While Maine’s Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife increased moose permits by 385 this year, applications declined.
DIF&W’s moose biologist Lee Kantar told legislators a few months ago that he is confident Maine now has 75,000 moose. And although he opposed legislative bills calling for significant increases in permits this year, Lee nudged up the number of permits, allocating 4,110 for 2013, the most in the 32 year history of the state’s modern moose hunt.
Yet, surprisingly, interest in the hunt is on the decline.
A total of 52,604 applications were received for moose permits this year, a 3 percent decline over 2012. Nonresident applicants declined most steeply, by 4 percent, dropping to 14,040. Applications from residents totaled 38,564, a 3 percent decline from the previous year.
This is, of course, a far cry from the 94,532 applications received in 1994.
We may have a lot more moose than we thought, but we’re doing nothing with that information to grow the lottery, hunt, and economy.