HISTORY OF MOOSE IN NEW BRUNSWICK
Archaeological evidence suggests the presence of moose in New Brunswick as early as 2500BP (before present). With the arrival of European settlers in 1604, intense exploitation for the meat and hides of moose began. For the next 270 years, moose populations waxed and waned due to the combined effects of unregulated exploitation by hunters and a changing habitat mosaic. Habitat reflected by the dynamic interaction of localized catastrophic events such as wildfire and epidemics of spruce budworm (Choristoneura fumiferana). Aggressive land clearing for settlement and logging began in the mid-1880s. Anecdotal evidence indicates that moose numbers peaked between 1910-1920. A subsequent chronic decline in harvest numbers was addressed by introducing increasingly restrictive regulations. In 1937, moose hunting was prohibited. Moose hunting was reestablished in 1960 in the form of a tightly controlled, limited-entry hunting season. The number of hunters and, hence hunting pressure, was gradually increased until 1974. Since then, 6000 hunting permits have been made available annually. Present moose harvests exceed those reported in the recent history of New Brunswick. positive rates of increase in both harvest and hunter success rates suggests moose numbers are still increasing in New Brunswick.
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