Annual Moose License Lottery

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Nova Scotia hunters will have an opportunity to apply for a moose license in one of three seasons in 2004. Prospective moose hunters will see an additional, limited season added in mid- December.

"We have added a three-day winter season from Dec. 14 to 16 north of the Cape Breton Highlands National Park to provide an additional hunting opportunity," said Natural Resources Minister Richard Hurlburt. "This hunt will help with management of the moose population, which is creating nuisance and safety issues for local communities and traffic, particularly in winter."

Mr. Hurlburt said applicants interested in the new December hunt should be aware that hunting moose in northern Cape Breton under winter conditions "will be very different from the traditional fall hunt."

Detailed information on the various hunt options are available at local Department of Natural Resources offices and on the website at www.gov.ns.ca/natr/draws/moosedraw .

Hunters will have to choose a zone and a season for hunting moose. A total of 335 licenses will be available in the annual license lottery, 25 of which are allocated to the December hunt. The Department of Natural Resources went to a zone management system in 2003, introducing four zones in Victoria and Inverness counties, the only counties in the province where moose hunting is permitted.

"The new system allows more people the opportunity to hunt moose," said Mr. Hurlburt. "It also reduces the number of hunters arriving simultaneously in these areas because of the zone and season approach."

The first season begins on Monday, Sept. 27 and ends on Saturday, Oct. 2. The second season starts on Monday, Oct. 4 and ends on Saturday, Oct. 9.

In 2002, almost 13,000 people applied for one of 310 moose licences. Hunters took 254 moose, 209 bulls and 45 cows.

The phone lines for the annual moose license lottery opened early last month.