MONTPELIER — The winners of Vermont’s 2021 moose hunting permits were determined Wednesday, August 4, at a lottery drawing in Montpelier witnessed by Fish and Wildlife’s Director of Wildlife Mark Scott and Business Systems Analyst Cheri Waters.
The drawing is done by a random sort of applications that were submitted by the June 30 deadline.
As part of the regular lottery drawing, a “special priority drawing” was held for five permits to go to applicants who are Vermont resident veterans. The unsuccessful applicants from the veteran drawing were included in the larger regular drawing that followed. All applicants for both drawings who did not receive a permit were awarded a bonus point to improve their chances in future moose permit lotteries.
The department will issue 60 either-sex moose hunting permits and 40 antlerless moose hunting permits for a hunt limited to Vermont’s Wildlife Management Unit (WMU) E in the northeastern corner of the state. The science-based hunt will result in an estimated harvest of 51 to 66 moose, or 5 percent of the more than 1,000 moose currently estimated to live in WMU E.
Winners in this year’s moose hunting lottery are posted in a searchable database on the Vermont Fish and Wildlife Department’s website (www.vtfishandwildlife.com).
If your name wasn’t drawn, you can still bid in Vermont’s auction for three moose hunting permits, which is open until August 11. Sealed bids must be received by Vermont Fish and Wildlife by 4:30 p.m. that day. Contact the department to receive a moose permit bid kit. Telephone 802-828-1190 or email (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Fish and Wildlife partnered with University of Vermont researchers to conduct a study of moose health and survival in WMU E. The results of this study, in which 126 moose (36 cows, 90 calves) were fitted with GPS tracking collars, clearly showed that chronic high winter tick loads have caused the health of moose in that part of the state to be very poor. Survival of adult moose remained relatively good, but birth rates were very low and less than half of the calves survived their first winter.
“Moose density in WMU-E is more than one moose per square mile, significantly higher than any other part of the state,” said Nick Fortin, Fish and Wildlife’s biologist in charge of the moose project. “Research has shown that moose densities greater than one per square mile support high numbers of winter ticks which negatively impact moose health and survival. Lower moose densities, like in the rest of Vermont, support relatively few winter ticks that do not impact moose populations. Reducing moose density decreases the number of available hosts which in turn decreases the number of winter ticks on the landscape. The goal is to improve the health of moose in WMU E by reducing the impact of winter ticks.”