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Unit 23 Cow Moose Hunt Temporarily Eliminated in Hopes of Recovering Population

Photo credit: Douglas Brown via Flickr Creative Commons.
Photo credit: Douglas Brown via Flickr Creative Commons.

The Federal Subsistence Board has eliminated the hunt for cow moose in Kotzebue and the surrounding areas covered by Unit 23 for the 2019 – 2020 regulatory year.

According to a press release from the Board, during a work session last week, the eight-member subsistence group ruled on temporary wildlife special action requests related to Unit 23, Unit 18, and Unit 2.

Game Management Unit 23 includes Deering, areas north to Point Hope, and stretches east all the way to the Gates of the Arctic National Preserve.

The request for Unit 23, approved by the Federal Subsistence Board, is meant to “help the moose population recover and prevent further declines.”

Based on analysis from the Board, moose population estimates are below State goal levels, and the calf-to-cow ratios are 20:100, which the Office of Subsistence Management says indicates a declining population. In the census areas where most of Unit 23 moose reside, OSM says the population has declined by more than 40% since 2011.

According to the Board, the National Park Service in-season manager for Unit 23 will also have temporary authority to close public lands to non-federally qualified users, if warranted.

Starting November 1, the 2019/2020 cow moose hunting season will officially be canceled. However, federally qualified users will still be able to harvest bull moose during the winter season in Unit 23.

Image at top: photo credit: Douglas Brown via Flickr / Creative Commons.

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