BROCCOLI AND MOOSE, NOT ALWAYS BEST SERVED TOGETHER: IMPLEMENTING A CONTROLLED MOOSE HUNT IN MAINE

Lee E. Kantar

Abstract


In eastern Aroostook County, Maine abundant populations of moose (Alces alces) within an agricultural-woodland setting negatively impact cole crops and incur a high rate of moose-vehicle collisions. Despite increases in antlerless hunting permits and relatively high hunter success rates, the recreational hunting framework was not effective in reducing these negative impacts, and hunter behavior had strained landowner relations and reduced access. Continuing landowner relation problems and loss of access were counterproductive to the effective distribution of hunters and reducing moose abundance. In 2009 a controlled moose hunt was implemented to reduce immediate impacts on cole crops by moose, affect short-term population reduction, and facilitate cooperation and communication among stakeholders. This paper describes the rationale and framework for implementation of the controlled moose hunt, use of a co-managerial approach, and how the hunt addressed moose management goals and objectives. Development and application of this controlled moose hunt in Maine provides managers with another critical tool to affect population trajectory and address tangible social issues associated with moose populations above social carrying capacity.

Keywords


hunting, harvest strategies, moose, agriculture, population management, stakeholder participation

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