Seeking ‘healthy’ herd, biologists propose 20 percent increase in moose permits
After five years of declining moose permits, the state’s wildlife biologists altered course on Wednesday, proposing a plan that would increase the number of permits by 20 percent for this year at a meeting of the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife’s Advisory Council.
That increase, if approved, would bump the number of moose permits allotted from 2,080 in 2017 to 2,500 for this year. The permits will be awarded during a state-run lottery to be held in June in Skowhegan.
Lee Kantar, the state’s moose biologist, said the increase reflects a change in the framework by which state wildlife professionals will be managing big game species in the future. The state’s previous 15-year management plan ended in 2015, and for the past two years the DIF&W has sought public input while setting management goals and objectives. That new management plan is undergoing some final tinkering and editing, but a new philosophy has emerged when it comes to moose.
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