Published on Wednesday, 30 November -0001 00:00
The 2008 bulls-only moose hunting season in northeastern Minnesota ended on Sunday, Oct. 19, with hunters registering 111 bull moose at 11 registration stations scattered across Cook, Lake and St. Louis counties over the 16-day season. This compares with 115 bull moose harvested in northeastern Minnesota in 2007, which was the state's first bulls-only season ever. This year's lottery included 239 once-in-a-lifetime bull-only moose tags issued in 30 zones to 237 hunting parties. Moose hunting is limited to resident hunters in parties of two to four hunters. Hunting success was 47 percent in 2008, compared with 50 percent in 2007. Hunters experienced good overall moose hunting and field conditions over the majority of the season. Opening week weather featured seasonably warm days and cool nights. It rained during the second weekend which likely limited the harvest. Normal fall weather returned for the remainder of the season, with typically cool days and nights. Testing/monitoring DNR and Fond du Lac wildlife managers collected biological samples (brain, lymph node and tissue) from state and tribal hunters at moose registration stations in Ely, Finland, Duluth, Two Harbors and Grand Marais to try and assess moose health and physical condition for the second consecutive year.
Hunting parties were provided kits to assist them in taking various muscle, tissue, and blood samples from their kills. Managers were very pleased with hunter cooperation and participation. Samples will be analyzed in the lab and results may help determine the declining trend in the northeastern Minnesota moose population. Research biologists report that one of the 53 radio?collared moose, eight of which are legal bull moose, were harvested during the season. As part of the on?going moose mortality study in Lake and Cook counties, hunters are told to ignore the collars in their search for a moose because researchers want to get a better idea of the importance of hunting as a source of mortality. The northeastern Minnesota moose population is estimated at 7,600 animals throughout St. Louis, Lake and Cook counties. The state's harvest goal is conservatively set at 5 percent of the winter population.