Moose Hunters Had a Successful Season

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Vermont moose hunters had a successful October 18–23 hunting season according to the Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department.

“A preliminary tally of results shows hunters took 297 moose with 440 hunting permits issued by lottery this year,” said Vermont Fish & Wildlife Commissioner Wayne Laroche. “That’s a 68 percent success rate, up from the 61 percent we saw the year before.

“Most importantly,” Laroche added, “Vermont’s moose population is being managed scientifically, according to a management plan developed on sound wildlife biology and input from the public. The moose population has been expanding in much of the state, while providing outdoor opportunities through hunting and wildlife watching.”

Hunting season weather was favorable during most of the six-day season according to Cedric Alexander, Vermont’s lead wildlife biologist on the moose project.

“Weather was excellent for hunting on opening morning and the rest of the season except for Tuesday, when there was a heavy rain throughout the morning,” said Alexander. “Otherwise, most days were cool and overcast, and there was little to no wind on opening weekend. Hunters in northern Vermont had tracking snow at higher elevations on Wednesday and more widespread snow on Thursday.”

The biggest moose weighed 908 pounds dressed and was shot by one of the youngest hunters, 14-year old Cassandra Hamwey of South Royalton while she was hunting with her cousin and uncle in Lemington. The antlers on Cassandra’s moose measured 63 inches wide with 19 points.

This was Vermont’s eleventh moose hunting season in modern times, the first occurring in 1993 when 30 permits were issued and 25 moose were taken by hunters. Vermont’s heaviest moose weighed 1,040 pounds and was taken in 1996 by Steve Hunn of Craftsbury while he was hunting in Brighton.

Alexander reports that 10,006 residents and 1,397 nonresidents entered Vermont’s moose permit lottery this year, one successful hunter coming from as far away as Kansas. Vermont’s moose population now numbers 4,000 to 5,000 animals with moose found almost statewide.