success rate of 69 percent. The ratio of bulls to cows harvested was almost 6.4 to 1, and was the highest ever recorded for northeastern Minnesota.
The average size of bull moose taken in 2001 was also larger. The average antler spread of 42.5 inches was more than 2.5 inches wider than the five-year average. Two moose were measured with antlers 61 inches in width. In the previous five hunting seasons, only three moose were taken with antlers measuring 60 inches or more in width. The higher bull harvest and larger average size are attributed primarily to the fact that the state moose hunting season was closed in 2000, likely leaving more mature bulls available to hunters this past fall.
Historically, moose hunting was allowed in Minnesota until the season was closed in 1921 because of low moose numbers. It was not reopened until 1971, when seasons began to be held in alternate years. In 1994, Minnesota shifted to annual moose seasons.