DNR News Briefs: Bear hunting lottery and moose population study results

The Minnesota DNR is accepting applications for the bear hunt lottery this fall.

According to a release, more than 4,000 licenses are available in 14 permit areas for the season that opens Sept. 1 and closes Oct. 15.

Applications are due by Friday, May 5. Lottery winners will be notified on June 1, with the deadline to purchase bear hunting licenses awarded by lottery is Aug. 1.

More information is on the DNR’s website.

This year’s population estimate of 3,290 moose marks a decade of the state’s moose population remaining relatively stable.

The DNR recently conducted and analyzed the 2023 aerial population survey.

After a decline from a population estimate of approximately 8,000 moose in 2009, the population appears to have stabilized at about 3,700 animals in recent years.

Survey results suggest a decrease in population from 2022 to 2023, but the DNR says those estimates are better used to understand long-term trends.

Data collected recently by researchers with the Grand Portage Band of Lake Superior Chippewa suggest the magnitude of this year’s decline could be more than an artifact of sampling.

The Band’s researchers have reported high mortality rates on collared moose and similar decreases in aerial surveys around Grand Portage and Isle Royale. 

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