MONTPELIER—Vermont moose hunting permit applications are now available on the Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department’s website (www.vtfishandwildlife.com). Printed applications will be available from Vermont license agents in early May.
A total of 135 regular moose season permits and 25 archery moose season permits will be issued for Vermont’s 2016 October moose hunt. The regular season will be Oct. 15-20, and the archery season is Oct. 1-7. The number of permits are reduced from last year in ten Wildlife Management Units, and permits will be for bulls-only in all WMUs except B, C and E1.
Lottery applications are $10 for residents and $25 for nonresidents. The deadline to apply is June 15. Winners of the permit lottery will purchase resident hunting permits for $100 and nonresident hunting permits for $350. Hunters also will have the option to bid on five moose hunting permits in an auction to be announced later. Hunters who have received a permit within the past five years are not eligible to apply for a permit or buy a bonus point.
The 160 permits being issued represent a 40 percent decrease from the number of permits issued last year. Hunters are expected to harvest close to 70 moose.
“We recommended a reduction in permit numbers and a continuation of bulls-only permits in most of the units this year based on biological data and our population estimates, indicating moose densities remain below management goals in many areas,” said wildlife biologist Cedric Alexander, moose project leader. “The intent is to allow population growth in most of Vermont.”
“We continue to take a very conservative approach given recent regional and national trends of moose populations and health,” added Alexander. “Moose biologists from the southern tier of moose range across North America are increasingly concerned about the effects of warming temperatures on moose health. Moose can easily become stressed by warmer weather, causing them to feed less, and early spring snow melt that results in higher winter tick loads the following year.”
Alexander estimates Vermont has over 2,000 moose statewide with the greatest concentration in the Northeast Kingdom.