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Vermont proposing 55 moose hunt permits in Northeast Kingdom

February 22, 2020 GMT

MONTPELIER, Vt. (AP) — The Vermont Department of Fish and Wildlife is proposing to issue 55 moose hunting permits for this fall in the wildlife management unit along the Vermont border with Quebec and New Hampshire.

The October hunt would result in the taking of an estimated 33 moose.

The target for the area known as Wildlife Management Unit E is designed to reduce the impact of winter ticks on the moose population.

“Moose density in WMU E is more than one moose per square mile, significantly higher than any other part of the state,” said moose biologist Nick Fortin. “Moose densities greater than one per square mile support high numbers of winter ticks which negatively impact moose health and survival.”

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The suggestion for the number of moose hunting permits came after Fish and Wildlife worked with University of Vermont researchers to study moose health and survival in the wildlife management unit by tagging 36 cows and 90 calves with GPS tracking collars. The study found that chronic high winter tick loads have caused the decline in moose health.

Survival of adult moose remained relatively good, but birth rates were low and fewer than half of the calves survived their first winter.