Moose hunt climbs to third highest on record
Rich Lowell / Submitted Photo
Kent McCollum poses for a picture with his trophy outside the Fish & Game office.
This year’s moose hunt is the third highest harvest on record with a total of 85 animals taken from the region.
The highest record was in 2009 with 108 moose being harvested and the second was in 2011 with 88 moose taken.
Rich Lowell, Area Wildlife Biologist for Alaska Department of Fish and Game, said the majority of moose are taken during the first two weeks of the hunt, which was the case this year as well. Forty-six moose were taken during the first half of the hunt while 39 were taken during the second.
“We’re killing more moose in this hunt now than we ever have and it seems to be growing,” Lowell said in reference to 2009’s liberalized antler restrictions that allowed the harvest of bulls with two brow tines on both antlers.
Animals with that antler configuration make up nearly half of the total harvest. Those regulations were part of a selective harvest strategy.
“It turns out the average age for a bull with two brow tines on both sides is five and a half years old, which is the age that we wanted to start harvesting,” Lowell said. “It looks like we’ve been able to maintain the harvest of two-by-two bulls since we implemented in 2009.”
Forty percent of moose harvested this year were animals with such brow tines.
Beyond the liberalized antler regulations, Lowell attributes greater calf survival to the
moderate winters during the past several years. He also said the region is becoming more popular across Southeast Alaska and more hunters are coming to the area. Lowell said ADFG will know for sure once it analyzes hunt report data.
Kupreanof Island led in this fall’s numbers with a total of 36 moose harvested—17 of which came from the Kake area.
Eight moose harvested this fall were illegal.
Moose Harvest Results
Kupreanof Island: 19
Stikine River: 22
Thomas Bay: 8
Mitkof Island: 7
Farragut Bay: 4
Wrangell Island: 2
Zarembo Island: 2
Port Houghton: 1
Etolin Island: 1
Kuiu Island: 1
Total Moose 85 (8 illegal)
Kupreanof Island: 6
Stikine River: 18
Thomas Bay: 4
Mitkof Island: 4
Wrangell Island: 1
Zarembo Island: 1
Port Houghton: 2
Kuiu Island: 1
Total Moose: 68 (6 illegal)