Vermont proposes 180 moose hunting permits in NEK to control winter ticks

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NEWPORT — The Vermont Fish and Wildlife Department has proposed issuing 180 moose hunting permits for the Wildlife Management Unit (WMU) which is made up mostly of Essex County. This initiative is part of an ongoing effort to reduce the impact of winter ticks on the moose population in the area.

Nick Fortin, the department’s moose project leader, highlighted the high density of moose in WMU E, which leads to a significant number of winter ticks adversely affecting moose health and survival. The department’s 2024 moose harvest recommendation aims to improve moose health in the region by reducing their numbers, subsequently decreasing the abundance of winter ticks.

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Continuous monitoring of moose health in WMU-E indicates that the population suffers from the effects of winter ticks, with low birth rates and high calf mortality in their first winter. Fortin explained that lower moose densities would support fewer winter ticks, which in turn would have a lesser impact on the moose population.

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The proposed permits include 80 either-sex moose hunting permits and 100 antlerless moose permits for the October moose seasons in WMU-E. This is anticipated to result in the harvest of approximately 94 moose, about 10 percent of WMU-E’s moose population.

The regular season runs from October 3 through October 8.

Further information on the 2024 Moose Harvest Recommendation and the moose study can be found on the Vermont Fish and Wildlife website. Public comments are being accepted until March 31 via email at [email protected], as stated by the Vermont Fish and Wildlife Department.

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