Fall moose hunt opens in two Dillingham-area game units

A bull moose. (Photo by Mike Taras/ADF&G)

It’s a promising fall season for moose hunters. That’s according to Neil Barten, area wildlife management biologist for the Alaska Department of Fish and Game in Dillingham.

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“They’re really healthy animals, very large, a lot of fat on them,” Barten said. “And then when you look at the productivity, the pregnancy rates are really high. The twinning rates are really high. And the first age of reproduction is at two-year-old moose in a lot of cases. That means the moose are really doing well on the landscape out there, and the habitat conditions are providing  good nutrition for them.”

This year has seen lower calf survival rates due to predation, likely by bears. In general, the population in 17B and 17C has declined slightly but remained relatively stable. That’s not the case for 17A.

“Going west, the moose population has been increasing fairly steadily for 20-some years,” Barten said. In 17A we’re far above our population objectives, meaning we believe we have too many moose on the habitat to where they may overutilize the resource. So, we want to take more moose.”

The season for 17A was extended by five days at a Board of Game meeting in February. Fish and Game also implemented a fall antlerless season, which runs from August 25 through September 25, and which would allow someone in 17A to harvest a cow moose this fall.

In 17B and C, RM583 permits for bull moose hunting will be issued through August 31. Permits must be turned in within five days of harvest, and all hunters must turn in harvest reports at the end of the season regardless of whether or not they hunted. The hunt ends September 15 for GMUs 17B and C. It ends September 25 for 17A.