The Vermont Fish and Wildlife Board will hold two public hearings next week to discuss the 2011 allocation of moose hunting permits.
The meetings will be held Monday, May 2, at the Brighton Town Hall, 49 Mill Street Extension, in Island Pond and Thursday, May 5 in the Spaulding High School auditorium, 155 Ayers Street, in Barre. Both hearings start at 7 p.m.
The Vermont Fish and Wildlife Department has proposed 405 moose hunting permits be issued for the regular Oct. 15-20 moose season and 50 permits for the Oct. 1-7 archery moose season. That represents a significant reduction from permits awarded in recent years, but fewer permits are needed now because management objectives have been met for moose as laid out in state’s 10-year Big Game Management Plan.
"We've had to be really proactive in reducing the number of moose on the landscape through the issuance of permits in the past few years," said Cedric Alexander, the lead biologist for Vermont’s moose management team. "In parts of the Northeast Kingdom there were simply too many moose, and we had to issue high numbers of permits to reduce the moose herd and be ecologically responsible."
Alexander said that although the era of issuing high numbers of permits is over, moose still occur in higher numbers throughout Vermont compared to a decade ago.
"Comparing biological data from 2009 to 2010 on moose in the Northeast Kingdom, we observed healthier yearling (one and one-half year old) bulls, weighing on average 17 more pounds," added Alexander. "In addition, another important health index – ovulation rates of prime-aged cow moose – increased."
"That we're issuing fewer permits in 2011 than in recent years is good news," said Alexander. "It means we are where we need to be in terms of moose management."
The 2010 Vermont Moose Harvest Report with details on last year's hunt, including the towns where moose were taken, is on Fish and Wildlife’s website. Look under "Hunting and Trapping" and then "Big Game."
Applications for moose hunting permits are available on the department's Web site www.vtfishandwildlife.com . The deadline for applying is June 3, 2011.