Preliminary Moose Harvest Figures

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Preliminary figures from the New Brunswick Department of Natural Resources for the 2005 moose hunt show a 16 per cent increase in the number of moose bagged over last year. These figures are in line with what biologists were expecting.

There were 2,084 moose registered this year, compared with 1,794 last year. The average for the past five years is 2,015.

Dwayne Sabine is big game wildlife biologist with the department, and explained the increase in the number of animals taken was largely due to the 495 extra tags available in the draw.

"The fact that we drew more tags means more hunters were out there," he said. "The weather was fine throughout the season, which kept greater numbers of hunters in the woods for longer periods."

The number of moose harvested might have been higher had this year's hunt coincided with the peak of moose breeding season. Warmer weather also tends to cause bulls to be less responsive to calls.

Biologists will spend the next several weeks compiling the data to determine the number of hunters there were, the length of time they hunted, in which zones the animals were harvested and the age and sex of the animals before final figures are released.