ADF&G Samples Moose Heads in Dillingham

Aug 30, 2018

The Alaska Department of Fish and Game in Dillingham is asking hunters to bring in their moose heads for sampling.

Credit Kristine Sowel/USFWS

The Alaska Department of Fish and Game wants to test moose harvested near Dillingham for a specific bacteria. To do that, they are asking local hunters to allow ADF&G to take a sample from the nose of the moose they hunt.

Mycoplasma ovipneumonia has been detected in game animals in the Lower 48 and, more recently, in Alaska. Afflicted species include sheep, goats, caribou and moose. 

To be clear, the bacteria do not pose a risk for those who eat the game meat, but they could affect moose health.

“We want to see if the moose out in Dillingham have the same bacteria that potentially could cause respiratory infections and pneumonia,” said Neil Barten, an area management biologist for ADF&G.

ADF&G hopes to collect 10 to 20 samples in Dillingham, which they will then send to Fairbanks for testing. According to Barten, the sampling is simple and should only take five minutes.                                                    

“I stick a big, giant Q-tip up the nose of the moose. It’s about two feet long, and it will allow me to sample the upper nasal cavities for this bacteria,” he explained.

Call ADF&G at 907-842-2334 to have a biologist stop by your house and sample your moose. You can also stop by their Dillingham office with your moose head. The office is located at 546 Kenny Wren Road.

Contact the author at or 907-842-5281.