The final numbers are in from this fall's moose hunt, and with 3,000 permits issued, 2,545 hunters were successful in their quest for a moose.
That converts to an 84.8% success rate for the two-week split season. This was the first time for the split season, and the first time since 1990 moose hunters could hunt in September. The first week was September 24-29 and the second week was October 8-13.
Last season, there were 2,552 moose registered with 3,000 permits issued. This year's success rate of 84.8% is nearly identical to last year's 85.1%.
Hunters enjoyed an 84.3% success rate in the September season, and an 84.9% rate in the October season. Hunters in WMD 9, east of Moosehead Lake enjoyed the highest success rate, 98%, where 98 out of 100 hunters bagged a moose. WMD 8, the Jackman region had the highest number of moose registered, 421, and 95.6% of the hunters in WMD 8 were successful.
Hunters were least successful in WMDs 11, 13 and 18 were success averaged between 63 and 64%. WMD 11 includes the area west of East Grand Lake, WMD 13 includes southern Franklin and Somerset counties and WMD 18 includes southern Penobscot and northern Hancock counties.
This year, there were 85,275 people who applied to hunt moose in Maine. 63,266 of these applicants were residents, and 22,009 were non-residents.
State wildlife biologists staffed many of the 29 tagging stations dispersed through the state during the two-week season, gathering statistical and biological data on the moose harvested. At many stations, moose were weighed. Ages were noted on calves and yearlings, a tooth was pulled from each adult moose and antler circumference and beam width was measured on bulls. By reviewing a cross section of the tooth's root under a microscope, biologists can determine the age of the moose. That, combined with weight and antler measurements, can be instrumental in determining the relative health of a moose. Information gathered by biologists will be used in conjunction with other data to be collected. These results, along with the severity of the upcoming winter, will be instrumental in determining moose permit numbers for the 2002 season.
This new moose season kept the season length the same in areas such as Greenville, increased hunting season length Downeast where huntable acreage expanded, and looked to stabilize the moose herd in areas where there is a high frequency of moose vehicle accidents such as in the Route 11 and 201 corridors. It also spread hunters out more and reduced potential conflicts with other moose, bear and grouse hunters, anglers, and tourists.