Mar 27, 2012 at 2:31 pm
ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) - Despite the sharp decline in the state's moose population, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources has decided to allow a moose hunting season this fall.
The DNR says it expects hunters will take about 50 moose during the bulls-only season. The agency plans to issue 87 permits. That compares with 92 permits last year, when state-licensed hunters took 53 bull moose. The DNR will close two hunting zones in northeastern Minnesota, but continue to allow hunting in other zones.
Minnesota's moose population is estimated at 4,230, a 14 percent decline from last year's estimate of 4,900 and less than half the 2006 estimate of 8,840. Wildlife managers say the reasons for the decline aren't fully understood, but they say limited hunting of bull moose is not considered a significant factor.