Skip to comments.Lots of moose on the loose might bring hunt to southern Maine
Posted on 06/17/2004 4:47:59 PM PDT by sarcasm
There was no outcry a week ago to bring the state's moose hunt to southern Maine after four moose-vehicle collisions occurred in one night, but a southern Maine hunt is on the state's docket.
A week before the moose lottery issued 2,895 permits Wednesday in Presque Isle, moose collisions occurred in Biddeford, Saco, Falmouth and Cumberland.
The 24th annual modern moose hunt will be held in northern, western and eastern Maine this fall, with 929 hunters in the woods from Sept. 27 to Oct. 2 and 1,966 hunters from Oct. 11 to Oct. 16.
Maine moose study leader Karen Morris said while a spate of moose-vehicle accidents is noteworthy, it will not determine whether there is a hunt in Maine's southern counties. Rather, the accident total in a year will indicate whether the southern Maine moose population needs to be thinned, Morris said.
The annual total of moose-automobile accidents in York and Cumberland counties rose to 132 in 1998 from 45 in 1992. That number dropped the past five years, but it remains above the 1992 total.
Mark Stadler, the state's wildlife division director, said the Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife does not have the time to seek public input on a southern moose hunt.
The bear-baiting referendum, the coyote-snaring debate and Canada lynx listings have kept department officials too busy to seek public input on a southern expansion of the hunt, Stadler said.
But, he said, the subject is inevitable and, depending on how the moose population increases or how many road accidents occur, possibly imminent.
A public group that provided feedback on big-game hunts in 1999 told the department that viewing moose should be tempered with road safety.
It also suggested the department start a dialogue and implement a moose hunt in southern Maine, Stadler said.
Joe Murphy, a hunting guide from Scarborough, can envision such a hunt, although Murphy said it would look vastly different from the hunt in northern Maine.
"I'm uncertain whether or not I think it is something people would accept at this point," said Murphy. "But I think in the future if the population increases, there will be pressure to have that hunt in southern Maine."
A moose hunt in southern Maine would be a novelty but not so strange, Murphy said.
Big-game hunters already stalk bear, deer and turkey in southern Maine, as well as small game such as rabbits, grouse and ducks.
And while many think of the coast when they think of southern Maine, Murphy said hunters would have to pursue moose in the southwestern corner of the state, in wooded places such as Limington, Shapleigh and Arundel.
He also said the lack of towns, the open woods and the fact there are more moose in northern Maine would result in a different moose hunt in southern Maine.
The success rate in western, northern and eastern Maine has been above 90 percent in recent years, but Murphy said it would be far lower in southern Maine. He said with fewer moose clashing with more people and cars in southern Maine, it's possible only 50 permits would be needed.
"If somebody shoots a moose out in a field in Limerick and drags a dead moose across a field, cars would be stopping," Murphy said. "There could be all kinds of concern. It's not a real hunting zone, but it's harvesting the animal.
"At some point in time, it will become a serious problem."
Stadler said culling the population, while only one solution, is not a panacea. However, he said as urban sprawl continues, a hunt in southern Maine will be a necessary step in reducing the number of road accidents.
"It's logical to assume if the moose population is increasing and if human development and road development and traffic volumes are increasing, the chances of colliding with wildlife, be it moose or bear, is increasing," Stadler said.
Stadler said a southern Maine moose hunt would only follow a fair amount of public involvement.
OMG! I have to take a shower now...
A moose wandered down our path as we watched first from the upstairs and then down. It paused to nuzzle my USAF flag which hangs half staff, then investigated the flower garden before going next door( our props are about 12 acres of wet woodland).
Watch out for Moose limbs! They are known to shi'ite in the woods!
Moose on the Loose: Cheese and Sisters Hardest Hit
Keep them away from Wisconsin...it's cheese season here...the alfalfa is up...and the butter fat content will be high high high...
Like honey to a bee ..cheese to a moose
Gotta watch out for dem meeses.
I hope it didn't bite your sister!!!!! ;-)
Moose Head Cheese
by Frank Dufresne
?? I don't have a sister. You,my AFGal and all others like you are my sisters. Are you coming to Maine? How's the wedding?
No need for firearms - just need a good supply of moose traps and cheese. ;~)