Moose in Vermont
As most of you know, Vermont's moose herd is in dire shape. From brainworm to ticks, moose populations are plummeting, yet the Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department (Department) and Board still supports a 2018 moose hunt. They've proposed reduced permits, but the only obvious answer is no permits - not even one. We've heard from moose hunters (including moose hunting guides), and members of the Fish & Wildlife Board (Board), that they're concerned that if the 2018 hunt is suspended, that it'll be difficult to reinstate a moose hunt in the future. That type of paranoid thinking should not be driving wildlife management decisions, but we suspect it is.
This is from the Department's recent report to the Board:
"We remain concerned about how a warming climate may affect moose health, including the potential to lead to more severe parasite infestations, most notably winter ticks and brainworm."
Despite this concern, they're still proposing a 2018 hunt. We've asked Fish & Wildlife if they would consider requiring non-lethal injuries to moose who aren't recovered by hunters to count towards the hunter's bag limit for that season and they refused. It is clear to us that their objective is to serve hunters over public interests.
There is still a chance to let Fish & Wildlife know that you oppose the moose hunt. They are holding public hearings across the state that start at 6:30 PM. This is your time to voice your concerns. Email us to see if there are carpooling opportunities.
Fish & Wildlife Meeting Locations
Monday, March 19 Montpelier High School, 5 High School Dr., Montpelier, VT 05602
Wednesday, March 21 Windsor Welcome Center, 3 Railroad Ave., Windsor, VT 05089
Thursday, March 22 Lake Region Union High School, 317 Lake Region Rd., Orleans, VT 05860
Moose hunting was first banned in Vermont in 1896, after a combination of hunting and loss of habitat almost wiped out the once plentiful moose population. In December 1992, despite the fact that scientists estimated that there were about 1,500 moose in Vermont, Vermont Fish & Wildlife decided to pursue a moose hunt.
Between the years of 2005-2009, the Department issued close to 6,000 moose hunting permits! Now we are faced with a depleted moose population that may be beyond repair.