First-Ever Moose Hunting Season Will Begin In Nevada To Control “Explosive” Species Growth

( — The state of Nevada will be holding its first moose hunting season this coming fall, as wildlife managers have called for planned “harvests” to deal with the growth in population over the past five years, the Associated Press reported.

The first moose appeared in Nevada in the 1950s and for decades, only a handful had been spotted. But in the last ten years, the population of moose has begun increasing in the state.

By 2018, Nevada wildlife officials estimated between 30 and 50 moose in the northeast corner of the state. Since then, the population has more than doubled. Experts estimate that the habitat could sustain up to 200 moose, a population level that could be achieved in as little as three years.

Defenders of Wildlife’s Bryan Bird told the Associated Press that he suspects that the increase in moose population may be temporary as the animals are moving into a habitat that in 50 years may not be suitable for them due to climate change.

Researchers in Nevada are not sure why moose are expanding into a state where there have been extended droughts.

Nevada Department of Wildlife specialist Cody McKee told the Associated Press that so far the drought cycles in the state have not affected the moose population.

The majority of moose in the United States are located in Alaska, with a population of around 200,000 and an annual harvest of 7,000. Maine has more than five times the population of moose as any other state in the continental US, with nearly 70,000. Maine issued 4,100 permits for moose hunting in 2023.

The populations along the US border with Canada have varied for over a century, with several states, including Maine, Minnesota, and Idaho, dramatically reducing hunting quotas to allow moose populations to grow.

In Washington state, the moose population in the 1960s was non-existent. Since then, the population has grown to more than 5,000. Each year, Washington issues more than 100 hunting permits.

Researchers in Nevada believe the moose population in the state could allow for more harvests than currently planned, however, Cody McKee told the Associated Press that the state plans to be conservative.

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