The Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife (MDIF&W) has announced plans to expand the territory for Maine’s annual fall moose hunt. The proposal, if approved, would permit limited moose hunts in some sections of southern and central Maine. The details look like this:

• Establish a six-day October moose-hunting season in parts of Northern Kennebec, Southern Oxford, Southern Somerset, Southern Piscataquis and Southern Penobscot Counties (Wildlife Management Districts 15, 16 and 27).

This would correspond with the October moose hunting season in other areas of western, eastern and northern Maine.

• Establish a six-day moose-hunting season in Eastern Kennebec, Hancock, Knox and Waldo Counties (Wildlife Management Districts 23 and 26) during either the last week of the muzzleloader deer-hunting season in December or during the last week of the regular firearms deer season in November.

Permits would be allocated among Wildlife Management Districts. Wildlife biologists anticipate that 100-300 permits will be issued in these five WMDs.

Good idea?

Yes, and a proposal that has been in the works since the Big Game Working Group advanced in back in July of 1999. The Big Game Group is a diverse citizen advisory panel made up of knowledgeable citizens who help MDIF&W plan and fine tune its game management policies.

In 1999, the group established planning goals for each of Maine’s Wildlife Management Districts (WMDs).

At that time, the group found that “Safety” (concerns about moose-car collisions) was the game management priority in WMDs 15,16 and 17, as well as in some other WMDs in central and southern Maine.

Expanding the fall moose hunt into these areas is in accord with Maine’s moose management strategies and is, in fact, long overdue. Although Maine should be measuring its moose numbers with greater precision than is now possible, the state has rightly adopted a conservative harvest posture when it comes to moose hunting permits in these expanded zones.

This expanded hunt can be a win-win situation.

It allows additional hunt opportunities while at the same time conceivably reducing the state’s number of moose-car collisions.

MDIF&W will be holding five public informational meetings during October. Check out their Web site, www.state.me.us/ifw, for dates and times

V. Paul Reynolds is editor of the Northwoods Sporting Journal. He is also a Maine Guide, co-host of a weekly radio program “Maine Outdoors” heard Sundays at 7 p.m. on The Voice of Maine News-Talk Network (WVOM-FM 103.9, WCME-FM 96.7) and former information officer for the Maine Dept. of Fish and Wildlife. His e-mail address is [email protected]


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