Biologists and hunters are theorizing that moose laid low to escape the heat and inadvertently escaped the freezer.
While calm winds and sunny skies over the past few weeks were excellent for many outdoor activities, they were not ideal for hunting. The fall moose hunt in game management units 17B and 17C ended September 15. Harvest reports are still trickling in, and, so far, the numbers are low.
As of Wednesday, hunters reported 109 moose killed, a third fewer than the average. Neil Barton, area wildlife management biologist at the Alaska Department of Fish and Game in Dillingham, said that the midday heat caused moose to hunker down for hours.
“About everybody I talked to, they talked first about the bugs, and second about the lack of movement of moose in the middle of the day because it was so hot," Barton said. "The moose weren’t very active, they weren’t responding to calls very well, from what I’ve heard. It was in some ways a really good part of a hunting season, and in some ways it wasn’t working out as good as it could have.”
All hunters are required to submit a report to ADF&G regardless of whether or not they hunted. Reports can be submitted online, mailed in, or dropped off at the ADF&G office on Kenny Wren Road in Dillingham.
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