HUNTING's Moose Forecast for 2014

bgf_moose_f2014 Outlook

Moose hunters in some areas can be happy; success rates and tag availability are quite high. Maine, for example, will sell 4,085 moose permits for the 2014 season, down only by 25 from last year, but well above the long-term average. The overall success rate was 72 percent, and the statewide population is estimated at up to 70,000, the highest number in the Lower 48. Drawing a tag, however, is the hard part. More than 55,000 people applied for a moose permit last season.

It's a lot easier to get a tag in Alaska. With a population of 200,000 moose, it's no wonder Alaska remains North America's premier destination. Populations are increasing in some areas of the state and falling in others, thanks in part to severe winters and predation, mostly by wolves.

Now the not-so-good news: Moose populations are falling in some states and Canadian provinces. Numbers appear to be growing in Saskatchewan and somewhat steady in Yukon, which has an estimated 70,000. British Columbia and Ontario, however, are reporting declines. Tag allocations are down as a result in BC, which has seen a decline of up to 70 percent in some regions. The Dryden and Thunder Bay areas will see an 88 percent decrease in tag allocations.


moose_arrowMinnesota halted all moose hunting indefinitely in 2013 due to plummeting numbers. The animals are subject to an in-depth study to determine why the state's moose population has fallen 52 percent just since 2010. New Hampshire also has seen a 40 percent decline in some regions over the past three years. Vermont's moose population has also fallen.


Moose in the Rocky Mountain states are stabilizing in some regions after falling dramatically in the 2000s, but they continue to decline in others. Wyoming Game & Fish spokesman Al Langston says his state's moose decline is linked to a number of factors, including predation by bears and several dry years.

"Drought really impacts moose habitat," says Langston, "and we've had some dry years."

Tag allocations may be down in Wyoming, but those who draw are likely to kill a bull, adds Langston. He says the Bighorn, Medicine Bow, and Bridger-Teton national forests all offer good hunting. Success rates are also high in other Western states, including Montana and Idaho, which offer once-in-a-lifetime tags and a stable moose population, says Idaho Fish and Game spokesman Toby Boudreau. Good bulls are taken from the Panhandle region south to the Utah border, but the heaviest concentrations tend to be in the northern part of the state. Utah also has a moose hunt, and populations have stabilized after falling in recent years, thanks in part to a string of severe winters and an outbreak of winter ticks.

Only Colorado has seen a population increase recently, although the state is at the southern range of moose and only about 2,300 animals inhabit Colorado. Still, Colorado Parks and Wildlife plans on selling a few more licenses this year, notably in units 1, 201, 15, and 27. With few exceptions, that's about the only good news coming from moose country.


1. Alaska

Alaska remains the best destination. It has the highest moose population of any state, and tags are generally available over the counter. Bob Condon, of Soldotna, Alaska, killed a bull moose with a 73-inch spread and 10-inch bases in 2013, reportedly the second biggest ever taken.

3. Yukon

OK, so this isn't a state. But how can we leave out the Yukon? Although the territory is experiencing overall population declines, success can be found in the right area. Yukon resident Heinz Naef killed the new World Record Alaska-Yukon subspecies last September. It scored 263 5/8.

2. Washington

Let's face it: Moose tags are tough to draw€¦anywhere. Washington might just be the best place to get it done in the Lower 48. That is, if you skip their draw and buy a lottery tag.

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Recommended Articles

See More Recommendations

Popular Videos

Fare Game: Stuffed Elk Backstrap

Fare Game: Stuffed Elk Backstrap

Take your venison loin to a whole new level with this delicious reverse-seared stuffed elk backstrap. Smoking the backstrap on a Camp Chef Woodwind pellet grill first, then finishing it on a blazing-hot skillet or flattop, creates a perfectly cooked, medium-rare steak with a crispy, seared exterior. The filling of diced mushrooms and creamy Boursin cheese adds a whole new level of amazing flavors to an otherwise classic smoked venison loin.

Top Ten Hunts

Top Ten Hunts

Here at Petersen's Hunting we have compiled the 10 best hunts caught on camera from the last 2 years of Petersen's Hunting TV. Enjoy!

Is That a Grizzly Bear?

Is That a Grizzly Bear?

Kevin Steele and Jason Morton are above the Arctic Circle pursuing grizzly bears in Alaska and put a stalk on what they believe is a good one.

Hunting Coues Deer South of the Border

Hunting Coues Deer South of the Border

Former Delta Force Operator Kyle Lamb hikes the rugged desert mountains of northern Sonora in pursuit of the diminutive Coues species of whitetail.

See More Popular Videos

Trending Articles

These are our favorite new products of the year for the archery crowd. Bowhunting

Best New Bowhunting Gear for 2020

Petersen's Hunting Editors - May 21, 2020

These are our favorite new products of the year for the archery crowd.

Mossberg's accurate Patriot Predator is the most affordable way to harness the power of the 6.5 PRC. Guns

Mossberg Patriot Predator 6.5 PRC: Rifle Review

Brad Fitzpatrick - June 26, 2020

Mossberg's accurate Patriot Predator is the most affordable way to harness the power of the...

The outdoor industry gets serious about recruiting new hunters with some curious marketing strategies. Conservation

Are New Hunter Recruitment Strategies Working?

Andrew McKean - May 05, 2020

The outdoor industry gets serious about recruiting new hunters with some curious marketing...

Since the first explorers and pilgrims landed, the inhabitants of this glorious country have been Shooting

7 Favorite Truck Guns

Joseph von Benedikt - May 11, 2015

Since the first explorers and pilgrims landed, the inhabitants of this glorious country have...

See More Trending Articles

More Other Game

Be sure to follow these 5 tips from the expert. Other Game

Fred Eichler's 5 'Musts' of a Guided Elk Hunt

Randy Hynes

Be sure to follow these 5 tips from the expert.

So you didn't draw that coveted trophy buck or bull tag you've been applying for. Disappointed? Other Game

Last-Minute Opportunities to Hunt Western Big Game

David Hart - September 26, 2016

So you didn't draw that coveted trophy buck or bull tag you've been applying for. Disappointed?

Setting up near a roosted springtime gobbler has never been easier. Accessories

Enhance Your Hearing with TETRA Turkey AmpPods

Jeff Johnston

Setting up near a roosted springtime gobbler has never been easier.

Premium hunting bullets, and discussions of what makes a particular hunting bullet ideal for this Other Game

Bullet Construction, Shot Placement, and Killing Ability

Joseph von Benedikt - November 21, 2016

Premium hunting bullets, and discussions of what makes a particular hunting bullet ideal for...

See More Other Game

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save.

Digital Now Included!

SUBSCRIBE NOW

Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services

PREVIEW THIS MONTH'S ISSUE

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Get Digital Access.

All Petersen's Hunting subscribers now have digital access to their magazine content. This means you have the option to read your magazine on most popular phones and tablets.

To get started, click the link below to visit mymagnow.com and learn how to access your digital magazine.

Get Digital Access

Not a Subscriber?
Subscribe Now