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State Mulls Winter Hunts for Problem Moose in Fairbanks

Fairbanks, AK - The Alaska Department of Fish and Game is considering an option to issue “targeted hunting” permits this winter to take moose that frequent roadways in the Fairbanks area.  Don Young is the area management Biologist.  “There are problem moose in the Fairbanks area," says Young. "We consider them to be a problem if they’re injured and often times when they are injured they do become aggressive and then of course there’s those by the roads," he explains. "If there’s road projects and it’s been planted with Rye grass you get moose hanging out there and they’re likely to get hit.”

Fish and Game made a similar decisions last year to alleviate Moose-related traffic accidents in the Matanuska-Susitna Valley.  The Board of Game established ‘targeted hunts’ back in 2011 in order to help cut down on the cost of accident response from both state Wildlife Troopers and management biologists. Young says biologists believe a similar kind of hunt could help alleviate problems with Moose in the Golden Heart City.

“I wouldn’t necessarily say that they’re becoming an increasing problem," Young says. "I would say this was an idea brought forth by fish and game in South-Central and then we learned about that in the Interior and thought we could use that similar approach here in Fairbanks and thought it would be pretty effective.”

The Department of Fish and Game could issue anywhere from one to a dozen permits, but managers are still considering options. Last year, Fish and Game did respond to injured moose, but this is the first time Fish and Game would allow “targeted hunts” in the region.

“We’ve made a decision in that we are going to accept applications and develop a list or roster if you will and we won’t make decisions on a targeted moose until later in the winter and we’ll see what happens in terms of the situation,” he says.

If the hunts do move forward, only shotguns with slugs or bows and arrows can be used to cull a problem moose.

The application period is open through October.  Hunters will be assigned permits for a particular moose on a case-by-case basis. The department may also consider issuing permits for hunts on private property following consultation with the landowner.