Moose Hunting Permits Increased

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The number of moose hunting permits will increase this year according to a regulation proposed by the Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department in order to better manage Vermont's growing moose population.

In portions of the state, moose are causing extensive environmental damage by their heavy consumption of plants, including young trees that would become Vermont's future forest. The most severe damage is occurring in Northeast Kingdom forestlands where there are more than three moose per square mile.

Wildlife biologists are prescribing that 1,045 moose hunting permits be issued for the October 2005 hunting season, an increase of 195 permits over the number authorized in 2004.

Wildlife Management Unit D-2 in the Northeast Kingdom would receive 140 of the additional permits to ensure that the moose population declines within two to three years in accordance with Vermonts Moose Management Plan. This is the section of the state with the greatest amount of forest and wildlife habitat damage by browsing moose.

WPU-P would receive 30 permits, up from 15 in 2004. Smaller increases of 5 to 10 permits would be issued for each of six other WMUs (C,G, H1, L, M1 and O1). These increases in permits are prescribed in order to maintain controlled population growth.

Biologists estimate the moose population at about 4,700 statewide.

The statewide moose hunting season would be October 15-20, with an antlerless moose season in Wildlife Management Units D2 and E to be held October 22-27.

Lottery applications for Vermont moose hunting permits are available at license agents throughout the state and 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 (www.vtfishandwildlife.com). Permits are issued by lottery to residents and nonresidents.

Lottery applications are $10 for residents and $25 for nonresidents. Winners of the permit lottery will purchase resident permits for $100 and nonresident permits for $350.

Hunters will also have the opportunity to bid on one of five permits being auctioned off to the highest bidders.

Hunters took 539 moose in Vermont's 2004 hunting season with a statewide average success rate of 65 percent. If the Fish and Wildlife Board approves the proposed number of permits, hunters are expected to take about 670 moose this year.