Moose season opens with a bang

A Vermont tradition returned last Saturday with Gov. Jim Douglas attending the first weigh-in of moose on opening day moose hunting season. Hundreds of hunters, friends and families flocked to the Vermont State Highway Garage in Island Pond for the much-anticipated first harvest of moose in the coveted lottery. This is a celebration of Vermonts hunting traditions and our successful wildlife management efforts, Douglas said. The season started Oct. 18 and continues through Oct. 23 for some permit holders and again from Oct. 25Nov. 2 for other permit holders. Vermonts moose management program has worked well since the first hunt in 1993, when 25 moose were taken with 30 permits issued. Moose hunts have been held each year since then. A record 13,839 applications were received in the permit lottery (11,032 residents and 2,807 nonresidents). The total number of permits issued this year is 1,260 (including five that were auctioned). Revenue from moose lottery, permit fees and permit auction in 2008 was $359,673. Vermonts moose population this fall is estimated to be 4,000-5,000. The Vermont Fish and Wildlife Department expects more than 600 moose will be taken this fall in a carefully regulated hunt. CUTLINE: Whats he smiling about? Moose season opened in Vermont last weekend and continues through Oct. 23. A second season runs Oct. 25Nov. 2. Image courtesy Envirotalk.com

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