Ever wondered how Maine’s moose hunt has changed over the years? Here are some of the major milestones that have shaped the state’s herd.
— 1830: First restriction placed on moose harvest, creation of a four-month season with no bag limit.
— 1936: Moose season closed indefinitely.
— 1979: Moose hunting season re-established, a six-day season with permittee and subpermittee hunting together.
— 1980: First modern season for moose is held; 700 permits allocated by the Legislature and issued to resident hunters only; success rate was extremely high and in a localized area, which concerned Mainers.
— 1981: No permits issued. A law was passed to set the number of permits to 1,000 for an annual hunt in one moose-hunting zone located north of the Canadian Pacific Railway.
— 1998: Legislature increased maximum number of moose permits to 2,000.
— 1999: Antlerless-only permits created; Legislature changes maximum number of permits to 3,000.
— 2001: The Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife experiments with forward-looking infrared camera to estimate moose population.
— 2005: The wildlife department collaborates with Unity College to count winter ticks on hunter-harvested moose at biological check stations during the October moose season.
— 2014: The wildlife department initiates a five-year survival study to determine cause-specific mortality of moose in Wildlife Management District 8, in the western Maine mountains. The study is part of a collaborative effort with New Hampshire and Vermont to assess the impacts of winter ticks, and potentially other issues for moose in the Northeast.
Source: Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife