After a sharp decline from 4,085 to 2,080, moose permits may increase this year. DIFW is recommending an increase to 2,500 this year. The agency’s Advisory Council must endorse the increase if it is to take effect. They will vote on this in May.
Judy Camuso, DIFW’s very capable Wildlife Division Director, told my friend Deidre Fleming of the Portland Press Herald, that this 20% increase “is very conservative.”
Essentially, less moose are being killed by ticks in northern Maine, because the moose population and density has been substantially reduced.
That’s not exactly good news, but it is what it is. Most of the increase in permits, 420, are in northern Maine in WMDs 1 – 6.
Lee Kantar, DIFW’s moose biologist, told Deirdre that the average number of ticks is down 68 percent in the study area around Moosehead Lake and down 67 percent in the study area in northern Aroostook County. Lee reported that just one collared calf of 33 in the study died in Wildlife Management District 8 around Moosehead Lake, and two of 35 collared calves died in District 2 at the northern tip of Maine.
Deirdre also reported that the proposed 2018 permit proposal includes a new measure that would allow hunters who win a permit in Wildlife Management Districts 27 or 28 in Down East Maine to use the permit in either district.