Ted Young, Gunflint Trail- With the continued decline of Minnesota's moose population, Tom Landwehr, commissioner of the state’s Department of Natural Resources (DNR) finally came to his senses and stopped the moose hunt.
Landwehr in explaining his decision to stop the hunt stated that, "It reaffirms the conservation community's need to better understand why this species of the north is disappearing from our state.”
Results of the annual aerial survey, conducted in January and released Wednesday, indicated that 2,760 moose are left in Minnesota, down from 4,230 in 2012. In 2006, the population in the northeastern corner of the state peaked at 8,840, but by then moose had already largely disappeared from the northwest corner of Minnesota, where they had long been part of the landscape.
Landwehr was quick to point out that hunting of moose had nothing to do with the decline since hunters only took fifty moose last year and they were mostly bulls.
Endless studies are underway to determine what is causing this decline of the moose herd. The DNR claims that as long as the bull to cow moose ratio remain at certain lever the hunting will not affect the long term sustainability of our moose herd. This might be true but to me this makes no sense to justify continuing the moose hunt. Last year fifty moose were killed during the hunt. But this did not change the fact that every moose that was shot was one less moose that we and our guests will see and enjoy.
I have been a hunter and I certainly have no problem with hunting as long as it is sustainable. Since the DNR admits they have no idea why the moose herd is declining so rapidly discontinuing the hunting of moose now at least will not be a contributing factor in this decline.