Last Call for Moose Hunting Applications

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If you want to take a chance on a Vermont moose hunting permit, be sure to get your application postmarked no later than June 1.

Chances of winning in Vermont's moose permit lottery are higher this year with the number of permits almost doubled.

Wildlife biologists prescribed an increase of moose hunting permits from 440 in 2003 to 850 in 2004 to help stabilize the growing moose population in the Northeast Kingdom and slow it down in the rest of the state. Biologists estimate the moose population at nearly 2,000 in Essex County and about 4,700 statewide.

Biologists say that in the most heavily browsed areas, much of the understory of young trees has been destroyed or severely damaged by moose.

The ability of some trees to regenerate a new forest is being compromised, said wildlife biologist Cedric Alexander, and many other species of wildlife are being negatively affected due to habitat destruction.

Ground-nesting birds, snowshoe hare, endangered spruce grouse and other small wildlife have less shelter from predators due to the heavy browsing by moose.

Applications for Vermont moose hunting permits are available from the Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department, 103 South Main Street, Waterbury, VT 05671-0501. Call them at 802-241-3700 or contact them by email (fwinformation@anr.state.vt.us) or download a copy of the application from (http://www.vtfishandwildlife.com/MooseApplication.pdf). Permits are issued by lottery to residents and nonresidents.

Completed moose lottery applications at $10 for residents and $25 for nonresidents must be postmarked no later than June 1, or delivered by 4:30 p.m. on June 1 to the Vermont Fish & Wildlife office in Waterbury.

Vermont's moose hunting season is October 16 - 21 this year.