The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources will release results of its annual moose survey late this morning, the DNR announced today. The plight of Minnesota’s moose has been well-documented. The population of the iconic species has declined from an estimated 8,800 in 2006 to 4,230 in 2012, according to the DNR.
Biologists with the DNR and the 1854 Treaty Authority fly over the moose range by helicopter each January, counting bulls, cows and calves.
Minnesota’s modern moose hunting season began in 1971. Out of concern for the declining population, the hunt became a bulls-only hunt in 2007. The DNR has reduced the number of permits available for the hunt in recent years. Last year, 45 bulls were taken by state-licensed hunters.
Some Minnesota residents have called for an end to moose hunting. Sue Prom, owner of a canoe outfitting business at the tip of the Gunflint Trail north of Grand Marais, started an online petition Jan. 28 calling for an end to moose hunting.