THE STATUS AND MANAGEMENT OF MOOSE IN IDAHO
A review of historical accounts, field observations, harvest information, and limited aerial survey data indicate that Idaho’s moose (Alces alces shirasi) population has increased substantially over the past 150 years. The majority of this increase appears to have occurred during the last 2 decades. Hunting was allowed from 1893-98, but was prohibited from 1989 through 1945. Since 1946, hunting has been by controlled permit only. Currently, 44% of game management units offer hunting opportunity primarily for antlered animals with a limited number of antlerless permits. Annual harvest has increased 1,950% since 1946. Management philosophy is directed at providing a high-quality hunting experience with opportunity for harvesting a mature bull. Specific objectives are identified in 5-year management plans. Field observations, aerial surveys, hunter success rates, and antler measurements of harvested bulls are used to develop harvest regulations. Moose populations are expected to continue increasing in the future. Maintaining suitable habitat; mitigating for impacts from an increasing human population, timber management, road building, livestock grazing, and mining will require additional efforts in the future along with better population information.
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