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Online petition created to curb ongoing moose hunt

Moose in Superior National Forest
Moose in Superior National Forest

An online petition has been created as an effort to end a recently-established moose hunt in northeastern Minnesota.

After a few years of its absence, a moose hunt was authorized by the Fond du Lac Band of Lake Superior Chippewa and it started over the weekend on Saturday, Sept. 24.

Robin Johnson, the founder and president of a non-profit organization known as Save Minnesota Moose, created the petition on the website change.org. She says the moose population is not stable enough for hunting seasons to be opened in 2016.

As of 11 a.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 27, the petition had collected nearly 200 supporters or signatures.

Johnson says she plans to send the petition to the Fond du Lac Tribal Council this week, and will continue to send an updated version as more signatures are collected.

Monday morning the news staff at WTIP reached a Conservation Officer with the Fond du Lac Band of Lake Superior Chippewa to discuss how many bulls were taken over the opening weekend of the hunt.  The officer said he was not authorized to give out such information and did not say how many bulls were harvested on Saturday, Sunday and through Monday morning. WTIP next attempted to reach Tribal Chairman Kevin DuPuis for comment and as of 11:00 Tuesday morning had not heard back from Tribal headquarters of the Fond du Lac Band, which is located near Cloquet.

WTIP news staff did speak with local DNR wildlife officials in Grand Marais who confirmed a large collared bull moose was killed on Pine Mountain Road. There were also other, unofficial reports of moose kills during the first three days of the hunt, according to the local DNR office.

The moose hunt goes from Sept. 24 through Dec. 31, or until 25 bull moose have been killed.

Steve Merchant is the DNR wildlife populations program manager for the state of Minnesota. He says the Fond du Lac Band will have to report all moose harvested in this year’s hunt to state officials, but the timeline to report such activity is not immediate.

The Fond du Lac Band announced on their website last week that the moose hunt will be authorized this fall. The posting said recent research found the moose herd had stabilized in recent years and is now at around 4,000 animals.

The area open to moose hunting includes portions of St. Louis County and most public lands in Lake and Cook counties, including large areas of the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness. 

The petition created by Save Minnesota Moose can be found by clicking here.

 

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