Minnesota 2007 Moose Season Results

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The 2007 bulls-only moose hunting season in northeastern Minnesota ended Sunday Oct. 14. Hunters registered 115 bull moose at nine registration stations scattered across Cook, Lake and St. Louis counties over the 16-day season. This compares with 159 moose (bulls and cows) harvested in northeastern Minnesota in 2006, 163 in 2005, and 149 in 2004.

In the 2007 lottery, 233 once-in-a-lifetime bull-only moose tags were issued in 30 zones, with 229 parties purchasing them. Moose hunting is limited to resident hunters in parties of two to four hunters. Hunting success was 50 percent in 2007, the first bulls-only season in Minnesota.

Party success was 59 percent in 2006 with 269 parties taking 159 moose, 59 percent in 2005 when 276 parties took 164 moose, 63 percent in 2004 when 240 parties took 151 moose, and 66 percent in 2003 when 217 parties took 144 moose. All previous seasons were either-sex hunts, where bulls, cows or calves were fair game. Typically eight out of 10 moose harvested were adult bulls.

Hunters faced wet, dreary and/or very windy field conditions over the majority of the season. Opening weekend was especially inclement, likely limiting harvest. Cool, days and nights, with significant precipitation made for challenging moose hunting conditions overall.

DNR wildlife managers collected biological samples at moose registration stations to try and assess moose health and physical condition. Hunters were provided kits to assist them in taking various muscle, tissue, and blood samples from their kills. Managers were very pleased with hunter cooperation and participation. Samples will be analyzed in the lab and results may help determine the reason for the declining trend in the northeastern Minnesota moose population.

Research biologists report that none of the 32 radio collared moose were harvested during the season. There is an on going moose mortality study in Lake and Cook counties. Collared moose are fair game. Hunters are told to ignore the collars in their search for a moose because researchers want to get a better idea of the importance of hunting as a source of mortality.

The northeastern Minnesota moose population is estimated at 6,600 animals throughout St. Louis, Lake and Cook counties. The State and Tribal harvest goal is conservatively set at 5 percent of the winter population.