AUGUSTA — At least 1,533 moose were killed last fall in Maine for a success rate of 73 percent – up from the 2015 and 2014 hunting seasons.

The success rate was 72 percent in 2015 and 65 percent the previous year.

Six tagging stations still need to report numbers from the 2016 hunt, according to the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife. But the wildlife division director, Judy Camoso, said Wednesday the final tally shouldn’t increase by much.

From 2000 to 2010, Maine’s hunt had an average hunter success rate of 79 percent. But in recent years it’s dropped as low as 66 percent in 2012.

Because of concerns over the moose mortality caused by winter ticks, IFW reduced the number of hunting permits in 2016 by 22 percent, from 2,740 to 2,140, the lowest in 18 years. As recently as 2013, 4,085 permits were alloted.

Camuso said permit numbers for the 2017 hunt will be determined over the next three months as state biologists gauge winter severity and tick mortality statewide. The department is conducting a radio-collar moose mortality study in two areas – around Moosehead Lake and another in Aroostook County.

Maine’s moose herd is estimated to be between 60,000 and 70,000, more than any other state in the contiguous United States.

“The permits are not determined by the harvest,” Camuso said. “They are determined by the data gathered by biologists from the study, from an aerial survey and from deer-hunter sightings. That’s put into a population model to determine permit allocations.”

Deirdre Fleming can be reached at 791-6452 or at:

[email protected]

Twitter: FlemingPph


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