The Alaska Department of Fish & Game has cancelled all antlerless moose hunts in GMU 14A for the 2012 moose hunting season due to high numbers of moose deaths caused by deep snow.
“We are seeing an unusually high death rate for moose in the Matsu Valley this winter. There’s been an increase in moose-vehicle collisions because moose are spending more time on roads to avoid the deep snow, and we’re receiving a lot of reports of moose dying from starvation” said Tim Peltier, Acting Area Biologist for Wildlife Conservation in the Palmer office.
“We have cancelled the hunts because we don’t know how bad this winter will be for the moose population, and we don’t want to exacerbate the situation.” Peltier said.
The moose population was well above population objectives at the beginning of this winter when permit applications were accepted for the Unit 14A antlerless moose hunts, but the population is now expected to be within or below the objectives by the end of this winter.
The cancellation only applies to the drawing permit hunts for antlerless moose in GMU 14A hunts DM400, DM401, DM402, DM403, DM406, DM407, DM408, DM410, DM412, and DM413.
These hunts were pulled before the drawing was conducted, so applicants were not disadvantaged. Application fees for the cancelled hunts will be refunded by mail. Application fees paid by credit card will be refunded to the card; those paid by check will be mailed a refund check. Refunds will not be available from state Fish and Game offices.
The department plans to reassess the moose population in GMU 14A next autumn to determine the impacts of the deep snow and work with the local Fish and Game Advisory Committees to explore options for managing this moose population in the future.
The results of the Draw, Tier I and Tier II application period were released on Friday, Feb. 17 and are available on the ADF&G website. The results can be searched by individual name, hunt number and species.