No Moose Hunt for Michigan Yet
At the May 9 Natural Resources Commission meeting in Roscommon, Wildlife Division researcher Dean Beyer presented the Moose Population Survey results. The current moose range (outside of Isle Royale) has been identified as 1,400 square miles in the Western Upper Peninsula (core range) and 1,200 sq. mi. in the Central Eastern end.
The 2013 Moose Survey (January -February) was conducted this winter, which surveyed all 29 high density plots and 14 of 28 low density plots and counted 187 moose in the Western U.P. Based on the model, this indicates that there are an estimated 451 moose (+/- 24% CI) in Western UP, up from 433 in 2010. The Eastern range is not surveyed, but it is believed that there are less than 100 moose in that area.
From 1996 to 2006, the growth rate of moose was 8-10%, however it appears that more recently this population growth has slowed to 2% growth from 2010-2013.
More significant moose declines are being seen in Minnesota likely due to the moose’s poor adaptation to warmer temperatures. Minnesota has now closed its hunting season in both of its management areas.
After the moose was named a game species in Michigan in 2010 by the Michigan Legislature, the Moose Hunting Advisory Council (created by the legislation) recommended a hunt only when annual growth was greater than or equal to 3% and that hunt be limited to the core range. Due to the slow population growth of 2%, a season is not recommended by the DNR at this time and the NRC is not implementing one.
This is Proposal G in action, folks.