A citizens' advisory group, the Moose Hunting Advisory Council, is recommending that the state allow moose hunting in Michigan's Western Upper Peninsula. The group met last night in Marquette to hammer out details.
The council decided to move ahead, provided a management plan is developed, Indian tribes agree with the plan, and moose populations are surveyed every-other year.
Russ Mason, head of Wildlife for the state Department of Natural Resources, says the hunt will always be based on the number of animals in the Western U.P. He says benchmarks are not yet established, but rules that would keep the herd healthy and growing.
The council has decided to allow hunters to take 10 bull moose per hunt, to be held every other year, after population data is collected. The hunt would be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. The advisory council gives its recommendation to the state Natural Resources Commission. That will likely be done in September.
The issue comes up after former Governor Jennifer Granholm signed legislation last year allowing a hunt in the Western Upper Peninsula, which currently supports a population of about 433 moose.
Not everyone is happy with the move. Curtis Stone is from Howell.
"I don't think it's time yet for moose hunting because we don't have a hunting resource," says Curtis Stone from Howell. "We have a wonderful tourism resource, but until the populations increase and the rate of the growth of the herd increases, I think it's premature to be talking about hunting."
Indian Tribes affected by the hunt want a moose management plan in place before the first season is established, which might not be until 2015.
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