According to a report recently published by the Dept. Fish & Game, more moose were killed by cars last year than by hunters. The 12-page Kenai Peninsula Moose News is being delivered to 28,000 mailboxes Peninsula-wide, detailing the recent struggle in the moose population.
Regional Supervisor Larry Van Daele says Kenai Peninsula moose are “among the largest, most famous, and at one time were the most abundant in Alaska,” but the years have not been kind to the population and hunting has been severely restricted.
For July 2012- June 2013, 186 moose were listed as roadkill while only 66 were taken through hunting.
The Board of Game did open hunting slightly this year, according to Board Chair Ted Spraker…
Spraker: “When you have habit concerns, and you have a building bull to cow ratio, which we caused because of the last two-years because of the 50-inch four brow tine restrictions. That virtually stopped moose hunting on the Kenai, because the bull cow ratio in the previous years was down to nine bulls to the hundred cows. So when the board looked at all these different statistics, we decided that we need to harvest a few more bulls, because in 15A especially, the bull to cow ratio was reaching 30 plus bulls to the hundred cows.”
Spraker explained the final regulations adopted…
Spraker: “What the board finally decided was, this next fall the season will allow, this is all of units 7 and 15 so our whole area, the seasons are the same except that we added spike. So you can only take a spike bull, or a bull with 50-inch antlers or greater, or four or more brow tines on at least one side.”
In the report, Van Daele says the reasons for the declining moose population are complex, including habitat degradation, predators, and hunting. The Department has been working to address all three. Details can be found by clicking here.