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Moose hunt returns to northeastern Minnesota in 2017

More than 40 bull moose will likely be harvested this year during a moose hunt by three Chippewa bands in northeastern Minnesota, according to documents obtained by WTIP and officials with the Fond du Lac Band of Lake Superior Chippewa.

The Grand Portage Band of Lake Superior Chippewa and the Bois Forte Band of Chippewa will take a combined total of 18 bull moose in northeastern Minnesota this year, including large portions of Cook County.  

The hunt is expected to begin Sept. 30.

In addition, 24 bull moose can be harvested by members of the Fond du Lac Band of Lake Superior Chippewa. This hunt will begin Saturday, Sept. 23, according to Mike Schrage, a wildlife biologist for the band.

The Grand Portage and Bois Forte hunting season will end Oct. 29 or when the 18 bulls have been harvested, whichever comes first. Meanwhile, the Fond du Lac hunting season will last until Dec. 31 or until 24 bulls have been taken.

This year’s hunt by the Chippewa bands follows a controversial and similar hunt that took place last fall in 1854 Ceded Terrority in northeastern Minnesota. At least 38 bull moose were taken by Chippewa band members in 2016.

In a statement from the DNR sent this summer to WTIP, Glenn DelGiudice, the DNR’s moose project leader, said: “At this point, results do not indicate that moose are recovering in northeastern Minnesota. While it is encouraging to see that the decline in the population since 2012 has not been as steep, the apparent stability does not allow us to forecast the direction of the population’s trajectory into the future.”

The 2017 aerial moose survey estimate of 3,710 moose in the northeastern part of the state is statistically unchanged from last year’s estimate of 4,020. 

To hear more about hunting moose in Minnesota, and band members’ rights to do so, click here.