Moose are an iconic Minnesota symbol. For those of us lucky enough to see one in the wild, it is an unparalleled sight. For years Minnesota Moose population has been in decline due to brainworm, winter ticks, wolf and bear predation and habitat loss. There is no dispute.
Surveyors this year flew over 52 of the total 436 survey plots distributed across Northeastern Minnesota’s moose range between Jan. 3 to Jan. 17. While the survey is statistically sound, there’s inherent uncertainty when the area surveyed is just a small part of the 6,000-square-mile moose range.They observed only 429 moose. more details can be found here: https://files.dnr.state.mn.us/wildlife/moose/moosesurvey.pdf
In the face of a declining moose population and against DNR wishes, three tribal bands continue to take moose from public lands and out of our forests. In the last two years a combined 75 bull moose have been killed. While Boise Forte and Grand Portage have agreed to reduce the number of moose taken during the hunt, the Fond du Lac tribe continues its plan to hunt 24 bull moose this Fall.
The tribes argue that hunting moose is within their cultural rights. However, biologists advising the tribes have wrongly indicated that hunting bull moose is biologically insignificant to the moose population because a bull can mate with more than one cow. This is incorrect for two reasons.
First, groups of bull moose, known as "bachelor groups," independently have allowed young moose calves to join their group. These calves have been estimated to be 1 1/2 years old. Reducing the population of bull moose will have a dramatic effect on these bachelor groups that offer young calves some protection from natural predators. Second, bull moose will fight each other during the mating season, known as the rut. The fighting between bull moose is nature's way of allowing only the stronger, more virile moose to win reproduction rights, which in turn produces stronger calves. This is essential to the continued growth of the moose population.
Though we respect the culture and traditions of the tribes participating in the moose hunt, we hope those can be balanced with moral and ethical values that will protect Minnesota's precious moose population. Tribal governments have historically placed a high priority on preserving these lands and protecting their natural resources, including many vulnerable wildlife species, for future generations. Please preserve the opportunity for our moose to make a comeback.
Moose should not be hunted. The moose population in Minnesota is declining and moose are struggling for survival. This petition requests all tribes postpone their hunts. Please sign this petition if you want to give our Minnesota moose a fighting chance.