AN EXPERIMENTAL MOOSE HUNT ON HECLA ISLAND, MANITOBA
Evidence suggesting that the moose herd on Hecla Island, located in Lake Winnipeg, has surpassed the carrying capacity of the Island resulted in the implementation of a controlled moose hunt in the fall of 1978. Two seasons were held, an early fall season limited to 150 bow hunters and a winter season restricted to 100 hunters. All licenses were obtained via a draw. Bow hunters harvested 3 bull moose while rifle hunters took 37 moose (18 bulls, 15 cows and 4 calves). The lungs, heart, liver, kidneys, female reproductive tract, stomach sample, jaw, front leg bone and blood samples were obtained from most animals. A summary of the analysis of the biological material collected is reported. An economic analysis of the hunt showed that 101 rifle hunters spent a total of $9,744.78 of which $8,338.56 was injected into the local economy. 139 bow hunters spent a total of $13,910.30 of which $4,815.50 was spent in the local area. This hunt, although designed to reduce the moose population closer to the Island's present carrying capacity, did little other than remove a number comparable to the number of calves in the population in early December. A post season survey revealed 177 moose and the population is estimated to be 221.
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