Against DNR wishes, the Fond du Lac Band has killed 25 moose already; plans are to harvest 38

October 19, 2016
A three-year hunting reprieve for Minnesota’s struggling moose population has come to an end this fall. Shooting of 38 bulls by three Chippewa Indian tribes is planned. Twenty-five of those moose already have been killed by members of the Fond du Lac Band. The DNR urged the Band not to authorize a moose hunt, but the tribe chose to exercise its sovereign hunting and fishing rights.

The targeting of moose in 2016 ends a three-year period when state and tribal game managers stopped moose hunting in the face of an alarming population decline. From a peak of 8,840 moose surveyed in 2006, the DNR now estimates the population to be under 4,000 animals.

Now the cultural importance of a subsistence moose hunt overrides public sensitivities. That’s because game managers now believe the state’s moose population has stabilized, adult moose mortality is low and calf survival is “reasonable.”

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